Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 25

Day 25 - My Day in Great Detail.

Today, I slept in for an extra hour. Mostly just because we got AWESOME new bedding at my bridal shower yesterday from Kurt's mom, and I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed. So, I rushed around getting ready, and then drove to my practicum office. I sat in my supervisors office for the first part of the day, and then worked on my Ethiopia project [Which I am super excited to post about once I get further along. Stay tuned :)]. I made a Lean Cuisine pepperoni pizza for lunch, and then dropped it on the floor... so I ended up not eating lunch, which was awesome. After that, we headed off to a post-placement visit, which lasted until WAY after we were supposed to be finished. So, because of that, I missed the first hour of my evening class (social work with Latinos), and decided i would just go home instead! So instead of class, I spent the next couple of hours cleaning and finishing up some random wedding stuff. Kurt and I made dinner together, and now we're both doing homework. Or, pretending to do homework and blogging instead.

So that's my day. Exciting right?
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

October Challenge: Days 21-24

Day 21 - A recipe

Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I hoard cook books, and LOVE looking at cooking blogs and watching the Food Network. I wish I had the time to cook amazing meals every night. I am so looking forward to our lives settling down as soon as we're both out of college so that we're both home at dinner time.

I wish the recipe that I'm sharing was a little bit more original, but it's not. It's from The Pioneer Woman, and it's seriously the best pasta EVER. I would make it 5 nights a week if it wouldn't make me gain a hundred pounds. I also know that it was especially made for me, because my name is in the title :). The recipe is below, but click HERE to see the step by step photos on Ree's website. Seriously - so good. go make it. now.

Penne a la Betsy


■¾ pounds Penne Pasta
■1 pound Shrimp (We usually use chicken)

■3 Tablespoons Butter
■3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
■1 whole Onion (small)
■2 cloves Garlic
■½ cups White Wine (or To Taste)
■1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)

■1 cup Heavy Cream
■Fresh Parsley, to taste
■Fresh Basil - To Taste
■Salt To Taste
■Pepper To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.
Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside.

Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.
In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use wine, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ½ cup).
Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.
Now chop your herbs, about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil, or if you’re feeling very proper, chiffonaded.
Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

Day 22 - A website that has been meaningful since your loss.
There are several websites that have been meaningful over the past year or so.  I would say that the first one that really helped me, was's miscarriage/pregnancy loss message board. While I was still pregnant, I loved reading everyone elses posts on the different trimester boards. I never really posted there, but I liked reading the questions and answers from all of the women who were as far along as I was. I noticed that there was a board for loss, and after Olivia died I got pretty involved in it. I met some AMAZING women who have been some of my greatest friends ever since. I honestly do not know where I would be emotionally right now without that board. I received so much support, and it was just so amazing to have a place to vent, where I wouldn't receive any judgment because everyone there completely understood. As of gone through this cycle, I've kind of stopped posting there, but I still check it out every once in a while, and keep in touch with quite a few of the ladies from the board on a regular basis.

I also want to encourage you (even though I know that I've posted this a bajillion times) to check out faces of loss if you have a chance. It's amazing, and definitely meaningful to me.

Day 23 - A YouTube video that makes you laugh

Totally hilarious. But only if you watch Sunday Night Football AND like Jane Lynch as much as we do!

Day 24 - Where you live.

Well. I live in Omaha Nebraska.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

11 Months

Today is 10/20/10, which means it's been 11 months since Olivia was born. It is so hard for me to believe that we're closer to the first anniversary than we are to her birth, because honestly most of the time it feels like just yesterday that I was pregnant.

I already posted today, and I don't really have much else to say. I guess I just wanted to say that I miss her... and that I can't believe we're one month away from her Birthday! I want to do something special for her but don't really have any good ideas yet...
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October Challenge, Days 16-20

Even though I spend SO much time on the computer each day, I obviously have a VERY hard time remembering that I'm supposed to be posting daily! So here are days 16-20.

Day 16 - A song that makes you cry.

