December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy

Dear Carter,
It was Daddy's birthday on the 21st. He almost didn't make it home in time for it because of the weather. Jovie and I made him peanut butter bars since he's not so much a fan of cake, and a lot of the family came over to wish him a great day. Happy Birthday sweetie! Here's to hoping your 34th year is much better than your 33rd!

December 30, 2010

Christmas Day

Dear Carter,
See, I'm almost caught up now. Your brother and sister were so excited for Christmas morning, and they got SO spoiled. I guess that Santa figured that they deserved a little spoiling after the year they had. There's Ajax again. Always sneaking his way in!
Momma and Dadda got spoiled too, but all we really wanted was you. We spent the day at home, and your grandparents all came over throughout the day. Mikey and Jovie had fun playing with all of their new toys.
We love you so much little sweetie! I'm sure that your Christmas celebration was unbelievable....I can't even comprehend. We miss you so much, and can't wait until the holiday when we can be with you again. Merry Christmas baby boy.

Christmas Eve

Dear Carter,

Christmas Eve was most definitely the hardest part of this holiday for me. I'm so happy that you get to be with Jesus on his birthday, and can't even imagine what it must be like to be in Heaven for such a celebration, BUT I'm still selfish and want you here with us. We got all ready for Christmas Eve mass, and headed out to visit your grave on the way there. You had a lot of little decorations up there. I don't even know where some of them came from. It makes me so happy to know that people hadn't forgotten about you. The mass was simply stunning, and Mikey and Jovie were perfect angels through the whole thing. I love our church....especially at Christmas time. Being there is emotional when I think about your funeral, but on the other hand it makes me feel closer to you.

Afterward, we went over to the Miller's for our family Christmas party where Mikey and Jovie got spoiled!
We got home pretty late, but didn't forget to put out the cookies for Santa. Ajax was excited for Santa Paws to come, and had to weasel his way into the kids' picture (and several on Christmas Day too....what is with this dog?!).

Santa Claus

Dear Carter,
We decided to attend the children's Christmas party at church this year. It was a little hard to see all of the young babies made us miss you even more. They started off with a children's play of the nativity. Mikey and Jovie were both asked to participate as ponies, but only Jovie dared to do it. That's our girl! She did look quite nervous though. She had a little pony tail pinned to her skirt which you can see in the next picture below. Sooo cute!
Afterward, Papa Mouse read them Twas' The Night Before Christmas, and then the big man Santa made his appearance. Your brother and sister both sat on his lap and got some treats. It was a pretty exciting time. Jovie keeps asking me tons of questions about Santa, but the only question Mikey had for me was wondering if he would leave something for your grave in your stocking. What a sweet boy...always looking out for his brother and sister.

December 29, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Dear Carter,
Merry Christmas my sweet boy. I'm behind once again in my blogging, so it will take me a couple of posts to get caught up again. Before Christmas, Grandma invited us over to see the little tree she made just for you. This isn't the greatest picture, but it's the only one I have on the computer right now. It was adorable, with all of the little butterflies on it. While we were there, your brother and sister decorated Christmas cookies. Mikey was finished after a couple, but Jovie decorated the ENTIRE plate. She's such a funny girl!

They had a really fun time. Thank you Grandma for this fun activity!

December 20, 2010


Dear Carter,
I'm a little behind on my blogging, so here it goes! This was our first Thanksgiving without you, so we changed things up a bit. We're trying very hard to create new memories. This year one of the new traditions was a pie making day with Great Grandma. We went over to The Miller's house so she could teach us how to make pie crust. We are usually the type of family to eat store bought pie, but not this year!
While we were busy with the baking, the kids each painted a train for your tree.

They turned out quite marvelous.

The next day was Thanksgiving, and we went back over the The Miller's house for a feast. We had three types of Turkey, and a ham. After dinner, the kids played on the little snowmobile. As you can see, they thought that was a blast!

Even Mommy and Daddy tried out the snowmobile, but we both fell off. HA! A couple of times!
Overall, it was a nice Thanksgiving, but the whole time we definitely felt that hole in our hearts. We missed you very much, but are so thankful that we had at least one Thanksgiving with you.

December 15, 2010

Second Christmas

Dear Carter,
I've been neglectful of your blog again. I'm trying, I'm really trying, but quite honestly I still don't have much of that fire in me to write. I was doing pretty well until your tree was finished, and then the sadness of not having you here with me crept up on me again. I expected it, after all, there would most certainly be something wrong with me if I wasn't sad about not having you here for your second Christmas.

