Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Sweet Lil' Pumpkin

I'm sitting here cuddling a sweet new kitty that I just got today (more on that later). :) I'm thinking of how I should be cuddling the cutest bumblebee, or maybe a precious princess, a funny lil' pumpkin, or perhaps a little ladybug...I wonder what we would have dressed her up as? I know her first Halloween, she was going to be a flower (because of her name) and I was going to be the gardener. Ironically, this year, my friend did the same thing with her daughter who has the middle name Rose. 

But, Lily never got to wear any precious costumes for people to ooh and aah over. Seeing all the photos everyone is posting of their kiddos in costumes is another reminder of yet another thing I'm (and she's) missing out on. I never got to imagine and shop for what she'd be. We never will get to wear matching outfits that she'd later look back on the pictures of and say, "Come on, Mom...seriously?!" Oh Lily, how I'm missing you today and always...

Here are the pumpkins that I got in honor of Lily for autumn. One is mini and one is super mini! I am going to make a pumpkin pie out of the bigger one soon!

Lily's pumpkins on our cozy front porch, decorated for autumn.

I asked my friend Elise who lives in my hometown, which is also where Lily is buried, if she could take my girl a pumpkin for fall since I live out of state and can't go myself. She said it meant a lot to her for me to ask and that she'd do anything for my family. She tidied up Lily's spot a bit, took her a cute little pumpkin and sent me some photos! What an awesome friend she is!! Thank you, Elise!! :)

It means so much to me when people do things for my girl. It really is hard being so far away from her spot and not being able to care for it like I'd like to. But, it is so precious when someone goes there for me and thinks to care for her spot and make sure nothing is blown over, the grass isn't overgrown, etc. It's even sweeter when someone takes something to her! I am looking forward to visiting my hometown area over Thanksgiving and decorating her special spot for Christmas...my very favorite time of year!...I have a feeling it would be hers too...


Look at those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia! Blessed to have Lily there.

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Capture Your Grief-Day 31

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 31: Sunset
October 31, 2012 ♥


Day 31. Sunset: To close this project and month I thought that we could all photograph the sunset from wherever we are in the world. If there is no sunset where you are, you can still take a photo of the early evening sky. You just need to be able to get to a window. Remember to caption what State/Country you are from and the time.

I took this photo from my culdesac. I couldn't get much of the sky because I didn't want to get any houses in the picture. I was busy and couldn't get anywhere to get a really beautiful photo. And the sky was mostly cloudy the entire day until just before sunset there was a little blue patch of sky.

I am so glad I participated in this project and will be sharing my reflections on it soon. Thank you for sharing to everyone else who did.


-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 30

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 30: My Grief - Telling the World
October 30, 2012 ♥


Day 30. Your Grief - Tell the World: What do you want the world to know about this road you are traveling? Do you just want your baby’s name to be spoken? Do you want others to know they are not alone? Whatever it is, write it down on a piece of paper and hold it up for the world to see! (We will be making a video clip of these images from this particular day!)

There are so many things I could say here...so many things in my heart that I long to express. I have shared so much throughout this project that I guess I will just tie it up with these words...


-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 29

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 29: Music
October 29, 2012 ♥



Day 29. Music: This might be hard to capture in a photograph so break the rules (that we don’t have, hah!) and post a youtube clip of a piece of music that reminds your of your baby/ies/child/ren.

Personally, I wanted a photo for today to add to the photo book I am making with all my pictures from this project.

There are lots of songs that remind me of Lily. I have a "Lily Playlist" that I listen to when I'm especially missing her. I treasure all those songs, but some are more special than others.

The songs that mean the most to me are:

The "Jewel-Lullaby" CD, which reminds me of my pregnancy. I got it to play for Lily when she was born, but listened to it all the time while pregnant. I would turn it up so loudly and sing aloud and would feel Lily moving around wildly. It was one of the sounds she knew and loved during her life. My favorite song on the album is called Forever and a Day. It is mine and Lily's song and I will go on loving her forever and a day...


