Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas From The.....

Allens? What do you put on a card when you have lost a child? This is a question that arises each time I sign a card whether birthday or Christmas. Sometimes I put Evan's name on it and other times I just put the Allens. It doesn't seem fitting to leave his name off when he is still our child, just not physically present.

We have not sent out Christmas cards since December 2007. That was the last Christmas that Evan spent with us. This year I decided it was time to take photos and send the cards. Being an overwhelming emotional task Nate and I decided to make a laugh out of it. Then we couldn't decide whether to include first names, last names, etc.

This is the photo and the message. We didn't include any names...

From Our Misfits To Yours....

Have A Merry Christmas And A Blessed New Year

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Candle In The Window

Sunday, December 12th was the world wide candle lighting led by the Compassionate Friends Group. For those who do not know what that is, it is the support/grief group for parents who have lost children of any age. Of course this is the club that nobody wants to be in. So every year the candle lighting begins at 7:00 p.m.

Here is our candle in honor of Evan...

A big thanks to all those who lit and candle for Evan and sent us pictures. It means so much to us that people remember Evan!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Grief Monster (Written In My Own Self Pity)

Nathan and I had some much needed time alone the other night as we drove an hour to retrieve a Santa gift for Noah. We just needed time to connect and this usually means reflecting on our life together and the tragedy we have come to know quite well.

Grief is like a monster always lurking around us. In my honest opinion it is like the Devil always rearing his head in the midst of provoking sin. Unlike the Devil we can't fight this awful monster. Nathan and I agreed that we are stuck in this life with the monster who has taken control over our lives. At least that is how I feel at times. Sometimes I feel trapped in a dark room with no way out and no one to hear my screams. Sure we have our good days but even on our best days there is a shadow of sadness that looms in every part of our being.

When we wake up in the morning there is again the realization that this is not a dream. I pass Evan's dark, empty room each morning as I walk down the hallway to get the boys. Everything in his room is just as he left it with his little toys sitting on shelves and his clothes folded neatly in the drawers. His little pajamas from the night before he passed away are sitting on the bed unwashed. I often find myself just laying on his bed holding his jammies close to me, as his smell is all I have left to hold onto. His toothbrush is sitting on his dresser with remnants of toothpaste between the bristles. I sometimes sit in my own self pity and cry wondering how this became our life. This is the life of grief.

I leave to take Noah to school and always pass a school bus or two reminded that I didn't put Evan on the bus. I pass the funeral home on my way to Noah's school where I stood next to my precious child laying in a casket for hours on end. We attend church were I touched his little face one last time as the funeral directer slowly closed him in, knowing that I would never again get to touch his soft skin or hold him in my arms. While on our way to St. Louis the other night we passed the cemetery where he is buried. It was dark, cold, and pouring rain. I said to Nate "there's our sweet little boy".

People often tell me how strong I am and the fact is I am not at all. The strength that I do have comes from God and each day I pray for Him to help me put one foot in front of the other. Some days are certainly easier than others. Nathan and I remind ourselves that we are so blessed and have so much to be grateful for. The two wonderful little boys that we have here on earth is the medicine that keeps us going.

The other morning while having coffee with a dear friend she reminded me that our story makes her appreciate her children even more. This is such a wonderful thing to hear. I hope that people everywhere love their children and make each and every moment count.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Listening to a conversation between two VERY egotistic moms who where competitively bragging about their children.....

Mom #1

My third grader made the honor last quarter!

Mom #2

My third grader got first place in the fundraiser!

Mom #1

My third grader won the talent contest!

Mom #2

My third grader got the "best behavior" award this semester!

And the boasting went on and on...Sure we all love to shine upon our kiddos accomplishments, but I seriously thought I was listing to an episode of "Desperate House Moms" if such a thing exists!

My Thoughts

My third grader is laying in a casket six feet under the ground....sigh...

Right now I would give anything if my third grader was sitting in the principal's office.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Shall Believe!

Yes, the holidays are coming upon us. For parents who have lost a child this typically means lots of tears, heartache, sadness, envy, despair, and whatever horrible feeling one could have. This year as I already see the decor overwhelming the stores I am determined not to feel sad! I keep telling myself that it has to get better and that Evan gets to spend Christmas with Jesus Christ himself. That is truly amazing!

