Saturday, May 28, 2011

Charlotte's Balloons

i wanted to share the pictures that i have received from the celebrations that friends and family had for Charlotte on the 18th. we are so blessed to have so much support from all over! i will post a link to the pictures that my friend emily from ciao bella photography took for us...there are too many great shots to post all on my blog. i will also post them on facebook with tags and memos so that you can figure out who is who and what is what :) i also had family that were unable to do balloons, but they gave donations to the turner syndrome foundation in memory of Charlotte. the foundation in turn sent me a very sweet note! :) the photos of the kids with bubbles are my cousins in allegan, would not have liked letting go of a balloon! lydia was just blowing her own bubbles! the butterflies were from the celebration that my mom (kalamazoo, mi) hosted with some family and close friends. the three purple balloons are from my mother-in-law in pennsylvania. the sunset picture (the ballon is a black dot) is from my college roomie, kristin, and her family in traverse city, michigan. pink balloon with the two little boys are pics from my friend since middle school, sara, in georgia! thanks again to everyone who celebrated with us both near and far!!

i wanted to share with you the poems that my mom read at her butterfly release. this first one actually came with the butterflies and the second she had read by a friend. 

"a butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a brief moment, its glory and beauty belong to our world. but, then it flies on again, and although we wish it could have stayed, we feel blessed to have seen it."

tiniest angel
"i never got to know you before you went away 
becuase God took you home to heaven where we'll meet another day.
God says that you're His tiniest angel and you needed to come home.
for reasons we do not know, you went where angels roam.
please know how much i miss you and though i may not understand,
i will trust a God who's faithful and live the life that He has planned.
He says that you'll be a while now, so there's no need to cry,
then he reminds me of his son, who on the cross for me had to die.
i know one day i'll meet you, but for now i'll just stand still
and not question our Father's reason because i know it's His will.
if i look when it's darkest at the stars that twinkle bright,
i will see God's tiniest angel and the wings reflecting light."

i have been asked if having the celebration for Charlotte was helpful for me. yes. i still have grief. i still miss Charlotte everyday. but, it was so nice to be able to celebrate our love for Charlotte. i didnt know how i would feel after may18th, and i was kinda dreading feeling like i was just supposed to be "over it" because the due date came and passed. that didnt happen, and i am so glad that i did not put too much pressure on myself. so, not much as changed in my thinking since we are past the due date, but it is not worse...i still choose to get up in the morning and i still choose to look for the blessings of this new normal. i haven't heard from anyone that may have found a random balloon drifting in their lisa said, maybe they all just went straight to heaven :) 

so, where is the slideshow of the photos! arent they all so great?? thank you again to emily and all the others who sent me pics! :)

here is the link if you dont want to watch the slideshow :)

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


i hate sweating, but i love the way i feel after working out. in the past i have always gone to jillian michaels 30 day shred video for a quick, but challenging, workout. however i get so tired of hearing her talk, even for just 25 minutes. i tried to put the dvd in my laptop and watch tv while i did the workout, but i missed parts because i was too enthralled with whatever i was watching...oops! :) so, this last week i have done this new cardio workout that i found on a blog (:(sorry, i cant remember what it was) totally kicks my butt! the nice thing is that i can watch tv while i do it! i get so bored when i workout which is usually why i end up not working out. this spring i have also mowed the grass...that is a workout!!! we have a decent sized yard and we use a push mower. i am pretty sure that there is something wrong with our self-propelling mechanism...even better for a workout! is the new cardio workout...mind you i did not make this up myself. i got it from a foodie blogger who is also a personal trainer...

50 jumping jacks
20 alternating lunges
10 tuck jumps
20 squats
60 seconds high knees
10 squat jumps
10 burpees
60 seconds jump rope
20 seconds mountain climbers
25 push-ups
60 second plank hold

Repeat 2-3x
~can substitute jump rope, jumping jacks, or 60 seconds wall sit for burpees or squat jumps if needed.
~can add sprints between sets if wanting an intense workout.

have fun! good luck!!

blessings, ALo

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well, that stinks!

