October 28, 2011

The Carnival

Dear Carter,
Last weekend was the school's annual Halloween Carnival. This year I got to help put it together and saw the "behind the scenes" and let me just say....there's a lot more that goes into planning these school carnivals than you would think. I only helped with some very minor details, and I was still tired!

Your brother and sister have some cute costumes this year. Jovie is of course Rapunzel, and Mikey is a Ninja. They seem to really like their costumes, and had fun dressing up for the costume parade.





The carnival had a little spook house, and a whole bunch of games with prizes. We had a ton of fun, and the best part was that Daddy got to come too! He was out of town last year, so he didn't get to come.


Your brother and sister get to go to another carnival with their cousins this weekend, so they're certainly getting their fill of Halloween activities.





October 27, 2011

A Peacock Education

Dear Carter,



Your big sister is just a crack up! This is what she was working on while your Daddy and I were watching Football. What do you think? Is she a TV personality in the works?




video

October 25, 2011

The Right One

Dear Carter,

Well, Halloween is just around the corner! Daddy and I are taking a trip a little later in the week, so we need to be sure that we get all of the Halloween traditions done before we go. A couple of weekends ago, we took a trip to the Pumpkin Patch to pick out our pumpkins. At first Jovie thought that she might like this one, but after we allowed your brother to get one of those HUGE ones, she changed her mind and got herself a huge one too!

Your brother and sister are so cute....they were very particular about finding the Right pumpkin for you, and Jovie really wants to carve one to put on your grave. They are still thinking of you and loving you baby boy, and I KNOW that will never EVER end!



I am enjoying the change of seasons so much. The colors are just stunning, and it's I honestly think that a little bit of change like this is good for me. It's when I get stuck in a rut of the same routine that I can feel the sadness creeping in.


I love you my sweet boy. I wonder if there are different seasons in Heaven too?

October 24, 2011

My Story About Janet

Dear Carter,

As I explained before, I have somehow landed myself on the PTA board at your brother and sister's school. I used to work at a Junior High School, so in some ways this all feels like second nature to me. I love being in the school system, and am hopeful that next year I can find a job in one of our local schools again.

When I went to interview for the position at the Junior High, I was introduced to the Assistant Principal, Janet. I hit it off with her immediately (possibly because she knew your Grandma, but that's beside the point). My job was to mentor students who were struggling, but I was also an "assistant" to her in many ways. I learned many MANY things from her, and she became MY mentor and a very dear friend of mine. She was one of those people who has certainly helped to shape my life in many ways. Janet was AMAZING at writing grants, and finding people to donate money, so when I am raising money in your memory, I often think to myself "what would Janet do?".

I worked for Janet for about five years, and just before your big brother was born, I noticed a bit of a change in her. She started struggling with different aspects of her own life, and she just didn't seem like herself. At the time, all of these changes were subtle, but now looking back they are just pieces of the big picture. A couple of years later, she transferred to a different school and I didn't see much of her for awhile. I ran into her a few months later and was surprised at how "different" she was toward me. She acted as though we were just passing strangers, and I was absolutely crushed. I felt as though we had a special relationship....one that would never change especially after not seeing each other for only a couple of months. I remember crying and crying over it because my heart was simply broken.

A few months later she was diagnosed with Dementia.

Suddenly everything seemed so much clearer to me, and I no longer felt heartbroken over the way she had treated me, but instead began to mourn the loss of my friend. She deteriorated quickly, but her influence still continued to shape me for years to come...in fact she continues to do so even through everything we went through with you. I frequently recall certain things she would say to me when things were tough.

When I first joined the PTA at the beginning of the Summer, I was asked if I would be interested in applying for a Healthy Lifestyles Grant for our school. I thought about Janet and how much I had learned from her, and decided that it would be an awesome way to honor her. When I finished writing it, and turned it in...I thought there was no way we would get it.

But we did. It is only for $1000, but still...we got it!

And I know....I KNOW that it's all because of the things that this woman taught me, and I also KNOW that when I received an email from the people awarding the grant that stated that they wanted to bring a "big check" to present to us that this was also all part of Janet's sense of humor. Oh she was a funny one, that lady!

I was devastated when she left us to go to Heaven shortly after you did last year, but in my mind I knew that she had really been gone for a long time. At least now she can begin to teach you the things that she taught me, and I hope that you listen to her baby boy because she is one of a kind!

I love you Janet....thank you for your friendship. Take care of my sweet boy.

October 23, 2011

Visitors

Dear Carter,
I'm still doing a bit of catch up here, but I'm slowly getting there! This weekend was pretty low-key. Daddy was out of town all last week, so we just hung out at home and enjoyed having our family "mostly" complete again. We've been watching a lot of movies lately. This weekend we watched the new Pirates Of The Caribbean. Poor Jovie was a bit upset when the mermaids turned out to be not so nice. We definitely don't deserve the parents of the year award....ha!

