Sunday, March 6, 2011

Never Ever Give Up in Life

Pause music from blog before starting video :0)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Refiner of Silver

This post is maybe considered a continuation of my last post.  A great story about why we may be called to experience trials.

Malachi 3:3 "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a scripture study class and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next class. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a peice of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot, then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy- when I see my image in it."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bad Things + Good People = WHY?

Why do bad things happen to good people?  Sometimes it's hard to wrap my head around this, especially when it comes to my faith.  We are taught that if we live righteously and do what we are supposed to do, then we will be blessed.  Okay, that sounds great in theory.  How then do you explain why horrible things happen to "good" people?  I did everything I was "supposed" to do and my son still died.  Why?  Was I not righteous enough?  I remember wrestling with these ridiculous notions after Parker died.

Why are some parents faced with the trial of burying more than one child?  It is so hard for me to see good people suffer through horrible afflictions.  I just want to fix everything.  More than anything, I wish I could suffer for them so they wouldn't have to feel the loss, the longing, the horrible pain.  Nobody should have to lose a child.  Nobody should have to feel that ache.  Let alone have to suffer through it twice

A friend of mine buried her baby boy about two years ago.  And for whatever reason, Heavenly Father just called her second child back to heaven (another baby born premature).  Why?  She is the most loving, giving, serving person I've ever met.  She lights up the room.  She will be an amazing mother when she finally is given the opportunity to raise a child.  Why would Heavenly Father take a baby away from someone so utterly amazing?  It hardly seems fair.

But then I look at the eternal view of things.  I already know that infants who die are the choicest spirits of our Heavenly Father.  All these choice spirits needed to pass this earthly test is to receive a body.  That's all.  They just needed to receive a body.  I can just imagine our premortal existence.  I can picture these sweet spirits.  They knew they only needed a body, and we were honored to give it to them.  I'm sure my friend was at the first of the line to say, "I'll have the honor of giving you a body!"

I still don't know why bad things have to happen to good people.  However, I do know that those bad things have the opportunity to make us better people.  Stronger people.  More righteous people.  I also know that when we experience bad things, it makes us better able to have empathy towards others.  We are better able to comfort others and console them.  And if I can make one person's burden even the slightest bit lighter, I am overjoyed. 

I love each and every one of my friends who've lost a child.  I feel so close to them.  I've also made many new connections because of my loss.  It's amazing how close you can feel to someone who's gone through something similar.  It's AMAZING how the Lord brings these people into our lives.  The Lord DOES love us.  Even if we're called to experience something awful, Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of our torment.  He will never leave us alone.  He is with us every moment of every day.  We are in His every thought and he will never ask us to bear more than what He knows we can handle. 

Although I can't say I'm thankful my son died, I can say that I'm thankful for what I've been taught.  I'm thankful for the people I've met.  I'm thankful for the strength the Lord gives me, even now.  I can see many wonderful fruits of my trial.  And though I'm nowhere near where I should be, losing Parker has brought me closer to Heavenly Father.  Parker has given me a goal to reach for: I must live my life as best I can to be worthy to be with him again.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I am very grateful to be pregnant again and I feel even more blessed to be having twins. However, there is one thing that I just hate about being pregnant:

When you are pregnant, suddenly everyone wants to know how many kids you have.

I hate it. People usually ask it in the form of, "So what number does this pregnancy make?" I get asked questions like that at least 4-5 times a week (and that's a lot for someone who's stuck at home on bedrest). In between doctor's visits and testing at the hospital, everyone is always so curious.

I usually try to avoid completely answering the question. I try to make it simple on everyone. I usually say, "I've had two before this" and then hope they don't ask any more questions. However, they usually do. "Oh, so how old are your two at home?" Ugh, now I'm forced to explain that my first was stillborn at full term and that I just have my one daughter at home who is 3 years old.

I hate the reaction because then there is the awkward silence. Sometimes they'll say, "Oh, I'm sorry, that must've been hard." Yes, of course it was hard!

