2.0 round 2 Day 51: Reaching a Goal Early and the Revelation That Came With It

I want to begin by saying that part of my lack of blogging lately has been fatigue, but part of it, I have to admit, comes from a little place inside that says “Come on, who cares about your journey? Who wants to hear the same old redundant stuff?”

I was reminded however, by our amazing coach through her Sunday Skinny this past weekend, that this blog isn’t just an interesting read or a way to connect or a documentation of my journey for everyone else. This blog is my journey, to keep me motivated, to help me look back when needed and remember how far I’ve come and set goals for how far I want to go. I may feel very irrelevant at times, very invisible in the big scheme of things, but my journey matters. Each post matters. If only one person sees one post and connects to one sentence and finds the will to begin or pick up or be inspired, that matters! Even if that person is myself.

If these posts are a bit redundant at times, that is good! That means I’m staying consistent and working every day.

That being said, I had a little break through this past week I’d like to share. You see, if you have followed my journey at all, you know what a monster the scale has been for me. I mean, just a beast of an ogre. I have worked my butt off for 10 months, adjusted my diet, my hydration, done the bikini body mommy challenge workouts and then turned around and run a 14 minute mile, daily. I have stepped on the scale and instead of seeing no change and being discouraged, I got pissed and worked harder. I have lost almost 30 inches in the last 10 months, but I have hovered in the same 7 – 8 pound zone the whole time. I have lost a little faith at times and wondered if I was not working hard enough, or being as honest as I needed to be. I have soul searched every day to make sure I am bringing my all to every aspect of every day. For the most part I feel like I have. Definitely my loss of inches has shown that I have.

Now, in my family, I’m the very last person to spend money on myself. I have been wearing the one and only pair of jeans this whole 10 months that I have, save for the “goal” pair I kept to see how my progress has been going. Needless to say, I am long over due for some clothes, especially as my belly has kind of popped out of control in the past week. I determined from day one of finding out I was pregnant again that I wasn’t letting myself be the frumpy preggo chic again, not for a 4th time. I’m spending time on myself exercising and eating right, I am going to spend money on myself, no excuses, and dress my body in clothes that fit and give me a feeling of confidence, no matter what the number on the tag says.

I have been wearing this one pair of size 14 jeans for months now, and they have been getting looser and looser, but they weren’t falling off of me, and since the scale wasn’t moving I was really dreading any clothes shopping. I kept telling myself I would buy clothes when the scale finally moved. And then my belly popped out and I realized I was going to have to do something. Thankfully those jeans had gotten loose enough to accommodate the insanity that is this early baby bump, but they were at their limit within a week. So off to the store I went this past weekend, a slight feeling of dread at the thought of those horrid full length dressing room mirrors and trying clothes on. I usually hate it because nothing ever fits right. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find I didn’t look as terrible as I remembered in those usually awful mirrors and I had very little trouble finding a few pieces right away that looked fabulous. In fact, I was floored to find out I had dropped into a size 12 and could even barely squeeze into a 10. A 10!! I haven’t been able to pull a 10 over my thighs for years! I still had trouble doing so, but up they came even if it took a lot of  effort. I realized that even pregnant, my typical lumps and trouble spots were greatly diminished or gone completely. I left the store feeling exuberated and thinking I really should shop for clothes more often. All this time, even losing all the inches, my mind was still programmed to let the number on the scale affect me to the point that I had no idea that I had dropped a full jean size. It was quite a revelation to me.


Another thing I did that left me feeling a little giddy was buy a pair of leggings for the first time in my life. I know, right? How have I survived the world of skinny jeans and leggings? Well, maybe that’s another reason I hate shopping, all you see everywhere are models and mannequins rocking skinny legs, and even at my thinnest, I’ll never have skinny legs, but these workouts have improved and toned my legs in a way they have not been since before I got married, and I am confident enough to rock out some leggings this season. I’m sure I could improve a lot, but I’m claiming this little victory. In fact, my biggest disappointment upon finding out I was pregnant was that I had been working at a major goal, to drop a pant size by Christmas. I thought I’d have to toss that out the window, completely not realizing I had already achieved that goal and won that victory.

