six months.

Six months ago our sweet Gabriel was born.  Six months have gone by really fast.  It’s hard to believe it. 


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Today especially we are remembering our G and missing having him in our lives. 



Gabriel's pictures 219


And as we do that, we are hanging out at home thanks to the Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Jack has.  He has had very little to eat or drink in the past week, so I took him to our pediatrician yesterday because I was worried that it had to do with the hernia he has that showed up a few weeks ago.  Thankfully it is not that.  When our doctor looked in his mouth he said it looked bad.  Blisters on the mouth and tongue – no wonder he wasn’t eating and drinking.  I’m trying to figure out how to get liquids in him.  But I will take that challenge!  Extra thankful for him in our lives – the two year old tantrums, the sicknesses, the adorable talking, the big hugs, and wet kisses.  Thankful for all of it.  Missing our second boy who we don’t get to love on here.  Hard to believe six months have come and gone since we met him and he passed away. 

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’



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.






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].






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.





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





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

Casey Aldredge



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!

9. show you remember.

October is SIDS, Pregnancy, and Infant Loss Awareness month.  I did not know that before this year, and now I will be celebrating alongside many others.  It is a time to remember our babies for those of us who have lost a child, and to remember and help your loved ones celebrate the life of their baby for those with a loved one who has lost a child.


How perfect that this lines up with my 31 Days of Hope series this October.  What could be more hopeful than remembering and celebrating the lives of babies who are in Heaven?  So this year I am asking for your help to remember, too.


On October 15th at 7 pm, in all time zones, people will be lighting candles in remembrance of their babies.  There will be flames burning for hours to celebrate.  Here is what the First Candle website states:


On October 15, at 7:00 pm in all time zones, families around the United States will light candles in memory all of the precious babies who have been lost during pregnancy or in infancy.  Too many families grieve in silence, sometimes never coming to terms with their loss.

If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss due to SIDS/SUID, prematurity or other cause, we hope you will join us in this national tribute to create awareness of these tragic infant deaths and provide support to those that are suffering. 

These words and more information can be found on their website here.

pregnancy and infant loss by Shana Smith

Will you help?  Wherever you are, will you light a candle at 7 pm on October 15th in celebration of our baby Gabriel?  And to celebrate and help everyone who has lost a baby – through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death – remember their sweet little one.

We would love to see the celebration!  If you light a candle, will you take a picture and send it to us!  You can email it to me, tag me on facebook, tweet it, or instagram it, or post it here.  We would love to see people celebrating Gabriel with us all over the country!

Thank you so much!


Joining the Nester for 31 Days of writing in October.

Catch up on all of my 31 Days of Hope posts here.

4 months.

Thursday marked 4 months since Gabriel was born and died.  Tommy and I both feel like it’s been much longer than that.  Maybe that’s because today marks 8 months since we learned that our baby was very sick.  We were loved on — Thursday I got a sweet text in the morning from my friend who was at the beach, we got some love from our moms, our friends who were having a baby that very day had left something on his grave, and a sweet message from my sister all reminded us of our Baby G.  And I got to spend the day with Tommy, as we had some appointments that required his presence. 


I wish I could say it was a good day.  But in all honesty it wasn’t.  It was a really hard day.  In general, the days feel less heavy recently than they used to.  They pass with relative normalcy, for the most part.  Of course if taking your 2 year old to the cemetery on a frequent basis is normal.  But generally, that 3 month mark was “magic” in a sense.  The super sadness lifted and life continued to move on, and we started to move on with it, and that became ok.  But Thursday was a very hard day.  I figured I was due for a bad one since I’d had so many good ones recently.  And that’s ok.  Or so I tell myself.  I know it is, but spending a bunch of time crying in front of multiple people hurts my pride.  And I battle my pride, a lot.  So Thursday ended up being one of those days where I was reminded that I’m not as awesome as I think I am.  That I am very needy.  That I am very broken.  That I don’t heal myself.  That I have many issues that need addressing.  That I need a Savior. 



Gabriel sand

Picture and sweet reminder sent from my sweet friend at the beach. 



Spending some extra time remembering our precious little one in Heaven. 


A little Friday fun around here.  Practicing our different smiles for the camera. 


smiles6 smiles smiles2 smiles3 smiles4 smiles5




The new necklace I’m wearing was a gift from my sweet friend.  She left it on Gabriel’s grave for me to celebrate and remember 3 months since he’d been born. 


Thanks for the precious gift, Amy! 




Happy weekend friends!