Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sweet baby wearing a Lily Grace Project hairbow!!

I want you to meet Addilynn Jade Goodman who is wearing a Lily Grace Hairbow from our December donation. Daughter to Taylor Timmons. Sweet Addilynn was born on October 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm weighing 1 pound 3 oz. She was born at 24 weeks & 5 days.

She now weighs 3 pounds 11 oz & is 2 months old today! She may be able to go home at the end of January... Doesn't she look beautiful in a Lily Grace hairbow? ♥ Thank you for sharing Taylor!!

Lily.. you left me 4 months ago today :(

I just can't believe Lily has been gone for 4 months (Lily became an angel at exactly 3:30 pm.. 4 months ago on August 29, 2012).. she should be here to see her first snow- even if through the window.. she should have heard all about her brother Ethan's first basketball game from tonight- because of her heart condition she probably wouldn't have gone to the cold gym- she should be meeting her new cousin Lyla that will be born any day (due January 20th) and her other cousins should still be able to see her when they visit... she should have just celebrated her first Christmas with us.. I should have been able to buy her a gift that she would really get.. Not a gift for her memorial cabinet or even her burial spot.. Not memorial ornaments.. regular ornaments that people get for their living babies.. ❤

Today on Lily's 4 month angelversary.. I would like to share what may have been Lily's first Christmas dress..

When I knew Lily was going to become an angel, I started to panic because she didn't have anything to wear and there was NO way I could go looking in the baby departments for that.. NO way! Thank goodness for family that bought several options so I could pick like I went shipping myself.

I posted a picture of the beautiful white outfit she was buried in and I couldn't part with this dress.. you see this was my other favorite outfit for Lily and I kept it because I thought this looked like it could be her first Christmas dress.. so I kept it and it hangs near her white memorial cabinet..

She has now been gone 4 months.. Christmas has passed and she was not here to wear it.. she will never wear it.. My sweet baby is gone.. and she is never coming back to me here on earth.. that's a pretty hard thing to deal with.. Miss you baby girl!! I love and miss you so much Lillian Grace Hartlage "Lily"... we all do ❤

Another picture that I shared on her Facebook page today: 

This picture is just so beautiful for any grieving parent... look at that angel.. this picture speaks volumes!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Box of Sunshine...

Box of Sunshine: shortly after my sweet girl was diagnosed with having her heart condition and it became Dr appointments galore.. I received this basket/ box of sunshine to brighten my day.. it was so sweet. 

Who do you know that could use a basket of sunshine? I challenge you for the 4th Lily Grace Challenge to brighten someone's day.. It could be a sweet basket like this, a note, a card, a thoughtful gesture, or so many other options..

Thank you to my Ohio coworkers (Katie) for doing this for me.. some gestures like this last longer than the day they are given or done.. I will never forget this.. and the picture frame now holds Lily's picture on my desk... I challenge you to do something nice for someone else... join the Lily Grace Challenge!! ❤

Come on everyone.. The 4th Lily Grace Challenge

The 4th Lily Grace Challenge
It is hard to believe that tomorrow, Saturday, December 29th will be exactly 4 months from when our sweet Lily Grace became an angel. That is so hard for me to accept.

In honor of Lily's monthly Angelversary I ask everyone to do something nice for someone else on the 29th of the month. So this Saturday, December 29th I ask you to participate in "The Lily Grace Challenge"... Her angelversary is a very hard day for all of us and I am try to turn that day of sadness into more of a positive day (as much as possible).

Our Lillian "Lily" Grace was such a wonderful, sweet and perfect baby that left our world way too soon at just 18 days old. I held her as she took her last breath and the whole time she kept one eye looking at me.. well she is looking at all of us and to honor her and everyone gone before us.. please do something nice on the 29th or any other day of the month to remember our loved ones gone too soon.

There is still time...if you live in Louisville you can donate a toy or coat to my Remembrance Coat and Toy drive that I am holding at my work. :)

So I challenge each and every one of you to participate in the Lily Grace Challenge. Please share this..tell your family and friends about it too. I challenge you to do at least one nice thing for someone else and this could be big or small. Just do anything that would help another person- plus you won't expect anything in return and if they want to repay you in any way just tell them that they can repay you by doing something nice for someone else in honor of Lily Grace.

Thank you everyone! When you are done with her challenge please post "Done Lily"... that way Lily knows you are done. :) This Lily Grace Challenge will help to honor the memory of our precious Lily Grace on such a sad day for everyone touched by Lily Grace. Spread the word... Thanks everyone!

Our Christmas

Lily's sister Sarah surprised us by wearing her Lily shirt this morning to open gifts from Santa.. she said she wanted to include Lily... soooo sweet & thoughtful! 

Anyone notice the light shining towards the tree?? It's not in any other picture until I took this one of Sarah's shirt... ❤

A star was registered in Lily's name for Christmas which was perfect because so many people look past the stars and sky towards heaven when they think about or talk to Lily. 

