August 31, 2011

Sparkle and Shine

What do you think of the new blog design? I am soo excited it's finally ready. Laura-Jane Designs is so incredibly sweet and easy to work with. Not to mention, she is talented beyond comprehension. A million thank yous, LJ! You've made me smile today.

I knew early on that I was going to love writing and found that it became somewhat theraputic for me. I then took FYS on as my "baby", if you will, and wanted it to be the best it could be to honor our baby boys and the impact they have had on our lives. That thought grew to how FYS would stay with us through our bumpy journey, and would {hopefully} capture many more highs than lows in the years to come. Soon, it grew further to how our journey might impact others in a positive way. Mostly, I'm just a heartsick mommy trying to find my way through life without my boys. We are blessed to have you walk beside us.

p.s. If you are a blogger, and even if you're not, please help spread the word about our blog by becoming a follower and grabbing my button. Yes, I have a button! (Find joy in small things, remember?)

August 28, 2011

Meet Sadie

..if you haven't already!


It occurred to me recently that since I have made some new blogging friends, some of you may not know about miss Sadie. We are, like all pup owners I'm sure, completely biased and think she's the best little thing since sliced bread. Or, organic dog biscuits. Or, peanut butter. Sadie is such a mess. She packs an awful lot of personality in her 18 pound body, and she makes me smile in ways I didn't know I could on days I didn't think I would.

She's three years old and has been our little girl from the start. We just loved to imagine Sadie as a "big sister" to our boys, and dreamed about how much she'd love them and take care of them. She is the official floor sweeper of any and all "fumbles" as we call them, and we laughed about how much fun she'd have with TWO little people dropping crumbs all over the house. Now, this thought makes me smile for about a minute, then I feel sad again.

She is so intelligent and intuitive, too. I was worried we just about put her in a state of depression in the weeks following our loss. If we're happy, she's happy, too. If we're miserable, she's miserable. This breaks my heart but also reminds me that she is more than just a dog. She's a member of our family and we cannot imagine our little world without her.

We took Sadie to the lake last weekend. From the time she was a puppy, we tried and tried to make her into a "water dog", but it just wasn't happening. She looked adorable and loves to "wind ride" but did not want much to do with being out of control in that deep water. I guess she and her mama have that control thing in common! Anyhow, she always shows interest in saving you, if you are in the water but she isn't, but she never has the courage to jump right in.
Here's exhibit A:

So, this past weeked the hubby and I decided to take a long hike and of course wanted to bring Sadie girl with us. We walked along a river and were amazed to see that Sadie could not contain herself. She went right in that water and was paw-deep in mud. After finally getting her out of the mud, she decided she needed one last hoorah and rolled half of her face in the mud. She is no longer a white dog, but it was so worth it.

This little girl warms my heart. And, I know she'll make a great big sister one day.

August 19, 2011

It's Kind of Fun... do the impossible.

It's going to be my theme this year. This week, I went back to my classroom for the first time since June. I am SO BLESSED to have so many wonderful hands help me set up this year and ease the worry of going back to work. My sweet and wonderful mom came and spent a few days helping me, too. We managed to set up the whole classroom in two (yes, two!) days and even allowed ourselves a final summer hoorah of pedicures and shopping. I am so glad I had my mom right by my side to help me face my new normal.

It was emotional, to say the least, to find myself immersed in my co-workers once again. It didn't take more than a few "I just want to give you a hug" and "I'm so glad to see you back" to start the waterworks. I am used to it (new normal, remember?) but I know people don't like to see me sad. It wasn't that I felt sad, just overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the kindness and caring nature of others. Overwhelmed by the way my story has impacted those around me. Heavy heart that I am returning to school without being seven months pregnant.

One beautiful thing about teaching is the sense of renewal each school year. I always look forward to getting to know a new bunch of kiddos, and feel excited about the promises of a fresh new year. I found a quote by Mr. Walt Disney that spoke to me and is on my bulletin board outside of my room. "It's kind of fun to do the IMPOSSIBLE."

While I hope this becomes our classroom motto and inspires my students, I want it to also describe my life and our journey. Sure, it must be taken lightly and metaphorically, as I don't exactly feel as though I'm having "fun" right now. However, there are many things that I have achieved and hope to achieve that at times, seem impossible. I want my students to stop at nothing to achieve their goals. I will stop at nothing to achieve mine.

It feels good to be excited about a new school year. While I am living a normal that I did not forsee, I am glad I'm doing so in such a loving, supportive environment. It feels a little like New Years Eve, where the possibilities ahead are endless. I hope my students feel inspired in our classroom, and they have already inspired me.

On another note, I am also excited to announce that the FindYourSpark bloggie makeover is so close to being complete! Once its up and running (and shining to its full potential) I hope to blog much more regularly. In light of searching for my spark, I have recipes and projects just waiting to be shared with the world. :)

Now, please come in close so I can give you all a big hug. I feel all of your love, prayers and support. We need them and appreciate them so much. Thank you for being here and for continuing to walk along side us on our journey. It is bumpy and it is painful, but it is ours. I'm trying my hardest to find my sweet spark, and you're helping me in ways you can never imagine.  