Being pregnant makes me think of Parker even more than normal. I'm forced to talk about him more. I definitely don't mind talking about him, but I hate that he comes up so casually and so often to random strangers. I cherish my memory of him - it was a very special experience to me. So I hate having to sum the whole situation up in the sentence: "My first was stillborn." I'd prefer to talk for hours about how wonderful and perfect and beautiful he was. I'd love to show pictures and explain how amazing it was to hold him and how I'll get to see him again someday. Rather than just shrug him off as some small trial I went through years ago.

I still miss Parker and think about him every day. I will always think of him everyday. I refuse to leave him out of our family when people ask about our kids. He IS my son and he is sealed to me forever. Why on earth would I leave him out?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Should I Say? What Should I Do?

People often ask me what they can do to help someone who has lost a baby. I thought it would be a good thing to post about. Here are some of my ideas:

Ideas for what to say/do when someone has lost a baby:
Some ideas compiled from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

-Say something! When we lost our Parker there were so many people who didn't dare say anything to us because they didn't know what to say. Friends would avoid us if they saw us at the store. You don't need to preach to us or say something profound. Usually what means the most is, "We're thinking of you" or "You're in our prayers" or "We love you". And if you really can't think of anything to say, just hug us and hold us. We'll feel your love.

-Don't avoid them. I know it's hard to know the right words to say, but just being there for them so they can cry on your shoulder means more than you'll ever know.

-Please don't say that you know how we feel because you don't; unless you too, have also experienced the death of a child. And if you have, please share your story with them and be patient while they share theirs.

-It's great that people say, "Let me know if you need anything," but let's be honest here: most people are not going to call you, even if they really need something. You need to take the initiative and just DO something. When our son died, one friend called me and said, "I'm bringing you a soda and a candy bar. What's your favorite kind?" Other friends rented some movies for us to watch and brought us some homemade popcorn. These two things meant the WORLD to me. Take the initiative and just do something for them.

-If you are running errands, call to see if they need anything from the store.

-Let them know that the death of their baby affected you, also. Validate their child's life. Let them know you are sad.

-Let them share their story with you. Over and over again if necessary. Sometimes, they need to keep going over the details until they seem real.

-Send them a card. Let them know you are thinking of them and care about them.

-Give them something with their child's name on it. An ornament, a magnet, a figurine. Seeing or hearing your child's name means the world to any parent, but especially parents who have lost their child.

-If they have other children, please remember them. The siblings will be grieving also. Offer to take them on an outing, because it takes some time for the parents to face the reality that "life goes on."

-Please arrange meals for the family. Not only did they just have a baby, but they are also grieving. Cooking will be the last thing they want to worry about.

-Remember the baby on his/her birthday. Mark the birth date of the baby on your calendar so you can send a note or call. It makes me smile when people call and say, "I was thinking of Parker today". It means so much to me when people remember his special day. Just to hear the name of my baby or to see it in print gives me comfort.

-Offer to come over to throw a load of laundry in the wash, or other light-duty house work.

-Give a gift basket just for mom. Bubble bath, shower gel, stress relieving soaks, candles, etc. You could also give lounge clothing and a box of chocolates or other sweets.

-Plan a pamper night for the mom. A good friend of mine said, "We're giving you a make-over!" And they cut my hair, colored it, and made me feel like a queen again.

-If you think about giving them a call or stopping over for a visit, don't think about it - just do it. I can't tell you how many people I've had come up to me and say, "I wanted to call you or stop by, but...."

-Don't tell them their child is in a better place. How could anywhere be better than in mother's arms? Although this comment is well-intended, it can still hurt more than you know.

-Acknowledge their pain. Also acknowledge their strength. Many people would try to minimize my experience by saying, "At least you didn't get to know him, that would have been worse." Or they'd say things like, "He never took a breath? Oh, then he wasn't alive" or "At least you can have more children." Any mother can tell you that you love your child like crazy before they are even born. And any mother who has felt a child move inside her can attest to the fact that her child is/was, in fact, alive. And no matter how many children you have, you can never replace the one you lost. I appreciated those who acknowledged how hard my loss was for me and also complimented me on how strong I must have been to get through it.

-Give them helpful books. If they are religious, buy them a book that pertains to their beliefs and that will offer them comfort. Find quotes from their prophets and church leaders that will help them through.