I always imagined the brightest star I see was from Lily.. this was a nice memorial for Lily. ❤

❤❤A picture of all 5 kids on Christmas Day- the best one I could get because my boys had trouble standing still ☺

Still not to late.. virtual Christmas party :)

I posted the following on December 24th... I had 39 responses and people really seemed to like it.  I am sorry I did not post this on here sooner.. but it is never too late if you want to participate: 

Calling all grieving people.. I'm hosting a virtual Christmas party ;) and let's pretend like we are really able to buy our angels Christmas/ holiday gifts. Let's share what we would buy them if they were still here.. hmm... I'll start: 

Lily would be wearing a pretty dress with a beautiful hairbow and I would probably buy her the older version of the interactive Violet dog, maybe a "my first princess doll", and a taggie blanket because maybe she would be teething. 

What about you? Please share. Aunts, Uncles, grandparents, friends, parents, siblings, children.. this is for everyone. ❤

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I posted this on Lily's Facebook page "Never Forget Lily Grace" on December 24th: 
❤Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. All I want for Christmas is to have my Lily back but I know that's not possible. 

On December 29th, it will be four months since Lily became an angel... as crazy as it sounds and as much as I knew she was gone.. for around the first 3 months.. I would beg for God to let her come back.. At the cemetery I would tell her "you can come out honey.. Mommy won't be scared.. just come out & I'll take you home with me"..

If that sounds crazy to you then you've never lost a child.. I can guess I'm not alone. You KNOW they are gone.. you are not delusional but you always hold out hope that it's a bad dream or somehow not real.. but time passes and they are still not coming back.... it's hard.

My other wish is for my kids to have the best Christmas possible and I'm going to do that for them.. as best I can. I know my family is going to do that too. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family! Love from Lily's family! ❤

Thank you for the hairbows!!

On Sunday, December 23rd, one of Lily's Facebook friends met up with me and donated 100 hairbows towards the Lily Grace Project! 

Carrie from "Brookie's Bows- Handmade Bows & Accessories" made each bow that she donated.. This was a wonderful Christmas surprise & I can't wait to share them with the children at Kosair!! Thanks Carrie!! This is a hard time for me & this meant more than Carrie will ever know! is her website! Merry Christmas everyone!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Meaningful song

If any of you have lost a child, niece, nephew, grand child... or if you know someone that lost a child- please share as I found this song had a great meaning.. especially right now. 

Lily's Facebook friend Margaret shared this with me.. thanks Margaret! Enjoy everyone.. Happy Holidays!

What do you think grief should look like....

❤A very special person sent this my way and I wanted to share. This means a lot, especially right now through the holidays.. You know what's hard?? I think no one knows how someone should really grieve when they lose a child so I think people guess what that grief should look like & if you don't grieve like that..then they worry.

I think people would worry about us anyways but as a grieving person.. sometimes it feels like you just can't win.. you do too much of this or too little of that when it comes to expressing your grief through facial expressions, tone of voice, what your conversations consist of, what you write about or don't write about, how much you do or don't accomplish in your daily life, how much you do or don't cry in front of people (because all they know of is what they can see).. .

People watch you closely & they want to fix you. If you are too vocal about your grief then people worry but if you are too quiet about your grief then people worry.

For me.. I was VERY private before 2012 and all the stuff I write about would just be inside of me & maybe a few people would hear how I was feeling but that would be it..

If I stayed that way through what I've been through it would eat me alive.. the weight of this grief is horrible so I express myself to lighten the load & get it off my mind for the moment..

I never forget about Lily leaving me and I think about her constantly.. Not one day has gone by since she left me that I haven't cried but I'm trying hard to function & live life for my kids and family.

So if I sound okay on the surface in person and then you read what I'm going through.. I'm as okay as I can be. No one can fix me right now... I can't fit the image of what you or anyone thinks a grieving mother should be like..

No two grieving parents will be the same.. I bet we feel almost the same but.. we will each grieve in our own way. So because I express myself openly through this page or my blog.. please don't think I'm doing worst than grieving parents that don't express themselves.. now if I stop expressing myself and keep it in.. then maybe you should worry (but that's about me & no other grieving parent).

So in the spirit of the holidays.. ;) just know that yes this is hard, yes I'm having a very hard time, yes I will continue to write about what I'm going through especially if it continues to help me or even one other person..yes I will continue to cry, yes my grief can look different minute to minute... and lastly.. thank you for caring about me or any other grieving parent.. keep caring but sadly, we can't be fixed unless you can give us our child back. Much love from Lily's Mommy. Happy holidays. ❤

**Disclaimer.. If you see warning signs that would make you think someone could harm themselves or if they are not functioning at all..then that is different- this is meant for the grieving parents who are functioning as best we can but we get out of bed and try..but if you see warning signs then yes.. they need help but not because we cry or have deep sadness or deep emotions.. big difference)**


"Mama, I'll be Watching you"

Too beautiful to not share... For any Mom that has lost their child..

Mama, I'll Be Watching You! 
by Shari Soklow

If I could call you on the phone, and write a letter too,
I would fill it with much love, and these special words for you...
Mama, I am happy, more than ever before!
Mama, Heaven is so beautiful!
And there's so much to explore.

It's larger than the whole wide earth...
More loving in every way.
And Mama, I will see you soon,
Cause, here, a lifetime's like a day!

I know how much you miss me.
It hurts me to see you cry.
Mama, please dry your tears.
Cause I didn't really die!

I know you miss my body.
At first I missed it too.
But I am not a physical being.
I 'm a spirit, just like you!

My time on earth was over.
It was meant that I should leave.
We're apart for just this little while,
So please, mom, don't you grieve!

I want to know your happy.
Content the way things are.
Mom, I'm standing right beside you,
Heaven is not that far!

You dream of me, and look for signs,
These words I write are true.
I am just a breath away,
A breath away from you!

I sent you a shiny penny,
a butterfly, a song...
I know I am always in your thoughts...
You think of me all day long.

I am having so much fun here!
It's Christmas all year through!
There never was a better mom,
No better mom than you!

I need to say Good-Bye now
So ease your mind, please set me free...
For Jesus is in Heaven,
And He is watching me!

Earth Life is only just a dream.
Heaven Is That Dream Come True.
Goodbye, my precious mama,
Until we meet again,
I'll be watching you!

RIP Grandma Pifer

Posted on Lily's Facebook page yesterday, December 22, 2012:

December 22nd ;( .. On December 9, 2011, Ricky & I found out that we were pregnant. I was excited to share the news and one of the first people we told was my Grandma Ruth (stepdads Mom). You see, my grandma was sick with cancer and they did not know how much longer she would make it. She was no longer communicating when I told her but I believe that she still heard us when we talked to her.

One year ago today on December 22, 2011, my grandma lost her battle with cancer and went to heaven. I never would have dreamed that in less than one year the baby that I just told her about... my baby that should have had a long, full life.. that my sweet baby would be joining her in heaven..

RIP Grandma Ruth Pifer

Friday was a really sad morning..

Posted on Lily's page this past Friday, December 21, 2012:

I had a really sad morning.. My kids comforted me.. They asked if I was missing Lily. They hugged me and Makayla gave me Lily's sea horse to hold. 

I recently bought Heaven is for Real (the kid version).. We haven't read it yet but it is sitting in Makayla's room for now. 

So Makayla said.. "Mommy, do hugs and kisses make it better?" Then she went and got the book.. read the title, pointed to the word heaven and said "Mommy.. Lily is in heaven, right.." Not really asking me but more telling me.. almost like.. she's ok Mommy.. This is where she is.. It was really sweet..

I wish that no other mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, family friends, etc would ever have to go through this.. I would not wish this upon anyone ♥

Little Pink Lady Bug :)

Remember me talking about the Little Pink Ladybug and how this company was brought into my life? (gave someone a hairbow at McDonald's, she lost a baby named Lily & she just started making hairbows through a kit made by Little Pink Ladybug)..well I shared that story & this led me full circle to the owner of this company, thanks to a sweet person named Tamika who just met the owner that same day.. God & Lily had a hand in that!

I'm so excited to meet up with the owner Karyn.. Just wanted to share one if her templates.. A lily flower... oh & she has a ladybug template too.. all made of ribbon. So cute!

One of Lily's friends in heaven..

On Lily's facebook page "Never Forget Lily Grace", I have an album titled "Lily's Friends in Heaven".  Other grieving parents share their child's story and picture with us.. Here is one story of Lily's friends and I hope you take the time to read about all the angels.. 

Cora, daughter to Kristine Brite McCormick

Cora Mae McCormick was born seemingly healthy on November 30, 2009. Five days later, her mother was nursing her when she suddenly stopped breathing. She died in her Mother's arms suddenly and unexpectedly. The coroner later diagnosed her with a congenital heart defect.

Kristine is making it her mission to tell people about congenital heart defects and she wants all babies to get screened (pulse ox) before it is too late.. She wants to help save babies.. Please take time to read her story and visit her website:

Use your emotions towards something good for others..

This picture has 7 adults including his Mom & all 20 beautiful children. Thanks for sharing Nikki! I'm just so sorry for everyone's loss! 

I've said this before I'll say it again.. Let's use our sadness, anger, fear, and grief that we have from every loss that we & other people have endured and try to use that towards doing something nice for other people- little or big, monetary or not, kind words not hate, and show the world that there are a lot of good people in the world still! Much love from Lily's grieving Mommy ♥

A mother shares a picture of her child in one of our hairbows..

Meet sweet Ambrosia. Daughter to Anya Hopper. We first met Ambrosia's Mom at our first hairbow delivery to Kosair on October 29, 2012. She is a beautiful little girl fighting cancer. We just visited the hospital again on December 12th and left a few extra hairbows on headbands for other little girls that we did not see.. well.. Ambrosia's Mommy wrote on Lily's page and wanted to share this with you (picture taken today on 12/20/12):

"I put Ambrosia in a Christmas dress this morning still wishing I could find a bow to go with her Christmas dresses. I went to leave the room for a minute and when I opened our door there was a bow from The Lily Grace Project. It was Christmas themed and matched Ambrosia's dress perfectly. We have previously received a bow from this wonderful mom during a stay in the PICU. She makes bows in memory of her daughter Lily Grace who was born with a congenital heart defect and delivers them to little girls in the NICU and PICU here at Kosair's. I linked her blog above and she also has a Facebook page called "Never Forget Lily Grace". Please visit both sites to learn about Lily's story and also what her mom is doing in memory of her."

