Monday, December 29, 2014

First Christmas without Faith

Christmas this year for me was better than I thought it would be. While Faith was not with us physically, I believe she was with us in spirit.  We ended up decorating more than we thought we would.  

My mother-in-law was with us this year for Christmas and we had a great visit.  We were able to play games, eat cookies, and just spend good time together.  We went to one of our favorite parks, went to the manatee viewing center, and also went to the beach.

I know that there will never be a day I am on this earth that I do not think of Faith.  I know that there will never be a holiday that I do not think of her either.  While I know these things to be true, I also know that I will see my baby girl again one day, and believe that while I am thinking of her, she is thinking of me.

Merry Christmas Faith.  We love and miss you!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Baking with Faith

Today I have spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen doing some baking.  I made a turkey breast pot pie for us for dinner.  It turned out very well.  

After that, I started putting together sugar cookie dough.  This recipe is one of my favorites for sugar cookies.  It has sour cream, so they have a soft tangy taste.

I miss Faith a lot today, but I know as I am baking and enjoying the holiday spirit, she is with me.

Yesterday, I baked some chocolate chip cookies and also made some lemon squares.  They were both delicious.  We have been putting up Christmas lights and playing games.  It has been nice to relax and get into the Christmas spirit since we returned from Buenos Aires.  

Right now we have the door and a couple windows open and it is wonderful weather.  As the breeze is blowing in the trees, I feel Faith with me.  I miss her and will always miss her, a part of me is gone. I know that while a part of me is gone, a part of her lives in my heart always.

I love you Faith.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Getting into the Christmas Spirit with Faith

Today we got some Christmas decorating started. The tree is up and the red lights are on it.  My husband thinks one more strand will be good.  I think one or two more will make the lights complete. He put lights out in the back yard and also some lit candy canes.  It is starting to look very nice.

As strange as this Christmas season is/will be, I know that Faith is with us.  She is with the One we are celebrating at Christmas, and for that, I am grateful.

I did not think that I would be able to get into the Christmas spirit too much this year.  However, it seems that I am beginning to get into the spirit.  I believe this Christmas will be great and lead us into an incredibly blessed 2015.

As we go into this Christmas season, I will continue to hold Faith close in my heart, as always.  I know she is celebrating with us.  I love you baby girl.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Darling Daughter

Today, I have thought a lot about Faith.  My love for her continues to grow as each day passes and I continue to have the best relationship that I can with her.  I know she is in Heaven doing some pretty amazing things!

My husband and I had an amazing time in Buenos Aires.  We are relaxing and also getting ready to put up our Christmas tree.  We got the tree today, so we'll be working on getting the lights on it shortly.  This will truly be a special and blessed Christmas for us this year.

I need to make an ornament with Faith's name for the tree.  It will be very nice.  She is and will continue to be a part of our everyday lives.  The holidays will always include her in a special way.  

She is and will always be our darling daughter.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Missing Faith

We are still on our trip. I don't know too much to say today except that I miss Faith very much. 

I miss her more at certain times than at others. I guess that's "normal". Every time I see a baby (or young girl), when I pass a shop with baby items, when I see others playing with their child/children...I miss Faith. 

I do have a relationship with her, although it's not the "traditional" mother-daughter relationship. I talk to her frequently. She's constantly on my mind & always in my heart. 

I know I have grown (& grown up) so much over the past year: physically, mentally, & spiritually. Not that I wanted to, but I have been forced to. 

While my heart aches for my daughter, know this: I appreciate life & all it's wonders now more than I ever did before. While I would certainly rather have Faith with me, I know that she's taught me to live & love in ways I never knew possible. For that, Faith, my Princess, thank you. ❤️

Monday, November 17, 2014

7 Months & 2 Days

It's been 7 months & 2 days since Faith left us. We are on vacation right now, so it is very bitter-sweet. 

It is still difficult to see children sometimes for me. I miss her so much. I want to share all the fun we are having with Faith, so I write about it in my journal. 

A very close friend of mine said this to me today, & it really hit home for me: "The pain will last forever, but you choose when to suffer."  That is, to me, a great description of loss, after some time. 

I love you Faith

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Thanksgiving Meal Today

 Today we made our Thanksgiving meal and enjoyed it with our friend, Gary.  It was a lot of fun cooking and baking together.  We also played pool together.  Overall, we had a very great day.  

While it was a wonderful day overall, I found my mind wondering off to think of Faith (surprise)...

The last time I ate the "Thanksgiving meal" almost a year ago, we had found out the evening before that I was pregnant with Faith.  I don't think I will ever forget the amazing feeling I had when I saw the positive pregnancy test.  I am still so in love with our daughter, actually, more every day.

I think Thanksgiving will always be a bitter-sweet time for me because of finding out that I was pregnant with Faith.  I have enjoyed Thanksgiving as long as I can remember, and I still do, it will just be a little different for me now.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 31 - Sunset



Tampa, Florida, USA - 6:35 PM

Well, today is the last day of Capture Your Grief for 2014. Today's prompt is Sunset.  I took this picture tonight at sunset.  I think it turned out very well, don't you?


Today is an especially special day, as it is my husband's birthday.  We had a great day celebrating his birthday.  

This evening we went to a local mall and saw a lot of children dressed up, which was magical and sad for us at the same time.  I kept seeing little girls dressed up as princesses and couldn't help but miss our Princess, Faith.

As this project closes for me, I am pondering what I can do to continue my journey, as well as help others on theirs...I believe there are many things, as I know that everyone grieves very differently.  I believe there are a lot of ways that I can help others...more ideas to come...

So, as the sun sets in your city or town, think about where you are in your journey...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 30 - Intention

I am glad that INTENTION is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  I have a lot of new intentions in life now that Faith has gone to Heaven.  One is simply living life to the fullest and loving people as much as I can.

But when I get down to the nitty gritty of what my intentions are now in life, I know that the truth is that my intention now is to educate people about stillbirth and infant loss, specifically due to IC, and to change how our medical field works and studies regarding the matter.

Today, for some reason, I thought of some of the lines from Legally Blonde 2, where Elle is talking about the fabric for her wedding dress.  She basically says that if the fabric doesn't work for you, don't work with it; change it.

That is my INTENTION -- to CHANGE the education and the rules by which our medical system works in the area surrounding stillbirth.  I want the world to know that even though this cannot always be prevented, there certainly are ways and times that it can.  There are also many things that can be done preventatively that I believe can save many lives...now...to begin my work in studying the information that is out there and beginning to speak out to the right people about getting started in getting some of these things changed...

I intend to change education and the rules our medical system uses to prevent more stillbirths in honor of our precious daughter, Faith Melody Bryant.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 29 - Reflect

Reflect...that is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  When I reflect back at the month of October, I am realizing that it has been a very good month as far as my grief journey.  I must say that doing this project has been very good for me.  

Each day I have written a blog post on the prompt provided.  Doing so has helped me to view losing Faith in a different way, whether it was focusing on new hobbies that I've started or feeling closer to Faith through nature.  

Tonight, I take a moment to REFLECT on what Faith means to me.  She is still my pride and joy. She will be forever.  I love her more each day and along with that love, I miss her more every day.  I remember a line from Return to Zero when Minnie Driver says that if she quiets herself down she can almost hear her son.  I feel the same way about Faith.  I can almost feel and hear her when I quiet myself down and get into His peace.

So, in reflecting back on this month, I am thankful for this project.  I am thinking about a "project" of some sort that I can do to continue to stay on track with my healing journey.  My picture for today's blog post is one that I took of the necklace I ordered because of participating in the Sacred Project.  I am so excited about this project and SO thankful for the beautiful necklace.  It is so pretty and shiny, so I think it is a great way to capture life's reflections...today, I reflect...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 28 - Wisdom

Wisdom...that is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  One thing I have learned in the few years I have been on this earth, is to glean wisdom from as many places and people as possible.  I constantly do my best to seek wisdom from my elders on earth.  I have learned a great many things from doing that alone for the past number of years.  I have been blessed to be able to do so.  

I now look back at all the scenarios surrounding losing Faith with many feelings and emotions.  I continue to wish that I had the knowledge and wisdom then to know more about what was going on. Somehow, I just feel if that were the case, that Faith would be with us today.  

While I cannot dread and be stuck in the past, I can, however, move forward and gain as much knowledge and WISDOM about as many things in life as possible.  Along with that, I must make it my business to share with others the knowledge and wisdom that I gain through my experiences and my education.

James 3: 13-18 states the following:
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

This verse really speaks to me about life in general.  Wisdom sure seems to be something that makes life good and full of peace.  I will always miss Faith, but I must gain wisdom from my experience and share that love, knowledge and wisdom with others.

For my picture today, I am using a picture of my jewelry box that used to be my Grandma's as well as a necklace that used to be hers.  I still glean wisdom from her somehow from Heaven.

Where do you search for wisdom?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 27 - Express

The Capture Your Grief prompt for today is Express. This is a prompt giving us the ability to express anything we want today.  So, today, I will express my love for Faith.  

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I experienced many feelings, thoughts, and emotions, but none so great as love. 

I feel pain and tremendous ache for my daughter, but the feeling I have most for her is love.  It is strange to me that somehow, although she is not with me, I can have a relationship with her.  Since I can see her in me, she constantly makes me want to be a better person.

I will always hold Faith in my heart.  Every day I feel like my relationship with her grows.  Every day I feel as though she is here with me.  Every day I love her more than the day before.  

As time continues to go by, I know The Lord will continue to see me through.  With each passing day, our love brings me nearer to you.  I love you Faith.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 26 - Healing Ritual


Healing Ritual is today's Capture Your Grief prompt. It seems that I have actually started or gotten back into doing quite a few things that are "healing" for me since Faith died.  Of the handful of these things, this evening I'll be focusing on making jewelry and beading.

I have really been enjoying creating new jewelry pieces with beads and wire lately.  It is very relaxing for me and lets me use my creativity for something different.  Also, most things don't take too much time to create, which is a plus!  It gives me a great sense of accomplishment also to start and FINISH something pretty to wear.

In a way, as I create new pieces of jewelry, I am honoring Faith, as I am using the talent that God gave me to create something lovely.  This way, I can wear new creations and/or bless others with something pretty to wear.

It also gives me time to spend some quality time with myself.  I am glad that I have started this new hobby and have really been getting healing from creating new jewelry.  I am sure I will continue to do so...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 25 - Mother Earth

Mother Earth is today's Capture Your Grief prompt today.  The point is to plant a plant in honor of your child. So today, my wonderful husband, Owen, helped me find just the right plant.  We picked out a beautiful red hibiscus plant in honor of Faith.  

This plant is particularly special to me because the first flower Owen ever gave me on a trip we took to the San Blas Islands, north of Panama.  

So, I really wanted this particular flower to be a part of our precious Faith's garden since it is such a special flower to me.  We went out and purchased the plant this morning.

Actually, early in the day, Owen asked me "Isn't today the day you are supposed to plant a plant?" Of course, I knew right away what he was referring to.  I was very touched that he thought of it before I even  did and that he was so excited to do this to honor Faith.  

So, in honor of our beautiful daughter, Faith, we planted this beautiful hibiscus plant in our backyard. We planted it outside of our windows so we can see it very well from the living room.  It is very beautiful and a great reminder of Faith.

Here's to you baby girl.  We love you.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 24 - Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a great topic.  It just happens to be today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  Goodness, where to start...

In the short time (a little over 6 months) since Faith went to Heaven, I have come to realize that I have had to forgive some people regarding her passing.  

I had to forgive my doctors for not checking things out earlier and not doing a procedure earlier that possibly could have saved her life had it been done earlier.

I've also had to forgive God for not stepping in and saving her so that she could be with me.  Some may say that is a crazy and bold thing to state, but guess what, it is the truth.  He knows it, and if I can't be honest with Him, who can I be honest with?  There are some people that say "He has a plan, it was His will, everything happens for a reason"...etc...let me clear one thing up here.  The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy, period.  It was NOT (& is not) God's will that my baby died.  However, I had (& still have sometimes) a difficult time with the fact that He didn't stop it.  So, I have to walk in forgiveness with my Heavenly Father. Strange to say and feel, but true, nonetheless.

Finally, I get to who I really and truly need(ed) to forgive...me.  I can't help but have an overwhelming sense of failure regarding my daughter's life.  My job was to protect her and I failed. That's one of the things I kept telling her the day she was born, that I was so sorry.  I still am, and don't know if I will ever feel differently.  While I know in my head that I didn't do anything or not do anything that caused her death, my heart just tells me that I should have been able to do something to save her.  I guess that is the way a mother is supposed to feel about her child.

Don't get me wrong, I do not sit and dwell on this all the time.  But it is something that lives inside me and may always.  I have gotten to the point that I forgive myself for...whatever...I have to so that I can do what I need to do in life.

One thing I know about unforgiveness is that if you hold it in your heart, it only hurts you, not the person you are holding it against.  So today, and every day, since the only person I can control (most of the time) is me, I choose to do my best to forgive...me...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 23 - Inspiration

Today's Capture Your Grief prompt is Inspiration.  As strange as it is in only a little over 6 months, Faith has inspired me in so many more ways than I could have ever imagined.  She inspires me every day.  

There are so many ways that Faith has inspired me.  For the sake of time and this post, I am focusing on a couple of ways she has been my inspiration.  

She has inspired me to want to speak out about pregnancy and infant loss in general.  I will most likely focus my speaking out on this specific loss on the complications regarding IC (incompetent cervix) as well as how the LEEP and other cervical procedures effect and/or contribute to IC and loss.

Faith has also inspired me to want to be able to bless people with low cost, yet, high sentimental value keepsakes in honor of a child/children they have lost.  This has lead me to also want to create these kind of keepsakes in honor of other family members, other special people, or for special occasions.

This is a picture of one of the bracelets that I created for myself in honor of Faith.  It has her footprints, as well as her measurements, weight, and date and time of birth.  I really like how it turned out and really enjoy wearing something so special to my heart.  You can see this bracelet and other items I offer here at Faith Melody Memories.  

Of the many emotions and feelings I have had since Faith went to Heaven, Inspiration has been one of the good ones...

...Faith will always inspire me to be a better person and reach out to others...what has been an inspiration for you?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 22 - Self-Care

Self-Care is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  Tonight I am watching some good TV and eating some popcorn.  Once I get my post done, I will write in our journal and I think also work on some jewelry.  

I have been trying to take time to take care of myself, as I have noticed that since we lost Faith, I didn't care much about myself.

It is nice to be able to do some self-care.  I enjoy just sitting back and relaxing.  It's not necessarily about going out and spending money on getting pampered, but just relaxing and doing things I enjoy or doing absolutely nothing and just relaxing.

So, in an effort to continue my self-care, I am now signing off to relax and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 21 - Relationship

Today's Capture Your Grief prompt is Relationship.  I don't really know where to start on this topic. My relationship with my husband has always been great.  It has, however, changed (this is sort-of a given), following our losing Faith.  

I have a new love for my husband that I never knew before.  It is difficult to explain, but anyone who is in this same journey understands. I love him more every day in a new way.

Now, to move on to my relationship with Faith.  I continue to be amazed at the relationship that I have with Faith, even though she is in Heaven.  She teaches me things daily.  Faith has taught me so much and I know she will continue to do so.  I now understand the love a mother has for her child.  I also have a better understanding of my true home being in Heaven and not here on earth.  

I have a growing wonderful relationship with my daughter.  I talk to her daily and she is very real to me.  I don't know how it all works in Heaven, but I feel as though she can hear and feel me.  

Although I miss and grieve for my daughter all the time, I now know that I can still have an amazing relationship with her while I am on this earth even though she is not physically with me.  

Faith and I will continue to have a wonderful relationship...every day...I love you my darling daughter.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 20 - Breathe

Breathe is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  I took this picture yesterday morning when I went into our back yard to enjoy my coffee.  I also went in our back yard this evening and looked at the sky for a bit this evening.  

Looking at yesterday morning, retrospectively, I took a good bit of time to have some quiet time with my coffee on the brisk fall morning and spent some time alone with God.  

It was a great time for me. I think paying attention to taking special time out to breathe is very important in life in general, especially if you are going through what I call a "grief journey".  

Taking time out of my day to just "breathe" gives me a chance to get my priorities in order and gain perspective on my life.  It is a very important piece of my life now so that I can take assessment of my feelings and grief surrounding losing Faith
and to keep them in check.

I will try to take time out of every day now, to sit back, get alone with God, and "just breathe"...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 18 - Give

Give is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  I think I have always been a giver.  I really enjoy blessing other people and it brings me happiness. I know I feel loved and blessed when people bless me with their love, time, etc.  

Today, I choose to bless my husband with my love and time.  Ok, I try to do this all the time, but today, I am focusing on this topic for my blog, so that is what you get to read.  Ha Ha.  He is my best friend.  

I give my husband my love, time, and companionship today.  In my daughter's honor, I will continue to give to others: time, love, gifts, etc...

Giving is what we are called to do.  One of the most precious things we can give to others is time, as we never know when our time on this earth will be over.

Today, I choose to give...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 18 - Gratitude

Gratitude is today's Capture Your Grief prompt. I am glad this is one of the topics for the project. It really hits home for me.  While I have gone through so many emotions after losing Faith, one that has actually surprised me is a feeling a gratitude. 

While there are a lot of things I am grateful for, I will focus this post on a few of them, for the sake of time.

First, I am grateful to be alive on this earth. While I am sure I felt this gratitude before, there is something about being told you would have died if you weren't in the hospital, that makes you pretty thankful that you are alive.

I am also thankful for my wonderful husband, family, and friends.  I would not be where I am today if it were not for all of them.  So many people have supported and loved us through our loss and I thank God for all of them.  

I now have so much gratitude for the "little" things in life.  This morning, I saw the sun coming up from one of our favorite parks and took a few pictures.  At that moment, I was grateful for the cup of Starbucks in my hand and being able to watch the sunrise from the beautiful park.  

Finally, for time's sake, I will discuss how grateful I am to be Faith's mommy.  No one can take away the time she and I shared as she grew in my womb.  She is mine and I am hers.  Regardless of anything that has happened, I am her mommy.  She will live forever and I wouldn't change that for anything.  I am grateful that we have her hand prints and foot prints.  I am grateful for the time we were able to spend with her at the hospital.  I am grateful that we have a lot of good pictures of her and us from the day she was born.  I am grateful for the pictures we took of all of us at the funeral home.  

Faith is and will forever be my baby girl...for that...I am grateful.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 17 - Explore

Explore is today's Capture Your Grief prompt. 

I've done a lot of exploring in the last six months since Faith went to Heaven; exploring in many ways and in many areas of my life.  

My picture for today is of a lap desk that my husband got me and it is a very good reminder.

When life gets me down and I need lifting up, I need to continue to remember to sing to The Lord and it makes life so much better.  

In all of my exploring thus far and my exploring I have yet to do in this journey, I know this for sure, The Lord is where I find my peace.  That is where I am and where I will stay in my grief journey...I will continue to find my rest in Him.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 16 - Retreat

Retreat.  That is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  I must admit, I am quite tired today and am in need of some retreat time.  This is a great prompt for me today.  

After I read the prompt description I decided that I needed to go ahead and get my blog done for the day and head up to my retreat.  

I can vouch for what Carly says in today's description about taking care of yourself and others can get emotionally draining.  Shoot, just getting through another day is emotionally draining some days.  

I have never been so emotionally drained as after we lost Faith. Although the emotions are like a roller coaster or like the ocean waves, so sometimes emotionally drained is an understatement.  But, yet again, I must continue to focus on the blessing of Faith's life and her love and how to share that with the rest of the world the best I can.

So, with that in mind and her love in my heart, I will now pop some popcorn, grab my journal and colored pencils, a movie that I like, and retreat to my retreat, as pictured here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 15 - Community / 6 Month Remembrance

Community is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  First, let me say how blessed I feel to be a part of this "community".  I know that none of us ever wanted to, nor do we truly want to be a member of this group.  However, we are all now part of this community of parents who have lost a child/children.  We cannot change what has happened, but we can spread this Wave of Light around the world in honor of our child/children.

As I am blogging this evening, I am watching this candle burn that I have put together in honor of Faith.  As I sit here in the silence, all I can hear is the clock ticking and a few vehicles as they pass by.  As I watch the candle burn, peacefully, I am reminded of how much light one little candle can produce.

This community of people I have encountered since we lost Faith, six months ago today, has been helpful in more ways than I can express.  While my husband and family have been and will continue to be very loving and supportive (as they are also grieving this loss and need love
and support), there is something special about reaching out and communicating with other women who have been through the same or similar experience.

I thank God for the community of ladies I have met and will continue to meet on this journey.  I pray that I will be a blessing for them, as they have been and continue to be to me.  Thank you all.

Six months ago today, the most beautiful girl was born into my heart and into The Lord's arms.  On this day, I should have a 6 month old, but I don't.  I miss you with all my heart, Faith.  I celebrate your life and love every day.

In honor of our beautiful daughter, Faith Melody Bryant...this candle is for you, Princess.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 14 - Dark/Light

Dark/Light is today's Capture Your Grief prompt; focusing on the dark and light of grief.  So, I will discuss a little bit of both the dark and light sides of my grief.  

In the first days after we lost Faith, I experienced some of the darkest days I have ever known.  I honestly didn't care about being alive.  No, let me correct myself, I did not want to live.  I would have given anything to have Faith live.  I still would.

I cannot change what happened.  So, in the midst of my darkness, I must focus on the light of the fact that she is in Heaven now and move forward the way she wants me to.  I have to speak out about what happened to me and do my best to educate others about what they can do if they are facing similar situations as I did.  

I had pre-cancerous cells removed from my cervix prior to my pregnancy with Faith.  These cells were removed with the LEEP procedure, during which part of the cervix is removed to remove the pre-cancerous cells.  This procedure and ANY procedure that involves the cervix should ALWAYS REQUIRE OB/GYNs to put any pregnancy at least at an "at risk" category and do CL (cervical length) checks the entire pregnancy.  Also, currently, doctors will not do a preventative cerclage unless you have a history of IC (incompetent cervix) (i.e. you have had a pre-mature baby or have lost a baby).  I believe that CL checks should be a normal part of ALL pregnancies, but certainly should be done for anyone who has had any type of cervical procedure.  I also believe that if shortening of the cervix is found that preventative cerclages should be done in the early weeks (12-15) of pregnancy.

I have also started this blog, as well as a business Faith Melody Memories in an effort to help myself and others who may be going through similar loss(es).  

My perspective of life has changed so much since we lost Faith.  I have a new huge respect for God, my parents, and also want to love more and live life to the fullest possible.  There is so much in life now that simply doesn't matter.  There are important things in life and there are unimportant things.  I know have a different view of life in general.  My priorities are different.  I am thankful to be alive. 

So, since I am alive, I can share my view with you.  Here it is: If God blesses me with waking up tomorrow for yet another day, I will love the best I can and do my best to reach out to others in any way I can.  I figure if I am still here, I still have work to do.

In conclusion, what I have to say about dark and light inside my grief are these things: 1) God created us to grieve when we encounter loss - if you are going through loss, please know that you need to grieve, cry, etc...in order to go through it.  2) In the midst of the dark in grief, there is light if you look for it.  Use your experience to help and love others.  

In your grief, go through your dark, but through your darkness, let your Light shine.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 13 - Season


Today's Capture Your Grief project prompt is Season. 

I guess I really haven't thought too much about a certain season reminding me of Faith.  Although, when I took a moment to do so, it didn't take me long to decide which season/seasons that would be. 

I have to say that the season/seasons that remind me the most of Faith are fall/winter.  We found out that I was pregnant the day before Thanksgiving last year.

Over Thanksgiving time, we went into downtown Seattle to go to see the Nutcracker and to Oliver.  On one of these evenings, I took this picture of a beautiful star that was on one of the buildings, as they had already started to decorate for the Christmas season. 

I also remember going to Starbucks one evening and we all got tasty hot holiday drinks.  I recall I got the apple cider drink, as I knew it didn't have very much caffeine.

We had a great time, and looking back through some of the pictures, reminds me of the wonderful time we had.  We were so excited to be having Faith.  

Fall/Winter will always remind me of Faith.  In a strange way, I am glad that the timing was the way that it was, as I will ALWAYS be Thankful for her and remember her in a very special way at Christmas also.  It is over the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas that we tend to focus on the blessings in our lives, so it is quite proper that is when we found out that I was pregnant with Faith.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 12 - Music


Music plays a very important role in my life. With a drummer for a husband, that is simply the way it is.  

I love a lot of different kinds of music.  Music just happens to be the prompt for today's Capture Your Grief project.  

While there is a lot of music that I have listened to that reminds me of Faith, none is so precious as the song that her Godfather wrote and recorded for her.  It touches my heart so much that he would do such a wonderful thing for her and for us.  

I can now watch this video, with the song that Diego wrote and performs for Faith, with tears, but also with a tremendous amount of love in my heart.  I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday.  I think I always will.  My heart goes out to all going through this difficult journey.  It is not a pain that anyone should have to endure, but this song, in many ways, hugs my heart.  I invite you to watch, listen, enjoy, and remember...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Wonderful Saturday with My Best Friend

Today my husband and I had a wonderful day.  We began the day by going to a beautiful beach.  The sand was so smooth and white.  The water was clear, blue, and beautiful, the sky was bright blue, the breeze was cool.

I love the feeling of the smooth, cool, white beach sand on my feet.  I also picked up quite a few beautiful shells that I will be making some jewelry out of soon.  I am very excited about that, and my husband will tell you that when we go to the beach, I do always have to pick up shells...ha...ha...  

We ate a picnic when we got there and then went for a nice long walk on the beach.  As we ate we saw a dolphin swimming along in the ocean.  It was just breathtaking.  We got some good sun, had some good exercise, and had a great time sharing together.  

I saw many children playing in the water and sand and building sand castles.  We even saw some sand snowmen, which was very cute!  Of course, I thought of Faith during the day, but being in such beautiful nature, made me feel closer to her somehow.  

Then we ate at a very good seafood restaurant and had fish and chips.  I am sure we'll go back!  After that, we went to another beach and walked a bit there.  That was very nice as well.

We did have to stop at Michael's so that I could pick up some jewelry making materials that I need for some things I am getting ready to start making!  Our next adventure was to go enjoy some cool refreshing drinks at another restaurant.  

After that, we went to the Halloween store to see some of the cool things that they sell.  There were a lot of interesting costumes and whatnot for Halloween.  

On the drive home, we saw an amazing sunset, so of course I had to capture that, to add to the other great pictures we had taken today.

Overall, I had a wonderful day and thought of my daughter very much.  While I think of her all the time, I am also realizing that I am still living and I need to do as my husband says "get busy livin or get busy livin".  We don't really give ourselves a choice.  After all that we have been through together, we realize that we need to live life to the fullest each and every day that we are given on this earth.  Each day is a gift from God and we need to treat it as such.  

So, to you, my dear daughter, Faith, we are here, loving you, loving each other, and living life.  I love you baby girl.

Capture Your Grief - Day 11, Altar


I don't really have what I would call an altar in my home in honor of Faith.  However, I do have a few items that represent her sitting on top of the dresser in our bedroom, so that is sort-of an altar.  

I think eventually I'll get a nice shelf or something to place her items on, but for now, this is nice.

The items that are on the dresser are (from left to right) a beautiful April angel figurine that my sister-in-law sent to us recently, a precious angel holding a baby figurine that a friend gave to us before we moved, the balloon weight from the due date balloons that we released on August 3rd in honor of Faith, and a cute little pink hat sent to us from Calvin's Hats.

All of these items are precious to my heart and remind me of my beautiful Faith.  The angels are special to me, as they came from family and friends.  I also know that Faith is now surrounded by angels now.  I was thinking of decorating her room with angels, and I may still do so.  I think that may be a great way to decorate my office to remind me of Faith.

When I go past the dresser, I look at these items and think of my beautiful daughter.  So for now, until I create a special shelf or decorate my office, these items on my dresser, are my "altar" for Faith.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 10 - Support

Support is today's prompt for the Capture Your Grief project.  When Faith died, I was completely and immediately surrounded by the support of my family and friends.  

My parents were at my house when my husband and I got to our house from the hospital the day after she was born.  
My siblings, my husband's mom, and our niece arrived the next day.  We have also had tremendous support from family and friends who did not visit, via phone calls, cards, letters, flowers, and love.  

I have also had two of our close friends watch Return to Zero with me (props to you guys, you know who you are).  I thank God for your friendship, love and support.

Outside of God, along with all of our family members, my main support has been my husband.  He has continued to be my rock, my best friend, my lover, and my shoulder to cry on.  I have had wonderful support and love from a lot of family and friends after losing Faith.  

But my main support was and IS and continues to be my husband.  I love him with all my heart and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for not only giving me the most beautiful daughter ever, but for being my rock as we go through losing her.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 9 - In Memory


In Memory is today's Capture Your Grief  prompt.  There are so many things that I have and have done in Faith's memory since she went to Heaven.  Since I don't have time to discuss them all, nor do you want to hear about each one, I'll focus on a few of them.

I've started this blog in honor of Faith in hopes of helping myself as well as others going through similar grief.  It has helped me a lot.  I have also started writing in the journal that my husband and I purchased during my pregnancy.  I feel closer to Faith when I write and draw in what I now fondly refer to as "Our Journal".

I now collect "Faith" jewelry.  I think I always will.  The silver necklace you see in the picture that says Faith is one that I got before we found out that we were having a girl.  We both just knew.  I wore it all the time, and was wearing it when Faith was born.  Needless to say that it is one of the most precious necklaces I own and I will cherish it for years to come.  I am also planning to make some Faith jewelry soon, since I have now started doing some bead work.

I have also made the two bracelets you see in this picture: one that has Faith's heartbeat, the other that has her footprints as well as her birth length, weight, time, and date.

Creating these bracelets has brought me comfort as well as given me a wonderful creative outlet that I did not have before.  I plan to create similar pendants and earrings soon.  

Soon after Faith's passing, I realized that I wanted to create items for people going through this loss that would be long-lasting, highly sentimental, and yet still very affordable.  So, in Faith's honor and in her memory, I have created Faith Melody Memories.  When anyone purchases that has lost a child, part of the purchase will be donated to the church camp that I grew up going to every summer, so that children that cannot afford to go can still have the opportunity.  I will be creating many different items for different occasions, keepsakes, and the like, but the basis for my company will always be sharing Faith's love with others.  You can see my items here: Faith Melody Memories.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 8 - Resource

Resource, that is today's prompt for Capture Your Grief.  At this point, I have found a number of very good resources that have been a huge help to me after losing Faith.  I am doing to focus on two of those resources that direct me to the most important resource, on this post.  

The first resource that has brought me much help is Sufficient Grace Ministries.  Their Dreams of You package including a Comfort Bear, Dreams of You book, and other great items has brought me much comfort for my journey.  They are doing a wonderful thing reaching out to so many people who have lost a baby or babies.  By sharing their faith with others, they have brought me joy in celebrating my Faith.

The second resource that has been very informative and healing for me is the movie, Return to Zero.  My most sincerest thanks go out to Sean and Kiley Hanish and all the actors as well as everyone involved in the making of the movie, for their courage to speak out.  If you have not seen this movie, I highly suggest that you do.  While it is a VERY difficult movie to watch, it is so well done and shines light on so many things involved in losing a child.

Both of these great resources lead me to God, and remind me of His agape love for us all.  While I am on this journey of grief, that will remain part of me until I go home, He is always there for me to love, comfort, and heal me.

In summary, of all the many resources out there to help with my journey in life after losing Faith, the most prominent and most important is God.  He is my resource.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 7 - Sacred Place


The topic for today's Capture Your Grief is Sacred Place.  While I was at work today, a good part of my day was thinking about Faith (big surprise).  


I must say, though, that what I really wanted to do was to come home and write in the journal that I just started writing in for/to her (special thanks to Carly Marie and the Capture Your Grief project - Day 5).

As I was feeling a great need to be at home and write in my journal, I realized that doing so, for me, is like being able to spend time with Faith.  

I know as the time goes by that there will be many ways that I will be able to spend time with her, but for now, this is a very big part of my "Faith & Me" time.

I do not, as of yet, have one place (i.e. the beach, a park, the forest) on earth that I go to spend time with Faith.  For now, my sacred place is my journal.  It fills my heart with love and joy to be able to go to my journal and write to Faith, for Faith, about Faith, for me...

While I do feel Faith with me always, and especially when I am enjoying the beauty of nature, my journal, no, Our Journal, will forever be Our Sacred Place.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 6 - Books

Books...that is today's Capture Your Grief prompt.  Since Faith died, I haven't read a lot of books.  I am not a huge reader, although I do enjoy reading, when something really peaks my interest.  That being said, there are two books that I have read since April 15, that have been very good for me in this journey.

1) Mommy, Please Don't Cry...by Linda Deymaz

2) Princess Faith's Mysterious Garden by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson

We had two friends send us the Mommy, Please don't cry book.  Although it is very good, it should be Mommy & Daddy, but I digress.  This book is very well written and talks about how great Heaven is and how your child is doing well. 

My Mother-In-Law gave me the Princess Faith book this Mother's Day.  It is a very precious book that is a story of a princess named Faith and how she plants, loves, and takes care of a beautiful garden.  

I have a feeling that our Princess Faith is in Heaven taking care of her mysterious, beautiful garden.  I am sure there are many beautiful flowers and animals in her garden.  

