Sunday, August 9, 2015

Let's Be Real

I had the pleasure of seeing Rob Bell speak this weekend. He's pretty controversial in the "Christian" world and while I guess I can see why- people need to give this man a chance. He's pretty incredible. 

He was talking about dark space and how 96% of our universe is made up of unknown/dark space. It's the majority of what's around us. This can relate the same to our lives and how so many want to speak about their dark space. He spoke about a woman during a question and answer session and how she asked, "My young daughter just died from a rare disease. What do you have to say to me?". His answer hit me to my core and realized that this is exactly how I feel about death and loss and grieving the loss of someone so instrumental in your life. 

He said that she shouldn't be concerned with why it happened to her and those around her shouldn't be concerned withy that either. And how they shouldn't be hurdling bible scriptures at her as to why this happened. It was, then, I realized to master what answer on this side of life- it will never justify the death of my daughter. 

We need to sit together in silence with those who are grieving and those who are broken. Not throw feel-good scriptures at them. 

He spoke about how she will find a mom who is preparing to head down a similar path or has just lost her daughter. And they will connect in a way that no one but them can understand. And she will bring a comfort to this mom- a light that this mom needs. 

And I couldn't help but cry and rejoice in Jovi's sweet life. And rejoice in my soul sister, Katrina, who brought me more joy and light than I could ever explain. 

I've had those moments. I've been that person for someone else. That feeling is pretty incredible. 

I'm just so reminded again of the damage that some of these scriptures can do when someone is at the very bottom. Someone who is barely breathing. 

Be careful with your words. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

And so we continue on...

Both my babies here on Earth has birthdays recently. Sweet Cash turning 6! And little Lila turning 2. Where has the time gone? I was sitting in church today dwelling on life and how things can so drastically change in a matter of minutes. 

Some changes are so welcomed. 

Some are so unwanted. 

But, in the midst of all the chaos and change and shitty-crappy events and wonderful, joyous events... We've continued on. 

In the midst of it all, we've continued to smile. 

We've continued to love each other. 

We've continued to try. 

We've continued to grieve. 

We've continued to find joy.

We've continued to laugh. 

We've continued to miss until our hearts feel like they can miss anymore and, then, the next day... We miss even more. 

We've continued to love Jesus. 

We've continued to stress. 

We've continued to cry. 

We've continued to live. 

I have moments where I feel like I've got nowhere. Days where I feel stuck in the midst of loss and immense grief and the heavy feeling of how my life has been really, really hard. And how can someone even say I'm strong because I feel the very opposite of that. I feel weak. And tired. And so done. 

But, then, I have days (and sudden realizations) of how I've come along. And how I've continued. How we've continued despite the ever-hard and sometimes seeming never-ending obstacles I have to jump. And how my life has never ended. I am sure I've said this all before but tonight it's hit me again hard. And I'm proud of myself. And my family. 

On a lighter note-

My life is still very good. I've done so many awesome things this month... I am thankful for kindergarten graduations and for going to well child checks. I will forever remember how incredible these moments are with my babies. And how I'll never wish for them to stop growing...

I can't wait to see where life takes us. Praying for an easier time. And as always, praying my babies below outlive me by decades. 

What in the world?! My boy is 6! And a first grader! This sweet little man saved me and was one of the very reasons I chose to get up every morning. I am so thankful for him. I love his grown up sayings and the young man he's growing into. Seriously? When did he grow up?! I love this little guy so much... Even if he says he hates me now sometimes... Or punches his sister. 

This little ball of fun is 2! She continues to bring my entire family more joy than ever imagined. She's a spit fire who has helped heal some scars and lessen the sting of many others. She continues to make us laugh. Her vocabulary grows every day even if most times it takes us a good 20 times to understand... I love this little lady. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Missing you-

Oh little girl-

We cleaned out the garage today after months of it being the catch all from the big move. 

In the garage was your box. It always hits me like a ton of bricks to even see the box. And think of how unfair it is that all of your stuff that couldn't fit on your memory quilt just sits in there. The beautiful quilt your Auntie Becky made special just for you and your room. Your "J". The stuffed bunny Cash made at Build-A-Bear. The blanket you had at the hospital the day you died. I'm not sure why we even got that blanket back and I'm not always sure why I even kept it. But, it's a part of you. It touched you. And I seem to cling to anything that held you or touched your sweet skin. There were things I'd forgotten about... Your sunglasses from (Auntie) Taylor and your darling bracelet. I sat there pulling stuff out realizing out awful it is we don't get to see these pieces of you everyday. We have a playroom in our new house and I haven't been able to decide on a theme or what to put in there for decorations. You inspired that today and I pulled out some special (and happy) memories from that box to hang up so we can see more of you each day. 