A few weeks ago, we were surprised when we heard that some of your biggest fans were coming to Utah for a visit. Pat and Ken are related to your Grandma Geri, and they've always shown so much love and support to us ever since you were born. They send encouraging cards, and have even sent letters to your brother and sister from their cute little Grand-Dog Chico. We are blessed to call them family, and were very excited to finally meet them. We had a barbeque at our house, and it turned out just lovely. I feel as though I've known these two forever, and just love them even more now. They drove all the way from Denver just to deliver the most adorable little dress that she had sewn for your auction. Aren't they just sweet?

October 20, 2011

The Tease

Dear Carter,


I've been promising a sneak peek to some of your fans, so as promised, I'll be posting a pic at the bottom. It's not much AT ALL, but I can't give away too much because I want people to go to the Festival to see your tree in real life! We have been blessed with many donations from several people, and I just can't get over how cute this tree is going to be! I simply can't wait to see it come together!

I got some very exciting news yesterday, and I'm hoping it all pans out. Jovie is going to be performing at the festival this year! She is so "eggsited to dance for Carter at the festibal". I'm so proud of her for how much she loves you and doing things for you. It's exactly the way I want her to be!

Things have continued to be busy for me around here. I have been doing a LOT of volunteering at the school, and am relieved that we have a few days off. I wanted to be sure to do something fun during our break, so your Grandma and I took Mikey, Jovie, and Raiden to see the movie, Dolphin Tale. It's such a cute movie with a really good message. I give it two thumbs up! The kids seemed to really enjoy it too! They are becoming quite the movie fans, and I don't mind one bit...I've always loved watching movies and it's even better when you have adorable kids to watch them with.

So, here is the sneak peek at your tree. Sorry, I am under strict orders from Daddy to not show any more than this. Let me just say this....Bumble is my favorite!

October 18, 2011

Drum Roll Please

Dear Carter,
What a day! It started off with finalizing our Scentsy fundraiser. I can't believe how much we were able to raise. Are you ready for it?!?!
$536!
I seriously can't believe it! That's a HUGE amount! Much MUCH more than I could have ever dreamed of! Thank you so much to our family, friends, readers, and Carter supporters for making this happen. Of course, we also have to thank Adie Mitchell for her overwhelming generosity. Not only did she help us to raise the money for your tree this year, but her family purchased your first tree and gave it to us. We are beyond appreciative to her. Thank you! Carter's tree is going to be AMAZING! Trust me on this one!
So much love for you baby boy...even from people who never got the chance to meet you. I'm simply overwhelmed with pride, joy, and love tonight. It's good to be your mommy!

October 17, 2011

Candle

Dear Carter,
As I promised, here's the picture of our little surprise that we found on our doorstep on Saturday morning. I switched out the lights for the picture so you could see it really good. Isn't it beautiful?! It also came with a butterfly frame to put your picture in. I just love it all! Thank you so much Price family. You always think of the things that we don't, and I know it's because you live in this same world of child loss with us. I wish that we didn't have to be here, but grateful that we have people like you to guide us through it.
We have a candle that we keep on our mantle which we light on days when we are really missing you, or when we have a family event. We have actually just started on our third one because we burn through them so quickly. I like to stare at that little flame and think about you. Sometimes I think that you are a lot like that little flame. I think about how you make my life so much brighter. You may have been a tiny flame baby boy, but you sure did create a lot of light!
Things have still been busy around here with school activities. Your brother and sister only have three days of school this week, so it will be fun to hang out with them on their days off. We plan to work on their Christmas tree for you. I'm loving the Festival Of Trees right now, and the feeling that doing these trees for you gives me. I am so grateful that your Aunt April had the brilliant idea to get involved last year. I think that it's truly what helps me the most to get through the holidays. I've even found myself listening to Christmas music a few times just to get in the mood to work on the trees.
I've also finally returned to church after my long absence after Monsignor Bonnell left. It was really hard to go back because then it would mean that he really was gone. I know that it's silly to put so much weight on the fact that he's no longer there, but I feel like in a way he held a candle to guide me on my faith journey. I go to church to be closer to God....not to be closer to a priest, but it's hard when your comfort zone has been taken away. I am slowly...and I mean slowly....adjusting to our new priest. He has made several changes, some of which I think could be good for our parish, and others I'm just not sure about. I guess mostly I don't understand some of them. I'm trying very, very hard to give him a chance though. Maybe in time he will help to lead me, and if not I will continue to attend and find my own way.
I love you so much baby boy. I plan to show you pictures from our Halloween Carnival tomorrow. It was so much fun!

October 15, 2011

Blessed!

