I literally do not feel like I have time to think about anything without my brain being clouded with 50,000 other thoughts. It’s insane. There is so much going on in our lives and while most of it is amazing, it does come with stress and emotional guilt.

We have officially listed our home for sale. The only home that any of my children have ever known. Landon was 4 months old when we moved here– Rowan’s age! He is not a bright and vibrant 7 year old boy. Kenley grew inside of me here…The embryo that is now Alden implanted here, and Rowan surprisingly came into our lives here. I have some guilt about leaving the only home that Kenley ever knew. I think the decision to move from the only home that your dead baby has ever known is so personal…some people say it feels freeing for them to leave, and some people say that they feel guilt.

I think that eventually I will feel ok with the choice, but right now it just brings me to tears randomly. I had so many plans for our lives here. We were going to have 2 kids, and this house would be perfect for that. The space here would accommodate us, but, alas life isn’t always what you expect it to be…now we have 3 living children and one who will never be here to take up space and cause commotion.

Yesterday we had the realtor team in to take photos of our home. It took 2 hours! I can’t wait to see them on our listing though. I’ve put a ton of work into this home, Shane has busted his ass working on things to make the outside of the home look beautiful, and he has busted his ass even harder working his job to make sure we can afford this home and that I can stay home with the kids.

We haven’t been able to find anything we are interested in buying, but we are actively looking for homes and for land. We would love to build. Things just need to constantly be  busy all the time, apparently. I guess I like to torture myself. Thinking about doing showings of this house with 3 kids, and Shane at work during the day time stresses me out to no end! Our goal is to have showings all next week after it gets listed, and do an open house on Saturday and Sunday. We will see what happens.

Life is weird, and this post is sort of just a jumbled mess of thoughts because I needed to write them down.

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.


Today Landon said “I wish Kenley was alive. She would be the most fun sister ever.”

What do I say to that? As a parent, I want to say one thing, and as a grieving mother I want to scream and cry out another reply. My heart gets torn in so many directions so often these days that I sometimes forget how I’m truly feeling.

Every single day is different; different day, yet the same intense grief. I feel like some days I wake up and I feel good, but then the day just seems overwhelmingly difficult and I break down. Some days I feel like I can’t handle everything that I have going on in my life, on top of my grief…yet somehow I do, and then there are days I wake up feeling like superwoman and handle the day, start to finish, like a pro (this is rare).

The whole notion that grief and joy can coexist was something I truly thought impossible in the early days. I remember laying in the hospital bed after Kenley died and just thinking that it was all different now. I very specifically remember thinking that this is my life now. I have a dead daughter and that’s who I am. 

And it is who I am.

It will always be who I am.

I am her mother.

But, I am also Landon, Alden, and Rowan’s Mother and even on days where I would rather crawl into a hole and die I have to remind myself of that. I seriously do not know where the will to survive comes from some days. I just don’t. Some days I count down the minutes until nap time, or bed time, or until Shane comes home.

Today, today was one of those days. We took Landon to Nationwide Children’s Concussion Clinic for a follow-up on his concussion diagnosis and it raised a lot of emotions inside of me. I know he’s fine deep down, but it just really triggers some heavy shit when you have to walk into any hospital after you lose a child. I often think I’m doing better, then I have a day like today and it takes my breath away and brings me to tears. Landon is fine, he is cleared and the doctor thinks he is almost healed from his concussion, but referred us to the Neurology department for Landon’s tics. I knew this would be necessary but I’m thankful for the shove because I had been putting it off.

It’s wonderful news (healing from concussion), but still just too heavy. Thinking that there could be something wrong with him or his brain or whatever is just TOO heavy for me. I can’t. I know it’s probably just transient tics like he was diagnosed with back in 2014, but now? Now I go to the dark place immediately.

Tumors. Cancer. Death. Another dead child. How can I survive that?

I. Just. Can’t. Even. Handle. It.

I’ve been finding myself feeling like Alden will die, and as I type that out I realize how ridiculous it might sound to some people but when it has happened to you, nothing is ridiculous in your own brain. You get stuck inside of these dark thoughts, or a dark place and it’s extremely hard to get out of it or stop thinking them.

Nothing has really triggered these fears, per se, but it’s like I LOVE HER so incredibly much that I’m so fearful. Same with Rowan. I keep thinking that something is wrong with her. There is no reason for me to think that, but I just keep running scenarios in my head. I’m also finding that my anti-depressant is making me a little irritated. I think that I may need to have my dose adjusted or something. Life is not supposed to be this hard. Or maybe it is. Maybe my life was cake before, and now this is just normal. I often feel as if I caused Kenley’s death, not by my own hand, but just by the choices I have made in my life before her. I don’t know. I know that’s not possible, but it’s guilt. It will always be there. I am her Mother and I could not save her. I didn’t know she was sick. I didn’t know something was wrong.

Life really likes to kick you when you’re down…

no time.

Life is crazy hectic these days, and while it provides a nice “escape” from my grief it also makes me feel guilty. I am able to wake up daily and function without being crippled with my sadness, and I call that a win. But, some days, I wake up and my mood is different. I will cry all day over things, or I will feel super anxious like my chest is going to explode.