Well, I already put a whole list of songs in my Day 1 post, but I Will Carry You by Selah is one that gets me every single time. I think it's impossible for me to not get emotional no matter when or where I hear this song.  It resonates with me so deeply... I was chosen to carry Livie, and despite all of the things that I wanted to show her and do with her, and no matter how wonderful the life Kurt and I would have created for her could have been, her life with God is even more amazing than that, and He is carrying BOTH of us now. And I am so thankful to Him for allowing me to be her mommy for those 34 weeks and 6 days.

I Will Carry You

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice

And He says...
I've shown him photographs of time beginning
Walked him through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love him like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen Me
To carry you

Day 17 – an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc) that moves you.
 Our wedding hasn't happened yet! We are about three weeks away - November 13, 2010. We knew we wanted a November wedding, and struggled quite a bit with picking the date. There were only two weekends that we could choose from - The weekend of the 13th, and the 20th. There was some sort of conflict with the 6th, and the weekend after the 20th is Thanksgiving weekend. The 20th is Olivia's birthday. At first, Kurt and I both thought that getting Married on Olivia's birthday would be a wonderful way to honor her. But, after talking to my mom about what Katie's first birthday was like, and reading about it on several blogs... we decided that we wanted to leave that day open so that we can feel free to grieve if we need to. Also, I think that Olivia deserves her own special day, and doesn't need to share it with her parents' anniversary. So, the 13th it is! We are having a relatively small wedding, with only about 130 people. Most of them are our relatives as both of our moms come from huge families. We got our marriage license yesterday! I am beyond excited but also getting to the point where I'm ready for all the planning to be over with so I can get back to living a normal life!

The Angel of Hope statue at Boys Town. I posted about it a few months ago, because it is located literally right in front of the church that we will be married in next month. Here's what the website says about it...
"The Christmas Box Angel of Hope was first introduced to the world in the international best selling book and hit television movie "The Christmas Box," written by Richard Paul Evans. The Original Angel of Hope statue, inspired by the book, was dedicated on December 6, 1994 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Donated by the Compassionate Friends Greater Omaha chapter, this piece is one of 100 identical pieces nationwide. It stands as "a symbol of hope for all parents and loved ones who have experienced the death of a child, not matter what age."

These two Willowtree figurines are especially important to me. Kurt's mom gave us this one. For a combined Mother's Day/Father's Day present, She gave us a single woman & a single man figurine, and this one with the little balloon that says "miss you". I cried when I opened them.

 My Aunt Allison visited us in the hospital the day Olivia was born and brought us this. She said that she wanted to get us something other than flowers, that we could have as a keepsake. I loved it so much and was so touched that she thought of it, and I had no idea what was about to happen or how special to me it would become. it sits on our shelf right next to Olivia's shadow box.
Day 18 - Your Wedding.

Since I don't have any pictures of the wedding to share yet, obviously, here's one of our engagement pictures. We have only seen about 5 of them so far  - our shoot was last week and we're waiting for our photographer to post the rest!

Day 19 - a talent of yours.
I honestly don't think I have one!

Day 20 - a hobby of yours
This is another hard question for me to answer! I have quite a few hobbies, but haven't  had a whole lot of "me" time to work on anything lately. I suppose I'd say that scrapbooking is my favorit hobby. I have SO much supplies its ridiculous... I've joked before that I'm a scrapbooking supplies hoarder. I have a craft "room", which is basically one end of the basement that's enclosed by three walls but opens up to the main living area.It is SUCH a mess right now and badly in need of some organization. It was unorganized before, but now there's a thick layer of wedding projects on top of all the scrapbooking stuff. I'm looking forward to tackling that project soon. One day, I hope to have a craft room like { Amanda }... but that's wishful thinking, right!?
I enjoy doing anything that's creative. Writing, drawing and painting are my favorites, and any type of project that allows me to make something for my home. Maybe someday I'll have more time to do some of the things I've been planning for what seems like forever!
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Friday, October 15, 2010

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awarenes Day

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day.
It's supposed to be a day dedicated to remembering the babies that we are unable to hold in our arms, and to raise awareness for pregnancy and infant loss. I makes me so angry that it's such a taboo subject. I find it so interesting that even though 1 in every 4 women has lost a pregnancy or a baby after birth, yet people don't talk about it. If it's really 1 in 4, that means that EVERY single person knows SOMEONE who has gone through this.

