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!!


It only takes one word to give you hope, or strength, or encouragement.  It only takes one word to help make the day and all that it brings easier to handle.  Some times, that word will stick with you for days, weeks, even months.  Other times, depending on the events of the day, as well as the emotions, your word might change to convey what you need most.  That word gives you a handle, a rope, something to hold tight onto.

This week my Illuminate photography assignment was to think of one word.  Then go out and find those letters to make up the word in a series of photos.  Sounds simple right?  Well, the catch is you can’t use the easy things like street signs.  My word…is trust.  It is a word that has been with me since we were in labor and delivery.  The plaque in the picture was given to us at the hospital.  Trust, it seems like a simple innocent word, but it is really a strong, powerful word, that can bring so much with it.  The verse that goes with this is Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord, your God will be with you wherever you go.”

So, my journey began.  St. Paul is filled with so much architectural detail it was fun driving around town to find hidden letters.  Incidentally, when it came down to it, most of the letters I ended up using were from my own backyard.  Trust… 

This week I have also been challenged to write about the future.  Where might I be in 1 month, 6 months, 1 year from now.  This is our last Illuminate assignment and for whatever reason, this has been my hardest.  The letters I found easily.  It is the writing that I have needed time to let sink in.

Before thinking forward, I needed to reflect on the past year.  It was a year ago this week that I found out we were pregnant with Samantha.  She is our first baby.  We had decided earlier in the year to begin to grow our family.  Last December our family grew by one more.  Samantha was our, as well as our families special early Christmas present.  Had the pregnancy gone without complications, right now a year later from that moment, would be a lot different.  Then again, so would have this past year and a year from now would have been a whole different path.

Instead, my path had different intentions and decided on a different way to go.  This way that it went was not a choice of mine.  However, I have learned to walk in this new direction.  This past year has been filled with loss and also filled with joys.  Even though Samantha is now in heaven, we celebrated a lot this year with weddings, holidays, a 95th birthday, and life.  I have met new people, gotten closer to others, and built stronger relationships.

Thinking ahead I know I want to continue doing some of the new things I picked up this year, I want to expand things, and I want to readjust other things.  I want to move into more of a simplier mode.  I hope down the road I am able to continue to do the things that bring me the most joy.  I will continue to spend time with family.  I hope to take more  time to have  coffee and chats with friends.  I will take an active approach in my health, making the simple step of being more active.

In a year from now I hope to be “living the backyard life“, as my husband puts it, still and having that life include little feet running around the house.  My wish is to grow our family.  To go from 3 to 4 or 5.  Whatever it may be.  To be raising a family is my dream.  I also hope that my photography has grown.  I hope it grows into something where I can share it more with people and where I can create something special for families.  I hope my path continues to introduce new people into my life in hopes that bonds can be formed and relationships built.

In the year ahead I plan to continue blogging/journaling, creating a place for others to find help & healing on their infant loss path, as well as a place to share their story through my website www.myinfantloss.com, and continue to find ways to honor Samantha.  I hope to find beauty in the world around me each day, find great joy in the simple things, and grow (mentally, spiritually, and emotionally)

I will be adding another word to make my one word motto into a two word motto.  As the new year begins I plan to carry two words with me…trust and strength.


January 26-

Dr. App-No Heart Beat, Admitted to Labor & Delivery, Lots of Phone Calls-Raun, Katie, Mom, Tonya-Visitors-Sherry, Katie, Tonya.  Spent the time chatting and then ate dinner.  Also made a lot more phone calls and watched a lot of TV.  First dose of stuff.  Was put on pain med iv part way through the night to help make getting doses easier.  Didn’t make a dent and made me feel a way I didn’t like or ever want to.  Tonya gave us a card and a little plaque that said TRUST on it.

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