My Family!!

My Family!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


So I mentioned all the necklaces I recieved for Christmas, but did not post a pic....
My beautiful Lady of Guadalupe necklace from JJ

angel wings from my aunt!

These were in one of the Small boxes from Foster....the other box held the matching necklace!! BEAUTIFUL!!

And the pics of all the donations to Roses From Rosalynn!! Thank you all!!

Project Sweet Pea's Logo

A shelf FULL of donated items ready to go into the bags!!

Outfits for the little ones!

Memory boxes...note the ones on the left...see a theme:-)

Embroidered by my wonderful Aunt Georgia Peach

Boxes of matching sets donated by Back in His Arms Again!

A Very Blessed Christmas

Well, as blessed as it could be without Rosalynn. Last week, we went and spent time with Foster's side of the family. We had a lot of fun with the kids and there were lots of presents to go around. We decided to head up on the 22nd because I had to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and we wanted to get some real quality time with his family. Unfortunately, living 2 hours away, we get very little quality time with them.

The first evening we just hung out and socialized. Foster brought hommade venison chili that was killer! I was afraid I wouldn't like it, but it was delicious. He made it just a little too spicy, but a little bit of sour cream and saltine crackers helped cut the heat a little bit. We spent time with his sisters for a few hours and caught up on life in general.

The second day we took the kids to Chuck-E-Cheese. I forgot how much fun that place could be. I even had fun as  29 year old! Foster and I worked hard to get the kids extra tickets by playing numerous games of skiball and football.

Foster decided he had to go get a quick bite to eat and disappeared for an hour. I was starting to get worried, and then on accident, I move the pillow from the back seat and found three wrapped gifts. Foster had said he wasn't getting me anything for my birthday or Christmas because he had purchased my camera for me, but he must have changed his mind. He was trying to hide them from me, but didn't do a very good job.

That night we had dinner at a local restaurant and then headed to Foster's older sister's place to open gifts. I was thrilled when I received a gift card to Wal-Mart for items for Roses from Rosalynn, and a new pandora bead. My niece spent her own money and picked out beautiful wine glasses for Foster and I. I hope she doesn't think we are alcoholics or something. Of course I had to get some pictures of my nieces and nephew, and they seemed to LOVE all of their gifts!

This niece, we will call her "Guinn" LOVE penguins more than life itself!!! 

She wanted one thing: a nutcracker!

Niece, "Queen", LOVES Barbie just like her Aunt Erin, so I got her one!

I love how Guinn is reading about a sheltie while 2 shelties play behind her in this pic!!

After work on the 26th, Foster and I headed to my parents house. When I got there, Bug, Ky, JJ and Mr. JJ were already there. Papa JJ was there also. As soon as I walked in the door Papa JJ handed me my gift. It was a $5 scratch off ticket. I was really excited, because although I don't buy them for myself, I still love scratching them off. I started scratching, and we got excited cause it said I won $5. Well, the more I scratched, the more I won....$50 total!!!! Can you believe it? Foster won $10, so I figured that $60 is what I will use for the poker game I am playing in on New Year's Day. I am already on a lucky streak, hopefully it holds up.

My mother is a saint! I swear to you! She is a Catholic school teacher, gets paid way too little and is under appreciated. She loves her little second graders, and they love her too. Along with her own contributions to Roses from Rosalynn, she did something amazing this Christmas season. Most teachers are used to getting gift cards and mugs and ornaments from their children every year. This year she sent out a letter to all of her parents asking that instead of these gifts, that they donate items to my project. Their giving spirit was shown in the massive box of items. Receiving blankets, hand sanitizer, gift cards, teddy bears, checks, hand and feet imprint molds, the list goes on and on. My mother included some beautiful outfits with embroidered roses that she picked out from Macy's. She was so excited to show me all the goodies. I feel like Rosie's grandma got to Christmas shop for her and do grandmotherly things. I feel like this is something that has been both healing to my mother's heart, and to mine as well. I feel like every gift I received from friends, family, and strangers alike were gifts to my Rosie.

