January 26, 2012

Here It Comes

Dear Carter,

The last two days have been terrible for me.  Just simply terrible.

There have been a few specific things that have certainly helped to make my days more terrible, but nothing that would normally push me down this far. 

I've been wondering what exactly is my problem??  Sure, I haven't slept that much.  Sure, it's been pretty busy at work with this testing I've had to administer.  There's been a few other things happen, but really.....what is it??

So I did a bunch of thinking, and soul searching, and I think I figured it out.

That day is coming.

Sure it's only two months away, but it's coming.

Your third birthday is coming. 

I've come to realize that without even thinking about it....it's like my body knows that the first of the year is "YOUR" time of year. This is the time of year when you were born, and not too long after that is when you left us.  This was the hardest time of the year for me last year, and it appears that it's the same again this year. 

I just miss.you.so.much.

I miss your little laugh.
I miss the way you would swing your leg and hip back and forth to roll yourself over.
I miss the way you'd make all kinds of racket with your bead bar.
I miss the way you would look at me like "I'm doing it momma!" when you would drink your bottle.
I miss the way you would give that special smile to your Daddy, and nobody else.
I miss giving you baths, and changing your clothes, and changing your diapers, and hooking up your G-Tube, and changing your tender grips, and suctioning your nose and mouth, and the huge delicate dance all of those things took.

I miss all of it.  All of the scheduling of appointments, and welcoming the therapists into our home, and learning all of the different ways to help you learn new skills.  I loved living in the world where you were, and now I still love this world, but it isn't the same.  It never will be.

And that's OK.

It really is OK because I KNOW that you are someplace where you can run and play without the wires and the tubes.

It just seems a little less OK during this time of year.
But I know that the days of feeling more OK are just around the corner (so no panicked calls from my friends, ok?).

Love you Little Guy!

January 23, 2012

Are You Related?

Dear Carter Jay,

I was going through some pictures the other day, and came across this one of your brother.

It reminded me so much of one of my very favorite pictures of you!

I can't get over how much you guys look alike!    You had so many of your cute little differences, that it's kind of cool to see you two looking so similar here.  I think the smile he is giving is also a lot like one that you gave a lot!

We had a good weekend, but it ended pretty sour.  Your sister got the stomach bug....and she got it bad!  She is doing much better now, but I was pretty worried about her there for a little while.  Your brother was so concerned and kept on coming upstairs to check on her. At one point he told me that he was saying the Hail Mary prayer for her, and he hoped that God would help her.  What a sweetie!  So far nobody else has gotten the bug, but I know how these things work and don't think we are completely out of the woods yet.

Although the weekend ended yucky, we did accomplish a lot on your room.  I think it's almost ready to reveal!  I must say that it feels even more like your room now than it did when you were here.  Maybe that's because it seems to be covered with you right now, and while you were here, you only came in here a handful of times because your Oxygen just didn't reach easily.

I am pleased with the way that Carter's Hope has started, but we could definitely DEFINITELY use some more Stories Of Hope to share.  I am planning on doing a big giveaway sometime in the next couple of weeks to officially kick it off.  I'm so excited about it!

I have emailed the Race Director for the Operation Smile race, but haven't heard back from him quite yet.  When I do, I'll post the info.

I love you so much little sweetie pie!

January 19, 2012

Has It Really??

Dear Carter,

Has it really been this long since I last updated your blog??

It seems as though time is just flying by these last couple of weeks.  It's mostly because I've been very busy at work, and then this weekend we decided to give your room another make-over.  I'm going to reveal it very soon!

Things have been going ok.  Just a lot, Lot, LOT of missing you.  I have been having a hard time sleeping again....my mind has just been racing with memories of you.  For some reason it just barely occurred to me that you would have been THREE years this old this year.  I simply can't even comprehend this.  It doesn't seem possible that it has almost been two years since I last held you and kiss your sweet cheeks.  Even with all of these feelings, I have felt my faith grow even more recently, and have definitely found myself growing more comfortable with our new priest.  I do think that he has a good message to spread.