Each time I walk into a store I find myself looking for items to decorate Evan's headstone with. I am searching for a big plastic Santa that can withstand the implementing weather conditions. I also mentioned to Nate that we should decorate the outside of the house this year. We have always done it big in the past and have not since Evan died. That is one of our goals this year! For now I am working on manipulating my brain into believing!

I am going to get excited about the holidays!

I am going to get excited about the holidays!

I am going to get excited about the holidays!

I am going to get excited about the holidays!

Do you think if I say this to myself enough times I might actually start to believe it?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween Evan

Halloween is one of the hardest to get through. I think because Evan loved costumes so much. He dressed up just about everyday and wore them everywhere!

These are our favorite photos of Evan. Happy Halloween sweetheart!
We love you!

The last time we carved pumpkins...

Note: Evan always liked to dress like Daddy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Long Lost Passions

Okay, I admit to being a super lazy blogger lately! I can attribute this to..........uuumm.........still thinking.........or just plain lack of motivation! UGH....

Before Evan passed away I thought of myself as a crafty queen. In essence I LOVED crafts! I loved scrapbooking, painting, and just merely creating things unique. Scrapbooking was where my first and greatest passion was. I was always up to date on just about everything that related to Evan and Noah. I have beautiful books that have become so terribly painful to just sit and look at. It is almost like looking at pictures of someone else's family. The smiles on everyone's face is priceless and I cannot even begin to have that feeling now. Everyone in the photos looks SO happy and on top of the world. That feeling doesn't exist in our world anymore. Don't get me wrong, we still feel happiness but it is certainly scarce. I also despise taking photos and I do it just to get it done. A dear friend of mine set up a scrapbooking week in September. Needless to say this was the first time I sat and attempted to scrapbook. It literally took everything in me to put two pages together and that was on day four! Nonetheless those pages were completed!

I also loved to make baby names for nursery's. I could make them match any theme or decor and they turned out so cute! I just recently completed a set for the same dear friend and I felt such a great sense of accomplishment! In my world it is easy to feel worthless because everything takes so much effort to do and sometimes I just don't get things done. Emotions play such a big part in this.

I am slowly learning that my passion for the things that I once loved is hard to come by. I find myself struggling to find happiness in my past endeavors. As we have learned to create a "new normal" in life I think I need to find new passions!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Hard Lesson Learned

What I have learned from the tragic death of our son...

Bad things really can happen to my family

Time will NOT heal this gaping hole in my heart

Crying everyday is part of my life and that's okay

Grave blankets come in "child size"

Headstones are covered under home owners insurance

That children really can die for no apparent reason

That the coroner and medical examiner aren't the same

To lean on my husband (I am so lucky to have him)

The bond between siblings is unlike any other ( I believe that Noah has a special connection to Evan that we don't)

That a band aid or a kiss won't make Noah's pain any better

I love my sister more than I ever knew

This isn't a dream and I'm not going to wake up

Sleep is overrated

Coffee is a good thing

Life is precious and can be taken away at any moment

We may never know how or why Evan was taken from us

My friends are such a blessing in my life

Grief has many side effects (Hair loss, weight changes, anxiety)

Finding true happiness is a daily struggle

Behind every smile is a fountain of tears

Sitting in the cemetery and pleading for God to send him back doesn't work

It's the things I don't expect that are the hardest

Don't sweat the small stuff

People can and will cause us more pain even after suffering the loss of our son

Sitting in the cemetery in the dark is not scary

I have been referred to as "that mom"

I am no longer scared of dying

That life is NOT fair (Child abusers get to keep their children)

Losing a child is a life sentence

To trust in God and know that He is always there for me!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Special Gift From Far Away...