Even though it's so common, there are so many situations that make us feel uncomfortable when we talk about our kids. Our society is very uncomfortable with death, and the loss of a child is especially hard for people to talk about. Those who haven't been through it have NO idea what to say.

That's why today is so important. It is SO important to educate the people in our lives about what we're going through or what we've gone through. I think the most common thought when someone loses a baby, whether it's to miscarriage, still birth, neonatal loss, etc., is "oh, they'll try again". While that's true, I think it's important for people who haven't had to deal with this type of loss to understand that each child is unique, and just because we know that we WILL have another child (or children), the child that was lost is always remembered, missed, and irreplacable, even if it was miscarried. I haven't experienced miscarriage personally, but I can tell you that the women I know who have, do NOT just think of it as a fetus that would someday be a baby - it already was a baby who was loved and very much wanted.

Tonight is the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner for Dana's wedding, so I won't really have time to participate in anything going on for Oct 15th, but to be honest I'm okay with that. Olivia's birthday is in one month and five days, and that will be her day.

At 7 pm, please light a candle and participate in the Wave of Light. I have met SO many amazing women over the past almost 11 months who are missing their babies just as much as I am. I will be thinking about ALL of you ladies today!
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October Challenge: Days 13, 14 & 15

Day 13 - A fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.
Day 14 - a non-fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss

To be honest, I haven't read a lot of fiction over the past 11 months!
I am a full time student, which means that most of the time I'm reading social work text books, or 20 page articles related to social work practice... and now that my practicum is at an adoption agency, the last 5 to 7 books that I've read have been adoption related.

I did read "Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, which was amazing... but also non-fiction!  I tried to read the Twilight books when they became so popular, but I read the first ten pages or so of the first book and then for whatever reason just never went back to it. Reading is one of my favorite things in the world, and I am DEFINITELY looking forward to winter break so that I can have break from text book reading and get caught up on some books that I've been waiting to read for myself. Our bookshelf is completely full, and I think half of the books on it are ones that I bought on Amazon or at B&N and just never had time to get to.

The best (and maybe only?) fictional book that I've read in the last 11 months is The Help, and you can click HERE to read the post I wrote earlier this year about why I felt like the book was a gentle reminder that Livie is always with us. It was totally unexpected and basically knocked the wind out of me.

Day 15 - What you like about your house.
Well, we don't live in our own house. For now, we live in Kurt's parents' basement. It has been such a blessing. His parents have done so much for us and it is such an amazing feeling to be able to pay off some bills and save money, without having to worry about rent and utilities. My favorite part of our house is definitely our basement. Before we moved in, we re-painted everything, put in new tile in the bathroom and carpet in the rest of the basement. It's a bigger living space than we had at our apartment. It's wonderful. However, we are definitely looking forward to having our own home sometime in the hopefully near future.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 12

Day 12 - Something you are OCD about.

I am actually not OCD about anything. Other than my e-mail and sometimes facebook, there's nothing that I have to check a million times a day or anything that I have to do perfectly. I am so far from a perfectionist, it's not even funny! Actually... in my head I'm a perfectionist... but it just doesn't manifest itself into my real life. :)

That's pretty much all there is to say today. I knew I didn't have an awesome answer for Day 12, but I didn't want to skip the day. :)

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 11

Day 11 - A photo of you taken recently, and how it makes you feel seeing it now.

This is Kurt and I at a few weeks ago when we went to a football game at our old high school.  It makes me feel... normal? I don't know. just happy that we're able to still have a good relationship after everything that we've been through over the past year.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 9 & 10.

Day 9 - A Photo you took since your loss.

I don't remember if I've posted this picture here or not... but seriously, can you GET any cuter!? This is Jack, after we went swimming at the Lake and then had to hose the doggies off in the backyard afterwards because they got so muddy. He looks so pitiful!

