Normally I am able to write more of a post, but it has been a busy week.  I have been in to work quite a bit, we’ve had softball two nights, and the rest of the time has been spent getting ready for the weekend.

It’s Friday and it’s a long weekend.  So we are headed to a beautiful campground in WI for the weekend.  The menu is planned and we plan to go canoeing, but most importantly it’s a mini vacation and we are going to relax and enjoy.  Hope you all have a great weekend and can find some time to relax.  Enjoy!


A couple of weeks ago I was stuck in what I would like to call, an in between moment.  May 6  and May 13.

May 6 is International Bereaved Mother’s Day.  It is a day that was created for those who carry their babies in their hearts, instead of their arms.  It gives those who are bereaved moms a chance to come together to honor their children and their loss.  The traditional Mother’s Day can be tough for those who have faced the loss of a child.

May 13 is Mother’s day.  A concept that seems a little weird.  I am a mother.  My child may not be in my arms, but I am a mother.  So how does one celebrate such a special day when their children aren’t here to help celebrate?  One could say that last year was my first Mother’s Day because Samantha came into our world in January.  However, you could say that this year was my first Mother’s Day because it is the first one after her original due date.  Either way, it is Mother’s Day.

I understand the importance of both days, but this year I felt more yearning, more pull towards Mother’s Day.  I had a mix of emotions leading up to the day.  I had decided a few weeks back to by a necklace from Tiny Dream Shop that really resonated with me.  As this post comes out, I am awaiting for it to arrive.  I know it will be beautiful.  The Friday before I was at work and kind of on auto pilot.  The day began and end with me saying “Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you have a good weekend” to a couple of co-workers.  It did my heart good when they said “Happy Mother’s Day” back to me.

Raun and I spent part of the day down by the river.  We stopped by Caribou to get a coffee and something to eat first.  We sat in the warmth of the sun, enjoying the beautiful day and each others company.  I received a beautiful message from my sister in law…”Happy Mother’s Day, Liz. Moms of angels are the strongest ones. Love you and hope you find beauty in your day! ?”  At the end of the day it really hit home.  While at softball one of the guys on the team asked me how my mother’s day was.  After which someone else said, “you are a mother?”  To which I responded, “yup!”

Yes, I am a mother.  I am proud to be a mom.  Though I may not hold my daughter in my arms, I hold her in my heart.  Down the road, when we have more kids, I know I will continue to be a great mom.  I am a mother.



Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.  Whether you hold your children in your arms or your heart you are still a wonderful mother.

Thank you to my mom and all the other women who were like a mom to me.  Thank you for all that you have done, your wisdom, and your hugs.  Thank you for being there, believing in me, and your friendship.  You have given me hope, strength, and encouragement over the years.  I believe that one day I will be a great mom and it’s all because of you and what I have learned from you.  Thank you!  I love you!!


Love is in the air!  Normally for Valentine’s Day we exchange cards and candy.  But this year we decided to try something a little different.  If we are looking for a place to eat we generally don’t choose a fine dining with white table linens.  It’s not us and we don’t feel comfortable there.  Usually to get a five course meal that is the type of place you would have to go.

Raun came across Caribe Bistro, a Caribbean restaurant in the area, that was doing a special for Valentine’s Day.  They were offering a five course candlelit dinner.  It seemed like a place that would fit us well.  I can’t remember the last time we had a candlelit dinner and this seemed like a great opportunity.  The decor was beautiful and brightly colored, not to mention the food was amazing.  But what it made it a great night was spending the time with Raun and having some good conversation, while trying food that we normally do not get the opportunity to try.

I hope you all were able to take a moment to enjoy the specialness of Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!




Birthdays can be simple or they can be extravagant.  Birthdays are as different as the person who’s birthday it is.  Birthdays are a time to celebrate, time to reflect, and time to share.

Last week, January 27, we celebrated Samantha’s birthday.  We visited the cemetery where we placed flowers and reflected.  We chose to lay bright orange flowers, a burst of color.  It was a color we were drawn to and brought a sense of vibrance to an other kind of dreary day.  After placing the flowers I took some photos and then we spent a little time at the memorial wall.

This week, February 4, we celebrated my birthday.  I do have to say, this year’s birthday was much better than last year.  Last year’s was tough.  It was my second day back to work after being gone for nearly a week.  It was also one of the weirdest ones I have had.  For every birthdday card, I just opened a sympathy card.  Very, very weird and filled with a huge mix of emotions.

So, this year we went out for dinner and enjoyed good food, as well as good conversation.  We went to the St. Paul Winter Carnival, the torch light parade, and the end of carnival fireworks.  It’s not every year I can say I get fireworks on my birthday.  It was a lot of fun.

