day 15 // pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day 2014.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I seriously cannot believe it has been a year since we marked this day in 2013.  It’s crazy how a day I didn’t even know existed, is now marked pretty big on my calendar.  I’m a big supporter of this day.  I think it’s really important to take the opportunity to remember women and families who have lost a baby.  It’s easy to feel forgotten and alone when you’ve lost so big.  Especially when we are surrounded by people who have what we so desperately longed for.  Our family has been so incredibly blessed by so many people as we walked through losing our son in 2014.  The love and support we’ve been shown has blown us away.  I know many women who don’t have any support.  Not from a husband, family, or anyone.  Today is a day to share hope with all the women who have lost, and especially these women who really need to see some love.  It’s all around us.  One in four women will have a miscarriage.  That number doesn’t even include stillbirths or neonatal loss.  It’s all too prevalent.  Let’s spend today taking time to remember the babies who are no longer here with us.

 

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So today, just like last year, I am asking you to light a candle.  At 7 pm tonight [or another time if that doesn’t work for you!] light a candle wherever you are in remembrance of a baby who is no longer here and to give hope to their parents.  Then send a picture of that candle — text, email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or anything else you want to us to help spread awareness of infant loss and most importantly share hope.  Help mamas know they aren’t alone.  I cannot wait to put all of the pictures together to see the beauty that is people coming together, encouraging, and sharing the burden of loss.  Thank you for loving us, thank you for loving others, and thank you for remembering our sweet Gabriel.  We can’t wait to see your candles!!

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Check here for some of last year’s candles!

 

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And in case I haven’t adequately expressed how much last year’s candle lighting meant to me, here is something I wrote on October 16th last year ::

I want to thank you all so so very much for remembering Gabriel last night.  I was BLOWN AWAY by the love.  That is what hope is.  I wish I could have bottled last night up so I could take a big whiff of it whenever I needed encouragement.  We feel so loved and so blessed to have people who not only haven’t forgotten our baby but also took the time out of their lives to do a kind act for him and us.  So touched. 

 

Tonight I will be lighting a candle at 7:00 and remembering many babies.  I will remember a sweet little baby who just passed away a few days ago.  I will remember twin boys who passed away a handful of years ago.  I will remember a baby girl who passed away just over a year ago.  I will remember a baby girl who’s parents fought so hard to keep her here.  I will remember a sweet baby who passed away in the womb.  I will remember my friend who had an ectopic pregnancy almost a year ago.  I will remember the women who are pregnant with a baby who they know won’t live.  I will remember the women who have had a miscarriage.  Many friends of mine who have known that pain.  There are a lot of little and significant lives to remember today especially.

 

 

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31 days of beautiful.

Happy October, friends!  It’s Fall.  It’s going to feel like it soon, and before we know it this month will have flown by just as quickly as all of the others have in this year.  This time of year is certainly crazy, isn’t it?  I feel like it’s our busiest season yet.  We are doing more, reaching further, and finding ourselves busier than ever.  Some of that is good and maybe some not so much.  So before this month just slips away in the chaos, I want to be intentional about it.  I want to remember something significant from this month.  I want to have challenged myself to reach beyond the day to day and really be.  Be present.  Be intentional.  Be challenged.

And so it’s for these reasons that I love this challenge and am joining in with the Nester as she writes for 31 days in the month of October.  I joined in last year for the first time, knowing exactly what my topic needed to be.  You can find my 31 days of hope from last year here.  This year I am excited for my second go at 31 days of writing as I write every day this month on the topic of ::

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Why beautiful?  

This year’s topic wasn’t as obvious to me.  And truthfully, I’ve not been brainstorming it for all that long!  Because the fact that it is October is completely blowing me away.  Before I knew it, it was the very end of September, and I had to kick it in to gear to get this going.  Ever since I took the summer off from blogging, I’ve been out of my regular rhythm.  And while I certainly enjoy posting, I also found so many other things to fill my time.  I am hoping that this October challenge will help me to get back on track and back in this space.  I miss you all!

So while I was pondering my topic ideas, this one came to me.  It’s not perfect, it’s not definitive, and it’s so broad that I’m not sure where I’ll go.  But you can certainly expect to see a home project or two, a recipe or two, a beautiful picture, a beautiful story, and all of the random things that pour out of my heart, mind, and mouth.

My real goal in this topic to look and see what is beautiful in this life all around me.  And I look forward to having the month of October to do that.

Thanks for joining me here!  I hope you will follow along on these 31 days of beautiful.