Why do we doubt ourselves? Why do we let society’s ideals and standards mess with our heads? If there is one thing I’m wanting to convey through all this it is don’t doubt the power you hold to change into the person you want to be. Don’t let anything make you feel incapable. You ARE the most powerful force of change in your own life. No obstacle is greater than your will to succeed. No negative vibe is more powerful than your own positive thoughts and actions.


Want to follow me on Pinterest? Click here:

Find me on Instagram:


Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get new posts in your inbox as I journey through staying fit with a fourth pregnancy. And hey, would you like to see where I started blogging about my fitness journey? That one is here:


If you enjoyed this post or found it inspiring, please show some love and share it with someone else who needs some inspiration. 🙂

2.0 Round 2 Day 27: Oh Baby!

Well, I know it has been a while, sorry for the lack of posts. Sometimes I’m just incredibly busy, and sometimes I just feel like my posts are a bit redundant, you know, there’s only so many pictures to post of me and little man getting our workout on each week without it becoming mundane. Things are pretty routine here.

Wait, did I say they’re routine? What I meant was up until this past Monday they HAVE BEEN pretty routine.


Wait for it…… wait for it…….. YES! That is a fourth pumpkin and yes, it says “Baby 2015” on it.

Pregnant. Talk about life getting in the way! But in a good way. 🙂 We were very surprised, to say the least, but babies are a blessing in our book, so only happiness over here.

I never thought I’d be a mom to 4, but then I never thought I would lose my first child and in so many ways that changed everything, including our family size and how we planned it. I had always thought 2 was the perfect number, but after we had Faith, it didn’t seem right to stop there even though she was our second. So I surpassed my first expectation and became mom of 3. And now, even though it’s only 3 living children, I will always be mom to 4.

So, how does this affect my bikini body mommy routine, my blogging through the challenge, etc.? Well, it doesn’t, for now anyway. Since a healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended for low risk pregnancies, and since I have been working at this every day for almost 10 months and my body is used to this level of physical activity, I plan to keep going, listening to my body, modifying as needed, staying healthy, staying hydrated, and hope to have the healthiest, strongest, most stress reduced pregnancy yet.

Baby’s estimated debut is May 27, 2015, which puts me 6-7 weeks along. There is still time for morning sickness to set in, but I had only mild nausea with my other babies, so I am not surprised to find I feel great at this point other than that early pregnancy fatigue and needing a daily nap like you need to pee. Fight it all you want, it’s gonna happen.

I plan to keep blogging, keep doing the weigh ins and check ins. Obviously my measurements and weight will be going up, but I am really striving to gain at a healthy rate and not go into the excessive. Physically, mentally, emotionally, I have never been at a healthier point during any of my other pregnancies, certainly not with nutrition and hydration, so I’m excited to see how staying fit through pregnancy impacts me in a positive way. Any of you moms out there wondering how these workouts fit into a pregnant daily scenario? Now is the time to hit the subscribe button and follow along with my journey as it heads down this new path. I’m committed. I found out Monday about our new addition and have been doing the BBMC workouts every day as well as walking to run errands most days as well, pulling my little guy in the wagon. In fact, it was probably a comical sight, seeing all the pumpkins yesterday loaded into the wagon along with my little guy and my trusty 32 oz. big cup of water, walking the mile back from Fred’s, my girl skipping along beside me after school.

I’m looking forward to the good, the bad, and the awkward that pregnancy brings. I’m keeping up my positive energy forcefield. My goals are still in sight, some of them are just going to take a little longer to achieve and new ones are on the horizon. I’m excited!

2.0 Round 2 Day 2: What a newbie needs to remember from a multi BBM Challenge veteran

Day 1 was amazing! I didn’t realize just how much I missed the sweat. I rocked the work out, did a couple of exercises beyond the 20 minutes, took a 2.5 mile walk pulling little man in the wagon and made it in 30 minutes, drank well over 96 oz of water not including coffee, stayed completely on track with my small, frequent, clean meals, and got a ton of house work done. I felt so motivated and active!

