Sunday, May 31, 2009

The headlines on most news websites are all about the murder of the abortion doctor in Kansas today. It is such an extreme issue bringing an even more heated debate on the whole abortion issue. Is it okay for pro-lifers to take a life, even if it is one of someone they believe is a mass murderer? I have always considered myself pro-life, but I had to amend that opinion recently. One thing I have now learned is it is very easy to decide where we stand on this issue or that, but until we actually encounter it in our every day life, is hard to say that we can always stick to those idealistic views.

As many of you know, families that have had a baby with SMA always face a 25% risk of having another baby who has it too. For many of them, private adoption or IVF is not a realistic option as the cost of both is out of their means. While Eli's death was somewhat peaceful, meaning we didn't go through weeks or months of having to keep him calm and not suffering through the use of drugs, many of the other moms I've talked to did not have this same experience. They were forced to watch their children struggle and fight to breathe. They had to spend days upon days watching their baby be miserable and hurt and cry, give them drugs to calm them down. Those moms decided they could not go through losing another baby to SMA. For some of them, having a child naturally and then testing for SMA at 11 weeks was their only real choice. It is not an easy decision to terminate the pregnancy if the test comes back positive, but should they be forced to deliver a baby that is going to die a painful death in a few short months? I can't say that I think that should be their only choice, so I can't be pro-life now. I don't think I could ever go through with having an abortion, so we have decided that is not going to be the path we will choose, but I can't make that decision for anyone else. I don't think it should be a method of birth control, but I can't see taking away that right to women who really need it.

As for the murdered doctor, I have read some of the stories of women who went to clinics like his and had late term abortions. Were they evil women who just waited too long to decide that they just didn't want to be moms? No. Most of them didn't know anything was wrong with their babies until detailed ultrasounds showed fatal abnormalities in the fetus. Their babies were either going to be born dead or have unimaginable problems that would cause them much pain in the short time they were alive. Those women were broken, devastated by that news. Did they need to keep carrying that baby, dealing with all the usual questions of "what are you having" or "do you have a name picked out"? Honestly, making them suffer through that seems like a form of psychological torture to me. I know the women I read about did not make the trip to Kansas just to get rid of an unwanted baby.... they made that trip reluctantly and came home with shattered dreams and a broken heart that will never heal because they WANTED that baby more than anything.

So I guess the point of my post is think before judging. We can all stand up on our pedestal and decide what is right and what is wrong and try to apply it to the world. Unfortunately, those views we hold don't really take into account real life and the issues that others who do not have our perfect ideal lives might be going through. It is easy to say a definite YES or NO to anything until you come face to face with it.

Hope this doesn't offend anyone, but it was on my mind tonight and well, it is my blog after all.
Nothing really to say, just wanted to share this story for those of you from back home in Kentucky.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Does anyone have a clue what these pests might be? They are a worm-like thing that have these pods on them. They are attaching to our trees and killing them! Help!
Just been another one of those weeks... It really sucks to keep getting hospital bills, coupons, magazines, etc for a baby who is no longer with us.

The secret to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you already have. If you think about it, most discontent grows from want. We want more stuff, more excitement, more pleasure. When we don't get those things, we're resentful and unsatisfied. Take away the want, and you take away the unhappiness. When your quality of life is tied to your desires, fulfillment is a shadow that escapes your view. Like trying to imagine a new color, the harder you look, the harder it is to see. Does this mean you stop setting goals and striving for a healthy lifestyle and better life? No. It means you can appreciate life regardless of the outcome. It means you can relish the pursuit while accepting the possibility of failure. It means you can still enjoy the ride. Happiness is not a destination--it's a way of life.

These were the words of wisdom my daily reflection email had for today. If that is really the key to happiness, I figure I have a lot of unhappy years ahead of me. I'm never going to stop wanting Eli back or wanting to be a mom. It is about at the point that we are almost sure things aren't going to work to make us parents again. I'm stuck on adoption, Jason's not open to that idea. So....we'll just sit back and watch babies be killed by their parents and babies be born to people who could care less about them. Fun times, fun times.

