Merry Christmas, sweet Evan.

Our first Christmas with a little one in the house.  It’s a reality that, to be honest, I was never sure we would come to live.  As I lay here in bed with your baby sister sleeping so soundly on my chest, my heart is so full.  Yet, I can’t help but feel a strong longing for you.  Natural of course, but a balance of emotions for sure.

These past seven months have been a whirlwind.  Your baby sister has arrived in our lives and has completely stolen our hearts, just like you.  In the same way you lit up our world and filled it with love, she did too.  We are adjusting to this new life and are truly loving every minute of every day.

We have found so much joy in her, that I have to believe you had something to do with it.  She looks so much like you and embodies your spirit in a way.  Her determination and strength remind me of you.  She loves looking at your picture, smiling and waving and laughing at it.  I have a feeling that she knows you somehow.  That you guys share a bond somehow that we will never know.

But fear not, you are never forgotten.  I am not sure how to explain our love for you, as some things are too grand for words.  But we carry you everyday in our hearts.  You are so much a part of us that it just feels like you’re always there, without us always being aware.  You are in our dinner, our laundry, our kisses and hugs, our smiles, our tears, our adventures, and our journey.

In the same way she is a part of me, I carry you in my soul.  Living life just isn’t the same without you.  But you are always here along side of us and a part of this pot of love that we share everyday.

We miss you so very much buddy.   Merry Christmas.  And thank you for all of the joy you have brought us this year.



Out of nowhere this afternoon, I was blindsided by a wave of longing & needing for you.  I always miss you, always long for you, and desperately wish you were here.  But, it was wrapped with intense, nauseating tears today.  I guess when you love and long for someone so much, day in and day out, it almost becomes something that is inevitably and wholly a part of you.  It begins to feel normal to you.  It’s something you carry around with you; it’s a part of who you are.

I was literally sitting on the couch, contemplating if I should continue to lay there or be somewhat productive.  I was watching some sort of reality TV trash (that I sometimes love to indulge in).  And what felt like out of nowhere, tears started pouring down my face, I’m wailing, and my chest starts to feel incredibly heavy with that longing feeling that I know all too well.  No trigger, no reason, just a sudden rush of intense longing.  All of a sudden, I could just picture you running around on our new hardwood floors.  I could almost hear you say “mom” and see your beautiful smile.  The house is so quiet this afternoon.  It would be so dramatically different if you were here.

Tomorrow is one month until your little sister’s due date.  It’s starting to really feel more real with each passing day.  Each day feels closer to our new reality of her being here safely.

All I feel in this moment is a heaviness in my heart for you.  Five years…just over five years…since we said goodbye.  Grief never fails to surprise me.  I just want to hug you so fiercely.  It makes me feel like I can’t breathe with the heaviness of it all.

There is so much beauty in our pain and grief.  I have learned that grief and love are one in the same.  You cannot grieve deeply without having love that is so deep.

We are probably in for an emotional rollercoaster in the coming weeks and months (and probably years).  I have not felt quite this blindsided in a while.  Maybe my mind and body are preparing me for what’s to come.  Like I said, you are always there, our pain is always there, but so is our love.  At this moment, the pain won overwhelming.  Sometimes it’s more balanced.  Sometimes I simply smile thinking of you.  But when it hits me like this, I have learned to just ride the wave.  It washes over me and I let the emotions out.  I feel the emotions as strongly as they will come, and cry as much as I can.  It’s freeing.  It’s truthful.  And it’s love.

My dear, I love you with all my heart.  I ache for you to be here.  I want you here.  I want to see the joy in your face when you hold your little sister.  I want to see you teach her things and show her the world through your eyes.  I can truly almost see it.

But, I know you will be there along the way.  You always have been.  I just wish it could be in a different way.  We miss you so much.

This little girl is going to love and adore you…I just know it ❤ ❤ ❤


Hard to believe it’s been 4 years…

Evan was born 4 years ago this past Tuesday.  Four years.  Yep, I cannot quite comprehend that.

It’s so surreal.

Was it all a dream?  It feels that way sometimes.

We had a beautiful day planned yesterday.

For weeks, I wanted to plan on us getting out into nature and enjoying what was hopefully going to be a beautiful spring day on Evan’s birthday.  The weather in our area has been so wonderful the last couple of weeks.  I have been trying to get outside as much as possible and take advantage before the high temperatures and humidity kick in.  I draw so much energy and peacefulness from being outside.