i have lost two pounds. that stinks. i was hoping it would be more, but deep down i knew that it would not be. no excuses, but i have not done my job. i have slacked on my eating plan and slacked on my exercise. i have eaten lots of dessert then last weekend peter and i also took a trip to houston, tx...not the best place to eat healthy when you are being shown the "highlights" of the city (mostly food places!) let's just say that i throughly enjoyed my trip!! but seriously...if you have never been to houston you should go...soon! we had a great time...thanks so much to my aunt sally and uncle bill for showing us a great time. i was able to be a part of my cousin alyson's senior prom (hair and make-up). she looked BEAUTIFUL and i had a blast. ok, anyway... i have started off this week pretty good. i am determined to not give up even though i was terrible last week! thanks for all the encouragement and ideas!!

ok, enough about that! the new season of the bachelorette started a few minutes ago....this is so awesome, mostly because lisa and i have already sent 15 text messages back and forth breaking it all down. i cant wait to chat it up girl style over this season with lisa...i know that there will be so many laughs. have you ever seen this show? the first night is so funny...all the first impressions are awkward and awesome!!! grant is watching it with me here at the house (peter is in the room but totally ignoring us!) and he is totally cracking on these guys. i just cant imagine putting myself through something like this. i mean...creepy, weird, not fun! why did one guy come in a mask??? :) oh my! dont be surprised if there are a few posts about this in the future!

i also wanted to share a cupcake recipe with you...i forgot to take pics, but they looked similar to this, but tasted even better!

the cupcake (and butterfly cake) pictured is from Charlotte's celebration (sorry it is blurry, my camera phone isnt that great). but this recipe is a classic that i pulled out for my friend, per request, after just having a baby. i made them chicken cordon bleu casserole, rolls, salad and chocolate chip cupcakes with buttercream frosting. it was all good! let me know if you really want the recipes and i will send them to you, but you really should try these cupcakes!!!

Darn Good Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes
1pkg plain devil's food or dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1 pkg (3.9oz) chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 degrees. combine all ingredients (save the chocolate chips) until well combined. fold in chocolate chips. pour into cupcake liners. bake at 350 for 20-22 min or until cakes spring back. let cool completely before frosting. *if you are not making cupcakes let me know and i will let you know how to adapt this for bundt/layer/pan cakes.

Best Buttercream (not too "crusty")
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter (softened)
1 teas. vanilla (clear vanilla if you want very white buttercream)
4 c. powdered sugar
3 tbls. milk (more if needed)

cream together shortening and butter. add sugar and vanilla. mix well. add milk until smooth and creamy, until it is the consistency that you like. i like mine a little thicker for piping.

so good!! but, i guess cupcakes are out for me for a little least a cupcake every night like last week!! cant wait to hear what you think about the bachelorette!!

blessings, ALo

Thursday, May 19, 2011


there are so many things that i want to say, but i am still pretty overwhelmed from yesterday. i feel like i owe a huge thank you to so many people...the people that have been praying for us since november (the first post about babyLo), the people who have sent cards and encouragement, people who support through reading this blog and facebook posts, and of course those who all took part in celebrating Charlotte with us yesterday. we are so blessed to have an amazing family and group of friends (near and far) that love us and love Charlotte. thank you, not enough i know, but thank you!

it didnt rain last night! we were all able to go outside with our balloons. we had over 25 people come to our house to celebrate with us...again, so blessed! we all hung out and chatted for a while until about 7:30. we were able to go outside and circle up for a time of prayer and then let our balloons go. i had a pretty good cry and felt so much love from everyone there. it was just really hard. after watching the balloons float off until i couldnt see them anymore, we went inside (it was a little chilly here) for dessert and a few laughs with friends. my sweet friend, emily, was here and took so many great photos. once i get those i will do a post of just pics...cant wait to see them! i will also be able to post pics from other celebrations for Charlotte. my mom had a great group of girlfriends at her house to release butterflies...neat pics to come from that as well!

again, thank you so much for all the love and support. my heart is overflowing! love you guys!

i just want to take a second to gush about my husband. he has always been a man of quiet strength. that strength has been so evident over the last few months. he has been my strength since day one of this journey, but he tenderly loves me and has always offered his shoulder for my tears. last night was not something that he particularly wanted to do, but he knew that it was important to me. so, of course, there was no way that i could have gotten through last night without my husband to lean on for support. he encouraged me to be real with what i was feeling. even though peter is not super outgoing, he also graciously hosted the celebration for our baby. peter, i love you with my whole heart and my love for you grows stronger each day. i am more than blessed to call you my best friend and my soul mate. thank you for leading our family towards a relationship with God. thank you for loving our baby, even from far away. thank you for loving me through the hardest days of life! I LOVE YOU!!

