My Family!!

My Family!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

What Goes in The Bags?

I posted this on my Roses From Rosalynn Blog, but in order to reach all of you who have been asking, I figured I would post it here too!

A lot of people have been asking me for lists of what will be going into each Angel bag so that they can donate to the cause. I am sorry it has taken so long, but it was because we have tweaked them more than I expected. After talking to my sister, "Bug", and determining what the hospital we will be delivering to already provides the baby loss parents, we have made our list finalized, and this is what will be going into each bag:

~Hand and Foot print molds- these can be picked up a your local Walmart for about $7, or I am sure there are some online ordering places.
~ Journals and pen so that mom and dad can write down memories of their baby and their feelings over the next few months/years. Some people aren't as vocal as I am, and don't want to pour their heart out on the internet.
~A receiving blanket
~an outfit. I prefer a outfit that is proper for burial, because I could not have brought myself to go into a Baby's R Us to pick one out myself. I know some parents want to do it themselves, but if the outfit is already beautiful, then they don't have to if they don't want to.
~Booties and little hats to put on the baby.
~A teddy bear, small, for baby- there was a comfort in my heart knowing that Rosie's little bear was with her from the time she was born, and now resides with her in the casket. I have been looking specifically for the angel TY bears, but they are harder to find than I thought.
~A large teddy bear for mom- this is to ease a little of the pain from the "empty arm syndrome". I carried my bear around for weeks!
~A disposable camera. Although I did not think of it at the time, I regret now not getting more photos of my beautiful daughter. I think that if the camera is in the bag, parents may be inclined to take pictures. Then, they don't even have to develop the film until they are ready (It took me at least 2 months to finally look at the pictures that the hospital took).
~Gift cards. I will be giving gift cards to Joan (the bereavement director) to be given to the dads. For most women, they are in and out of the hospital within 48 of giving birth. However, under some circumstances like mine, I was there for 4 days. Foster didn't eat much. He didn't want to leave my side. I feel like if the dad has a $10 gift card to Chipotle or Tim Hortons or somewhere close to the hospital, he may be more inclined to eat. Also, the hospital food is not always appetizing, so  maybe the mom will partake in the GC.
~ Last but not least, a specific book, "Mommy Please Don't Cry, There are No tears in Heaven" I am including in every bag. If you are a BLM, and would like to donate a different book to help the mom and dad in their grief, feel free! 
~Any monetary donation is great also. There are a lot of expenses that go into this that you don't physically see (like the canvas bags, printer ink for the letters, thank you cards and stamps, etc.). To do this securely, feel free to use the paypal donation button on the right, or send it to me in the mail.

As we get more donations and are able to expand to other hospitals, more items will be added to this list. For instance, memory boxes. OSU has them already. They give them to each angle mom, however, other hospitals may not. So if you want to donate memory boxes because you are crafty and make them, or just find a nice one at a store and buy one, we will NOT turn down any donation! Pocket sized tissues, travel sized baby wash and lotions for first baths. I would also like to add a picture frame, votive candle and holder to each bag as we have the funds to do so. We will eventually use everything!

I hope this helps, I thank you all ahead of time for your generosity, and God Bless!

To send donations directly to me, please email me for my address:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What a Wonderful Example

This weekend was hard. For those of you who didn't already know, my grandfather passed on Monday. Yesterday was the viewing, and today was the funeral.

It was an amazing occasion. Joyous and sad all at the same time. 13 children and their spouses, ALL 55 grandchildren (for some reason I thought there were more than that), most of the 35 great grandchildren and many more friends and family all gathered in remembrance of an amazing man, my grandfather. I talked about all of his accomplishments and impact in an earlier post, but there is something that is worth mentioning. My uncle, one of the many, got up in front of everyone at the wake and talked about how one of the most important things that my grandfather was concerned about was instilling his faith into his children. In turn, he prayed that his children would instill that same faith into their children, and so on. Looking around the room, while as a family we prayed one last rosary with grandpa, I realized that his mission had been accomplished. I then started to drift off into my own thoughts as the familiar words were flowing from my lips.

Not only had my grandfather influenced his children and grandchildren, but his example reached far beyond that. One of the main reasons Foster even decided to inquire about the Catholic faith is because of the example my family has set.  My parents and my family in general are proud of their Christian/Catholic faith, and we practice it regularly. We try to live good lives and treat people properly. Foster noticed this early on in our relationship. He realized that regardless of what religion he was, I would remain faithful to mine. I would never judge him or tell him he was wrong, but he knew better than to ask me to change my faith. He realized that the traditions within my family were ones to be appreciated, and he looked up to the example we set. I have to give credit to my grandparents, on both sides. If they had not instilled these values into my parents, my sisters and I would not be continuing on the faith and traditions. Foster started to realize and appreciate his grandmother who was catholic, and started to look at her in a totally different light. He became Catholic last April, and has become a better parishioner than  me! He is knowledgeable of the faith and insists on attending mass and special events, regardless of the excuses I give. He has dedicated himself to giving back to the community by participating in Meals on wheels, Joseph's Coat, and a local soup kitchen. He has truly embraced Christ and faith, and has made me proud every step of the way.