Here’s to birthdays…where we can celebrate, reflect, and share.  Not to mention…eat a ton of cake!


One year ago today Samantha joined our world.   Our beautiful baby girl with her angel wings.  She has taught me a lot about life in the past year and how precious it truly is.  No more making excuses.  I have filled this past year with all the things that mean the most to me…Raun, family, friends, photography, writing, travel.  I take moments and try to live them to the fullest.  I have experienced new opportunities that I would have never done before, that were typically out of my element or so I thought.  I have begun to simplify what I can, so that when unplanned opportunities arises I can jump to the occasion.

Do I wish that she was here with us instead?  Every day I do.  I wish that I could be the one to hold and raise her.  But, I know that she is in good hands instead.  If she can’t be in my hands, then I am at peace to know that she is in God’s.  Her tiny footprints left a spot on my heart for the rest of my life.  I love you baby girl, Happy Birthday!!

(I took this photo the weekend of Samantha’s due date.  I wrote the poem to add to this special photo in honor of her birthday.)



Samantha is a our beautiful little girl who went to heaven on January 27, 2011.  She was 17 weeks old when we experienced a miscarriage.  As parents of a child who went to heaven instead of home with us, we have been finding ways to honor our little girl.  We have been doing different things to honor our little girl.  The sky is the limit of what you can do to honor your little one.  Follow your heart and do what means the most to you.  Do what is special.


While at the hospital the nurse made sure that Samantha was weighed, her hand prints & footprints were done, and pictures were taken.  They also made sure we had a keepsake box to take home with us.  That keepsake box has gone from one box to two now.  The next day we were able to press her tiny little hands and feet into clay.

A week later we took part in a memorial service on February 5, 2011.  It was a beautifully done service at Resurrection Cemetery.   Samantha, along with the families of 25 other little one’s gathered on this special day.  Afterwards, we had Samantha’s name written on the memorial wall at the Children’s Memorial Wall and Healing Garden in Resurrection Cemetery.


In late Spring I came across Carly Marie and her website.  She lost a little one of her own and now she uses her gift of photography.  She writes names in the sand on Christian’s Beach in Australia and then takes a photo at sunset capturing all the beauty in the water, sky, and your little one’s name.  I decided to have Samantha’s name added to the waiting list and on June 24 (the same day my niece was born and Raun’s birthday as well) I received Samantha’s name photo.  It is truly beautiful!

Shortly after we lost Samantha I had the urge, the need to create a blog and website. was created out of this feeling and realizing this is a way I could get our story out there, and hopefully help other’s who are on this path too, as well as connect with them.  Raun had a memorial necklace made for me that: has footprints stamped into a heart shape, Samantha’s initials (SJL) on the back, and two crystals-one is her January birthstone and the other is the July birthstone that represents her due date.  Raun’s mom also gave us a memorial garden stone that in Spring we can make a little memorial garden.  At Christmas time we added a dragonfly, blessing, and poem by me to our Christmas cards.

Many other good things came out of our loss.  Raun began a website talking about living the backyard life-  We now have a completely different perspective on life and we do only what means the most to us.



Happy New Year!  Today 2012 begins.  With a lot to look forward to in a new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on 2011.  This past year has been a very busy year for us.  It has been filled with firsts, lesson’s learned, travel, big celebrations, and loss.  I have gained a new perspective and met a lot wonderful people.

We had two big celebrations this year.  Raun’s little sister (who is like 22) got married over the Summer.  It has been fun to watch her grow up.  We also celebrated my grandfather’s 95th birthday.  95 years!  Can you believe it?  I can only imagine what it would be like to have been around for the past 95 years.  He has seen a lot of firsts and new things over the years.  I pray that he still has many more birthdays and celebrations to go.  I have learned a lot from my grandfather over the years about family, faith, and values.

This past year we had our first pregnancy.  Something that should bring so much joy and excitement quickly turned when I experienced a miscarriage at 17 weeks.  The result, was a beautiful baby girl who we named Samantha Jean.  She was only here with us a brief while, but her little tiny footprints have left so much behind.  It is because of her I began this website, began to reach out to others in a whole new way, made some new friends and built wonderful relationships, strengthened old relationships, learned a lot about myself and Raun, and began to change the way I look at life overall.

Raun and I have taken the opportunity to travel this past year.  When I say travel, I don’t mean abroad.  We did some weekend getaways to places like Bayfield and Stockholm, WI.  We visited family in both Wisconsin and Missouri.  We enjoyed good travel, great company, of course good food, and many photographic opportunities.