Another song that reminds me of my pregnancy is Little One by Rebecca St. James. I first heard it during the ending credits of the movie "Sarah's Choice." I related to it so much because I too was in an unplanned pregnancy and almost had an abortion. Yet, couldn't imagine ever living without my girl. When I listen to it now, it is so bittersweet.




My absolute favorite song is I Will Carry You by Selah. I am so thankful that I heard this song on another blog months before losing Lily and it had such a deep impact on me. I remembered it when I said goodbye to Lily and am so extremely happy and thankful that I played it at her Celebration of LIFE Service! Oh, I cannot listen to it without crying. In the first few months after losing Lily, I would want to just get out of the house to be alone and would turn it up so loudly and bawl my eyes out. Another favorite is the piano instrumental called Childhood Memories, which was also played at Lily's service. You can listen to both of these songs on the video tribute I made in honor of Lily.



The other song we played at Lily's service is Your Hands by JJ Heller. It was the final song we played before everyone left. It is such a beautiful, bittersweet song for me to hear. I wanted everyone to leave that day feeling hope, knowing that we were resting in the hands of the One who holds the world in His hands, no matter what happens to us in this life.



The "Beauty Will Rise" album by Steven Curtis Chapman reminds me of my loss, my grief, and my healing. My Aunt Helen gave it to me two months after losing Lily for Mother's Day 2010. It was the album that flowed out of the loss of Mr. Chapman's own little girl, so I relate to each song deeply. The song that has impacted me the most is Beauty Will RiseIt's such a glorious truth that everything I have been through and all the wrong choices I have made, God will work it all together for my good and His glory! 



These are the other songs on my "Lily Playlist:"
  • Olivianna - JJ Heller
  • Glory Baby - Watermark
  • Hello, Goodbye - Michael W. Smith
  • Gone Too Soon - Daughtry
  • Still - Gerrit Hofsink
  • If I Die Young - The Band Perry
  • Precious Child - Karen Taylor-Good 
  • Who You'd Be Today - Kenny Chesney
  • Jealous of the Angels - Jenn Bostic
  • Smallest Wingless - Craig Cardiff
  • Daughter of Heaven - Kate Rusby
  • One More Day - Rocket Club
  • Awake - Josh Groban
  • Now I Sleep Album- John Albert Thomas
  • Fly - Celine Dion
  • Home - Nicol Sponberg
  • Held - Natalie Grant
  • Godspeed - the Dixie Chicks
  • Capri - Colbie Caillat
  • Hug Him Once for Me - Erica McClure
  • In The Mourning Album - David Teems
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd (23rd Psalm) - Keith Green
  • With Hope - Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Praise You In This Storm - Casting Crowns
  • Beauty From Pain - Superchick
  • Before the Morning - Josh Wilson
  • Bring the Rain - MercyMe
  • Tattoo - Jordin Sparks
  • Broken Hallelujah - Mandisa
  • Goodbye For Now - Kathy Troccoli
  • Homesick - MercyMe
  • How to Say Goodbye - Michael W. Smith
  • Wintersong - Sarah McLachlan
  • Arms of An Angel - Sarah McLachlan
  • Missin' You - Chris Rice
  • There Will Be a Day - Jeremy Camp
  • Slipped Away - Avril Lavigne
  • To Where You Are - Josh Groban
  • Blessings - Laura Story

-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Little Warrior

Today I want to wish a precious little boy named Marcellus Robert a Happy 1st Birthday in Heaven! Marcellus is the son of my dear friend, Morgan. You should check out her beautiful blog "Mommy and Marcellus" where she shares his life and her grief journey. I joke that I am her number one blog stalker because I have read every single word that she's written! She is a great writer and I feel like I know Marcellus through what she written and told me about him. Not only is she a blog friend, but she's a "real-life friend" who I get to see on a regular basis. We first met at a local support group last December and have really hit it off since then. We love getting together and talking about our babies. It feels so natural and it's not awkward at all to talk about headstones and grief and all that comes with being a mother to a baby in Heaven. I am thankful for her friendship :)

Marcellus was born unexpectedly early at twenty-eight weeks, 5 days gestation on October 28, 2011. Morgan and her husband, Mike, had twelve glorious days with their little guy in the NICU before he lost his battle to NEC, going home to be with Jesus on November 9, 2011.