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day. - Sally Koch

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We took some new flowers out for Eli today. I had found these this week at Michael's and fell in love with the bright colors. Crista arranged them yesterday and I think she did a great job. It was so hot out there today... We took Eli's flowers, plus some small bunches for some of the bare graves. I think we were able to put flowers on 6 or 7 of them. I hope to take more on our next visit. It was hard to be there today... So hard. I just miss him more and more every single day.
Final Call: If anyone who has not yet contributed a recipe to the cook book would like to, I can possibly make space for a few more. I just ask that you pick a family favorite that you make frequently and know is great. I'm finishing up the editing process pretty soon but still have time to add a few more. I don't want to leave anyone out if they had planned on sending one but had lost track of time. Email to


Memorial Day

Please take time to remember all those military men and women who lost their lives while protecting ours. I know their families are missing them today and my thoughts are with them.

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. - Billy Graham

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. - Thucydides
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. - Joseph Campbell
True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. - Arthur Ashe
It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. - Norman Schwarzkoph

Friday, May 22, 2009

I snapped a quick picture of the rose bush Jason got me on Easter! It is really thriving and so beautiful.
Yesterday was a day filled with much sadness. I found out two of my high school classmates passed away this week. It seems we are too young, but death knows no age. Last night one of the local furniture stores had a warehouse fire and the entire warehouse is a total loss. The owner is a Houston icon who is always jumping in to help out the local community and many families that are in need. He has an amazing story and is a great example of someone working hard to succeed. The world would be blessed to have more individuals like Mattress Mack. Another fire destroyed much of the Cleveland location of Pace Stancil Funeral Home. We have been to that location more times than I like to remember... we had the visitations of both of Jason's parents there a few years ago. The same funeral home also did Eli's funeral, but not that particular location. The director that helped us plan Eli's funeral does work at that location though. He was the nicest man and I will never forget his kindness on the day we had to go make the arrangements. He had helped us with arrangements for one of Jason's parents so he was a familiar face for us that day. I could tell he was really affected by our loss; when people who see death every day cry, well, that says something. I have been meaning to write him a letter of thanks and I will do that soon.

Finally, I found out my mamaw is back in the hospital. (for those non-country folk, mamaw = grandmother). It makes me sad to know how sick she is; that she struggles so much and doesn't remember people. She was like a second mom to me during my childhood. My heart also breaks for my dad.... I can't imagine how much it hurts him to see her like that. I cry for both her and him.

One positive note: I was given the first donation for Through Eli's Eyes today! It is not even official yet so we are already ahead of things. :o)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Police said Thursday that the mother of a 3-year-old boy found buried at a playground told investigators she suffocated him, had second thoughts and brought him back to life, then changed her mind and suffocated him again.

It is hard to keep the bitterness and anger at bay when you see crap like that in the news. How horrible for that little boy that his mom decided to kill him not once, but twice. Today was not the best day and that sure as hell doesn't make it any better. The sad part of it all is two people, her mom AND a friend, both kicked her out of their houses for the way she treated her son, but neither made an effort to call and get that little boy help. They should be prosecuted right along with her.
"We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once."
- Calvin Coolidge, American president

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What do you say when you officially run out of words? I have nothing new to say lately. We just hurt and nothing makes it stop. No words spoken or heard change that, so there's not much point in talking, writing, listening. Every day is like the day before; sad, lonely, empty. I didn't cry much today, but only because I just didn't have the energy to... I'm just emotionally and physically drained. Being sad and angry all the time is tiring. Very tiring.

It is crazy how the words would flow back in the early stages but seemed to have dried up now. I know there are still quite a few people checking in to see how we are doing. I'm not sure what to say on that.... we are here. We try to go on, to find distractions, but at the end of the day, we still go to bed sad. Sometimes I wish I believed in a devil, one that I could somehow bargain with so that I might get to hold my baby boy one more time.
My friend MJ took one of my favorite Eli pictures and played around and made this! I love it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Galveston May 2009

