I wanted to share that I will be participating in an Illuminate course over the next month or so.  This will give me an opportunity to work through the grief and healing process in another way.  Or should I say, in addition to what I am doing.  It allows me to do two things, take photos and to write as I work through the process.  However, the writing that I will be doing will be on specific topics assigned, as well as the photos I take.  The first assignment is writing a letter to Samantha.  I look forward to working my way through this experience, meeting new people,  and continuing to walk this path while finding new ways to reflect, honor, and cherish.


July 9

Happy Anniversary! It’s been six years. This last year I would have to say has been one of the hardest, just the latter half. It has been filled with so many up and downs and lots of emotions. There have been lots of changes too. However, some things have been good things. It’s amazing how one thing can change some many things.

But today is a good day. On this beautiful day Raun woke me up pointing at me saying get up and get ready for the day. I did and when I was finished I went downstairs with the smell of biscuits filling the air and carrying me to the kitchen. We ate breakfast and then hit the road. We took the great river road Highway 35 south on the Wisconsin side along the Mississippi River. The main destination was Stockholm, WI. However, along the way there we stopped at historical markers and took in the sights along the river. We arrived in Stockholm, a very cute little city. Where we stopped at the pie place and each had a delicious piece of pie. We sat outside enjoying the weather, chatting with the locals, talking with each other and learning about the city. After our yummy pie (Triple Berry for Raun and Peanut Butter Fudge for me) we explored the quaint downtown. We strolled down the main street and went into a few shops. We made a few purchases that I just couldn’t seem to pass up and picked out my anniversary gift from Raun. I picked a beautiful purple pot to add to my other pottery pieces. I also came across a journal/sketchbook that had dragonflies on it. Coincidently, not long before coming across the journal I was telling Raun that I needed to get a notebook. I also picked up a wood plaque that says to “Cherish Life’s Simplest Treasures”.

After we finished exploring Stockholm we continued on to Maiden Rock Winery/Cidery where we took in the views, as well as tasted various wines, hard ciders, and fruit beers and good conversations. To finish out our day excursion we took in the views from a bluff in Alma, WI and then headed back home along the river on the Minnesota side, stopping in Lake City to walk the beach and in Red Wing to eat a yummy Mexican dinner at Fiesta Mexicana.



The weekend of the Fourth of July this year Raun and I decided to take a camping trip.  We didn’t have to drive far to get to a slice rest, retreat, and perspectives.  The area was aboslutely beautiful filled with trails, deer, dragonflies, waterfall, and brightly colored birds.  Each morning the deer passed by our campsite while we enjoyed breakfast.  From day to day we lost track of time.  We woke to the sun as it rose and went to bed when the moon came up.  We spent time hiking the trails and taking in all the insects, wildlife, and birds.  At the waterall we watched, soaked up the sun, and played in the water.  There were moments of silence and just taking in the surroundings and there were moments of creating.  We had time to talk, listen, and be us.  Changes happened, things opened up, and perpectives have surfaced.

This little froggie, as well as many others, we hoping from one side of the path to the other.  The path was probably about 5 feet across.  No big deal for us, two steps across and we are done.  But for this little frog, it can seem like miles, especially with feet coming your way, as well as a vehcile.  This little guy taught me, that no matter how big the task or challenge, you can make it through one step at a time.  Your steps may be small, some times you may jump backwards, or retrace some of your steps, but with strenght and persaverance you can make it to where you are going.  You don’t have to know your final desitnation, as long as you have direction, guidance, and leave yourself room to grow.



Even though life seems to spin by you faster and faster each day, try to slow down every now and then to look at whats around you.  Especially if you are out in nature, there are so many things to see if you look all ways and slow down.  I was walking back to our sight when I looked ahead down the path and this is what I saw.  I stopped for a moment to look at and take it in.  It was beautiful.  While standing there looking at it a sense of calm and peace enveloped me.  I continued my walk back, grabbed the camera and returned.  Took it all in once more, then went and shared the photos with Raun.





 Take chances and live by the moment.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to plan things out some of the time.  But sometimes you need to throw the schedule, hesitation, routine, fear, or whatever might be holding you back away and just fly. 




Remember to take time to rest, relax, and take care of yourself.  This is most important on your toughest days.  Things take time to process, understand, and fully open up. 



Remember to

Cherish Life’s Simple Treasures

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