I can't tell you how this made my day.. I never would have thought a hairbow would make people so happy.. I am forever grateful that Anya shared this picture with me and she said I can share this with you.

Also, please visit her blog:

Say prayers for Ambrosia!! Merry Christmas sweet girl and you look BEAUTIFUL in that bow!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Video of our sweet Lily's life

Just wanted to share this video one more time in case someone did not see it.. Love you sweet Lily! Merry Christmas baby girl!

Connecticut Shooting.. 27, not 26??

My heart is very broken for the families that lost loved one's last Friday. Can someone tell me why the world is not including the Mom of the shooter for any memorials or anything.. You hear about 26 but to me the Mom should be included too unless there is something I don't know. There are 27 people that should be remembered in my mind.. 27 acts of kindness.. 27- not 26. 

I can only imagine the pain that the family of the shooter is feeling too- he killed his Mom and she was someone's sister, Mom, daughter, Aunt, friend, etc.. They also have the stigma of being related to the awful person that killed all of these kids and adults. 

I feel bad for the suffering his family is going through because of what he did to them too... He took away from them too & they have to live with what he did to the community, the woman he took from their family & they are grieving for the other 26 people too for the rest of their lives too.. 

I'm a newly grieving parent from the loss of my daughter and my heart hurts for the families... So sad! So horrible! 27.. Not 26

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Please read.. this is my path..

Please read.. Have you ever wondered what life is like for a grieving parent? I read this and thought it was too beautiful not to share with everyone. This is for all of the grieving parents along with myself.. so true.. this is my path.. a path that I did not choose but it is my path.. Every minute that I had with you Lily was worth this path that was given to me.. 

Has anyone ever wondered what it is like to lose a child? Not that you sit around thinking about it but when you hear someone has lost a child.. have you ever wondered "what if that was me,what if that was my child, what would it feel like..etc?" I can tell you that it is probably a million times worse than you can imagine. When I was pregnant and heard that there was a chance that Lily may not make it.. I had to face that fear and think about.. I can tell you.. as bad as I thought it would be.. it is soooooo much worse. Please read...
This is my path.

It was not a path of my choice, but it is a path I must walk mindfully with intention. It is a journey through grief that takes time. Every cell in my body aches and longs to be with my beloved child. I may be impatient, distracted, frustrating, and unfocused. I may get angry more easily, or I may seem hopeless. I will shed many, many, many tears. I won’t smile as often as my old self. Smiling hurts now. Most everything hurts some days, even breathing. But please, just sit beside me. Say nothing. Do not offer a cure. Or a pill, or a word, or a potion.

Witness my suffering and don't turn away from me.

Please be gentle with me.

Please, self, be gentle with me, too.

I will not ever "get over it" so please don’t urge me down that path.

Even if it seems like I am having a good day, maybe I am even able to smile for a moment, the pain is just beneath the surface of my skin. Some days, I feel paralyzed. My chest has a nearly constant sinking pain and sometimes I feel as if I will explode from the grief. This is affecting me as a woman, a mother, a human being. It affects every aspect of me: spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I barely recognize myself in the mirror anymore.

Remember that grief is as personal to each individual as a fingerprint. Don't tell me how I should or shouldn’t be doing it or that I should or shouldn’t “feel better by now.” Don't tell me what's right or wrong. I'm doing it my way, in my time. If I am to survive this, I must do what is best for me.

Surviving this means seeing life’s meaning change and evolve. What I knew to be true or absolute or real or fair about the world has been challenged so I'm finding my way, moment-to-moment in this new place. Things that once seemed important to me are barely thoughts any longer. I notice life's suffering more- hungry children, the homeless and the destitute, a mother’s harsh voice toward her young child or by an elderly person struggling with the door.

So many things I struggle to understand.

Don’t tell me that “God has a plan” for me. This, my friend, is between me and my God.

Those platitudes seem far too easy to slip from the mouths of those who tuck their own child into a safe, warm bed at night: Can you begin to imagine your own child, flesh of your flesh, lying lifeless in a casket, when “goodbye” means you’ll never see them on this Earth again? Grieving mothers- and fathers- and grandparents- and siblings won’t wake up one day with everything ’okay’ and life back to normal. I have a new normal now.

Oh, perhaps as time passes, I will discover new meanings and insights about what my child’s death means to me. Perhaps, one day, when I am very, very old, I will say that time has truly helped to heal my broken heart. But always remember that not a second of any minute of any hour of any day passes when I am not aware of the presence of the absence, no matter how many years lurk over my shoulder.

Love never dies.

By Dr Joanne Caciatore

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Losing your infant and breast feeding :(

Thought for the day: Losing your infant and breast feeding?!?! I was going to breast feed Lily so I was exclusively pumping until she was better because she was going to get better.

I pumped 50+ more bottles of milk and I bought a very 
nice pump (because if you are exclusively pumping and your child is in the hospital.. I was told you need a nice pump to keep your milk going..). I was excited to one day feed Lily.. but she never got one drop of my milk.. not one.