Marcellus means "young warrior," and this sweet boy was just that. Morgan is a warrior, like her son. Before she had and lost her son, she also had and lost a daughter. Her birth daughter, Angela, was placed for adoption when Morgan was 17. The crazy thing is Angela shares a birthday with Marcellus, just nine years apart. Marcellus wasn't due until January, so it is just crazy. October 28 is a day that holds such joy and such sorrow for Morgan. 

I awoke today with such a heavy heart, thinking of my friend and her children. Morgan is pregnant now and ironically is expecting her little one on March 15, the day in between Lily's due date and birthday. Please pray for her to have peace during this pregnancy and pray also that she will have a healthy baby to bring home. 

It was such a joy and honor to celebrate her sweet boy's life with her on his special day. There was a balloon release and then we had cake and other yummy food and visited for a while.


Releasing balloons in honor of Marcellus

Morgan and her husband Mike reading Marcellus's story at his special tree before the release

Even through the pain Morgan has experienced in her 27 years on earth, her strength shines through. She is compassionate and makes me feel understood. I am so blessed to have this "young warrior mommy" to be my friend. Marcellus has affected so many people through his short life. He will always be loved and never forgotten, by myself and many others.


I like to think of Lily and Marcellus being friends in Heaven...maybe he is like a little brother to her. I told Morgan that I hope Lily sang to him for his special day and made a yummy cake for him with Jesus. :)

Happy Birthday, Marcellus and Angela! ♥ Love and hugs, Morgan!

This is a video tribute I made in honor of Marcellus!

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Capture Your Grief-Day 28

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 28: Memory
October 28, 2012 ♥


Day 28. Memory: Share one of your most significant memories on this journey of grief, it can be a positive or negative memory.

I saw a lot of people posting about their memories with their babies, so thought I would touch on that first. Some of my favorite memories with Lily include hearing her precious heart beat, seeing her on the ultrasound screen and finding out for sure she was a sweet GIRL, going to Philadelphia, Massanutten, and the beach with her, feeling her kick, naming her, making up jokes about her, dreaming of how she would look and what her life would hold, and meeting her and holding her in my arms finally (though bittersweet).

But, since today's prompt asks for a significant memory on this journey of grief, I decided on this photo. It was taken in April of this year when I was in Colorado visiting at Ellerslie Leadership Training. I was asked to share my testimony and gladly accepted! My story is one of loss, yes, but it is more than that. It is a Pro-LIFE story and a story about the Author of LIFE, Jesus Christ. I was in an unplanned pregnancy at 19 and God changed me forever with the precious LIFE of my sweet daughter. He shows us how beautiful all life is to Him through a little girl who never spoke one word or took one breath. It is my hope and dream to share my story with lots of people, both in speaking and writing. The Lord has been opening up doors for this to happen. I spoke three times in the last year to bigger crowds and lots of times to smaller groups. I know that I must remain faithful in the small areas, such as speaking when He gives me the opportunity and writing on this blog, before He will entrust me with more. It is such a joy and honor to share what the Lord has done! He is bringing me good and Him glory out of the darkness and sorrow.

You can listen to me sharing my story here.

*I want to wish a Happy 1st Heavenly Birthday to my friend Morgan's precious son, Marcellus Robert! And Happy 10th Birthday to her daughter, Angela, who she placed for adoption!*

-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 27

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 27: Artwork
October 27, 2012 ♥


Day 27. Artwork: Share some artwork that reminds you of your baby/ies/child/ren or something that was created for them by you or someone else.

