I have totally been slacking on the blog here but things have been a bit busy around my house ;) to say the least.
Winnie turned 1 just the other week and we had a sweet little family party for her. She loved her cake but I am pretty sure Abe and Burke loved it even more :) she is growing up so fast. About a month ago she decided to take her first steps to her favorite person Uncle J. We thought for sure she would be walking by her first birthday but she hasn't totally decided to take the plunge! She is super fast on her knees so that is where she has stayed. :)
One of her new things is to point and say "dat"! She wants to show us everything that she sees. I took her to the doctor the other day. I laughed when the doctor came in and she started pointing at every thing. She was as sick as a dog but still happy. He was really impressed saying that most babies don't start doing that till they are 14-15 months. :) The pointing all started in her room when we would get her out of her crib to change her diaper. On her changing table we have 2 of the willow creek statues. One is Remember and it was given to us after Mamie died and the other is Hope which Taylor gave to me when we were pregnant with Burke. It was pretty cool that Winnie started pointing those out to us. She loves to point them out but we don't let her play with them :) The other day I was walking through our room and she was on my hip. She started pointing at Mamie's picture on our wall. I took her close and said "that is Mamie, your big sister. She touched the picture with her tiny little fingers and then looked back at me and smiled. Wow.....
Burke is 2 1/2 now and so fun. I mean he is always fun but he is turning into a little person and loves to help and ask questions. Every day he says, "let me help you mommy! he wants to help with fixing his cereal, feeding Gus, cooking dinner, taking out the trash, etc. I hope he always stays this helpful! Burke and Winnie are really starting to interact with each other. Winnie loves to take one of Burke's toys and speed crawl away from him while he chases her. She gets the biggest kick out of that. They love to snuggle with each other and we are teaching Winnie to give kisses. She loves to give big kisses to her brother. Burke loves to be outside and on a nice day you can find us out in Mamie's garden. This is his favorite place to play. He loves to take his truck and digging tools out there.
As for me, things have been pretty much the same. MPP and the little ones are keeping me super busy. I retired from wedding a year ago and it has been so wonderful. Don't get me wrong, I loved photographing weddings and all the people I met but after losing Mamie my perspective on life and what was most important (family) changed. I have to tell you God does truly listen. About a year and a half ago we were planning our first 5k race, I was still shooting weddings, Burke was about to turn 1 and we had NO idea that there would be a little bun in the oven (Winnie) soon after. I had not told anyone but Taylor that I was wanting to retire from weddings when a new home business dropped in our laps. I was actually pretty upset with the idea of Britney going to hear about the opportunity with R+F because I knew how busy we were with getting ready for the race. When she explained to me about the business and everything that is behind it I had to jump in. Fast forward to now, I have been able to retire from wedidng and focus my time on the kids and MPP. What a blessing!!!!!!
MPP is growing super fast. I never would have thought we would be where we are today just 4 short years ago. We could have never done what we have done with out our God. He has truly had his hand on this mission from day one. We are now in 17 hospitals around Arkansas as well as LeBonouer in Memphis, which like Children's here in LR. We offer a plate to every family no matter what age their child is. And then we also have our plates in St. Michael's in Texarkana, TX. Our goal is to have them across the country in 10 years. MPP is a true labor of love. No one gets paid. Every bit of what we bring in goes right back out to these families at no charge. We are so very thankful and blessed for all the love and dedication we have received from all of the people that help with our mission. :) We are planning our 3rd Race to Remember 5K that will be this June 14th at Dickey Stephens Park. I am SO so SO very excited about it. What a special day for families and friend to get together and remember all of the precious little ones that have passed. It is an amazing day just to see everyone and connect with those that understand. This year we are pumped because we were able to set up team fund raising for families that want to raise funds for MPP. Through lots of trial and error I think we are good to go and it is up and running :) Yahoo!!!
So while I was waiting at the airport in LR for my flight to Denver (Taylor and I are having a date weekend) I ran into a friend that I haven't seen or had time to really sit down and visit with in a long time. Since both of our flights were an hour out we got to enjoy some adult conversation and coffee. (much needed) She shared with me how much my blog and my openness has helped her. She has a family member that just lost a baby and no one in the family is handling it in the best way. They have been avoiding and wanting to sweep it under the rug. When she told me how much my blog has helped her and her family member that really made me want to get on here and just talk. If I can help one person with my honest experience how do I know that I couldn't help another. Grief is such a tricky thing. You never follow a pattern. I remember getting all the papers in my grief packet from the hospital and it explained what I would be feeling 1-3 mths out 4-6 mths etc. I remember looking at that thinking when will I ever get to that happiness. Will there every be happiness. Now looking back I still have to catch my breath thinking about it. The only way I can explain the feelings I had was I felt like I was drowning and I couldn't come up for air. I had the most amazing support system and I thank God for them every day. When people say, I just don't know what to say. You know what there is nothing you can say. Just be there, let them know you are thinking of them and that you remember. We feel so alone during that time and just being there to listen and let us cry is all we need. It doesn't matter if it was a still birth, infant death or a child that passed away at 20, 30, or 40. They are still our children and all mothers feel the same. We want our children to be remembered and not pushed to the side like they never existed.
I have to go, my plane is landing.
Love and blessings,