Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A few of my favorite things...

Did you have a nice Christmas?

Ours was nice, it was hard as could be expected, but we did celebrate better than we did last year.
We decorated Dylan's Autumn Blaze tree with lights!

And we were very bless with cards and many gifts this year.  But there was one particular gift that I can easily say is my favorite :)

Our little flower girls (Patrick's second cousins-KayKay and LoLo) with the help of a babysitter (and maybe their mom too!) made us this beautiful picture. 

I was of course a sobbing mess and hopefully I didn't scare the girls too much. I was able to get out the words that I absolutely loved it and that I loved them so much for making it.  Seriously the greatest gift that you could EVER give a grieving parent, is acknowledging their lost child. <3

I will get facebook messages or text messages from family telling me that their girls or the twirlies are talking about Dylan and Noah. And asking questions about them.  I know some people can't fully understand why we are now talking about Taylor, the baby we lost with a miscarriage many years ago. But Taylor is still our child.  The loss of Dylan and Noah gave us another chance to see that we need to continue to acknowledge our other child together. So Patrick and I tell people we are parents of 3 angels.

What was your favorite holiday gift this year?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

My version of A Bereaved Mother’s Christmas Wish List

Someone posted this in my loss of a child support group, and I wanted to write my own.

I agree with the mom that wrote this. "what do you want for Christmas?" is a very hard question for me to answer.  And you can ask my family how difficult it is to get a Christmas list from me...I'm terrible.

But the problem that's so hard for me is, no one can really give me what I want for Christmas. I'm not trying to sound glass half empty or down, it's just how it is.  I wish that I could tell them I wanted silly little trinkets for the house or a gift certificate to the hot new restaurant. In all honesty, it's not what I want...

So here's my list of things that I want for Christmas this year:

1. I wish I could smell my boy's baby smell one more time.  You know the smell I'm talking about. It's the mix of Johnson & Johnson baby wash/shampoo mixed with a splash of baby spit up. and to me the greatest smell ever.

2. Dylan would be two this year and I wish I could see his little face light up when he opened his Christmas gifts. And see the excitement in his eyes when he woke up Christmas morning to see all the presents magically appear from nowhere overnight.

3. I wish that on Christmas, our families  would "fight" over who gets to hold Noah and who gets to have Dylan sit on their lap.

4. I wish that I had my little helper in the kitchen to "decorate" Christmas cookies.

5. I wish Dylan and Noah were here to pull all the lights and ornaments off the tree.

6. I wish I could have seen the boy's reaction to seeing snow for the first time and will always wonder if they would've cried or loved that weird cold white fluffy stuff.

7. I wish I could feel Dylan's hand squeeze my index finger one more time.  Hold their little hand wraps around your whole finger and they grasp on for dear life.

8. I wish I could blow on their bellies making them giggle and laugh.

9. I wish I had ever gotten to hear those giggles.

10. This one I'm stealing from her's (see above)  "I wish others could understand my pain without judgment and without having to lose a child."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pinterest success?

We don't have a fireplace, so we therefore don't have a cute mantle with pictures and adorable decor.

I needed to come up with a different way to display Christmas cards, so off to Pinterest I went.

I found this:

(Pinterest link here)

So I tried it :)
please pay no attention to the stuff on the counter ;)

I think it worked out :) I plan on painting the close pins for next year... just for a little sparkle ;)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rumor has it...

Did This song pop in your head?? (and don't you hate the ads before youtube videos???)

Back to the rumor!!

It is going around that as the years go by, less and less support is shown to grieving parents and their missions to help other families, dwindle off.  We did have less people join and walk with us in 2013 than in 2012, but we still had a wonderful turn out and continued support across the country.

Please don't stop walking with us. Please don't stop supporting the March of Dimes and our mission to help babies stay healthy.

The sign up for 2014 is already available!!

