Friday, August 29, 2014


Tomorrow is my sweet Bella's birthday. She would be three years old.

It seemed, this year, that as soon as the clock struck August 1st, my heart grew heavy.  August.  The month Bella was born.  The month that Bella died.  It has definitely been a long month as I watch the calendar inch closer and closer to her birthday.  There are conflicting emotions fighting for my attention.  There is a sadness (obviously) as I miss my baby girl.  There is a sense of joy as I reflect back on our journey and look at the place where God has led us.  There is also a strange sense of dread this year. I don't remember having this feeling on her last two birthdays.  It is a sense of urgency that "Her Day" be remembered well.  It is a sense of dread that I do not know what that needs to look like.  I am afraid that if she is not thoroughly celebrated on August 30th, that we are doing her an injustice of some sort.  This year is difficult in particular because it falls on Labor Day weekend.  A weekend that has always been special to my extended family.  There are festivities involving parades and rodeos and swimming with the cousins.  So how do we celebrate Bella in the midst of all of that?  I know that this is just the first year that our schedules have not been clear on her birthday.  I'm sure there will be many other obstacles throughout the years.  But this year, it is heavy on my heart.

The plan we have come up with is to go to breakfast as a family to reflect and celebrate our daughter--our sister.  Our breakfast will be followed by our annual Bella cupcakes.  And then we will load up and head to my parents for Labor Day.  After a ridiculously busy week, I look forward to a couple hours in the car with my husband where we actually have a chance to talk.  And remember.

I felt like it was important to share my true feelings this year, because I am learning that this grief is tricky.  Time does not heal.  Time might change things a little bit.  Time might make things a little more bearable on a daily basis.  But time does not heal.  God, however, does heal. Yes, my heart and my emotions are a little more raw during the month of August.  But God heals.

The main reason I wanted to write a blog post after two years without posting, is to offer hope.  I hope that if you are in a similar situation as we were three years ago and you run across this blog, that you can see that our story did not end on August 30th 2011.  The author of our story has written a narrative even more amazing than I could have imagined.  Heartache, yes.  Sadness, yes.  But Joy that overflows my cup.  Blessings upon Blessings.

Almost exactly on Bella's first birthday, we found out that I was pregnant.  It was not unexpected, as we had been trying for a couple of months, but after losing a baby, there is a certain amount of panic that sets in when the tests comes back positive.  We relied heavily on God for peace throughout my pregnancy.  It was uneventful as pregnancy goes, but the anxiety was just below the surface.  When the day of my scheduled c-section arrived, we went back to the exact same OR, the exact same doctors and even some of the same nurses as when we had Bella.  The outcome this time was blessedly different. We were delighted that day to find out that God had blessed us with another baby girl.  My sweet Ramey Breann.  There is no tiny hint of an idea that a new baby replaces a baby lost.  But, oh the joy that Miss Ramey brings to our lives.  She is now almost 16 months old.  And she thinks she is three! She is fiercely independent and has decided that she no longer needs/wants/will tolerate her highchair. She refuses anything "babyish."  One time I made the mistake of filling a Snack Trap with goldfish for her and plastic baggies with goldfish for her big siblings.  At 14 months, she threw the snack trap on the ground, gave me a dirty look, marched into the kitchen, and marched back to me with a ziplock in her hand.  She wanted to big like the big kids!  Oh Lordy.  Such a perfect mix of sweet and sassy.  She is our cuddliest baby by far.  She is the perfect completion to our family.

I know that hope following a loss may not always come in the form of a new baby.  But there is hope. Seek the Lord for Hope and Peace.  For there is none except from him.

(above photos by Three Blessings Photography)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Bella

Today is my Baby Bella's first Birthday. It is also the anniversary of her home-going. As we look back on the last year, it was without a doubt the hardest year of our lives. I can honestly say that there is not a day that passes that I don't think about Bella. I always thought that that was a strange thing to say, but I get it now. It's as though she is always just a little ways back and then the slightest thing brings thoughts of her to the forefront of my mind. I think of her every time I see a baby. I think of her every time I pass her hospital. I think of her most nights while I lay in bed. I think of her always. Not all thoughts are sad. Not all thoughts bring tears. They are just thoughts. They are comforting to me. It helps me know that she is not forgotten. She is still very much a part of our life's story.