Love and miss you little one. Wish you could have been with us today.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hey friends and family! Victoria was kind enough to make a beautiful petition flyer with Eli's picture on it for us. If anyone would like it to print and pass out to help get more signatures, be sure to send me an email and I will send it your way.
Conquering your fears through action
Life brings with it many doubts and fears. But the unknown and the untried have held more people back than any lack of ability. Most successes are never seen because they're never attempted. The courage to face your fears can build momentum that creates magic. Each time you overcome an obstacle, a fear or a step back, you gain confidence. Every small victory helps you feel more certain of yourself and your direction, pushing you further and faster than you ever thought possible. You can do it! What's holding you back? True, fears are intimidating. So start small. Believe in yourself and take one small swipe at your fear today just to see what happens. If you can't talk yourself past the "point of no return", get a friend to help. In the end, half of the doing is in the deciding. If you stumble, don't be afraid to brush yourself off and jump back in.
I feel someone who knows my innermost thoughts wrote this. I am always hesitant to jump in and try new things for fear of failure. If I do get the courage to start, I'm immediately ready to quit if I am not the best and as good as the people doing it for a long time. I have expectations of myself and my abilities that are just not realistic. I know that and I try to remember practice makes pefect, but sometimes I let my doubts and fears get in the way and I end up with more crap piled in my closet. If anyone wants to come cross-stitch, bake cakes, or sew, come one over... Maybe I can learn something from you and actually use some of the supplies I purchased thinking I was going to have a new hobby.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Through Eli's Eyes

I wasn't sure when I should write about this, but why not today?

A few weeks ago I got a message from a mom here in our area named Robin. She follows my blog (Hi Robin!) and was also in my child birth class last year. After I mentioned my frustration with not having an official organization or foundation to do my projects under, she sent me a note that she would like to help change that. She just so happens to be an attorney who currently has some extra time on her hands. How amazing is that? We met today and she gave me the paperwork to get started. I wish I had the words to express how much it means to me that someone cares enough about me, about Eli, about all the families affected by SMA to do something like this. I have shed tears of happiness each and every time I think about it. I will be eternally grateful for her help and support.

The foundation will be called "Through Eli's Eyes". My good friend Brandy, who traveled all the way from Baltimore for the funeral, sent me the name right after she arrived home from her trip here. She had already decided that a foundation would one day be started and had a name for it. In her email she said "it has double meaning. You were talking about how beautiful his eyes are and I was talking about how they express his personality. But it also can be that the children with SMA (that the funds will be supporting) are seeing life in the same way that Eli did". How could I not name it that after those words? Thanks Brandy.

In this journey of grief, I keep meeting so many amazing moms and families. I've talked about Laurie and Helen, now Robin, and some of you may go and read Victoria's blog that is on my sidebar. She and her husband Bill started the petition that we are always asking everyone to sign. If you have visited Eli's Our SMA Angels website, you have witnessed the work of my friend MJ, who has SMA but does so much to help out all the families and goes to college too! I love all of my fellow SMA folks, but I do wish we had all met under better circumstances. My love goes out to each of you tonight.

And a special thanks to Robin for sharing lots of beautiful baby smiles and laughs with me today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It has been 5 months now since we lost our little guy. I feel like the last year is a total blur; I try to remember things and just draw a blank. That sometimes leads me to run to pictures, videos, the nursery in a panic to make sure he was really here, that he wasn't just a dream. There are no words in this world to describe the pain that we feel on a daily basis. My eyes hurt from crying some days. NOTHING offers relief. I can't imagine any greater torture than having to go on living with empty arms and a broken heart. Some days it seems like there is no point to life anymore, like we having nothing to look forward to, no reason to get out of bed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I forgot to post my Mother's Day gift. My rose bush had the most beautiful bloom open up.
It's a bad week here at home, so pardon the lack of posts.

Today I went and had my blood drawn again for the SMA carrier test. Jason's came back positive, so I am pretty sure mine will to0; I only went to repeat it in hopes that our doctor can persuade our insurance to cover a round of IVF. I don't hold out too many hopes of that happening, but I feel like I need to at least make an effort. I feel like the pain we feel will only start to lessen if we have another child to cherish and love. Without that, I think anger and bitterness will be the future we have ahead of us. We are both overtaken by it so many minutes of our lives now.

We dropped off more donations to Ronald McDonald House while we were up that way today. Thanks to my mom and my local friends, I would guess we had at least 5 gallon bags full of pop tabs (if not more)! We also took 3 bags of food and supplies. It became a bit awkward when the lady asked if we had stayed at one of the houses. After I said yes, she said she hoped it had a good outcome. I didn't know what to say to not make it uncomfortable for all of us...

Tomorrow we go finalize and purchase Eli's headstone. We are going with the teddy bear in black granite. It will take about 8 weeks to make, so it should be here in time for his birthday. The grass we took out there and planted is looking great and I like not seeing the ugly dirt anymore. The wind chimes are still beautiful and play a song for us each time we visit.

