December 31, 2012


Dear Carter,

Well, it's that time again.

The time to start another year learning how to be a mommy to a baby up in Heaven.  I feel as though I've made a LOT of progress, but there is still so much I need to learn and work on. 

Every year it seems that I make resolutions, and this year will be no different.  I'm making only one resolution.

I want to be better.

I will be better.

Better at what you ask?  Better at everything.  Even if it's the slightest improvement.... I just want to be better. 

So there you have it baby boy, my New Year's Resolution.  Here's to 2013, and praying that it's a good year for our family. Nothing will ever top our 2009 when you were born, and we got to spend the majority of our year with you.

But maybe, this year will be a little better than last?

Only time will tell.

Happy New Year Sweet Pea!

December 23, 2012

The Festival Of Trees - The True Spirit Of Christmas

Dear Carter,

Have I mentioned to you how much I LOVE the Festival Of Trees?!? 

I feel as though it happened so, SO long ago, yet it's been less than a month.  This year we decided to go ahead and try our hand at the large trees.  I think that we did a pretty darn good job for our first year! You were actually represented by seven, YES SEVEN! items that were decorated and donated in your memory.  Each year it just keeps getting bigger and better!

When we got there, Daddy got to work putting the lights on your tree.  We had a lot of them!

We were sure to add a LOT of personal "Carter" touches to this tree.  Remember when Under Armour donated a whole bunch of stuff for your display??  This hat was in there, and you could personalize it with any number you would like.  We chose to use "CJ" for Carter Jay instead.  I loved how the elf is wearing a hat!

Then we had some fun with the blocks under the tree!
 All of the elves either had a headband, hat, or backpack to sport your Under Armour stuff.
Just like you always used to sport!

 We are so blessed by the best friends who continue to help us with this each and every year.
We love you and miss you so much Baby Boy!

 Grandma Geri donated a small tree, a centerpiece, and helped her cousin with another five foot tree.  She sure does love you!

 Cousin Monica, Uncle Marty, Aunt Nelva, and Cousin Erika worked on a tree for you.  It turned out adorable!
 Aunt Stacy and Cousin Samantha decorated a beautiful 12 Days Of Christmas tree. So cute!
 Aunt Nancy made a pinecone wreath that got a LOT of attention by a bunch people.  It's spectacular!

 And of course your brother and sister with their little trees.
Your Daddy and I went back on Opening Night, and I am thrilled to tell you that ALL of your items sold.  We even got to meet the people who purchased your Large tree for a whopping $4080!  When everything was said and done, Team Carter managed to raise well over $5000 in your memory.  We are so proud to do this for you every year, and already have plans for next year. 
Thank you so much for showing us the true meaning of Christmas, and even though this time of year is much tougher for us with the missing you, doing things like this makes it so much better.
I miss you my sweet little darling.  I hope that  you have the perfect Christmas celebration, and even if I don't get the chance to tell you so on this blog, know that I am constantly thinking of you and missing you with all of my heart.

December 4, 2012

My Club

Dear Baby Boy,

Today was one of those days that stirred up some feelings that are kind of hard to describe.

I realized that I'm part of an exclusive club, heck, maybe I'm even the president.  Nobody wants to be a part of my club, and I don't blame them!  It's every parents worst nightmare.  I don't even want to be part of it!  If only I had the power to change that.

There are some days when I completely forget that I'm in the child loss club...not that I forget about's just my new normal not having you here.  Its hard to even remember the days before losing you, and I hate that.  I want so badly to go back to those days. Before I only had ornaments like these to remind me of your sweet smile.

Then there are days like today when I am not feeling well (dang head cold), and it makes me extra emotional. Today, I feel like I amthe poster child for the worst, and just a depressing reminder to those who fear that they may someday gain membership.  I try so hard to stay positive about all of remembering that you aren't in pain, that this is the hard part, and a small portion of the journey.  But there are always days like today when I just want to go back to being a normal Mommy......not the one that represents the worst possible outcome.

I love you my sweet boy, and I know tomorrow will be a better day.  It always is, right?


December 2, 2012

Your Big Brother

Dear Carter,

Mikey and I have this thing where we lay in his bed at night, and he reads to me.  A couple of months ago, in the middle of a Magic Treehouse book, he turned to me and said "Momma, I want to ask you something, but I'm nervous".  Considering that Mikey never gets very serious about anything, I was anxious to hear what he had to say. 

