two and a half.

Today you should be two and a half years old. You should be doing a wide array of things that I have not allowed myself to even think about quite honestly. I don’t know what type of little girl you would be. Would you be a stubborn independent child, or would you be a cuddly love bug? Or both? Would you let me put your hair in pigtails and let me paint your nails?

What would your voice sound like?

Would your eyes stay brown like I read on your autopsy report they were?

How much would you love Landon? He loves you so much and he never got to meet you. That is one of my biggest “I don’t know if I did the right thing” moments…it’s probably the only moment in my life that I’m always questioning or replaying…should I have let him see you? He misses you so bad.

I don’t typically allow my brain to go to these places because it’s just too sad. It is so fucking sad. My heart breaks daily for you and what our family lost when you left us. I wish so badly that you were alive and I was able to hold you in my arms and kiss your warm skin. I would give anything to run my hands over your beautiful face one more time. I love you, sweet girl.

It is not lost on me that both of your sisters wouldn’t be here if you were and that is a very hard thing to swallow. These days, it feels like I can’t imagine you being alive, and them not being here. I never thought I would be able to even think that way, but grief is weird and confusing. I know it’s all part of healing but it makes me so sad.

Grief is changing for me lately.

Maybe it’s not the grief that is changing per se; I still miss you as much if not more than the day you left me. Instead, maybe it’s the fact that your sisters are helping me heal in ways I never thought possible mixed with the fact that my heart has cried all it possibly can for you. There are times when everything feels fresh and I am overwhelmed with the raw grief of the early days, but that is more rare now. More often it is something small that brings a tear to my eye; instead of crying for an entire day, I will be blindsided and cry for a few moments. The grief is short lived and super intense but I’m able to pull myself from its grips.

Christmas anything, songs, colors, the weather, noises, driving past certain places, wearing certain clothes, certain scents, the way your Daddy looks at me…these are some of the things that are normal, yet somehow are also triggers for me. Life is like a second hand puzzle you get at goodwill and you are the missing piece; Everything now feels discounted, and cheap. I feel cheated. I’ll never get that piece back.

Today you should be 2 and a half. How is that even possible. The mind is an amazing thing capable of understanding some really intense stuff but I will NEVER understand your death. I know that there is a “scientific reason” why you died; we were fortunate enough to get that answer. But, there is no logical reason in the same sense…there is no reason a perfect child should die. My perfect baby should be alive.

I’ve never allowed myself to fully go back to that day. My heart is one small break away from irreparable damage. It’s not that I don’t want to remember it, I do so badly, but it hurts. It’s a memory that no one should ever have.

Kenley, you were (are) so wanted. I planned for you. I prepared my life for your arrival and you never came. I am so sorry that I couldn’t save you; I know that it’s not my “fault” but IT IS.

Two and a half years…how does it feel like just yesterday, but also an eternity since I’ve held you in my arms? Two and a half years closer to you, my sweet first daughter.

I love you.


Your skin

Oh yeah, your skin and bones

Turn into something beautiful

You know, you know I love you so

You know I love you so

-Coldplay. Yellow.

It’s time…again!

As many of you know, it’s about time to start creating Kenley’s care packages. These packages will go to the hospital where she was born to comfort other parents who are going through what we went through. This year I have decided to stick with 40 packages, and donate hand made hats, and blankets as well. Last year we donated SOOOOO MUCH STUFF. It made my heart feel so happy and proud that we could do that in her name. A lot of you reading probably helped in some way or another, so I thank you for that.

I wrote about starting to collect donations again this year and that can be found here.


The amazon wish list is here


The gofundme page is here


If you wish to help in another way not mentioned above, please let me know! Anything helps. I appreciate everything you all have helped me accomplish in her honor. That’s the greatest thing for a momma’s heart.



I have no time. I have been stretching myself so thin lately that I feel like I want to punch something. Please allow me to explain myself…

We need more space in our current home so for the last like year we have been tossing around adding on, building, or buying a home. We finally got to a point where we decided we were for sure going to build. I was gathering quotes from builders (7 different builders) and we had decided on a floor plan with all the upgrades yada yada yada. I called the bank and spoke with my “person” there and she informed me of a bunch of crap we would have to do if we wanted to buy land while we still own our current home. Shane and I were like “oh shit, that sucks” and we just felt dejected and let down, frustrated that we have been working so hard to get these quotes and we would need to sell and also have a huge down payment for a piece of land.

Later that night Shane was looking at the real estate websites and goes “Oh man, that green house is for sale that we like!”, so we sat down and looked at the photos and emailed the realtor saying we wanted to look at it. The next day we walked through it, the day after that we put in a full price offer. They didn’t respond to our offer, and ended up taking a few more days than we were happy with to respond and ultimately came back with a good counter offer, but they still had something in the contract that we just weren’t happy with.

