baby steps

January 28, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Posted in Grief | 13 Comments
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quote - ernest hemingway

The other day I was alone with a baby. I have not been alone with a baby since my days with Sawyer.

Our neighbor’s baby boy had heart surgery the first week of January.  He is home now and doing great.  I offered to help.  The mom asked if i could stay with the baby while she picked up her other sons from preschool.  As she placed the baby in my arms I silently told myself “I can do this.”  I held him the entire time his mom was gone and I watched his every breath.  He might have almost smiled at me.  My neighbor came home, I placed him back in her arms and agreed to come watch him another day. I did it!


November 16, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Posted in Grief, Love | 10 Comments
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Dear Sawyer,
Tomorrow would/should be your 5th birthday. Five years ago tonight we were all anxiously waiting to meet you. Your Nanny and Pop came to take care of your big brother and sister while your daddy and I went to the hospital.

I still cannot believe that you are not here with us.  Some mornings I wake up and hope that it all has just been a horrific nightmare.  However, you are gone and this is our reality.  You are forever frozen at 6 weeks old. There are no new pictures to post. I know that I am so lucky to have the ones that we did take.  I just wish there were more.

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I miss you so much.  Happy birthday sweet Sawyer!  As always, I will look for you in my dreams.


The Bad News and The Good News

September 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Grief | 7 Comments
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The BAD news –  – Jake and Sawyer’s nameplates/headstones are officially rusting (not sure if rusting is the right word but see the picture below).  We spoke to the cemetery people and apparently the manufacturers did not put the correct finish on (or, they completely forgot the finish).  So, this is what it looks like at the moment:


Do you see the border rusting (or peeling away)?  The letters are starting to go too.  It makes me crazy.  We spoke to the nice people at the cemetery today.  They are going to fix it. The nameplates/headstones and the granite will all be replaced AGAIN.

The GOOD news – –  As part of their Fall collection, Method brought back Rice Milk & Mallow (the scent that reminds us of Sawyer).  And instead of just letting us find it in the store, they sent us all of this!



So, this happened in the last week. . .

August 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 6 Comments
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these 2 turned 7 and they started 2nd grade!

twins are 7!!

I am beyond grateful that I am their mama.


how do you live in a world without your child/children?

June 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, life after loss, Love | 5 Comments
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I honestly do not know.  I feel like after Jake and then Sawyer died I should have some words of wisdom.  . .but I don’t.

I find myself looking at other parents.  Wondering what it would be like to watch all of your children grow up.  I know that everyone has their own tragedies – they are different but difficult all the same.  I know that I am lucky to have the privilege of being a parent to each of my children and to have held them (even if for only a short time).

Time does not make it better – just different.

I do not believe that Jake and Sawyer are in “a better place.”  I do not know where they are but I wish it were with us.

I know that there is not a path to “get over” the death of your child/children.  It is not the same for everyone.   Some of us do not talk about our children at all.  Some of us advocate for a cure for their cause of death.  Some of us write about them.  All of us want our children to be remembered.

quote - teach the world about my child


The End of the School Year & Everything in Between

May 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life lessons, normal?, Sawyer, twins | 4 Comments
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This Friday is the last day of school for the twins!  It does not seem that long ago that they started 1st grade.  I try to enjoy the moments with the twins.  Moments I know that I will never have with Jake or Sawyer.  The Mother’s Day teas, the musical performances, the recitals, field days and the end of school year parties.  However, I find myself in a panic this time of year.  There is so much happening – all at the exact same time.

“Did I forget to dress them in the right color for their musical?”

“Did we remember to bring in the teacher appreciation card?”

“Did we make the teacher appreciation card?”

“How did we forget her glasses again this morning?”

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I feel guilty about not enjoying ever single moment (all the ones that I will miss with Jake and Sawyer).  I want the twins to be healthy, happy and grow up.

This week I looked around at some of the other parents – I saw the dazed looks on their faces.  They are all in this end of the school year craziness too.  I am not sure they are enjoying all of this end of the school year madness either.  I want to appreciate all the moments I have with the twins.   I think I will  have to expand my definition of appreciation to include the happy, the sad, the chaotic and everything in between.

quote - keep-calm-school-is-almost-over




Dear Mother’s Day Angels

May 12, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer | 7 Comments
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Dear Jake and Sawyer,
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you both, but some days are harder than others.  Mother’s Day is one of those days.  Logically it is just another day.  You are both gone every. single. day.  It is not like the first days, weeks and months after you died when the tears so often streamed down my face without me even realizing.  Now most of the time my tears are tucked farther away.   The sadness and the joy of loving you both is a part of me.

I know I am not alone.  There are so many other mothers in this club with me.  There are motherless mothers, motherless fathers and those who have just lost.  Death is part of life.  And no matter how hard some days can be life goes on.