"Would it be OK if I did my own tree for Carter this year?"

I was absolutely shocked.  We had been planning on your brother and sister doing a combined tree for you, and had I had no idea that Mikey had even given it a second thought.  Of course I was thrilled that he wanted to take on this project.  He decided to make a tree about his favorite story, The Grinch.

We shopped for all kinds of crazy ornaments to make it into a WhoVille tree, and I do believe that your brother was pleased with the outcome.  He even had some crazy twinkle lights!
 That is one proud big brother!  He loves you so much my sweet baby.

Both your brother and your sister's trees sold!  Whenever you ask them why they made their trees, they say "To help other kids like Carter".
How did we get so lucky?

December 1, 2012

Your Girl!

Dear Carter,
Wow, you are so lucky baby boy!  You have a sister that loves you with all of her heart.  I used to worry that she would forget you because she was so young, but she hasn't seemed to at all.  In fact, she talks about you all.the.time.  She draws you pictures all.the.time. And so, whenever she has a chance to do something for her baby brother, this girl is all over it!
Jovie decided that she wanted to do her tree in the theme of birds.  After yesterday's story, I'm sure that you understand why.  Birds have a very special meaning to your girl.
She decorated every inch of this tree.  I only helped by wiring on the ornaments...she was adament that the birds had to be equally spread out, and even the star had a lot of thought put into it.  She thought that it looked like a little birdie had put it together.  So sweet!
Here is the final product.  It turned out simply perfect!

 And of course since we only had a short time with this tree, we took a LOT of pictures to remember it.  I can't believe how big she is getting.
 We even took an impromptu picture of the Beefcake.

Good job Jovie Jo.  We are so proud of you, and your love for your baby brother!

November 30, 2012

Three Little Birds

             Last summer, we were surprised to find a couple of very odd birds hanging out right by our driveway.  Every time somebody would walk by them on the sidewalk, the birds would run away and act as though their wings were broken.  After a bit of research, we realized that these birds were called Killdeer, and they use this act to entice you away from their eggs.  These birds will put on a crazy show to get the predator away from their nest.  If only they were smart enough to not lay their eggs in such a vulnerable spot. Like the middle of our parkway.
                Our kids became attached the birds quickly, and named them Popcorn and Polly.  We would watch out the window as the birds would take turns keeping their eggs warm.  At one point we watched as one sat in the hail and rain to protect the eggs.  It was quite the show of parenthood that left me impressed, and wanting to somehow build a shelter to protect them even more.  Of course, we could only sit back and watch nature take its course.
                Over the period of about a month we kept a watchful eye on the Killdeer’s four little eggs, and we anticipated the day when they would finally hatch. Unfortunately, the day came when we found the eggs destroyed and the parents screeching over the loss of their babies.  It was a moment that I won’t soon forget. With each screech I wanted to somehow convey to the little Killdeer birds that I knew their pain. That I know what it’s like to lose a child, but of course it is silly to try and tell that to a bird.
                With that experience not far from my mind, I was a bit disappointed when this spring we found a Robin’s nest in our hanging planter by our front door.  I couldn’t even fathom having to go through that experience again, and hoped beyond all hopes that these little birdies would make it.  One of the major worries was that this particular hanging planter would typically fall if the wind blew too hard. With each storm we would watch with worry as the planter would sway back and forth, but would somehow hold strong. Finally, one day those little eggs hatched, and not long after that we could see the babies’ heads poking out on top of the nest.
                Several weeks later we came home from a vacation to find the babies perched on the top of their nest.  They stretched their wings, and looked around nervously. Finally, they were startled and jumped out of the only place they had ever known.  They hopped and flew, hopped and flew until  they got the hang of it. At that moment, we knew that at least for now, they had made it.  We knew that even though sometimes things don’t work out the first time, there is always hope for the second time.   We learned that with those bad things, hope can show up unexpectedly.  It can even show up on your doorstep.