When I became pregnant with Chase I joined a "Due in January" message board on Cafemom. I have met so many wonderful women who have been such a wonderful support. Last month some of the girls decided to do a book exchange for our babies. We set a $5 price limit and mailed our books. I received the book I'll Love You Forever and another book of manners for Chase. I'll Love You Forever means so much to us as the poem is inscribed on the back of Evan''s headstone. When I found out that Evan was a boy I bought the book and wrote a special message inside. I used to sing the poem to him quite often. Evan and Noah both have a copy and I have been meaning to buy one for Chase, but it has proved to be an emotionally challenging task. I am so grateful that it was just sent in the mail! Now Chase has his very own copy...

A few days later I received the book, Mommy Please Don't Cry...There Are No Tears In Heaven, from the same girl. This is truly one of the sweetest books I have ever read! I am always looking for reassurance that Evan is okay and this book certainly brings some much needed affirmation. Sometimes it is the simplest things in life that bring a smile to my face. A complete stranger from far away decided to do something to make my day a little brighter. It means so much!

Thank you so much Nikki!

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Here is a photo of Evan's first day of Kindergarten...

    It is August and that means the start of school. I have come to dread this time of year. I think it hits me harder than his anniversary date and I am not really sure why. Our school district began school on the 17th. I just wanted to hide from the world all week. I didn't even want to see or hear a school bus! I had to stay off facebook to avoid everyone talking about the teachers their kiddos had. To be honest, I felt like a little kid left out of the game. Everyone got to send their kids off to school except me. I guess you can say that it was mere jealousy. I kept imagining what it would be like to take his picture on his first day of 3rd grade. That will never happen. Thank goodness my reinforcement team showed up for coffee and bagels. I am so blessed with such an amazing group of friends!

    I truly treasure the Kindergarten year that Evan did have. He was blessed with an incredible teacher and I loved being a part of his class! It saddens me to know that Kindergarten is ALL he will have ever had. I wonder if there is school in Heaven?

    Noah's birthday was on Thursday. I literally had to pull myself out of the dumps and pull it together for him. This was not easy and it took every ounce of my emotional strength to get through it. How unfair is this? Every major milestone and/or holiday is riddled with sadness as well has happiness and hope for the future. Noah deserves his birthday to be recognized with enthusiasm and excitement.

    I decided to sink myself into a Superhero cake that Noah so desperately wanted. I am pretty proud of how it turned out!

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Look A Like

    I just wanted to share these pictures of our boys. Each photo was taken between 6 and 7 months of age. Out of the three we are SO amazed at how much Evan and Chase look alike! Chase is slightly bigger than Evan was, but I cannot believe just how much he looks like Evan.





    And Noah.....well we usually say Fed Ex or UPS!

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Well our trip to Hilton Head was almost two months ago. I had worked myself up to taking a family portrait and actually quite content with how it turned out. Now here is it is two months later and it is beautifully framed and still sitting on the floor. I keep looking at the last family photo we had taken and cannot bring myself to replace it. We all looked so happy and on top of the world. I look at the photo and wonder what it would be like to actually be that happy again. More importantly we had Evan. We were living life with our two beautiful little boys and couldn't have been any more grateful! We had light in our eyes and the glow on our faces showed it.
    I am all to aware that when I take this family portrait down I will never again have a photo with all the members of our family. I had to settle with Evan's name in the sand. I had intended to put our new family photo on the wall along with two boys on one side and Evan's name on the other. That is just NOT the way it is suppose to be!

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Things I NEVER Thought I Would Do..

    In the life of a parent who has lost a child...

    Today when Nate gets home we are heading to the cemetery to "clean" Evan's headstone and grave. I never thought the cemetery would be such a big part of our lives and quite frankly, it sucks.

    I never imagined my life this way. Nathan and I have found ourselves doing things that we never thought would be a part of our life. Here are a few examples...

    Pick out a casket for our little boy

    Read our son's autopsy report

    Receiving our child's death certificate in the mail

    Having casual conversations with the coroner

    Having the medical examiner release Evan's blood for further testing

    Ordering a medical freezer to store his blood leftover from the autopsy

    Interview with reporters

    Benefit to raise money for a rare cause

    Talk about my child's death and thinking what an sad lifetime movie it would be

    Sitting with another grieving mother and understanding every incomprehensible thing she says

    Decorating my child's headstone for each different holiday

    Cleaning bird poop off of his stone

    Having to go to therapy to cope with everyone else's problems that have beat us down even more

    (Insert sigh...)