-Write the baby a note. I know it seems weird, but at my son's funeral we had people write letters to our son and then we kept them. I love being able to read back on them now. It also helps solidify that my child was real and that others loved him, too.

-Just be there for them. Let them cry when they need to cry. Hold them when they need a hug. Don't run from them when they shed their tears. It is a difficult thing to ask, but it lets them know you care.


I'm sure there are many, MANY more helpful things you could do to help someone who has experienced loss. These were just a few ideas. Hopefully they will help you help others.

Please feel free to leave comments and offer more ideas/suggestions for things you've done or for things that have comforted you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

When Hello Means Goodbye

Five years. It's been five years to the day since my son became an angel. My sweet Parker. It's almost crazy to still be feeling this overwhelming love for my son. Not crazy to me, but maybe crazy to some. After all, I never got to meet him outside of the womb. I never got to hear him cry. I never got to see him smile. I never got to see his beautiful eyes look up at me. And yet, I love him as deeply, as purely, as completely as I do my Hayley. My heart bursts with the love I feel for Parker, especially today.

On this day every year, I let my guard down. I allow myself to be vulnerable. I let the pain back in. Along with that I am able to feel the emotions from that day again - both good and bad. I go through his box, I look at his pictures, and I read all of the old cards, letters, and his obituary. I allow myself to cry. Some years I will listen to his graveside service, but most years I can't bring myself to do it. Some emotions are better to stay distanced from.

I never would have imagined that the day I first met my son would also be the day I'd have to say goodbye to him. I never imagined that I'd be saying Hello and Goodbye in the same breath.

It's hard to wrap my mind around the idea that he would be five years old today. He'd be playing t-ball and soccer, he'd be teaching his little sister how to pump her legs on the swings, he'd be waving goodbye to me as he left for his first day of school.

I know that I will see him again and for this reason I rejoice. I still miss him like crazy though and I love him with all of my heart. I love you, Parker. Always, forever, no matter what.

Happy 5th Birthday in Heaven, my sweet son.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Please Don't Tell Them . . .

Please Don't Tell Them You Never Got to Know Me
by Pat Schwiebert

It is I whose kicks you will always remember
I who gave you heartburn that a dragon would envy
I who couldn't seem to tell time
and got your days and nights mixed up
It is I who acknowledged your craving for peach ice cream
by knocking the cold bowl off your belly
I who went shopping and helped you pick out
the perfect teddy bear for me
I who liked to be cradled in your belly
and rocked off to dreamy slumber by the fire
It is I who never had a doubt about your love
It is I who was able to put a lifetime of joy into an instant.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Little Hands

When my son died, I was given a precious gift. A lady in town made a plaster cast of Parker's hands. I was so grateful for this gift because it was something tangible that I could look at every day and remember my son. I can remember just how perfect his little hands were. For years I've wished I could properly thank this kind lady for making this for me. About a month ago, I finally got my chance.
I was working at the bookstore when I overheard an employee helping a customer. It was a man and he was giving the employee his name and address so he could be put into our rewards system. I heard the last name and immediately recognized it as the last name of the woman who made my precious gift. I noticed a woman standing with the man and so I walked over to the register. I asked her first name and then realized it was the woman who I've been wanting to thank.
I asked her if she was the lady who made the plaster cast of the hands of babies who died. She told me yes. I told her that she made some for me when my son died. She completely remembered who I was, and she even remembered where I had lived at the time. That was amazing to me since it has almost been five years.
I suddenly felt overwhelmed with emotion. Not only was I feeling a deep love and sense of gratitude for the gift this lady had given me, but I also felt extremely touched that she was one of the very few people who was able to hold my son in this life. That is so special to me to know that she saw my son and that she held him.
My eyes filled with tears as I expressed my gratitude for what she did for me. I explained to her that it is my absolute most-prized possession. I asked if I could give her a hug and she welcomed it. I hope she knows how much her act of service means to me.
After she left I completely broke down and cried. I had to run to the backroom and take a few minutes to compose my emotions. I'm not sure why the whole thing made me cry. Maybe it was because I finally got to thank her. Maybe it's because the gift means so much to me. Maybe it's because she knew my son. Maybe it's because she remembered him after all this time. I guess it could be a culmination of all those things. Either way, I welcomed the tears, I cherished the memory. It's okay to cry when you need to. Even if it's been almost five years. Tears are healing and therapeutic. They help me feel close to my son.
In short, I just feel truly blessed to have been able to finally thank this kind lady. I cherish this gift every day. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to meet her. Thank you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Missing You