I’m determined to carry on that momentum after seeing this yesterday.

between challenge slump

When I finished 2.0 last month on August 2nd, I was proud of how toned and strong my body had become, but I kind of had it in my mind that because no actual weight was lost, my relative size wasn’t much different in my before and afters. I mean, I had trimmed up and toned up, but my jean size remained the same, albeit a better fit. And over the last month as life happened and I lost momentum and kind of told myself it was ok to take a little break (that turned into more of a long 35 day break with only random days that I worked out) both on exercise and way too loose on my nutrition, because my jeans still fit, even if a little more roll creeped up over the top, I told myself there wasn’t much change. When I measured yesterday, my measurements were the same on my arms and legs, and there was only about a half inch gain on each of my chest and core measures. I didn’t think that was much, but after comparing the photos I realized just what a half inch over all looks like. I only gained about 2 lbs, but I see a big difference in these sets of photos.

I’m writing this post today for those of you like me who peetered out between challenges. These photos prove it’s a life style. If we look at it as just a challenge, our bodies will begin changing back once the challenge is over. That workout each day makes a difference. That meal structure is important. Taking a break is ok, but 35 days is not a break, it’s a cop out. It would be a shame to work so hard for 90 days and lose all your progress because suddenly you are “too busy” to keep getting your 20 minutes in daily. (That was one of the lines I fed myself this past month.) Note to self: I wouldn’t skip a shower for more than a few days because I was “too busy”, then I should not skip this important part of health and personal care.

The littlest bit of progress is still progress ladies. You may not lose weight this round, you may not drop a clothing size, but I promise you, the more defined abs and leaner look of the left side photos above is going to get you to your goals sooner than the backward step of the photos on the right. Take it from a girl who has been there.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now at the beginning of this challenge, don’t make this about the scale. This is a journey. It took 6 years for my body to attain it’s mommy of 3 babies and busy life look. It is going to take more than 90 days for me to get back to a pre-baby weight. For 6 years (and even more, really) I have thought solely of little people and my family where meeting out time is concerned, it is going to take more than 90 days to reprogram my brain to set aside a little time for myself. Don’t give up on this. If you are a new-to-the-challenge-mom, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see progress right away. It took me one whole 90 day challenge (1.0) just to get back in the habit of daily exercise and a whole nother challenge (2.0 round 1) to get my nutrition under control. I did not begin to see major change until about half way through the first 2.0, that’s like 135 days!!

Just keep going. You will not regret it, make it about the journey because it is so much more than just a 90 day challenge and you are changing SO MUCH MORE than just a number on a scale. You are going to change differently than every other woman, at a different rate, and you’ll need different measures to tweak even this program and make it just for you. It will take time for you to figure out what these are. Don’t get impatient. Don’t quit. I promise you, change is happening, and it will surprise you when you recognize it.

My BBM Journey: Day 72

I feel like I have slipped a little, and not sure exactly at what point I started, but I am happy to say I have recognized it and tightened up today. For instance, my nutrition could be cleaner. I’ve eaten more meat and pasta and bread lately than I’m comfortable with, and most of that just can’t be helped in our current budget situation. It is what it is. (Which is still not awful, still pretty clean and almost no processed foods other than bread and pasta.) But I have slipped back into 3 big meals a day. I have also slacked on the BBM workouts, although for the most part I have gotten my runs in. My hydration has been good.

It’s definitely not my worst, but I know I can do better and try harder, so today I did my morning run, I spread my meals out into smaller portions and more frequent, I got my 1st liter of water in first thing with my run and continued to hydrate through the day, and most importantly, I did day 72 this afternoon. I could really identify with Briana’s video, my kids were right there with me too!

My step ups were not very high since I don't own chairs, so I increased my weight by about 47 lbs. of almost 5 year old little girl. (She dressed herself)

My step ups were not very high since I don’t own chairs, so I increased my weight by about 47 lbs. of almost 5 year old little girl. (She dressed herself)


Guess who likes to go under the bridge?

