Monday, September 27, 2010

The Little Things Part II

Dear Stevie,
I've been having a pretty down week, so I figured it was time to put on my 'positivity goggles' and make an effort to notice the good things in my life once again.

The little things that bring me joy:

1. Sixlets. I have always had a strange obsession with these yummy little 'candy-coated chocolate-flavored candies,' and have recently discovered they are now available in bulk form at Target. Amazing for my tastebuds, not so amazing for my waistline!

2. Etsy. I came home today to find these fun vintage-y necklaces in my mailbox. One even has a tree! I try to keep a nice, steady flow of Etsy purchases going at all times, so I always have something to look forward to.

3. "Where Men Win Glory." Jon Krakauer (author of "Into the Wild" and "Under the Banner of Heaven") has done it again! Amazing, amazing read for those, like me, that are into nonfiction. I had to put it down on a few occasions because it made me just so mad about the war we're in (and certain political figures associated with/responsible for that war), but I loved it!

4. A freezer completely filled with frozen apple juice, just waiting to be made into home-brewed hard cider :).

5. Rain. I've been feeling down a lot, and it's been raining like crazy. I love it when the weather mimicks my mood.

6. A husband that cooks for me. And wears Zubas while doing it!

7. The Birchwood Cafe. This is our new favorite spot for lunch, located in the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis. Their menu changes all the time, and they use only in-season local, organic ingredients. What you see below is the cauliflower and fresh nutmeg soup with a side of jalepeno, cumin and lime chickpeas. Yum!

8. The fact that my house is now a chai tea factory. Dad has decided he wants to make and sell his own chai tea blends for fun, and has been perfecting his recipe for the last few days. So far, he has plans for a spicy hot pepper blend called 'Chai-ranasourus Rex' and a gingery Asian blend called 'Samur-chai.' How creative (and funny) is he? (some of his recipe notes are below).

There, I feel a bit better already :)

Miss you always.



Monday, September 20, 2010


Dear Stevie,
I hate how the sad days can just come out of nowhere. Today was a sad day. I think it's the fall weather. I step outside and it smells just like Halloween. I had picked out the cutest Halloween costume for you, like the second I found out you were a girl. You were going to be a little poodle. I was going to take a picture of you and the two dogs together for our Christmas cards. Our three little poodles. All of our friends would have given us so much crap, but it would have been perfect.

I have gone trick-or-treating every Halloween of my life that I can remember. Seriously. I mean, why not? Who wouldn't take advantage of free candy for as long as they possibly can?! It's one of the only times I can really take advantage of the fact that I look like I'm 14 years old.

 One of my favorite trick-or-treating costumes. I'm the Hulk :)

 We made bank, even as college students!

I have always said I was going to continue going until I had a child of my own to take.

I thought Halloween 2010 was going to be that year. I was going to take my little pink poodle trick-or-treating.

This just sucks. I miss you so much, Baby.

Love you,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Little moments

Dear Stevie,
It's just crazy how one little moment in time can make such a big difference. One day, one minute, one second, can literally alter the course of your life forever. You're headed down one path, then BOOM, everything changes. In an instant.

The blood clots in your umbilical cord. They formed, and then killed you in a matter of days, minutes, seconds even. No one knows for sure (except you). But you were big for your gestational age, so we can assume they weren't causing restriction over a long period of time. I just can't stop thinking, if that one little thing wouldn't have happened, if those clots wouldn't have formed, I would be four weeks into my maternity leave right now, a brand-new, sleep-deprived mom of a one-month old. My life, my whole identity really, would be completely and utterly different, if it weren't for that moment in time when those damn blood clots formed.

I feel like I have whiplash sometimes from all that's happened in the course of just 10 months. A year ago, getting pregnant and having a baby were not things I was planning on doing anytime soon. They weren't even on my radar.

In the last 10 months, I've gone from carefree 20-something, to excited soon-to-be mama, the moment the pregnancy test turned positive.

From excited, soon-to-be-mama, to broken, grieving mother, the moment I heard, "there is no heartbeat."

From broken, grieving mother to passionate, fired-up babyloss crusader (or something like that!), the moment I decided to throw out a little idea I had called Faces of Loss.

10 months later, and I'm a completely different person, headed down a completely different path. If someone had told me last September, that I was going to get pregnant, carry a baby for six months, bury that baby, start a nonprofit, and begin trying to have another baby...all within the next year, I'd have though they were crazy.

So much can happen in a year. When I'm stuck in that dark and discouraging place I often find myself in, I have to remember that a lot can happen in a year. I have to hold onto to the hope that a lot of good things and happy life-changing moments might just around the corner (please?).

I love you, baby. I'm glad you came into my life, even if it was only for a moment in time. I am forever changed because of you.

Miss you,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I am so excited about the new October 15th, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance campaign we just launched over at Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope! Andrea, Sarah, and I have been up into the wee hours of the night the last couple weeks working on this, and I hope you will head over, check it, out and join the movement! For those of you who are not 'babyloss' parents, there are ways for you to get involved as a supporter, too!