The next best gift I got this Christmas was my Lady of Guadelupe necklace and angel wing necklace from JJ and my aunt. I opened my gift from JJ and I could not believe my eyes! It was exactly what I had been looking for in DC, a beautiful OLofG necklace. I had seen one in Macy's and had offhandedly mentioned it to JJ. When I opened it, I figured Foster had something to do with it, but it turns out JJ is just very observant and had realized how much I had admired the necklace over a month ago. I love her so much, and I will now feel comforted wearing it every day the next time I get pregnant.

The angel wing necklace was given to me by my aunt. She could not make Christmas this year because she was so busy with her plays, so we missed her dearly. It just wasn't the same without her here this year.

So, although this Christmas is not what we had imagined it would be a year ago, it was so amazing. Rosie's presence was felt everywhere this week. It was definitely a blessed Christmas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Annual Trip to DC

I mentioned before that Foster and I have made a tradition. The past 3 years we have gone on a romantic trip to our nation's capital. There is something extra special about being a soldier and seeing all of the history behind our country and being in the middle of everything we are fighting for.

We were doing really well on timing on our trip there until we hit the mountains.
Traffic was AWFUL!!!

We only had 120 miles left to go, but it took us 4 hours!!! We were really bummed, because we were supposed to get military tours of the Pentagon, it is a little better than the civilian tours, because they take you to a few different places, and plus, Foster's friend worked there, so we would get to see him there. Instead, we net him out for dinner when he got off work. Foster and he played rugby together in college, and he went through the program Foster is debating applying to in the Army. It was a lot of shop-talk, but it was nice to meet him and get a glimpse of Foster's past.

Later that night we made our yearly trip to the National Christmas Tree. We had our picture taken with Santa, and that night pictures were open to all age groups!
this was taken with our camera, we have the copy of the real one taken

We were so excited! We got some beautiful pictures, headed back to the hotel, had a few glasses of wine, and headed to bed. We had a full day planned for Friday, and had to start early.

Our first full day was packed. We had a tour of the Library of Congress. I would have to say it is the most beautiful building in DC. I have been to nearly all the buildings, and the art and architecture of the library beats them all hands down. Here are just a few pictures.

After the library, we were off to our state representative's office. We had a congressional tour scheduled of the Capitol building. I got to talking to the aid about submitting my letter to Congress about changing stillbirth leave and she gave me great advice, so after the lame duck session is over, and our new members take office, I will be sending my letter.

We sat in on both a House and Senate session, and I was really disappointed that the Bush tax cuts had already been voted on, because I was hoping we would catch the vote, but it had passed at midnight the night prior. Too bad, that would have been real history in the making. Foster really enjoys watching the sessions, because he feels like he is actually taking part in our government. I think we all take it for granted, and maybe instead of complaining all the time about our politicians and the decisions they make, more citizens should take advantage of the fact that this is still our nation, and we can be a part of it! Even if it is only as spectators from the balcony.

Before heading back to the hotel, we had time to take the metro to one of our favorite spots. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I took a TON of pictures, but here are just a few.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Each time we go, I find new beauty in this place. I was thrilled because once again we were there right after the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. If you remember, I mentioned that Foster and I got married on her feast day, 12/12. She holds a special place in my heart. She is also one of the "pregnant" Marys. The bow around her waist signifies she is pregnant with Jesus. We stopped in her shrine, I lit a candle, and said a few prayers to God for Rosie, our future children, and asked for Mary's intercession. I searched for the perfect necklace of her, but I failed miserably. I had one image in mind, and was really disappointed the the Basilica did not have a nice necklace. I wanted a necklace before we get pregnant again, because I was hoping to wear one through the next pregnancy for a little extra hope and faith that Mary would help watch over us next round. I know, it sounds like one of those "goofy Catholic things", but it brings me reassurance and piece of mind, so please don't criticize.

I even tried to find one at the local holiday bizarre, and came close, but the artist said he would make a custom designed piece for me. It would cost close to $200, but if I couldn't find something else, I would be willing to pay it.

That evening we went to our favorite restaurant in DC. Honestly, I don't even know the name of it, but it specializes in Greek and Lebanese food. They are  unique in the fact that each plate is small portions. Enough for two or three bites for each of us. We ordered 6 different plates ranging from lamb to veal sweetbread. Most of the dishes were amazing. Foster and I were not too fond of the duck we ordered, but hey, we only had to have 3 bites of it. We had a few drinks, but saved the dessert for the hotel. My "cake lady", as she has so fondly been named by family and friends, made our anniversary cake. Cake Lady is a nurse practitioner in my ER, and she makes cakes as a hobby. She took on the challenge of making her first wedding cake for my big day. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! However, the top was a little too big to freeze and save for a whole year. It would have taken up the entire freezer and we would have had no place to put meet and such. So, she agreed last year to make us a 1 year anniversary cake. Instead of recreating the original flavors, Foster wanted to have German Chocolate cake, so we did. It was AMAZING!!!!