Guess who likes to go under the bridge?


Both kids, actually

Both kids, actually

This is real life. There are struggles and pushing yourself and kids and set backs and come backs. There are days when you think to yourself, “Well, maybe this morning’s run was enough, maybe I can skip the workout.” Then after 30 minutes of that nagging voice telling you what you already know, you push through and just get it done. But then there are days like what my sister had, where your body tells you the run is going to have to do because you are just too genuinely exhausted and sore to do the workout today, and that is ok too. Listen to your body, but don’t make it an excuse.

Today was great in other ways too. We walked to our local Fred’s, almost 2 miles round trip, with the baby in the wagon and my little girl by my side, she walked the whole way and back, so proud of her! We bought some poster board and spent the morning creating positive affirmation boards to hang where we could see them every day, to remind us of our goals. Here is one corner of my affirmation board with just one of several important goals I’m focusing on. I know this is going to get some laughs, but I’m a huge believer in positive thinking, positive focus, and the law of attraction.


Laughing and smiling creates positive feelings and this picture with my face pasted on (at my hubby’s genius suggestion) not only helps me envision and focus on what I’m working toward, it makes me smile and creates a double positive energy.

As some of you know, I celebrated my 29th birthday yesterday.

My annual birthday picture taken yesterday. My sissy did my hair and makeup and I gladly said hello to the last year of my twenties.

My annual birthday picture taken yesterday. My sissy did my hair and makeup and I gladly said hello to the last year of my twenties.

My twenties have been pretty crappy. I’m a positive person by nature, but even I recognize I have gone through more crap than greatness this past decade. I gladly celebrated my last birthday in my twenties yesterday and am looking forward to my thirties. They are going to be awesome! I am making this last year count like a final rep of side planks at the end of a 20 minute BBM workout. I am getting it done, pushing it hard and setting myself up for ONLY success in the next phase of my life. I have a lot of goals I’m excited to reach, and I’m sure there are many new ones waiting to be discovered. I have a little space left on my affirmation board so I can add pictures and quotes and stay motivated and focused. This whole project was actually my little sister’s suggestion. I’m super proud of her!

It’s such a long story, but in short, she recognized the need for major change in her life early this year and asked if she could get a fresh start living with us. She was dealing with depression, negativity, bad relationships, fake friendships, and just a general severe downward spiral. And I want to stress, her progress is not me. It’s not because of me. I’m not some extraordinary human being that can magically fix things for people. Her progress was due to her own realization that she needed to change herself and make better choices, and the action she has been taking to become more positive and surround herself with better influences. I know some of you must be wondering about the story behind her being in all my recent adventures, so there you have it, a brief explanation. But mainly I just wanted to convey 1) That I’m incredibly proud of her, and 2) the importance of surrounding yourself with positive thoughts and focus. It will literally change your life. It has changed her’s, it has changed mine. Try it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 🙂


What is BBM?

Bikini Body Mommy, a movement led by Briana Christine, and you can find out more at http://www.bikinibodymommy.com

Did you miss my first post outlining my goals? Find it here.


Looking to find some inspiration on Pinterest? You can follow me there too.

To get my daily posts through the  90 day challenge in your inbox, hit the subscribe button at the top left of this page, right under my profile picture.

And finally, has this post delighted, inspired, or amused you? Feel free to share it with your friends.

My BBM Journey: Day 66

I think when I started this challenge I hoped I would stick with it, but was nervous that I would fall off the wagon. Here we are though, day 66 and still rockin’ and rollin’! I saw the picture Briana posted this morning of her day 75 progress, the one where she is wearing the red dress. Whoot whoot! She looks great, doesn’t she? I am not there, but I saw that picture and I thought, “I’m going to be there. In fact, I’m getting closer every day!” Positive thinking, people, don’t under estimate the power of positive thoughts. Like wise, don’t under estimate the power of negative thoughts. Those will kill your dreams before they even have a chance to take flight.