There are a few beautiful pieces of artwork that are very precious to me.

The picture on the top left is of a painting that I found at the Tiny Dream ShopIt is amazing how perfect it is for me. When I saw it, I just knew right away I had to get it. Not only does the girl look like me with brown hair, but I have both a son and a daughter in Heaven, which the blue and pink butterflies symbolize. It's like it was made for me! :) 

The bottom left picture is a gorgeous drawing which my friend Rachel gave me. Rachel was in the same semester at Ellerslie as my sister. I went to visit my sister in Colorado for about a week and a half and had the blessing of sharing my story with the ladies. On the day we were leaving, I found this drawing waiting for me in my sister's room. Rachel is such a talented artist and I will forever treasure this drawing that beautifully portrays the sacred time of carrying life within. I am still trying to think of a special place for the drawing.

The top right photo is a drawing my best friend Kala drew for me for Lily's 1st Heavenly Birthday. It really looks like me because I wear a bun in my hair all the time lol. And how powerful and beautiful the image of me handing my baby back to Jesus, fully trusting she is in good hands. The Cross is in the background, symbolizing my assurance that I will be with Lily and Jesus one day.

The bottom right photo is a picture my mom showed me shortly after losing Lily. We were feeling really down one day and started talking about all the people we know with babies in Heaven. We like to think that our babies know each other and that one day we will get to raise them together on streets of gold! My mom remembered this card that day and it lifted our spirits! I hope it blesses you as well. :)

There are other pieces of artwork that remind me of Lily, such as the drawings of Jesus holding a baby. I also consider my scrapbooks I made for Lily to be pieces of art and the poems that have been written for her. My mom has also created a cross-stitch and her beach prayer flag. I treasure all these things!

-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 26

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 26: Her Age
October 26, 2012 ♥


Day 26. Their Age: How old was your baby/ies/child/ren when they died. Write it down on a piece of paper. If they died whilst you were pregnant you can write their gestation.

I carried Lily for nine glorious months...40 weeks and 2 days. Those were the best days because they were spent with her. She was due on March 14, 2010 and born on March 16. I showed up at the hospital, ready to deliver my healthy and beautiful daughter, only to discover her precious heart had stopped beating. She was already at Home with Jesus. I waited to deliver the body of the one who was already waiting for me in the Kingdom. If I had known this was all the time I would ever have, I would have cherished it more fully. Lily has taught me so much.

So often, I think of all the possibilities of what her life may have held...a life that I'll never know past 40 weeks, 2 days.
40 weeks.
2 days.
That's all I'll ever know.


She never got to meet her mama, her home for her entire life, the only world she ever knew. She never got to see the face of the one whose voice was so familiar. She never got to feel my warm skin against hers, my salty tears of joy falling on her beautiful face as I held her for the first time.

It gives me joy to know what she knew...the beating of my heart, the blood rushing through my veins, my stomach grumbling when I'd get *her* cravings (cereal, hashbrowns, chocolate, and strawberries). She knew her favorite music that she'd dance to, especially the Jewel lullaby CD that I'd play so loudly! And she knew my voice. She heard me. She knew me. And I knew her. In a way that only a mother and her child can know each other.

My pure princess only ever knew love. She will remain pure and innocent always. No tears, no sadness, no sin, no pain. My precious daughter of Heaven.

We made beautiful memories in those months I held her within and in that day I held her sweet body in my arms...and now I do all I can to honor and remember her.

I carried her for those months and now I will carry her in my heart always until we reunite in Eternity...I'm resting in the truth that Lily fulfilled every purpose on earth that God sent her here for in only 40 weeks and 2 days.

If Lily were alive today, she would be 2 years, 7 months, 1 week and 3 days old. What would that even be like? Time flies so fast, even when your missing someone so much and not wanting to get farther from them...

