I am continuing to share with you what I am thankful for, grateful for, or just plain blessed with in my life.  At the beginning of the month I decided to share my 30 days of Thankfulness.  You can read the first part of my 30 days of Thankfulness by clicking here for 1-6 and here for 7-13.

14.  Support-I am blessed with a tremendous support system that has come out of losing Samantha.  Without that support system, I wouldn’t be able to be where I am today.

15. My new contacts-I know this may sound odd, but I have been trying to get the right ones for the past three months.  Finally, after like the 7th pair they are right.  I can see well during the day and night finally!

16. For an Extra Long Fall-In Minnesota, Fall doesn’t always seem to stick around.  We have been very lucky and very blessed to still have decent weather.

17. My memorial garden-It’s the middle of November and the flowers I planted (Yellow Snapdragons) that are around the memory stone are still blooming.

In Spring, when I first planted everythingSnapdragons still blossoming as of November 19

 

18. The Internet-without there is a lot I wouldn’t be able to do.  With it I am able to easily keep in touch with family and I am able to share my photography, as well as my writings.

19. MyInfantLoss.com-it has been a way for me to reach out to others, hopefully helping them while helping myself through the healing process.

20. My Car-it allows me to go where I need to go, as well as where I want to go.  Without it doing so many of the fun road trips we did this past year wouldn’t have as possible as they were.

21. God-without having the knowledge of God walking beside me and being there, I think times would be a lot tougher and things would be a lot harder to handle.  Even though I may waver, turn away, yell and get angry, He is always there, no matter what.

What are you thankful for?  It’s not to late to start creating your list.  If you aren’t able to do the 30 days of Thankfulness, then I encourage you to create a list of 10.  I look forward to continuing to share mine and I look forward to hearing from you what is on your list.  Share you thoughts below.

 

I took this photo in Spring, just after I placed the stone & planted the flowers.

My week 2 assignment for my Illuminate class is “Finding Your Light”

It has been nearly 10 months since Samantha joined our world and quickly left it.  In the early days, the light and the hope were dim.  It didn’t help that at that time we were on pace to have one of the snowiest winters in a long time.  Plus, we were headed into the coldest time of the year, my husband and I had just gotten over the flu, our furnace had gone out, and I was having to face going back to work.  So, glimpses of hope and light just didn’t seem near.

As the days went by and we slowly got to move into Spring (which didn’t arrive until nearly the end of April) I was ready for the new growth and the freshness that the season would bring.  The warmth, the green, and the flowers.  Little bits of light began to filter through my every day.  Sure, there were still some darker days, but most of the days were becoming more gray than dark with hints of brightness.

As Summer drew in, I was surrounded by warmth.  Warmth from the sun, warmth from friends, and warmth from family.  Each month from Christmas 2010 until this point we had seen our family.  Whether it was a road trip home to celebrate Easter, a wedding shower and wedding, and birthdays or it was family visiting us we got a lot of family time in.  Raun and I surrounded ourselves with our own little road trips, each other, family, and the things that we hold most dear to us.  Life is to short to just sit back and let the days pass you by.  So, we decided to begin doing the things we truly wanted to do and mixed them in with the things we had to do or responsibilities that we had.  I began to realign and look at the things I truly wanted to be a part of my life and what things needed to change.  By the end of the Summer I was seeing things with more color and brightness.  I found myself more and more thankful for the beautiful things around me.

I took this photo the weekend of Samantha's original due date

As Fall began to roll in so did some changes.  One of the biggest change was my job.  I began to realize that my light had mostly gone out and I knew I needed to make a change.  I gave up my classroom and became a building substitute.  This allowed me time, flexibility, and the ability to take care of what I needed (my family, myself, my photography, and myinfantloss.com).  Giving up my classroom lifted a ton of stress and worry off of my shoulders.  The light outside and inside began to shine brighter.  And when my husband began to see the change, we both realized that I had made the right choice.  Fall is one of my favorite times of years and the colors this year were absolutely beautiful.  The changes in the air and the changes in me led me to spend some quiet time at the memorial wall where Samantha’s name is written.  It was there that colors and brightness really began to pop.  It was there that I got the photos that I submitted to Illuminate and allowed me to get this opportunity to expand on ways to help heal.