Ultimately, we decided to pass on the home…I’m heart broken, and grumpy about it. I wanted that home. It was PERFECT. It was 3400 sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, had a wood burning fireplace, it was PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT. There is nothing for sale around our town that is worth a crap, and this house was IT. But, ultimately the fact that they could accept another offer if we didn’t get an offer on our house within 30 days was just scary for us. So, we just decided to walk away. It was in a neighborhood too and Landon couldn’t ride his four wheeler so that was a big red flag for us in the first place.

Back to square one…

We are currently getting our home ready to put on the market, and holy shit I didn’t realize there was so much we needed to do to our house! We just live here and fix things when they need fixed or whatever but when you’re going to sell it’s totally freakin different. We are currently waiting to have our countertops measured for granite on 6/25, and they will be installed on 7/2. We are having painters come on Monday to paint the rest of our trim and 6 interior doors. The past two weeks of my life have been SO incredibly frustrating. I just want things to go smooth because I’m already stressed about leaving our house. It is Kenley’s only home, and that breaks my heart.

I’m tired and frustrated and annoyed and grumpy and sad and worried and angry that this is my life in the first place. It’s supposed to be exciting to pick a house and move there. We can afford a beautiful home and I want to be excited about it, but I’m just stressed. I wish that I wasn’t such an anxious person and could enjoy life, but that’s just not me. It may have been me in the past I think? I’m not sure. I don’t know that person anymore. I haven’t known her in a long time.

Being this busy leads me to feeling so down a lot of the times. I feel like I don’t have time for myself, or for my children individually. I definitely don’t have time for grief, and it ends up manifesting itself as other things such as anger, sadness, depression. The other day while packing, Landon carried the diaper bag I took to the hospital with Kenley out to the packing area and I started immediately crying. My mom looked so worried and asked what was wrong, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks all over again. That bag. That bag that was lovingly packed and prepared for her beautiful body to come home…the bag that still has my nursing bra inside of it.

I don’t want to sit down and have a planned moment to cry, because that’s just not where I’m at in my life. Life is happening all around me and I am barely keeping up, but I feel like because it’s always going 1,000 miles a minute, I don’t have time to even think about how badly I miss her. I sat in that nursery waiting for her to come home…and we’re going to move away from this house. It feels like I’m leaving her behind in a way. The closet in the nursery is still painted the same color as Kenley’s nursery; I didn’t change it when the painter painted it for Alden’s arrival. It feels like everything is changing again and I just want it to be the same. I want to go back to before life was a constant changing river flow.

I’m so ready to be settled into somewhere that I can call home….I wish that I could share that home with all of my children….



SAHM after loss

When I found out I was pregnant with Landon, I thought I would have him without issue, stay home for 6 weeks, then go back to work. Wrong. The minute I laid eyes on him I knew that I didn’t want to return to work. It just so happened that Shane makes good enough money that this was an option for us. We would have to sacrifice some extra spending but it was so worth it. Raising Landon was the hardest (and still is the hardest) thing I had been through. He was difficult, didn’t sleep, had colic and acid reflux and on top of all of those things was my first child so I was super anxious. Fast forward 7 years and he’s still the hardest kid I have!

Being a stay at home Mom is very rewarding, and on the other hand it is the worst thing in the world some days. I am a very social person, and I crave interaction with other adults so at first immediately after Landon I struggled SO BAD with this. I was lonely, I felt like it was just me and Landon all day every day. We had no family to visit, I didn’t have a job, and I was in a town where I had about 4 friends (all of whom worked at the job I no longer had). It was rough. I remember feeling sad a lot. Shane worked really weird hours, and it left me alone with Landon a lot. I took on the morning routines, and the night routines and pretty much everything, honestly.

When I found out I was pregnant with Kenley, I was scared to take my SAHMing to another level with two kids. Landon was 4 (almost 5) and would be starting Kindergarten that fall, so I was nervous about preparing him for that while having a newborn. It’s funny the things I used to worry about…So when Kenley died, I was stuck at home, again, without a baby, and with a child who just witnessed his Mother and Father go through the worst thing in the whole entire world. I was left to handle my grief and help this poor  4 year old navigate his own grief. How are you supposed to help someone handle and understand their grief when you literally are barely able to wake up every morning and DO NOT understand it yourself?