I so badly wanted to get up and tell the story of how Grandpa has reached beyond his children and grandchildren. It has reached FAR beyond that. However, for those of you who know me, something very rare happened yesterday. I lost my voice, and I am not talking figuratively. I literally lost my voice. I was supposed to lead my family in "Danny Boy", and in the last few days, I have been warming up my voice and practicing. I have also had a severe cold/flu. I must have practiced just a little too much, because after 5 hours of talking to family and socializing at the funeral home, I arrived at my hotel room with no voice! I know I talk a lot, but I have never had my voice give up on me. Luckily for you, it hasn't affected my fingers...hahaha. As expected, I was unable to lead my family in "Danny Boy", but was glad when I heard the bagpipes playing it, because I probably would have been  off key and off rhythm.

Thank you all for all of your kind words and support over the past few days. I really REALLY appreciate it!
God Bless you all, and "May God hold you in the palm of his hands".
Grandma and Grandpa
66 yrs of marriage, 13 children, 55 grandchildren, and 35 great-grandchildren, and still as in love as the day they got married....if not more!
 Oh, by the way, can I tell you how AMAZING he looked this weekend! They did an amazing job!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Baby Pictures of an Infertility Miracle!

A real life friend of mine recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. this couple had been trying for two years to have a child. I won't go into details, but if you hear everything that had happened to her, including a partial hysterectomy, she had little to no chance of getting pregnant and having a child. We met through a mutual friend, and after only meeting for the second time, I was pregnant by "accident". Now that I am all to familiar with the  pain that creeps up into your heart when everyone around you is pregnant, and you are struggling, I realize how much it must have hurt "Mrs. H" to know I wasn't even trying and got blessed. I would have never known how much she was hurting, because she never gave a hint to her silent pain. She was so supportive and caring. She even attended Rosalynn's funeral.

Well, a few days after the funeral, Mrs. H found out she was expecting a little miracle for herself. Just as her and her husband had decided to give up and realize they may have to be happy with just a family of two, God blessed them. Yes, they are one of those stories about just when you "stop thinking about it, it happens". It took them almost 2 years to get to this point. She was trying EVERYTHING except IVF. She did acupuncture, special diets, herbs, tinctures, shamans....well, maybe not, but she did go through the gammon, spent a TON of money, and had no success. After giving up, 9 months later they said hello to beautiful Baby H!

Last weekend I had the honor of photographing this beautiful baby boy along with my best friend, his aunt, "Joe" from this post. She made the trip to visit her nephew, and I was so excited to capture some of the moments! So without further ado, welcome the new little miracle Baby H:

Also, this is my first shoot with the new antique baby scale!!! i think the pictures came out great!!

Look at how he looks at his Aunt "Joe"...he LOVES her!!!

Auntie Erin Loves him too!

How cute is HE!?!?!?

I LOVE baby yawns!!!!

First pic w/ scale! I love it!

Baby  parts:-) a great way of making a collage!

Such a sweet face!!!

Had to do my "rings on feet" pictures....i think this will be a staple with any baby shoot, unless the parent hate it of course!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Honored Beyond Words

Thank you all so much for all of your prayers for my family and I while we mourn my AMAZING grandfather. The comments and love has meant so much to me, and I am blessed to have so many people, both in real life and online, in my life.

I am excited to announce that the article featuring me in Military Spouse Magazine will be in their APRIL addition! I have been receiving emails from the journalist for the past few weeks, and clarifying things for the final article. I am THRILLED that it will be in April. What a wonderful way to honor Rosalynn in the month of her 1 year birthday! I will be sure to post a link to the article (if it is posted online) or scan a copy of the article on here for you all to see in April.

