A Year Ago

I can't believe it has been a year since I posted anything! I've been thinking a lot lately about how to use my story. How do I pay it forward? I just keep thinking there is some purpose...just not sure if I've found it yet.

I've beeen going to a grief group on Thursday nights for a few weeks now. It's a 12 week group and it's pretty awesome. As we approach Avery's third birthday, I am continually reminded how amazing and complicated the grief process is. I was driving home the other night, and I drove by a local hospital and just burst into tears. It just instantly took me back to night after night of coming and going out of ACH and I had this moment of sadness thinking back to those days. You know, you think you've got it all under control and then, BOOM...back to the beginning stages.

Anyways, still dealing with the process. It's a beautiful, scary, exhausting, and complicated journey.



It Still Hurts

It still hurts. She would have been running, playing, talking, and calling me Mommy. She would have been one and a half. I miss the days when she was alive and breathing. I just miss them...the way she smelled, her sweet eyes, saying her name. I don't know what else to say...it just still hurts. I love you Avery Mae and miss you oh so much.


Welcome Baby Morgan Rae!

Where do I begin?

First of all, let me just say that we are so deeply in love with this baby girl! She is just such a blessing! Shane and I are so thrilled to welcome her into our lives!

Morgan was scheduled to arrive via c-section on November 16th but in Keirsey style, she decided to come on her own time. We heard her cry for the first time at 3:05am on November 13, 2010 and what a sweet sweet cry it was.

We are adjusting to having a baby around again but loving every minute of everyday. Shane has been by my side since Saturday night and I am so grateful for his constant giving.

There were tears when we walked in the door to our house...we couldn't help but wish this was the path with Avery but we are grateful that this is our path with Morgan.

As always, thank you for your constant support!


Summer Days

It has been a LONG time since I posted anything. Just been busy...

Here is your sneak peak at baby Morgan...I am at 28 weeks :)

Things are good around here. Work for both of us has been going well...Kaitlyn started 1st grade and baby Morgan Rae is growing just like she should be. We have been struggling with the heat around here and are most definitely looking forward to the fall. Kaitlyn turns seven in September, Shane has two 20 year reunions, and somewhere in there I am hoping to get Morgan's room together. It's gonna be busy!!

Hope all is well with all of you. Thanks for keeping up with us! We appreciate your continued interest in our lives! Will keep you posted on Morgan's arrival in November!



Anyone Still Out There?

It is really hard for me to believe that it has been three months since I last posted. The initial reason for this blog was to keep so many of our beautiful friends and family updated on the condition of Avery. As we move forward, I guess it does not occur to me to post on a regular basis. But, because so many beautiful relationships blossomed out of the blog, I feel some pull to continue to tell our story.

So, the story continues. We are growing, changing, rebuilding, and always learning. Avery's first birthday is on Wednesday and quite honestly, it is really hard to believe that we have reached this point. Of course, we think of her often, but our thoughts are more comforting and less painful. She made the most unbelievable impact on my life in her 62 short days. I can't help but believe that her purpose was to somehow open my eyes to a new way of looking at the world. As absolutely horrible as the experience was, I am forever grateful to this precious girl for her gifts.

All in all, things are good for us. We sold our house, I am working, Shane starts a new job on Monday, and Kaitlyn is a month away from Kindergarten graduation! I cannot be more honest when I tell you that we literally take each day as it comes. Day by day...my new mantra. So as we move day by day, we appreciate each moment. We breath...in and out...

November will be an exciting month for us as we are expecting another baby! So far so good, but probably the scariest time for our whole family. I have often prayed and begged for healing...to get to that place where I feel better and perhaps as I get closer to that place, I have become even more terrified of what that means about my connection to Avery. I must learn how to relate her name with fondness and peace rather than worry and sadness. I am getting there and it's just different. So compiled with all the fears about the health of this baby are the complicated emotions that surround the concept of another infant joining the infant that is not here.

So we all go forward. It's all we can do. We are thrilled to be sharing another pregnancy together as a family and look forward to being able to continue to share with you. I will probably eventually start a new blog but we'll see. Thanks as always for walking next to me in this journey. Each and every person who has been a part of our story has a special place in my heart. Love you all.



Long Weekend

Well I've reached my last day of time off. I was out of work last Wednesday and Thursday because Kaitlyn was sick, and then out on Friday because of snow and ice. The snow is melting and we are all anxious to get out and back to our routine!

So the last couple of weeks have been pretty good around here. We are very close to moving into our rental house. We all went over yesterday to take a couple things over and everything looks really good. The grass is in and the fence should be up next week! This is a big piece of our healing so honestly we are all very excited to be reunited with our things! We left our house in Fayetteville on Mother's Day last year...it's hard to believe how long it has been! We have been so blessed along the way with housing and care, and I am just so thankful for everything.

Let's see...two dear sweet friends welcomed beautiful baby boys into the world last week! I am so happy for these lovely women and their families! Many of my cyber CDH mommas are expecting and I am really starting to feel excited about the possibility of adding to our own family!

So on to another week! I'm so happy to welcome February!




It seems that over the past couple of months, a lot of personal growth has occurred for both Shane and me. I was talking to my beautiful friend Bethany the other day, and she was asking about how we were doing. You know, as I sat there trying to explain how I was feeling, the only word I could come up with was grace. I find this to be an extremely challenging word to understand but for whatever reason, it is on my mind.

We are approaching the six month anniversary of Avery's death and if I was to take you through the past six months, you would see a whirlwind of peaks and valleys. I would say that October was the hardest month for me...and probably Shane as well. Don't know why but it was what I would describe as my lowest point. So some medication and some soul searching helped push me forward and out of the fog. So between the months of October and December I have seemed to have moved through perhaps the worst of MY grieving process. Now tomorrow, I may completely retract that statement!

Today, I feel good. I mean not just ok/good...I mean GOOD. For me, the new year has brought a mixture of relief and fear. I am relieved to be setting some new goals and scared that this new year leaves Avery behind. I have been reading The Shack by WM. Paul Young. It is a very interesting book and honestly, I have really enjoyed it. The book has challenged my faith and strengthened my understanding of grace. Perhaps that is why I have grace on the mind. I truly believe that Avery is my grace. Her beautiful sacrifice has brought so much joy into my life. Not the kind of joy that we often experience in everyday life, but the kind that comes from the deepest places you could possibly imagine. It is painful joy and I feel blessed to have been gifted with her constant spirit. Not long after Avery died, one of our friends wrote the most beautiful poem. Kaitlyn read it out loud the other day and I just cried and cried. It's a strange place to feel comfort and pain at the same time.

As the days go by and I look at Ave's pictures, I feel more and more peace and relief and less and less sadness and anger. So our family continues to climb back up to the place we were before December 23, 2008. Things will never be the same, but in a good way. We are a stronger family and I am continually grateful for the relentless support we have received.

Thanks to all for your constant giving.