I have been preparing for this week for months now. I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't know how I would feel, or how I wanted to spend this day. I'm still not sure that I know. I know that I want to spend time alone, I want to spend time with my husband, and I want to spend time with my kids. The morning will be spent with my kids. We will cuddle on the couch, maybe eat popcorn for lunch. We will go to our favorite cupcake shop and celebrate Bella's birthday. Our babysitter will come in the afternoon to play with the kids and feed them pizza. I will go somewhere and just be alone. Alone to think. Alone to remember. Then, my husband and I will go to dinner. To celebrate our baby girl and all that she means to our lives. There is no doubt that she changed us for the better. Because of her, our love for each other and for our kids is stronger.

I have been blessed all week with the sweetness of my friends. It blesses my heart that people remember. All week I have received phone calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messages to let me know that my friends are thinking of me. When I think back about my pregnancy with Bella, our time with her at the hospital, and the long months following, one of my prevailing memories is the love we felt from our friends and family during that time. I told a friend today that she will always hold a special place in my heart because she held my baby Bella. I know there were many others that would have come if they could, but the ones that were able to make it to the hospital that late summer night will always mean so much to me. They got to see her sweet face.

Oh, how I miss her sweet face. I wish I could kiss that sweet face. I wish I could hold her again, and hold her while I sleep. But as I look back at every single picture from our time with her, I have no regrets. What a blessed time it was.

I love you so much my Bella Faith. You are always in my heart. I carry you with me. You are my precious baby girl. --Love, your Momma

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


or Catch Up.

I have been MIA for many reasons. 1. I have been EXHAUSTED! Naptimes used to be my time to get stuff done. Blogging, sewing, cleaning, etc. Now nap times are used for naps. For everyone! Well, except my 3 year old of course who has officially become too old to nap. But if I can corral him in his room with his Tag Reader and some books, I can usually catch 45 min worth of ZZZs. The other reason I have been MIA is because we have had the most amazing February ever! If you are not from this area, I only hope your weather has been as amazing as ours. Of course, it makes me a little nervous about our summer outlook if we're having 70 degree days in February, but for now we are just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. We stay outside as much as possible. Going to the park, the zoo, playing b-ball in the driveway, going for walks, playing in the sandbox, drawing on the sidewalks! It has been heavenly. Of course all that energy being expended outside has added to the exhaustion. Hence the naps. Hence the no blogging.

We also took a small family vacation to Branson, Missouri. Also know as "Old-People Vegas". I <3 Branson. The four of us went for four days. We saw a show ("Amazing Pets"--i highly recommend it for young kids. I was pretty entertained as well. Who knew you could train house cats!?). We also went on a dinner cruise down by Branson landing. The kids were pumped just being on a boat. The captain even let Max drive for a little bit. We also swam in the indoor pool, played putt-putt at our resort, and played on the playground. But mostly, we just hung out. I packed activities for the kids and lots of movies. As a last minute addition, I threw in a box of markers and coloring books. We soon learned that we could have saved time and money by going to a hotel near our home and coloring with markers for 3 days. You would have thought that markers were the coolest thing under the sun. We usually stick to crayons at the house, so they were in hog heaven and colored pretty much the whole time we were in our room. It was a lot of fun.  Good Quality Family Time!

As I started to write this post, I was looking back at my New Years Resolutions. How many of you have broken yours already? yeah me too.
*I had decided that if I did a load of laundry from start to finish every day, I could stay on top of things. I quickly realized that that would not be enough. I pretty much do laundry all day every day. I have been able to work it into my routine to where I constantly switch loads and all that. Then I have one or two days when I fold everything and put it away. It has worked ok.

*I also vowed not to go to bed with a sink full of dishes. ha! that one lasted 2.5 seconds. I have been doing better overall about keeping up with the dishes though, so I have to cut myself a little slack I suppose.

*I have been better about planning activities for the kiddos, thanks to pinterest (can i get an "amen!"?) We have played with aqua beads, flour, oobleck, and all kinds of interesting concoctions. plus with the aforementioned awesome weather, it is so much easier to do fun stuff besides just chilling in the house.

*The hanger thing has been awesome. It helps me see that I need about a tenth of the clothes that are in my closet because i wear the same things over and over. after a few more months, i look forward to clearing out the riff raff.