Have you ever thought about what a parent does or goes through when they are breast feeding/ pumping and they lose their child? I never thought about it until I went through it. The day I learned that Lily would not be making it.. was beyond the hardest days of my life.

Something I never thought about was how I would have to deal with breast feeding if she passed away.... I had pumped for her every day.. then we had to make the decision to take her off life support.. she was looking at me.. what if she makes it ... should I keep pumping until the minute she passes away because what if she doesn't pass away.. but then if I pump.. I will miss precious minutes with her on her last day.. WHAT DO YOU DO??? If you don't pump then you feel like you are giving up on your child.. like giving up all hope..

This is the last thing you need to deal with.. If you don't pump so you can spend every minute with your child then it becomes very painful because you start the process of "drying up"... ouch.. oh and you start to leak because they feel like they will explode.. but my baby was dying :(

What do you do with all the milk that you have pumped.. I want my baby to have it.. oh no.. my baby will never have it.. what do I do with it.. throw it away??.. no.. I made every ounce with love.. it was for my baby..

This can be very confusing.. so I just stopped pumping on August 29th.. never pumped again, never made one more bottle for her, realized that I had all that milk and my sweet daughter would never get one ounce. Lily did pass away so what do I do now..

I went home and used cabbage leaves plus took medicine for the pain while I cried ALL night long and while I was holding Lily's things. The hospital gave me the option of donating all the bottles to help another baby but that process required getting a prescription from the doctor, blood work, filling out tons of paperwork, etc.. that is the last think I felt like doing because I needed to plan my babies funeral, find a burial spot, and just get through the day.

I later found out about

It was too late for me though because sadly all my bottles from the hospital couldn't be found.. I do have about 8 bottles in my freezer still with Lily's labels from the hospital on them but I can't part with them.. too painful. "Eats on Feets" is great and much easier to donate than other ways.. it helps other people too and I wish I could have helped... just one more thing to think about when losing your sweet baby...
Eats On Feets is a world-wide network for those who have made the informed choice to share breastmilk. Please see the Welcome! and the FAQ tab for more information. Looking for a chapter? Please see the "Eats On Feets Chapter Pages" tab. Contact:
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Christmas in Heaven

Thank you to everyone who shared this with me for Lily. This is for everyone that has an angel in heaven this year during Christmas!

All I want for Christmas...

For anyone that is missing someone in heaven during Christmas.. I dedicate this from you to your angel. Lily this is for you.. I know the song is meant to be about a love interest but I keep hearing this song and can't help but think of Li
ly every time.. Then Saturday Night Live did this version with the children and I thought that I needed to share. All I want for Christmas... so true. ♥
Cause I just want you here tonight
"So I can hold on to you so tight"
What more can I do
"My angel baby" all I want for Christmas is you
Ooh baby
All the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the sound of children's
Laughter fills the air
And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't you bring me the one I really need
Won't you please bring my baby to me...

Sweet baby Chelsea wearing one of our "Lily Grace Project" hairbows

Chelsea wearing one of our hairbows from "The Lily Grace Project" when we visited on October 29, 2012.  Daughter to: Jessica Simmons. Chelsea was born August 17, 2012 just 6 days after sweet Lily. Glad Chelsea is doing well & Lily is definitely watching over this precious "heart" baby!!  

From Jessica: I am sending you a picture of Chelsea the day you came to her room and gave her the hairbow and I am sending a picture of her now at home!

Chelsea's Story:
Chelsea was born with a small valve and a large hole in her heart. The doctor's allowed her to go home but at 6 weeks she started turning blue on her lips and finger tips. She was not getting enough oxygen through her body. They did open heart surgery on her October 12, 2012. She came through surgery fine. When they closed her up she coded and they had to reopen her. She had a blood clot in her heart. They fixed it, closed her and sent her to recovery. WHile in recovery she coded again.

We almost lost her. She then had to go on ECMO. She was on ECMO for around 2 weeks. She made a super fast recovery after coming off ECMO and came home less than 2 weeks from being taken off ECMO. She is doing good now and only has a pace maker just in case. BEAUTIFUL CHELSEA WEARING A LILY GRACE PROJECT BOW!!! Picture 1 at the hospital..

Picture 2 at home:  Sweet girl made it home... Congratulations Chelsea!!

Don't move her things...

This is a picture of what I see in my car whenever I pull the sun visor down.. Our monthly parking pass & daily parking ticket signed with Lily's room number from August.. The month she was born and sadly, the month she became an angel. 

Lily's Dad is quiet about his grief of missing his baby girl but the one thing he told me is "don't move the parking stuff. I want it there. I don't want to take it out". So we'll leave it there.. for both of us.

P.S. yesterday I bought some groceries and this was the first time I saw an August expiration date & it made my heart sink.. The date was August 21, 2013 and Lily's original due date was August 21, 2012. Who knew croutons would make me think if Lily.. sweet baby girl.. You are missed.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm sorry!!!!!!

I'm sorry! I'm sorry to anyone everywhere that has lost someone! I'm sorry for the pain you feel and I wish I could bring back your angel and my angel too!! I'm sorry! Yes they will always be wish us but.. I understand.. We want them on earth HERE with us! I'm sorry for the loss that anyone has endured! 