I gave your baby sister your sunglasses. I wish I would have remembered they were in there. Because we put so many of your things on your quilt, there isn't many pieces from you that were passed on to your little sister. I can tell you, though, that those sunglasses were so loved. She was loving them. I enjoyed being able to see my girls both in something the same. 

Today was hard. And reminded me of how much my soul just aches for you. I am thinking of you an extra amount tonight. Send me some Jovi dreams. 

I love you so much, little girl, to Heaven and back. 

Your mommy

Look at your baby sis in those sweet shades! I bet you were smiling seeing her today. 


A police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty in our town this morning. 

These so-sudden, so-senseless tragedies hit home. And hit home big.

I remember what it was like. I remember July 10th. I remember going to work. I remember getting Jovi dressed. I remember her outfit was too small and leaving an extra with her grandma. I remember getting off early. And I remember going to run at the gym. I remember getting eggs and mushrooms at the store on my way home. I remember coming home. I remember kissing my sweet babies hello and telling them how I missed them. I remember putting Cash down for a nap. And snuggling Jovi on the couch. I remember her getting tired. And grouchy. And I remember putting her down for a nap. Life was so normal. Life was so good. I remember doing homework. I remember falling asleep. 

I remember waking up. And getting a glass of water. And texting my husband how all I wanted to eat was candy. I remember needing to go to Target. Cash needed shoes for a wedding. Life was so normal. So freaking normal. And I wanted to do something very normal. I just wanted to wake Jovi up to go to Target.

And then, I remember the minute I got to the door. And I heard her alarm going off. And that was the very second my life changed forever. 

I remember the panic. 

I remember the sheer panic.

I remember the 911 call. 

I remember sobbing and counting chest compressions. 

And I remember seeing my dad. 

And handing Jovi off to him. 

Crumbling to the ground and just simply wanting to barf. I will never forget. 

I remember the car ride. The sirens. 

I remember the face of the lady I first saw when I entered the ER. I remember the room she was in. And hearing a voice asking if the mom had arrived. 

I remember someone finally telling us it wasn't good and being allowed to come in. I remember seeing her and not understanding how she wasn't back and why she just looked like she was sleeping and how now I was suddenly being told she was gone. 

I remember asking to hold her. And asking her to come back and not to leave. 

I remember it all. I remember how she smelled like the hospital and not herself and that bothered me. I remember how her daddy cried when he held her and I remember the flood of loving people who stood by our side while we said goodbye. 

I remember signs of death and wanting to barf again. And feeling the need to leave now. I remember walking out of the ER with sun shining in my face. Clutching the outfit I left for her to wear just hours before... And how the world was still going and how mine had now suddenly and without warning ended. 

And I didn't understand. 

I feel for this family. I remember that very second. I remember the aftermath and the months of waking up feeling bliss only to remember you are actually living your nightmare. 

How I wish we were the last to lose... And to suffer. 

I want to give his wife and babies a big hug and tell her life is really shitty right now. It really is. And nothing anyone says or does will really make it better at this point. 

But- the fog will slowly start to life. And you won't feel so much like you are drowning. Slowly you will find what is a new normal as life never goes back to how it was. How time has now changed. It was before he died and life now after. They are two separate times. And how you are so changed and such a different person now. 

I want to tell her she will, one day, find herself smiling a non-forced smile and a genuine laugh will come from her. 

I want to stress that this life is still worth it. And that she will start to see good again, but that she doesn't have to right now because life is just real shitty at this time. 

Hang in there, precious family. Know you are on the entire communities hearts (mine so very much). Feel all the feels. You can do this. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Never Ends

That moment when it feels like you've been kicked in the chest when you see prom pictures and realize you will never get to see your baby girl off go prom. 

There's times when I think I've let go of the dreams I had for you and the life I had planned for us. And, then, there's those moments when I realize those dreams will be grieved and missed for the entire time I'm away from you. 

Here's to hoping there is prom in heaven. 

You looked beautiful in your fancy dress. 

You had a pretty sweet date, too. 

You are missed so much. I hope you are getting the kisses that boy sends you to Heaven each night. 

We all love you more than words can say. To Heaven and back. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Baby, you are 3!

I can't believe 13 days have passed since your birthday and I haven't even wished you a happy birthday on your special page. I think what it is, lovey, is that life does get easier to live with a broken heart. I get used to life without you. But, it does get harder, too. It's harder not knowing who you'd be. It's harder not having a clue what you would look like. It's so hard not knowing how your voice would sound. Would you call me mama or Mom like your baby sister does? What would you have called Cash? What would you love? Just who would you be? And so as your birthdays approach and I get farther and farther away from you and who are and who you would be, I am more heartbroken. More cheated. Easier because I have accepted this life. Easier because this is my reality. Easier because I have had to let go of those dreams but harder because I don't know you. And that's... just so depressing. 