We agreed that we could go hiking in the mountains for the day.  The weather cooperated very nicely.  In fact, it was actually a little chilly.  The sun was out all day.  There was a fairly strong breeze.  It was absolutely beautiful.

We went to Crabtree Falls in Nelson County Virginia.  It was about a 2-hour trip, one way.  Once we started getting into the mountains and off the beaten path, we kept pointing out places where we could build a house.  “Oh, right there. Yep, drop a house right there and I would be happy.”  “Look at that view!”  We love the mountains, and would probably live there if it wouldn’t mean moving away from our family and close friends.

It was fairly crowded for a weekday, but it was also some of the kids’ spring breaks around here.  We had packed a lunch for when we reached the top.

We both realized very quickly that we were way out of shape.  No surprise there, but it felt good in a way.  I think we started out pretty fast too.  Our lungs starting burning a little.  But then it got better and we made it to the top in just over an hour (stopping many times to take pictures), with us both feeling pretty good.  On our way up, we decided we should do this once a month or something – just to get out in the nice weather and stay more active.  Walking around the block at home is just not the same!


We had a very nice lunch at the top.  We sat there for a little while, just sitting, talking, hanging out and cuddled up.  We talked about Evan a lot during the day, and all of the things we would be doing and places we would be going.  It was chilliest at the top, with no more towering trees all around us.    We could only stay but 45 minutes or so at the top because we only had on light jackets.  Coming down made me feel old, with my knees taking the brunt of the work.

It was such a wonderful idea (if I do say so myself)!  It was a great workout, it was a beautiful day, and we got to spend it out in nature, connecting more to our little man and each other and just soaking up all the goodness.

grant and i at top

Then, we came home.  I got to go to acupuncture, and then we ended the day with a nice, quiet dinner out (to one of the few places I can eat).  Special thanks to everyone who took time to wish Evan a happy birthday 🙂  It means so much to us.

It was a pretty awesome day spent thinking and talking about our boy, enjoying each other, and reflecting.

Fast forward to the days after Evan’s birthday.  They have hit me like a ton of rocks.  I’m borderline functioning.  Everything is stressing me out.  The anxiety is out of control.  All of the commitments we’ve made, I want or feel the need to break.  This is just how it is for us.  The day of “big” days are usually OK.  The days after are heavy.  And that is OK.  But, I wish there wasn’t so much going on right now, so that I could just get through the day and just sink into these feelings.  Fighting it is not good.  Feeling it is hard, but SO necessary.  I don’t like having to balance the two.



Happy 4th Birthday!!!

We miss you so very much down here.  Things have not gotten easier.  In some ways, things feel harder.  But I guess our coping skills have gotten better.  We definitely feel different than we did a couple of years ago (even last year), but it’s just as hard, just in a different way – if that makes sense.  Thank you for giving us such a beautiful day to celebrate YOU.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

We are so lucky to have had you in our lives.  You have enriched our lives in ways we never thought possible, and continue to do so to this day.  We hope you had a wonderful birthday, and hope you stretch it out to a birthday week!

Many hugs and kisses!!

Mom and Dad


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas, Evan ❤

We hope you had a wonderful and joyous Christmas this year.

This Christmas felt different.  I had some time to bake (although I couldn’t eat any of it).  We got our Christmas shopping done before we normally do, and in plenty of time for Christmas.  My work situation didn’t seem as stressful as it usually is this time of year (still more to come though).  And, we decorated this year (and I actually kind of wanted to).


It was interesting.  It felt just as hard as years past, and there were definite ups and downs.  But, we got a little more into it this year and were able to enjoy it more than usual.  Probably for a multitude of reasons, but much of which I will give myself a pat on the back for.  The way I’ve been eating and attempting to manage myself and my stress, and practicing mindfulness, are honestly I think mostly to blame.  In a good way.  And as I’m doing more and more research and tweaking my lifestyle accordingly, I hope that it will continue to help.  Not only emotionally mentally, and with stress, but especially physically (and most importantly).

This year was one of the most unpredictable years in a while.  Losing 2 more babies for unknown (and seemingly no genetic reason) is beyond my comprehension.  It was not lost of Daddy and me this season that you and your siblings (both thought to be girls, but only one known for sure to be) now outnumber us as far as who’s there and who’s here.  That is a very uneasy feeling.