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One Small Request

Lord, please dont let it be raining tomorrow from 6:30pm until about 8pm!

for real...i am already overwhelmed emotionally having this "final thing" for Charlotte and the thought of it raining during our celebration gives me serious anxiety! today i was supposed to mow the hasnt been mowed since last wednesday because of rain...that didnt happen because of rain. so, heads-up, if you are coming tomorrow to release balloons the grass will be long! sorry! i think that there are a lot of people with this problem around here. i guess there is not much that i can do about it. grant has been helping me clean up the house today and i have done some serious baking. it is kinda nice to have some stuff to do so that i dont get overwhelmed thinking about Charlotte today. the last few days have been super rough for me. i dont know what i am supposed to be feeling and usually there is a wide range from sadness to disappointment to jealousy and a few other emotions, but mainly the ones mentioned. i dont want to be having this thing (i dont really know what to call it) tomorrow. i want to be holding my sweet baby, want to watch her sleeping, want to take pictures when she first opens her eyes after a sleep. i wish my friends were traveling from out of state to meet Charlotte, not say good-bye!!!! i dont want my mom to release butterflies at her house with friends and family...i want my mom to be out buying baby clothes to bring her grand daughter. i know that our time is coming and when it does things will be so sweet and so special, but until then this all sucks! i hate keep up a brave face some days. so, today i am sitting here, with cupcakes in the oven, crying.  i stood outside while pulling some weeds with tears running down my cheeks.

tomorrow will have so many emotions. please pray for me, for strength to get through it with some sort of grace. please pray that the grey weather clears off for a few least no or in michigan. please pray that i will not set my expectations for myself or others too high. pray that i will draw close to God's promises and to my sweet husband. this is very hard for each of us individually and as a couple.

Psalm 33:20-22 "We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you."

Psalm 39: 4-7 "Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you." 

Job 1:20-22 "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: 'Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.' In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing."


blessings, ALo

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crafty in a good way!

as i mentioned in the last post, my sweetie mother in law, susan, came for a visit this weekend...i wasted no time putting her to work! :) no, not really!!! but we did do two fun projects while she was here. over the past few months i have been following this really neat design/decorating/baking/parenting/everything blog. emily ( has some of the best ideas and this weekend i set out to re-create one of her simpler ideas. i decided to make a paper, this is not a kindergarten craft project (GRANT!). it was actually very easy and very rewarding for someone like me who cant sew or most other things needed for crafts! i didnt do a whole tutorial because you can find it on emily's tutorial page...thanks for doing all the work for me, emily!!! :) here are a few cute and they really make my little end table ready for spring. peter said this is also one flower i dont have to worry about killing! :)  the other really awesome thing is that this cost me under $10, including the stones and mason jar!!! so great!
flowers made, awaiting assembly
all put together
view from above

the first project was easy, but the second project is where my crafty (in a good way) MIL came in! besides being super intelligent and one of the most caring people i know, my mother in law is an outstanding seamstress and craft projector (is there such a thing???). you have seen my sand art with Charlotte's name from my bestie mack...well, i had that printed on a canvas and wanted to make it a little more special. my friend morgan had a few of her wedding shots put on canvas and decorated with lace for a little pizazz...i stole that idea! :) i decided that since i donated my wedding dress to lisa's project (geez, there are a lot of people involved in this blog!) i wanted a few pieces of my wedding dress lace on Charlotte's butterfly picture. sounds easy, but i am NOT crafty (well, at least not in the good way). when susan told me she was coming to visit i knew what we/she would be doing! :) after a small trip to the craft store we were ready to go! i had to hand wash the lace after we decided which pieces to use and then press them. after that i cant really tell you what happened...well, i could if you really needed me to, but it would take me forever (i dont usually do tutorials). however, my mother-in-law went above and beyond to make the canvas perfect!!! i love it!
all done, peter hung it for me! :) this is lace from the train of my wedding dress
not a great pic :( this is in our hallway.

i have found a new appreciation for crafts this weekend. thanks again, mom, for all your help!! we loved having you here!! cant wait to re-decorate my living room!!!! watch for pictures soon!