I've been missing you so much lately. It's been quite some time since I've just let my tears flow. However, the other day I found myself crying in the shower. Missing you. Missing you like crazy. It just hit me like a load of bricks. I lost it.

Your memory was so clear and fresh in my head. Your sweet face, your curly hair, your little toes. You felt close. Closer than usual. It hurt. My heart ached for you. I want to hold you again. I'm feeling that deep longing again. I want to see you. I want to rock you. I want to run my fingers across your face.

I'm wrestling with emotions that I haven't felt for awhile. Pain. A broken heart.

I know I'll get to hold you again, but I've been weak lately. I've been missing you too much. I love you and no amount of time will ever erase that love. A mother's love never lessens.

Although this fresh reminder of the pain hurts, I'll take it. I'll take as much of it as I can get as long as it helps me feel closer to you - if even by an inch.

Missing you. Loving you always.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I attended a funeral today. It was a beautiful graveside service. Everything was beautiful. Funerals always make me think of Parker. My heart always aches for the family as I remember the powerful emotions I felt at Parker's graveside service. I really do think I was still in shock on the day that we buried him. I never in a million years would have thought that I would be burying my first child. It hurt. Bad. Still does.

I almost feel like I'm a seasoned vet at being around death and at funerals. The first loss I experienced was when my older brother (and best friend) died. He was almost 12 and I was eight. That one was hard, but I was young enough that I didn't quite understand it all. After my brother died, it seemed like I went to a funeral every single year. Uncles, great-grandparents, cousin, grandparents, etc. It felt like the domino effect.

Then a month before I got married, my real dad passed away. Yes, my real dad made a lot of dumb choices, but he was still my dad. And I loved him VERY much. That loss was harder than most people realized. But I got through it. I always do.

I think all of my losses helped me know how to manage my emotions and feelings when Parker died. It was still difficult, but I think I had a better understanding of things since I'd been forced to face death before. And it's definitely nice to have the gospel of Christ to help put everything in perspective.

When my Grandma died almost a year ago, I was able to have some of the neatest, most spiritual experiences. I am grateful for those cherished moments.

Okay, so I'm just rambling now. In short, I'm glad I was able to attend the funeral today. Even if it did bring emotions to the surface. I'm grateful that I could remember my son today and feel a little closer to him. I'm thankful for all the angels in our lives.

Heavenly Father DOES have a special plan for our loved ones who pass away. There is a mighty work in heaven that He needs them for. What an honor to have had these people play a part in our lives.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Count Your Blessings

After Parker died I remember having this insane longing to go to the temple and to church. I was aching to feel close to my Heavenly Father and His love. So although I wasn't physically healed well enough from the delivery to be leaving the house, I decided to brave through the pain and at least attend Sacrament meeting. I sat on a couch out in the hall and listened to the meeting.

We had already had the funeral for my son and I was trying to piece my shattered life back together. Our bishop had attended the funeral and had been a great support to us.

After the sacrament was passed, the bishop got up and expressed his desire to share a few words. He said he felt incredibly prompted to read the words to the song, Count Your Blessings. He read:

Count Your Blessings:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Count your blessings; Name them one by one.
Count your blessings; See what God hath done.
Count your blessings; Name them one by one.

Count your many blessings; See what God hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings; every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged; God is over all.
Count your many blessings; angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

As he read the words, I broke down crying. No, not crying. Bawling.

I felt such a strong connection to that song. Although I can't be certain, I do believe that the bishop was prompted to read these lyrics for my sake. I felt just as the song described: tempest-tossed, discouraged, lost. I felt that my load was too heavy to bear. I knew that this song was giving me direction. It was telling me what to do! Although I was having an incredibly difficult time in my life, this song reminded me to "count my blessings" and so I did just that. My heart was overwhelmed with comfort and peace as I thought of the many blessings in my life.