This next year more and more feels like a make it or break it year for us.  I try not to focus on the next week, month, or year for that reason, but that feels like the reality.  We will take things day by day as much as we can.  But I don’t know how many more kicks we can take before we break.  We shall see.

And one more thing.  I think by now you have most likely been reunited with Jenny (“Mama Jenny” as you may call her).  Please give her the biggest hug and kiss from us.  She has such a big place in our hearts and yours.  She is a dear friend and an inspiration to us everyday.  One of the last things she said to me face to face earlier this year was “you will have what you need when you need it.”  That had come up several times in the several years we knew her.  It is something that helped her through tough times, among other things, she would say.  And I think about it a lot.  And her.  Just make sure you give her that hug and kiss ❤

We love you so much and miss you immensely.  Day-by-day we go.  We’ll make it through until one day we’ll be reunited with you (all three of you). What a freakin’ awesome day that will be…


PAIL Awareness Day

Wave of Light 10/15/15

“How long do you want to be loved?  Is forever enough?…” ❤ Dixie Chicks

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Tonight, I light my three candles for the three babies I hold in my heart, and all of the children gone too soon.

Evan Daniel 3/29/12 – 4/23/12

Tater Tot (“Tot”)-April 2015

“Newbie”-September 2015

I wish to share tonight how much each of them is dearly loved and missed.  I know so many other moms, dads, and families whose hearts ache each and every day, missing children that were taken too soon or that they were never able to meet.  I think of them tonight as well, and hold them so very close to my heart.  And it pains me to know how many others there are out there.

What rises out of all of this pain and loss is love.  That is the common component.  You cannot have great pain without great love, as they say.  At least this is what I know to be true.

This year has been a roller coaster of joy and hope, to heartache and emptiness.  I have learned a lot.  Some things I wished I hadn’t.  I don’t know how equipped I am yet to write about our most recent losses, as well as how this past year has evolved for us.  I definitely want to.  I have been lovingly encouraged by others to write.  I will.

I feel like I either have an overwhelming amount to share and process, or I am not quite sure how to start putting words together.

The pain is heavy.  It has piled upon itself.  There do not always seem to be three separate piles of pain, like you might think.  It just seems to stack on itself, causing older, scabbed wounds to rip open.

But in other ways, and at different times, I feel each wound as its own separate space.

See, I feel a little all over the place.  Which, as my mindfulness practices will tell me, means I need to write 🙂

I just have to figure out where to start…

Thank you everyone for your continued love, support, and hugs ❤

“Make A Wish”

Happy half-birthday, Evan!
It hit me that your half-birthday was coming up, and I couldn’t stop thinking of cupcakes. After a long time of steering clear of sugar, we, for a couple reasons, have been temporarily binging (more like, not caring as much) the past couple of weeks. Perfect timing, as I had not-so-much guilt when I went and picked these beauties up today.

It seems like it’s been a lot longer than six months since your 3rd birthday. So much has happened in that time. There’s been beauty and there’s been heartache. There’s been lives started, and then lost.  There have been trips taken, and stretches of time spent bumming around. A couple of seasons have come and gone.  Just – a lot. A lot for six months. So much so that it feels like much longer.

I was so relieved to be able to do something special this evening with Daddy for you. We are all-consumed with our love, and longing, for you. And it feels good when we get to stop and acknowledge that, and only that.  And the cupcakes were yummy 🙂

We want more than ever to be able to pick you up and love on you. We want those snuggles and goofy conversations. We want crazy days and long nights. We want all those things that we will never have. But, we will always have our love for you.

Sending you lots of extra love and hugs today. I hope to see you in my dreams, sweetie.


Happy 3rd Birthday!!

Hi Sweetie,

Happy Birthday, my love!  I can’t believe you turn 3 today.  I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.  It was the most magical day of our lives.  Our lives changed forever.  One day I will finish writing your birth story, as I believe it to be the best love story of all time 🙂  

I hope you enjoyed your day and had a big celebration!  I hope you felt all the love people sent your way today.

We sure do miss you buddy.  

Happy happy happy birthday!!

Xoxoxo and lots of love,

Mom and Dad 

‘Tis The Season

It’s that time of the year again. This is the time of year when my year seems to end and begin.

The weather starts to get warmer and nature starts to get colorful. Things start to bloom and get a hint of life, where they have been so bare and empty. People start spending more time outdoors. The birds and other critters are out and about. Breathe deeply – spring is almost here.