Joshua 24:15 "...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

blessings, ALo

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Of Course I Will Share!

sorry, no pics of the first two, but these are some AWESOME recipes i have tried...only one since my "diet" and i didnt even eat but two bites! :) hope you enjoy these for me!!!

here Jenny:
Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
1 pkg. plain yellow or vanilla cake mix
1 pkg (3.9 oz) chocolate instant pudding
1/2 c. undweetened cocoa powder
1 c. chocolate syrup*
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
*i did not have enough chocolate syrup so i added sour cream to make up the difference, maybe 1/4 cup.
~preheat oven to 350 degrees. mix all cake ingredients until well blended. pour batter into prepared cupcake liners...i did about 1/2 full to make a very level cupcake. bake for approx. 15 min. make filling while cupcakes cool.
6 tables. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
3/4 c. marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 tables. plus 1 teas. heavy cream*
*i used half and half, thats what i had
~mix together well, add to prepared pastry bag. using a piping tip, fill cooled cupcakes from the top until a small amount comes out of top. reserve extra cream for decorations. frost using below recipe.
Chocolate Ganache frosting
8 oz (1 1/3c) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c heavy (whipping) cream
1 tables. liqueur of choice or 1 teas. vanilla extract (optional)
~place the chips in a large stainless steel mixing bowl. pour cream into a heavy saucepan, place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring. remove the cream from the heat and pour over chocolate. using a wooden spoon, stir until chocolate is melted. stir in vanilla is using. let cool at room temp until spreadable, 45 min. to an hour. frost and decorate with extra cream if desired, may need to add more sugar to thicken for decoration.
*i didnt feel like frosting these cupcakes, so i just place two more dots on top of cake with the cream...very good without...enjoy!!! :)

this next cake was sooooo good!!! i made this while in atlanta for some didnt last long! :)
Toffee Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
for cake:
1 pkg. white cake mix with pudding (i use Pillsbury)
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sour cream
1 c. warm water
1 tables. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
~preheat oven to 350. mix all ingredients until smooth. pour batter into 2 prepared 9" pans. bake for 25-28 min. cool completely. make frosting while cooling.
for frosting:
4 tables. (1/2 stick) butter
1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, chilled
1 teas. pure vanilla extract
4 c. confectioners' sugar
~place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts and then browns, about 4 min. place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. pour hot butter over the cream cheese and add vanilla. beat with an electric mixer on low until butter and cream cheese are smooth. add sugar, a little at a time, beating on low until sugar in incorporated. make topping ingredients
for topping:
1 c. toffee bits
1/2 c. finely chopped toasted pecans (optional)
~transfer one layer, right side up, to a serving plate and top generously with frosting, smoothing with a metal spatula. add a generous, even coating of topping mix. place the second layer on top of first. frost top and sides. sprinkle with remaining topping. to make slicing easier, place uncovered in the refrigerator until frosting sets, 20 min.

last but, certainly not least...a lighter (well, kinda) cake. easy to change for desired needs, let me know if you need ideas!
Fresh Orange Cake
1 large orange
1 c. orange juice from carton (approx.)
1 pkg. plain yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teas. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1c. coconut (optional)
~preheat oven to 350. rinse orange and pat dry. grate enough zest to measure 2 to 3 teas. cut orange and squeeze the juice into small bowl, you will have about 1/2 c. of juice. add enough oj from carton to fresh juice to measure 1 1/3c. place zest and juice along with all the other above ingredients until you have a smooth batter. pour into prepared pan. i used a creative shaped bundt pan. bake for approx. 48-50 min. let cool completely. make glaze while cooling.
2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
1 teas. fresh zest
~combine all ingredients until smooth, no sugar lumps. pour over cake.
*i toasted some coconut and garnished the glazed cake...really pretty and so tasty! this is optional too!

i made this last night for my mother-in-law. she is visiting for the weekend and LOVES coconut. grant, however, doesnt LOVE it, so i only put the toasted coconut on half. sorry i didnt get any pics before we dug sure was good, and still warm when we ate it! :)

enjoy some treats!!