"I praise You because *Lily* is fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 25

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 25: Baby Shower
October 25, 2012 ♥


Day 25. Baby Shower/Blessing: Share a photo from your baby shower or blessing. Maybe you could show everyone the gifts you received that you were not able to use.

On Saturday, February 13, 2010, my mom threw me a Valentine's themed baby shower at my house. I was 35w6d pregnant. Everything was pink for my sweet little princess.

I made the baby shower invitations. During my pregnancy, I got really into card-making. I spent hours on the floor in December making Christmas cards to send to basically everyone my family knows. The top left photo shows the two invites that I sent out. I kept two for myself and am so thankful I did. They are now in Lily's memory chest. One of the invitations was supposed to look like a heart-shaped chocolate box and the other one was supposed to look like a sweethearts candy box. On the back where there is nutrition information on candy, I had information about the shower. Also pictured in the top left photo is the "It's a GIRL" balloon from my shower that I keep in my memory chest.

The top middle photo is of the area in the kitchen where we had the "beverage center" where the ladies could have tea or other drinks. Also pictured are the gift bags I put together for my guests. I kept one of the bags that I created and now have that in my memory chest.

The top right picture is of the cake we had at the shower. It was red-velvet, in honor of Valentine's Day. That's where I started the tradition of having red-velvet cake for Lily's birthday each year. It will always remind me of her now. It said "A Lily Among Thorns" from the Scripture verse Song of Solomon 2:2 "Like a lily among the thorns, so is my darling among the maidens." (in honor of her name, Lily.)

The bottom left picture is of all the food we had at the shower. I *and Lily* ;) ate so much! It was delicious. We had strawberries (which were a huge craving for me during pregnancy) dipped in melted chocolate, crackers and cheese, cream cheese turkey roll-ups, cookies, and other Valentine's delights.

The bottom center photo is of everyone that was at my shower. From left to right: my sister Emma, my mom, me and Lily, Jean, Sarah, and Stephanie. At that time, I had moved back to North Carolina recently and didn't know many people in the area, except those from years ago when I lived here. So not many people were there. I invited more, but lots of my old friends were away at college or had moved to another state. I got that dress at the Love in Bloom maternity store, which was across the street from the hospital where I had my prenatal appointments and where Lily was born. I also wore that same dress to Lily's Celebration of LIFE Service, about a month and a half later (in picture for Day 3).

The bottom right picture is of the pink roses that were on display at my shower, which I dried out and now have hanging on my bedroom wall. Also pictured is the scrapbook pink paper with a heart that everyone wrote a message to Lily and I. I now have that in Lily's scrapbook, with all things from my pregnancy (I also have another scrapbook for hospital photos, service photos, etc.) I also have saved lots of other things from my shower, which will go in my scrapbook (I guess it's sometimes good to be a packrat). ;) It is a work in progress. I found lots of adorable stickers to go in the baby shower pages. I even used some saved wrapping paper from my shower as the background pages in the scrapbook! I still have a lot of things that were given to me as gifts at my shower and can't picture giving them away or selling them.

I was so proud to show off my big baby belly (even though my face and everything else was getting really swollen at that point). We had lots of fun playing games and video recorded some of the shower. Some of the things people said were so funny and make me smile to go back and watch/listen. I am taking some of the quotes of what people said and using it in her scrapbook. One of the games we played was people used toilet paper to guess how big around they thought I was and then they held it up to my belly to see how accurate they were. My sister and friend Sarah both got it exactly right! Some were way too long and I was like, Geez, how big do I look?! Haha. I saved that piece of toilet paper that was the correct guess and am so glad I have it.

My shower was so much fun and I am so thankful for these precious memories with my sweet girl! It was a happy time and I treasure those happy memories.

