Wednesday, March 30, 2011

River is Almost Two!!

I realized that today is yet again...the 30th! He is one month shy of 2 years old! Part of me can't believe it's been that long because it feels like just yesterday that I held him in my arms. Part of me wonders how I am going to cope as his birthday gets closer. I facilitate a support group, and I tell parents all of the time that the anticipation of the day is often worse than the day itself. I know this, yet I can't make the anticipation any less. Why is it that I can't control that part of my feelings?

I get up every day & I go through the motions. After work, I email and blog with many BLMs, I work on River's Rally, I have many projects going for children who are no longer here, including the Sweet Shining Stars. All of this because River was here, and now he isn't. He may not be here physically but he is in my heart each and every moment. This is my life. Most days I have accepted this, some days I can't believe that it is me going through this. This is me grieving, that's what all of this is, on a path trying to find healing

I have been struggling lately that I am not spending every minute I can with my living child, and I have invested too much of myself into the projects that relate to River. I'm sure most of my BLM friends will agree that parenting a child that is no longer here is very exhausting mentally and physically!! I came to this conclusion yesterday: this is what it must feel like to have all of your children alive! Most parents must feel like they are being pulled in different directions, trying to give attention to all of their children, right? This made me feel better, and less guilty. It is ok when I take time away from 'River Projects' to spend with precious Asher and vice verse. This is a normal feeling, and it means I am doing all I can to be the best mommy my sons could ask for.

I am beginning to figure this out, this "new life" I have -- with both of my children.

This photo is my sweet River the day after he was born.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Please Keep Sharing

I just wanted to remind everyone about the Sweet Shining Stars project! I am really enjoying this and feel honored so many have chosen me to create a beautiful star for them.

Please feel free to keep sharing this project, I am hoping to have an amazing display and mail these stars home to their families, in May.

Thank you to those that made donations, for all of the support for River's Run and Ride Rally thus far. We appreciate all of your help!

I'd better get back to work on the stars :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sweet Shining Stars

This is my official name for this project! I can't wait to display our shining stars at our event in May and then send them all home to their families!

I wanted to share the first 2 stars. I completed them last night, I am very pleased with how they turned out! I couldn't believe that while I was working on them, my brain stopped. Yes stopped running a million miles a minute and focused so much on my technique of lettering and making them perfect!! I am really honored to do this for our children.

So far, I have 2 more to complete and I am looking forward to working on them!

Here is what they look like:

The star on the left is sweet Mikayla, I met her parents last October and I am so glad that they are participating in this! Of course the star on the right is my baby River!

Here is a photograph of River's that shows the lettering a little closer. I apologize as I am no photographer and I had no natural light, so the flash had to be on.

Please feel free to share this with anyone you know that may want to participate! Wishing everyone peace knowing that your children have all touched my life and I appreciate your kindness and support.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Star Project

I haven't come up with a fancy name for this project yet, but I will, I hope!

I have been working on the lettering for this, and just want to update anyone that hasn't ordered yet to consider the space and know that if your child's name is longer it will be harder to fit it all on the star.

I have decided that going with first and middle names may be the most appropriate way to do this. If you'd like something else, know that I may contact you if the spacing doesn't work out.

Thank you to everyone that has participated so far! I am looking forward to creating these stars for your children!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am awful at decision making. This has been true my whole life. I think it got worse when River died. I am so bad at it, that I couldn't decide what to do with this blog and therefore missed Small Bird Studios wait list! Oh well, there's always next month, I hope I can make up my mind!

I did make a decision about something I want do for all of the families I've met that are missing their children. We have an annual event in memory of River, called River's Run and Ride Rally. This year it happens to be the weekend of Mother's Day. I wanted to somehow include all of the children that are now angels. This is my idea:

1)I will purchase these stars (I think they are roughly 8" in size):

2) For a donation of $10.00 to River's Run and Ride Rally, I will write your child's name on the star of your color choice (blue, silver or pink) and display this at our event.

3) I will email you a picture of the stars hanging together, as well as mail your star to you after our event is over. I am also going to attach the following saying upon mailing: "Perhaps the stars in the sky are loved ones letting us know they are near by guiding us through the night."