When I look back on the years of my Christmas past (yes, I probably stole that line from a movie lol), it's so easy to pick out which one is my absolute favorite. Nothing will ever compare to last year because I had all three of my kids together and's very hard to swallow that it will be the only Christmas with all of my kids together like that. You had on the cutest little pjs that read "I believe in Santa". I still look at them from time to time because they are by far one of my favorite outfits of yours.

I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit, especially for your brother and sister. I'm hoping that once they are on their break (starting on Friday afternoon), I will start to feel a little better. Until then, I go through the motions of filling out the Christmas cards and wrapping the gifts. I love you baby boy. All I want for Christmas is you.

December 5, 2010

The Unveiling

Dear Carter,
Wow, I can't believe it's all finished. It seems like it all went by in a blur, and now I feel that itch to start on our tree for next year already! I think that it couldn't have been any more perfect, and every single piece of your tree was put together with love. The first step to putting together your tree, was unwrapping all of the ornaments that were donated. Needless to say, there were a LOT. It's neat to think that these came from all over the country.
Daddy got your train all ready to go.
Here's our crew. Team Carter rocks! We had the Daltons, The Mitchells, Aunt April, and Aunt Stacy there to help us put it all together.Perfect little set up for you, our baby boy!The finished product. Now, we waited to see if it would sell.We were thrilled to learn that Brice and Adie Mitchell purchased your tree. We are beyond blessed to know these people, and were so excited to know that our tree would be close to home....little did we know how close.
On Friday, we took a trip down to The Festival Of Trees to take a final look. Most of the local Team Carter members were there too! You had a lot of people there who love you....including Kathy, one of your biggest fans! A close up of a few more details.
Uncle Marty, Aunt Nelva, and your cousins were supporting you with their Team Carter shirts on. I'm telling you Carter, that place was bursting with love for you!This was one of my very favorite parts! There were a couple of hidden details. Check out the back of the train.

Jovie painted a train for your tree. Mikey painted one too!
The festival ended yesterday, and we were completely and utterly shocked when The Mitchell family showed up at our doorstep today with your tree. We are so grateful to have them in our lives. Our hearts filled with love to know that your tree will always be displayed in our house. We really can't thank them enough. We are blessed to say that we know them, and I honestly can't think of the right words to express our gratitude. They are AMAZING people. Thank you.

December 1, 2010

Keepin' On

Dear Carter,
Our next article for the newsletter came out the other day.

I’m really not sure how or when the concept of Team Carter really happened. It’s just a phrase that somebody had said, and it kind of stuck. We needed to find a way to show Carter that we were proud of who he was, and that we were, or rather are, on his team. The team concept brought all of our family, friends, and even people who were once complete strangers into our circle. It quickly became obvious which doctors and nurses were on Team Carter, and which ones were not. Membership is a privilege, and every member realized it. You see, you can only be a member of Team Carter if you have the proper mindset…one that believes that this little boy was capable of anything, and that he would most certainly “keep on“ through the trials set before him. It wasn’t long before we had T-Shirts and wristbands showing our allegiance, and members were proud to wear them.

After Carter grew his wings, the goal of Team Carter changed from supporting him here on Earth, to continuing to “keep on” the work in his name. After all, that seems like the least we could do. If we can continue to share Carter’s story, or raise money for charity, then Carter can “keep on” changing lives. It is the perfect way to keep Carter’s memory going, and to help us in our healing. Our journey started with a local 5K race in July. Over 40 members of Team Carter participated, and several of those were from our railroad family. Most of these people were not avid runners, and you could feel the love for Carter as people pushed themselves to “keep on” across the finish line. We knew that Carter was smiling at us on that day.

We’ve also managed to do a couple of events in which we’ve raised money for charity, and all of it in Carter’s name. Our biggest event so far is coming up in December. I had heard about The Festival Of Trees, but never really knew what it was all about. A friend mentioned that we should participate for Carter, and I immediately started looking into it. I learned that groups can decorate a tree which is auctioned off with the proceeds going to Primary Children’s Hospital. It seemed only fitting considering Carter had most of his care at that hospital. Team Carter knew that we absolutely had to do this for the little guy.

The first step in creating Carter’s tree was deciding what kind of theme we would like to follow. After some discussion, we came up with the idea of doing a train theme because Carter really was “The Little Boy Who Could”. It seemed appropriate to name the tree “Keep On Keepin’ On” since like a train, Carter’s story will always “keep on”. People began sending train ornaments, train sets, and giving us ideas to make one amazing display. As we put this together for Carter, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride for being the mommy to such an amazing child. The pride swells each time I find a new piece for the tree, or come up with a new idea. This is for him…it is about him… and it will help others. This is exactly what Team Carter is all about. We only hope that we can do enough to make him proud. Maybe, just maybe, on the day that the tree will be revealed, somewhere Carter will be smiling at us again.