November 29, 2012

The Third Christmas

Dear Carter Jay,
It seems as though the days are just flying by!  Your brother and sister are growing so fast, and with each and every day that goes by, I realize that it makes it that much longer since I last held you in my arms.
It occurred to me today that this is the third Christmas without you.
It  occurred to me that it seem so, SO unfair that I only got to share one of these special holidays with you.
It occurred to me that it is time to put your special little Christmas tree in your vase at your grave,and it just seems wrong.....because we should be setting it up in your room for you to see.
I just can't believe that it has been that long, and I miss you more
BUT with those feelings also comes the realization that you MUST be so much happier where you are.  That you can move around without wires and tubes, and that you get to spend these holidays with cool is that?
I can't even imagine.
One of the ways that we keep you alive during the holidays, is by decorating and donating a tree to The Festival Of Trees in your memory.  The amazing thing about this festival, is that typically every.single.tree is done in memory of somebody, and most of the time it is a child.  While we are at the festival, we can just look around and feel not so alone in our journey.
Everyone there is missing someone as much as we miss you.
I have so much more to tell you about the festival, but for tonight I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to my baby boy.  We love you so very much.

October 14, 2012


Dear Carter,
I'm going a little backwards here on my journaling, so bear with me while I catch up ..... yet again!
In August, we took a trip to Montana to visit Grandma Mary and Aunt Patti.  We started out early in the morning, and were lucky enough to catch this sunrise somewhere over Idaho.  It made me think of you as always.
After our drive, we got there just in time to enjoy a late lunch/early dinner.  I LOVE this picture :)

 Then we took a trip over to Grandma's where Mikey and Jovie had a blast teaching Grandma how to use an iPad.  She loved the Talking Tom app and kept on laughing even harder every time the cat repeated what she said which caused a big cycle of Grandma chuckling, the cat chuckling, Grandma and the kids chuckling harder, the cat chuckling get the picture.  I think this is probably the time that your brother and sister will remember most from the trip.
 Your brother and sister also liked playing some chess in the hotel lobby.  So cute!
 The next day we got to go on a little outing with Grandma, Aunt Patti, and Cousins Landyn and Erin.  Your brother and sister thought that is bumpy tree was pretty cool.
 On our last night there, we brought Grandma back to the hotel to watch your brother and sister swim in the pool.  We had such a nice time with our family, and look forward to the day when we get to make the trip again.
I just know that you were there too!

October 9, 2012

The Hesitation

Dear Carter,

It's been awhile since I wrote, but here I go again on another blogging streak.  Once I stopped working, and the kids' started school, I thought for sure that I would have plenty of time to catch up on all of this kind of stuff...but wouldn't you know it?? My time got filled up with other things. 

The good thing about it is that you would think that it would keep my mind off of you, but instead it seems as though my time has been filled with all things you.  Which has a certain kind of awesomeness to it, and I'm absolutely loving it.  We got some very exciting news about a new project we are taking on for you, but I'm not quite ready to tell you about it until there are some loose ends tied up...let me just say that I'm truly believing that it was no accident that the funding for my job fell through because I am going to be pretty dang busy!

I still need to catch you up on all of the fun things that have been going on around here, but I thought that today I'd just speak my heart.  I am going to be completely honest right now and say that I've been quite worried about this guy right here.

He has had quite a lot of moments of losing his temper ever since he started third grade.  I don't blame the teacher at.all.  I think it's more like the some of the other kids in his class rubbing on his nerves the wrong way, and him not being able to handle it well.

Now, when people think of your brother, I don't want them to think of the kid who freaks out at the drop of the hat.  I want them to see him as the kind young man that I see.  The one who is constantly making sure that his dogs are fed, that his sister is walked to and from the school building, and the one who is always, ALWAYS giving his momma extra hugs when he can tell that she needs them. I want that sweet little boy to shine through, but the truth is....he doesn't always.  He has his faults too.

Lately I've had to have a few talks with him about his temper, and after changing a few things in our routine, we have all noticed a BIG improvement.  I can see that he's working hard to control himself and I'm proud of him for doing so well. BUT when I noticed that he was struggling, I couldn't help but think that it has something to do with all of the things he has had to endure in his young life.Your brother and sister have gone through so much more than any kid should have to.  They have felt the loss of their baby brother, and it has certainly shaped who they are today.  Some of it has probably given them scars that I don't like to think about, but in other ways I think it has made them better people.

I am shown this every day when I drop them off at school.  Without fail, Mikey will shut the car door behind his sister, and take a few steps away before turning around to run back to the car and tell me that he loves me one last time. This is the kind of person that you have shaped him into.  The kind that wants to be sure that the people he loves know it.

While he and I were reading the other day, he stopped in the middle of the page and told me that he really wants to do his own tree for you this year.  So, that's exactly what he's doing.  He and Jovie are no longer doing a combined tree for you, but instead, each is doing a three foot tree.  Mikey's theme is The Grinch, and Jovie's is still birds.  I can't be more proud of your brother and sister right now.  They love you so much cutie pie.

September 29, 2012

Operation Smile 5K & iPad Raffle

Dear Carter Jay,

Today was one of those really good days when I missed you so much that it hurt, but I knew that you were somehow right there with me.

Today was our third year participating in the Operation Smile 5K.  The very first year that we participated, you were right there with us in your stroller.  It was a blast, and we even took you out for lunch afterward.  I hadn't been back to that one and only restaurant you had been in until today. 

Last year, the race fell on the day before your birthday.  It was freezing, FREEZING, cold, but we still had an amazing turnout with about 40 people from Team Carter.  Here is something I wrote about it for Daddy's work newsletter.
As we took the 90-minute drive up to Timpanogos Park, I couldn’t help but remember that almost exactly one year earlier had been the happiest day of my entire life. Not too many people can pinpoint the exact day on which their life felt absolutely perfect, complete and fulfilled. But I sure can. One year ago we were driving to this same park with Carter bundled in his car seat. All of our children were with us. Our family was together. Our family was complete. Everything was absolutely perfect. It was Carter’s first and only birthday,and we had quite the celebration planned. It started with a walk/run event which benefited Operation Smile, an organization that funds cleft lip/palate surgeries in third world countries. It seemed right that we participate in this event since Carter was born with both a cleft lip and palate.
One year ago, Carter’s stroller was strapped full of his medical equipment. With the help of some of our railroad family, we navigated his stroller through the one mile path. We walked that mile proudly, but this year was different. I still walked that mile with pride, but it was a different kind. We were participating in this event as a memorial for Carter, not with him. Even though he wasn’t physically there, I was proud to think that our baby boy was indeed smiling down on us.
When we arrived at the park, it was cold. It was bitter cold. A storm had blown through early that morning, and buried the running trail with snow. I was amazed to see that despite the terrible weather, there were at least 200 people who had come to support this wonderful charity. More than 40 of those people were there to represent Team Carter. To say that the running path was treacherous was an understatement. There were parts that were a mix of sharp rocks, ice and snow. Before the race started, the director announced that the participants would have to walk in some areas. It reminded me of the beginning of Carter’s life when a doctor informed us of what our baby’s life would be like. It was also a treacherous path, so we walked through the tough parts. As the
runners lined up at the starting line, there were a lot of complaints about how cold it was and how terrible this run was going to be. Those were soon silenced with the thought that nothing had ever been easy in Carter’s life, so why should this be? The gun fired and the race was on. The journey to the finish line had begun, and what a hard journey it was. Many of the people found it difficult to breathe in the cold air, much like Carter struggled to breathe through his damaged airway.
There were several trips and falls, but each time the runners jumped back up and continued
on, just like Carter had continued to Keep On Keepin’ On. It seemed as though each runner who crossed the finish line had some sort of injury. Skinned knees and bruises were in abundance, but the
runners beamed with pride at what they had accomplished. I’d like to think that at the end of Carter’s race, he beamed with pride at everything that he had accomplished. I know that I did.

So, after the way the weather was last year, the race was moved to September which means that it's been a year and a half since we last did this race.  Since the Fall is such a busy time of year for most families, we didn't have quite as many people there this time which was completely OK with us because we knew that all of them were there with us in spirit. 

Your Daddy and I ran the 5K together this time, and while I know that I held him back, I'm so glad that we got to cross that finish line together.  After all, he is the only one who completely understands the emotions and thoughts that I have every single day when it comes to you. He is the only one who when we finish this race, will know how hard this journey really was. I love him so much.

Next, we got to draw the winner for the iPad 2.  We'd like to congratulate Jackie Heeter on winning, and also thank EVERYONE who purchased tickets.  Team Carter raised a HUGE $1708 to fund all of your trees in The Festival Of Trees this year.  We are absolutely FLOORED by everybody's generosity, and we hope that we make them and you proud.