We toasted to our first year of marriage, ate, and made the big plans I had been looking forward to the whole trip, meeting my best buddy from my online support group.

We were supposed to meet them in Baltimore, but we found out Friday night that the MARC train does not run on Saturday and Sundays. We were really disappointed, because we had no back up plan. However, Mrs. Strength and her hubby said they would take the two hour trip into DC because that is how much she wanted to see me! I was so relieved, because I had been looking forward to this encounter for weeks, and was seriously crying at the thought of not being able to meet this amazing woman in person.

Since our plans for Baltimore were scratched, Foster and I decided to go see the war memorials again. Last time I went, it was dark and raining. This time it was cold, but at least I could see everything, and I could take my time because I wasn't trying to stay dry. There is something so surreal about standing amongst these memorials that were raised in honor of the soldiers who fought and died for this country.

I love how you can see the Washington Monument reflection in the Vietnam wall!

Dave goofing off and joining the men in line during the Great Depression

He is all proud of himself because he cut in front of everyone! lol

I HAD to pose with the women in the military monument!!

After a lot of walking around, we stopped by the Smithsonian of American History to check out the First Ladies' Dresses since the exhibit was closed last time we went and then it was off to see Mr. and Mrs. Strength.

I was afraid Foster would be uncomfortable because he can be weird around strangers, but he actually was really talkative. He seemed to really hit is off with Mr.Strength, and started getting a little TOO talkative after a few too many beers. Oh well, we were on vacation.

Unfortunately, after about thirty minutes of being there, Mrs. Strength started to feel nauseated and light headed. She was not feeling well at all. I was worried for her, and felt really bad, because she had made such a long trip and was not even able to enjoy her meal. We made the best of the circumstances, and it was just great to spend time with her in person for once. We talk on the phone all the time and text back and forth, but just getting to sit next to her was awesome.
My best buddy!!

Before leaving DC on Sunday, Foster and I headed back to the Basilica for Sunday mass. It was awe inspiring. Such a beautiful setting for mass! I said a little prayer while we were there to God to help us conceive, but if we were not pregnant this month, I asked that He not get my hopes up, and let my monthly visitor show up on time. No joke, as soon as I stepped out of the pew, she showed up!! How funny is that?!?! I guess it just goes to show that I am not in control of any of this. It is all in Gods hands, and Foster and I will do what we have to, but we are going to have to put faith in God that he knows the right timing for Rosie's sibling.

Here is my favorite picture I took:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Just Isn't the Same Without My Rose

My Christmas Spirit is gone. I do hope it decides to return today or Sunday, but as of last night, it has left the building. I came into work exhausted with a major headache. I was spent already, and I had a whole 12 hour shift to get through.

Foster and I walked into a beautifully decorated church last evening. It was filled to the rims with people. Between the C and E Catholics (Christmas and Easter mass participants only) and everyone's families, there was not a seat left in the house. Foster and I were fortunate enough to stand by a family who squeezed together in order to make room for us. We did not ask them to, they just put kids on laps and invited us in. I was pleased to see we were situated on the outside perimeter of the church, and the front row, because I had a feeling this was going to be a difficult mass, and the less amount of people surrounding me, the better. I was doing pretty good for most of the mass. I cried a little during "Silent Night", but since the singer was unable to stay completely on key,  I would giggle from time to time, and it kept me from getting too into the music. But then communion came. I always get a little emotional during communion. This time the tears started flowing, and as soon as Foster started rubbing my back, I turned to him and tears were welling in his eyes, "This Christmas was supposed to be so different," I whispered to him.

"I know sweetheart."

I laid my head against his shoulder, and he rested his head on mine, and we cried through the rest of communion. I sobbed. The shoulder heaving, snotty nosed sobbing. The lady next to me handed me some tissues and leaned over, "It will get easier, it is always hard around the holidays," she said as I accepted this small act of kindness. She had no knowledge of our loss, but probably figured we had lost a close family member. As the mass came to an end, she turned to me an asked, "May I ask who you lost?"

"Our daughter," I said.

"Oh sweetheart," she said and she started to tear up, "I am so sorry."

The little boy down the pew kept looking at me and motioning for his mother to look at me, and it looked as if he was asking why I was crying. This poor little man probably thought I was crazy. He probably could not imagine someone being sad on Christmas Eve, because Santa would be coming this night, and everyone should be happy right? Well, not us baby loss moms. This is SUPPOSED to be a happy time, but for us this day, the birthday of our Lord Jesus, is a hard time for us no matter how far a long in our journey we are. If things had played out the way they were supposed to, we should be opening lots and lots of presents for our baby girl and watching her be more interested in the wrapping paper than the gifts that were concealing.

Instead, Foster and I are celebrating with my side of the family on the 26th and celebrated with his side this past week. There is a feeling of something missing, there probably will always be from here on out, but it is nice to spend time with family.

Tonight, however, I am done, emotionally spent, and just wish the 26th would come already. This is a point where I say "I want my mommy and daddy," yes folks, even a 29 year old woman wants nothing more than the warm embrace of her parents when she is hurting, that familiar place in my mom and dad's arms that makes everything better.

I did receive some good news today, a great little surprise for the 26th. My aunt and uncle from Georgia are heading in to celebrate. Aunt and Uncle Georgia Peach are some amazing people. Although they live so far away, they have always been such a huge support. Aunt Georgia Peach has been a spiritual support in the last 8 months, and then recently has helped with my ministry by agreeing to embroider the canvas bags for Roses from Rosalynn with the logo. She has a talent with the sewing machine and has produced some of the most beautiful quilts and hand made pieces I have ever seen. She didn't even hesitate when I asked this huge favor. I love her so much, and I actually get to hug and thank her in person. She is another one of my angels here on earth.

Now, Uncle Georgia Peach is hilarious! He can bring a smile and laughter to any situation. He possesses this wonderful gift, and God knows we will need it! I am soooooo thankful that they will be joining us this week!

I am praying for some peace in my heart and the hearts of my fellow baby loss parents. I am sure our little ones are looking down on us and smiling. Remember, they are celebrating Christmas in Heaven with Jesus.....what a great celebration that will be!!

My First Christmas In Heaven:

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can’t compare
with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
But I am not so far away, we really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear.
And be glad I’m spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do
For I can’t count the blessing or love he has for each of you
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.
( by Author Unknown)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lookie Lookie!! New Donation Button!!

For those of you interested, because some of you have voiced interest in donating, there is a new Pay Pal donation button on the right side of my blog for Roses From Rosalynn. If you click the button, it will take you to a page to insert you info into and your donation will go into an account. Every cent, minus a small paypal fee will go towards the bags! I will be figuring out the cost of one full bag, and if interested, you can make a donation for the equivalent of one bag just from you! No donation is too small, even one dollar will help.

Thank you all so much for all of your love and support! I cannot begin to express how much it has meant to me! I could not have gotten through this holiday, the last 8 months, or done any of this without you! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My FIRST Published Piece!!!!!

Here it is....FINALLY!! My very first "published" piece!! It is the article I wrote for the Ohio National Guard Association. I was afraid they were going to cut it down, let's just say I would be an awful journalist if I was only fiven 500 words!! But they didn't and I am sooooo excited to share the entire article with you! So without further adieu: 

"A Guard Wife's View"

Erin Foster · As my husband David and I stepped off of the
plane in Austin, Texas, I was filled with anticipation and excitement
for another entertaining conference hosted by the
National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS).
With a little hesitation and no knowledge of what to expect,
I had accompanied David to his first conference, last year
in Nashville. This year was different; I was feeling like a
seasoned vet.

On our way to Austin we met a wide-eyed woman in the
airport wearing an Air Force T-shirt. After introductions, I
was pleased to find out that Rae was the wife of Ohio Air National
Guard Capt. Bo Cunningham. I was ecstatic, because
last year I had the pleasure of spending time with Tessie
Springer, the wife of Capt. J. R. Springer, and I was hoping
to meet another Ohio wife to enjoy my time with this year.
I was eager to introduce Rae to all of the spousal activities
available at the conference.

