My Family!!

My Family!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Clearing Things Up...I am Not Pregnant :-)

I posted a few photos of Avaleen on Facebook yesterday. Since 10pm last night, I have received more texts, messages, and calls asking if I was pregnant. Why? Because in the album description I posted that the pictures were taken for a special reason, and I would divulge later. never expected that kind of response. So, in order to put at ease the rumor I am pregnant again, I will divulge the news.

Ava, Foster, my dad and I went to see my aunt in a play this past weekend. While Foster and I were out to lunch with Ava, we were approached by a talent agent. She was at the table across from us, and Ava was being typical Ava...making faces, "talking" to them across the room, and smiling her toothless smile at them. One of the men sitting with her looked familiar...maybe an actor, model, SOMETHING. Well, after talking to them both, they HIGHLY suggested we get in  touch with someone in our area, and also email her Ava's pictures. The agent said ANY pictures would do, but she obviously didn't know who she was talking to. Being a photographer, and slight perfectionist, I would never settle for sending some photos from a random day, so I took Ava into the studio. She was GREAT. I had her smiling and happy for about 40 mins, and got some GREAT shots! Here are the ones I just submitted this morning to the 2 agencies:

And here are just a few of my favorites b/c they show off her personality:-)

Always my happy baby:-) ESPECIALLY in front of the camera:-)

what a stinker!!! No, she is not is just one of her MANY silly faces I just happened to catch on camera!

gotta love the drool on the chin:-) "What mom!?!?"lol
The reason I didn't want to let everyone know about the agent, is because most likely, it won't know, cute kids are a dime a dozen. BUT it is fun to think she MAY have a shot. If anything, the whole concept made me get Ava into the studio for more pictures, and that is NEVER a bad thing. I will keep you all updated on what comes out of this.

Monday, March 26, 2012

BLMs in the Most Surprising Places

It is amazing how you will find Baby Loss moms in the most unexpected places. Ava, Foster and I headed to the Ohio Professional Photographers conference a couple weeks ago. It was an amazing experience, where I met some wonderful people, and learned some priceless information for my business. However, something happened I never expected.

I was heading to a session entitled "Bundling Business with Babies". If you have been following my photography blog , you would know that I have a TON of children and newborn clients, so I was REALLY interested in this class. On my way, I ran into one of the wedding photographers who held a class a few hours prior. We got to chatting, and I ended up running late for the baby class.

As I walked into the class, I immediately noticed a somber environment. Some people had tears in their eyes, and the presenter was talking about how "This experience changed me", and made her realize how precious life was, and not to hold back. I leaned over to my new friend, Bess, and asked what she was talking about.

"She started her business for the same reason you started yours," Bess said with a hint of sadness in her voice, "She just told her story about losing her baby."

"Maybe it was a blessing I missed the introduction," I stated. I am sure if I HAD heard it, I would have broken down. It was apparent that 18 years later, this woman was still grieving her child. She will NEVER I have mentioned MANY times. It gets easier, but you never forget!

I approached Jessica Vogle after her presentation. I gave her a hug, and thanked her. Seeing her up there, speaking to at least 100 people about her photography business gave me hope that I too can be in that same situation 17 years from now.

I LOVE my photography, and every time I pick up my camera, I think of Rosalynn. The Lord works in Mysterious ways!!

Here are some recent photos from my recent shoots:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Just Breathe"

As I am approaching Rosie's second birthday in heaven, she has been weighing heavy on my heart lately.
Lat night I had a dream that we were all at an intimate event and Eddie Veder came out and played "Just Breathe", alone w/ just his acoustic guitar....just for us (I think there were 10 of us there all together). This song plays on my list at the bottom of this blog. This song has a lot of significance to David and I, and still brings tears to my eyes. I had purchased Pearl Jam tickets as a "push present", an early Father's day gift for David since the concert was in June. We had debated attending after Rosalynn passed, but we decided to attend. Eddie Veder came out on stage with just his acoustic guitar and the words started:
Yes, I understand that every life must end, uh-huh
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, uh-huh
Oh I'm a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I love
Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they've got none

Stay with me...
Let's just breathe...
We both teared up, clasped hands in that knowing way that you know the other person's heart is breaking right along with yours.

So back to this morning:

I woke up with the song in my head from my dream...I was literally humming it outloud. Then I got in my car to go to Jazzercise, and guess what song started playing as I turned on my car. THEN I got home and logged onto my blog, I was referencing an old post, and out of the 24 songs that play at the bottom of my blog, guess which song started playing first...that's right "Just Breathe". The second song? "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" I held Ava in my arms. Do you believe our loved ones in Heaven can let us know they are thinking of us as much as we are thinking of them?

