Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just some thoughts...

I guess you could say about my experience. Experience about what? Life and Death. On February 10th, when Mike and I found out that Maddux could not survive, we knew in our heart what we would do, what would happen. And after that moment we both turned to eachother, and whispered through our tears, in unison said.."I want photographs..." Why would we want photographs, you might ask? I knew as a mother with three older children, that our healing was going to come by remembering EVERY little detail about Maddux. He is real, forever a part of our family and worth remembrance.

My memories of that night are fuzzy to say the least. It is amazing how your mind works to protect you from painful events in your life. CLICK HERE if you would like to read my letter to Maddux written in 2005...But you know what? I have those beautiful photographs of Maddux. I have a treasure. A priceless treasure.

Never did I imagine that the memories we created with Maddux would turn into such and incredible NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION. I never left our session with Sandy Puc' saying, "Wow...I am going to start a non profit organization to help other parents with the loss of their baby..." Are you CRAZY? I could barely survive minute by minute. Actually, I had no survival instinct at all. I truly would have welcomed my death. That was the only thing that could have taken away my pain. Only after gentle nudging from my husband, my pastor and the friendship and bond that was created with Sandy, did Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep become a reality. Sandy and I both joke to this day, If we had to do it all over again, would she answer our phone call, on that fateful day.

But four years later, here I am, and here we are. I have my ups and downs...that will probably never change. I have experienced deep heartache, that I hope none of you ever experience, but I have also experienced many blessings in my live, and continue to do so, because of the six days I shared with my fourth child Maddux.

NILMDTS started with Sandy, Maddux and myself. But I have always said, that NILMDTS is not about me or us...(and I truly would resent the fact if anybody ever thought different) but that NILMDTS is about that other photographer helping another family create memories with their beloved baby. That is the true beauty of this organization.

Newsweek and NILMDTS

Wow...The article is finally ready to print.

This has been in the making for quite some time now. I think it turned out beautiful and thank all the photographers and families for sharing their personal stories and beautiful, beautiful babies.

Here is the printed version, should be available Monday February 2nd.

And an online sidebar:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Same loss, different grief...

That is what the title to this image is. Sometimes even my husband doesn't understand...And again, I have heard this from many bereaved moms...

My Dark Period...

I found this image (below) and it speaks so strongly to my heart.  I see myself as this woman, holding an image of a child she has lost.  This is all she has to hold onto...This is all I have left to hold onto.  

February is almost upon us.  My body starts to react to this upcoming period in my life, Maddux's birth and death, around mid January.  And, this overwhelming sense of dread and grief will not leave me until early March.  I was talking to my friend Ali, a few weeks ago, I called her crying, all depressed (she said she was talking me off the ledge...) and I really didn't realize what was going on. What was happening to me...I cried?  She calls this my 'Dark Period.' She could not have said it better. 
I feel so empty inside, void of any feeling except grief.  If I didn't have drive and pick up the kids from school, I could probably spend the entire day in bed.  Honestly, sometimes I do.    
I write this for you, the bereaved parent.  The parent that walks in my same shoes.  I will have my up days, but then, there will be days or weeks, when I am at the deepest, most darkest spot of 'the pit.'  You will be too.  And what can we do about it?  Nothing.  Hope that we surrounded ourselves with people who understand what we are feeling.  People who care about us, people who don't just want to wait at the top of the pit for us to emerge, but people who will jump in with us, and help us climb out.  I sit here in tears, writing this knowing there is really nothing anybody can do to help me out of this darkness.  I know I will see the light again, I know it!  I will live with this pain for the rest of my life.  Sometimes I wish I had never known this pain, but not knowing or feeling this pain, would mean that I never would have known or loved Maddux.   Remembering can be painful, but forgetting would be unimaginable.  Are there days when I want to forget?  Have the life that I used to have back, before Maddux?  Ask me that question in a month and I will say no, ask me now, and I might say yes...and that brings me to a whole new set of tears.  
I wish I was planning a little 4year old boys birthday party. 
I could go back and forth, telling you about my pain, but at the same time, how grateful I am for the people in my life right now.  How grateful I am that I feel this I wish I didn't feel this pain.  There is no happy medium.  And I know I will probably not make much sense to most of you, but for some of you, you know exactly what I am saying...
Man, my week has sucked!

A child that loses his parents is called an orphan.
A man that loses his wife is called a widower.
A woman that loses her husband is called a widow.
What do you call a parent that loses a child?
Coming up blank? 
There is no name for a parent that loses a child,
because there is no word to describe this pain.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

D'Evelyn Highschool Article

Click HERE:

D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School in Jefferson County can add another notch to its belt of accomplishments - Businessweek on Thursday named it the best overall school in Colorado.

The magazine worked with the San Francisco-based nonprofit Great Schools to determine the top schools in all 50 states.

Other categories and winners for Colorado:

* Best school serving low-income students: Centauri High School.

* Best improved school: Collegiate Academy of Colorado.

* Parents' choice, public: Frontier Academy, Greeley.

* Parents' choice, private: Alexander Dawson School.

D'Evelyn is a Jeffco public school started by a group of parents in 1994. It accepts students from across the district starting in grade seven and runs through grade 12. It emphasizes structured academics and strict discipline.

The school's test scores are among the best in Colorado, and the remediation rates of its graduates attending state colleges and universities are among the lowest.

Missouri Life Magazine

Here is a beautiful article:

CLICK HERE to read Missouri Life Article

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Phoenix this weekend...

Getting ready to fly to Phoenix this Friday.  NILMDTS will be attending Imaging USA, by Professional Photographers of America.  I am looking forward to attending a few events, and seeing everybody.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So sad, and mad...