We arrived in Austin to real Texan hospitality. There
were tables with refreshments offered while we boarded
the buses that would take us to our respective hotels. Each
state was assigned to a different hotel in downtown Austin,
and we were provided bus transportation to and from the
Conference center, the different activities, and the hotels.
When David and I checked into the Radisson, our room
was not ready. However, to our delight the hospitality suites
were already open. Each state had a hospitality suite supplied
with snacks and beverages to entertain its members
and visitors from other states during downtime throughout
the weekend. We made our way to the suite where col
Ashenhurst, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, and a few other members
of Ohio’s National Guard Association (ONGA) already were
taking advantage of all of the comforts the hospitality room
had to offer. We joined them for some drinks and conversation
until our room was cleaned and ready. We were eager
to prepare ourselves for the night’s festivities.

The first night the company grade officers and field grade
officers went their separate ways. The Company Grade
Mixer was hosted at Deutsches Haus, which had a great indoor/
outdoor environment for socializing. Thanks to donations
by DRASH, we were provided with an open bar of
local wines and beers, including Shiner Bock. We enjoyed
a buffet of brats and brisket, potato salad and coleslaw was
served while a live band performed familiar country songs.
It was our first opportunity to meet and greet couples from
all over the country. 

During this event the tradition of trading the state pins
became noticeable. Each state designs and brings their
own pins and gives each member and their spouse a certain
number to trade with other state members. It is the
perfect opportunity for people to mingle and strike up conversations.
This year Ohio was represented with the Marble
Head Lighthouse complete with its own red blinking
light. The goal was to obtain a pin from each of the fiftyfour
states and territories. Some of the wives made it a little
friendly competition, and came up with some creative
means for filling up their lanyards. I was able to obtain
forty-six states this year.

Although Thursday night was full of activities and socializing,
Friday was the official kickoff of the conference. All
of the exhibits were open for viewing and included everything
from previews of wearable gear to the newest military
technology. While the officers inquired about new gear
for their troops, their spouses took interest in some of the
interactive booths and the free goodies that were up for
grabs. We were able to fire computerized weapons, tour
new combat vehicles and tents, and even create personalized
dog tags. Pens, coffee mugs, T-shirts, kozies, and notepads
were just a few of the goodies I grabbed to add extra
pounds to my suitcase. After taking our first quick tour of
the exhibits, Rae and I headed up to the opening ceremonies.
Last year, I was unaware that spouses were allowed
to attend this portion of the conference, and fully intended
to be present this year.

A local high school’s JROTC performed an impressive
drill team routine to kick off the ceremony. A mariachi band
and country music musicians played songs leading up to
the introduction of the governor of Texas, Rick Perry. He
gave an incredible speech that welcomed everyone to the
great state of Texas, explained all of the future plans for
the Texas National Guard, and jokingly asked the soldiers
present to stay behind and help secure the border.
Immediately following the governor’s speech came the
State Roll Call. Each year, a representative of each state has
sixty seconds to introduce their state. Each one is different.
Some states described their accomplishments in the military,
some rattled off facts in creative ways while throwing
treats into the audience. I made a note that next year
I am going to borrow my husband’s IOTV and ACH for the
State Roll Call. Puerto Rico threw bags of coffee, Louisiana
threw Mardi Gras beads, Texas threw cowboy hats. I was
hit in the head twice by candy corn that Nebraska tossed,
dodged numerous snacks and goodies, and was relieved
when the “Granite State,” New Hampshire, decided not to
throw real granite. Did you know California has more cows
than Texas, and makes more cheese than Wisconsin? Did
you know that Georgia has the biggest party college in the
nation? A few interesting characters accompanied the roll
call of select states. Elvis was in the building, and Maryland
had dancing crabs. Alabama promised that if you visited
their beaches, thanks to BP, you would lie down and stick
to them. All in all, it was very entertaining.

The day was followed by an evening of bull riding, barrel
racing and rodeo clowns. For supper, everyone enjoyed
brisket, rotisserie chicken, and peach cobbler served out of
the back of Conestoga wagons. As if a rodeo wasn’t enough
excitement for the evening, like royalty, we were treated to
a private concert by country music singer Rick Trevino. We
headed back shortly after the concert, and although some
couples decided to check out the night life of Austin, we
headed back to the hotel because David had an early morning
of meetings, and I had a big day of shopping ahead of me.