By the way, today is my "Blogoversary!" Three years ago on this date (October 25, 2009), I wrote my first post here on this blog.  I never could have imagined how much a part of my life it would become or how God would use it. Stay tuned for a blog giveaway soon! :)


-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 24

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 24: Sibling
October 24, 2012 ♥
Photo by Carly Marie

Day 24. Siblings: This could be done two ways – your could photograph your own siblings and post about how grief has affect them or you can post about your other living children. I know that not everyone has living children but I felt it was important to include the children who are left here to grieve their brothers and sisters. Capture a sibling, niece or nephew’s grief. Maybe you could share a drawing they have done or even just a photo of them holding something that represents their brother or sister that they are missing. Give them a voice here.

Lily Katherine is in Heaven with her big brother, Luke Shiloh, who went to Heaven at 6 weeks gestation in 2009. I will always and forever be the mother of two children that now wait for me there. No matter how many other children I have in the future that the Lord allows me the blessing of raising them on earth, I will always first be mother to a little boy and a little girl. As their mother, I feel it is my job to keep their memory and their legacy alive.

I just love to see their names written out and it's especially sweet to see their names together. Honoring and remembering them is how I feel I'm mommy to them since they aren't here with me.

You can read about Luke Shiloh's life here. He was such a big part of the story God has written for me. I got Luke a plaque at the National Memorial for the Unborn and Lily a brick paver for the garden there, which is special to have one place on earth to honor them both at once.

I hope one day they will have more siblings that I am given the blessing of raising.

I thought of sharing my twin older brothers and my little sister for today. But, figured I'd share about Luke instead. Rather than sharing my siblings and how they have handled their grief, I chose to show Lily's sibling.

-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 23

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 23: Her Name/Photo
October 23, 2012 ♥


Day 23. Their Name/Their Photo: If you feel comfortable, share a photo of your baby/ies/child/ren who you are remembering this month. If you do not have photos, you could use an ultrasound image or something that represents them.

This is a photo of my beautiful daughter, Lily Katherine. She was born into Heaven on March 16, 2010. I don't have high quality photos like those who had the gift of NILMDTS, but am so thankful for the pictures I do have. This is my absolute favorite photo of my girl because it shows her unique and precious features. She was truly a beautiful baby and was so feminine even at birth.

Lily looked just like her mommy. :) She was lovely. Perfect. Every detail of her just right. She was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Her little nose was the first thing I noticed about her, so tiny and adorable. It looked like a miniature version of mine. I memorized every part of her. Every part of her, forever engraved in my mind. Wow, God made this perfect little person in only nine months! He chose me to carry her...I didn't deserve that. She had stubby little eyelashes like mine, almost nonexistent eyebrows, chubby cheeks and the same chin as mine, and the cutest heart-shaped lips. Mom said her lips were even like mine. Everyone said she looked like me. To this, I jokingly said, "poor thing." It was true though. Looking back at pictures of me as a newborn, I looked just like her. Her legs were even the same shape as mine. She had the same thumbs as me too. Her tiny fingers and toes were so cute. I couldn't stop staring at her. I had always imagined her bald like I was as a baby, but she had beautiful hair (the exact same shade as mine!), though not very much of it.

I wish I knew how she'd look now. I barely know what to imagine. Imagine...I must imagine what my own child would look like. Would she be a tiny peanut, or a chubby thing? Would she be spunky and adventurous or calm and subdued? How different might my world look today if she were here? So many things I will never know. I cling to the memories of her...the most precious memories I will ever have. Until one sweet day...one sweet day. I won't get to post picture updates throughout the years, but only the same few images over and over every year. 

These are the other two favorite photos I have of my sweet princess. In the top one you can tell that she looked JUST like me! :)




-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 22

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 22: Place of Care/Birth
October 22, 2012 ♥


Day 22. Place of Care/Birth: The place that looked after your you whilst you were pregnant. Share a photo of those who took care of you and your baby. This could be a midwife/doula/friend/partner.