There are many, many people in this world, that will never be given the chance to be called Mommy and Daddy.  

Why did this girl feel like she had no other choice, but to kill her child?  Was she afraid of people finding out she was pregnant?  What others would think?  WELL, what are they thinking of her now? Why did this girl have nobody to turn to for help or advice?  Why, oh why are there so many stories of 'parents' killing their children? 

Sad thing is, that you can google baby dumped  and come up with pages of different stories. :(

Please, remember...there are people out there that will adopt these children, give them a good home...and LOVE THEM!  Consider that.  If you are a pregnant teenager, and don't know what to do, talk to your parents, school councilor, even a friends parent.  Talk to somebody.  Know your options...Don't be known as the girl that was pregnant and killed her baby.  

I have to mention the movie JUNO one more time on my blog.  Some groups threw a stink about an unwed teenager having sex and getting pregnant.  Look at the choice she made in that movie.  She didn't make the choice to deliver the baby, then dump it!  Let's think about that.  

The title of my post is So Sad, and Mad...I can't decide which one I more am.  Why did my baby have to die, when I loved and wanted him so much?

And, I really don't want to get into the topic of social services and their role in adoptions.  Why do you need a license for a pet, but yet, anybody can have a child...

So, have you heard...

the most recent radio commercials for the Susan G Komen Foundation?  The very end quote states..."Because everybody deserves a lifetime..."  

Hhhmmmm, let me think about this.  Not about the SGK Foundation, they are simply wonderful, but about the quote...'because everybody deserves a lifetime...'  

Our babies deserved a lifetime...we deserved our lifetime with them.  What happened?  I am sorry to say, that I don't have those answers.

And even yet, still as I sit here, writing this, there are families new and old, grieving the loss of their baby and those closest to them, turn their back, for what...lack of not knowing what to say?  Maybe if they don't say anything, 'it'll' all go away?  Don't bring 'it' up, because you don't want to remind them?  HA!  

People, if you are reading this, and know somebody that is grieving the loss of a child, a simple mention of that child's name will bring tears to their eyes...tears of pain, yes?  Tears of joy, yes. 
Tears of simply knowing that you took the time...that you cared.

National Charity Model Search

Sandy (my Cofounder with NILMDTS) had a brainstorm a few weeks ago and has come up with an amazing campaign. The National Charity Model Search is designed to raise funds for charity, inspire photographers, and provide clients with beautiful portraits at a discounted price.

Clients of photographers who participate have the opportunity to win prizes and earn the title of “America’s Cutest Kid,” and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep will benefit by being the recipient of donations.

Participating photographers will submit portraits of local children, ages 18 months to 14 years, for online preliminary voting to determine the city finalist.

City finalists are determined by online votes. Anyone may vote. Each vote is $1, and all proceeds from each vote benefit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Photography and model industry experts will determine the contest’s national winner.

The national model winner receives a $5,000 US Savings Bond and a Canon PowerShot G10 digital camera (retail value $499.99) among other prizes.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS), is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization committed to assisting parents and families going through the difficult time when they experience an early infant loss. For further information on NILMDTS, visit

For more information and to register please visit

Or contact your local Professional Photographer to see if they are participating.

An impulse buy...

So, Rhonda fell in love with Baxter.  He is such a good dog. Very Mellow...He's a beast, don't get me wrong, but a gentle Beast!  Well, when we got Baxter, we got him from a breeder in Mexico Missouri.  They shipped him to us. So, Rhonda got this idea, that she wanted a Bernese Mountain Dog, too.  They have recently had to put two family dogs down...:(  They have this huge farm, lots of land...a dog's paradise, ya think?  So, guess what we did?  Yea, she and I got in the car and drove three hours up and three hours back to pick up Little Bear.  

Baxter Bear
Baxter Bear
Little Bear and his new Mommy, Rhonda Brown.  Little Bear is Baxter's half brother.  How cool is that?  Same Daddy, different Mommy.
I tried, really I bring home Sugar. (Pictured with me above...)  But, my husband put his foot down...well actually he said, if I got rid of Jeter, I could bring home Sugar.  Nice huh?  Like I could get rid of my dog!  

Monday, January 5, 2009

And last but not least, Rogersville Missouri...

To see our very good friends, The Browns.  I don't think we have ever had a bad time together.  They usually come to Colorado to do some Snowboarding, but for the last two years, couldn't make it out...What a wonderful way to ring in the New Year...Thank you Browns, for your hospitality...Miss you guys!

The dogs, wanting to play with the horses...
This is how you start a fire, in Rogersville...

Tucker Brown
Looks rough, huh?
Natalie, Avery Brown and Anna...
Barebacking it...

Avery Brown.

Then Lake of the Ozark Missouri...

My Clan...minus the husband...remember what I said about the timer?
My mother...
My favorite brother Greg...
Bob and Jeter...

From Mountain Grove we headed to Lake of the Ozarks. Visited with my Mom and stepfather, Paul. My brother Greg spent the couple of days with us, and of course, can't forget BOB...

Trip to Mountain Grove Missouri...

The Haggard Clan, minus me...Darn IT! Couldn't get the timer set on my camera!
Grandma and Grandpa with the kids...

One of the kids favorite...Aunt Debbie.

The cows...ask Natalie about them sometime and what she got to do...

The kids had fun, playing lots of games...
2nd cousins...

Thought we would make an unexpected trip during our Chistmas break. Mike's parents live in Mountain Grove Missouri. We really all had a wonderful time. Lots of food, games, cows and four wheelers. Kids can't wait to go back.