Please do a nice, generous act (words, card, thoughtful gesture, monetary gesture or non-mone
tary gesture..) today and over the next week or longer!! Show the world that there are still a lot of really good people out there. It doesn't cost to be nice!

Use the energy of anger, sadness, fear, worry, etc that you have towards something helpful, nice, and productive! Find a way.. it will help the world and have a ripple effect!

Prayers for everyone that has lost anyone, no matter how long ago! We have all lost someone! Let's make our angels proud! ♥

Lily's Perfect Christmas ornaments

It was hard to pick but here are Lily's 2012 special ornaments from us to her.. They just had to be perfect and they are!! Lily's honorary Aunt Emily found them on for me if you were wondering where I got them. ♥

Lessons from a Grieving Mommy....

Facebook post from Lily's page on Saturday, December 15, 2012: 
Lessons from Lily's Grieving Mommy- I have always been heartbroken and cried when I hear of a child losing their life.. always. I am very empathetic and feel the emotions very deep, always have. Since losing Lily I feel that it is felt ev
en deeper and maybe because I truly know the pain of losing a child now.

Do you remember when Lane Goodwin passed away (beautiful boy that passed away of cancer)? I remember that night being overly emotional because I was so sad for that family but it also brought back emotions and almost made me feel like I just lost my Lily again. I am a part of a grieving parents group and I realized that this is kind of normal.. I wasn't alone in this. So many of us grieving parents had such a hard time with the news because it almost takes you back to your journey.. the day you heard, felt, saw, last kissed them, saw them leave, etc.. it makes it so real again. Not just for Lane but whenever a beautiful, innocent child loses their life. You know the physical and emotional pain that a parent feels when they lose their child....

Yesterday.. I am really having trouble hearing or watching any of what happened because I don't think my heart can handle it anymore.. My heart is so hurt for all of those families and I can't help but think about what those poor children witnessed (both angels and still living), the adults that went through this, the officials that have to see the crime scene, and what the community, especially the grieving families, are going through. If the tears shed yesterday from all the grieving parents that had already lost a child.. if it was measured you wouldn't believe how many lakes, oceans, etc we could have filled.. how many tears we probably shed. This is regardless of how we lost our child too.. it just takes us back.

I don't know what it is like to lose a child to SIDS, tragic accident, shootings, cancer, etc but I do know what it FEELS like to lose a child.. it seems that there is a universal feeling once it happens if that makes sense- that extreme sense of loss but there are other layers of emotions that we may not understand like the brutality from yesterday but sadly, so many of us know the actually feeling of losing a child.. (if that makes sense)

Words cannot express how sad I am for the parents that lost their children yesterday. If you know a parent that loses a child, remember to be there for them. Just say you are sorry and just help how they will let you. It gets overwhelming so it is hard for us to make decisions during that time- even meals, cleaning, etc.. Not much really matters right after that happens. You don't have to say much as sometimes less is better.. "I'm sorry"... that's perfect.

This song is dedicated to all of the new angels from yesterdays tragic incident or for any other angels that have recently joined heaven.. no matter their age. Fly.. Lily, please help guide them because they are new. Show them around.. show them the love..

Lily and God are really watching out for me...

Facebook post from Lily's page on Friday, December 14th:  

First prayers again for the families that lost their family members today, especially the children from the school shooting in CT. :( 

Second, update from yesterday's story- Lily and God really are watching out for me. So yesterday I gave a complete stranger a hairbow with a Lily hairbow tag on it and found out the following:  
she had also lost a Lily 5 years ago and her baby was also born in August (my Lily August 11, 2012), ladybugs had special meaning for her too as she had a Lily flower and lady bug tattoo on her leg (lady bugs are one of the symbols for my sweet Lily), she is pregnant and her new baby girl will be named Olivia GRACE, she just started making hairbows (we make hairbows in honor of my sweet Lily to give to the kids at the hospital), and she learned how to make the hairbows from a "ladybug" hairbow template kit.. this was just amazing and crazy! 

So I posted about this yesterday and had more than 8,000 people read that post, about 500 likes, and around 75 comments. One of the comments came from someone who NEVER read Lily's story before yesterday. Her name is Tamika Dean who works at Kids Dentistree here in Louisville, KY. Well Tamika just met the creator of the Ladybug hairbow making kit yesterday (her name is Karen) because Karen brought her kids in for a dental appointment.. same day that I met the Mom Rebecca and shared my story. Tamika thought a little girl had a cute hairbow and Karen told her about her hairbow business.. and that is how she ended up with Karens business card and hairbow business information. So yesterday Lily and God had all these situations to bring us all together. 

So Tamika called Karen and told her about my story and she is donating one of her hairbow making kits.. all because of Lily. Lily is reaching so many people. Karen said she will help me with a hairbow party (some parents of angels said they are interested in doing the hairbows too so this is GREAT news) and we are going to see how we can work together. Yes I do plan on selling Lily's hairbows too and I am working on that. I have just been overwhelmed recently but I think God brought Karen and I together (through these random situations and stories) so I can reach more people with Lily's story.