Also, I have been asked by a fellow blogger to help in a little endeavor of hers. you see, she left this past weekend for Basic Combat Training. She is heading to Fort Jackson, where I went. She wanted me to assist in posting on her blog while she is gone. Her goal is to send letters to Jessica from the Misadventures of an Army Wife to post, and has asked me to expand on her experience and compare the differences between 2 years ago and now. I am so excited about this! I kept a journal while I was in BCT, and this will be a great online journal for Abbey to look back on years from now, and I am honored to help her. Make sure to check out her blog Trading Diamonds for Dog Tags and help encourage her in her journey. You may learn a little more about the Army, learn the "lingo" with all the acronyms, and maybe even hear a story of two you never knew about me:-)

Once again, I do apologize to all of my friends and loyal followers. I am sure you understand that my life has been a little hectic lately. I will be heading up this weekend to spend time with my family for my grandpa's funeral so I may be MIA for a bit. Plus, I have a TON of school work to finish.  I CANNOT WAIT until March when I graduate and life gets a little simpler! Speaking of graduation, I should probably get back to studying, so I don't fail my two midterms tomorrow!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Loss

I am sad to announce that today, around 6pm, my grandfather passed away. I wanted to take the time to remember him and let all of my bloggy friends know what a wonderful man he was.

My grandma and grandpa have been married for 66 years. 66 years! They love each other as much now, if not more than they did 66 years ago. My grandfather was talking to my aunt on Sunday and asked, "Where is Grandma? Grandma should be with Grandpa," This brings tears to my eyes, because after all this time, all he wanted was to be near the person he loved more than anything in this world. I honestly don't know if she was able to be there when he took his last breath, due to her own health issues, but I am sure she was there in spirit.

This love produced 13 children and over 60 grandchildren (honestly, I lost count years ago). Through their example, they have a family full of accomplished, beautiful people (both inside and out). They have been blessed many times over with smart, spiritual children and grandchildren who try to follow in their footsteps of a Christ-like life.
I had the opportunity to live with my grandparents for a summer when I took a job at the local yacht club, and I was fortunate to get this special, one on one time with them. As you can imagine, having so many grandchildren, they were not able to spend a huge amount of time with each individually, and I truly feel sorry for my cousins who have never gotten the chance to live with them and experience their love on a day to day basis.

Each evening I would come home from work to find grandma and grandpa sitting in their side-by side recliners watching TV and waiting for Mother Angelica to come one and say the rosary. Now, I will admit, at the time I was only 18, and I was always trying to find excuses to be away from the house at this time. However, there were many times I couldn't find a good enough reason and stuck around. I am eternally grateful for these 30 minute prayer sessions I got with my grandparents.
Even while my Grandpa was on his death bed, he would forget people's names, and barely be able to make the sign of the cross, but he remembered when it was time for the rosary. It amazes me how even when people cannot remember names, their faith remains engraved in them.
I hope upon hope, that 65 years from now Foster and I are just like them, still best friends, still madly in love. I also pray that I may have the same impact on this world as my Grandfather has. If I can touch half the amount of people that he did, I will consider myself successful.
I look forward to seeing my HUGE family this coming week, but I am extremely sad for the reason. Please keep all of us in your prayers. God Bless.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Heard a Heartbeat

In my ovaries! I know what you thought when you read that heading....sorry if I disappointed anyone:-)

Today I was violated in the Ultrasound room. My OBGYN wanted to make sure that everything looked normal since Foster and I have been trying to make baby #2 with no success. From what she said, everything looks good with my ovaries, so that is a relief. I think that my biggest fear since losing Rosie is that I will never conceive another child. That for some reason my daughter was ripped away from me because I'm not meant to have children.. Well, so far, other than the little septum in my uterus, and my hypothyroidism which is being treated for the first time, all looks well.

Foster and I talked last night, and he said that he would feel more comfortable if we waited until after I graduated to start Clomid. Not that we would be very far along in a pregnancy, but because he doesn't want me to have to stress over something like trying to conceive or protecting a baby while I am finishing school. I love how considerate my husband can be! We figure, if it happens naturally between now and then, great! However, we won't pursue any fertility meds until after March.

Another full month has gone by with out my sweet girl. 9 months! seems like just yesterday. Time truly does fly by! We miss her evry day, and hope that one day God decided to bless us with another child.

That is just about all I have to update about now. I have been swamped with homework, and have 3 tests and a paper due next week...wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When I Grow Up! Kitchens, Graduating, and Much More!

First I want to say thanks for all of my stalkers who commented and let their presence known on my delurking post! It was great to meet all of you!!

This has probably been the longest I have gone without posting a blog. I am so sorry to those of you who check on a daily basis:-) I guess it is because I have been so busy with things, that I barely have enough time to breath, much less sit down and write. I figured, since I noticed I have gotten a few new followers, that I would take this entry as an opportunity to fill them in on me and my life, along with giving all of you a quick update on the going ons in my household.