After the race, we went back to that restaurant that we took you to 2.5 years ago.  It's the first time that we had been back, and while it was hard to walk through those doors without you, it felt good to just remember you.

I hope you know how much we love you and miss you, and also that we do all of this stuff because of you.  I wouldn't have EVER had my eyes opened to such a wonderful charity if it wasn't for you baby boy. Thank you so much for opening up that whole other world for me.  Thank you so much to all of Team Carter for continuing to work in Carter's memory.

September 21, 2012

Your Beautiful Trees!

Dear Carter,
Well, I just got back from a week's trip without your brother and sister.  I missed them soooo much, and couldn't wait to get back home to them.  I'd been looking forward to this trip for a very long time, and now that it's over, I feel like it's time to get into tree making mode.  I've got lots of posts scheduled about the trip and all of the goings-on of our family, but for today I felt like it was appropriate to announce the themes for your trees this year.
This year we are making TWO trees in memory of you.  For the "Team Carter" tree we decided to enter into the large tree category for the very first time.  This means that not only do we have to decorate a larger tree, but we also have a larger area under the tree to work with.  It took us a little bit of time to come up with a theme, but I think that we've finally nailed it (even though Daddy came up with this name last year!).  Before I give away the theme, I have to say that we got this HUGE box in the mail today that was donated to us by Under Armour.  We have been loving the Under Armour stuff because it is something that reminds us of you. Remember, you used to wear your Under Armour headband to hold your hearing aid in place.
I couldn't believe how much stuff was in the box, and feel very humbled by their generosity.  Just look at all of this stuff!!!
 So at first we thought that we could somehow work our way around the Under Armour saying which is Protect This House, but that didn't quite work. So we decided to go with the title
 "Small But Mighty" 
because, well, you were small but mighty in our eyes.  Our theme this year is going to be elves and the North Pole.  I can't wait to show you how we're going to incorporate all of this Under Armour stuff into the tree.  It's going to be amazing!!

Now, your brother and sister decided to step up to a larger five foot tree.  Since we have had so many encounters with birds lately (once again I'm a bad blogger and need to update on this), they have decided to go ahead and do a tree in the theme of birds.  The title of their tree will be:
"Don't Worry About A Thing"
They are thinking of doing it in something similar to this:
 I hope that you like our ideas for your trees.  The only thing that matters is that we make you proud with them, and I truly think that we will.  We love you so much our little sweetie, and miss you more than anything.

Team Carter has a lot going on right now.  If you are interested in purchasing tickets for the iPad raffle, you can click on this link right here: iPad Raffle
We will be actually holding the drawing on September 29th at the Operation Smile 5K when a lot of Team Carter will be present.  Thank you so much to those who have already donated...we appreciate your generosity!!

August 30, 2012

When One Door Closes...

Dear Carter,

Today has just been a no good very bad day.  Plain and simple.

Of course it could be a lot worse, I've been there, but it's still been a no good very bad day.

I was told on Tuesday that there was a possibility that there wouldn't be a job for me at your brother and sister's school this year.  I've been stressing and waiting to hear, and finally got the news today.  There is no job for me.

Although it's because of student numbers vs. funding, I still feel as though I've been fired.  It's like a great big kick in the gut after all of the hard work I've put into that job. My heart is broken because I really REALLY loved that job.  I loved the relationships I've built there, and having somewhere to go and something to do every day. It kept my mind off of the missing you.

Now I'm back at that crossroads, and I'm just not sure which direction God is wanting me to go in.  I am trying hard to keep the mindset that all of this happens for a reason, and that there is a purpose to this....but I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around it.  It's just too soon.  I'll get there quick, I promise.

To add to all of this stress, your Grandpa's dear friend went to Heaven late last week, and then this morning your Grandma and Grandpa's doggie, Sadie, joined you as well.  Please keep Grandma and Grandpa close to you right now. They need lots of love.

The good news is that I will be around a lot more to work on all of your stuff.  I love you so much my little sweetie....just waiting for the sun to shine again.

August 28, 2012

Are You Ready To Run (or walk??)