August 12, 2011

Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope

I mentioned yesterday that I believe a very important part of my grieving process is connecting with others. Searching through other blogs has led me to many wonderful resources. The thought came to my mind the other day: if I find it so comforting to know that I'm not alone, maybe, just maybe, I can also provide comfort to someone also experiencing the loss of their babies. Maybe part of my healing will actually come from helping others in their healing. I'm not sure, but I'm certainly willing to give it a try.

Part of connecting with others, of course, means sharing my story. Some people have {very sweetly} called me brave for doing this. I don't feel brave at all. I just feel that I need to document what we have gone through, are going through, and will go through in the future. There isn't a how-to-handle-losing-your-twin babies-and-still-go-on-with-your-normal-life manual, though I wish there was. I'm learning there isn't a "right" way to feel or handle grief. Whatever you are doing is right for you. I'm finding that part of it, for me, is writing.

The reasons I'm sharing my story are to 1)work through my grief and get in touch with healing and hope,  2) help family and friends keep up with how we're doing, 3) show others, whose faces I may not know, that they are not alone. 4) Keep our sons' legacy alive. They have changed our lives for the better, and I hope that through sharing our story they will touch your lives positively, as well.

I stumbled upon a site called Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope and I sure am glad that I did.

Here's a little about the site:Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is a place for us to come together and share our stories and our faces with others who may be looking for reassurance that they are not alone. You can read more about it here .

After reading (with a box of tissues in hand) the many, many stories of those who have experienced loss in different ways, I felt compelled to write my story. It was the first time I had written it in such detail, but I wanted to do it. It is hard for me to read, and it may be hard for you to read, but it's out there. Well, this site featured my story today, and I would be honored if you'd read it.

Everyone handles their grief differently. Some cannot imagine learning about the stories of others when our story is sad enough. But, it's not that way with me. I want to know how people survive. I want to see how they honor their children. I want to see how they rebuild their lives. For me, it gives me hope. Of course it is sad, but it's going to be sad regardless of whether or not I seek out the stories of others. I'm glad you're here reading this because I know you are choosing to show your support.

Even though we've been through the ringer, I still count my blessings everyday. They are truly all around us. And I know that our work here is not done. I've got to live a life that will make my babies proud. They can't be here to experience all of life's blessings, but I can. I am here. I can let them live through me. Thinking about that makes me smile.

August 11, 2011

Empty Arms

Did you think I forgot about the bloggie? Never. I have had a lot on my mind but haven't been sure exactly how to articulate it. We decided to start spreading Find Your Spark a little further last week and I am completely blown away by your support. It's a risk to put yourself out there, but I've found through this process that I am encouraged by the army of support behind us. WOW is all I can say. Whether you know it or not, every comment, thought, prayer, wish, lifts us up. Knowing that so many others care about us deeply and want to follow along with us on our journey is truly amazing.

Part of my grieving process involves connecting with others and gathering strength and hope from their stories and triumphs. Blogging has opened up an entirely new world to me. I am able to connect with people who, otherwise would be complete strangers, though we aren't. We have something in common that we wish we didn't. We are members of an elite country club we never wanted to join. Knowing I'm not the only member makes our walk less excruciating.

It is because of this part of the process that my husband and I took the the step  leap to Kindermourn. I am so glad we did. It wasn't until two months after we lost our sons that we were finally ready to walk through the door. Kindermourn is a local organization for bereaved parents, and also for children suffering through the loss of a loved one. Let me tell you..they are so wonderful. I didn't know what I had imagined, but I think I pictured walking into some sort of dark, sad, place. Instead, it's a warm, beautiful house filled with soothing colors and inspiration every way you look.

We decided to join a support group through Kindermourn called Empty Arms. The name in itself makes me tear up. Empty Arms is a program designed to support parents who have experienced the loss of a baby anywhere from early pregnancy through infancy.   Our group consists of four couples, and we meet every Wednesday for six weeks. I am going to be honest, when we went to our first meeting last week, the hubby and I were both incredibly nervous, and were not sure what to expect. This was our first time meeting in person with a group. As I mentioned, I have connected with many others through blogs and other support sites, but haven't met in person with a group. Seeing their faces reminded me that they, too, are normal, regular, people. They never thought they'd be sitting at an Empty Arms group, either. I have to remind myself of this when walking around that I don't know what other people have been through.

The first session was difficult, but I am so glad we are apart of this group. We are surrounded by incredibly strong individuals who have been through so much heartache, and yet we can relate to so much of what they have been going through.Each story is a different, yet we have the same, devastating outcome in common.  Last night we went to our second meeting, and instead of being nervous about it, I found myself looking forward to it. At one point in the meeting we all found ourselves laughing. At any given point when I'm speaking or any one in the group is speaking, you'll find others nodding their heads in agreement and understanding. It's validating to know that you can choose to share or not, and your feelings will be understood.

If you live in the area and can connect with Kindermourn, or if you live elsewhere and can connect with a similar group, I would highly recommend it. I know how scary it can be to open yourself up and let others in. The hardest part is walking through the door.

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