We finally have all the recipes we need for the cook book. All I have to do now is finish editing and get the ads ready. My friend Bill is a lifesaver on the ad side of things. I have no graphic design abilities so I'm leaving that side of things to him.

Tomorrow would have been both Jason's mom and his brother's birthday, so please keep him and his family in your thoughts.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you.

I get a little motivational email very day from SparkPeople and I thought today's was worth sharing....
There is no lesson for today. You have permission to stop thinking for a moment and just enjoy yourself. Stop looking at your computer right now and go look at the world. Rediscover the natural wonders that you walk past every day. How can there possibly be that many shades of green? Let your mind be grateful for a break. Don't think, don't strain. Let the memories of loved ones remind you of your favorite times. Close your eyes and try to smell the sunshine. Listen to your heart beat in your ears. If it's raining, smile at the thought of the flowers that will soon follow. If you're surrounded by buildings, celebrate the creative genius of human beings. See the hope, the alarm, the love, the grief in faces that stream by. Thank whomever you'd like to thank for the chance to even be here. For a moment today, don't worry about being better. Just be.
I have been appreciating nature so much more since we got the camera and started taking pictures of plants and flowers. What I would normally pass by I notice in great detail. Have you truly looked at a flower lately? Or a vegetable plant? They are beautiful.

Stamp Out Hunger: May 9th

Don't forget today is Stamp Out Hunger Day! Be sure to put a bag of nonperishable food out for your mail carrier to pick up.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Okay... help me out here... does anyone have any recipes for side dishes that are NOT potato casseroles or flavored rices? :o) I'm not sure what else there is really...

I also need some ideas for the front of the cook book. If I send it for printing in June I get a full color cover for free! Anyone have any ideas of what to put on it?? Help!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Help support our local high school's Project Graduation!
Atascocita HS Project Graduation Fundraiser
Monday, May. 11, 2009
6:30 pm
Atascocita High School Cafeteria
13300 Will Clayton Parkway, Humble
$10 in advance $15 at the door
Event Information: Dinner, silent and live auction -- student entertainment, live music, strolling mariachi band and a chance on great items! Including Autographed Rockets memorabilia! Footballs, baseballs, baskets for gardners, college bound students. ITEMS FOR EVERY HOBBY and PERSONALITY. Vacation get-aways too! Come eat fajita's, join the party and bid on gifts for your graduates, friends and neighbors!
We went to the cemetery yesterday. I don't go too often. It is over an hour away, so a bit of a drive. I guess it is silly that we drive so far and then stay for 10 or 15 minutes. I have found that those few minutes are my limit right now. I can be somewhat calm, cry a little, and leave still standing. I know if we stay much longer than that I will be on the ground screaming and crying. I don't want to disturb the nice calm so I stay a short time and leave. Maybe one day I can stay longer and be okay, who knows?

It is always special when we visit. It was hot and the air was calm when we arrived there yesterday. A nice wind started to blow not long after we arrived at Eli's spot. It happens every time we go out there. It is nice to think his spirit does that for us; that he knows we need that. I love having the wind chimes out there because we always get some beautiful music during our visit. As I was saying goodbye yesterday a stronger wind came and make the music even louder. Thank you little one; I'll accept that song as an early Mother's Day present.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Action Needed!

Hey my friends!
If you haven't looked over on my sidebar today, please do. I would love for each and every one of you to go register at and vote in support of the SMA bill that was recently introduced into the House. I had a crying spell earlier today when I signed up and saw that 30% had voted against it. It is now much much better, but I'd love to see the "For" percentage climb even higher. We also need to contact our representatives, but do this first and then go back and fax that letter to your area representative. Do it for Gwendolyn and all the other SMA kids that still have a chance!

Wanted to add this:
I love seeing companies making a difference, so please check out this article and consider supporting Build-A-Bear and their efforts.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Grumble, Grumble

I went to look at the petition tonight and from the numbers and the comments, I could tell another baby had been diagnosed. It is so heartbreaking to watch parents join the world of SMA. It is such a hell to be thrown into, one I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Keep the family of 5 month old Addy Grace in your thoughts (and prayers if you so wish).