    I think my emotional state was stronger during the month of May. Lately I cry at just about everything. All I can think about is how much I miss Evan and how after two years, I STILL cannot believe he is gone. School is going to start soon and I dread this time each year. I can't stand to walk through the stores and look at the school supplies and the cute little Spiderman backpacks. Of course he probably would have outgrown Spiderman by now.

    He should be getting ready for 3rd grade. Instead we are living the 3rd year without him...

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Evan's Birthday

    Evan's birthday was almost two months ago and I still have not blogged about it. I am a little behind due to busyness and blogger website issues. Anyway, we decided to have another balloon release in the cemetery the day before his birthday. Noah got to release 8 red balloons representing Evan's 8th birthday. He let them go and then shouted "Here they come Evan!" It was so sweet to hear Noah say that yet so sad at the same time. After Noah let his balloons go everyone else let theirs go. Off to Heaven they went!

    In the past few months two young girls in our area have passed away in accidents. One of them, a six-year old girl, is buried next to Evan. Both families were having benefits to raise money to cover funeral costs. We decided to ask everyone to bring a "superhero" toy to donate to the girls benefits. We were able to put together 12 large baskets. The Kindergarten teachers from the school Evan attended also donated a Spiderman bicycle! How awesome is that? We felt so honored that everyone wanted to be a part of Evan's birthday. It was so wonderful to make something good out come of his birthday. A BIG thanks to everyone who supported us and the girls' families! Nate and I are truly grateful!!!

    The photo of Noah standing by Evan's grave just breaks my heart. It is something a mother should NEVER see. I want so badly for Noah to have Evan here by his side but the harsh reality is just not so. It is so sad to even have to see pictures of a birthday celebration in a cemetery, let alone ones own child. There are no party games, no little children running around acting crazy, no presents to be opened, and more importantly, Evan doesn't get to blow out the candles on his cake. This is when the anger gets to me! I don't think I will EVER get used to this.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Blog Under Construction

    Well, the site that I use to create my blog layout is currently experiencing troubles and hopes to have things figured out soon. Therefore my blog is going to be in renovating mode. Please be patient until everything gets in order. I am also thinking for re-naming my blog and focusing on our Journey Through Grief as well as our everyday life. What do ya think? Any suggestions???

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    A Break From Reality

    Well, I was hoping to do a special post during the end of May, but due to technical trouble with the blogger website my post was unsuccessful. My mission failed.

    Onto to bigger things! We just returned from a fabulous trip to Hilton Head Island. This vacation was much needed after the emotional roller coaster that May brought. I am just so glad that it's over. I realize that we live every day without Evan, but his birthday and angel anniversary in one month can be cause for a psychotic break! This is what we get to look forward to with each passing year.

    I know that I have blogged about the fact that everywhere we go we tend to see a rainbow. We were traveling through Tennessee and off in the distance was a beautiful rainbow! Evan seems to be wherever we go and God certainly lets us know! Our balcony overlooked a pond with a fountain in the middle. Each morning the light hit the water and produced the most beautiful rainbow. It was such a blessing to see!
    Our trip was filled with warm sun and much needed relaxation. Noah and Chase were absolutely wonderful and we all had such a great time. Went went with my sister and her boyfriend as well. We layed on the beach, played in the sand, drank fruity drinks, watched alligators from our balcony, and even kept the economy going with a little shopping. A visit to the Coach store was a highlight as always! That is my secret addiction!

    I think this was the first time that we truly enjoyed ourselves. I know in my heart that Evan is always with us in everything we do. Our lives have been filled with so much sadness that we are slowly learning how to live. Each day brings a new challenge but we somehow make it through. It seems that Noah is somewhat lost in life without Evan and it becomes evident more and more each day. He had a hard time trying to find other children to play with and he can usually make friend wherever he goes. We were surprised at how incredibly rude some people were, even the kids. Noah finally just asked me why Evan couldn't come down and be with him. This breaks my heart when he says these things because I know how badly he is hurting. It was so sad to watch other children with their siblings running on the beach and playing in the sand and there was Noah without Evan by his side. We wrote Evan's name in the sand and a little girl came over and began stepping on his name. This of course did not go over well with Noah. He was so upset and is still talking about being mad at her. The little girl didn't mean any harm and obviously did not know. Noah is just so sensitive to anything regarding Evan. While this makes me so sad, at least I know that Evan is still always on Noah's mind and in his heart.