Both of these books help me to escape the world and focus on Faith and to remember her as the Princess that she is.

I think books are a great way to not only learn new things, but also to escape and relax.  I am certain that I will continue to read more books, as I move forward on my journey of love, loss, and healing.  

I would love suggestions of books that have helped you on your journey.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 5 - Journal

The Day 5 Capture Your Grief prompt is Journal.
When I was pregnant with Faith, my husband and I bought the beautiful leather bound journal you see in my pictures here so that I could write down my experiences throughout my pregnancy.  I knew that this would be something really cool that Faith and I could read together years later and have some great laughs and share the special time together.  

Little did we know that she would not be with us here.  I did actually write a page prior to purchasing the journal on a notebook paper, so that paper is now in a clear protector in the journal.

After we got moved into our new home, I came across the journal, and set it aside in our bedroom.  I had mixed feelings about what I wanted to do with the journal.  Giving it away crossed my mind, as I felt like if I couldn't use it for what it was originally meant for, then maybe I didn't want it at all.  I have since looked at it a few times and quickly shifted my focus to something else, still unsure of what I wanted to do with it.

Well, today's Capture Your Grief prompt, Journal, got me pondering the special journal yet again.  I decided that I will now use the journal to write to, for, and with Faith, and for myself.  So, today, I began writing in the journal and I must say that it has already helped me.  I am so glad that I did not give it away, but kept it to be used at the proper time.  

I will continue to write in this journal and express my true love, feelings, and life, as I move forward on my journey of life with Faith in my heart.  She is and will always be my baby girl, and I will write in this journal for her.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 4 - Now

Today's Capture Your Grief prompt is Now.  When I think about how to describe myself now, I don't really know where to start...

I think I am much more of a realist than I used to be, but I don't think that is a bad thing.  I look at life through a totally different lense, that is for sure.

I have a new love and respect for my husband than I ever had before.  It is very strange for me and I almost don't know how to describe the way I feel, but Faith has brought me a new, better, and stronger love for my husband.  Our bond is stronger than ever now, because of her.

My view of God is much different than it used to be.  I have a totally new respect for what He did for us as well as a better feeling of how He feels for us.

I believe I have a greater capacity for love in general now. Love for humans in general is now a much bigger part of my life.  Eternity is also more real to me than it ever has been before.  I have a new and maybe even better understanding of Heaven.  

The real me, my spirit, understands how short this life on earth truly is. The pain I feel of losing Faith, while deeply heart wrenching, makes me realize how temporary this life is, and that before I know it, we will be together again.

This is a piece of who I am NOW...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 3 - Before


Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Before. Here is a picture of me while I was pregnant with Faith.  This is before she went to Heaven.  I think about myself Before she came into our lives and left and I am intrigued.  

In once sense I am the same person, but at the same time, I will, of course, never be the same person. I look at the world so differently now.  Life is so precious and so many things simply do not matter.  

Before Faith left us, I wore rose-colored glasses when I viewed the world. I don't think losing a child like that ever even crossed my mind and I certainly didn't think it was something that would happen to me.

Before Faith died, I never yelled at my Father before and got more real with Him than I am today, but if I can't be real with my Father, who can I be real with?  It's not as if He doesn't know how I feel anyway.  To be this real with Him has been a brand new experience for me.  Honestly, one that has been difficult, frustrating, aggravating, loud, but at the same time, cleansing, loving, healing, and rejuvenating.  

Even though I think of how I was Before Faith came and went from us, I will now turn my focus of this post to the most important Before:

Jeremiah 1:5 (AMP) says this: Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

I choose to focus on God knowing Faith before He formed her in my womb, as my Before.  While I miss her beyond words, I know that one day I will be with her again.  I know that just as He knew me before I was knitted together in my mother's womb, He also knew Faith, before she was knitted together in my womb.  

While it is difficult to look beyond what I know now, and beyond the pain of my loss, I choose to focus on the BEFORE that matters, the time BEFORE she was knitted in my womb, when He originally knew Faith.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 2 - Heart

Today is Day 2 of Capture Your Grief - Heart.  Here is the picture that I drew to represent my heart. I just kind of started and this is what I ended up with.  I really like how it came out.  

As I was creating it, I began by the prompting of Carly's directions by putting Faith's name in the heart. Then I decided that I needed to put the blue around her, as losing her made me BLUE. But then, the blue around her name evolved as I continued to draw, and it became a cloud.  

I do not doubt that a part of my heart will always carry the "blue" from the loss of Faith, however, the love that I have for her, will live on as I share her love with others.

As I look at the cloud that I drew around Faith's name on the representation of my heart, I realize that Faith is now in Heaven, but she is and will always be floating in my heart, just like the clouds in the sky.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 1 - Sunrise

I have decided to take part in Capture Your Grief created by Carly Marie.  You can see more information about the project here: Capture Your Grief - October 2014.  I think this will give me a great opportunity to explore my grief, as well as share my story and experience with others going through similar grief.  

This project is for the entire month of October.  I am purposing in my heart to use this wonderful opportunity for my daily blog posts.

Day 1 - Sunrise

I was driving this morning when the sun came up here (approx. 7:20 am Eastern Time), so I could not really see the sunrise this morning.  The fact that it was cloudy and rainy did not help the matter either.  But, regardless, I was able to enjoy the beauty of creation and did get to get a nice picture of some brilliant blue sky with some clouds and trees.  

I frequently find myself looking to the clouds more often these days, as I, of course, picture Heaven as beyond the clouds.  I see Faith in the clouds and in all of the beauty of creation now.  For some, this may not make sense, but it makes perfect sense to me.  I see the beauty of the creation we see on earth: clouds, trees, oceans, etc...and realize that we are all creations and should be seen as the beautiful creation that we are.

