Book & Blanket drive in honor of Owen

In a little more than two months, we will celebrate Owen's first birthday. While this is not the type of celebration I had hoped for, we would still like to make it a special day and do something meaningful in honor of our sweet boy. We would like to host a Book & Blanket drive for the babies in the CICU at Egleston, and we'd love for you to join us! 
Books and blankets were two of the most special things to us during Owen's life. Reading to him created memories I will never forget. I remember which books were his favorites, his first, and his last. I love being reminded of Owen when I see his books in a store. 

Having our own personal blankets made the hospital feel so much more like home. I loved choosing which blanket would be his "bottom sheet" and which one he would be wrapped in each day. We were given so many books and blankets at baby showers, so we had plenty in our rotation each day. I would love to give other families memories and a little comfort of home in the midst of such tragedy. 

Blankets can be gently used or new. I will wash all of them before packaging them. If you would like to join us, you can mail items directly to us, and we will package and deliver them to Egleston at the end of February. Email us at if you would like our address. Thanks for the support you have shown us this year. Our hearts are heavy as we have entered the holiday season and approach Owen's birthday without him here. We are thankful for special ways like this one to continue to remember him and spread joy to others since he gave us so much joy in his short time.

**Update: Friends in the Gwinnett area, if you would like to drop items off locally, let me know. I have people who are available to collect items from you locally.

missing the innocence

The other day I was scrolling through my instagram pictures and came across this one from my birthday last year. "Last birthday in my 20's and without a child!" It feels like a harsh reminder of what should have been. Next week, I will be 30, but my child won't be in my arms.
In this picture I was seven months pregnant, excited, and happy. There was an innocence about me that I didn't even know I had until it was gone. When I lost Owen, I lost a part of me. A part I don't know I will ever get back. I long for that innocence and happiness again. I long for the life I thought I would have. The life I spent nine months dreaming of. The life I didn't even know I wanted so badly until it happened. And for some reason, it was taken away all too soon. This year as I approach my birthday, it doesn't feel very happy. I want to take this same picture again this year with my 10 month old in my arms reaching for the cake. I still can't believe Owen isn't here. I long for him with all that I am.  

This holiday/birthday season is just hard. I wasn't sure if I wanted to get a tree this year or decorate for Christmas, but we did anyways. I love to decorate and be creative. I rarely have the energy for it these days, but when I do, I take advantage of it. Part of me is able to escape from reality when I'm focused on being creative and making things beautiful. I didn't have a stocking for Owen before he was born, but I bought one for him two weeks ago. It felt right. I picked out the cutest one for him and stitched his name on ever so carefully. After I hung them on the mantle, I sobbed. I sobbed happy tears for the moments we shared with him during  his life, and I sobbed tears of sorrow for the sadness we feel without him here in our home. I love seeing his name hanging on our mantle, and I love seeing our names together.

I feel an overwhelming feeling of disappointment from God. I'm disappointed in so many things, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that my plans are not his, and that's hard. This holiday season seems to intensify my sadness. I feel like I am constantly surrounded by happy people with happy lives. Just finding a Christmas card that didn't say "Merry & Bright!" or "Happy Holidays!" was quite challenging. When I go to church, all I see are happy people. I would love to get through a Sunday without tears. Where are the other suffering people? Not that I want others to suffer, but this state I'm in can feel so isolating. 

Jealousy is another emotion I've been struggling with. Just last night, I found a blog post from a mother of four who is battling cancer. She is in the midst of severe physical pain and suffering and talked about the jealousy she feels of "normal families." I relate to that completely. I'm jealous others with healthy children, and I'm also jealous of my old self. The person who was energetic and happy, and innocent. I now feel weak, scarred, broken, and unable to be fixed. Last week, a friend sent me this excerpt from her devotion. "Our weakness should be prized as making room for divine strength. We might never have known the power of grace if we had not felt the weakness of nature. Blessed be the Lord for the thorn in the flesh and the messenger of Satan, when they drive us to the strength of God... Let us then, fall back upon our God and his grace. If he does not remove our grief, he will enable us to bear it." I am thankful for this reminder that through my weakness, He is strong. My prayer is that during this season, I will be reminded of God's promises and blessings and that his grace will be enough for me each day.