I hear that Karen's kit is GREAT and I want to share her links with you from this amazing story.. I can't believe that me giving a hairbow at McDonalds yesterday led to all of this.. it has come full circle. Oh and another great thing.. I told Karen that I have been thinking about making bowties for the little boys at Kosair but I didn't know how to make them yet and she is going to show me how.. So now boys will be getting something too! In light of the extremely sad situation that took place.. I wanted to show that there still are good people in this world.. prayers for the families that have lost a loved one.. I prayed for them and asked Lily to watch out for the new angels. ♥

All because of a hairbow..

GREAT post from Lily's Facebook page on December 13, 2012:

Hi everyone. I wanted to share something that happened today.. I thought it was pretty amazing. So I was eating a salad at McDonalds :) for lunch and there was a family sitting behind me.. I noticed the little girl around 5 had a beautiful hairbow. When I first saw her I thought.. I should give her a Lily Grace hairbow (because I still had some in my car from the night before). I thought.. no, they may think I am weird so I wasn't going too.  

Then the little boy said a prayer and he did a great job.. the entire McDonalds could hear his prayer and it was very funny yet touched me somehow. So I thought.. even if they think I am weird.. I am going to get a hairbow.

So I overcome the awkwardness, went to my car, and brought a hairbow with a tag to their table. Great family.. so glad I did this. It was a Grandma, her daughter, that daughter's son and another grandchild. The daughter is Rebecca (hope you don't mind me saying your name if you are reading this).

After giving them the bow with the tag of Lily's story.. I learned that Rebecca had a baby girl Lily that was born in August 5 years ago and her sweet Lily became an angel after 2 days. Rebecca has a tattoo of a Lily flower and a ladybug on her leg.. yeah.. crazy, right? She is pregnant with a little girl and this baby will be Olivia GRACE. Oh and she just started making hairbows and she has been learning from a kit that was named after LADYBUGS. She said she wants to help me make hairbows and they may have their family do a hairbow party... WOW..

This made my day.... they just don't know it. So the little beautiful 5 year old named Lydia got a hairbow and so did Olivia GRACE. Much love to this family.. glad I was led to meet them today. ♥

People say I am strong..

December 13, 2012 post from Lily's Facebook page:  

People say I am strong, embarrassingly some say I'm amazing, how do I get my strength.. etc. I am modest so I have a hard time hearing these things plus.. I don't see how this is true to be honest.. you don't see me at my weakest (sometimes I write at my weakest though), you don't see the flood of tears that I cry, you don't see how many people I may cry daily because of my story, you don't see how weak I have been.... 

The holidays have proven to be EXTREMELY hard for me. I really felt like I was sinking.. sinking in sadness. Then.. this week came. First, a wonderful stranger named Beckie donated headbands, hats, and a beautiful doll in honor of Lily. Then we gave out hairbows to wonderful families and we saw wonderful staff at Kosair. Then Steve from Spaghetti Factory gave us our meal for free after our Kosair trip in honor of Lily. Then I met Rebecca today who lost a Lily and there were many things like the lady bugs, hairbows, tattoo with a lily and lady bug, her Lily also born in August, etc.. so many connections there.

I haven't told many people but I also went to a medium recently. Many of you may remember that I went to see Theresa from Long Island Medium when she came to town but there were 2,000 people there and she never came to my section so I did not hear from Lily. Well I went to a medium and I heard from Lily and I CAN'T explain what that meeting meant to me.. this week is giving me strength again. Learning about Lily's friends in heaven this week has helped me. Your support, kindness, comments, etc.. it helps me. I guess we help each other when I don't know how I truly help anyone. I feel like I don't have a choice.. I feel like I do the things I do because it helps me survive.

Tonight I just started singing "Hero" out of the blue tonight and I thought of all the grieving parents, spouses, children, friends, family members, etc.. There is a hero inside of us and that is how we are surviving..each of us. Lily was a fighter and maybe I am strong because Lily is and always will be a part of me.. maybe she took part of my heart when she left but gave me part of her strength. Much love from Lily, Sarah, Ethan, Blake, and Makayla's Mommy- Amy

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hairbows to Kosair- 2nd trip.. (pictures)

My family and I made our second trip to Kosair tonight for "The Lily Grace Project".. we are delivering holiday hairbows to the NICU and PICU. Just wanted to share

Here we are at Kosair.. Carrie from Kosair (wonderful therapist), Emily (honorary Aunt Emily), me, sister-n-law Jessica with baby Lyla in her belly, mother-n-law Darla (grandma to Lily), and Mom Dixie (grandma to Lily)

After we deliver bows we go to The Spaghetti Factory.. it is our tradition.  Well tonight, the manager Steve asked us who Lily Grace was.. so I told him.  He surprised us by making our meals free.. so nice.. what a nice person.  Lily has reached so many people.. it made me emotional.. Thanks Steve!!  So many good people with big hearts in this world!

Pictures of Lily before Open Heart Surgery..