Sign up here: http://www.marchforbabies.org/team/devoted2dylan
(Click on the "Join this Team" --it's under Dylan's picture)

We will have shirts for 2014!! Click HERE for the order form.
(We will ONLY be taking orders this way, so not by email or by pm's on facebook)

See this good looking group of people?!?! Join us this year! :)

ALSO please mark your calendars!!

At Molly Cool's Seafood Tavern Feb 8th 2014 at 6pm!
We already have a TON of amazing auction items!! Bring your family and friends! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 8, 2013

Light your candles this coming Sunday!!

Sunday, Dec. 8th at 7 pm

Held annually on the second Sunday in December (this year, December 8, 2013). The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.
The Worldwide Candle Lighting is a gift from The Compassionate Friends to the bereavement community allowing us all to join together in unity to remember and honor the memories of all children so they may never be forgotten.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Can!

My first semester back as a college student is ending very soon.  I was so nervous to go back, but I am def glad that I did it.  I kept telling myself that I was crazy that I wouldn't do well.  That I couldn't do it.
It's rough when your biggest enemy is who is looking back at you in the mirror.

But I proved her wrong!

Not only could I do it, but I've been dominating 
I'm getting good scores on my exams, and getting in my assignments on time. My job isn't suffering and I'm still making time for myself.  Dinners have been a tad trickier, but we've managed.

I need to remember to stop telling myself that I can't, and refocus on the "I can".

What was your recent accomplishment?
What were some of the challenges you faced?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I hope you all had a blessed and safe Thanksgiving this year!

What was your favorite side dish?

Did you try anything new?

Did you brave the stores and go shopping on Friday?

my answers:

What was your favorite side dish?

my favorite is always the green bean casserole.  This year was a little different, I prefer it with the canned french cut beans LOL.
Did you try anything new?
I need to "grow a pair" in this department...I very rarely try something new. I like what I like :)
Did you brave the stores and go shopping on Friday?
We did, BUT ONLY because the hubby wanted to check out coats at Boston Store.  We did most of it online!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Whatcha doing tonight?

Come out to Molly Cool's and help raise money for our March of Dimes team!!!

When: Tues Nov 26th-half off wine; happy hour until 7pm

What happens: You come to Molly's and buy food and drink. At the end of the night, Molly's will donate 10% of sales to these charities. Both charities receive a donation. The 10% will be split amounts the two dependent upon your number of votes how much goes to each of you.

Why: Come and help MOD win the battle!!! Help raise money for March of Dimes and babies!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

a little behind!

Sorry for the lag in posting recently...I've been pretty busy with class.  I'm sure you're seeing it as an excuse, but I swear it's true!

9 exams for 1 class! 9! 

You all know I'm a couponer :) so I went to CVS last night because my cute husband asked for some Nivea products which just happened to be apart of a deal this week (GREAT timing honey!)

So I went in all ready, plan in hand! Picked up the two items I needed and went to check out.
I was thrilled to get one of my favorite cashiers (Michelle!). I handed over my coupons and then my expired ECB* (extra care bucks)

***my local CVS store was accepting expired ECBs with no limitations, NOT all CVS stores do this, you would need to speak to your local CVS manager to confirm***

And Michelle tells me that they will be changing their policy on the length of expiration. GAH! So she called the manager over and he agreed to let me use them up that night.

So you can only guess who looked like a crazed coupon lady at her local cvs...

Yup, this girl.

Thankfully I had my coupon binders (yes multiple) in my car and my smart phone with hip2save.com at the ready (Thanks Collin!)

So here's what I did:

3-750ml scope outlast ($4.79 each)
4-skippy peanut butter (on sale for $2.50 each)
3-suave body washes (on sale for $2 each)
3-right guard extreme deodorants ($4.69 each)
1-naturemade vitamelt (on for $6.99)
5- covergirl eye shadows (eye enhancers as they like to call them) ($3.99 each)
1-simple facial cleanser ($7.99)
1-simple cleansing facial wipes ($6.49)
2- 4oz Crest 3D white toothpaste (on sale for $2.99 each)
2-men's nivea post shave balm ($7.49 each)
1-box of kotex pads (on sale for $3.99)
2-almay lip glosses ($5.99 each)

I used multiple coupons (if you want the FULL breakdown with what q's etc leave a comment here)
and ended up using $67 worth of expired ECBs.