*As far as the weight loss goes, I am making progress. But after about a 10 year strike from all things related to "working out", I have joined a boot camp! yikes. I am slowly getting past the point of feeling like I'm going to die, so that's good. Hopefully, I'll be able to drop my last few pounds and tone up a little bit before I get pregnant again.

We were determined to do everything in our power to make 2012 a better year. (of course, barring a catastrophe, that shouldn't be TOO hard :). So far so good. Hope the first 1/6th of 2012 has treated all of you good as well!!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Busy Bee (aka Craftaholic)

  I'm not exactly sure what has gotten into me. I have been a crazy crafter the last couple of weeks. After living in our house for nearly 3 years, very little has changed from how we decorated it upon moving in. Last week, I woke up one morning and decided things needed to change! I rearranged a few rooms, painted one room, and spray painted everything I could get my hands on!  My favorite thing I have done so far is the back wall of my living room. This angled wall used to have a small sofa table with some accessories on it, but I moved that table to another room, leaving this wonderful blank wall! Full of possibilities!  I'm sure that I will tweak it here and there, adding things and rearranging the shelves. But as it is now, I cannot hardly walk by it without stopping and smiling.  



This here is the kicker. My three little blessings. 
I cut the words out of brown vinyl using my Silhouette (if I haven't mentioned it, I <3 my silhouette!). I bought these 6"x6" canvases from Hobby Lobby for around $3 each and spray painted them red. I found my favorite baby pics of my babies and printed a 5x7 of each of them, then trimmed it to 5x5. I applied the picture with rubber cement. In my opinion, rubber cement does not get nearly enough praise! you can apply a thin layer to both the canvas and the back of the pic, let it dry and then stick them together. It creates a very secure, "permanent" bond--but you can actually peel the picture off if you want to switch it out later. I then took some scrapbooking ink and inked the edges of the photos and canvases to give it a more "lived in" look. 

Here's a close up of the edges. 

This jar is a reminder of a beautiful illustration I read recently. It was talking about how limited the days of influence with our children are. In the example, they figured out how many weeks you have left with your kids until they turn 18 and leave the nest. It suggested you take that many marbles, put them in a jar and take one out each week, leaving a visual reminder that our time is limited. I didn't have anywhere to put a big jar of marbles, plus i knew i would never actually think to take one out each week, which would kinda ruin it. But I loved this small Mason jar full of clear marbles--Everytime I see it, I will be reminded to make the most out of that day. To stop and smell the proverbial roses and cherish the days with my children before my nest is empty. :(

I love these letters from Hobby Lobby. They are a great size and font, plus, they come in a dark finish with a sort of gold-leafing on it. It is beautiful straight from the store, but if 'painting-everything-in-sight' is your thing, the original finish makes a perfect base coat for painting and distressing. Rarely do I ever paint anything that I don't glaze and distress. It's a sickness. My newest obsession is "soaping". Ever heard of it? I had not. It is so easy and effective is distressing is your thing. Simply paint your base coat and let it dry. Then take a bar of soap (I used dove--i don't think it matters). Then rub the bar of soap over your frame/table/shelve/etc on the areas where you would like to pull your top coat off. Paint your top coat, let it dry, then get to sanding. The areas that were soaped don't allow the top coat to stick as well, making it SO much easier to sand off. I used this technique on my "D" and the shelves and was thrilled with the results. The D is actually a pale blue color that doesn't show up real well in the pictures (SW Rainwashed). The shelves were painted gold (because I had some gold spray paint in my stash. any darkish color would look good), Then top-coated off-white (SW Navajo White)

Here's a close up of some of the distressing on the shelves. 

I painted (and glazed/distressed of course) this chair a while back. I whipped up this little pillow from some scraps in my stash to add some color and tie in the red. 

I was so pleased with the way this turned out and super pumped at the price! I was able to shop at 1/2 off and utilize stuff I already had on hand. 

3 canvases-$9
photo prints-$5
shelves (1/2 off at HL)-$12
D (1/2 off at HL)-$5
jar + marbles-$2
vintage print (from my grandma)-$0

For a whopping total of $33. I only paid $7 for my chair so if you include that, it's still only $40!!

