Me a.k.a. the Weed Murderer

A few weeks ago, I was spending some time tending Callie’s garden.  I had brought some Roundup spray with me to kill some of the repeat offenders that kept popping up and was quietly working on spraying each patch of crabgrass one at a time, thinking about Callie and this crazy journey we have been on as I went along.  After a few minutes, some preschool children came out of the church for outdoor playtime.  Quickly, I became the object of their curiosity.

“Whatcha doin’?” they asked.

“I’m spraying the weeds,” I replied.


“So that I can make room for the good plants.”


“Because weeds make the garden sick.”


“Well, the weeds take away the stuff that the good plants need to grow.”


It was then that I briefly questioned my sanity for switching grade levels to preschool.  I had fallen for the “why” trap and I couldn’t get out!  Thinking I was clever, I tried answering a question with a question…

“Why do you think?” I asked.

“Why are the weeds bad?” a little boy asked back.  Clearly, I had been outplayed.

“Yeah, why do you have to kill them?” said another.  Several children echoed their sentiments.  “Yeah!  Why?”

There I stood, a killer.  Slaying innocent plants for the sole vain purpose of keeping up visual appearances.  For a moment, I actually considered the morality of what I was doing.  And then I remembered that these kids were three and could also make me question the morality of teeth brushing, bed time, and eating fruits and vegetables.

I chuckled and remembered that sometimes the best way to handle the “why” question is with humor…. so I told them I was going to quit pulling the weeds so the garden would turn into a jungle with monkeys in it.  They laughed and ran away.

…But they got me thinking about those weeds.  Are they really so bad?

Weeds are tough.  They can dig deep in the most unlikely of places and plant roots.  They blossom in dirty sidewalk cracks or thrive in the hottest of summer heat waves.  They are resilient.  No matter where that seed gets planted, they bloom.  They remind me of my favorite expression, one that I’ve seen echoed from Kelle Hampton to Joel Olsteen….  bloom where you are planted.

You might be planted in a beautiful field of wildflowers or in a tiny crack of pavement, it doesn’t matter.  Bloom!  Thrive!  Live!

I didn’t want to be planted someplace ugly.  But, that’s where the wind carried me.  So guess what?  I’m blooming.

The next time I see a sunny yellow dandelion poking up through the ground, I am going to try and look at it through the lens of a child.  Beautiful flower, not ugly weed.  It’s shining against the odds, just daring you to squirt some extra strength Roundup on it because honey, bring it.  No weed killer, suffocating heat, or rocky soil can stop it.  It will always see opportunities, dare to dream, and make the most of its tiny patch of dirt.  Because this tiny patch of dirt?  It’s all we’ve got.  And we better start loving it.



I Lost It!

I lost it!  The baby weight, I lost it!  Today, my scale finally showed me the number I last remember seeing before getting pregnant with Callie.  I was starting to think it was stuck!

For my weight loss, I’d like to thank the Academy, my supportive husband, the Couch to the 5K,, Zumba for making me shake my ass off- literally, yoga, fruits, vegetables, egg white breakfast sandwiches, the b**** from the grocery store, Lily & Daisy for lots of long walks, and oh yeah, the big guy himself- God!!  With Him, all things are possible.

A teeny part of me actually feels a bit sad.  Not sure why.  Maybe because it was the last physical reminder that she was here?  But, mostly I feel proud 🙂 I’m healthier now than I was before.  I exercise regularly and eat better too (for the most part).  I can thank Callie for these things.  Every time I was about to give up, I would imagine all the things she went through in her short life.  And then I would realize that I was being a total wuss, tell myself to suck it up and keep going.

So what now?  I’m going to focus on keeping it up after I go back to work.  I think that will be a big challenge for me because I tend to make a lot of excuses when I’m tired after working a full day.  (Don’t we all?)

Thanks for all of your encouragement and love along the way.



Molly Bears

A while back, a neighbor friend of mine told me about Molly Bears.  This amazing organization creates teddy bears for families who have suffered the loss of a baby.  The bears weigh exactly the same as your angel baby.  I remember holding Callie.  The weight of her balanced in my arms, rather than in my tummy.  I smelled her hair and kissed her nose.  I tried to burn that memory into my mind so that I would always remember her scent, her cute chin, her long delicate fingers, and the way she felt in my arms.  After she passed away, there was no more gut-wrenching feeling than having her removed from my grasp.  Suddenly light again, the emptiness I felt is indescribable.  I cry every time I remember those last moments together and I hated leaving her in that hospital room, wrapped up in a swaddling blanket, as I was wheeled away by my husband.  She was no longer with us, but I wanted to hold her forever.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wrapped up a teddy bear in Callie’s blanket and pretended it was her.  I rock her and talk to her.  But it’s not the same.

I cannot wait to receive my Callie bear.  I want to feel her weight in my arms again.  To remember what it felt like.

Molly Bears is currently doing a teddy bear drive.  If you are interested in helping fill a grieving mother and father’s arms, please consider donating a new teddy bear to the Molly Bear organization.  There are no color/size restrictions, but most of the bears that they create are 14-19″ so that size would be much appreciated.  If John and I donate 10 or more bears, our names will be moved up the very long waiting list so that Callie’s bear will be created in September.  We are hoping to get much more than that in memory of our sweet sunshine angel.  Every bear you donate will be loved on and appreciated more than you know.  If you live in the Ashburn area, shoot me an email ( if you are interested in donating and I can come pick up your bear before Aug. 10th.  If you do not live here or you prefer to mail your bear directly to Molly Bears please mail it to one of the addresses below:

Northern United States: Molly Bears, 1443 Central Drive, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

Southern United States: Molly Bears, 258 N. Pierce Street, El Cajon, CA 92020

If you are a friend/loved one of ours and you would like the bear to be in Callie’s memory, please include a memo with your bear that mentions this.

Thanks so much for your support!