We are doing a collection for Rosalynn's Birthday this year. I have started to work with a second hospital, Mount Carmel East for Roses from Rosalynn with PSP. My church has agreed to help me take up a collection of items and donations to do a large donation for her 2nd birthday. These are the items we will be asking for:

Clay Hand and foot mold tins
Disposable cameras
Small teddy bears (about beanie baby size)
Votive candle holders and votive candles
4x6 or 5x7 frames
Decorative Memory boxes
For those who know how to sew or knit: Document envelopes, small layettes
Gift cards for restaurants near MCE (subway, Coldstone, and Tim Hortons are IN the hospital) or OSU

And of course any monetary donation is appreciated. If you would like to help, feel free to comment and I will send you my address. If a "cash" donation is easier for you, ANY little bit helps, and EVERY little bit of it goes towards the RfR bags. The "Donation" Button on the righthand side of this Blog will bring you to paypal. If you want to know more about Roses from Rosalynn with Project Sweet Peas, you can go here:

Thank you for all the love and support over the past ALMOST 2 years!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"The Four Phrases that will Change Your Life"

The past 3 days I had the pleasure of attending our local Church Mission led by one of my FAVORITE Catholic priests, Father Josh Wagner (yes, he has his own web page:-). I mentioned him only a few short months after I started this blog here, when he told me some LIFE CHANGING words. At the time, I sort of understood them. I was still so raw in my grief, angry at God, questioning my faith, my self, and the relationships I had. However, this past few days, 1 year and 7 months after first hearing the words "For every Cross there is a Resurrection", it all came full circle. I am able to look back and realize that he was so right! Father Wagner is by far one of the most amazing, inspirational, and insightful people I have ever met in my life.

He lead this mission this week entitled "The Four Phrases that will Change Your Life". They are simple, phrases we hear everyday and may not even realize the amount of power each one has. "I am Sorry", "I Forgive you", "Thank You", and "I Love You".

I won't go into all of the phrases, for it was 3 hours of information, but I will focus on the one that hit me the most, "I Forgive you".

When he was referring to this phrase, it was primarily forgiving yourself, and other people that have wronged you in life. However, he did say there are times that we have to forgive God. Although God is not the one who hurts us, there are times we feel like he has. HELLO!! How much more can a person be hurt than having their first born ripped from their lives before she was able to take her first breath on earth? There were moments in the past two years that I wanted to know what I had done, or what Foster had done to deserve pain. I was angry, angry at God, angry at my body for failing me, angry at myself for not realizing something was wrong earlier.

However, Father Wagner was right, God does not intentionally hurt us, however, he does place crosses in our lives. While we are bearing this cross, we need to see past them and see the resurrections.

What kind of resurrections can come out of the loss of a child? Well, as we are approaching Rosie's second birthday in heaven I am able to see these resurrections.

First,I am sitting here with my almost five month old HOME with her.  I had been planning on going back to work after Rosalynn was born. But losing her made me realize we only have one life, one chance to do things right, and I choose to raise my daughter instead of letting others raise her. I didn't get the choice to raise Rosie, she was taken from me. Ava is benefiting from this lesson, she is enjoying this resurrection.

Second, My photography business. It has a LONG way to go, but is going in the right direction. I am getting clients, I am making money from something I LOVE doing....capturing memories for people. How many people can say that? Who inspired this? Rosie....I needed a creative outlet for my grief. I needed to feel like I was giving others joy, and through this, my heart fills with joy each time a family loves their photos.

The new friends I have made ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. There are women that I would never had met if not for the loss of Rosie. Although I HATE the reasons we came together, that our children died in order for us to meet, I thank God everyday for their friendships and support! I get excited every time I get to meet one of my fellow Baby Loss Moms in person.

These are just a FEW of the many ressurections that have manifested from the loss of my daughter. Would I give it all up to have her here in my arms? Absolutely! Could I have learned these lessons and gone down these paths without this experience? Who really knows, but probably. However, the loss of my daughter was the cross I was given.

I still bear the cross of her death, I will carry it the REST of my life. There are days that it is heavier than others. There are days that because of the assistance of others, especially Ava and Foster, that the cross is feather weight, however, it will always be there.

I forgave God a long time ago....even though it was not His fault. There are still days that I get mad at Him. Days that I still ask why, and will probably never really understand the answer to that until I get to Heaven, but by then the answer won't matter, because the true resurrection will happen then....I will get to meet my Rosie for the first time and hug her, and then I won't even care what the answer is.

So what should you do if you are still mad at God and just can't bring yourself to forgive Him? Father Wagner had two pieces of advice for you personally. First, "Get mad at God". It is OK....He can handle it!  Yell at Him, scream at Him, cry at Him. He won't get mad at you, He will listen. Then, forgive. "Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice," Father Wagner says. Sometimes you have to wake up every morning and forgive again, and again, and again. And if all else fails, "Fake it till you make it." Yes, a Catholic priest encourages you to lie about the forgiveness until it becomes a reality.

This mission series can be a life changer!! I ENCOURAGE all of you to look at the schedule and see where and when he will be around you! His schedule is on his website I hope you go to it, Catholic or not, you will enjoy it!

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