Not much else has been going on around here...I did a little spiffing up of Carter's Hope, and I like the way it's coming along.  I do have quite a bit more work to do, but as Colin's mommy told me..."slow and steady".  I have a very good feeling about where it's going, and I'm not going to give up!

We had a snow storm, and the whole family participated in making your very own snowman.  He sure was cute while he lasted!  Too bad there isn't much left of him now.  At least we got a cute picture!

I love you so much my little sweetie....so much it hurts, BUT I know that with every single breath I take....it is one breath closer to you.  I love you.

January 9, 2012

Memory Candles

Dear Carter,

Earlier this year, we were surprised with a fabulous gift on our front door step.  It is a light that says "Lit in Memory Of Carter".  Since we received it, it seems as though we ALWAYS have that thing lit.  I'm not sure why, but having a candle lit for you has always made us feel as though you are here with us.

We decided that we really wanted to give something like this to our family members, so that you would always have a candle lit somewhere.  We gave two of these bigger blocks to your Grandmas and Grandpa, and then we made some smaller candles holders for your aunts and uncles.  I am so pleased with how they turned out.
They were super easy to make too!  I just printed off the saying on a piece of vellum.  I found some adorable star vellum paper at Hobby Lobby along with these craft blocks.  Since I am seriously challenged when it comes to mod podge (and I know it's tough to use on vellum anyway), I used spray adhesive and it worked perfectly!  Next, Daddy got these candle flicker lights at Lowe's which we just stuck up through the hole in the bottom.  Now, we just have to flip a switch to get your candle going!

For the smaller candles, I printed off the same saying and wrapped it around a glass candle holder.  Then I put one of those flicker tea lights in there.  They turned out adorable, but I didn't get a picture  before I gave them all out. Everybody was very excited to get these, so I'm glad that we were able to give them out.  I hope you can feel the love that everybody has for you!

January 8, 2012


Dear Carter,

I've been a Detroit Lions fan for my entire life.  It has something to do with your Grandma always liking them while I was growing up, and also being from Michigan....but whatever the reason, I have definitely "bled Honolulu blue" for as long as I can remember.

Being a Detroit Lions fan is hard.

It's really hard.

Especially when you live in Utah where there aren't too many of us.

A few seasons ago, they were the first team to go 0-16 in NFL history.  We have not been good AT ALL for a LONG time.  We've never even been to a Super Bowl.  So when we made it into the playoffs this year, I was more than ecstatic. At least we made it to the playoffs....at least we're improving.... at least we made it this far!

We were dubbed the major underdogs, but I still believed that we had a chance.  I still thought that we might beat those pesky Saints and head to Green Bay. 
Last night as your Daddy and I watched the game, I sat on the edge of my seat, and in the beginning it actually looked like we had a chance.  This was about the time that your great-aunt sent me a text telling me that they were looking good.  We chatted back and forth for a minute, and after I made a comment that I hoped they kept it up, she sent me back a two-word message which struck a chord with me.


At that moment I felt the tears coming.  I felt like this message was meant for me in more ways than just football. It was as if I suddenly had a "Faith Refill" of sorts.

You see baby boy, it's not that I have never had faith, or that I've somehow lost my faith.....it's more like at times I FORGET that I have it.  I get frustrated at some of the emotions I feel.

I feel like a lot of the things I do with your blog, or with Carter's Hope, or even our work with Operation Smile aren't going to work out, or that they're going to fail.  I need to have more Faith that God called me to do these things for a reason.  This has been proven to me just over the last weekend when I had a few more stories submitted for Carter's Hope that are from people that I don't even know.

I feel like when I get really sad and depressed about you being gone, it's because maybe I simply don't have enough faith.  I know in my heart that this isn't necessarily true because I am human. I'm going to be sad for you....you are my baby, but these are just some of the thoughts that go through my head at times.  I need to HAVE FAITH.