Thanks guys!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Little Things

Dear Stevie,
I've seen a lot of bloggers who dedicate a day each week/month/whatever to appreciate the positive, good things in their lives. I decided to join in. I'm not sure if this will be a weekly thing, or just something I do whenever I'm feeling particularly positive (or when I'm feeling particularly negative, and want to turn it around!), but here goes nothing.

The little things in my life that make me happy.

1. 'Jeggings.' The half-jeans, half-leggings phenomenon that I am growing incredibly fond of. What a genius invention! The look of jeans, with the feel of nice, stretchy, keep expanding with your stomach as the day goes on, or after a really big lunch, leggings. Jeggings are also much, much cheaper than real jeans (at least at Target!), so I can easily justify buying them in multiple colors and washes. And come on, they're called 'jeggings.'  How funny is that?

2. Candles. For some reason, Target had all of their 'winter pine' scented candles on super mega clearance last week (for like $1.48!), so we've been hitting all the Targets in the city and stocking up. We have at least 20 of them around the house right now, and it seriously smells like I've walked into Christmas itself every time I step in the front door. I love it.

3. Chai tea lattes. I am not a coffee drinker (which may be shocking to some people, as I grew up in Seattle, and both my dad and my husband are so into coffee that they roast their own beans!), but I love chai tea. Here in Minnesota, we've had lots of 'take the dogs on a walk while wearing a sweater and sipping on a nice, hot mug of chai' weather this last week, and its been amazing.

4. Headbands. I wore a headband today for the first time since I was, I don't know, eight years old. I realize they've been in style for like a year and a half, but that's usually about how long it takes me to take part in any fashion trend. I'm always a bit behind. There are so many trends I swore I would never get into, like leggings, and scarves with T-shirts, skinny jeans, and Uggs. But give me about a year and a half to get used to the idea, and if its still around, I'll usually hop on the bandwagon.

5. My Minnetonka Moccasins. How cute are they? And super comfy!

6. The new Suave Rosemary Mint Shampoo. Okay, so it's not quite as heavenly as the Aveda version, but it's pretty darn close (and about $15 cheaper per bottle!)

7.  This little face. No matter what kind of mood I'm in, or how crappy and lame I feel, this little creature thinks I am the greatest thing in the world. It's nice to be loved like that :)

I have a lot of good things in my life. Just wish you were in it, too.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

4 months

Dear Stevie,
Today marks four months since you were born. Since the first and last time I laid eyes on your perfect button nose and giant feet. I miss you so much, baby.

Four months sounds like a really long time, and I'm sure some people are surprised that I'm still struggling, that I'm still not "over" your death. But four months without you is still  two months less than the six months I had with you.

I was feeling really down this morning, feeling like nobody remembered (or cared) that today is your birthday, when I got the following email from Grandma (my mom). Of course it made me cry, like a lot, but it makes me feel good to know that at least one other person in my 'real life' recognizes today as your day, and misses you almost as much as I do*.


It seems so long ago in some ways, and in other ways just yesterday instead of 4 months ago,  that I was sitting at this desk and got the call from you I never wanted to get. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to somehow make it not true for you. And for us. Even though her life was too short and I never got to know her, I miss Stevie, too. I especially miss getting to know the Kristin part of her. Since you can’t remember yourself as a baby and toddler and preschooler, you don’t know just how special you were, and how those qualities, (combined with the cool Andy genes, of course) would have been so unique and fun and wonderful. Somehow, even though she’s not here with us, she has managed to wrap herself around our hearts, just like you wrapped us around your little finger. Where we are still firmly wrapped. 

I love you so much, Kristin.


I wish more than anything I would have gotten to know that unique and fun and wonderful personality I'm sure you would have had. I just wish I could have known you, Stevie.

Miss you today and everyday.

Love, Mom

*I do want to point out that even though I say it seems like most people I know no longer care, there are a few that continue to show me that they do, and I'm forever grateful for that (you guys know who you are). Xoxo

Monday, September 6, 2010

A change of seasons

Dear Stevie,
Well, fall is definitely in the air. At the beginning of last week, it was in the 90's and humid, and this weekend it was cool enough for hoodies and sweaters and my new leather boots. Kids will be back at the bus stop at the end of our block tomorrow morning, wearing fresh school clothes and brand new backpacks. You can even smell the changing of seasons in the air.

Summer 2010 is officially over. The summer that was supposed to be the best of my life, that turned into the worst of my life, has come and gone. In some ways, I can't believe it's already over, and in others, it seems like it was May just yesterday.

I can't say I accomplished a whole lot this summer, aside from making it through 10 seasons of Law and Order SVU, four seasons of Rescue Me, and countless stupid action movies streaming on Netflix, but I certainly did a whole lot of growing, and a whole lot of learning. It's like how in movies and books, there's almost "that summer that changes everything." This summer was certainly my "summer of change."