The fact that Evan was born this time of year seems fitting for those reasons. There’s such beauty and promise in the air, and that’s what I feel his spirit is.

As we head into this rougher-than-usual time of the year, I am keeping my senses open. I will feel the crushing hurt, heavy aching, intense longing, and all of that which comes from Evan not being here with us. I will feel the fondness of my memories with him. I will remember the things that made us laugh, or smile or cry. I will make time for really letting those things in – the good and the sad, the love and the ache. I will make time for me and for us to do all things “Evan”. I will make time for whatever it is I feel I need to do. I have been trying to do this along the way the several months, but sometimes it can be hard to carve out that time. All I need to do is be aware of it.

I’ve been taking a short walk some days after work. The idea was that it would be yet another tool that I could use to work with my anxiety, trauma, and stress. I’ve learned that combatting those things takes proactive actions instead of reactions. And a physical action such as walking or exercise helps to manage those things. I have a series of tapes that I listen to fairly regularly. One of the tracks is a walking meditation exercise that I listen to when I take these walks. It talks you through your walk from a mindful perspective, and guides you to use all of your senses and bring you to the present.

The more I develop this mindfulness, the more I find Evan in life. Let me rephrase that – the more I feel Evan in my life, every day. And it’s feeling him and his energy that makes me better. I think about him all the time, of course. And I feel the physical ache and longing for him. But he’s so much more than that to me. I’ve been amazed at how I can develop our relationship and our bond when Evan’s not even physically here with us. But it truly has, and as odd as it may sound, it hasn’t just come from my side.

I will continue to see Evan in everything I do. I will continue to breathe in his energy and soak in his sunshine and feel wrapped in his love. I will see the beautiful blooms that come to life and the color that fills the sky, and I will know that it’s all for me, from Evan.

If you really pay attention, you can soak up so much of the energy that’s floating around this time of year. Maybe the next time you get a hit of spring that clears your head and makes you breathe easier, it’s Evan saying hello and offering a big hug.

Merry Christmas, Baby <3

Well, the day is over.  As usual, Christmas seemed to sneak up on me and then it feels like it’s over in a flash.  We’re lucky that we get to spend the time with great family and exchange some wonderful gifts.  We’re always missing you though, sweetie.  It’s not the same without you, and never will be.  But the day was nice.  And now I brace myself for the days after the holidays, which always seem harder somehow.  This does not get any easier.  We miss you so much.

We love that some people did random acts of kindness in your memory, or made donations, or mentioned you this holiday season.  This sounds so cliche, but it really means more to us than they will know.  It gives us that glow in our hearts that pushes us through the season.  It’s so beautiful that others remember you.  It makes us feel less alone in this pain.

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Evan.  Everyone here misses you so much.  We wish you could be here with us.  We will now prepare for the even harder days that follow a holiday.  We’ll hold each other and talk about you and smile and figure out a way to make it through.  And we’ll think about all the other families that we call friends, who are also missing little ones from their lives.  We’re in this together, as unfortunate as it is.  We can only hope all of you little ones are gathered together and celebrating.

We love you, sweetie pie.  Another Christmas down, a million more to go.

A Half Birthday Kind of Day


photo 1

This change in seasons is throwing us all over the place.  We cannot seem to get our bearings before our moods and feelings are changing once again.  It is almost impossible to focus on things that need attention, and very easy to focus on things that don’t.

This time of year is my favorite – the colors, the weather.  I find myself breathing it in, savoring it.  Some of the clothes I am unpacking in getting ready for the new season, are the same ones I wore when I was pregnant.  Baggy chic sweaters, suede leggings and long sweater vests.  They are some of my favorite pieces and not just because they remind me of the wonderful time we had with Evan.

I feel how much I miss that time, and how much I want it back so badly.  I just want to replay it from start to finish, and then hit repeat.  It was that magical to us.  Even the more painful moments were the best moments of our lives.  Trauma or no trauma, it doesn’t matter.

We enjoy these beautiful days together when we can.  Tonight, we were able to cook a nice meal and celebrate Evan with these yummy cupcakes.  Even though it is rainy and damp outside, and both of us feel beaten down it seems, we manage to cozy-up inside and light a candle for our boy.  We let the warmth of his constant presence in our lives shine through us and make us smile.  He makes our world so much brighter.  We wait for this wave of intense grief to slightly subside, sending us some relief to catch our breaths and focus on those things that need attention.

We love you, Evan, and miss you.  Happy Half Birthday!