Finally got back to the sewing machine this weekend. I made a pillowcase dress for Miss HH and patriotic curtain dresses for Miss HH and Miss C.

Pillowcase dress for Miss HH

HH dress

indy 500 qualifying 2014

Wow, what a weekend! This is my first weekend doing media coverage for the Indy 500. I’m glad to have had the 400 at the Brickyard and the inaugural Indy Grand Prix under my belt before tackling this race.

The new qualifying format had most people confused, including 3-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves. He asked us after the press conference on Saturday what the new rules were for the Fast Nine Shootout. I don’t know that I really like the new format but it made Sunday interesting.

It was a nail-biting final run as Ed Carpenter captured the pole position for the second year in a row. (he is the 11th driver to do so) I was watching his family as he completed each lap. It was fun to see them cheer him on and jump up and down as we all learned he’d secured it!

Now that the field of 33 is set we have some great events to look forward to this week leading up to the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. Particularly the Media Pit Stop Challenge at high noon on Wednesday, May 21st at Victory Circle. Having come in second place in our first 2 appearances, Naptown Buzz is hoping to take home the top prize of $5,000 for the Salvation Army of Indiana.


time to break the silence


Tomorrow night is the global premier of Return To Zero! Please join us in BREAKING THE SILENCE on stillbirth, pregnancy loss and neonatal/infant loss.

This has been a 3-year labor of love for writer, producer, director Sean Hanish. He has gathered local leaders (like me!) from every state and province in North America, in every county in the UK, every city in Australia, in every country in Europe and Asia to help spread the word and give it the support and attention it deserves!

Stillbirth and infant loss awareness is very dear to my heart and I would love to hear from you. Your stories, your thoughts on the movie, whatever you are open to sharing.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me and all parents and families out there who’ve been affected by loss.



Today’s post is brought to you by the number 6. Felix has now been gone for over half a decade.

Last week, as is my custom, I took the week off of work for his birthday. This year we decided to spend the week with our dearest friends in the whole wide world. It was the first time our families would spend 8 whole days in a row together. I could. not. wait. (they moved out of state 11 months ago and life has not been the same since)

I have to admit, I was was also a little worried. I was worried about ruining our trip. Even after all these years I can’t predict what that week is going to be like for me emotionally. I wasn’t sure that they would understand if I got upset, or forgetful, or quiet (which I know they would think was weird) or angry. I often don’t realize what’s happening or why – even though I can read a calendar – until later and even then I might have trouble expressing it. I even was a little afraid that if I came up with something to “do” for Felix’s birthday they would think I was nuts.

I want to tell you something… my best good friends went out of their way to make sure that Felix’s birthday was special. (great, now I’m crying) We made tie-dye cupcakes and decorated them with frosting and all manner of candies and jimmies. I decided the night before that I wanted to do a balloon release so my bestie lead me to the nearest party store. We all wrote messages on our balloons and I took pictures of all of them. Then (after some effort) we all made it up on the hill out back and let them go.

It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life and I will never forget it.

I wasn’t able to tell my friends how much this meant to me. I could barely speak for fear of breaking down. (which would have been okay but I wouldn’t let myself because I still haven’t gotten comfortable sobbing around people, it’s not pretty) A lot of us in the baby loss community are not so lucky to have such understanding and supportive people in our lives. So I feel like they deserve some recognition. And to read what I couldn’t say.


Kurt and Jennifer,

      There are not words enough to express the depth of love that I have for you. I am so, so, so thankful that God put you in my life. Thank you for loving me and my family and wrapping your arms around us last week. Thank you for never making us feel judged or pressuring us to “move on.” Thank you for making us laugh and letting us shoot stuff. Thank you for pancakes and marshmallow gun fights and chocolate and movies and “Shkip-Bo” and “drinks all around!” Thank you for raising your daughter to be a loving friend to our children. Thank you for sticking with us through the worst times of our life and making the good times much more better. I love you, buddies!