Summer 2010 belonged to you, Baby. It was your season. And as it's coming to an end, I can't help but feel like you're slipping further and further away from me. I feel just like I did at the end of my six-week 'maternity' leave, when I had to go back to work and reenter the 'real world' again. It feels like I've reached another milestone or turning point or something, and while it feels good to be done with this wretched summer, it's definitely bitter sweet. I want to move forward, I want life to be happy and normal again. But I don't want to forget.
Dad and I had a nice, low-key Labor Day weekend. It started out with an outdoor movie at the lake Friday night with the dogs. It was the first official sweater night of the fall; it got down to 50 degrees!

Saturday I had this strange desire to cook and clean. This is a pretty huge deal, considering my cooking/cleaning desire usually comes about, oh, maybe once or twice a year. So while Dad was working at the bike shop, I mega-cleaned the house, went to the grocery store, and made an amazing spicy chicken masala dish, with cumin-roated carrots on the side. Pretty freaking good, if I don't say so myself! Dad was super happy and excited (and shocked!) when he came home from work to find a clean kitchen, a set table, and dinner in the oven.

Later, we had a movie night by candlelight. Somehow your dad convinced me to watch 'Crank 2.' It was pretty ridiculous.

Yesterday it was haircut day for the girls. I say haircut 'day' because it really is almost a day-long process. We've been putting it off for months, and their hair was getting so long they were starting to look like they belonged to neglectful dog owners, so it felt great to get it done.

Last night we celebrated my birthday (a couple weeks late) at Grandma and Grandpa's house (Dad's parents).

Sharing some of my ice cream cake with the dogs :)

A picture of Foxy, just because she's so cute

Today I finally started to decorate the house a little bit. We had just moved into the new place a week and a half before you died, so I hadn't done much to it yet at that point, and just haven't cared to start working on it since. It's a work in progress, but I put up some new frames today:

The tree picture on the left was taken by Andrea--isn't it amazing!? Your feet are in the frame on the bottom.
I love this saying.
And this afternoon I got to wear my beautiful new boots. Cute shoes, my favorite thing about fall :)

Overall, I'm feeling pretty decent these days. I did almost puke when I saw an infant-sized bear cub Halloween costume at Target today, but I recovered pretty quickly. I have high hopes for fall. I'm trying to see the changing of seasons as a fresh start. Come on fall 2010, please be kind to me.

Love you baby girl.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Secret Life

Dear Stevie,
The first couple months of being pregnant with you were the best. Aside from puking at the mere smell of chicken, or eggs, or actually, pretty much everything, and the constant state of exhaustion, and the heartburn (which was only made worse by the fact that I craved hot sauce and would eat entire bottles in one sitting--totally serious), it was awesome. My favorite part about those first 12 weeks or so, was that you were a secret to most of the world. I loved walking around Target, or talking to co-workers in the lunchroom, aware that I had a little baby inside of me, and knowing they didn't know. How exciting! How thrilling! Of course, I wanted to spill the beans so badly sometimes, just blurt out to the cashier ringing up the popsicles I was buying in the middle of winter, "I'm buying those because I'm PREGNANT!" But I also really enjoyed the days when you were a secret. My precious little secret.

Now that you're gone, I'm back to carrying around a secret, only this time, it's not so much fun.

It's like I'm living a double-life sometimes. The Secret Life of a Babyloss Mom.

"She's your average just turned 25-year-old enjoying life post-college. She enjoys going to the beach with her girlfriends, walking her dogs, hitting up late-night happy hours with her husband, and her nonprofit job. Looking at her, you'd never know the secret life she lives: the life of a babyloss mother."

Monday night I went to the big Lady Gaga concert in town with a couple of my college roomies. We put together come pretty amazing Gaga-inspired outfits (see below), and had a really fun time at the show (which was very, very weird, but very, very awesome).

I had to include this one because she is wearing basically a big mop, and it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my entire life.

While we were walking around downtown St. Paul, before the concert began, I kid you not, like 50 people wanted to take pictures with us and our awesome costumes. We assumed everyone was going to be dressed up in crazy outfits, but it turned out most of the girls just used the concert as an excuse to dress like, well, skanks (ha), so we were one of the few groups that actually looked Gaga-esque. While we were laughing and taking pictures with strangers, I kept thinking, "these people would never in a million years guess what I've been through the last 3 and a half months."

They see a smiling, giggling girl, who I'm sure they assume is in high school or maybe college, dressed up in a crazy outfit, out having a good time with her friends. They have absolutely no clue that behind the smile, there's a grieving mother. That underneath the silly clothes, there's a broken heart and a wounded spirit.

Sometimes I feel out of place. I'm young, and I'm mainly surrounded by other young 20-somethings. But I feel like I've aged so much in the last nine months or so, since you came into my life and then left it so suddenly. While other people my age are thinking about meeting boys and where the coolest party's at, I'm trying to figure out what to do with my daughter's ashes that are still just sitting on a bookshelf in the living room. The experience of losing a child kind of forces you to grow up, I think.

It's like there are two separate and distinct parts of me: the "normal, happy, goes out and has fun' me, and the 'forever changed, often sad, babyloss mom" me. I guess I need to figure out how to combine the two into one somehow. I'm working on it.

Sorry this was a kind of jumbled and rambling post, Baby. I miss you so much, little girl.

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