Dear Bubba,

Look at this treasure I found while making yet another archive of your pictures. I'm just so afraid that I'm going to lose one! I just love the way that you are holding on to your little monkey for dear life in this picture. You are actually watching your very favorite crib toy as well. I "think" that this one was taken in the PICU a couple of days after your heart cath. I just love your precious little cheek.

Today was the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. We woke up to a nice little treasure on our doorstep. I'll post a picture of it tomorrow, but let's just say that it just made our day! Thank you so much to whoever left us with this wonderful gift (although I'm about 99% sure who it was). We just LOVE it! It was the perfect gift for today! We are quite simply blessed.

On a day like today, I can find it so easy to fall into that sadness of missing you. I mean, it's a sadness that is always there and lingering, but it would be easy to just fall into it and crawl back into bed. I decided right away when I woke up this morning that I was NOT going to let that happen. I have friends who are going through today without nearly as much time as we got with you. Instead, I am going to thank God for the blessing we were given by having 14 months with you. I am going to feel blessed that you are healed again....that you can walk, and play, and run with all of the other little angels up there. I am going to feel blessed that God gave me the strength to take on this attitude today, and I am going to feel blessed that I will ALWAYS be your Mommy no matter if I can hold you or not.

I love you my little sweetie pie. You are heavy on my mind and heart today, but for this I will feel blessed.

October 13, 2011

About You

Dear Carter,

Here we go! I'm starting with the letter "A" again because I have no idea where I left off before.

I've recently gotten myself involved with the PTA at your brother and sister's school. I have to say that the very best part of it has been meeting new people. I can honestly say that I've made some new friends from it, and I love it! I never EVER thought of myself as a PTA person, but here I am...the Health and Safety Commissioner ha HA!

The thing that comes with meeting new people is how to approach the subject of you. Whenever you get a bunch of mommies together, of course the obvious questions are going to be "How many children do you have, and what are their ages?" I still haven't quite figured out how to answer this question without making the other person uncomfortable, but I don't feel comfortable excluding you. Over the last couple of days alone I have answered this question, and of course had to tell your story immediately following when the eyebrows get raised. At the moment that I'm talking about you, I can keep it together. I even got asked today if I felt comfortable talking about you, and my reply is always "Of course! I am SO incredibly proud to be your mommy!" I don't want it to be about me...I don't want the pity stares. I just want people to know about you!

I'd be lying if I said that the emotions of missing you, and even having to talk about you like you aren't here, get to me later in the day. As hard as it is, I look at this as a good thing because telling your story keeps you living in a way...telling your story refreshes my emotions and feelings for you when sometimes I tend to become numb to it all....telling your story is letting somebody else know that you were here and that you made a difference.

I love you so much baby boy, and as long as people keep on asking, I will continue to share your story....

I will tell them all about you!

October 12, 2011

Disconnected

Dear Carter,

I've been busy lately with working on stuff for your brother and sister's school, just trying to be a better mommy, a better wife, a better person. I've accomplished quite a lot over the last couple of weeks, but once again that means that I've neglected your blog a bit. It's not that I didn't want to blog, but when my computer crashed it made it even harder to get on here and do it. I have plenty I want to say...I just need to sit down and say it! I'm thinking of starting over on the alphabet challenge because it seems that those were the times when my thoughts would come out the most clear. I don't know. I know that I want to blog....I want your story to continue...I just need to find the right words to get it out there.

I've put your Carter's Hope website on hold just for a little bit. It seemed like too much with the auction, your tree, and everything else. I just want it to be perfect, and as soon as it's at least close to perfect I'll be putting it out there. It's going to happen soon...I promise! I just need a little more time, a little more prayer, to figure out which way I'm supposed to go with it.

I had several moments of just heart wrenching missing you today. It always comes in the moments when I least expect it. I broke down and let the tears fall for awhile because I haven't let that happen in awhile. It always makes me feel a bit better, and it did!

Your Scentsy fundraiser has a couple of more days left, and I am EXTREMELY pleased with it's progress. One thing is for sure....your tree (or rather trees) is going to be amazing!! I'm going to be sharing a sneak peek very soon!

I love you my little Bubba Jay. Keep on Keepin' On!

October 11, 2011

Trying To Reconnect

Dear Carter,

Just a quick update to let you know that I'm still here. My computer crashed which is making it hard to do much online at all. I'll be back again very soon with TONS of updates!

Remember, we have just a few more days left in our Scentsy fundraiser. Go Carter!!

October 3, 2011

Clearing The Air


So, it's possible that I've managed to confuse the heck out of everyone with all that Team Carter has going on right now. Here is a post where I hopefully clear everything up, but if you still have questions....please, please don't hesitate to contact us.