Day 10 - A picture of you taken at least 10 years ago, and how it makes you feel seeing it now?

I picked this picture just because its one of the very few old pictures of myself that I have scanned into my computer, and because it's seasonally appropriate now that it's October! It's definitely about 22 years old. Every baby picture of myself makes me wonder what she would have looked like at this age. Except, I know she wouldn't really look like me, because she looked exactly like Kurt's side of the family when she was born. This was the clown costume my mom made me for my first Halloween - I'm pretty sure it was just polka dot jammies, a red nose, and a polka dot party hat! haha!

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

October Challenge

October Challenge

This month, several mamas who are a part of this "club" are doing a 30 day blog challenge - answering one question each day that is somehow related to their loss. I've decided to join in, even though I'm about 8 days late! Here are my first 8 days....
PS: Sorry for the insanely long post. :)

Day 1 - A song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore, and why?

There are lots of these songs. There aren't really any that I can't listen to anymore, but there are quite a few that make me really sad when I hear them. Sometimes it's sad in a good way. I've got an itunes playlist that I listen to when I want to feel close to her. Usually, I end up crying at some point so I don't listen to it on my ipod at the gym or when I'm with anyone. When Kurt was still working overnight shifts, I used to listen to it all the time. I think it really helped me through the grieving process (not that I'm done with it by any means), because the lyrics forced me to think about feelings that I was feeling... but not letting myself think about. I don't even know if that makes sense.
Here's the list...

What Faith Can Do, Kutless
Bring The Rain, MercyMe
Can Anybody Hear Me, Meredith Andrews
Held, Natalie Grant

In Better Hands, Natalie Grant
Safe, Phil Wickham,
I Will Carry You, Selah
Heaven is the Face, Steven Curtis Chapman

Beauty Will Rise, Steven Curtis Chapman
One More Day, Rocket Club

Glory Baby, Watermark
Homesick, Mercy Me
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Faith Hill

The italicized ones are my favorite. The last 3 are the ones we played at Olivia's memorial service. Faith Hill's version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was the perfect song for the slideshow of Olivia's pictures from the hospital... but I sometimes regret choosing it. There are about 50 bajillion different versions of that song, so it's played ALL the time. The Piano guy at Von Maur was even playing it when I went shopping for my rehearsal dinner dress.
So I guess if I had to pick ONE song that is really hard for me to listen to without breaking down, that would be it.

Day 2 - a movie that helped you get through the hard times, or one that jumps out at you after your loss.

There really isn't one movie. But, since she died right before Thanksgiving, Christmas movies started playing on TV constantly on the day of her funeral (the day after Thanksgiving). I watched hours upon hours of made for TV Christmas movies. I never wanted to be alone in the quiet, and when Kurt would sleep during the afternoon to prepare for working overnight, I always kept the TV tuned to Lifetime or some other channel that required no brain activity to watch. I've always loved Christmas movies and can watch the same ones over and over again, so it was very comforting to me.
hopefully when they're on this year, it won't stir up the emotions that I was feeling last year during the Christmas season.

Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.

Don't really have one of these, I guess. Hpwever, we did do a LOT of TV watching after Livie died and we didn't really feel like going anywhere or doing anything with anyone. But I don't think there was one specific show. Anything that made us laugh was good... Modern Family? Glee?

Day 4 - your favorite book. Has it changed since your loss?
Ohh my favorite book! This is a tough one.... because reading is one of my top 5 favorite things, and I've never really been able to narrow down a favorite.
I guess the answer to this question is that my ALL time favorite book - To Kill A Mockingbird - is still my favorite. I even tried to suggest using the name Harper for either a girl OR a boy when we were picking out baby names... Kurt didn't like that idea though.
I have some new favorites though... brought on by all of this.  By Christmas break last year, I had already spent weeks on the couch "recovering" and was sick of watching TV and not using my brain, so I finally decided to start reading again. For a while there I didn't even want to lift my arms up off the couch high enough to hold a book. My favorite one that I read during that time was "The Help". It's awesome, if you haven't read it... I totally recommend it. I posted about it back in February, Here