All you need to do is make your donation here (click on the donate button in the sidebar) and in the notes field, please include your child's first name, the color star you would like, the email address of where to send the picture and where I should mail the star to upon completion of the event.

I have three goals with this project:
a) to bring smiles to the faces of the families I have met that have lost children, anything with River's name on it makes me so happy.
b) to raise awareness in my community of how losing a child impacts us, I want to visually show them that in a matter of 2 years, we have connected with so many people that are enduring the same loss. I want them to see how many people their donations can help.
c) to raise money for our event, last year we had a matching funds donation and this year we cannot get that again, so we are trying to raise that portion of our proceeds.

So, if you'd like to participate in this, please let me know by April 23rd, 2011. Please share this with anyone you know that would appreciate this idea. I look forward to celebrating your children with River at his 2nd birthday party!

Monday, March 7, 2011


In the beginning of this world of grief, I really wondered how God could have taken my sweet River from my life. Then I realized that He didn't, and that it was He who brought my precious son into my life. I believe with my whole heart that God actually gave me time with my sweet baby.
River wasn't responsive when he was born, due to the cord around his neck, twice. He came back from that, to grace us with 6 days full of love stronger than I had ever known. God didn't take him from me, He allowed me time with him. Time for me to be his mother, time to enjoy my pregnancy and the short week we had with him in our arms. I couldn't think of a better gift!
The saying that "God doesn't give you more than you can handle," has got to be one of the worst things anyone can say to a grieving person. What I think people mean is the following:

This makes much more sense to me!

I have to thank my dear friend, Kelly at
Kix Photo, for taking this picture for me. It reminds me that I can handle this, with God's help. He has given me the tools and the people in my life to keep helping others and keep moving forward. It reminds me that my strength comes from my faith and River giving me the nudge to keep going every day. It makes me realize that River was given to me, as a gift to enjoy for however long I chose, and I choose to enjoy him every day of my life.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I came across these pictures today, and I remember taking them, I just forgot how long ago it was. Just over a year ago, before we were due with Asher. We went to Duluth, on a whim, just for the afternoon. We had always dreamed of taking River there for family vacations. My husband and I both went to college there and we still love visiting. We were married there as well, so we feel like that area has a big part of our lives.

We were there in February, I can't remember the date exactly,but it was so warm here, that we had spring fever and wanted to walk the shore of Lake Superior. Off we went! We arrived and the shore was frozen, but the lake was so pretty and peaceful. I think it was a family vacation with River, before his baby brother arrived.

I wanted something to remember that time, and I wrote his name, with small pebbles that fill the shore, in the frozen edge of this beautiful lake. During the time it took me to do this (which was a while being 8+ months pregnant) , my husband was walking the edge of the lake. When he returned, he saw River's name and smiled. I decided that I didn't want to move his name, I would leave part of him there on that shore. As we walked away, I took this photo:

It's amazing to me, that I didn't realize this was over a year ago, but I remember that day like it just happened. I remember driving home, very late, after we had dinner and we talked the whole way (2 hours) about River, about our love for him, our fears, our faith and our family.

"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity."
Henry Van Dyke

The first time I read this quote, I thought "time is too long for those who grieve, it's forever. It's the rest of my life!" It wasn't until today, that I realized I had overlooked the end of this quote, loving someone makes time eternal, I will love River forever. He may not be here for me to hold in my arms, but I hold onto him with my heart, and in my this crazy Febraury afternoon on the shore of Lake Superior.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pay It Forward -- From Small Bird Studio

I would like to say "Thank You!!" to Small Bird Studio, and the lovely Franchesca. River's Rally is the recipient of her Pay It Forward funds this month!

I will likely be getting down to business on a new blog design, finally! I have been putting it off, because frankly I just don't know what to do!

This program that Franchesca came up with, has me motivated to move forward and at least begin the process...if you or anyone you know are looking at having a blog makeover, choose Franchesca! Also if you are in need of biz cards or etsy shop design, check out Small Bird Studio and support River's Rally at the same time!!

Thank you all, again for your generosity, support and inspiration!