I wanted to do a recipe post today, but alas, my cabinets are pretty bare and my meals are more budget friendly odds and ends than spectacular clean eating creations. I know my progress is a bit inhibited by budget restrictions, but I have come to terms with it and continue to do the best I can. Meals have been heavier on the pasta and bread than I would like, but I know my life goes in cycles and spurts, it won’t be like this forever. I refuse to focus on the negative, instead I am focusing on all the things that are good and positive.

I feel like I don’t have a whole lot to say today, but I hate to go days without checking in. I’m just keepin’ on keepin’ on, and really that’s what this whole thing is really about. It’s not just about the glamour of results or having daily epiphanies, it’s about the consistent grind, the daily getting up and getting it done.

Today’s motivational photo is a shout out to the amazing little girl that keeps us all laughing and active. She NEVER stops singing and dancing.


Happy Hump Day, everyone! Keep it smiling and positive!


What is BBM?

Bikini Body Mommy, a movement led by Briana Christine, and you can find out more at http://www.bikinibodymommy.com

Did you miss my first post outlining my goals? Find it here.


Looking to find some inspiration on Pinterest? You can follow me there too.

To get my daily posts through the  90 day challenge in your inbox, hit the subscribe button at the top left of this page, right under my profile picture.

And finally, has this post delighted, inspired, or amused you? Feel free to share it with your friends.

My BBM Journey: Day 60

Day 60, another weigh in and remeasure day.

Remember how I mentioned that I felt like I had a break through this past 15 days? Well, if my quiet and peacefully sleeping household wasn’t a factor, I would have done a Xena, Warrior Princess style war cry in jubilation! That scale dropped, FINALLY! Granted, only 1.2 lbs., but if you were me, watching the numbers steadily going up each remeasure day, you would be pretty darn excited too.

Pulling out the tape measure I found another 4.75 inches gone just since day 45. That brings my total inches lost to 15 inches! 15 inches in 60 days. Who wouldn’t be thrilled with that? Maybe my body is finally getting enough lean muscle mass to tip the scales – literally – the other way and I will steadily begin losing the pounds.

day 45 and 60

I also want to say I’m incredibly proud of my little sister, she is building healthy habits and working hard right by my side and she has lost 4.5 inches in the past 60 days too. (Not that she had anywhere near a need to lose, but young girls always think they do.) I know she feels healthier and I hope she is proud of her hard work and progress. Her age group freaks out at the scale numbers worse than mine, and I hope this sets her up with a healthier perspective to go forward in life. She has, like me, gained a few pounds since the challenge started, but she looks incredible and I’m sure she must feel it too.

So, since I must throw myself into an insanely busy day, I will close with a few pictures I took this morning (excuse the sleepy hair and face) and just say, keep going mommies! This is my second round of the challenge and I’m 60 days in and I’m only just now seeing consistent evidence in the hard numbers. Keep at it, don’t stop!!






What is BBM?

Bikini Body Mommy, a movement led by Briana Christine, and you can find out more at http://www.bikinibodymommy.com

Did you miss my first post outlining my goals? Find it here.


Looking to find some inspiration on Pinterest? You can follow me there too.

To get my daily posts through the  90 day challenge in your inbox, hit the subscribe button at the top left of this page, right under my profile picture.

And finally, has this post delighted, inspired, or amused you? Feel free to share it with your friends.

My BBM Journey: Day 55

Saturday morning, the weekend is here. Tomorrow is a rest day and man, I need it! My lower back is crying from all the hip targeting exercises in the HIIT routine this week, and we have mostly skipped the strength days to do the HIITs instead as they are a bit longer and don’t require weights. I ended up drinking my water out of my water jugs and am not comfortable exercising with unsealed pop off caps, especially with my little crazies trying to take my weights, my luck will run out one day and water will end up all over my carpet. I still haven’t found an adequate alternative and just need to pick up some actual dumbbells.