And even though my team ended up losing, I still have the faith.  I have it for them in the years to come, and I have had it "refilled" in my own life just because of those two words that were texted to me.

Thank you Darlin'

January 6, 2012

One Word For 2012

Dear Carter,

Your new website, Carter's Hope, is still coming right along.  We could certainly use some more stories of hope if any of our readers would like to participate :).  You can click the link on the sidebar over there <---------  to find out more info.  I just posted our second story, and have a few more ready to go!  I'm so excited and nervous at the same time.

I've been reflecting on 2011, and overall it really wasn't too bad of a year.  It started off a bit rocky when Grandpa Jay went to be with you, but then we got to participate in the Operation Smile 5K, which reminds me that I should contact the organizer of that race....it's coming up!!  We added this cute little guy to our family....good thing he's cute because we dropped $100 on him today at the vet for an ear infection (what?!?!).

We went on a really good vacation to California which was excellent since Daddy got a promotion soon after that and had to be gone for a lot of the Summer at classes required for his new job.

Then we got to go on that fun mini-vacation to Park City.  Daddy and I got to go on our dream vacation to see our teams play each other in Denver.

Then we had a successful year at The Festival Of Trees, and I got a job.

It's been simply a crazy year.  After all of that, I'd have to say it was a good year for our family, but on the flipside it seems as though it was a not so good year because you weren't here with us.

I've seen a lot of blog posts with people writing down one word that they would like to define their 2012.  I have no idea what this year will bring, but I immediately thought of one word.

and that word is BREATHE.

I just need to keep on breathing.  At times the missing you feels so overwhelming that it literally feels as though it is squeezing my chest....making it impossible to BREATHE, but the thing is....it gets better if I just keep on breathing.

And then I always remember that with every single breath I take,
It brings me one breath closer to you.

I love you sweetie.

January 5, 2012

The Little Tree

Dear Carter,

I'm still playing catch-up from my blogging break. One of the coolest things that we did during the Christmas season was helping your brother and sister make their own tree for you at The Festival Of Trees.

Mikey's certainly not much of a shopper, but he was very patient in helping to choose the ornaments, lights, and tree skirt for your little tree.  They decided on the theme butterflies and stars because it matched the logo from

They have watched me design it, and were excited to find stuff that matched. Those two are smart kids I tell ya! They wanted to paint something to put on the tree, but all that we could find were these wooden stars.  They went to work!

Then we let them start decorating.  When they were finished, there were about thirty ornaments on two branches and the rest of the tree was bare.  I REALLY wanted to leave it like that baby boy, but after some talking, Jovie and I decided to work together to spread them out a bit.

And this is the tree we ended up with.
And since I got out all of the backdrops and stuff, we decided to take a few other family shots

Of course we couldn't leave out Santa Pug.

Your Daddy and I decided that we wanted to try very hard to win that little tree back, so when we went to Opening Night, we put a bid on it and won!  Of course we needed to find a very special home for that little tree, and thought that it should be with your Great Grandma Erbes.  She was thrilled, and so are we!  It's good knowing that this special little tree will always be in our family.

I love you my little sweetie.  Carter's Hope has gotten a lot of positive feedback, but man there is still a lot of work to be done.  I'm working on it though, and can't wait until it starts picking up a bit more. 

January 4, 2012

Santa Pug

Dear Carter,

What is the first requirement for a good Santa Pug??  Why, one curly tail of course.
 Oh yes I did! I am normally not one for dressing up my animals (ok, so that's not completely true), BUT when Daddy told me that he saw this costume at the pet store, I knew that just for my own amusement Brutus HAD to have it!
 And he actually didn't seem to mind it.  And I just noticed that in the picture above that it looks like he's eating a foot.
I guess that's just what Santa Pugs do.