I tried. I tried really, really hard. I would listen to Landon, and let him cry, and ask questions, and say all of these things that would cut me like a fucking knife. It hurt. It hurt my heart every single day (still does) to watch him process the death of his sister. He is still processing it. He talks about her, he draws pictures of her, looks at her picture, includes her in conversation, but sometimes I wonder if he really considers her a person, or just a dream. I’m not sure.

When we had Alden, I was nervous again. Now, I had my living child who was plagued with grief from losing his first sister, and I had MY grief from losing her, and then we had a newborn. I was scared that things wouldn’t flow properly and that I would resent her for taking Kenley’s “space” (nursery). I really felt a lot of emotions about having her. Some good…some bad…some scary.  When she came, I couldn’t have loved her anymore. It took me a while to really feel connected with her, I won’t lie. I loved her so much, but it was different. Once we settled in, and things become routine, my love for her just exploded and now I cannot imagine living without her. It does hurt to know that Kenley should be here, and be older than her, but at the same time it’s so hard to think that way because Alden wouldn’t be here if Kenley was here. I hate even allowing my brain to think that way. It’s not fair. It shouldn’t be one or the other– it should be BOTH. Or better yet, ALL.

Alden and Landon’s interactions make my heart burst. It is so amazing to see Landon be a brother to her. He is amazing, and loves her so much. He loves Alden fiercely; I can see the protection in his eyes when he is with her. And he also loves Kenley, albeit differently. That makes my Momma heart proud. Having two children at home was different. Having all things compounded with grief, and fatigue was super hard. But, Landon went to first grade and Alden watched him get on the bus every day. When she could talk, she would scream “bubby” as he left in the mornings. She is a PERFECT baby. She sleeps so well, she is so fun, she entertains herself when needed, and she is my little bestie.

When we found out we were expecting Rowan it was SO different. We were done after Alden. We weren’t expecting to have another baby let alone so quickly after Alden arrived. Alden was barely 4 months old when I found out I was expecting Rowan. Cue fear. I was done being stressed out and worried but now I had no choice but to go through it all again. Once Rowan arrived it was the same course of emotions I experienced with Alden; fear, fatigue, and tons of grief and guilt. I didn’t feel connected to her just like with Alden, and I feared it was far worse that with Alden because she was a “surprise” (for lack of better words). As we all fell back into a routine, now with 3 living children at home, my feelings towards Rowan changed. Now, once again, I couldn’t imagine my life without her. She is growing into this little person and it’s so much fun to witness.

Having 2 under 2 is rough. SUPER ROUGH. I’m tired, I’m always covered in puke, or food. I pee with the door open, and as fast as I can because undoubtedly someone will cry, or Alden will come running into the bathroom with cold (sometimes wet?) hands and smack my legs while I sit there. SAH momming is NOT pretty. I don’t wear makeup, I don’t change out of my pjs usually.  I never have a second to sit down and just breathe. I found the time to write this today because the girls are napping and I made Landon go do something and give me space. Not because I don’t love him and want to be around him, but because I am a person too, and I deserve a free second. I work extremely hard every second of every day and I need “me” time. Having the babies is a lot of work. I am always changing a diaper or feeding someone it feels like (and that person being fed is never me!) . Landon is home for the summer, and in ways it’s super helpful but in some other ways it’s so much worse because he needs attention on top of the girls, and trying to find time to include him is kind of impossible.

I explain to him that the girls NEED me, he is able to take care of himself, and that I need him to help me out, but I know that he feels left out a lot. It’s hard. It makes my heart feel guilty. The days when I have a bad day (emotionally) are the worst. Everything seems 1000x harder, and I feel like I snap and yell a lot. It’s a work in progress, this life with 3 living kids. I’m trying the best I can, but I cannot help but feel like I lose myself a lot.

I am a Mother of 4 children, and a lot of times that is all that people see. Heck, they technically only see me being a Mother to 3 children, and they miss this HUGE part of my life. I feel like my life is an Onion; I have a trillion layers and some of them will make you cry. Finding time to include Kenley, and remember her is super difficult with 3 living kids, too. I feel guilt over not being able to spend time with her daily. I see that she is showing me she is with us in certain ways though. For example, I always tend to look at the clock on the “32” minute of whatever hour it is. It’s weird! She was born at 10:32 pm and I don’t know why it happens, but it just does. And if it’s just a completely random thing that happens, fine, but I NEED to think it’s a sign because it makes me feel close to her.

Being a mom is rough. Being a stay at home mom is rough. Being a stay at home mom, to 4 kids one of whom died before you got to know her is sad and rough.

But, somehow, it’s also the greatest thing I’ve ever done and I am proud of myself that I am able to hold my shit together to raise these little loves we created.

I can only dream about having them all here…

Someday we will all be together again. I look forward to that day–whenever and wherever it may be.