First, an introduction. thank you if you are a new follower. I originally started this blog as a way of relieving some of my grief after the loss of my precious daughter Rosalynn. She was a beautiful 5lb 12oz baby girl who grew angel wings on April 20th 2010. We were 34weeks4days into our pregnancy when we were told her heart had stopped. Foster, my dear husband, and I have been going through this awful journey with the help and support of my loving friends and family. I cannot express to you how much this little online space has helped me. The outpouring of support and understanding from friends and strangers alike has been so healing. I have come across some of the strongest women I have ever met through my support group and this blog. Women who are going through similar journeys as I am.

I have also been inspired to make a few changes in the world because of my daughter. I am an Emergency Room Tech, a student, and a Medic in The National Guard. I am currently waiting for the stillbirth leave policy to be changed this July through my work to more reflect that of a maternity leave, and I am also in the process of trying to find the best way of changing the National Guard Policy for stillbirth mothers. I have gotten involved with a non-profit group called "Back In His Arms Again" which assists stillbirth parents with the care of their angel baby and the funeral arrangements, also assisting in the costs that go with it.

My biggest accomplishment thus far, is the start of my own little project, in accordance with the non-profit group "Project Sweet Peas". I am the local project leader here in Ohio, and it is entitled "Roses from Rosalynn". PSP and RFR are dedicated to bringing comfort and memories to parents who have children in the NICU and who have suffered a stillbirth. I am currently focusing my attention on the stillbirth parents. I have bags that will be filled with helpful items that will assist these parents in creating as many memories as possible of their little angel. these bags will have molds for hand and foot impressions, journals for writing thoughts and memories in, disposable cameras, an outfit fit for a burial, blanket, footies, hats, a small bear for baby and a big bear for mom to ease that "empty arm syndrome", and a book "Mommy Please Don't Cry, There are No Tears in Heaven." I am waiting for my big bears and a few more of the books, and I will be making my first 10bag donation very soon. I have friends who have extended their services for blanket making and others who have offered to get donations. I am thrilled at the outpouring of generosity so many have shown. I have added donation buttons to all of my pages that goes directly into a pay-pal account and aids in the expenses of these bags.

Now for an update!

I am getting closer and closer to graduation! I am thrilled! Foster and I have talked about what I should do after March. I still am not sure what I want to do when I grow up. I want to go back to nursing school EVENTUALLY. However, I am burnt out from school. I am soooooo needing a break from this hectic life of school, work, studying, school, work, studying. I feel like it hinders my abilities to pursue that things I love, primarily writing and photography. I have recently taken up photography and am LOVING it, and I have not had the slightest chance to get any further in ANY of my books for the past 6 months because I have been so busy. So, I am giving myself 18 months. 18 months after I graduate to continue working my job and purse my passions. I am going to focus on getting at least one of my books completely written, or at least 80% before trying to get a publisher. I am also going to see how far I can take this photography business. I have an eye, I know that much, but I want to perfect my photo shopping skills, and learn the tricks to making that PERFECT picture! I have tons of friends who have been generous in their time, allowing me to use them as my test subjects on different equipment I have been obtaining, filters, new settings, and new ideas. I LOVE them all for it, and in exchange, they get a free disk with their photos on them.

Foster is incredibly supportive, and thinks that I can achieve my dreams! Have I told you lately how much I love this man? He just wants me to be happy in what I do for the rest of my life, and although nursing would secure an income, I am not so sure how happy it would make me.

Last but not least (sorry for the long post, and thanks to those of you who are still reading!) we have a HUGE project starting in March. Last year, before finding out we were pregnant, Foster and I were getting quotes on remodeling our kitchen. We were going to gut it, however, the news that we were expecting changed those plans. Instead of dropping $15-20,000 on a new kitchen, we needed to put our money towards a wedding that was bumped up 9 months, new carpet and windows in the house since the baby's room needed them BAD, and the expenses of baby furniture and items. Well, now we are going back to the kitchen! We started looking around at ideas, and we will have a couple contractors coming out shortly to show us designs and prices. We figured that if we do get pregnant again (Sorry for those of you who are following my cycles, this month is a bust!) there will be no need to worry about the expenses since we have everything we need for a baby. So, let "Operation Gut Kitchen" commence! We are putting in new floors, new lighting, cabinets, counters, buying new appliances, everything. We are installing hardwood floors through the entry, kitchen, and family room, and even finishing the carpeting upstairs while we are at it. Why not? We are already going to be shelling out a butload of money, what is another $1-2,000 for carpeting right? I can't wait! This will all start in March after I graduate, because Foster does not trust starngers in our home while we are both gone. I will keep you all updated, and I have a feeling it will cause a little strain between Foster and I, because he gets REALLY moody when he spends a lot of money, and there are always hidden costs that pop up with a remodle, like the fact that we will probably have to eat out for a couple of weeks because we will have no kitchen! But I will try my best to keep him relaxed.