On a lighter note, your birthday was beautiful. We chose to celebrate with the world and ask everyone to do nice things for others in honor of you. It was overwhelming (in a wonderful way) to see the love. I could feel you through the amazing acts of kindess done all over the world in honor of you. It amazes me the light that you continue to shine even in heaven. It amazes me the impact you continue to leave. It amazes me how you can inspire such good. I was reminded there still is such good in this world that can be filled with such awful and depressing events. And you inspired all of that good. You are so good. I am so proud to be your mommy. Thank you to everyone who did something for my swer baby. You really made her birthday unforgettable. I wish more than anything I was making her a cake and sticking in three little candels... That is not real life for me and my family. "J is for Jovi" is the best way I can think to celebrate her life and pay tribute to the incredible joy she has brought my life. 

Jovi Sloan- I can't even begin to say how much you are missed. Every. Single. Day. I love you to Heaven and back. Happy 3rd birthday my little blue-eyed beauty. 

We filled the baby section with pink balloons.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Baby girl

Beautiful baby- 

As we approach your birthday, I can't help but think about the excitement I felt this time three years ago. How I remember anticipating Valentine's Day because that meant you were coming soon after. How I would sit in your room and dream of you. How I went to bed every night thinking tonight would be my last night holding you in my belly and the morning would bring you into my arms. I remember feeling you move in my belly (my how you were active). I remember sitting in church one day and thinking how you were going to kick yourself out right in that moment. You were one strong girl. 

I remember the day I was told you would come today. I remember the extreme joy (and nervousness) that I was going to meet my baby girl today. I remember walking the halls for hours and nurses constantly saying "no baby yet?". And I will never forget how you suddenly just decided now was the time and you were born faster than anyone expected. I remember seeing your face for the first time and I will never forget the immense measure of love I felt looking into your eyes for the very first time. It was as if I was meeting someone I'd always known and how suddenly you completed my world. How I never knew that I missed you, but in that moment, I realized you were what was missing. I remember holding you for what felt like hours and cherishing every second of feeling your new skin against mine. 

These moments I have always been afraid of forgetting. But, how can I forget the day I meant the one my soul needed and the one who filled a hole I never even knew was missing. 

As I approach your birthday this year, I will choose to remember these moments. I (will forever and always) wish you were here. And that I was looking into your sweet blue eyes on your birthday and getting to ask you what kind of big 3rd birthday you wanted- I will never forget these precious moments. 3... I can't believe it. 

You are missed immeasurably. You will never be forgotten. Never replaced. My heart aches for you and will always long for you to be back with me. Thank you  for all of our precious little moments. Thank you for all of your serious gazes and for all the times you would just gaze at me. Thank you for changing me. I miss you today more than yesterday. 

Your mommy

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lila J.

I heard from a friend who knew someone who lost a baby and then had their rainbow. Their rainbow always felt like a replacement. I never, ever want Lila to think that so I was trying to think of all the things I want her to know. 

1.) Jovi was meant to live a short life. While I don't believe she died to punish someone or teach us a lesson, I do believe that somehow her life was known to be short. She was meant to die (that makes me cry to even write). But she was. She wasn't meant for a long life on Earth. So, she never would still be here for the "if Jovi would have lived, I would not be here". Jovi wasn't meant to live. Lila J, you were meant to be here just as much as your sister was. You were meant to be here just as much as your brother. Your life was meant to be. I prayed for you and your life more than I could ever explain. You, my sweet girl, are meant to be here. 

2.) I can't even begin to explain how stressed I was when I was pregnant with you. I can't begin to explain how terrified I was of losing you. I vividly remember the day you were born. I remember holding you. Feeling your warm and breathing body and remember crying. Crying because I got through one stage of keeping you. I know life is never a guarantee but I was so blessed to have you in my arms and I knew it more than many because of losing your sister. All I could do was cry and stare at your precious little face. I couldn't contain my sheer gratitude for the fact I got to keep you even if only a few seconds. I remember that big sigh of relief knowing i had you safe in my arms and you hadn't died yet. I can't even begin to explain what you did for my heart that day. How you made it grow three times. How you filled me with such joy. And how you gave me more hope than I had seen or felt in a long time. How you (yes, you) brought our entire family so much light and how your light shone in what felt like a sea of dark a lot of the time. All of this only in the first few hours of knowing you. You are a big deal. 