Loosing Samantha has made a lot of changes in my life.  I have begun to fill my life with the things I truly enjoy, to weed out the things that don’t have meaning or interest, step out of my comfort zone, and really put what I value first.  Near the later part of the year I made the big decision to give up my classroom and become a building sub.  It was a tough decision, but it has been one of the best choices I made.  It has brought much needed peace, relief, new opportunities, and rejuvenation.

What will 2012 bring?  I haven’t the slightest clue, but I will continue to hope, plan, and dream.  I hope that we will grow our family.  I plan on continuing to do the things that mean the most to me, spend time with family, connect with friends (perhaps over a cup of coffee), and travel.  I dream to rebuild my photography business and to reach out to others who have experienced a pregnancy loss or infant loss.

This past year I have taken one word with me.  It helped me to get through the tough days, gave me hope, and created a sense of peace.  That word was trust.  2012 brings a new year and a new word, with the help of an Illuminate class I took I decided to make a conscious choice about what word I want to carry me through the new year.  I have been trying to decide between two…strength and believe.  With all that I am hoping for and dreaming for, my word is going to be…believe.  It encompasses so much and with my one word mantra, I will continue to grow and will be able to make it through the year with a strong foundation.  What does 2012 look like for you?  Whatever it may be…I hope your year is filled with relaxation, happiness, laughter, and many blessings.  Happy New Year!  Here’s to a great year!!

I got this wonderful idea from Beryl Young.  She posted a holiday scavenger hunt to be done through the camera lens.  The challenge?  Find 31 different items and using your camera capture the item.  Shortly after receiving the list I began checking items off my list.  The biggest challenge she thought would be to find figgy pudding.  Fortunately, Raun and I attended a Medieval Feast and I had the photo taken care of.  After looking at the list I think there will be other challenges ahead.  In honor of Christmas and the holiday season I want to share the videos and photos I have so far.  Merry Christmas to you all!  I hope you have a wonderful and blessed holiday filled with laughter, joy, and love.
Here is what I am still looking for
an adult sitting on Santa’s lap, a real snowman, a Christmas stocking hung over a fireplace, a couple kissing under the mistletoe, someone helping a stranger or donating to charity, someone stringing popcorn, a toy shop, someone with a shaving cream Santa beard, a pet dressed for the season
This is what I have found so far
a wreath with a big bow, Rudolph, an ornament, a snowflake, an angel, a gingerbread house, figgy pudding, nativity, North Pole, coal, Christmas lights on a business building, a candle, chocolate santa, sleigh bell, electric train, a Christmas tree that is not my own, a star, a holly leaf, a wrapped gift, a group of carolers (see video), a partridge in a pear tree or any of the 12 days of Christmas (see other video)
A Group of Carolers.  The best I could find-we saw them while in Stockholm, WI)


A partridge in a pear tree (or any of the 12 days of Christmas).  Here is a video of the song being sung and someone acting it out that we took while at the Medieval Feast.



The holidays can be a tough time of year to go through after the loss of a child, but there is also magic, joy, and peace that come with the season as well.  Surround yourself with the things you truly love to do, the people who support you, and find a way to honor your child.  Some of the steps in the holiday plan may not pertain to you or you may think “what does this have to do with any of it?”  That is alright.  If all you take from these steps are the ones that truly resonate with you, then you will still find the strength and courage you need. 

As we went through these steps, there are a few that, to us, just don’t seem to matter.  On the flip side, there are a few that have become really important and we have put into motions ways to fullfill them.  Go through these steps the best you can; following what you feel in your heart, what makes sense to you, and what will help you most in the path of healing.  Remember to go through these steps with your spouse, as both of you are grieving and healing differently.  You will each have different perspectives on them.  Also, remember to take time to honor your little and honor yourselves for all that you have gone through.  It is a tough road to follow sometimes, but there is also light on this path. 

Over time, the light will get brighter and it will get easier to breath.  Take the steps one at a time, and if you can’t take a step on your own it is okay to ask for help.  If that first step is too hard to take on your own, I encourage you to take the hand of someone who can take that step with you.  Whether it is a spouse, a friend, a family member, or God reach your hand out and say “please go with me, help me take this step”.  I promise you will make it through this.  It may be a bit on the ugly side, it may not be easy, but you will make it through this. 

I send you extra thoughts, prayers, and hugs during this holiday season.  I wish many blessings for you and strength.  I hope you may find some beauty and joy in the season.  Your little angel will be near in spirit, holding your hand and guiding you through.  Lastly, I pray for peace for you.



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