Saturday morning was the big spouses outing. While
our husbands and wives were busy in meetings, we were
given the option of shopping at the Riverfront in San Antonio,
antique shopping in Austin, or outlet mall shopping
in San Marcos. To our surprise, we were each handed a
twenty-dollar gift card to use on our shopping excursion.
Even though the temperatures were reaching 106 degrees,
Rae and I enjoyed our outlet mall shopping experience.
Some of the spouses enjoyed their free afternoon by lying
out at the hotel pools and relaxing. I was impressed by the
way the spouses were included and entertained through
the long hours our soldiers and airmen were in meetings.

Saturday night was the much-anticipated Hospitality
Night. As I mentioned previously, each state has a suite
that is designated to their members for relaxing and refreshments
during downtime. However, one night out of
the weekend, the rooms were transformed into a room full
of pride for the state. It was their opportunity to brag about
the local foods, display fun decorations representing college
and professional teams, and to entertain visitors from
other states. New York had some of their upstate wines and,
of course, Buffalo wings. Florida had crab dips and a “special
recipe” clam chowder. The SEC football states put their
differences aside and banned together to throw the partyof all hospitality parties at Maggie Mae’s, a local bar. It was a two-story bar opened exclusively to the NGAUS participants.
Music, drinks, dancing and more food was available.
I think I gained fifteen pounds from all of the succulent
brisket I ate.

As the conference was coming to a close, the spouses
were offered a parting gift. They had about fifteen gifts
from which to choose, including longhorn shaped dinner
bells, pewter or sterling silver cuff bracelets, coffee mugs,
and for the culinary lovers present, a book filled with Texas
recipes. Each wife walked away with a souvenir to fit their
own taste and style. Rae chose a beautiful sterling silver
bracelet, and I chose the boot shaped dinner bell that is a
nice addition to my western themed bedroom.

On the last night, Texas sent us out in style. The state’s
dinner is always the last event, and this one was a great
culmination to the 2010 NGAUS Conference. Filet mignon,
stuffed chicken, sweet potatoes and fresh salad were served,
together with bottles of red and white wine. After an enjoyable
meal with the other Ohio junior officers, we were
invited to get a group picture with the Ohio TAG, MG Wayt.
It was the perfect conclusion to the perfect weekend.

I strongly encourage all officers and their spouses to join
us for the 2011 NGAUS Conference in Milwaukee! These
conferences have great professional opportunities for any
officer, and wonderful occasions for spouses to
meet and make lasting friendships. As Rae perfectly articulated,
“I felt not only included, but welcomed into this part
of Bo’s life which is so important to him.” David and I fully
intend to participate. So, you first-timers feel free to hunt
down the bubbly, talkative, red head, and I will be glad to
show you the ropes!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Kindness of Others

The Christmas season brings out a lot of different emotions and mindsets in people. Some get greedy, and all they can focus on is what they want under the tree. Some feel guilty because they cannot afford to buy the kinds of presents they want for their family members. Others, including myself and other baby loss parents are just praying they get through the holidays without more heartbreak and pain. However, it is those that exhibit the true meaning of Christmas that warm my heart and give me hope for the new year.

I have officially received my first donations to Roses from Rosalynn. I have mentioned before the wonderful people I work with, and how much I enjoy my job because of them. I also mentioned how one of the nurses commended me on how I have turned my loss into something worthy of praise and respect. This strong minded, funny and beautiful woman donated a bag full of goodies to my project, my ministry. She handed me a bag with an array of different items. There were adorable onesies, hats, and socks. She included lotions and powders that I am sure it did not go unnoticed by her that the brand name of the bathing supplies is "Angel of Mine". I was ecstatic as I peered into the bag and thought of the smiles the parents would have when they too realized what they would be giving their first bath with. This generous woman is quiet compared to a lot of the women I work with, she has had her own struggles in life, and has become and amazingly strong woman because of them. This is just another example of how when she does do or say something, there is substance behind it, and this simple act of kindness warmed me to the core.