Dear Carter,
Things around here have been busy as always.  I can't believe that your brother and sister start back to school next week, and I'm supposed to start back to work.  There might be some changes with my job, so as of right now I'm just holding my breath and waiting to see which direction God decides to lead me.
I realized today that we are only ONE MONTH from your Operation Smile 1 mile walk and 5K.  I know that this is a busy time of year for everyone, but we would really, REALLY appreciate it if you could make an effort to come out to support such a wonderful cause.  I'm even going to run the 5K this year....I may come in last, but I'm still going to do it!  (pray for me lol!).
Here is the information for the race:

You can sign up here: Operation Smile 5K.  Be sure to find one of us at the race to get your Team Carter sticker!

I'm going to update tomorrow with more about what's been going on.  We had a party (or three....long story) for your brother's birthday, and just got back from a trip to Montana.  I have some cute pictures to share!

As always, I love you and miss you my sweet boy.

August 10, 2012

Where I Am Today...Two Years Later

Dear Carter,

It has now been over two years since I got to hold you last.  To think that it has really been that long is staggering to me....especially when I consider how much longer I have to go to before I get to kiss that little cheek of yours again.

When I think back to that first year of you being gone, I can see that I really have healed A LOT since you left.  I find greater comfort in knowing that you are well, and you are happy.  Of course there are still those times when I wish that you were here with us regardless of how tough your life on Earth was. I feel as though I am making progress with my healing, but I have a long LONG way to go. I can honestly say that I can now think of you without feeling that overwhelming hurt in my least some of the time.  I am still reminded of you all of the time, and I don't want those little reminders to ever, EVER end.  I need them to feel close to you.  Even if it is something as silly as looking at the little Under Armour symbol on my shoes.

There are times when my heart is still tender.  When I want to just curl into a ball and bawl my eyes out for you, but I now look at that as something that I need.....that my body needs.  I need that release sometimes when the loss is just too great. It makes it easier to take the next step without you.

I have been working on a project.  I am making quilts out of all of your tiny clothes.  It was hard to go through each and every piece, but it feels good to be doing something with them. I can't wait until they are finished, and I can wrap myself in something that you wore.  Something that was yours.

We have been doing a little bit of redecorating around the house, and Jovie wanted a picture of her with her brothers.  As we were going through them, I came across this picture.  Why, oh why have I not just loved this picture before??  I have probably 200 taken from this same day, but only a few really turned out because I remember that all three of you did NOT want to cooperate.  I just love this one.  Look at the way your brother is holding your little hands.  Sooooo precious.  How I wish that I had a million more pictures of the three of you together. I am so grateful that I just came across this one because it feels like getting a little piece of you back.

I find that I am still very sensitive about certain things. There was a recent incident with a little girl that left me wondering why her Mommy gets to keep her, while I have to miss you. Her mommy just wasn't taking good care of her at all, and I felt like I did a pretty good job of taking care of you (at least I hope so!).  I try so hard to not judge her, I promise I do.  I just find myself jealous. I can't help it.

The other thing that leaves me sensitive is when I hear the word "retarded".  Last night your Daddy and I were watching Pre Season NFL football when during a post-game conference the new Quarterback for The Washington Redskins, Robert Griffen III, used the word in a statement that called his play quality "ridiculous and retarded".  That stung so much because whenever I hear the word "Retarded" I immediately replace that word with your name.  Whether that is right, or wrong, that is just simply how I feel.  My heart starts to race. My palms grow sweaty. It stings like no other. I don't expect people to understand how it hurts because I really didn't until you were born.  I think that RGIII really is a good guy.  He's an outstanding football player, and I also think that he is an intelligent young man.  I just hope that he chooses his words a little more wisely in the future. After all, he is a role model to many young people out there.

I have found that I don't visit your grave quite as much as I used to.  I don' really know why, because I do find great comfort in being close to you.  I feel a lot of guilt over that.  Like I'm not doing a very good job being your mommy, so I really want to start visiting more. I AM going to visit more.  I promise.

The Festival Of Trees is coming up, and so is the Operation Smile 5K.  It feels good to do these things for you.  This is where I really do find a lot of my healing. I hope that you are proud of the way that we continue to try and do these things in your name.

So, that is where I am after two years of missing you.  Some days are harder than others, but I do feel as though I am healing...although the hole in my heart can never be filled. I love you my little Bubba Jay.

July 30, 2012

Do You Need An iPad 2??

Dear Carter,

It seems like I just barely did a post like this, but it really has been a year!  It's that time again to et ready to create your trees for The Festival Of Trees which benefits your hospital! I'm meeting with our "team" tomorrow to see if we can come up with something fabulous....although it's going to be hard to top last year's creation! 