I like to believe that you both send things my way to make certain days (like Mother’s Day) easier for me.  I wanted to thank you both for quite a few of those things this year.

  • Thank you for your amazing brother and sister.  They make me so very happy, except when they don’t (see 2nd bullet).
  • Thank you especially for helping us find your sister when she ran away the first and SECOND time yesterday.  One time she really had to go to the bathroom and the other time she thought she was being funny.  Neither your dad or I laughed AT ALL.
  • Thank you for making me smile when your dad and I were given a “gift bag” when we visited you at the cemetery.  I guess they had the Mother’s Day cookout last year so the cemetery marketing people this year opted for gift bags. . .

gift bag

  • Thank you for showing me hope on days that are especially hard to find it.  I found another “hope” telephone pole on my running route yesterday!



Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides

April 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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No matter how far the distance you have traveled nor the failures that have gathered, hope would still meet you anywhere.

~ Dodinsky ~

Our family has walked in the March of Dimes’ “March for Babiesevery year since Jake died.  Originally our team was named Jake’s Journey.  After Sawyer died we renamed it to Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides.  We will be walking again this weekend.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  I believe that the March of Dimes is making a difference and saving babies.

I cannot do anything to bring back Jake or Sawyer but maybe, just maybe, I can help spare other parents the heartbreak of having to live in this world without their child/children.

Thank you to all those who supported our team this year and in past years.  Thank you also to the hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   If you would like to support Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides please click this link.

Do you want to build a snowman? Come to Atlanta.

January 30, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Posted in life lessons, Love | 8 Comments
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You might have heard about or are living through Atlanta’s snowstorm.  Tuesday Evan and I both left work around 1 pm.  After 30 minutes I had not left the parking lot.  My stress level did not subside at all when finally I did leave the parking lot, because cars were not moving. . . not even a little bit.  I quickly realized that I was not going to make it to pick up the twins from school at 2:30.  I called Evan.  My call did not go through.  Bummer.  Luckily, Evan called me and said he was in traffic but moving.  He would drive towards school too.  He was able to make it near the school within 2 hours.  He parked and walked the rest of the way to get the twins.

By 4 pm Evan and the twins were all safely home.  I for the most part stopped stressing about my never-ending commute.  I had almost a full tank of gas, no kids or dogs in the car with me and I was moving (sometimes).  My college days had prepared me for the no bathroom situation.  I finally made it home after 6 hours.  A friend who could not make it to her house arrived about an hour after I got home.

We were super lucky compared to lots of others.  And, our friend made it home on Wednesday with no problem!

One of the twins has been a bit sick so he was not going outside.  His sister, on the other hand, wanted to play in the snow!  Meanwhile, he wanted to take pictures.  He took a few pictures before realizing he should move his fingers. . .:

Fletcher's photos

First, she wanted to build a snowman.   After all, we have listened to the Frozen sound track 47,000 times in the last month.

Evan the snowman

Next, she wanted to build another snowman.

Evan and Lanie - snow people

And, then she wanted to build a whole snow family.

Snow Family

In case you do not recognize us let me help you:

  • Evan is the tall one in the blue hat with sunglasses
  • I am wearing a cool pink hat our niece gave us
  • the twins are the middle-sized snow people (she is wearing a hand me down hat from our niece and he is wearing a cool Star Wars hat from our nephew)
  • Buddy and Baby (our dogs) are each wearing black and white polka dots
  • Sawyer is wearing the brown hat (it is another Star Wars hat from our nephew)
  • Jake is in between Baby and Sawyer

School just got cancelled for Friday too.  It is supposed to be in the 60’s by the weekend.  So, if you are looking for us we will be the one’s at home watching our snow family melt.

Me, little Miss. and our snow family

A resolution (not the New Years kind)

January 2, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Cemetery, Grief | 3 Comments
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I found out that my friend at the cemetery might have made the call to get Jake and Sawyer’s markers fixed.  I saw him the other day and asked him if he had anything to do with the new markers.  He would not say one way or the other, but I said thank you and I gave him a big hug just in case.

He explained to me that the granite that the markers rest on and the markers themselves are made at the same time.  When Sawyer died we buried him next to Jake, but in the same full-sized plot.  There were no issues with the headstone following Sawyer’s funeral because we did not have Sawyer’s marker added until 2 years later.  When we did add Sawyer’s marker the granite had to be replaced to allow for the 2 markers instead of just Jake’s.

The bolts that held the markers to the granite were not an exact fit which apparently is why the markers moved and shifted.  The bolts have all been replaced now.  However, there is a chance that the markers will shift again because the granite and the markers were still made at different times.  If the markers move again, the next fix would be to replace the entire granite and both of the markers (then the granite and both markers will be made at the same time – and should fit together without being able to shift).

Even with all of these logical solutions, I still like the idea that Jake and Sawyer are playing practical jokes on us.

Wishing you all a Happy 2014!

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