Today I was handed a envelope by another angel in scrubs. This particular nurse has been an inspiration to me since the day I joined the ER team. Her and one other young nurse were two of the most compassionate, loving, Christian-like women I have ever known. The second nurse joined mission work and has been traveling for the past 2 years, however, the first stayed behind and has brightened our sometimes dark, stressful workplace. Her smile and laugh is contagious and she never has an ill word to say about anyone, including some of the shady people that come through our doors. Her faith in God inspired me, and for 3 years I have enjoyed listening and talking to her about Christ and scripture, friendship and love.

When I read the outside of the envelope that she handed me, it said that I inspired HER! I uttered an ironic laugh in my head, because if she only knew..... (well, she knows now if she or someone at work figures out who I am talking about). In a time of year where people are scraping together money for gifts for their loved ones, and still trying to pay bills, her and her husband wanted to make a donation to my ministry. To say I was appreciative was an understatement. Had she handed me the envelope in a more private place, there would have been tears, but I have learned how to hide them and unfortunately all she got was the generic "Thank You", a hug, and a smile, because if she could see how I was truly feeling on the inside, I was bursting, and the thank you would probably have been a lot more emotional. However, she was close to tears herself, so maybe it was good I held back in front of everyone.

The Kindness of others is what has made me feel completely full filled this season. I could go to Christmas with my family this year, and if there isn't a single present under that tree for me, I will still be satisfied, because what these women have done. I am so happy that with these items and money, I will be able to contribute more to families who are suffering in their hearts and whose world has been flipped upside down this Christmas Season.

Thank You Thank You Thank You ladies, from the bottom of my heart!!!

(Oh, and Mom, don't think I have forgotten your donations, that is a whole separate post! I promise:-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Time Goes By So Slowly......NOT!!!!

Time has gotten away from me. It seems to be going by like a speeding freight train and I can't slow it down. I feel like the more I try and enjoy the moment, the faster it goes. Yesterday was eight months since my precious Rosalynn went back up to heaven to be with God. Where has the time gone? I am sure I would be saying this if she was here also because at this point she would be sitting up, crawling, and trying to form words by mimicking mommy and daddy. If she was anything like me, she would probably already be talking in full sentences! There are days that I feel like April was a lifetime ago, and then other days where I can still feel her in my belly. I get that gut-wrenching clench around my heart, and tears well in my eyes because I still can't believe this happened to us!

One more month has gone by of trying and failing to produce Rosie a sibling. I am a little bummed, even tough I tried to tell myself I wouldn't get my hopes up, I actually had a great feeling about this month. Oh well, as people always say, "When you least expect it it will happen. Just stop thinking about it." This is like telling someone who is drowning to stop thinking about oxygen, when everything inside of them wants nothing more than to take a deep breath. I try to relax, I try to take my mind off of it by staying incredibly busy, but no matter how busy I am, no matter how many massages I get or yoga I do, it still consumes me. I don't think it helps that as Rosie's passing gets further away, the deployment gets closer and closer. I have to admit, my thoughts have been taking a positive spin for my vacation to Afghanistan. I am a medic. I was supposed to be discharged for pregnancy, but due to paper work not being filed in time, I was still in and hence my discharge was canceled when I lost my daughter. Now, I won't get into all the details here, because there are a lot of things that could have been done to honor my discharge, but for one reason or another were not.
My new theory that I am trying to focus on instead of the awful negative thoughts that ran through my head in THIS post, is this:

"If Rosalynn had survived, I would have been out of the Army and hence I would not be going on this deployment. What if I am supposed to go on this deployment because I end up saving someone that I would not have been able to if I wasn't there. What if my daughter had to pass so that I would be there to help someone's husband, father, mother, daughter, etc. survive?"

Now, I know that there will be other medics there, and there would probably be someone else there that could save the person if I wasn't, BUT who knows. Maybe? This is how I am trying to think more positively. I hope no one gets hurt, but if they do, I hope I am there to help.

Onto more fun things! On the Seventh day of Christmas Foster gave to me:

Seven Quarters of college~ He didn't "give" them to me per say, but I have been in school for 7 quarters since we met 3 years ago. 2 of them I had to drop early, one because of Rosie, and the other before I joined the Army. So technically is is only 5 quarters, but for the sake of this "song", I will say 7. By the way, next quarter will be my 8th and FINAL!!!!!