I saw this little meme on Facebook this morning, and I rarely pay attention to these because most of them are so ridiculous, and even more rarely do I share them, but this one really caught my attention because it was so simple, yet so profound.


And then I started thinking about it. Throwing a baseball, swinging a golf club, the squat before the long jump, they all have a backward or negative motion BEFORE the positive action. There are a lot of things in life that must move backward before they can move forward, and some of them are the most powerful forces on the planet. Take a tsunami, for instance. The ocean draws backward before it rushes over the land.

We get so discouraged with negative motion, the scale not moving, the tape measure reading larger, a pulled muscle or sore knee, and a lot of times we quit. But maybe that is the very moment before we see huge results and positive motion. In the examples above, for every unit of negative motion, the positive reaction is much greater. The ball flies much farther than the bat drew back, the jump is much higher than the downward squat, the ocean engulfs more land than it’s normal boundary.

Your one task, the single most important thing that you will do for yourself after actually starting is to just keep going. Don’t let discouragement get to you, don’t stop because of backward motion. You are on the verge of flying farther than you dreamed possible. I truly believe this. You should believe it too. Keep going. Keep pushing. Keep believing. It’s happening, even as you are being pulled in the opposite direction, the process is working, stay focused and aim for your goals so that you will hit them when you fly forward. All that energy is going to be released, it would be tragic if you were focused on a place you don’t really want to be. If you turn completely around and focus on all the things you are not or the progress that isn’t happening, that arrow can just as easily fly into the gutter.

Maybe there is someone out there that really needs to hear some encouragement this morning. This is for you. Just keep aiming for your goals. Keep focusing your energy, you are going to fly very soon.



What is BBM?

Bikini Body Mommy, a movement led by Briana Christine, and you can find out more at http://www.bikinibodymommy.com

Did you miss my first post outlining my goals? Find it here.


Looking to find some inspiration on Pinterest? You can follow me there too.

To get my daily posts through the  90 day challenge in your inbox, hit the subscribe button at the top left of this page, right under my profile picture.

And finally, has this post delighted, inspired, or amused you? Feel free to share it with your friends.

Memories in Time

I was thinking about something this morning. People who really know me know that I’m all about taking pictures. I mean, not just during the Holidays or special occasions, I take pictures almost every day. I take pictures of random, ordinary moments, sometimes just a quick snap shot, sometimes taking it to the picture editor and embellishing it a little. I post many to Facebook, but there are some that just sit on my computer for a while until I finally decide I’m ok with deleting them or I move them to a named folder to keep for good. My friends and family have varying degrees of the opinion that I’m “picture crazy”, and others who are more of an acquaintance might think I’m silly, annoying, or even a little self-absorbed.

Well, you have to understand my history to understand my pictures.

I was born in the 80’s, into a world of Polaroids, long before the digital age. It wasn’t nearly as easy or as cheap to take and keep pictures around as it is today. You had to keep the photos in album books if they were going to stay nice, and film and books cost money and you had to keep buying them. To get a good portrait shot, you had to pay a photographer and pay for copies of those photos, and then you had to buy frames and all that. This, of course evolved a little, but pretty much was the norm until the very late 90’s, early 2000. Needless to say, my parents having 3 kids at that time, and 8 by the time it was all said and done, had better things to spend money on.

In addition, when I was 9, my family moved from a big, normal house into a tiny 31 foot travel trailer to travel west and begin a new life of adventure and pioneering. (Long story for a different day.) We had to down size to the very barest of minimals to fit us all in. After giving precious items to friends and family, many things just had to be pitched, including a lot of photos. It sounds harsh, but my mom did what she had to do and a drawer full of pictures and Polaroids that had never made it into albums had to be thrown away. I remember she cried while those memories went into the trash. Baby pictures, birthdays, family snap shots – all gone. To this day, I have no pictures of myself as a baby except for the few that my aunt has shared from the ones she kept. Sometimes, and Facebook has been a great thing in this respect, a long-lost memory surfaces as a very old picture is scanned and shared by family or friends that my mom reconnected with in the past few years. It is rare, though.