    One mission I had during this trip was to take a family photo. We have not done this since Evan passed away. The thought is just so emotionally draining. How do we take a family photo without one of our children? With tears behind each smile we managed to get it done. I wanted photos done by the ocean. There is a certain peace about the sun setting over the beautiful blue water. Heaven is supposed to be so incredibly beautiful! The beauty of the ocean makes me think of Evan and what he is experiencing. I feel so close to him there.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010


    I will lend to you, for a little time, A child of mine He said
    For you to love the while he lives, and mourn for when he's dead.
    It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
    But will you, till I call him back take care of him for me?
    He'll bring you his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief
    You'll have his lovely memories, as solace for your grief
    I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return
    But there are lessons taught down there, I want this child to learn.
    I have looked the wide world over, in search of teachers true
    And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you.
    Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain
    Nor hate Me when I come, to take him home again?"
    Dear Lord", Thy will be done
    For all the joys this child shall bring,the risks of grief we'll run
    We'll shelter him with tenderness,we'll love him while we may
    And for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay
    But should the angels call for him, much sooner than we planned
    We'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Sent From Heaven!

    I just had to post this photo of the rainbow we saw this evening. Today is Evan's birthday and this was such a special surprise! I know that I have shared pictures of our rainbows before. It seems that on special occasions such as holidays or vacations we see a rainbow. We saw our first one that day we buried Evan. They seem to pop up occasionally. I think this is Evan's way of telling us that he is okay. Happy Birthday my sweet angel!!!

    I will post pics of the balloon release tomorrow...

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010


    Evan's 8th birthday is on Monday. Each day is getting harder and harder. I should be scrambling around like a fool making plans for his party. Instead I am gathering items that I want to take to the cemetery to decorate his headstone.

    Every year the month of May was always our favorite. Spring was here and the weather was usually nice. Evan's birthday was on the 24th and we all could not wait for summer. I used to love the smell of the blooming flowers and the sound of birds chirping on the cool sunny mornings. Nate and I would spend days getting the yard ready for a party. Now all these things are just a painful reminder of the tragedy in our lives and how we are changed forever.

    I miss watching Evan get more and more excited as each day got closer. I miss how grateful he was to get presents and how everything always revolved around Superheros. Now each year his birthday will come and go and in our minds he will always be 6. Nate recently mentioned that we need to go and get him a present. This is when I just want to sit and cry...

    Evan's aunt posted this on my facebook page this morning. Sometimes it is the little things that help me get through the day.

    I know how much you love me as much as I love you, and each time that you think of me I know you'll miss me too, but when tomorrow starts without me please try understand that a angel came and called my name, and took me by the hand and said my place was ready in heaven far above, and that I'd have to leave behind all those I love. Don't think we're far apart. For everytime you think of me I'm right here in your Heart. Mom I'll always be your sweet little angel in Heaven! "Happy Birthday Evan"

    Thanks Connie for brightening my day!

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Happy Mother's Day

    This is the Cherry Tree that Nate, Noah, and I planted one year ago today in honor of Evan. It is absolutely beautiful and has blossomed so well!

    As for today it is just another day without Evan. People are always concerned about how we do around any holiday, but everyday is hard just in different ways. We have found that the days leading up to are usually harder. The month of May is especially hard as his birthday and angel anniversary are just a week apart. I should be with Evan talking about his birthday party. I wonder what theme would he choose and who he would want to invite. Nate and I try to guess what he would be into right about now. My guess is Star Wars. I can only pretend...

