Saturday, April 30, 2011

River's 2nd Birthday!

Well, we are officially nearing the end of River's second birthday. It was quite a day! It was a bit emotional, just very hard to believe that I survived another year without him in my arms, or chasing him around the house! I feel a bit exhausted, but I wanted to share a few of the special moments:

We were busy working on things for next weekend's big event, and we had a few of his candles lit this morning. It gave me peace, seeing those candles shining so bright. Next, we went to the office, to meet River's grandmothers to finish up some other things for next weekend...we accomplished a lot today. Thank you sooo much to Grandma Brenda and Grandma Paula for making this a success!

After we finished up there, we went to the cemetery and tied his birthday balloon up, and we began to see the rain (that had been here ALL day) finally break up, just in time for dinner! We had planned a small BBQ gathering and the sun was shining strong by the time we sat down to eat.

We ate our birthday cake (which was cheesecake that his baby brother loved) and we let these balloons go, two beautiful balloons with birthday wishes for him! See the bright glow in the cloud on the right? My mom and I noticed it in both of our pictures, it was just breathtaking.

We rounded out the day, with this beautiful sunset. It was very obvious that River was with us today. We received so many birthday wishes for him as well as so much support, it was amazing and it was so touching to know that so many people remembered him today.

In a few short minutes, International Babylost Mothers Day will arrive in the Midwest, my thoughts and prayers are with so many families, that I know are missing their children. My hope today is that all of them know that I am praying for peace, knowing that their children live in our hearts always. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

This Weekend

This weekend is quite eventful, despite the fact that our "big event" is actually next weekend!

First of all, today is Spring for SIDS day:

Secondly, tomorrow is sweet River's 2nd birthday! I cannot even believe it. 2 years ago, tomorrow at 6:06pm my first child, a handsome little boy was born and my heart grew bigger than I ever thought possible with all of the love he gave me.

River - Thank you sweetheart, for showing me something in 6 short days that most people wait for their whole lives. I hope you have an amazing birthday party. We love and miss you so very, very much!!! Mom, Dad and Baby Brother

Lastly, Sunday is International Babylost Mother's Day:

I really hadn't thought much about all of these dates lining up in a row, but I have been so involved in getting ready for his birthday fundraiser celebration, that it didn't sink in, until now. 

Wishing all of the mother's that are missing their children a peaceful day on Sunday. 
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I have decided to take star requests until River's 2nd birthday, this Saturday the 30th. So please, let me know if I can create a star for you, in exchange for a $10.00 donation to River's Run and Ride Rally.

Please share this with anyone you know that may not have participated already. I have been honored to create these in memory of our children. Thank you all for your support!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

River's Birthday

River's birthday is coming up, in 5 days.
I cannot believe that this precious boy would be 2 years old.

I also cannot believe that he has been gone for 2 years, just 11 short days from now. I miss him so much. I have been seeing more of him in Asher the last few weeks. It is clearly obvious they are brothers.

For River's birthday, I am ecstatic to have a brand new blog design, thanks to Small Bird Studios! I am just in love with everything about it.

I am working on wrapping up the Sweet Shining Stars project for this year's Rally event. Please let me know if you are still interested, I am buying the last of the supplies this week. It has been an honor to create these stars, thank you all for your support.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



Just wanted to remind everyone that the deadline to participate in this event is fast approaching!! I have been honored to make these stars for so many families, but if there is anyone that missed it, or would like to still purchase a "Sweet Shining Star" for their child, the last day I will take requests is this Saturday, April 23rd.
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!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Helping, Healing, Hope

This will be shown at River's Run and Ride Rally's event on May 7th. It was created to show what our mission is. It was made with love and care, to honor children gone too soon. River's Dad, Ben, worked many hours on this video, in hopes to gain awareness of our cause.

Please feel free to share this with anyone that may want to know more about what we do.
We appreciate your support!

Monday, April 18, 2011

River's Park

River's Daddy was on our village board for the last 6 years. About 3 years ago, they were approached by some youth in our community to build a skate park. This has been a growing trend, a place for teens to ride their bikes and skateboards. Our village thought it was a good request and put Ben in charge of it. He was the youngest board member and they thought he would work well with the teens.

They began fundraising right away, selling lollipops, doing car washes, and spaghetti dinners. They began researching plans, Ben learned a lot about what was expected of a park. I spent a lot of time involved in this as well. We contacted local businesses for donations, tried to get grants, and spent hours determining the project's final costs.

The beginning of the park was the concrete slab, this was poured in May of 2009, the same month River passed away. This was an exciting step, because it meant the park was going to happen! There was still fundraising to do, but seeing that step completed was wonderful! It proved to the teens that they had power, they could make this happen.