Whew! That was alot! Thanks if you held out to the end!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Come On...I KNOW There are ALOT of You Out There

Yes, I do know there are a lot of you out there that regularly click on my link and read my story and don't leave comments. I know this for a fact, because with the new statistics tracking here on Blogger, it informs me that I have at least 150-200 visitors to my blog a day from here and facebook. Now, don't feel bad, I do this often. Heck, I follow over 100 blogs and honestly, do not have the time to read AND comment on every single one of them. However, today is the day to break that pattern! Today is International Delurking Day. So come out my stalkers wherever you are and reveal yourselves!

You don't have to leave your life story, just pop in and say "hi".I do have one favor. I have been having issues with topics to write about. I have been so busy with school and work,that my mind has been drawing blanks , so let me know if there is anything you would like to know about me that I have not already covered, or just give me a good prompt or topic to write about, especially if you are a new follower. Help me get my cerative juices flowing again!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pop Pop, Clomid, Oh What a Relief it Is! (to the theme song to Alkaseltzer)

***Disclaimer: this has info about trying to conceive, triggers may be present for those BLMs***

As I got off of work and headed up towards my OBGYN's office on Friday, I was starting to get nervous. I was worried that she would not listen to my concerns, that she wold suggest Foster and I continue trying a few more months before she would do any blood tests or medication. I had a complete pesemistic attitude as I walked through those doors.

I should have known better. Dr. P has taken so much stock in my health since my loss, that she is just as anxious for me to get pregnant as I am to get pregnant. As soon as we sat down and started talking, she realized that yes indeed, Foster and I had been REALLY trying for the past 7 months, and it made no sense how I could get pregnant on birth control and not be pregnant yet off birth control. I joked with her about getting back on it, because then I would be pregnant by next month.

She decided to take some simple blood tests, schedule me for an ultra sound to rule our endometriosis and Poly cystic Ovarian syndrome, and just make sure everything looks healthy in there. She asked me how aggressive Foster and I were wanting to get. I pretty much busted out with "Be Agressive! Be-Be Agressive!" Cheer in the middle of the exam room. She agreed, and mentioned that if I have my monthly visitor this month (due around Jan 16th), that we would start Clomid next month if all the tests came back normal.

Well, we got our answers today! I received a call this morning from the nurse in the office. It looks like my thyroid is not producing enough hormone. It can cause fatigue, weakness, depression, weight gain/ difficulty losing. I have had all these symptoms which I just chalked up to depression due to child loss, but I am glad to see that there is an explanation to why it has been so hard for me to get this weight off!! It has not been from lack of trying and diet, it has been from my darn thyroid! Apparently it is not that bad, so a low dose of Synthroid should do the trick. They also found a slightly elevated prolactin level that is the hormone that produces breast milk. No, I am not lactating, but it is enough that they think it COULD inhibit ovulation. Now, my progesterone levels this month indicated I actually DID ovulate this month, but they want to be sure this continues, so they are wanting me to come in for one more fasting blood draw this week. Also, my Ultra sound will still be scheduled.

The good thing is Foster and I will still be able to try a few more months naturally before having to resort to Clomid or any other fertility drug. A close family member had a thyroid issue after her first child, struggled for a while to conceive her second, found out about the thyroid issue and conceived her second daughter the very next month after starting her medication. Oh I hope this is our case as well!!!

I am just so relieved that they are finding out what is wrong. I can stop that fear that I will never get pregnant again, and now that the pressure of time is off the table as well, hopefully these next few months will produce a beautiful sibling for Rosie!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bittersweet....My Deployment Status

Yesterday was filled with all sorts of emotions. Usually, when drill comes along, I can put on a "happy face" and get through the two days. I had accomplished this on Saturday. However, standing in line for my weigh in on Sunday, our new First Seargent walked by and asked how the weigh in was going. I said, "Well, this is the first month I can't claim post-partum as an excuse," and laughed uncomfortably.  I figured since I had asked for the command to be informed about my loss, not for sympathy, but so they may be a little more understanding, I just assumed that he already knew.

Well, you know what they say when you assume..."You make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'." Boy did I!

He looked at me with a smile on his face and said, "Well, congratulations! Did you have a girl or a boy?"

I know it was not his fault. I know he didn't know, but tears started welling up in my eyes, and I responded, "No First Sergent, we lost my daughter Rosalynn around 35 weeks."

The look on his face was of pure guilt and horror. He told me to walk with him and explain my story. So I did, and he informed me that his family has gone through a similar loss, and he knows the feelings and pain. He said that he was truly sorry and if there was anything he could do, to let him know. I mentioned the botched paperwork for my discharge and how I was in process of trying to get policies to reflect more of the active duty regulations in regards to stillbirth, "Well, we can take a look at those papers and see if we can still get you out of here if that is what you want."