Shortly, we will be heading into Winter.  We’ve been lucky this Fall, it has last quite some time.  Last year at this time we already were piled up by snow around us.  The daylight is shorter and the days are getting colder.  So, I am going to have to find other ways to bring light and brightness, as well as color into my life.  Fortunately, Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year to decorate my house.  It is one of the times of year I go all out.  And aside from the Christmas tree & stockings, most of it I am able to leave up through the Winter.  I am looking forward to warmly lit, wonderful smelling candles that will be glowing throughout the house.  I am looking forward to the twinkling of the tree lights.  I am looking forward to the frost on the trees sparkling in the sun.  I will be spending time with family, continuing on with traditions, and adding in a few new ones of our own.

I took this on October 15, 2011 to continue the "Wave of Light"

I know there will still be some tough days ahead, but I also know that with God, my husband, my family, and my friends I will be able to see more light and make it through those tough days a little easier.  And someday, hopefully those tough and dark days will turn into just mere moments.  And the light and happiness will not just be in moments, but in days instead.

 

 

Ever since we moved into the house we have been building our gardens.  I went from having one garden to know having five!  Thanks to my father and his well developed garden, he has been able to give us plants.  Over time, we have split the plants and been able to grow our gardens.  We haven’t bought many plants, just a handful of perenials over the years and several annuals each Summer. 

I remember while growing up I would pick handfulls of flowers around the house and each weekend we went camping.  To some, they were weeds but to me as a child they were a beautiful boquet.  For whatever reason, once I had my own gardens I didn’t pick flowers all that often.  I don’t know why, maybe I used the cats as an excuse.  I didn’t want vases around that would tip over or that they would eat the flowers from.

In the last year, at least since Christmas last year (2010) Raun and I have been back to our hometown almost monthly.  If we weren’t back there, we had family up here.  So far the only months we haven’t been back home or had family to visit has been May and September.  Each time we went home I noticed something at my parent’s house.  There were always bouquets of flowers.  They were in the kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms.  Some were bigger and some were small, but it didn’t.  It was pops of color and beauty, as well as life and vibrance added around the home.

So, I decided to start finally picking my own flowers.  I have done a few larger bouquets to have out in our living room to enjoy, as well as a few small ones throughout the Summer up in our bathroom.  Right, now though, I have to wait a little bit more for my late Summer/early Fall flowers to fully blosoom.  I have realized that there are certain times throughout the gardening season that I don’t have much color in the gardens and have to wait to make my own bouquets.  So, instead when I get a chance and find a good deal, like at the farmer’s market, I will by a bouquet.

Here’s to picking flowers, adding bursts of seasonal color & life into the home, and for enjoying the nature all around us.  What do you do to add bursts of color and life into your home?

 

February 17-
Today was a tough day. There is no other word to describe it. It was all around tough. This week’s theme at work is life cycles, so there is a lot about babies. Mostly songs and activities that talking about what it was like when you were a baby. Today it was singing rock a bye baby during our music time that did me in. Fortunately the teacher who was with me totally understood what was going on and took over for me. I wonder if the kids can tell what I am feeling by looking at me. During these times I try to avoid direct contact. Usually I find somewhere else in the room to be or some other activity to hopefully help me to ignore what is going on. After this, I decided to go easy on the day and take a nice long break. Which this means Dunn Brothers and some quiet time. Dunn Brothers has been my comfort food over the past week.

I am very nervous about tomorrow. I will be having a teacher in the room that doesn’t want to be there and won’t do anything in the room. I am not sure how I am going to make it through the day having to put forth double energy with no one to fall back on. Tomorrow is just going to be a rough day.

I have realized though, that there are just going to be some natural triggers over the next few months that will cause the tears to shed. Fortunately I have identified some of them, unfortunately it is the day to day ones that I didn’t realize that would just pop up seemingly out of now where and cause a rush of emotions. I am going to have to learn how to deal with these triggers that just show up throughout the day unannounced.

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