In order to raise money for your tree this year, we are raffling off this brand spankin' new Ipad 2.  It is 16gb and in the color black.  We were given this iPad, so every penny donated will go straight to your trees!  We are letting our readers know that if they are interested in helping with your tree, they can purchase a ticket for the iPad raffle for only $1!  That's right, only $1 could get you a BRAND NEW IPAD 2.  How cool is that?!?!  The even cooler thing is that if you buy 20 tickets, we will throw in 5 tickets for free!  To purchase the tickets all you have to do is click on this little ChipIn box below, and it will send you to Paypal where you can purchase your tickets with either a Paypal account, Credit, or Debit card.  Be sure to include your address where it asks for it, and I will send out the tickets ASAP.  Mikey and Jovie will be drawing the lucky winner on October 1st.


Thank you so much for your continued support.  This is one of the most important events that Team Carter does to give back, but we can't do it without you! 

July 12, 2012

All She Wants To Do Is Dance

Dear Carter,

Jovie had her first big dance recital with her new studio.  I was quite nervous about changing studios because I really REALLY liked her dance teacher, Stephanie (who happens to be one of my bffs), but when Steph decided not to teach dance anymore, we decided it was time to move on. 

We found a new studio that just happened to be run by some sweet ladies that both your Daddy and I knew from different parts of our lives.  We decided to give it a shot, and Jovie immediately fell in love with her new teacher Robin.

She did an absolutely FABULOUS job at her dance recital, and has now officially started on the Competition Dance team.  I love that she has found something that she loves so much, and is good at. It's so much fun to watch her shine!

July 11, 2012


Dear Carter,

I'm still trying to play a little catch up here, and I'm blogging!!  Yay!

It's kind of funny the things that will make us all think of you.  A couple of months ago, there was a solar eclipse that everyone was quite excited about.  It was a pretty amazing site to see, and even your brother and sister got in on the action and took a peek through their pinhole papers.

 As we were finishing up, Jovie decided to draw a quick picture of what the sun had looked like.  After she drew it, she decided that it looked just like a C!  Of course, her next sentence was that you would have loved it because it was the first letter of your name.  So she drew this little picture to show you.
You have little wings and everything my sweet boy.  Oh that sister of yours, she has got to be your number one fan!!

July 10, 2012

why, Why, WHY?

Dear Carter,

I knew this would be hard.  I KNEW IT!

But I told myself that it was time.  It's time to do something with all of these little clothes that you left behind.  I don't want them to sit around in a tote anymore....I just NEED to do something with them.

My idea is to make quilts out of them for your brother and sister, and of course one for Mommy and Daddy too.  I've been making my way through the clothes today, and cutting the squares.  With each article that I drew from the tote, I kept thinking of all of the memories that each one leaves me.  That I miss you so SO much.  That you didn't get to wear all of these clothes nearly as much as you should have.

I just kept on chugging through, until I came across "THE" headband.  The one that you "ALWAYS" wore.  The one that has somehow made Under Armour our family's favorite line of clothing because it has become one of our many symbols of you.

My first instinct was to put it up against my nose to see if I could still smell your sweet scent.  It was very rarely that I washed that sweaty old headband because your hearing aid had to be rewired through it.

I was still shocked when I came across the sweet scent of you.

This is when I suddenly felt that sadness and anger bubble up inside of me. Right now as this moment I just want to know why.  Why am I having to go through all of your clothes to make a quilt, when I should be giving you a bath?? Mommies aren't supposed to make memory quilts of their babies....they are supposed to make memory quilts FOR their babies.  Why do I have to listen to your brother's and sister's memories of you instead of hear them playing with you??  Why were you taken from us after only fourteen months when we loved every single piece of you for who you are.  why, Why, WHY?  What did we do wrong??

I promise that I'm going to get rid of this poor me attitude, but for right now at this moment it is overflowing inside of me.  I just plain miss you baby.  I don't want to have to smell you on a piece of fabric....I want to walk right up to you and kiss your sweet cheek. I want to wail and scream at God....WHY?!?!

Your buddy, Junior, made us this tubie buddy a few months back, and I felt that "THE" headband certainly belonged on him.  I love you my little sweetie.  Perhaps you can visit me in my dreams tonight.