blessings, ALo

Thursday, May 12, 2011

No Title

i dont want to try to come up with a title for this one. i am not even sure what to say....well, i always have something to say, just dont know how to say it! :)

Charlotte Jean, my sweet baby, will be buried on May 22nd. peter and i got an invitation to the burial ceremony last week. we had already talked about whether or not we would go...leaning more towards no. yes, i do share some things publicly (duh, i have a blog!), but i am not stoked about burying my baby with 31 other families that i do not know. when i talked with the chaplain last week, she said there is no way of knowing how many families invited would come. this may sound stupid, but my other hang up is that not only do i not want to be there with 31 other sets of parents, i really dont want to be around other people's kids when we have to bury our baby. no offense, but i dont want the reminder on top of it all. call me crazy! so there is all of that, but in addition, the 22nd is when peter and i are flying back from houston. yes, we could probably make it back from columbus to the dayton cemetery in time, but it pretty much just solidifies that i dont want to be there...partly denial and avoidance, partly knowing that Charlotte will not actually "be there" (we were told there will be nothing left after cremation). so...nope, dont really want to go.

however, for weeks i have been planning a celebration at our house for us and our close friends. next wednesday, may 18th is our due date for little miss charlotte. while this will probably be the only year we "celebrate" that day, i wanted to do something nice in the spring for my baby. back in january when we met and said goodbye to Charlotte the weather was so nasty...i have been thinking since then that this may would be a good time to celebrate her short life with friends and family. so, here is your invitation to celebrate Charlotte Jean with us. i know that most of you do not live close enough to be here in person, dont worry!

Please join us for a celebration and balloon release!
Wednesday, 5/18/11 at 7pm
@our house - 757 ash ct. jamestown, oh (ask if you need directions)
We will be releasing balloons at 7:15pm, cupcakes to follow!
please let me know if you are coming so that i have enough dessert!

peter and i will be releasing 22 balloons (one for each week we were pregnant with Charlotte). i will write little messages on some and my blog address on some. for those of you actually coming to my house, please come with your own balloons if you want to release any. there will be a few minutes to write messages if you want. for those of you not able to come to our house, i would love for you to join us right where you are. just grab a helium filled balloon, write a message, and set it off at 7:15 pm. i will be adding pictures of our balloon release, so if you do it at your house, just take a picture and email it to me...i will add it to the page!!! i would love to see balloons all over go up in celebration of Charlotte's life! if you have any questions just let me know! my email address is

i think it goes without saying, but i would rather be sitting at home taking care of my baby than releasing balloons. i would rather be planning a summer grill out just for fun than this. i would rather be doing just about anything else. well, maybe Jesus will come back before next wednesday then i can have a real party to celebrate Charlotte...with her!!!

i just finished the book, Choosing to See, by mary beth chapman (wife of steven curtis chapman). the chapmans lost a daughter in a horrible car accident a few years back. as a result of the accident, steven wrote the song Heaven is the is the video...something that i really like right now.

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thanks, Oprah

i started tivo-ing oprah's farewell season in the fall and as the season draws to an end the episodes have been pretty good. today was all about weight loss. now, if you have ever seen more than two pics of oprah, let alone follow her show, then you know that she has always struggled with her weight fluctuation. today's show was all about weight loss...specifically highlighting fans that have lost over 100 pounds each. every person interviewed did their weight loss (or so they say) the right way...meaning they did diet/portion control and exercise. there was also an 11 year old little girl that lost 50lbs after her mom ran a inspiring!! bob green (oprah's personal fitness trainer/nutritionist/friend) sat down with her and they talked about 3 questions that you have to be honest about if you ever want to loose weight. i started listening. you see, i have a weight problem. i came to my senses this past weekend while in georgia for my 10 year class reunion. i have to be real about it if i want to here it is...i have gained 50 pounds in 10 years. i am 5'4" and weigh 202lbs. ouch! more than ouch!! i have heard my whole life that i dont look like what i really weigh...this time it is not true, and worse than that i feel it! bob green gave 3 questions to think about. he said that if you can answer them then you are on your way to beginning the hard journey.