    This year we are discussing what we should do to honor him. The thought of "celebrating" his birthday is just a stab through my heart. After all, we get to spend Evan's 8th birthday in a cemetery. In everything that we have been through in 2 years Nate and I just don't know if we have the emotional energy. Maybe we should celebrate his 2nd year in Heaven.

    Today my husband gave me the most wonderful present. The Mother's Day before Evan passed away he and I spent hours planting flowers. I set the flowers where they were to be planted and Evan dug the holes. He would say to me. "Is this deep enough mom?" He said in his Kindergarten Graduation letter that he wanted to spend the summer planting flowers with his mom. I will always cherish that day! Anyway, later that fall it was time to pull the flowers most of which had died. Nate brought several of the petunia's in the house and I stuck them in a book and forgot about them. Well this year Nate retrieved them and had them preserved in a frame for me! I was so surprised and thankful to my husband for giving such a wonderful gift from Evan! It was absolutely perfect!

    I spent most of the day just hugging and loving my little boys! I am so thankful to God that I am a mommy.

    Happy Mother's Day!

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    My Dearest Angel...

    I wish Heaven had a phone so I could hear your voice again. I thought of you today, but that is nothing new, I thought of you yesterday, and days before that too. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories and a picture in a frame. Your memory is a keepsake, from which I'll never part. God has you in his arms, I have you in my heart. Repost if you have someone in Heaven!

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Through The Eyes Of A Child

    Since Evan passed away Noah has never really questioned exactly how he died. We have talked about Evan's death and that he is in Heaven, but the circumstances surrounding his death have never quite sunk in his little mind. By this I mean the fact that Evan died in his sleep, in his room, in his bed. While Noah is aware of this he has never shown any fear of dying.

    Just Recently Noah has developed an intense fear of dying. In his innocent little mind he really thinks that he is going to die. Nathan and I have been dreading this and knew it was coming, we just didn't know when. In Noah's world Evan went to Heaven and won't return. We talk about Heaven and how wonderful it is all the time. He has been asking how Evan died and questioning the details. How do you explain this to a child when we really don't have answers as to the cause of his death? I can't tell Noah that there was some type of accident that won't happen to him. I have said that Evan was sick but every time Noah gets sick, he is going to think he will die too. Last week I picked him up from school and he asked me, "Mommy am I going to die tonight?" That stabbed right through my heart! He also relates Evan to being a big brother. In his mind Evan has always been the "big brother" and now that he is, he thinks it is his turn to die. The night Evan passed there was a bad thunder storm. He also attributes that to Evan's death. When a thunder storm rolls through he fears that the storm will take him to Heaven just as it did Evan. I hate the fact that my child has to go to bed at night wondering if he will wake up. Nate and I worry about that every night and have tried so hard to make bedtime as normal as it can be.

    It breaks my heart that Noah has to think about these things. All of this is hard for an adult to comprehend let alone the mind of a child. It is also one thing for Nate and I to carry these fears, but to see my sweet four-year old sustain such a burden saddens me even more. Nate and I talk to Noah and try and reassure him that he will be okay. I feel like I am lying to him every time I say this. How can I be sure that he will be okay? I can only pray...

    Monday, March 22, 2010


    I never really read my own blog. I live this nightmare everyday so reading it only adds to my despair. However, lately I have been scrolling through the endless paragraphs of total sadness. I have relived the tragedy that struck my perfect little family. When I say perfect I mean that in every sense of the word, or at least as perfect as the all American family can get. Nathan and I have always tried to do what was right. We met at 15, got married at 21, graduated with our college degrees, had two beautiful boys, and traveled to beautiful places. We literally had the world in our hands. Most of all we had God. When we had Evan we made a promise to raise him to love God as well. While we have always tried to be extremely grateful for our lives, our priorities have certainly changed. So have our worries.

    The other day someone asked me if I was still a happy person after losing Evan. That can certainly be a loaded question in our world, especially when we have endured so much pain and sadness. How does one find happiness in the midst of such a devastating tragedy? What defines happiness anyway? Many people would say money or many would say love. Nathan and I are slowly learning to find true happiness again. The birth of baby Chase has brought back so much hope for us. We find ourselves smiling and laughing a whole lot more. But in every smile there is a sad feeling of loss. That will never go away.