Between that time and the years we lived in Colorado and then Kentucky, disposable cameras were cheap and made it much easier to take pictures, but developing still cost money, and after moving so much, we learned to travel light and we didn’t take many pictures that have survived. There is a small handful that each of my sisters and my mom have, pictures my dad hand-picked before he died of the cabin he built and the years in Colorado.

Then, in 2005, I moved out on my own and was introduced to a world of rapidly evolving digital cameras and camera phones. I was young and single, so I had very little incentive to take pictures for a little while, but then I got married, a year later we were pregnant with the first grandchild on Hubby’s side and moving a thousand miles away to Colorado to open our first restaurant. My mom in law bought me my very first, very own digital camera. Suddenly, pictures were so easy to take, and storing them on our new laptop was incredibly easy too. No more developing charges, bulky photo albums, and any “bad shots” could easily be deleted. It was life changing.

But the biggest piece of this puzzle fell into place later that year, the reason why I like to capture so many ordinary moments.

Many who have read this blog and followed it even a little know that in 2008 we lost our first baby girl to a surprise and mystery condition she was born with. She lived 17 days, all of them in a NICU unit, and while I took pictures and a few videos, I did not realize she would die and how many memories I would not make. I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, and even if I had, there would be none of the ordinary moments we take for granted. There were no pictures of her first bath, her first time getting dressed up for church, her first steps, her first birthday, her first day of school, and there certainly weren’t any every day moments to remember and smile over. What’s worse is that the time I did spend with her is missing huge chunks in my memory. I have blocked out most of the traumatic days of her in the NICU laying in pain, unable to be held by us, a blur of doctors and medicine and sterilization. Those are the only memories she is part of and many of them are lost.

We were blessed, by surprise no less, the following year with our rainbow baby Faith. From about half way through that pregnancy (the point where I begin to remember life again, the months directly after Skye died are almost completely gone, I vaguely remember very little, clips here and there) I had decided that no matter the outcome, I was not going to wait to spend time with her. I was going to make memories and make the most of her time with me, whether that was days or years. I talked to her all the time, just as you would a friend, when she was in my belly. I told her what I was doing, how things looked, my hopes, my fears, why I was doing a certain chore and how. Someone watching me would have pegged me as insane, walking around the house talking to “nobody” about needing to do the dishes and why one brand of soap was better than another.

I took pictures of my pregnant belly, but I really began taking pictures when Faith was born and I just never stopped. Over the past 3 years the picture-taking has really evolved as I found fabulous free picture editing sites to fix flaws and enhance the mood of the shot, add frames, etc. and Facebook has been invaluable for storing my pictures in albums. In fact, after my first computer crashed, I learned a valuable lesson. I lost even more of the few precious memories I had, pictures of Skye, on my old laptop, and would have been utterly devastated if I had not put pictures on Facebook and videos on YouTube. So yeah, I post A LOT of pictures on Facebook and my friends may or may not think I’m a little obsessed, but I don’t care. I know that several times I have needed to download them back off the web to have them.

Memories friends, you can’t buy those. They are priceless.

Just a Fall day at the park with my girl.


Every time I snap a picture of this little girl loving life, I think of another little girl who is not here. She never got the chance to go down the slide.


Another every day memory. One day she’ll be grown up and this picture will be all I have. I don’t take it for granted.



Capture Your Grief Day 31: Sunset

I am posting this a day late as last night I was busy making memories with family and friends. I have to say, it was perhaps the most appropriate way I could have ended this tender month.

When I started this project, I had the great desire to post every single day, using every subject. However, this month has been very busy, especially the weekends, and I had to skip a few days as they got away from me.

I have taken so much away from this project. I have cried and cleaned out my soul, remembered, mourned, rejoiced, freed myself of inhibitions, made friends, reflected, found strength, discovered things inside of me I had not even known were there. Not being lost on me is the irony that as I cried for my first child, I am pregnant with my last, and the cycle of living life fully while continually grieving has been an epic journey. I suspect it will not be over until I reach the distant shore of eternity. I’m ok with that.

