Callie’s 2nd Birthday

Have you ever stopped and listened to the lyrics of You Are My Sunshine?

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray,
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don’t take my sunshine away…

To my ears, it ends with a desperate plea:  Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Why did she have to go?

The second verse:

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you in my arms,
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken,
So I hung my head and cried…

My very last thought every night for the past two years is of holding you in my arms, Callie.  As I settle into dreams, I often pretend I can see you.

Can you see me?  

2:37 a.m. this morning marked two years since your birth on January 27, 2012.  This is our song.  It is a happy song, but one with a sad ending.  I wish I could change the lyrics, but then it wouldn’t be our song anymore, would it?

Happy birthday in heaven sweet girl.  You are loved.  You are missed.  You mattered.  You were here.

Now, you are there.

…But remain forever in our hearts.

Please Wear Yellow for Callie: Jan. 27-28th

 

Please wear yellow in Callie’s memory tomorrow and Tuesday.  It would mean a lot.  And please go do something nice for someone else.

 

Thank you so much for the thoughts, prayers, cards, and gifts.  We are lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.

 

I will always carry you, Callie.  All my life.

Charlotte’s Time Capsule: 9 Months

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For some reason, 9 months feels really big.  Charlotte has almost been in the world longer than she was inside the womb.  Lately when I look at her, she just seems so much bigger.  Here’s what’s happening now in Charlotte’s world:

-  This month, Charlotte celebrated her first Christmas (which you can read about here)

-She is officially ON THE MOVE!  Army crawling is her preferred method of transportation.  It’s amazing how fast she can move by just dragging herself along…and it’s quite comical!

-Now Charlotte can get into a sitting position from lying down all by herself.  It was quite a surprise to find her in her crib like this:

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-Those chunky little legs are getting stronger every day.  Charlotte has stood unassisted for short stretches of time (and by short, I mean like 5 seconds!).

-This month, we started swim class with our little fish.  She absolutely loves putting her face in the water to get toys and splashing and kicking the water.  swim1

-A few weeks ago, Charlotte gave her Daddy a wave goodbye.  She won’t recreate it on demand, but we do catch her waving to the dogs quite a bit ;-)

-We experienced our first illness with Charlotte this month…the flu!  I can’t believe she made it nine months without getting sick since she has two parents who work in schools and goes to daycare.  We thank our lucky stars for that, but it was still SO sad to see her feeling bad.  (I won’t lie though…I did enjoy the extra snuggles!)

Thanks so much for all the yellow acts of kindness this month!  I’m so excited to share a wrap-up of them later.  You have no idea how much it means to us.  xoxo

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge: Best Faces of 2013

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When I saw this contest come up, I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring ;-)  Here is my favorite little face.  Charlotte was definitely the best thing that happened to me in 2013.  This IHeartFaces challenge is being judged by Kelle Hampton, whose blog I absolutely adore.  I found it after we lost Callie when I stumbled across her birth story for her sweet little Nella.  She is a wonderful writer and has a great book called Bloom.  You should pick it up!

Keep your fingers crossed for me! xoxo

Oh, and thank you SOOOO much to those of you who have already sent me your “yellow” acts of kindness this month.  One friend passed a yellow air freshener to the car in line behind her after she paid for their carwash!  How cute is that???.  I can’t tell you how much it means to us.

If you want to enter a photo to the contest too, go to the iHeartFaces website!

Kindness for Callie: January is Yellow Month

January belongs to Callie.

And for that reason, this month’s Kindness for Callie theme is YELLOW!

Some ideas for some yellow acts of kindness:

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  • Give someone a box of sunshine:  My friend Brittany did this for me after we lost Callie and it was such a sweet act of kindness that completely brightened my day.
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example of a box of sunshine

  • Send someone an anonymous bouquet of yellow flowers.  Some great options are sunflowers, roses, carnations, tulips, or daisies.
  • Bake some “smiley” cookies as a surprise for someone.  They are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

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  • Buy some yellow study materials like highlighters and post-it notes and mail them to a college student living away from home.  All college kids love getting a random package in the mail!
  • Bright yellow school bus drivers do an important job…and it’s not easy!  Show them some love by handing them a hot chocolate at the bus stop.