Quick update – I am now a member of the glasses club. After seeing my husband go through torture with his treatments (read SHOTS IN HIS EYE) for histoplasmosis last year I decided I should get my vision checked. Turns out my vision is worse than his. Oh well – now we look sophisticated. Or old. I can’t really decide.

taking back my happiness

October 19th has come and gone.  Another year gone by.  My little Gabe-man would be 4 years old now.  I can’t believe it.

I still miss him (and Felix) every day.  I see the holes in our daily life and it hurts.  I’ve been struggling over the last year with the fact that I haven’t “done” anything in their memory.  I don’t have a foundation, I don’t make memory kits, I haven’t written a book, I haven’t held a memory walk.  I try to remind myself that I have affected the lives of the people immediately around me.  And that is good.

We went as a family to the cemetery and had our birthday cupcakes, as is now our tradition, and the kids even sang Happy Birthday to him (which nearly destroyed me – sweet and sad entwined).  It was a pretty “typical” birthday.

This year was also different.  This year I did something for me.  Something “selfish.”  And that was good, too.

Ever since Gabe’s death I have not felt like singing.  At all.  It’s one of the things I love most and the grief just stole it away from me.  I couldn’t think about singing in front of people – I knew I wouldn’t be able to without breaking down into tears.  I just didn’t feel like it.  How could I do something that brought me so much joy when I had suffered so much pain?

Last year my sisters were asked if they would like to put on a Cabaret at the German club we’re a part of.  They were so excited and they asked me to be in it.  I was SO excited!  Then I found out what day it was going to be.  Saturday, October 19th.  Really?  I wasn’t thrilled to hear that.  But, I thought, you’ll be fine.  As time went on, however, I began to question myself.  Could I really do it?  Could I do it that day?

We started rehearsals in September.  I practiced alone in the car and I practiced at home.  I began to feel a little more confident.  I told myself that I was going to be fine.  I really began to feel like I had been cheated out of some happiness and got “mad” about it.  I decided I was going to take back my happiness that night.

And I did.  I not only sang in the show… I emceed.  I had a fabulous time and felt great about it.  It was still hard not to cry (Who wouldn’t?  One of the solos I did was “Over the Rainbow!”) but I made it.  I got so many compliments and so much encouragement and it was great.  In fact, I’ve now rejoined the women’s choir and I’m hopeful that we’ll be asked to do another Cabaret someday.

I know that my baby boys would be proud of me for not letting the grief get the best of me anymore.  I really feel like this was a big step for me.  I can feel that something broke free that night.  I’m going to hang on to that feeling moving forward and see where it takes me.


What have you struggled with in your journey?  Do you feel like your joy has been stolen?  Are there things you once enjoyed that you wish you could enjoy again?  Please add a comment and let’s talk about it!

the moments

I have really had a great July.  Birthdays galore, kid vacation, family vacation and a couple days at the world’s greatest race course.  The weather has been awesome and we’ve had a great time together.


And there are still the moments…

…when I am smiling so big at watching my oldest son blow out his birthday candles,

when I see my toddler pushing her boundaries,

when my oldest daughter dances in the sun,

when my 3rd born giggles so hard at everything,


and I miss them so much it hurts.


Behind my excited story-telling and celebrating and laughter there is the remembrance that I will never share these things with my other 2 sons.  Never bringing them to their first race at Indy.  Never walking them to the bus stop on the first day of school.  Never helping them build a light saber or watch them do tricks on the trampoline.  Picking tomatoes, riding a bike, planting flowers, wrestling with each other, hugging their Daddy, cuddling their Mommy, climbing a tree.

All the moments I wish I had but never will be.

return to zero

return to zero

When we lost Felix to stillbirth at 24 weeks our life changed forever.  It was so awkward and lonely.  Trying to get back into the world after this life altering experience was more than difficult.  So many people didn’t know what to say and, especially as time went on, very few people seemed to want to listen.  The public just doesn’t talk about things like this.  Mostly, I believe, because they just do not understand.  My friend Mel said it best recently to someone who didn’t understand. “When your parents die you lose your past, when your child dies you lose your future.”