This was the day Lily was born.. she would have been 4 months old yesterday.. such a beautiful baby girl.. On the last picture, I love how her one eye is open.. she was so stubborn.. she didn't like bright lights.. so she is peeking at us while we took her picture.. the flash must have come on because this is what she would do or she would close them completely.. love this baby ♥

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do you have an angel?? Do me a favor..

Do me a favor: Today is Lily's 4 month birthday.. just can't believe it.. That she would be 4 months old and that she's really gone.. 

Please email me a picture, name, dates, and story (or just name & dates if you don't want to send their story) of your angel... I would like to know about the other angels that Lily is with.. ;) & please share even if we have already talked before.

Under Lily's pictures under her Facebook page "Never Forget Lily Grace", I made an 
album titled "Lily's Friends in Heaven" and post the picture and the story that you send me. I like to hear about Lily's friends.. All Moms want to know about their child's friends.. That never changes ;)  
My email is: and please share a blog, name of your Facebook page, etc- if you have one and if you want to share that information. 

Happy 4 month birthday sweet angel Lily Grace! Can't wait to learn about your friends and share your friends on Lily's page.. that way NONE of our angels will be forgotten. ♥ 

Consider this Lily's birthday present ♥ Love you Lily Bug!!

So.. Do you have any kids?? How many.. :(

Have you ever asked anyone " you have any kids??" 

I have a new perspective on this question. It's a great question but sometimes it can be a hard question for the person on the receiving end.. you just never know. 

Recently, I was at the dentist and a really nice person was cleaning my teeth and making small talk with me. I love talking about my kids but since Lily.. Some days are harde
r than others to answer questions.. Not so much the question: Do you have kids (for some people that would be, especially if they've had miscarriages, cannot get pregnant, lost only child, etc.).. For me, it's the question that comes next: How many? and then: How old are they?

Simple conversation that we all have.. all the time. So she asks me if I have kids, about Christmas shopping for the kids, girls/ boys, etc and I was able to skirt around my recent loss of sweet Lily.. Mainly to prevent me from crying badly and trying to not make the appointment sad & awkward.. I was able to skirt around it while answering her.. whew.. I did it.

Then while she flossed and cleaned my teeth I got to hear about her new baby boy.. what she was telling people he wanted for Christmas.. diapers. She was so nice.. I didn't know what to do.. I don't mind people talking about their babies because I love babies but in that situation.. It was hard.. It really was.

I'm still not good with this.. Her sweet baby was about 2-3 months old.. I almost asked his birthday but I couldn't... don't think I could handle it if he was within a month or so of Lily's birthday. So I just got very quiet and she probably thought.. "That's weird.. "

I wanted to tell her about my baby but people, especially strangers, don't know what to say to me when they hear. What do you say?? There is no good way to tell someone "I have 5 kids.. They are 17, 10, 7, 6, and my youngest is an angel"... Never goes well after that. You can typically hear a pin drop after that. So I just didn't say anything...

I go back next week for an adjustment on my mouth guard (the stress from Lily caused me to grind my teeth while I sleep & I cracked a filling during my pregnancy.. Things you never think about).. I'd love to tell her about Lily and why I got so quiet & awkward..

I am not saying that you shouldn't ask other people if they have kids, how many, ages, etc.. It is a natural question. I'm just telling you what may be going through the other persons head.. Last week I met someone who had 5 kids.. The conversation came to me & he said- how many.. then- what are their ages... So I ended with "I recently had a baby Lily who is an angel"... you could hear a cricket chirp. Everyone is so nice. I can never leave Lily out though., I do have 5 kids.. 4 on earth and 1 in heaven..

I just wish there was a response or a catchy comeback to take the awkwardness away.... but Lily is an angel, it is uncomfortable for others to hear but way worse to be the parent that lost the child.. something to think about. Maybe if someone tells you about a loss.. don't get quiet and stop talking.. some of us like to talk about out kids.. angels and all!! ♥

**Big discussion took place on Facebook on this topic.. look for this post on December 10, 2012 on Lily's Facebook page: Never Forget Lily Grace to see all of the discussion.. great talk.. **

Best Surprise Ever... Thank you!!

On Sunday, December 9, 2012.. I got the BEST surprise tonight.. Made my day.. there are so many good hearted people in this world.. Makes me happy.. Lily had her hand in this.. I know she did ♥

There is a holiday show in Louisville and some of my family went. Well many of you know that we make hairbows in honor of Lily and donate them to the PICU and NICU at Kosair where Lily lived her whole life. We made our first donation October 29th and we are going back this Wednesday, December 12th.

At the holiday show my family was admiring some hairb
ows and talking about how they were made when they started talking to the wonderful person who made everything.. Well the conversation led to Lily and... she donated all of these hats, headbands, and this beautiful doll in memory of Lily.

Can you believe this??? It made my day. She monogrammed "Never Forget Lily Grace" on the doll.. this made my day more than she will ever know. We already have such beautiful hairbows to give to the sweet girls at Kosair and now we have even more beautiful things to give them.. I just couldn't wait to share this with everyone!! Thank you Beckie Baker with Bella's Bags and Bows!!!

Beckie.. you will NEVER know how much this meant to me and it really brought me to tears. All of the kind things that people are doing in honor and memory of my sweet angel Lily Grace!!