Lately I have been going through some incredibly difficult struggles. Struggles that are racking at my soul and hurting my heart just like when I lost Parker. Before church a few Sundays ago I had prayed and prayed that I would feel peace during the meeting and that something might speak to me to help heal my heart.

Once again, my bishop (a different bishop than the one before - and a different ward), stood at the pulpit and expressed his desire to share the lyrics to the song, Count Your Blessings.

As he read the words, I wept again. I knew this time without a doubt that these words were for me.

At the two most difficult times in my life, the Lord spoke to me through His messengers. He gave me the same advice both times: Count Your Blessings. How amazing that the Lord really cares about little old me! How comforting to know that He is aware of my problems and that He truly does love me. If I will count my blessings, "every doubt will fly" and "angels will attend" to give "help and comfort" until my "journey's end." How comforting!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Dreaded Question...

"How many kids do you have?"

For most people it's an easy question. For me it's full of heartache and hurt and longing. I still can't bring myself to leave out my son in the tally. But then if I add him in the tally then I am forced to explain that he died. And I most definitely don't mind talking about that, but it always makes the asker-of-the-question get uncomfortable. I'm sure anyone who has lost a child will understand how hard this is.

If I answer by saying, "One" then I feel like I am leaving my sweet Parker out. And he IS my son. I HAVE TWO CHILDREN. Granted, one might be in heaven, but I do in fact have TWO children.

I know it might seem like a little thing to you, but it's a hard thing for me. Maybe one day I'll get to the point where I can just answer the question without counting Parker so I can avoid having to explain anything. But as of yet, I can't do it. I don't want to do it. He is my son and he will forever be my son. So maybe it's not my problem at all. Maybe the person asking the question just needs to be more comfortable with how I answer it. Ha ha, what do you think?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard

I hate "trying." Actually, I really hate it. For any of you that have fertility problems, you know what I'm talking about and you would most likely agree with me - hands-down. It's not fun or easy. I hate having to take my temperature every morning. It's even more frustrating on days when I forget or take it late. And the most frustrating thing of all is when my temperature never rises (meaning I didn't ovulate). I hate taking four different medicines just to make my body do something that it should do on its own. And even worse, I hate it when those medicines don't work! Ahh!

I know this is a downer post, but I figure I can express my feelings on subjects like these on this blog more-so than my family blog. Plus, I'm really not one to share my business with others. I seriously hate it when people know that we are trying to get pregnant. We haven't ever told anyone when we were actually trying. I just hate the pressure. Because then every time you get together for family functions everyone is always waiting for the "big announcement," which in my case rarely happens. Or when you aren't feeling well one day everyone assumes you are pregnant. Grrr. But I figure everyone knows that we are wanting another baby since we already were pregnant and miscarried.

If life were easy then we'd all get pregnant when we wanted to. Hey, wait, some people actually can get pregnant when they want to. Don't you love that? It seems like some people just wash their underwear together and they get pregnant. I'm not mad at those who are lucky in the baby-making department, it's just hard to swallow sometimes.

If life were easy, it wouldn't be hard. But I guess in the "hard" parts of life that's when we truly learn and grow. I know that I appreciate my daughter tons more than if I would have conceived her right away. So I do understand why we each have our own trials. I understand that I've learned patience and trust and reliance. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and it's better than any plan I could have conjured up for myself. I am grateful that He sees things that I cannot and that He guides my life. I understand and appreciate all that. But I can't be strong all the time (hence, the reasoning behind having to vent in a post).

So even though I understand it all, I still long for a baby. I want one! I want one now! I feel like the bratty girl on the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie when she sings, "Don't care how, I want it NOW!" ...Of course right after she says that she falls down the chute to the garbage disposal...hmm...maybe there's a parallel there that I should be learning from. Nah, I want a baby!

Why does trying have to be so complicated and emotionally draining?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Parker's Birthday Pics

Here are some pics from us visiting Parker's grave a few days before his birthday: