October 21, 2010


Dear Carter,
A very nice friend of ours had given us tickets to Lagoon, so we decided to take Mikey and Jovie last Friday. They were so excited to go since they had never been before. Jovie started out the adventure pretty nervous about the rides, and it probably didn't help that the first ride we took her on was Dracula's Castle. I'll never forget how tiny she looked in that little cart, and was grateful when she snuggled up next to me for comfort. Jovie put on her brave face though, and was willing to try another scary ride afterward. The whole night was a lot of fun! I took pictures with my new phone, and my favorite is the one of them in the car together. What a cute couple!
I talked to the manager at Lowe's today, and we submitted a request to have one of their trees donated as your tree. It sounds promising, and I'll know for sure in a couple of weeks. As I was talking to him, I was telling him all about you. I started to feel an overwhelming sense of pride about you, and it made my whole day! I still feel so SO lucky to have been your mommy. You make me proud baby boy! So far we received several ornaments, but could definitely use some more. I'm very excited about how everything is coming together, and am looking forward to the official decorating day.
If anyone is still interested in donating an ornament, please send me an email at teamcarterjay@gmail.com . We appreciate all of the ornaments that we've received so far...this tree is going to ROCK!

October 15, 2010

Check This Out!

Dear Carter,

Can you believe it?! We have gotten several things for your tree, and it's moving along nicely. I just need to take a moment to thank some very nice Ebay sellers. I emailed Warren and Carolyn about a little wooden train they had up for sale. I asked a couple of specific questions and let them know what it was for, and they emailed me back saying that they would like to help by sending us a train at no cost. We got it yesterday, and it's PERFECT!

If you have a moment, please check out their Ebay store at Timely Clocks And Crafts. They have some really neat things in there. Thank you so much to Warren and Carolyn for helping out a complete stranger. It means a lot to Team Carter. God Bless!

October 13, 2010

Your Big Brother

Dear Carter,
Look at your big brother. He's getting so big! I just wanted to thank you, my sweet boy, for making Mikey even more compassionate than he already was. I know that you have had a lot to do with it, and I am so very proud of both of my boys!

I pick him up from school every day, and nearly every day he has a little something for Jovie in his backpack. Mikey gets to earn these things called Teddy Bear bucks. When he gets 10, he gets to do a little shopping. He NEVER purchases something for himself....he always gets something for Jovie. It doesn't matter if it's a pink bracelet, he's not embarrassed. The other day, he told me that he wishes he could pick something for you. Quite honestly, I do too!

Mikey had show and tell a couple of weeks ago, and he chose to take his Team Carter bracelet. I didn't really want to coach him on what to say about it, so I was anxious to hear how it went. He told me that he showed his class the bracelet, and told them that it was to remember how much he loves his baby brother. The first thing that got to me was the fact that he called you his baby brother....I don't think I've ever heard him say that before. The second thing was the fact that he knows exactly what that bracelet represents.

Mikey misses you very much. I just wanted to let you know how much he loves you, and that I am very proud of both of you.

October 10, 2010

The Butterfly

Dear Carter,

I decided to keep on writing articles for Daddy's work newsletter. Here is the latest article. Thank you, Kathy, for allowing me to continue on with this, and for EVERYTHING else you've done for us.

He smiled at me again. My whole world felt complete when that tiny baby would give me that goofy grin. He had even started to giggle at times. Nothing in this world is better than listening to that little guy giggle. It told us that he was enjoying his life…and really, that’s all we ever really wanted. He had a lot of struggles, but the most important thing was that he enjoy his life. It was amazing to see him start to reach out for toys, and grab anything he could. He was fascinated with the way he could make those little hands work. He had started to actually play with his brother and sister. His favorite game was to spy on their playing, and when they would come close to include him, he’d roll the opposite way. It was his own adorable version of Peek-A-Boo. It’s amazing how we take those little things for granted with our healthy babies, but for babies like Carter….those feats were like climbing mountains.

Carter was making improvements in his Physical Therapy, but you could see that he was getting so very frustrated with his little body. He wanted to be able to roll around, and crawl, and sit up. He had been learning how to lift his head, and he would get angry when it wouldn’t stay up like he wanted. He was learning how to bear weight through his legs, and would do so for as long as he could. Unfortunately, his sick body would eventually win out over his spirit. He would get exhausted after only sitting for a couple of minutes, but he would keep trying. He never ever quit trying.

When I think about the life of my sweet baby, it is easy to compare him to a butterfly. All of that time in the hospital, and the time up until his first birthday, it is like he was a little caterpillar. Just feeding, getting bigger, growing stronger, until it was time for him to form his little cocoon. I hadn‘t noticed it before, but I did see that change in Carter around his birthday. He most certainly formed his cocoon. This is when the frustration really set in, and his spirit began to grow tired. We were in the middle of preparing for his next surgery that we thought would help him with some of his struggles. We had no idea that our world would come crashing down on us…or maybe we did. Of course we had bad feelings about it, but we thought that the only way Carter would get better was to go ahead with it. So, we began our walk through the fire. We thought that the surgery was going to help our little guy bust out of that tiny cocoon, and we were right….just not in the way we wanted. Carter grew his little butterfly wings and took flight.

Ironically, we had some pet caterpillars arrive in the mail on the very day of his surgery. During the time in the hospital we watched them grow until they finally formed their tiny cocoons. We could easily see the comparison between these butterflies and Carter, so it wasn’t at all surprising when the butterflies finally hatched on the very day of our baby’s funeral. Just like these butterflies, Carter was finally free. He was soaring high taking pieces of ourselves with him, and leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.

October 9, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

Dear Carter,
Well, the fall festivities have begun! Today we took Mikey and Jovie to the Pumpkin Patch to pick out the pumpkins. It was a pretty quick visit since Mikey seemed to be really tired, and in a not so good mood, BUT he did find the most perfect pumpkin for you!
It was still a fun time, and we may go back to explore this neat place a little more.
It seems as though I've been crazy busy with getting your tree together, yet I really haven't accomplished a whole lot. Just a lot of getting ideas together and making a plan. We have had a lot of amazing donations that I'll share on another day.
For the past couple of weeks I have been feeling pretty down. I know that it was because you would have hit that eighteen month old mark on the 27th. I can feel myself starting to come out of it a bit, but really that's how it goes. I go into a wave of feeling completely overwhelmed by how much I miss you, and then come out of it for awhile. It's OK. I need those times of feeling sad to remind me how much I love you. In a strange way it reminds me that you really were here, and that your life is one that we can celebrate....that's what I'm doing by creating this Christmas tree...I'm celebrating your life.

October 4, 2010

Keep On Keepin' On

I've been getting a lot of questions about the Festival Of Trees, so I thought that I'd do a post explaining everything a little better.
Basically, The Festival Of Trees is a huge charity event that is held in Utah every year. People can donate decorated trees, gingerbread houses, wreaths etc. that are auctioned off. All of the proceeds go to Primary Children's Hospital which is the hospital that Carter spent a lot of his life at. This hospital was absolutely wonderful to us, and we feel so very fortunate that we live so close to it. It is certainly time for us to give a little back.
We have entered Carter's tree into the Small Tree category. This means that his tree can not be any taller than 5 ft, and we will only have a four feet of space on which the tree will stand on. We will be able to post a picture of Carter, and his story so that the potential buyers can see exactly what his tree is all about. We have decided to do his tree in the theme of trains. Originally the name of the tree was going to be "Carter-The Little Boy Who Could", but that ended up being too long so we made it "Keep On Keepin' On". Next year, we plan to move up to the large tree category, but didn't want to feel too overwhelmed for our first year.
So now the questions I've been getting the most..... How can you help?
There are actually a few ways that you could show your support for Carter's tree.
First, you could donate a decoration for his tree. As I said before, we are doing a train theme. Any kind of Christmas/Train decoration would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in doing this, please send me an email at teamcarterjay@gmail.com , and I'll get you the information. We will need them by November 22nd.
Second, you could bid on Carter's tree, or any of the items at The Festival Of Trees. Trees are sold through a silent auction on Opening Night (November 30th). Any trees that are not sold on opening night, can be purchased throughout the Festival of Trees event. You can purchase an invitation to opening night which also gives you a bidding number by calling this number: 801-662-5966
Third, take your family to the Festival Of Trees on December 1st-4th. Team Carter will be there on Friday night, December 3rd if you'd like to join us. Tickets are pretty inexpensive, and it all goes toward a great cause! I've never actually been to The Festival Of Trees, but I've been told that it is DEFINITELY worth the trip!
Thank you so much for all of the support that you have already shown. We are lucky to have so many amazing friends and family members that are ready and willing to help us make this event special. Our little guy deserves to be shown love in this way.
If you need any more information about The Festival Of Trees, you can click on the banner on the left side of our blog. Also, feel free to send me an email. Thank you again!

October 2, 2010

Festival Of Trees

Dear Carter,
This was a hard week for us. You would have been 18 months old, and that just seems like a huge milestone. It's hard to believe that you've been gone for 4 months now, because quite honestly it feels like a lifetime since I held you last. We just plain miss you.

I've been trying to concentrate on doing fundraising in your name. It feels so good to know that we can help others for you.....that you can live on in that way. I have some very exciting news! We decided that we wanted to do something for you.....about you for Christmas. Team Carter is going to be donating and decorating a tree to the Festival Of Trees. It's an amazing event in which people decorate and donate all kinds of trees which are auctioned off. All of the proceeds go to Primary Children's Hospital where you spent a lot of your life. This has been my main focus for the last week....just trying to get the registration process done and figure out what exactly we want your tree to look like. I've recruited a couple of my best friends to help with this project, and we couldn't be more excited. There are a lot of people who love you baby boy, and your tree is going to look AWESOME!

Carter's tree is going to be named "Keep On Keepin' On", and it's going to be in the theme of trains....after all, you are the "Little Boy Who Could". I am going to ask that if anybody has any kind of train ornament that they would like to donate to this special cause, we would love to add it to Carter's tree. If you are interested, please email me at teamcarterjay@gmail.com so that I can get you the info. Also, if anybody has any Train/Christmas tree ideas, PLEASE don't hesitate to share either by leaving a comment, or by email. We certainly could use all of the help we can get, and want as many people involved in this project as possible. Thank you!!!