That feeling hasn’t been too frequent, until lately. I’m not sure what’s shifting in my mental state but things are starting to feel heavy again. I think when we hit June I start to feel it hard; she should be 2 and a half on June 29th. I should have an almost 3 year old baby girl, who walks and talks and learns all these new things and is developing this cute little personality. It just makes my brain hurt some days to think about it.

It hurts my heart so badly that I think I’ve just learned to keep it blocked off from most things these days. I find myself not enjoying pretty much anything that I used to. Shane will say things about the stuff that I used to enjoy — i.e. photography, or refinishing furniture– and say that I used to like those things, or just make little remarks about me not enjoying them now.

I’m sure it’s depression, of course, but like I just don’t care anymore. Before I cared…now I don’t. I literally do not care. I used to refinish furniture and it made me feel happy. Now, it makes me want to die. Shane had to repaint Kenley’s dresser for Alden because it literally made my heart cry. I barely like taking pictures on my phone anymore, let alone with my Nikon. It feels like too much work; like it doesn’t fucking matter.

Oh this picture turned out so cute! Doesn’t matter because Kenley is still dead.

That dresser would be amazing painted kelly green! Nope. Do not care.

I feel very apathetic towards pretty much everything in my life. I don’t think that is something that medication can fix, either. I’m sure there is something to grief causing this feeling in a person after a loss, but man it’s super hard to deal with. I am a happy person in general so to feel these feelings is really hard.

Losing a baby changes you. It shapes you into this person you don’t know, and that you would never want to be in your darkest nightmares. Life moves forward and you literally have no other choice than to just fucking go with the flow. I want to scream and cry every single day because I’m missing a child, but like that is not rational. I’m trying. I’m trying to keep my sanity and it makes me feel so guilty all the damn time.

I miss her, and I wish that I could just go back and hold her. I want to see her again.

My heart is so full of love and joy, but my god it’s so fucking broken too.


I’m not sure why, but some days just hit hard. Like really really hard. Today I was watching Rowan bounce in her bouncer and I just got sad. Then, I played with her on her play-mat and got sad again. It’s not sad sad, it’s like bittersweet sad? I’m not sure if that makes sense.

I’m sad because it makes me see, all over again, the things that Kenley won’t get to do. When she was born I immediately knew what I was missing out on with her life being cut so short. I had Landon prior to her so I know the intense joy a child brings to your life. When she died, that sadness was already understood.

When I had Alden, it was different because this time I was raising a girl so everything was new, and would have been exactly like raising Kenley. So I got to see the milestones of “raising a girl” only to feel the intense sadness of not seeing Kenley do these things or like the things Alden did. And when Rowan came, it was just all of these things all over again. And kind of intensified by the fact that she looks so similar to Kenley—talk about a mind fuck.

It’s just so bittersweet. I miss her so badly and some days it just creeps up when I’m feeling the happiest. This is just another reason why life after loss is so fucked up; grief is a happiness stealer.

Living with coexisting grief and joy hurts a lot more than you would expect.


All because of you

I haven’t slept in so long

When I do, I dream

Of drowning in the ocean

Longing for the shore

Where I can lay my head down

Inside these arms of yours

All because of you

I believe in angels

Not the kind with wings

No, not the kind with halos

The kind that bring you home

When home becomes a strange place

I’ll follow your voice

All you have to do

Is shout it out

(Rise Against- good left undone)

it’s Mother’s Day.

Today is Mother’s Day. Mostly it’s a happy holiday for people, but the day is shadowed with grief and confusion for myself and many other women who have lost children.

I have the most beautiful family; they are my greatest creations. I am so thankful for them, and even though some days I want to rip my hair out while crying, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Our family will be missing a crucial member forever, however.

Thinking about my first Mother’s Day after Kenley died is rough; my heart just hurt so bad. The grief and shock was so raw. She had been gone less than 6 months and it felt unreal. It still feels unreal, honestly. I wake up on the daily and can’t believe this is my life. That I will have a missing family member forever. A perfect daughter who should be here but never got the chance.

I love parenting my children, but I wish I could parent all of them here on earth. I don’t allow myself to day dream about my life with all of them here. I don’t know that it would help me mentally to think that way; it’s a defense mechanism I’m pretty sure.

So on Mother’s Day, I want to write a little note to my children-

Landon, I am so thankful you made me a mother. You are so much fun, and so frustrating all at the same time! I’m so proud of the little man you are becoming. I love you so much buddy!

My sweet Kenley, I am so sorry I couldn’t save you. You are perfect. You were so wanted. I wish so badly that I could watch you grow and hear your beautiful voice. I love you with everything I am. I hope you know that, and I hope you are proud of me. I cannot wait until the day we are together again. I love you. I love you. I love you.

Alden, my little unicorn rainbow baby, you have healed my heart in ways I never thought possible. Your smile is infectious and your laugh warms my heart. Every day with you is amazing, and I love being your Mommy. I am so thankful for you my sweet baby.

Rowan, my sweet surprise, I was scared to death when I learned you were coming! You and Alden are so close in age that I thought I would never feel normal again. I am so thankful that you are part of our family! You’re only 10 weeks old but I cannot wait to watch your personality develop! Your smiles are adorable and I love to her you coo!

No Mother should have to be without any of her children on Mother’s Day.