3.) Like the day you were born, your light continued to grow as you got older. You helped heal Mommy's heart in more ways than I ever thought possible. I never took time for granted with you. I remember studying every detail of your pudgy hands. I love, love dimples on baby hands. Your big baby thighs. I remember you learning to smile and the first time I heard your giggle. I cherish the memory of you eating food for the first time. I never once complained that you didn't sleep because it meant you were alive. I held you so often. Cleaning the house with you strapped to me... And I'll never forget it. You were my mommy's girl and I can't begin to say how good that felt. I would take notice of your baby smell everyday. Sometimes you smelled like lavender, sometimes ritz crackers, sometimes baby lotion... I couldn't get enough of you. 

4.) You are meant to be in our family and you continue to bring us so much joy. I find myself content with just watching you (and your brother) for hours. I notice so much of the things you do. How you eat... How your run... How you climb stairs or how you suck on your paci. You are so loved and we've never ever felt like you weren't meant for us. You play an extremely important role in our family and life would not ever feel right without you.  

You, my little lady, are loved.

You, my little monkey, are cherished. 

You, my little love, are meant to be. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015


We moved!

I've been seriously slacking in the blogging world. We put our house on the market back in July. It sold in 5 weeks and we had to be out by the beginning of September. We had originally planned on building, so moved into my parents for a few months waiting for our house to finish. Long story short, builder slacked and we still didn't have permits months later. We ended up putting an offer on an existing house and moved in 4 weeks ago. Phew. That's a lot of what we've been up to the last few months summed up into a short paragraph! *Huge thank you to my parents for letting us invade their quiet (and clean) house. They are lifesavers and we owe them so much thanks!

I know many baby loss mommas asked if I felt sad to "leave" Jovi in the only house she lived and was a part of our family in, and the honest answer- is no. I didn't. That house was filled with wonderful memories. We brought Cash, our first born, home there. We brought Jovi home there. We brought Lila home there. BUT, Jovi died there. And that HUGE disaster day was always there. Lingering... There were times I would open the master bedroom and the thoughts of the day she died would just hit me like a ton of bricks. I could tell you exactly where I gave her CPR and I had to walk by that spot numerous times... day after day after day. While there was so much good, there was also so much bad. The bad always seemed to overtake the good. And I was ready to say goodbye and have a fresh start.

My husband and I have had a rough year. It's something I've thought about blogging about. I go back and forth and may say more but let's just leave it at- we separated for a few months. I always promised I'd be true and honest in this blog, but something about opening up about our relationship this past year seems incredibly hard. Losing a baby is so hard on a marriage. I never thought that we would be troubled by Jovi's loss in our marriage. But, it did. It hit us and hit us hard this year. We went to counseling. We read books and continued to pursue each other and our family. We (obviously) are doing better now as we have made the big leap into purchasing a new home together. We are on the track to being better than ever. But, this was another big thing that I wanted to leave behind. A lot of stress and baggage lived in that house.

Of course, so many emotions came with me but leaving those extra triggers behind has been so relieving. It's like a breath of fresh air. A new start for my sweet little family. I'm so glad that I don't think of the day I opened that door and heard that dreadful alarm every time I go to my bedroom. I don't have to pass the spot where I tried to save my baby's life multiple times a day. I don't have to open my front door and remember passing my baby off to my dad. This is better. This is so much better.

Jovi came with us. I know she's always with me and I know I carry her wherever I go. She didn't just live in that house and we left her behind. We put up her pictures. We have her quilt out. We keep her memory alive in our new house and always in our hearts. She missed so much. I could write an entire blog just about Cash and how he still asks about his sister in Heaven and ponders why she died. Asking things like why did Papa and I have to go to the hospital so fast with Jovi? Just randomly... it's amazing to see what an impact she's left on her brother. Sibling love is strong and I can see it daily in his innocent questions and even sorrow-filled heart as he still can't understand why we can't just bring her back.

Life is different now. I think of her still so much of the day, but a new day doesn't bring me the "I can't breathe my baby died" feeling. I have accepted this life and our life feels normal without her. It doesn't feel right. She's always missed. Something is always missing. But, it does feel like this is my normal now. I see her everywhere. The kids' boots were drying against the wall the other day and I saw the gap where hers should be and it made me cry thinking they should be there. And, also, made me smile knowing she's never forgotten and how my eyes see her and my heart feels her in the smallest of things.

Jovi Sloan- you are such a special girl. You've made me strong and have impacted our entire family in so many ways. Thank you for making me a better person. You continue to light up the world, baby. I love you to Heaven and back.