Another favorite, maybe one of my VERY favorite books ever, is I Will Carry You, by Angie Smith. I read on her blog just after Livie died that her book was available for pre-order. I ordered it right away, and was SO excited when it finally arrived in May. It was probably the most helpful book that I read. She articulates her feelings so well and doesn't sugarcoat anything. I could identify with almost every single word she wrote. It's very Christian focused so if that's not your thing, it's probably not the book for you... but if it is, TOTALLY pick it up.

Day 5 - your favorite quote.
I am planning a post of the best quotes and pieces of advice that have helped me throughout the past almost-year, but here are just a couple of my VERY favorites. And yes, some of them are bible verses.

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:3-5

I will carry you

While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
...All your life
And I will praise the One whose chosen Me
To carry you
-- Angie Smith (From the Selah song, I Will Cary You)

"A Butterfly lies beside us
like a sunbeam
and for a brief moment,
its beauty and glory
belong to our world.
But then it flies on again.
And though we wish it could have stayed
we feel so lucky to have seen it."
--author unknown....

"And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one weak creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of vast eternity can fill it up." - Charles Dickens

Day 6 - twenty things that calm you?
Spending quiet nights at home
Starbucks (just iced coffee in general)
Reading (real reading, not reading for school - big difference!)
Reading with a glass of wine!
Painting... pretty much just anything that allows me to be creative
napping under a warm blanket on the couch in the afternoon
reading interior decorating blogs and scrapbooking blogs
snow! (as long as i'm not driving in it!)
Listening to good music
Everything about fall
long talks on the phone with some of my greatest girlfriends.
Old movies - anything with Audrey Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant
An afternoon with no homework, and nothing to do but any of the above activities
my two new little puppies... (when they're sleepy and snuggly, not running and rambunctious). and Buddy. And my parents' dog Lucy, of course :)
Spending time with family.

Day 7 - a picture that makes you happy
I had to pick more than one.
The first one makes me happy for obvious reasons. She's gorgeous.
The second one makes me happy just because I know we were so happy right at that moment, and it shows. I loved that uniform!
The third one... just makes me happy. It's a pink elephant that matched Olivia's nursery. When we got home from the hospital, Kurt put the little hat thing (no idea what they're really called) that they made him wear during my c-section on it. I never took it off!

Day 8 - A picture that makes you sad
Again, I couldn't pick just one. Looking at pictures of Kurt with Livie gets me every time. I also hate the way she looks in this picture. It is so upsetting to me that her face is so purple. Her color started changing SO fast after we removed her life support.
My Grandma 'Nore was so excited for her. Obviously, we all were, but she was going to be Grandma's first great grandchild and she loved her so much. The last one is us at her memorial service.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010


I can't take credit for this. A friend of mine had this as their status on Facebook yesterday. I've been wanting to blog about this topic, and I really couldn't say it better than this. So I stole it. Sorry Maggs, hope you don't mind ;)

"October is an Awareness Month for a lot of things, breast cancer, domestic violence, down syndrome, infertility, and SIDS. It is also National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the US end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child. Please help me speak out for those who can't, or are afraid to, and remember all babies lost this month".

October 15th, is National Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Day!
Obviously, it's a day that's close to my heart, and although I hate more than anything that it has to exist, I am SO happy that there are folks out there who are trying to draw attention to this issue. It affects ONE THIRD of women in the United States. That's a LOT people! It's a big deal.

Take some time to check out I Am The Face to learn more about Oct 15th.

I hate that I'm one of the Faces. There's way, WAY too many of us.

By the way... for those of you here in the Nebraska/Omaha Metro Area,  there is a Candle light vigil at Heartland of America Park from 7-8 with a balloon release on October 15th. I will be unable to attend because I have a rehearsal dinner to go to for a wedding that I'm in that weekend, but I just wanted to pass the information along in case anyone else was interested!

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