Day 1//  31 days of beautiful

Day 2//  beautiful in pictures

Day 3//  just beautiful

Day 4//  the beautiful part of sports

Day 5//  what a day + where our hope is [aka: the story of how I cry to a security guard]  

Day 6//  who I watched

Day 7//  beautiful to you

Day 8//

Day 9//

Day 10//

Day 11//

Day 12//

Day 13//

Day 14//

Day 15//

Day 16//

Day 17//

Day 18//

Day 19//

Day 20//

Day 21//

Day 22//

Day 23//

Day 24//

Day 25//

Day 26//

Day 27//

Day 28//

Day 29//

Day 30//

Day 31//

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31. wrapping up 31 days of hope.

This is it – the last day of October.  It’s time to wrap up this series of 31 Days of Hope.  Here’s my recap on the past 31 days.

 

 

I started off talking about why hope and expectations that were just off and wrong.  Then I shared a lesson in hope from my 2 year old that sticks with me every day.  I talked about noticing hope around me more than ever before and celebrated our sweet baby Gaby 5 months out from his birth.  We had fun moments and really sad moments during this month.

 

I shared wise words from a friend and wrote these words that I would need to remember just a few days later:

 

Because maybe hope isn’t about not having any big waves knock you down, but instead, is about surrendering to the big waves, trusting that God will use it for His glory.  Trusting that He has us in his hands.  Having faith that what we hope for will one day come to be.  And sitting securely in His embrace while the water washes over us.

I had surgery on the 10th – a cholecystectomy.  I was full of hope that it would improve my health.  And so far so good!  I’m able to eat again for the first time in a long time.  Then a few days later I talked about how it can be hard to see hope and feel hopeful sometimes.  How it takes an act of stillness on our part to look beyond what is right in front of us.  Then the next morning I got a call that my grandmother had had an aneurysm – a massive stroke – and that she was going to die.  Talk about not feeling very hopeful.  I was eating my own words as we struggled with the shock of it and the grief of losing our beloved Granny.  And after that all of the planned posts I had for the month kind of fell apart and I started just winging it.  I’m sure you could tell.  It also meant that 2 days I posted late on the next day because I.just.couldn’t.do.it.all.

 

 

Then on the 15th I was blown away by all of you and filled up with hope!  I was blessed beyond measure with candles being lit to remember our baby.  Man I love you all!  If you missed that check out this post and this post where I talk about why and then this post where I share many of the pictures of candles lit that night.  Awesome awesome stuff.

 

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I was pretty much ready to wrap the month up after that, but we still had the back half of the month to go.  This is where my posts were struggling a bit.  But a few highs include talking about being a student of hope [and sharing this precious picture].

 

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Having extended family visit Gabriel’s grave with us.  Such a touching and special thing for this mama who doesn’t get to pass a baby around for them to meet and cuddle.

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And a hopeful tribute to my beautiful Granny, a woman who inspired me and many others so much.

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One of the cool things from this month is that I’ve seen hope playing out right in front of me.  Losing Granny was shocking and devastating.  But watching my Grandfather and my family in the past two and a half weeks has been pretty special.  More and more he talks about how wonderful it is that she isn’t going to have to suffer.  And while it’s hard to lose her, everyone knows it was gracious that God allowed her to die like that.  In a place she loves, surrounded by those she loves, and without suffering.  How could you say that if you didn’t have hope?

 

 

My heart has been so impacted this month.  I’m thankful for this time to focus on a topic.  Thankful for the Nester’s challenge.  It has stretched me and taught me a few things for sure.  I walk away from October remembering that hope is essential.  Always.  I have also learned that I am very much a student — even when I think I have been run through the mill on a topic, there is always more to learn.

 

 

Hope is a gift. 

 

 

Thanks for reading and walking through this month with me.  So thankful for your encouragement and love as I continue to learn more about myself.  Now, on to November!

28. waves of light celebration, love, + support.

Y’all are awesome!  Awesome awesome awesome.  I cannot even say enough how blown away I was on October 15thfor pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.  I said we would be lighting a candle in memory of our Gabriel and for others who have lost babies and asked you to do the same if you felt so inclined.  I couldn’t believe how awesome it was to see all of the pictures!  Man, I lit up knowing so many people were thinking about Gabriel and us.

 

I don’t have pictures to share of my baby beyond ultrasound pictures and the precious ones we took on his day of life.  I don’t get to Instagram or Facebook or tweet pictures of what he’s doing and how he’s growing.  I don’t get to share pictures of how Jack is with a baby brother and how the boys play together.  I don’t get to rock him as he is awake at night, or has an upset tummy, or just can’t quite figure out the routine of this life yet.  And I’ve come to terms with that.  This is our lot, and for this we are grateful.  But there will always be things I miss.

 

So to be able to use social media to bring encouragement to me and mamas like me is a powerful thing.  It was pretty special to have a few hours one night where feeds were blowing up with candles and loving words that helped us remember our babies who we don’t get to lay eyes on daily.

