Hope Spoken

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I think I am an introvert.

I get anxious in large crowds, clam up when talking to new people, and really prefer to hang out with people in small groups. I like having a plan, a list, and naturally my comfort zone.

So driving 10 hours with someone whom I have never actually met, sharing a hotel room with one I have only communicated with via email, and attending a conference with hundreds of other women isn't exactly an introvert thing to do. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone because I am just so certain that this is where I am supposed to be. I am excited about the opportunity to attend the first ever Hope Spoken Conference. Hope Spoken is a weekend designed to, "rest and feel His love, to lay burdens and hurts down, and feel His grace."

I first read about the conference in March of 2013. I was pregnant at the time and so unsure of what was to come that I didn't think twice about going. Over the course of last few months, I kept seeing the conference being talked about on several blogs I follow and some of my favorite IG feeds. Over and over it would pop up. It was as if I was being summoned to go.

The tickets had long been sold out but I couldn't quiet the voice in my head. I sent a quick email to see if there was a waiting list and in return, I received an email saying that someone had to back out and there was a ticket for me. In a matter of days, I had a roadtrip crew and a roommate...none of which I have ever met. I do not know anyone going but am so ready to be filled.

It is outside of my box...like really outside of my box but I am ready. 
2014 is my year of mind, body, and spiritual healing so Hope Spoken, here I come!

Addy's Birthday Week...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It was a year ago today that I sat in the front of a church for Addalyn's memorial service.
It was suggested that I record the service given that I was sorta in a fog and I found it to be a very strange suggestion at the time. I could not imagine myself rewatching the memorial service. But, I can tell you that I have so many times. It was a very beautiful and heartfelt service and rewatching it is oddly comforting to me.
It is hard to believe that it was one year ago that she came into and left this world. 
In some regards in seems like yesterday but in others it seems like a lifetime ago.
She was well celebrated this week. 
And, not one thing went unnoticed...I saved every card, printed every email, and screen shot every text to add them to Addy's scrapbook.  

I want to always remember all the love she (and I) received. 

Knowing that my Addy was remembered and well celebrated during the week of her first birthday warmed my heart. I am deeply grateful and truly blessed by the love and support. But deep within me, there is so much emptiness. When there were no more cookies to bake, cupcakes to decorate, or planning to do, the reality that she wouldn't physically experience her first birthday hurt. I miss her so much. 

When all is quiet, the tears flow thinking about how life should be. 

Celebrating Addy

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My heart overflows with all the ways in which my Addalyn was remembered and honored on her first birthday.  She is so deeply loved and missed.

I spent the wee hours of the morning on her first birthday with Addy's daddy. While we are no longer married, we have a child whom we adore and will always celebrate together.

At a later time, I will share about Addy's "You Are My Sunshine" themed first birthday party which was held the evening of 3.19.2014.

It was at her party, that I learned of some behind the scene work that my family and friends had orchestrated.  I am in awe of the way that they have created for Addy's memory and love for story time to be carried on to other families expecting very special babies. They created a Virtual Book Drive through First Book to purchase children's books which will be donated to families supported by Alexandra's House. In my living room, I have hundreds of books ready to be given out.  What an amazing tribute to my precious daughter.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You can learn more about the book drive by following the link...

Happy 1st Birthday Addalyn Lane

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dear Addy,

I know it sounds cliche to say, but it seems impossible that an entire year has passed since the day you were born. I have envisioned the moment that I would give birth to my first born child long before you were in my womb. That moment when I first laid eyes on you was more than I could have ever prepared myself for. You were simply perfect…a true miracle indeed. Your head full of hair, your soft skin, your round cheeks, your long fingers and toes, my nose and my chin, your oh so special lip, and your perfect little eyes.

My greatest fear melted away and I rejoiced in my answered prayer as I looked into those eyes.  The stress of the pregnancy, the fear of the reality, and the worry for that moment faded.  I was given the opportunity to look you in the eyes and tell you how much your momma loves you. Oh Addy, words will never be enough to capture the depth of my love for you.

With the growth of my tummy, with every kick, every wiggle, every twist and turn, with each time I rubbed my belly or saw you on the screen, with every chat we had, every book we read, or song I sang to you, our bond grew. But in that moment of your birth, I was forever changed. A love that I have never experienced washed over me as you laid upon my chest.  As I felt your heart beating against mine, I knew that nothing could ever take back that moment. You existed. 

Addalyn I want you to know the impact that your life has had. You are remembered, not just by those who have gathered to celebrate you, but by so many who never had the opportunity to meet you. You are talked about, your pictures proudly displayed, and traditions rearranged all to honor your memory. I feel your presence and your absence too in a physical burn in my chest. I know that you are always with me.  And you always will be until we are reunited again.

Addy, you fulfilled a dream of mine by making me a momma. From the day I found out I was pregnant, I simply could not be more proud to be your momma. You have taught me the precious nature of life, a depth of love I had never before experienced, and a new found hope in forever until we meet again. What joy you have and always will bring to my life.

With every day that passes, I hope you know how deeply you are missed and how genuinely loved you are.  And today, on your first birthday, I hope you know how celebrated you are.   

Happy first birthday my little sunshine.

I love you to the moon and back,

Your Momma

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In preparation for the day I would meet my daughter, we had weekly appointments and close to 15 ultrasounds. Everything that could be planned in advance was. I was meticulous as to ensure that every detail was well thought out and what was best for Addy was always the focus. As meticulous as I was, I never considered the possibility that my water could break. We were planning to be induced (at the recommendation of my medical team) so it never crossed my mind that I would spontaneously go into labor.   

 It was one year ago that my water unexpectedly broke.

Hidden beneath that smile and those tear swollen eyes was fear. 
Fear of physically enduring labor. 
 But more so, fear of emotionally enduring what was to come.

Regardless of the number of appointments or the number of conversations discussing Addy's life, there was no way to prepare myself to face life and death in the same moment.

Even today, I would be without the words to adequately prepare myself.

Back To The Zoo

Sunday, March 16, 2014
...March 16, 2013...
I was 35 weeks and 2 days pregnant when we opted to take Addy to the zoo.

{ This was my very last maternity picture taken prior to my water breaking. }

Today, exactly one year later, I went back to the zoo to honor Addy's memory.


I hope she knows how loved and deeply missed she is. 
This momma will forever celebrate her. 


And a very special thank you to these two. 

When I asked them to go with (in 33 degree weather with a wintry mixed), they didn't hesitate.
I am overjoyed by their love and support.

Bad Days

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Thank you.
Thank you for the out pour of love, support, and encouragement.
 I am beyond touched and humbled by the number of people who cared enough to read my story. And even more so by  the number of people who have committed to pray for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

I do want you to know that I have bad days. 
I have days where I am consumed with an intense feeling of anger.
I have days when I feel so deeply wounded that the tears will not cease.
I have days when the loss is so profound that I fear I will never feel whole again.
I have days when I want to pull the covers up over my head and hide from the reality that is my life.

Bad days...they are real. 
On bad days, I battle the voice in my head that tells me I am not worthy.
The voice that tells me I am not good enough, not good enough to be a mom and not good enough to be a wife. On bad days, the questions of how and why overtake my spirit.

I am far from perfect but every morning I look into the mirror and command myself to march on. I am not embarrassed to say that I still see a counselor regularly. She has been instrumental in helping me to face life. I would pay her every week just to hear her say that I am doing really well given the "simultaneous yet unrelated grief cycles" that I am trying to navigate.  It would be easier to numb the feelings with an escape of choice...food, alcohol, spending, over commitment. But numbing is only temporary and eventually the high will fade. What is harder is to fight back. To fight against that voice in your head, to face life when it is hard, and to march on even when doing so hurts.

Someday, I want to breathe in deep and feel, in the pit of my soul, that all is well. 
To forgive and be set free begins with laying down my stones.