First of all, the Scentsy fundraiser is going very well. We have several orders being made, and are overwhelmed by the huge response. Scentsy really is a great product, and we are getting a GIANT 40% of the sales to put toward Carter's Christmas tree. We are able to take orders until about October 14th, so there's still plenty of time! If you would like the items shipped to you, then simply click on the picture below, and do your shopping. If you live locally and would like for me to deliver your items, then let me know by emailing me at teamcarterjay at gmail dot com, and I will get you an order form.

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We've had several other people ask how they can help with the Christmas tree without ordering Scentsy. I have put a Chip-In button over there <------------------- . You can make a secure donation through that and ALL of those proceeds will be spent directly on the Christmas tree. I know that a lot of people enjoyed sending stuff for the tree last year, and that is fabulous as well! We appreciate ANY and ALL help that you may offer. We are planning to put some small toys, books, Christmas CDs, and Christmas DVDs under it this year...especially if they are Rudolph themed. We could also use some Rudolph decorations, so if you are interested in doing something like this please email me and we'll make arrangements. I can't even express how much we appreciate each and every one of you and your willingness to help.

Finally, today was the start of Carter's Second Annual online auction which benefits Operation Smile. If you have a moment, please check it out because there is some darling stuff on there! Last year we made enough to give three kids brand new smiles. We hope to meet that goal again this year.

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I just have to say THANK YOU again to all of you for your continued words of encouragement, comments, love, and prayers. I feel blessed to have this blog...to have this place where I can write about my little guy and in a way keep him alive. Thank you.

October 2, 2011

What I Miss

Dear Carter,

Your poor big sister got some kind of bug, and has the sore throat/fever/cough thing going on all night. She doesn't seem that much better this morning, so a trip to the doctor might be in order.

Last night, I had to wake her up in the middle of the night to give her some medicine, and I thought to myself... "I really REALLY miss this". Now, please don't misunderstand, I want your sister to feel better as quickly as possible...but I really REALLY miss having to get up in the middle of the night to give you your medicines, or start your feeds, or change your diaper.

I miss the way you would do your little boogie woogie dance and roll back and forth while making sounds with your little "singing" voice....and how that would cause your monitor to beep relentlessly (I have video of this to share soon!).

I miss the calendar that hung on our cabinet that was full every single month with doctor's appointments and therapies.

I miss the way you would laugh at your Daddy....only he could get you to do it!

I miss the way that you would play with your bead bar, and the noise of your hand rubbing back and forth along the beads.

I miss how when I would bring you into bed with me in the middle of the night, you thought it was hilarious to continually hit me in the face and grab my hair and ear. Good thing you were adorable, or I might have found this annoying!

Oh, there are so many things that I could just go on and on and on.

I miss your therapists, and the friendships we made.

I ran into your Occupational Therapist the other day which has happened several times since you went to Heaven because he also works at your brother and sister's school. It was nice to talk to him and catch up, but it was so different this time.

In the past, I have had a hard time talking with him because it would leave me a blubbering mess. This time, I didn't even shed one tear. I just enjoyed the conversation, and went on with my day (a little sadder, but not completely falling apart). I keep thinking about it, and on one hand I'm a bit proud of myself....on the other it makes me feel absolutely terrible that I have developed that "scar" of sorts over my emotions that relate to you and him.

I guess one of my major fears is that I might develop that "scar" over other things that spark emotion about you. I don't want to become numb to the missing you because in some weird way, that is what keeps me close to you. I don't want to have no emotion over seeing things that remind me of you because those things remind me of you. It's a delicate balance that I'm trying to find. One that will probably be never-ending.

October 1, 2011

Smelling Good!

We've been working hard to find ways to make your Christmas donation to The Festival Of Trees just amazing! We have some truly excellent ideas in the works, and I can't wait to see it all come together! I'm not sure if we can really do any better than we did last year, but we sure are going to try!
We feel very blessed to have been given an amazing opportunity to raise funds for your Christmas tree this year. Adie Mitchell, who actually bought your tree and gave it to us last year, is a Superstar Director with Scentsy. She has offered to let us run a fundraiser where a HUGE, GIGANTIC chunk of the sales will go to your tree. 40%! Can you believe it?! She is one generous gal, and we love her for it! This is an excellent time to get some adorable gifts, and help out an amazing cause at the same time! Remember, all proceeds from Carter's Christmas tree will benefit Primary Children's Hospital where Carter spent much of his life.



So, if you feel the need to do some shopping, now would be the time to do it! Just click on the link above, or in the sidebar, and it will take you to our party home page. Be sure to check out the "Combine and Save" options to get an even better deal. If you are local, you can avoid paying shipping by contacting me at teamcarterjay at gmail dot com, and I'll get you an order form.

I can't even tell you how much we appreciate all of the support from our readers, family, and friends. Thank you so very much! We love you guys!