The fundraising, was completed due to a generous donor in our community and the plans were finalized. A local company, Schaffer Manufacturing, was going to be constructing the ramps, and the fun box, complete with steps and a grind rail. Everything was going smoothly, and project was set to complete the spring of 2010.

It was shortly before Christmas of 2009, I believe that we were approached by our village president and asked if we would consider naming the park after River. The idea was brought to her from some citizens of our community. We were overwhelmed that they wanted to name it after him. We were incredibly honored that this little boy, who was in this world for such a short time had enough impact to make someone suggest this. It was decided by the Milltown village board that the skate park would be called River's Park. I was in tears, knowing that a park River would have grown up playing on was going to be named after him.

Once that was confirmed, we decided that project completion should be as close to River's 1st birthday as we could make it. This began the ideas for River's Run and Ride Rally. We wanted to include the grand opening of the skate park in River's birthday celebration. We did it! The ramps were installed on River's birthday, April 30, 2010. The sign was designed by a great friend, with help from Ben and I on the color and font to use.

This is River's uncle, riding the ramps on opening day!
I was in awe, this was an amazing birthday gift for our little boy. We had a ribbon cutting ceremony and the kids were enjoying the park within minutes. The park is not too far away from our home.We take walks by there frequently. I often think that I need to remind myself that it is real. I am very grateful to our community for giving us this gift, of honoring our son.

Monday, April 11, 2011


My husband was watching the movie Astro Boy, the other day.
Has anyone seen this movie? 

I haven't, but he said it was very interesting.
It is an animated film based on a Japanese series. 

In the movie, a doctor creates a robot replica of his son that was killed. 

There was one part of the movie I wanted to share -- 

The doctor was accused of going crazy, while creating this robot. 
His colleague's response was: 
"If you lose your son and don't go crazy, you aren't a human being."

If the creators of Astro Boy get it, why can't the rest of the world? 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy List Saturdays

This is my first participation in the Happy List Saturdays, although I have been reading everyone's Happy Lists for a while now... finally I am catching up!!

1. This month is River's second birthday and he is off to an amazing start -- I entered 2 giveaways in the last 2 weeks and won!

I received in the mail this week this beautiful Willow Tree "Angel of Freedom"
figurine from Mary, Addison's mommy.

The other drawing I won was from Carly, The Blue Ice Butterfly. 
One of  her sweet daughters drew me out of all of the entries :) 

2. Volunteering at Faith's Lodge -- tonight we are making dinner for 7 couples that have all lost infants. This is something we are honored to do in River's memory. We cherish learning their stories and sharing ours.

3. Sweet Shining Stars project, I have been overwhelmed with love while creating these stars for our sweet babies. I am looking forward to displaying them at our event and then sending them home to their families. This project is still open for requests until April 23.

4. Making journals for Jenna's Journal Drive -- I have two to finish up and they will go in the mail on Monday! I have been so blessed to be a part of this project. It has given me moments of peace and serenity while working on them.

5. River's Garden -- finally, there is spring in Wisconsin!! The snow is gone and there are plants making their way:

6. Getting ready for River's birthday party, River's Run and Ride Rally on May 7th. It's going to be a wonderful event raising money for others trying to figure out life without their child.

7. Lastly the thing that ALWAYS makes me happy, River's precious little brother:

I guess that's a lot of catch up, and a lot of pictures to share. 
Makes up for me being MIA from my blog for a while!
I've been reading, just not posting -- looking forward to seeing everyone's Happy Lists!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Five Minute Friday

This is my first participation in the "Five Minute Friday" but since I feel like I have barely 5 minutes, every day, this feels appropriate to do!

Here are the rules:
1. Write for only five minutes. Don’t edit. Don’t over think. Don’t stifle your creativity.
2. Link back to Gypsy Mama and invite others to join in.
3. Go leave some comment love for the five minuter
who linked up before you.

Today's Subject: A Few of My Favorite Things --


*my sons

*my husband and his will to keep moving, even on days that I say: "I quit!"


*my work, although I wish I could get paid to do all of the other "stuff" in life, I do enjoy working in a library. it is calm, and fun! although you'd think I get to read more.

*my family -- they are awesome!!

*flowers -- especially daisies, and daffodils, but most flowers in general make me happy

*River's Run & Ride Rally, has given me a way to be River's mother, even though he isn't here

*my friends, in real life and online, you all make me who I am, thank you!!

*laughing -- especially my sweet little boys' laughter :)

*going to church

*going out to eat, it's always wonderful to avoid doing the dishes and clean up!

*miracles -- they happen every day!

*butterflies, dragonflies, fireflies

*deer, bunnies and birds -- I grew a new appreciation for these after River's Garden came to life, these animals greet me every day (if spring ever comes!)

*on that note, SPRING!! which I am still waiting for in snowed again this morning (boo!!)


I could have thought of so many more! Making that list, really made my day better! It made me stop and really think, only about my favorite things... what are yours?