I didn't know how to react to this. For 9 months all I have been told is "No". I have been told that there was no way I could get out, no matter what my papers said, or who made the mistakes. How can one man be so confident that he can change that?!?! I instantaneously liked this man. Not because he can get me out, but because he said that he would do whatever he could to help! That is the first time in nine months I had heard those words from someone other than my immediate NCO channel. They have all cared and tried, but when it got to a certain level, no one seemed to care.

Now, I must admit, after seething for so long, I have come to the realization that getting "out" is not necessarily what I want. I am not a quitter, and I have a contract to uphold. As the pain is getting easier to bear from losing Rosie, I feel more and more like a soldier. Now, this is not to say I am in any way mentally or emotionally ready to deploy. I am not at any point where I can be relied on to save a life or be under high amounts of stress. This is another reason I think the Regular Active Duty Army has their stuff together. Their policy would allow a soldier to return to duty after 18-24 months of the loss. This gives them time to grieve and get back into shape emotionally AND physically.

I went back to the bathroom to resume my weigh-in, and tears were just streaming. You fellow baby loss moms are farmiliar with the fact that once it starts, once a trigger has caused the flood gates to open, it is almost impossible to stop them, and the rest of the day is a struggle!

About 2 hours later, First Sergeant stood in front of all of us and started calling out the names of the Forward attachment, those soldiers that would be going overseas. I was nervous, my hands started sweating, my legs started to go numb as I sat there in the classroom just waiting for my name to be called. I felt the tears starting again, and I felt as if I was going to pass out. As I heard each name called and each person stand up to file downstairs for their initial briefing, I just knew it was a matter of time before they called my name, and I was terrified that I would collapse when I heard it. On Friday I had noticed that my medical status had gone back to "Green" on my online account. I figured since the pregnancy was all cleared, that there was no reason for me to be in the red any more.

More and more names were called, and then he stopped, glanced through his list one more time, and then said, "Well, that is it. The rest of you are on the rear detachment. This will not change unless YOU want it to. If you get your issues cleared up in time, then we can get you put on the forward, however, as of right now, this is how it stands. Does anyone have a question to why they are on the rear?"

I know I had a look of confusion in my eyes, but I was not going to raise my hand, because I didn't want my reason to be announced in front of everyone since I didn't know what the reason was myself. However, my startled look did not go unnoticed, and after First Sergeant was done, one of the Lieutenants called me over. She and I have been friends for a while. We went to ROTC together, she lived with me for a couple months, and we have remained close (outside of uniform of course). Of everyone in my unit, she probably knows me better than anyone. She pulled me aside and asked me if I knew why this happened. I admitted that I didn't and she explained, "Major **** (my old commander) entered into the system that you were suffering from Postpartum Depression, and that it was neither in your best interest or the units best interest to have you accompany us. We want to make sure that you are ok and that you are taken care of. This is not something you should have to be worrying about so soon after your loss."

I was stunned, relieved, and a little embarrassed. I started crying again. LT's eyes started getting red as it seemed like she was holding back tears, "Are those tears of relief?" she asked.

"I think so," I said, with a small chuckle. "I had no idea," I said, "I have been in this awful place of the unknown for the past 5 months. Anxiety and depression have been my biggest enemies since finding out about this deployment, and now I can relax. However, is it natural to feel a little guilty at the same time?"

My feelings of guilt stemmed from the fact that someone else has to go in my place. Someone else has to leave their family and friends and put themselves in harm's way. What if something happens to that person? I know I will never know the exact person who took my place, however, I will always wonder. I just pray every single person comes back safe and sound!

It is so weird how the emotions are different than last deployment. I was put on the rear for our tour to Iraq because I was pregnant. I was originally on the forward, but 2 months later got that positive pregnancy test. I was devastated. I wanted to go, and instead of guilt and relief, there was only disappointment and anger. Well, 3 months before the deployment, it was canceled. So, there is a lot that can happen in the next months, but regardless, I will be home safe to focus on the rest of my journey through grieving and healing. Thank you all for your prayers and support, and I ask for you to continue to pray for the men and women of my unit that will be risking their lives. I know that if I remain in, that my time will eventually come, and I know at that point, I will be ready to go and make everyone proud.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1 of 52 and Senior Picture Shoot

Two days ago I had an amazing photo shoot with a beautiful lady. If you remember the "Clone Family", their daughter had already had senior pictures done, but she really didn't like how they came out. Her mom asked me if I had some time to take some photos. Of course I said yes!! I love any excuse to take pictures!