    Overall I would say that I am a happy person. God has been the biggest support through everything. Nathan and I live each day feeling so blessed for all we have. I feel so blessed that I have such a wonderful husband who is always there for me. We have been given the privilege of having such wonderful children. I feel so honored that God chose us to be parents of our boys. God gave us six wonderful years with Evan. Most of all, I personally feel so blessed to have such a loving God watching over me. A good friend recently told me something that is so meaningful. We are not put on this earth be happy. We are not promised a life of luxury, but God does promise to stand by us in times of pain. Nathan and I are living proof of that. We are here to serve and honor God and with him, anyone can find happiness.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Baby Steps Forward...

    I am blaming my lack of blogging on having a new baby. My days are certainly kept busy with the wonderful tasks of motherhood. I am loving every bit of it including the poopy diapers. I am just so thankful!

    Anyway, my anxiety level has remained low and I am thanking God every step of the way. I have tried not to worry about everything that I think may go wrong and it has taken a lot of effort on my part.

    This past week Nathan and I accomplished something big! We managed to get Noah to sleep in his own room again. For most people this would not mean much, but for parents who sit and watch their children sleep for fear of them dying, this is a huge step forward. I have done a lot of praying and I am coming to terms with the fact that I ultimately have little or no control over what happens. I can do my best to protect my children, but in the end God is in control. And, I must say that the first night I only made one trip down the hallway into Noah's room! I was so proud of myself! Since then some nights have been better than others, but nonetheless, it is a start. Noah was happy to be sleeping in his own room again. I realized just how much we all needed this to happen.

    Chase sleeps with an Angelcare monitor under his crib mattress. It detects his level of breathing and an alarm will sound if there is no movement detected. This has given me a great deal of security at night. We have the option to use one for Noah, but we chose not to because he would have to learn to turn it off every time he gets out of bed. This would be a harsh reminder that his big brother died in his sleep. I don't want to put that fear in him. This is where I have to trust.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Anxiety Overload!

    Lately my emotions have been running on high! Having a new baby is such a wonderful experience, but lately the anxiety has become overwhelming. On Monday Chase began having little spasms that looked like a cross between and seizure and constipation. His little body would stiffen and his arms would jerk upward. This of course sent me into a panic frenzy! I started searching the Internet hoping to find something positive. I came across lots of horrible things which only added to my extreme stress level. I thought for sure that something terrible was going to happen to my baby. He had about 5 episodes total in the past few days. All I could do was sit and watch him all hours of the day. I literally could not eat or sleep.

    I took him to see the pediatrician. The Dr. actually got to see what Chase was doing. He told me that he really didn't think it was anything neurological. He thinks it just might be acid reflux or bad gas. I am trying everything to convince myself that Chase is really okay. Can I accept the fact that my children may actually be okay?

    This is what Nathan and I are left with! Evan passed away in his sleep and we are left worrying sick about our other children. And I mean sick! Every little thing that happens may be something horrible in my mind. It is almost as if I am looking for things to be wrong. I can't just accept that my children will be perfectly fine. The anxiety at this point is so incredibly overwhelming. I have spent two days functioning at a very low level. How do I learn to live and not worry about every little thing that happens with my children?

    I have just been praying so hard that God will keep my children safe and healthy.

    Note to self........STAY OFF THE INTERNET!

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Guilt, Fear, & All Of The Above...

    Bringing home a new baby has been so wonderful, yet fearful at the same time. Chase is doing well and Noah is very much in love with him. Noah is just so excited to have a little brother. In all the happiness we feel, the emptiness also consumes our thoughts. A big event just happened in our lives and Evan isn't here to share in all the joy. He would be so happy to have a new little brother. My heart just breaks to think that Chase will never know Evan and how special he was except through pictures, videos, and stories. We get to tell Chase all about his big brother who now lives in Heaven. We will one day have to take him to the cemetery and show him where his big brother is buried. He will never get the privilege of running around in superhero costumes pretending to save the world with Evan by his side. This makes me so sad. I thank God that Chase still has Noah.