As I think about looking at nature, in particular, the sunrise/sky, I am reminded that Faith did not get to see a sunrise here or look at the sky. While this saddens me beyond measure, I along with that, also remember Who she saw when she first opened her eyes, and it is There, that I find my Peace.

I will continue to look to the skies until one day I go to be with my daughter again.  Until then, when I see the sunrise, I will smile, close my eyes, take a deep breath and see my baby girl.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Faith's Heartbeat Bracelet - Priceless

I created this beautiful pink bracelet by adding a printout of Faith's heartbeat.  Her heartbeat here is shown at 146 bpm and it is so beautiful to me.

The longer I am here the more I realize how precious life truly is and that we MUST cherish the time we are given.  I am so thankful that we have the ultrasound with this picture of Faith's heartbeat.  


I know that as I keep creating, each piece will continue to get better and better.  However, although I know I will get better at making these keepsakes and the quality will continue to get better, I know that in my heart, some of the most precious ones I'll have are the first ones I have made, like this one and the one with Faith's footprints and other information from the day and time she was born (right).

I needed to create these "prototypes" to get my business rollling and I am very pleased at how they turned out.  Although I have a LOT more ideas of keepsakes I will make for myself using items that are special to me from other people/relatives, to me, these two bracelets hold a piece of my daughter, are the heart and soul of my business, and are PRICELESS.

I am currently thinking of some other new ideas for my business and am thrilled to be blessed with the creative ideas that Faith is blessing me with, so that I may share them with others.

Please come by my new store here: Faith Melody Memories and let me know what you think.  I would love feedback, input, and ideas.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THAT is Love

Today as I was driving, I was listening to a Hillsong CD and this song came on. 

Although I really enjoy listening to Hillsong, I do not remember if I have heard this song or not, or if I have, it has been quite a while since I have heard it.

Regardless, it is a beautiful song and it brought me to tears.  It struck a strong chord in my heart, that I do not believe I have experienced before. I had a new view of God, that I hadn't really thought too much about before.  If I love Faith more than life, how must God have felt to WILLINGLY give His only Son for us?  I ached for God as I listened to this song.

Then, as I kept listening, I realized how much love He has for me (all the world).  Of course I knew that before, but as I listened to this song today, I heard it with my heart and not my head.

Losing Faith has been the most difficult thing I have ever faced in my life. I have never felt pain and aching in my heart and arms as I do now.  I cannot know what God felt when he sent us His son, but having lost my baby girl, and hearing this song with my heart, I can truly begin to understand.

Somehow, in the midst of my darkest days, while experiencing some of the most painful times, I felt more love today than I can explain.  In my loss, I have a greater understanding of God's love for me and what He gave for me.

What do you feel when you listen to this song?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Reflections in the Mirror

Let me begin this post by stating that Faith has my husband's bone structure in her face as well as his strong drummer legs, so please know that she looks like him.  I am focusing this post on my personal feelings when I see myself in the mirror, but I wanted to make it very clear that she looks like my husband as well as me.

I frequently look at myself in the mirror.  I guess we all do...getting ready, doing my hair, makeup, looking at my outfits, etc...

But the reflection looking back at me in the mirror has changed.  I now wear the loss of my only child in my eyes.  I look into my own eyes and see a different me.

But when I look at my face, and cannot help but see my daughter.  It is very strange, but somehow very comforting and peaceful at the same time.  I just imagine that she looks like me.  I can almost say that I love looking at my face in an odd way, not for any other reason, except that I see Faith there.

I miss my baby girl more than I can say.  But I I know that part of her still lives in me and I see her...every time I see my reflection.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Faith Melody Memories - Momentos Update

I am proud to announce that I have created my prototype (a bracelet for me) of one customized bracelet like what I will have for sale (made to order) in my new Etsy store soon.  I am thrilled about being able to create this type of momento for people.  Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.  I hope to have another one done soon, but I am brainstorming how I want to do the second one...

The bracelet has Faith's footprints as well as her name, date and time of birth, as well as her measurements.  I know this is something I will be able to treasure and wear for many years to come.  

I plan to be making other special bracelets, as well as earrings and pendants similar to these soon. 

I will be working to get my new Etsy store up and running soon, so I will have that information available ASAP.  In the meantime, I'll keep brainstorming new ways to honor loved ones with these pieces of jewelry.

In honor of our precious daughter, my new business will carry her name...Faith Melody Memories.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Stuffed Animals

Yes, I am a 33 year old woman, who now sleeps with a teddy bear. The teddy bear you see in the picture in this post, to be precise.

I have been resting on my bed this evening, cuddling with the new stuffed dog that my husband gave me for our anniversary.  He has given me quite a number of stuffed animals over the years for different holidays/occasions.
This past Christmas, my husband gave me a stuffed Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Woodstock (really they were for Faith).  I have really enjoyed receiving a vast array of different stuffed animals.  
Earlier while we were watching a movie, I was thinking of the comfort that I have found in holding my stuffed animals.  It may sound strange, but indeed, it is not, to me.  For anyone who has lost a loved one, especially, a child that is supposed to be in your arms, you know that the there is a real physical ache you feel of not having that person in your arms.

For me, being able to hold some of my stuffed animals has helped immensely.  

The teddy bear that I sleep with, is the one that the hospital had beside Faith the day she was born. Outside of the outfit I dressed her in, that teddy bear is one of the few items that we are blessed to have.  I have read so many posts on Facebook about people that have lost a child and have no pictures, hand and foot prints, or anything tangible.  That makes me so thankful that we have the items that we do have.

While I am very aware that this teddy bear is not my daughter, that does't mean I don't call the teddy bear Faith.  My Faith teddy bear is one of the most precious things I now own.  Holding this teddy bear brings me more comfort than I can explain, physically, as well as emotionally.