I had a little bit left on a CVS giftcard and ended up spending $4.91 for everything OOP (out of pocket for you coupon newbs)

I got earned back $39 ECBs, $1 in my savingstar account, $10 ECB from the beauty club, $0.50 from ibotta (my referral link and you'll earn a bonus $10!!) and a $14 movie ticket voucher for Catching fire!

Pretty stoked about this considering I was rushed and didn't end up using a couple CVS MCM coupons that I could've! And I got over $130 worth of stuff for under $5!

Got any questions?? Ask 'em! :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mark your calendars!!!

Our Annual KickOff Party is in the books!!! February 8th at Molly Cool's 6pm!

Come help us get EVEN more walkers this year by bringing your family and friends to the Kick-off!


ALL the money raised will be donated to The March of Dimes!! It's all for the babies!!

PLEASE also share this event and invite YOUR friends and family! The more the merrier!!

Children's Challenge: 
Our Kick Off IS family friendly and we wanted a way to let the kids help us raise money and awareness to a great cause! 

Let's do a Dime drive!! Have your little help help collect and save dimes from now until the kick off (Feb 8th) bring them in and let's see who has the collected the most! There will be a prize for the child that brings in the most dimes!!

And don't forget about our Silent Auction!!!
Auction Items we have so far:

Photography package from front room photography
2 hr massage
Homemade Burlap Wreath
Couponing Lesson and Starter Binder
Photo Booth for an Event
A basket from Doggy Central Bark
Estate planning package from Dunn Law Office
Photography package from Kayla E. Photography
Birthday Balloon Wreath
Delicious Baked goods
Jewelry from Lark&juniper

We if are able to raise about $39,000 this year, Devoted to Dylan would have raise $100,000 for March of Dimes in total! 

That's quite an accomplishment and our goal for the 2014 year!

The March for babies walk is also set on the books! April 26th Be there or be square! ;)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's official!!

You can NOW join our 2014 DEVOTED TO DYLAN March of Dimes team!!!

So what are you waiting for?!?!?

first go here : http://www.marchforbabies.org/team/devoted2dylan

Look underneath Dylan's picture:

Click on "Join this Team"

Fill out your info here:
(if you walked with us last year, they might have your info saved!)

Not walking in Milwaukee? No problem! Look at the right side of the screen where it says Your Event:

Click on "Change Event" and find a city near you!

You can still be apart of Devoted to Dylan even if you are not in Milwaukee!

Please join our team and help raise awareness to a mission very close to our heart, infant mortality, birth defects, and premature births.

Friday, November 1, 2013


I wrote about the Return to Zero submission here and just found out that mine was not selected :( While, I am sad I am even more sad to know that there are that many sad stories for them to choose from.  So many families that are missing their children. That breaks my heart more than not being selected.

Here's part of the email:

I will end by asking for prayers.

I don't know this family directly, but I am friends with one of their friends.

Archer is a little boy that they found a mass in his chest last night.  We are praying that he will be ok, that it isn't cancer.  Archer is only 2 years old.  His mom is pregnant with his little brother or sister. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


So they were talking about men and women breaking up with each other via email and text in relationships and in friendships and it got me thinking... about how cowardly it truly is.

I will be the first to admit I am far from perfect.  I've hurt people by letting them down, or with words. We can all be catty and hurtful, we are human after all.

And as a victim of an email friendship break-up, I can tell you it showed me how weak they are.
It showed me how little they valued the friendship.
And it the end, it showed me how better off I am without them.

Why do people have such hard times telling someone something in person? Yes, I understand that your words could hurt, but don't you have enough respect for that person to consider their feelings and tell them in person?

Have you ever been dumped in an email or text?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

well there's maybe 20 of you

that check this without needing me to post it on facebook, so THANK YOU.

But that means I need to continue to entertain you ;)

So my birthday was on Tues...if you remember reading, I struggle somewhat with celebrating it now after losing Dylan so close to it.  But overall, it was a nice day.

Woke up to a hot breakfast that Patrick made for me, and a bag of chocolate yummyness from my awesome Father-in-law.  Came to work to a decorated desk and lab bench and bag of chocolates (thanks Polly :) and are you sensing a trend??? I like chocolate ;))

Received MANY birthday texts and fb messages as well, making me feel quite special.

Patrick took me out to dinner at a new restaurant (don't you just love going to new places?) where we shared a BOTTLE of wine ON A TUESDAY...but it was great!

Then came home where I got to open my presents :) Tickets to Who's Line and a really fun print and a very special perfume bottle from my awesome mother-in-law (yes my in-laws really are awesome, I'm VERY lucky) and a very much needed massage from my dad and stepmom!

here's the fun print :)

Thank you for the kind words and well wishes.  Every day is hard without them, special days are harder because we want them here with us to share it with them.  But thank you for helping me feel special and for sort of forcing me to celebrate (not in a bad way...it sounds bad and I don't mean it to, but I can't think of a better word right now)

Monday, October 21, 2013



I'm only taking 1 course right now, but the amount of exams we have...well it's A LOT!

I had one on wed night and now I've got one today!


So that explains the lapse in posts...

Hopefully all goes well tonight, so I can try to somewhat celebrate the good ol'birthday tomorrow!

Be back soon!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2 years ago today...

2 years ago today, we had to say goodbye to you.

And while it makes me cry (and probably always will), there were many good things that happened that day. Because of two VERY special doctors, Dr Humphrey and Dr Leuthner, we were able to take you home. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

We drove in that Monday morning knowing what the outcome would be.  But we didn't want you feeling an ounce of our sadness.  You had one of the overnight nurses that wasn't my favorite...and she had given you some medication that made you sleepy.  She didn't know you well enough to know that you were only irritated because you didn't like the ventilator system you were on. You liked running the show, and breathing when you wanted to.  If she had known you... Mommy wanted to punch that nurse, but instead took a deep breath and carried on.  I asked to hold you.

And hold you I did.

I held you until I wasn't able to anymore, when the transport team needed to get you ready for our big trip.  Transport was very nice and helped make sure that you were bundled up enough so you wouldn't get cold.  We put you in your moose fleece and your special hat that great grandma had knit for you. When you were all bundled up and secured on the gurney, mommy and daddy joked that you looked like you were going to the moon on a rocket ship.

They then told us one of us could go with you.

We looked at each other, and your daddy let me ride with you. Daddy knew I didn't want to let you out of my sight, and I didn't want you to be scared. I wanted you to be able to hear me talk to you, and tell you that it will be okay.

Dr Leuthner wanted to give you some pain medication to help with any discomfort.  But he knew you :) He gave you a half dose, because you were our little superman.  A half dose was all you needed. And then we started the drive home.

The sun came out and it had turned into an unseasonably warm day for October in Wisconsin.

When we got home the ambulance pulled into the driveway, and we were greeted by all of your grandparents and your dog Vedder (who was VERY excited to meet you).

We went inside first, to get everything settled and to see your great grandmothers, the cat, and your aunt and uncle (who were helping by taking videos and pictures to remember the day-THANK YOU).

Everyone got a chance to hold you, and kiss you, and tell you how much they loved you.  It was wonderful to see you home and completely surrounded by love.

We then took you outside, since it was so nice out.  You were able to breathe fresh air, and feel the sun on your precious face.

And then really meet the dog...

Puppy kisses

Then mommy and daddy took you back inside, to your room, to see and feel your crib.  Mommy even got to change your diaper at home! Only one, but I'll never forget it.  I know some mommy's and daddy's get sick of dirty diapers, but if it meant you were still here with me, I'll take all of them. Yours and their babies dirty diapers.

All your grandparents, great grandmothers, and your aunt and uncle left so that we could be alone with you at home.  The doctors removed your tubes and we were able to hold you for the first time without them.

I was able to cuddle you the way I always wanted to, the way every mother should be able to...but not all do.

so was daddy :)

We had a few hours together. To be able to sing and dance, read to you. Kiss your sweet little face. 
And we promised you, that we would be okay.  It's because of that promise little man that I get out of bed and continue doing good things in your name.  Because trust me, it would be a lot easier to pull the shades down and stay in bed all day. We honor that promise to you, sweet boy.

I was holding you in my arms with daddy sitting next to us. Daddy and the doctors were talking and I wasn't completely paying attention to the whole conversation.  But I know we both heard the important parts.

Daddy told the doctors, that given the chance, we would have done it all over again.  Knowing everything and how it all turned out, getting the opportunity to carry you, give birth to you, hold you, love you, and know you made all the tears and pain worth it.  That to us, you were (you still are!) perfect. You took your last breath after hearing what daddy had to say. 

I thank God for how peaceful it went.  You didn't suffer at all, no struggling or pain.  I thank God for those two doctors who made our dream of taking you home a reality. 

And I know that you may not be with us physically anymore, I know you are with us.

Because, I carry a piece of you. 

I carry it in my heart.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dylan's leaf

I have written about my breast milk donation before (here)

Another mom friend who also lost her baby boy, sent her milk in for donation as well.  She posted the pictures of the leaf they added to the tree for him :) She was able to actually locate which one was his in the whole tree, so I sent an email to IMMB asking if they could help me do the same.

They are SO wonderful there! She went out and took 4-5 more pictures of the tree/branch and leaf for Dylan so that I could see where he was in the tree. Really made my day :)

It's just a nice gesture, that IMMB does this in honor of the babies that weren't able to use their mom's milk.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I used to love this month.

It has my birthday, my BFF's birthday, my sister's and grandma's birthdays, and my favorite holiday, Halloween.

As a little kid the month of your birthday is full of excitement and anticipation. Plus, my mom was a BIG birthday person too, so the house was decorated and she always made YOUR favorite meal. Who am I kidding, I still loved my birthday month even up to a few years ago.  Ask my BFF Angie...she has to share a birthday with me :) And we used to work together. So EVERYONE knew when our birthday was, because I was SO excited and had to tell everyone. Thankfully, she still loves me :)

Plus, it is cooling down and all the leaves are changing color, fall has always been a favorite season.

But now as soon as Oct 1st hits, a weight in the pit of my stomach starts to form.

I have honestly cried everyday this month so far.

No it isn't all the additional stress with school and things with my mom (she's better now, thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers-she is home recovering)

I remember when I was turning 16.  One of my grandpa's had just passed away.  I told my parents that I didn't want to celebrate my birthday.  And my friends got together and contacted my dad and surprised me out at my dad's house one weekend for my birthday (Do you remember this Ash? Dad maybe you do too?).  I was SO PISSED. I turned around and walked out of the room they were in.  I just wanted to be allowed to grieve and it didn't feel right to celebrate my birth, after losing someone important to me.

Well...now multiply that feeling times a million.

My baby boy passed away 5 days before my birthday in 2011.

And I'm supposed to celebrate life?

 When they aren't here.

I told you I can't stop crying either, so that doesn't really put me in the party mood.

In two days, it is also the anniversary of us losing another special person in our lives. Last year we lost Patrick's uncle Mike.  He never made me feel like an outsider, he always treated me like family. So he was my uncle too.  And talk about a love for life. He was ALWAYS smiling and singing, dancing and cooking in the kitchen.

I can honestly tell you, that I really don't care much for this month at all anymore.  I'd be fine with removing it from the calendar completely, but I'm sure other Oct birthday people might have a small problem with that. But I can dislike the month now.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Productive Sunday!

We started the day out right, by walking for Michael at the Annual Spread your Wings Walk (talked about here)

I meant to take a picture, but forgot :(
Here's CBS 58 footage though! See it here

Then, we went to Red Mango where they were running a Fundraiser for the walk.

I mean, it was our duty.  

It was a hard sacrifice, but we did it ;)

Then off home, where I got dinner going.

Green Chile Pork! It was DELICIOUS!

And then canned some salsa! (and man-o-man does that use A LOT of water! I let it cool and then tossed in on the garden!)

AND I even got some studying in!!!

I'm quite pleased :)

What did you get accomplished on Sunday?

Friday, September 27, 2013

What are you doing on Sunday??

Thankfully the Packers have off this week... they need to regroup, and refocus...


Michael <3
we will always remember

Patrick and I will be walking in memory of Patrick's cousin, Michael.  Michael was only 18 when he got into the passenger side of his "friend's" car.  The so-called friend had been drinking and got into a car accident. The car hit a pole and flipped over. The "friend" panicked, as he was also a multiple drunk driving offender, so he left Michael there. Michael died of his injuries.

The "friend" now lives in a jail cell.

Michael's mom, Karen, is a momma bear.  She made sure the charges stuck.  She also made sure that Michael's wishes were fulfilled.  Michael donated his heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and kidneys. All of the people that received his organs are blessed to have a part of Michael. He would have loved to know he helped others. 

Karen also started a yearly walk to give money back to the school system, Fox Point-Bayside, that Michael loved so much.   The Spread Your Wings Walk takes place Sunday, September 29, 2013 at Ellsworth Park (600 E. Ellsworth Ln., Across Street From Bayside Middle School)

Please come walk with us. Walk to remember Michael.  Walk to raise funds for the school system. 

Registration is at 10am and the walk starts at 11am.

Michael's obituary can be found here

Another article about the walk and Michael's little brother Rob found here

Monday, September 23, 2013

Follow up on "Love You Forever"

I posted here about how much I love this book and I just learned something new about it that makes me cry even more.

Some people think the part about the mother climbing into her grown son's window is creepy.  I didn't take it literally.  I read it as, the love she has for her son as unconditional and the love a mother has for her child even when they are grown and gone.  That she still sees her baby (even as her son has grown up), and in her mind she will always be rocking that sweet, baby boy.

A friend posted a related link about the book on her facebook page and I wanted to see what it was about. 

On Robert Munsch's (the author) website he writes, 

"Love You Forever started as a song.
“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
I made that up after my wife and I had two babies born dead. The song was my song to my dead babies. For a long time I had it in my head and I couldn’t even sing it because every time I tried to sing it I cried. It was very strange having a song in my head that I couldn’t sing."

And now it makes EVEN more sense why I love this book as much as I do.  And why I connected with it.  I felt strange in a way because I didn't get to watch my boys grow old, and go through everything that happened in the book, yet the book really hit a note with me.  And now I know why.  Because it actually came from a place of pain and grief.  So I no longer feel silly finding comfort in my grief with this book.  I no longer feel silly for crying every time I read it.  Thank you Robert Munsch for being brave enough to tell the story behind the song and book.  

You can see his page here

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy Anniversary Honey!

Three years ago, I was getting my hair done and eating a asiago cheese bagel.

Three years ago, you were waking up at Brad's apartment and running to Alterra for coffee.

I could not wait to walk down the aisle and see you standing there, waiting for me.

I could not wait to say and hear the vows we wrote to each other.

Three years ago, I married my best friend. To have and to hold. Through good times and bad.

We have had our share of both.

I truly believe us fighting through the muck together and coming out on top, is a true testament of us living up to those vows.  It is a true testament of our love for each other, and to our family.

Patrick, I love you more and more after every passing day.