    The guilt has also set in. What would Evan think? I keep telling myself that he would be so happy for us having a new baby, but a part of me wonders if he thinks that we are moving on without him. This thought brings me to tears. I like to think that Chase was handpicked by Evan and sent to bring us the hope of a happy future.

    With having a new baby comes an immense amount of fear. For any mom the fear of something happening to their baby lurks in their minds. In our world it is a harsh reality. My anxiety level is so high! I worry about every little thing, wondering if everything that Chase does is normal or not. As parents Nathan and I are left with the constant fear of something bad happening to our children. I watch both of them sleep desperately hoping they will be okay. I have to find a balance between just worrying and being neurotic. How do I learn to live normally and not worry that my children are going leave us? I just cannot bear the thought of losing another child.

    I pray constantly thanking God that Chase is healthy and that he and Noah will stay healthy and safe. Six weeks before Chase was born we were told that there was a possibility he had Downs Syndrome. As soon as he arrived, the Neonatologist told us that there were no signs of Downs. Nathan and I prayed so hard for him to be okay. God has truly answered our prayers! We are so incredibly grateful!! I continue to pray every day that my children will grow into happy well-adjusted adults.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    Our Newest Little Blessing!

    Here is our newest little miracle...
    Chase Gabriel Allen
    January 19, 2010
    5:51 PM
    7 Pounds 5 Ounces
    20 1/4 Inches Long!

    We are truly SO thankful to God. Chase is a healthy baby and we love him so much!!!
    Evan would be so proud of him...

    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    The Shoes

    I am wearing a pair of shoes. They are ugly shoes. Uncomfortable shoes. I hate my shoes. Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair. Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step. Yet, I continue to wear them. I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy. I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs. They never talk about my shoes. To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable. To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them. But, once you put them on, you can never take them off. I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes. There are many pairs in this world. Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them. Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much. Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt. No woman deserves to wear these shoes. Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman. These shoes have given me the strength to face anything. They have made me who I am. I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Christmas And The Future...

    We officially survived the holiday season. I actually think the preparation and anticipation was much worse than Christmas itself. I think not knowing what to expect was really the hard part. After Santa came on Christmas Eve, Nathan and I decided to watch the video of the last Christmas we had with both of our boys here on earth. It has been so long since I have heard Evan's voice! That was what really got to me. He was talking, laughing, and most of all, he was so healthy and alive. I just wanted to reach into the TV and grab him! He was just so loving and so sweet! He was more worried about everyone else opening their presents than his own. Evan was always so grateful. It has been a little over 19 months and I wonder what he would be like now. We miss him so much...

    Christmas Day was spent with loving people surrounding us. My anxiety level was so high prior to that day that I thought for sure it was going to be terrible. Of course it was not easy, but we just focused on Noah and enjoyed every moment with him! He was so excited all day long. While it was great to see him thrive in the Christmas spirit, it was also sad to watch him open presents and enjoy Christmas without Evan by his side. I realized that Christmas Day is not any different than any other day really. Each day without Evan is always going to be hard, some just worse than others.

    The past year has been filled with pain and hurt in more ways than one. My hopes for 2010 are quite high. I am determined that we are going to learn to truly enjoy life again. We have a a new baby due within days, and Noah who is full of life and holds us together. We also have the memories of Evan that will forever live in our hearts. For that, I am truly grateful!

    One of my goals for 2010 is to learn to put my trust in God. I really struggle with this. While God has truly been a strength in our lives, I have such a hard time just giving all my worries to him. I still wake up and check on Noah every hour throughout the night. The thought of him dying in his sleep is constant, and with baby Chase coming soon, I have to learn to let my children sleep at night and trust that God will keep them safe.

    Psalm 55:22 (NIV) Cast your cares on the lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.

    Another one of my goals to to focus on the blessings that surround us! I want to thrive in happiness and learn to view life in a more positive manner. With the tragedy that we have suffered it is so easy to sulk into darkness and despair, all of which I have done many times. While I know there will be many days of sadness and crying, I really want to try hard to learn to be truly happy again. My children deserve this!

    Please keep us in your prayers as we are about to have our baby!

    "While we try and teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."