 

It was such a reminder to me of the role we play in each other’s lives of bringing encouragement.  Words are so powerful – and actions, too – and we can bring life to dark and hopeless situations.  So thank you for doing that for me.  Thank you for reading this blog, thinking about our little family, lighting a candle, and taking a picture to send to us.  Your effort, and mostly your heart, are beyond appreciated.  I have thanked God for each and every one of you.

 

So my intention was to publish this post on the next morning, the 16th, but Tuesday was a rough post-op day for me after having my gall bladder removed 5 days earlier.  By Tuesday evening I was in some serious pain and had to take some medicine, so I didn’t get to see many of the pictures until the next morning.  It’s taken me awhile to respond and get the pictures together.  But I wanted to share them all here.

 

 

Thanks for the love dear friends!  For you I am so grateful!

 

Tiffany Gleason Alice Erickson Amy Ross Becca Edwards Cretia Goodin Deb Macklin Elizabeth Neutens Emily Larson Gordy and Sue Holly Young Honoring Rebecca and Gabriel 10 1013 Katelyn Liles Laryessa Worthington Lindsay Maureen Prentiss and Family Molly Morgan Mom, Dad, and Grandfather Nate Lawless our family Rosalie Hadley Sheri Super Sophia Davidson Stephanie Joyce

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I couldn’t figure out how to save the pictures from Instagram.  So if you put a picture only on Ig and it’s not too much of a hassle, could you send it to me?  I really want to get them all together.

 

There were many people who lit candles but didn’t get pictures or who wanted to light candles but weren’t somewhere where they could do that.  So for those people, thank you for thinking of us and letting me know!

 

We had people lighting candles all over this country!  Tennessee and Maryland, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Texas, and Maine just to name some of the states.

 

[I tried to gather all of the pictures but if I missed yours please forgive me and let me know!]

 

So much love to you all!

16. squeaking by.

Whew, I’m barely getting this one in.  It’s 11:33 pm on the 16th, and I just started typing this post.  It will be short and sweet – minus the sweet part.

 

Today has been a whirlwind of a day.  Still recovering from surgery leaves me bribing and begging my 2 year old to do things.  I’m not supposed to lift anything heavier than a jug of milk, so lifting my 36 pound child is out of the question.  So diaper changes, clothing changes, car seat getting into, and discipline actions are all subject to the will of a two year old.  Awesome.

 

 

He’s actually been great this week though.  That makes it a lot easier.  And I don’t want to totally out him on the interwebs but some serious developments in the potty training world happened last night.  Heres to hoping it’s not an isolated event.

 

 

I had the privilege of spending this afternoon and evening with my family, including my Grandfather.  He is a precious man, and he fiercely loved my Granny – his wife of 62 years and 8 months.  My heart is breaking for him, and I am so inspired by him.  To see that kind of love before your eyes is a rare thing in this world that we live in.  And I’m so proud to be his granddaughter, and am so thankful for the example he and Granny have set for all of us in their marriage.  Thank you for praying for him and for the rest of my family.  And thank you for your prayers for my Granny.  She passed away Tuesday morning.  There is a great hole in our family now.  I’m so thankful for God’s presence and goodness over these past 5 days.

 

 

I want to thank you all so so very much for remembering Gabriel last night.  I was BLOWN AWAY by the love.  That is what hope is.  I wish I could have bottled last night up so I could take a big whiff of it whenever I needed encouragement.  We feel so loved and so blessed to have people who not only haven’t forgotten our baby but also took the time out of their lives to do a kind act for him and us.  So touched.  I’ve got a whole post to write on it, and I can’t wait to share about all of the candles we got to see!

 

 

So until I get that written, here is our picture from last night.

 

 

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15. waves of light.

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It’s October 15th, which means it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Let’s celebrate!  Last week I asked if you would light a candle tonight at 7 pm [your time zone] in remembrance of our Gabriel.  Tonight is the night!  So please, take a few moments to light a candle in honor of our baby and for all of those who have lost a baby.  I know many of you will be lighting a candle because you or a loved one have lost a baby.  Know that I will be lighting mine along with you.

 

 

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We would love to see your candle!  Please send me a picture – email, comment here, facebook, twitter, instagram.  Anything!  We want to encourage moms and dads that their babies are remembered, even when they think they aren’t.  Help us remember sweet babies in the Wave of Light tonight.  Cannot wait to see all the candles glowing brightly.  It brings hope to my heart and the hearts of other mamas who have lost their babies to know that people – friends, family, strangers – are remembering our precious children who aren’t here to be remembered every day.

 

 

Help spread hope by lighting a candle.

 

 

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Joining the Nester for 31 Days of writing.

To see all 31 Days of Hope posts click here.