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 

John 8:3-11

I laid down my stones.
I laid them down knowing that my God whom was nailed to the cross for the forgiveness of my sins, had His blood shed for the forgives of his sins too.

I lay down my stones and remind myself every morning that God has a plan for me.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   Jeremiah 29:11

Being Authentic

Saturday, March 1, 2014

  It's March 1st. 

I want my month of March to be about my daughter and honoring her memory. 
To do that though, I need to get something off my chest. 
Something I have been harboring for quite some time. 


I have written and rewritten this post several times.

It is difficult for me to share.

I started blogging years ago when we were newly married and had just purchased our first place. I wanted to document our journey to make our new house into a home. After we learned of the challenges of our pregnancy, my blog became a way to keep our families up to date on Addy’s prognosis and it became a form of therapy for me as I navigated the ups and downs. I want it to be a way to ensure that my Addalyn is remembered but also a way for me to heal.

I believe that there will come a time when the words that I type will be words of joy, happiness, and triumph but that is just not where my life is at the present.

I struggle to share the reality of me because opening up makes the present more real. And the reality is not one I have fully come to terms with.

And, I struggle to share my hurt after the pain that my journey has brought to those who love me already this year. I know that my family and friends were affected by the passing of my beloved daughter and they too are working through the grief. So, sharing my current struggle is difficult for me as I feel like I am adding to the pain for so many who have faithfully loved and supported me throughout this most difficult year.

But I desire to be real, genuine, and authentic.

It is not easy to share but I can tell you that life is not easy.

As if my pregnancy, the loss of my beloved daughter, and my grief in her absence was not enough for one year, my already broken heart has been enduring more.


We started dating on my 16th birthday...7.1.2001.

On 7.26.2008, we said our vows and made a forever promise to each other. I love him and I believed in our marriage to the core of my being.

Last week, I sat before a judge and what I believed to be my forever, legally came to an end. Our marriage ended in divorce because the vows of honesty and faithfulness were broken.


I learned of his affair in September but I was not in a place where I was ready to share. Honestly, I am still not sure I am ready but each time I get an email/text/or letter of well wishes addressed to us or get asked how “we” are, I cringe. I yearn to be authentic and true to where I am in my life. But, I knew just saying that I was going through a divorce would never suffice. It would not be enough because the first place that your mind would wonder to would be that our marriage ended in divorce because the grief was too much or because our marriage could not overcome the death of our daughter.  My beloved daughter is innocent and this momma needs her to be protected. She had nothing to do with the demise of my marriage so she will not be assumed to be the cause nor will she ever be blamed. I do know that grief is hard…I am living it. And, I do know that the death of a child can take a toll on a marriage but the choices were his.  He began his affair knowing that we were pregnant and before we knew of any complications with our Addalyn’s development. My Addalyn is wanted, she is deeply loved, and she is inexplicably missed. I can assure you, it will continue to be my life's work to ensure that she is not forgotten.

I am devastated, sad, and hurt. At times, I am even angry.

But, it is not my place to judge or condemn. I believe that we will all be held accountable for the lives we lived. When my time comes to be reunited with my Addalyn, I want to stand before the Creator and hear him say, “well done my good and faithful servant.” Well done, not because I have achieved perfection or lived an extraordinary life. But, well done because I have trusted God has a plan for me and despite the overwhelming pain and heartache that I have endured this year, I have tried to faithfully trust that God is in control.  So I won’t harbor anger or even hate. By His grace, there will come a season when the hurt will cease.

So, it has just been me.  The child and the hubby whom I should rise to every morning and cuddle up with every night are simply no longer present. It has just been me, me and a long road of healing as I have been navigating the first of every milestone without my child and the first of everything in 12 years that I have not had him by my side. It has been a lot to bear. There is longing for my daughter and for my groom and an emptiness in their absence.

As I have prayed so many times over the last year, I continue to pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). 

May He continue to mend my broken heart and transcend my weary spirit.

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