Do you have any other “yellow” ideas for Kindness for Callie this month?  Please share them in the comments below!

Don’t forget to hand out a K4C card and send me an email if you would like your act of kindness to go on the blog!  I can keep it just between me and you if you’d rather not share it, but I love hearing all the ways that Callie’s life is touching others and making people’s days just a little bit more sunshiny!

 

2013: A Love Letter and New Year’s Resolutions

Dear 2013,

Last year as 2012 came to a close, I prayed that you, 2013, would have mercy on me.  I was afraid to hope and dream, but I did anyway.

This year was different.  This year was better.  This year, my world changed-  for the better.

2013, thank you.  Each day in your calendar was a blessing.  You have quieted my anxieties and let my hopes and dreams run wild.  I would have never imagined that I could feel this way again.

You were the year of the rainbow.

Thank you for sprinkling in so many days of sunshine, yellow flowers, and butterflies.  Thank you for all the quiet moments when I was truly present and the most alive.  Thank you for the noisy ones too-  loud cries and echoing laughter- noises I so longed for.

Last year, I couldn’t turn the page fast enough on 2012.  This year, I’m wishing for more hours in each day just to stretch out this magical time.

2013- I will miss you.

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I have some new resolutions for 2014.  Last year, we started the Kindness for Callie project as a way to honor Callie and spread random acts of kindness in her memory.  I was moved to tears by the response to K4C.  I have to admit though, that a little 7lb, 3oz bundle of joy kind of affected my productivity and somehow, I wasn’t quite as prolific with my kindness in the second half of the year.

In 2014, my first resolution is that I’d like to do at least one random act of kindness a month.  To help myself stick with it, I’ve created a monthly theme (thanks to Lindsay V. for that idea!).  I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to join me in our Kindness for Callie project this year.  Doing one act of kindness a month is totally manageable and will be so good for your soul!  As before, if you email me your act of kindness I will add it to the log.  Although I will post the monthly theme at the beginning of each month, I thought I’d give you a preview of what is to come in 2014:

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My second resolution is to actually complete a personal photography project.  I’m hoping to continue to grow with photography because it is something I really love doing.  If you notice me slacking, could you please kindly kick me in the buns and tell me to get crackin’?!?

When I was a kid, I never thought of myself as creative.  I think I mistook being ‘original’ for being ‘creative’.  I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m not always the most original or inventive, but after looking back on the past two years, I realized I actually am really creative.  I love photography, music, writing…even sewing!  This leads me to my third resolution… to start seeing myself as an artist, a writer, a photographer.  I am all of those things, even if I’m not the best.  I’ve decided to allow myself to let go of that perfectionist-y attitude so that I can experience the joy of doing things I love without hearing any negative self-talk about it.  I’m pursuing my passions this year and, in 2014, my goal is to carve out time each week for me to delve into these things without guilt.

What are your resolutions this year?

Happy New Year and best wishes for a kind 2014!

This Christmas

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My heart is so full as I sit on the couch cozied up under a blanket listening to the rain.  I cannot even begin to tell you how lovely this Christmas was for us.

We decorated.

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We made cookies.

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We dressed Charlotte up in all sorts of Christmas outfits.

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We did gifts.

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We did family time.

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We filled those holes that were so big and hurt so badly last Christmas.  Charlotte did that for us.  If I had not received a single thing under the tree, it would not have mattered.  I would have been completely content with the gift of her life, love, and laugh.

But even still, there was still one hole left behind that wasn’t filled by Santa or decorations, cookies or gifts.  I found myself wondering often this holiday season… What if?  

What if she were still here?  What if we had known?  What would we be doing with Callie right now? 

We will never know.  And those unanswered questions hurt sometimes.

On Christmas Day, John and I went to Callie’s garden alone with a yellow rose.  As we left it there for her, I thanked Callie for giving us Charlotte Grace. Without Callie, Charlotte would not be here.  And I can’t imagine our Christmas Day without her dimpled smile and squeals of delight.

Christmas was wonderful this year.  Merry Christmas to my angel in heaven, my rainbow on earth, my amazing hubby and wonderful family and friends.

xoxo