We got together on Tuesday, and it was a beautiful evening. The lighting was perfect, the temperature was a comfortable 40 degrees, and my model looked stunning! I had already picked out a few spots. There is an old abandoned caboose out by the park near my house. We worked the pictures around some of the trash that had  been dumped there, and I think we did a great job. She was such a trooper. The train tracks were a great spot to symbolize the journey she is about ready to take into college. At one point I had my head laying right on the track to get a certain angle, and I told her jokingly, "You better watch my back, or this could end badly!" We had so much fun.

Since the first challenge for my 52 photos of 2011 was black and white, I decided to use a couple of the pictures I turned black and white.

And here is the rest of the colored pictures! I LOVE how they came out!! Send me your kids for senior pictures this year!! 

**Remember, all of these pictures are mine, and I took them, please respect that, and don't take them unless you ask permission***

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

52 in 52

So I was really wanting to do a photo challenge. I mentioned a month or so ago that I would do the 365 day challenge. However, with a full plate of school, work and Roses from Rosalynn, I thought it might be one of those unfinished projects that I may let go by the ayside. So I ran into on of my other bloggy friend's post about doing 52 photos in 52 days. This sounded a LOT more feesable! I stole her challenge topics, and this is what you will be expecting over thenext 52 weeks. I am going to TRY and be as creative as possible for each one.

Week 1 - Black & White

Week 2 - Food
Week 3 - Self Portrait
Week 4 - Reflection
Week 5 - Ennui
Week 6 - Red
Week 7 - Time
Week 8 - Pink
Week 9 - Patterns
Week 10 - Morning
Week 11 - Round
Week 12 - Hands
Week 13 - Shine
Week 14 - Envy
Week 15 - Soft
Week 16 - Perspective
Week 17 - Love
Week 18 - Start
Week 19 - Free
Week 20 - Texture
Week 21 - Toys
Week 22 - Downtown
Week 23 - Summer
Week 24 - Heat
Week 25 - Fantasy
Week 26 - Water
Week 27 - Shadows
Week 28 - Light
Week 29 - Night
Week 30 - Macro
Week 31 - Nature
Week 32 - Clothes
Week 33 - Green
Week 34 - Map
Week 35 - Laughter
Week 36 - Child(ren)
Week 37 - Yellow
Week 38 - Candy
Week 39 - Pets
Week 40 - Never Ending
Week 41 - Sports
Week 42 - Books
Week 43 - Blue
Week 44 - Letter of the Alphabet
Week 45 - Innocence
Week 46 - Most Important Thing in Life
Week 47 - Heaps
Week 48 - Family
Week 49 - Favorite Spot
Week 50 - Metal
Week 51 - Three
Week 52 - Fun

Monday, January 3, 2011

My New Year's Resolution...No, My New Year's Hope!

People have been posting about their resolutions. I don't like the idea of a resolution, because then I have an immense amount of guilt if I don't stick with it. Instead, I have hopes for the year 2011.

As I stood there in a sea of my family and friends, kissing and hugging my amazing husband as the ball dropped signaling the start of the new year, I felt what the true meaning of the new year was. Tears rolled down my eyes as I looked into Foster's and whispered in his ear, "It is over," As we counted down, 3, 2, 1.... I realized we were saying goodbye to the hardest year of our lives, and we were looking straight into a fresh, new time; a new year that, as we found out the hard way, SOOOOOO much can happen! I am still debating whether I am happy or sad about this bitter-sweet goodbye. 2010 was filled with so much joy, and so much sorrow. I was able to give birth to the most beautiful little girl, and although I had to say goodbye the moment I said hello, I felt a love so pure and an overwhelming pride I never knew existed; I became a mother. So as we rang in this new year, I reflected on new years past.

There have been three New Years Eves that have stuck out in my mind prior to this year. NYE 2007 I hugged Foster and cried as I realized that in 4 days he would be catching a plane overseas and spending a whole year away from me. I hugged him as if I would never let him go, and he let me know that night that he would come home and make me his wife.

One year later, NYE 2008, we stood in that same room kissing and hugging because he had just returned home 2 weeks before. He had stepped off that bus, and my hope for our future together was becoming reality. He had not yet proposed, but I knew that it was around the corner.

NYE 2009, although I had to work, I had my heart and my belly filled with hope of the new life Foster and I had created. We had exchanged vows as man and wife 2 weeks prior to NY, and we were awaiting our first born to join our family. Standing amongst my coworkers, a smile filled my face for I had yet to know what 2010 held for me.