January 3, 2012

The Candle Lighting At The Cemetery

Dear Carter,

One of the nice things that your cemetery does is a candle lighting ceremony at Christmastime every year. We've didn't go last year....I can't remember why, but I kind of wish that we would have.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it.

It was hard to walk up to your headstone and see this.

It just seems as though we should be able to hold you and kiss you and snuggle you during the Christmas season. Not see a candle lit on your headstone, but this is just our life now and we have to keep on walking this way.

As we were leaving, I took a long look over the cemetery and saw this.

And suddenly I didn't feel so alone because every single one of those people are missed.

January 2, 2012

One Of My Resolutions

Dear Carter,

A few weeks ago, our new priest gave a talk about how you should never EVER waste the gifts and talents that are given to you by God. I took a lot of his words to heart because I honestly feel like being your mommy was one of those gifts, and at times I don't use it at my full potential. Recently I avoided a tough phone call in which I could have really helped the person calling with the knowledge that you gave me, and your Daddy reminded me that by doing that I am indeed wasting the gift that you gave me as well. This has been a common thread in my life lately, and mostly it's just because I tend to "shut my heart off" because talking about you and thinking about you hurts too dang much. It doesn't make me feel any better to just ignore it though, so it's time for me to just bite the bullet and go for it. After thinking about this for awhile, I decided that one of my New Year's Resolutions would be to finally launch Carter's Hope.

There are a lot of reasons why I've been dragging my feet on this. I would have to say that it's mostly Fear. Fear that it wouldn't work....fear that it's just a dumb idea.....fear of it failing. I need to just put my trust out there that I am doing the right thing. I do feel as though God called me to start this site awhile back, and although it took me awhile to finally do it....it's done.

So, here you go baby boy! Your new foundation. Carter's Hope!

To Carter's family and friends: As of right now it is a site meant to offer support to new parents finding themselves in the world of Special Needs, show them that there are a lot of positives about it....show them that having a child with Special Needs can be an AMAZING BLESSING! I really REALLY want it to grow into something more as we move along with this. Possibly a way to help these new parents in our local hospitals and beyond. I'm hoping that the followers of our blog will support us in this by sharing their stories about their journeys in this very amazing place we all call Holland, and also by helping us to spread the word about it. I will be publishing Carter's story on Carter's Hope tomorrow, and already have a few others in the works. If any of you would like to join in, you can find out how by clicking the link on the new site titled "Submit My Story". I would also LOVE to hear any ideas that you may have on how to make this better. Thank you so very much for your continued support of Carter and our family. We are beyond blessed!!

January 1, 2012


Dear Carter,

I'm sorry that I haven't updated your blog lately. I've just been busy enjoying time with your brother and sister while they've been out of school, and doing a bunch of organizing and house cleaning. We've had a lot of family time which has been healing for your Daddy and I. I felt as though I was so behind on everything ever since I got a job, and this last week I have gotten ahead on all of it....it feels good!!

Things around here have been going ok. There's a lot of stuff to update about, and I promise to do that throughout the week. It was a bit of a tough Christmas because we were missing you, but I would say that it seemed a little bit more normal than last year's did. We just miss you and wish that you were here with us rather than having a birthday party with Jesus, but we know that you had an amazing holiday up there with him.

I have had a few things happen over the last week or so that has made me realize that in many MANY ways I am wasting the gifts that you have given me by choosing me to be your mommy. I have decided that I am NO LONGER doing this, and will rise to my full potential. I feel like I have so much more that I could be doing, and I promise you that I am going to start doing it! What does this mean exactly? I have to be honest in saying that I'm not 100% sure, but I can tell you that I have stopped dragging my feet on a few projects, and absolutely promise to do more writing on this blog. I feel like I owe it to you. I owe it to your brother and sister to give them this journal to reflect on when they are old enough to appreciate it.

I love you so much baby boy, and I only hope that I make you proud.