If there's anything I love more than being crafty, it's being thrifty!

I have been doing lots of sewing, and other crafty projects too (including my laundry room revamp!)  that I'll share with you later on. Hope you all have a wonderful week. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wedding Projects

Well, I promised I'd share pics of some of the projects I worked on for my brother's wedding, so here they are! :)

It was such a beautiful wedding! My Sis-in-law chose a deep eggplant purple, and silver for her colors with black accents. She wanted things to have a little bit of a vintage glam feel. 

These are the boutenniers that the groomsmen and groom wore. We used all artificial flowers. Otherwise, we would have been very limited to find real flowers in this purple shade, plus, I love that you can keep your bouquet as a keepsake. And, you can make them way ahead of time. Wins all around. 

This is their unity candle. We found this gorgeous black ribbon at Hobby Lobby that was sheer with black rhinestone accents. We used this on several projects to tie everything together. I love this candle. So simple. So glam.

This bucket is holding the 3 bridesmaids bouquets plus the tosser bouquet (which was caught by my 7-year old niece, btw :). We used a variety of purple blooms accented with "vintage" broaches. 

The handles of the bouquets were wrapped in silver satin with a band of our lovely black sparkly ribbon. the bride's bouquet! I <3 it. I thought about asking if I could keep it, but I thought she might want to hang on to it :).  This was a larger version of the bridesmaids bouquets. We used peonies, hydrangeas, and roses accented with diamond brooches and ivory pearls. 

The handle of the bride's bouquet was wrapped in this beautiful pearl trim. 

bubbles to send off the happy couple!

This was the cake topper we made. We got this wooden letter, painted it black and covered it with black rhinestones. 

Just the right amount of glam for this simple and elegant cake. We designed this cake, adding our lovely black ribbon again!

My SIL found this garter idea on a blog, but they were very expensive. I think we made this for somewhere around $1! She actually added a diamond "E" pin to it, but I didn't get a picture with that on it! It was the perfect finishing touch. 

This was the garter we used for the garter toss. nice and simple.

We made their guest sign in book on Shutterfly using one of their templates and pictures from the Engagement Session I did for them. 

The stunning bride wore a gorgeous veil for the ceremony. For the reception, she ditched the veil and we put in this little beauty. Feathers, French netting, diamonds and pearls. Super Vintage Glam. 

This was the best picture I got of my daughter during the whole wedding. I was a little busy to take pics. She was supposed to serve as a flower girl along side my 7 year old niece. She did great in rehearsal, but didn't quite make it for the ceremony. Oh well, at least she looked cute. I made the girls matching skirts and headbands. The skirts were bubble skirts with purple organza and black satin underneath, with a purple satin sash. 

Here is a pic of the gorgeous bride with her bridesmaids. We called them the Barbies all weekend. Such a pretty and sweet group of girls. I had so much fun working on these projects and I felt so honored to get to be a part of her planning process! We are so happy that my brother found you Megan! We love you so much!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

Well, the wedding went down this weekend with out a hitch! It was a beautiful event and we couldn't be happier about the new addition to our family! I will share some pics of some of our wedding projects later this week. It has taken me the last few days to recover from all the activity. At the last minute last week, we discovered that the decorations we were counting on using for the ceremony were no longer available and we had to come up with a new plan pretty much the day before the wedding. It ended up being just as beautiful if not more so. If it weren't for that little snafu, I wouldn't have been nearly as stressed. I just wanted to make everything as beautiful and easy as possible on the sweet bride. It was such a fun weekend to celebrate my brother and his WIFE!

We have had an absolutely wonderful day today. It started off with a cup of coffee from my new Keurig coffee maker!! I have wanted one for a while and my husband chipped in and helped make my dream come true! I <3 it.  The kids and I played outside for 3 or 4 hours (i may or may not have watched an episode of Parenthood on Netflix on the back porch while they played). We had a picnic lunch before they went down for naps. While they napped, I was able to do some sewing. I finished 2 birthday presents, and worked on a few orders. We enjoyed a quick visit from my momma and to top it all off, today was our monthly visit from my cleaning lady! So we have a clean house, rested children, hot homemade cookies in the oven, and a yummy dinner ready to be cooked. I better knock on some wood, because today i'm feeling pretty good about things! :)