1. why are you overweight?
     there are a lot of reasons, but never seem like good enough excuses. i know that i am an emotional eater, and the last few months have not been an exception at all. just like oprah said, i am not stressed because i eat!! i am overweight because for a long time i told myself it wasnt that bad. i told myself that i am built differently and wont ever be "skinny". like i said there are all kinds of excuses, but it really comes down to me not liking myself or the circumstances in my life. i punish myself ultimately by rewarding myself with treats or overeating when something good or bad happens.

2. why do you want to loose weight?
     first of all, i dont want to diet. i want to change. i want to loose weight to be healthy. i want to loose weight to fit into my clothes. i want to loose weight to be attractive to Peter (he has NEVER said anything to me, EVER, but i dont want things to change between us because of my weight, which would be my fault!!) i want to loose weight to be a healthy, active, "there" mom for my kids. if this is not a diet than this is a long term goal...not a fad or a right now thing.

3. why have you been unsuccessful to date?
     plain and simple, denial. i lie to myself. i tell myself it is not the number on the scale, or that as i get older its ok if the number goes up a little bit...i have told myself everything under the sun to make it better/ok. partly, too, it has never been this bad and i have never felt this desperate about my life and weight. if this does not happen this time it may never happen and will only get worse...that terrifies me!!

so, there it is! i "know"what i am supposed to do. i know "how" to do that, but it is those first few steps that are really hard! i need to remember that the weight did not come on over night so it wont come off over night (even though that would be AWESOME). the goal is to loose the 50lbs, slowly but consistently so that it stays off. it will be interesting if/when peter and i get pregnant again, but we will just cross that bridge when it comes...i cant keep putting this off!!

look out jamaica...i will be there in september...lookin much better than i do tonight! sorry houston, you wont be as lucky next week! :(

please encourage me! keep me accountable!! so scary that you all know about this now, but i need a good swift kick in the it!! i will post a weigh in result each monday. thanks, friends!!

blessings, ALo
ps. the other "interesting" thing said on today's show (a repeat from a dr. oz segment a few years back)...for every 35 pounds a man looses, he gains an inch "down there". that one guys attention and he lost 104 pounds. he and his wife both said it was true...i was just cracking up!! :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mom!

there are not enough words to express my appreciation for my mom. today is mother's sad that i didnt get to spend it with my mom celebrating her. i did call her, and i think she knows how much i love her, even if i am not always sure of the right way to show her. over the last few months, my mom has been one of the first people that i call/go to when i am feeling down/jealous/angry, etc. my mom...who is one of the strongest people i know...understands what i am feeling first hand. my mom (and dad of course) lost her first baby due to stillbirth at 25 weeks (or so, back then they didnt count by weeks) and a miscarriage between my two brothers. mom and i never really talked about her baby loss journey until recently. i always knew that mom had a baby boy before me, but that was really it. now knowing what this feels like, i catch myself thinking about my mom so differently. i know that i did not always make things easy for her, so dealing with my sass along with grieving for a baby was probably pretty hard at times, but she never made me feel anything other than loved.

i called mom on friday morning. i was struggling with some of my own jealous thoughts and self pity and pretty much started sobbing on the phone. to say that neither one of us deals with emotion very well is an understatement. but instead of hurrying to hang up, my mom told me that she loved me, that what i felt was normal, that things will work out even when it doesnt seem like it. i sat there and cried and she cried with me. i have needed my mom a lot the last four months and she is always right there.

mother's days was a day that i was dreading. i am a mom, but it is hard to celebrate. i am so thankful to everyone that sent me text messages, emails, facebook posts and cards loving me as Charlotte Jean's mom. i have been a little sad off and on today, but i tried to be thankful for all that God has given me...especially my mom!!

i bet Charlotte and her uncle, my sweet older brother, are up in Heaven playing together and laughin it up! it will be so awesome when my mom, who is the best mom ever, gets to meet her two angel babies and her angel grandbaby...we are all so blessed to have her!!

i gave this song to my mom on a mixed cd years ago and i still love it!! :) taking it old school with backstreet boys!

look how happy my mom is here! watching me play dress up!

playing dress up again a few years later...a little more serious this time!

i love you, mom! thanks for being there for me, especially when it was probably not always easy for you! thanks for doing "real life" with me the past few months as both my mom and my friend!! :) i hope that i can be as strong and faithful as you!!

Ezekiel 16:44 "Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you, 'Like mother, like daughter'."

blessings, ALo