Part of the reason I started writing was to help express my grief and be a resource and comfort to others who are traveling this road.  I also wanted to help inform others and break the silence and taboo that surrounds infant loss.  Now there is a major project out there with the same goal.

Sean Hanish has written and produced a movie that is hoping to break the silence on a global scale.  I am excited to be a local leader supporting his movie “Return to Zero.”  It is based on a true story of a couple’s journey through stillbirth.  It speaks of how life changes and how we each deal with grief in different ways.  It shows their experience of having another child after loss.

We as local leaders are helping by having people pledge to see the movie in its opening weekend.  It needs this to get someone in Hollywood to pick it up so that people around the world can see it.  My goal is to get 100 pledges by the middle of June.  You can click here to sign the pledge.  Make sure to enter my name in the local leader box so they know who sent you.

Thank you for considering to support this movie.  It will make a huge impact and help open up the conversation about grief and infant loss.

the yard sale – follow up

All in all I think the yard sale went well.  I made over $100.  That was really over the span of about 3 hours so I’d say it was worth it.  It was a nice day and I got to sit and chat with my hubby.

I decided to set things out on tables and put one price for everything on that table (ex: $1 ea) and that worked really well.  Saved me from putting stickers on 300 rompers.  I only had a couple of people try to pressure me to drop my price on some things.  I held my own and got full price from other people later in the day so that worked out.

Now the plan is to take the biggest kiddos shopping for clothes since they don’t get any hand-me-downs.  I hope to find some good deals on summer stuff.  Now that it’s May they should be on clearance, right?  Ha.

I am already thinking about what I’ll have to put out at the fall sale.  Can’t wait to clear out some more stuff!

DDH and the spica

I want to tell you about our latest kid-venture.

Our youngest daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with bilateral developmental dysplasia of the hip back in October.

My paternal grandmother also had this.  It typically happens with a first baby, girls, and breech babies.  (she was 2 for 3 on that one)

Once we got the diagnosis and met with her doctor, Dr. George Gantsoudes at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, we decided the best thing for her was to do surgery to correct it.  She is on the small side (as are all of my babies) so Dr. G wanted to wait until she was a little bigger to do the surgery.  If we hadn’t done anything she would most likely have required double hip replacement in her 20s.  We didn’t want blamed for that one!

hannah cast1In March she had her surgery done.  It was a loooong day!  She was in for about 8 hours (surgery and MRI time).  She had an open reduction including pelvic osteotomy and femoral shortening.  She did magnificently!  We were in the hospital for 4 days total – even though we were told to begin with it would 1-2 nights.  Apparently when they do an epidural for pain control the anesthesiologists call the shots.  They wanted it left in for 3 days.  (poop)  No one likes to be in the hospital but if we’d been prepared for that long of a stay we would have had a better attitude about it.  At any rate she had excellent care during her admission.  She was placed in a spica cast to keep everything in place.

If you don’t know what a spica cast is it’s a cast that (in Hannah’s case, anyway) goes from your belly button to your ankles.  It can be smaller/shorter but since she’s teeny anyway it had to be “pants.”

hannah spicarail

Hannah’s Spica-rail!

Coming home was a little scary.  Just trying to figure out how to change her diaper and how to position her to eat, sleep and for entertainment.  We got it figured out in a few days – not so hard as we thought.  A lot of the relief came from her spica chair.  My awesome brother, sister-in-law and friend made her the most awesome Walt Disney World Monorail spica chair!

She was in her first spica cast for 6 weeks.  She just had the second cast placed last Wednesday and she is still doing so well!   She has even pulled herself up to standing, like she’s not supposed to.  She has so much of her parents in her.  Rebel.

hannah cast 2

In 5 weeks she’ll be out of this cast, have the plate in her femur removed about a year after that and then she’ll just be on follow-ups… until she’s 18!  That is fine, I’m just glad that we found out when we did and she’s all fixed up now.