Jason and I went to the zoo today and at one point, I almost lost it. The keepers had a cheetah out of his cage showing him off to the zoo patrons. It was so amazing to see such a magnificent animal that up close, with no fences, only grass separating us. There was a mom and small baby girl, I'm guessing less than a year old, next to us. The mom was swinging the baby back and forth towards the cheetah, telling her she was going to feed her to the him. Ummm...if you draw the interest of the cheetah to your baby, you might REALLY end up doing just that. We were not that far away from the animal at all; he could have grabbed that baby in a second. I was SO MAD. I said something to Jason and was about to yell at the mom but she left before I could get it out. How dumb is that??? It's a wild animal for goodness sakes. That kind of thing pisses me off. Stupid women like that can have beautiful baby girls who LIVE and I only get 5 months with my son? Errr....

On a brighter note: Today was a good day for my project. We will have enough recipes in the next week or so. My mom worked hard and sold ads today, so we have help with the print cost thanks to some Kentucky businesses. Sara has also started selling some here locally in Kingwood. My good friend Bill is going to design the ads for us. He is a lifesaver because I am so clueless about art and graphic design. (Lots of mint chocolate coming your way my friend) I have another surprise that I will hopefully get to share in the next few weeks. It is in the early developmental stages, but thanks to an amazing lady down here in Texas, I might have a wish granted much sooner than I thought it could happen.

I am trying so hard to do things that make a positive difference to someone, somewhere in the world. It is the only real purpose I have right now. It never feels like enough to me, but hopefully a small gesture will mean something bigger to someone. I am still very bitter and very angry, but I try to channel it and do positive things instead of sitting home all day pissed off. I still do that from time to time, probably much more than I should, but I must keep fighting SMA in hopes I can stop some parents in the future from being where I am now.

Just FYI, the carrier status for SMA is now 1:30 people. Scary, huh?

and finally, Jason and I are doing much better with our eating now. I hope we can switch back to "healthy eating mode". We did it for so long before; maybe it will be like riding a bicycle?? :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009


We are nearing our target number of recipes! I am really excited!! My friend Sara has worked her butt off getting submissions and entering them. I still have room for about 50, so if you haven't sent yours, do it soon! We need some cookie and candy recipes so if you have one that you love, please send it! Soups, salads, and veggie dishes could use a little love as well. I would LOVE a good chicken salad recipe if anyone has one to share; I love the kind with grapes and/or pineapple in it but can't seem to find anyone who makes one.

I am so excited that we might actually finish before June!

Thank you to everyone who has already sent in a recipe(s). They all look yummy and I'm sure I have gained weight just reading them. I think we are going to have a great variety of recipes for all types of cooks. We have recipes from all over the country, so be prepared to make some new dishes!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today I should have been getting Eli ready for his 9 month pictures. I had planned on getting his pictures made every 3 months for the first year of his life. I have plenty of baby pictures, but Jason doesn't. I wanted to make sure Eli had plenty to cherish laster, so that was my plan. We only got to take "official" newborn and 3 months pictures. I'm glad we did those; they will be cherished always.

I still can't believe he is gone, but it is finally starting to seem real. It just hurts; it hurts so much. I just can't understand why. I keep seeing all these kids on the news who have been hurt or killed by their parents. We only loved our little guy and would have done anything to protect him. We had so many plans... I think there is already $500 in his college fund, I have tons and tons of clothes from NB up to 5T. WE HAD PLANS. Now what do we do with them? What do we do with the room full of baby stuff? It serves as a good breakdown place right now, but what about next year?


Miss and love you little boy. I'm so angry that you aren't here and I won't ever get to see you grow up.

If you haven't signed the petition or considered making a donation, watch this and rethink that...
How about a challenge? I know many of us are not at the weight we want to be. Some of you might be, but want to eat healthier and/or exercise. Let's do this together! I started a group on SparkPeople that I'd love for you to join and get healthy with me. SparkPeople is awesome! You can make goals, get a fitness plan, and track your food intake. I love it and it helped me on my past weight loss journey. The group name is Healthy Friends, so once you register, join my team and be ready to get healthy! (if you can't find the group, leave me a comment with your user name and I will send you an invitation to join).

I have some major emotional eating issues going on right now, so it will take me a bit to get my eating back to normal, but I hope to start exercising first and then use those good endorphins to help motivate me to healthier eating. Baby steps are the key. If you try to change everything all at once, you almost doom yourself to fail. Make one goal at a time and as you master the first, add in a second. My first goal is 30 minutes of exercise each and every day!