This year has changed me. It has caused me to be cynical, anxious, and sometimes depressed. If you know me in real life, you know that is not my nature. You know I was always the eternal optimist. The one person that no matter how bad it was, I could find a sliver of good. In fact, it drove my drill sergeants NUTS!! I would always have a smile on my face and would try my hardest to put one on yours. However, it has also changed me for the better. I have come to know love so deep that even death cannot sever it. I have learned generosity and the kindness of people knows no bounds. My eyes have been open to the sanctity of life, the miracle that every pregnancy, every life is. And although on Dec. 31, 2009 I was terrified of the prospect of being a new mother, Dec. 31, 2010 I am so proud to call Rosalynn my daughter and hold hope that one day I will hold a living, breathing child in my arms.

My hopes for 2011:

~ Graduate in March and finally fulfill a 12 year long journey.
~ Do as much good in my daughter's name as I can
~ Hone my photography skills and be a part of others' memories.
~ Finish my first book. (or at least get it 80% done before seeking out publishers)
~ Have a little brother or sister for Rosie.

Now, as a good friend of mine pointed out in her blog, this last one is not a guarantee. I know that I am not owed another child just because I lost one. I know that God may have other plans for me, and I plan on fulfilling HIS plan, not mine. However, with prayers and lots of "practice" ;-) Foster and I will pursue this last Hope.

I hope this year holds new beginning for all of you, and you don't wait to fulfill your dreams. God Bless you all!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crazy New Year and New Hope

WOW! Well, I was under the impression that I would be able to relax these last 4 weeks during the holidays! Boy was I wrong! I was so busy with school and work, that I thought I would finally get the opportunity to breathe once finals were passed. However, I think I was officially busier in these last 4 weeks than I have been all year. So I apologize for the lack in commenting on other blogs, and the little hiatus I have taken and will probably be taking for the next few days, because school is upon me once more. In officially 11 weeks, I will be graduating! That is right, one more quarter of little sleep and spending my time with my nose in my books, I will officially be a college graduate. This is a day that I am sure a lot of people, including myself, thought would never come. However, it is the perfect example of how perseverence and being able to brush off obstacles pays off!

I was sitting in church this Sunday with Foster and couldn't really focus on the scripture. Instead, I was reflecting on the last year of my life and the hope for the new year. It is amazing how strong the human mind can be. I have literally been to hell and back. I have been into some deep dark places that I honestly thought I wouldn't get out of, but yet I was sitting in church with this feeling of hope. I was holding Foster's hand, basking in the rays of light that were shining through the stained glass windows and smiling to myself. 2011 is sure to be a better year.

I am unsure of what to expect. I am nervous and apprehensive, but still hopeful. One year from now I could be sitting over in the "stan" or I could be sitting in my nursery holding a newborn. I could be wearing ACUs, toting around an M16, or I could be wearing baggy clothes to hide my newly deflated tummy while toting around a diaper bag. The unknown is scary, but it is also exciting.

My new year started out with a bang, and if my luck thus far is any indication to my luck for the rest of the year, I am ecstatic! On new years eve, my mother held her annual party. There were not as many people there this year as in years past, however, we still had a blast. By the end of casino night, my mom had raised around $135 dollars for Roses from Rosalynn. I felt so blessed, and this will be all that is needed before I can deliver my first 10 bags to OSU.

There was drinking, merriment, and a little tom-foolery. JJ and I spent hours playing a small table game of roulette. It was pretty entertaining, and we felt like we were back in Vegas. Blackjack was another of my favorite games that night, and I was actually getting the hang of it! Foster is not a fan of gambling, even if it is for charity, so he stuck to socializing and playing pool.

On New Years Day we headed over to Mr. and Mrs. Prince's house for some football and poker. Once again, I was the degenerate gambler, and Foster was my food runner and cheerleader. Actually, cheerleader is a bad word for it. Every time he came in the room he would make a snide comment about how small my chip stack was and kept asking, "I thought you were good at this game?"

All this did was encourage me to play better. I considered it more of a challenge to prove to him that I am a good poker player! Sure enough, Foster's lack in confidence caused me to win a $110 dollars on the first tournament spiltting the $220 pot with the other guy left of 7. Then, I told Foster to stay in the basement and continue to bash me for the second game. This one was only 5 of us, but again I split the pot with the same guy!! This was only $50, but hey, not a bad night if you ask me!

One of the highlights of the night, better than winning $160, was the time I got to spend with my favorite baby! Baby Prince is getting soooooo big, and I miss the regular time I get to spend with him. Any little time spent with Baby Prince is priceless to me.

I know this post is a little all over the place, but that is where my brain feels these last few days. I hope that everyone had a wonderful New Year, and I pray that we all have a great year ahead of us. I will post some of the pictures taken on NYE, but first I have to sort through them all. Ky thought it would be fun to confiscate my Canon, and took some RANDOM pictures. Some of them are hilarious and incriminating, so I will only pick the good ones as to not embarrass anyone too bad!

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