On the Eighth Day of Christmas Foster gave to me:

8 year long contract~ with the Army that is. I had talked to him early in our relationship that I was thinking of joining the Air Force full time. He convinced me into Army National Guard. Now I have 6 active and 2 years inactive years to experience Army life.

On the Eighth day of Christmas Foster gave to me:

An Eight year long contract
Seven quarters of college
Six Crazy in-laws
Four poster bed
Three nieces, one nephew
Two spunky puppies
And One beautiful daughter in heaven!!!

Only four more days to go!!!!! Hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season so far.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the Third Day.....

Sorry, I have to catch up since I have been gone in DC.
On the Third day of Christmas Foster gave to me:

Three Nieces and One Nephew

I have a beautiful niece and two handsome nephews on my side, but these four rugrats were added to my family after Foster and I married, and I absolutely adore them! I wish we lived closer to them, because I don't get to see them nearly as much as I want!

On the Fourth Day of Christmas Foster gave to me a four poster bed.

I have always loved four post beds, and right before our wedding day, Foster and I headed out and found a beautiful bedroom set to include a four post bed.

On the Fifth day of Christmas Foster gave to me a FIIIIIIVVVVVVEEEEEE BEEEDDDDROOOOMMMMM HOOOOOOOOOME. (Five bedroom home)

I know I have promised pictures, and I HAVE taken some, the house just never seems clean enough for me to post pictures on here, but one day I will do a post about my home.

On the sixth day of Christmas Foster gave to me six crazy in-laws. Crazy good! I love my in-laws. There are an array of personalities that makes for interesting gatherings, but I feel like I fit right in. From pushing my father in law's buttons, to making fun of Foster with my brother in-law (Foster's sister's husband), it is always fun on the holidays!
 The Fam Damily!

I LOVE this picture of Foster and his sisters!


On the sixth day of Christmas Foster gave to me
Six Crazy In-Laws
Four poster bed
Three nieces and a nephew
Two spunky puppies
and one beautiful daughter in heaven.

More to come on my trip to DC. Wait till you see the pictures I took!!!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And the Winner is.......

Haha...not quite yet! First I am going to tell you about my day. It wasn't as interesting as others in the past, but since we are getting ready to take our trip to DC, I had a TON of errands to run. oil change, buy new boots that are warm and comfy for walking in the city, pick up a few Christmas items, pick up the dry cleaning, etc. One errand I added in there was visiting and purchasing the baby buggy. It is in excellent condition, seems to hold quite a bit of weight, so my little Baby Prince won't break it. He is growing by leaps and bounds and is a little chunker! I may take it into an antique re-finisher and have them reupholster the inside, but I may be able to just pull off a nice affect with some fabric. I am so excited to start using my new props!

Foster had told me to buy a mice pair of boots for DC that were warm and I could walk forever in. I was debating buying a pair of UGGS, because they fit into both of these categories, and I could use that excues when buying the $200 pair of boots, but then I figured Foster would probably flip, and someone would not be getting a Christmas present to compensate for my expensive taste in shoes. I settled on a very nice pair though, and I will be sure to get pictures during our trip and let you know how they hold up to our walking. To give you an idea of the sort of vacations we take, our first DC trip, Foster and I walked the equivalence of a marathon in 3 days. We used google pedometer to track our path, and sure enough it added up to a little over 26 miles. I hope these boots can handle that kind of walking. However, I have a feeling there will be a little less walking this time. Not only is our hotel a little more centralized, but neither Foster nor me a are in as good as shape as we were back then.

Okay, with out further adieu, because I am sure you are all on the edge of you seat, the winner is:

The List....24 entries!!

Each name was assigned a # so there was no cheating on Foster's part.

He accidentally picked 2 so randomly threw one back in...someone was SOOOOO close!!! lol
And the licky # is #5!!    

So who is #5 you ask?!?!?! KRISTEN WEST!!! Congrats! So, if I can get the photo mailed to me in time (Christmas shipping may hinder it) I can get it framed and deliver it in person for our lunch or dinner date!! Kristen is an old coworker and friend. I have called her when I have been lonely and she has too. He husband is in the military, and they are stationed away from home, but they are coming back for the holidays, so I get to see them, and personally deliver her picture and enjoy a nice meal with her and her family.
Congrats Kristen, and I can't wait to see you!!

Template by