The photo on the top is of the REX Birthing Center at the Hospital where Lily was delivered in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. There is a building right next to it where I went to all my appointments while pregnant with Lily. The doctor I had has not left a good memory. But, the nurses I had when I gave birth to Lily were so compassionate and caring. I will forever remember their faces and names, Lainey and Shannon.

The photo on the bottom is of my mom and I at Lily's Celebration of LIFE Service on March 27, 2010. She has been my greatest support on this journey of being pregnant with and losing Lily. She was there for me when I found out I was expecting a baby. She was there for me at the hospital as I awoke in the night crying from the depths of my being. She made all the funeral and burial arrangements when I felt I had no strength to. She continues to be there for me and remember her precious first granddarling, Lily Katherine, even when the rest of the world seems to be forgetting. I am so thankful to have her in my life.


-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 21

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 21: Sacred Space 
October 21, 2012 ♥


Day 21. Sacred Space: Share a photo of your special place in your home/garden for your baby/ies/child/ren.

This is Lily's memorial garden, which is on the side of my house. It is such a cozy and beautiful space, with a pathway and seating area. I enjoy sitting there with a cup of hot tea, left alone with a book and my thoughts. I enjoy talking about Lily with my mom or a friend and thinking about her there. My mom is an amazing gardener and created this special place for her beloved granddaughter. I tell her the things I want and ideas I have. I love adding accessories to her garden, such as stones and butterflies. There is a bleeding heart plant that was given to me at Lily's Celebration of LIFE Service. It blooms every year. This photo shows just a little peek into the garden. It is impossible to capture how beautiful it is with just one image.

The other sacred space is Lily's cedar chest. I have things of hers and things that remind me of her scattered throughout my room and home.


-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Capture Your Grief-Day 20

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2012 Photography Project 
Day 20: Charity/Organization 
October 20, 2012 ♥


Day 20. Charity/Organization: Share your favorite charity or organization that has touched your heart on this road of grief. If you don’t have a photograph to share, just simply post the link to their website!

There are so many places that have blessed me in my healing after losing Lily. I thought of making a collage of my favorites, but figured that instead I would choose the one that stands out in my heart. NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep) is a nonprofit organization that offers free professional portraiture photography to those experiencing infant loss. It is a beautiful gift of remembrance. Anyone who has lost a baby can tell you how precious and sacred photos of and with their baby are. They are priceless treasures that could never be replaced. They are proof that our babies were real. They were here. They are beautiful. Unfortunately, when I had Lily, I didn't know about NILMDTS, so I don't have these gorgeous photos. I am truly thankful for the pictures that I do have because I realize some have none or very low-quality photos. But, I know it will be something I wish I had for my entire life. It is something you can never go back and do over, which is why I try to share about this wonderful organization as much as possible to get the word out. Though of course I hope nobody needs this service, I want them to know about it if it does happen. Please remember it for yourself if you ever need it or for someone you know. A big reason why I am making hospital comfort boxes to donate to the hospital where Lily was born is to inform people about NILMDTS.

Another place that has really blessed me is Molly Bears, a nonprofit organization that makes weighted bears for families who have lost a baby. So many who have lost a baby know what the phrase "empty arms" feels like. Molly Bears makes free custom-made bears, weighted to what a baby weighed at birth. You can feel what your baby felt like again when you hold one of these bears. Though you forget so many things as time marches on, Molly Bears helps families to remember what it felt like to hold their precious baby. It makes the ache a little less. It reminds grieving parents that their baby had true physical weight in this world, which reflects the lasting weight they left, the footprints on the hearts of many.

The other places that have helped me heal on this journey of grief are Carly Marie Project Heal (everything she does is beautiful and amazing!), Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope, Still Standing Online Magazine, Sufficient Grace Ministries, Small Bird Studios, and all the other places that have reached out to me, expecting and asking for nothing in return. So many places have honored Lily's life with me and it means more to me than words could ever express. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all these places and many more.

-To see all of my photos from the photography project, click here.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing, click here.

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