Last night, as I spent a carefree evening with my husband and daughter and some dear friends, I kept in the back of my mind that I needed to snap a picture of the sunset. Since we were walking outside Trick or Treating, I figured it would be easy to capture a perfect picture. The evening sky was clear with just a few clouds that added to the aesthetic value and I was once again envisioning an epic photo much like the one I had envisioned at the beginning of the project. However, when the moment came to take the picture, I realized we were on the eastern side of a hill and could not see the setting sun horizon because of houses and power lines, etc. So I did the best I could, snapping a shot of the evening sky. At the moment, it did not seem very epic at all, but I wasn’t bothered as much as I had been with my sunrise shot at the beginning of this project. In that moment, I felt happy and carefree, I had the people who mattered most spending time with me and making precious memories. Perhaps the deep cleaning done to my soul has helped me more than I realize, all I know is something really is different at the end of this month compared to when October started.

Letting yourself grieve is a good thing, friends. Don’t be afraid of the memories and the tears they bring. Let yourself feel the pain, allow yourself to be hurt, admit that you have wounds. You have them anyway, acknowledging them is just the first step in the direction of healing. Denying your wounded state just keeps the wounds festering. Don’t kid yourself, they are there whether you cry or not, whether or not you acknowledge them, and most of all, they are there whether or not others acknowledge them. Grief is not to be feared, use it as a tool for healing your soul and getting stronger.

I hope each person reading this finds peace, where ever they are in their healing process, whether beginning, mid way, well into the thick of it, or maybe even having yet to encounter deep grief in your life. My hope is that you always have blessed memories being made along the way, and that you are never afraid to pull them out from time to time, even the painful ones. Every memory is precious.

Day 31: Sunset
Mt Pleasant, Tennessee, USA, about 6 pm October 31st, 2012

Capture Your Grief Day 30: My Grief – What I Want The World To Know

There are so many things I could say here, but one resounds stronger than any in my heart. Up until this year, I was very quiet, even apologetic about my grief. If someone asked a question that inevitably led to me mentioning Skye, I felt almost ashamed that I had to answer in a way that made them uncomfortable. In turn, that left me in pain, ashamed of my own feelings, saddened that I didn’t do my daughter’s memory the justice that it deserved. For most of 3 years I was a silent sufferer, afraid to shadow an oblivious world with the fact of my grief.

Then, as I began speaking about her, a beautiful thing happened. I began meeting moms I had never suspected that had suffered a similar loss. I met dads and grandmothers who I had known for several years, but I met the grieving side of them for the first time. Like me, they felt obligated by our society to be silent about the fact that their child had died.

We are “allowed” to speak about a friend who passes, a mother, father, grandparent, public official   – any well-known person that many people have met and remember. However, if the lost loved one happens to be an unborn baby or a baby that never took a breath at birth, or even a tiny baby that lived its entire life in the NICU, so many people squirm. They don’t know what to say, so for some reason they say things like, “At least you didn’t have time to get attached,” or “You can have more children, healthy children this time,” or worst of all, they say nothing. The more you speak about your child, the more withdrawn your circle of “friends” get, so you learn to be silent.

You don’t forget though. You never forget the tiny person who touched your life so deeply. No matter how small they were, they were your’s and you loved them with your entire heart. It is a shame that our modern society makes us feel bad for loving, caring, remembering our children.

If there is one thing I want the world to know about my grief it’s that my daughter was and is a person. I refuse to feel shame for speaking about her as often as I feel the need. I now know there are so many people just like me, moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters. You don’t realize it, but you know at least one, right now, who has been deeply affected by the loss of a young child. You know them personally. She is your friend at work, your child’s teacher, a lady in your church, the gas station clerk you chat with every morning. When you find her, don’t feel bad or uncomfortable. Just let her break the silence and offer her the same sympathy you would to someone who lost their parent or spouse. Don’t change the subject quickly and make her feel like she is a terrible person for mentioning what is probably the most precious thing she has ever had.