Wednesday, July 10, 2013


We welcomed our sweetest new addition, Miss Caroline Blythe, on Thursday, June 20 at 12:14 pm.  She weighed a healthy 7 lbs and was 19.25 inches.  She's absolutely perfect with a full head of dark hair just like big brother and sister.  We think she looks exactly like Patrick with a touch of Charlotte.  Just the way we like it!

To say life has been a whirlwind is anything but.  With our newest joy at home, we now have two little mouths to satisfy, two faces to kiss and two little people to love on...and we couldn't be happier.  Big Brother loves to give kisses, hold his baby sister and pat her back all the while keeping up his go, go, go lifestyle, while Mommy loves to snuggle and Daddy loves to cuddle.

I'll always remember Daddy's huge grin as he exclaimed, "she's so pretty!" when she was born.  Or, her incredible "here I am world" cry which spoke wonders to my soul the very second she took her first breaths.  My darling love, we are so glad you are finally here.  Welcome to our world, as you are ours.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Although it seems like yesterday, it has been a year.  One solid year.  365 days have passed since our darling Charlotte Rose left this earth on April 11, 2012.  I remember that day so vividly, yet I do all of her days right down to what I was wearing or ate, but I guess that comes with the territory of being a mother.  

To honor our sweet girl's precious life, we decided to release butterflies at her garden.  An idea which my father suggested, came to be and it was perfect.  The day was slow to warm up which meant that although acclimated, the butterflies were content to sit before they flew.  In retrospect, I realize what a gift this is as we were able to capture our moment on camera.  From its envelope to our hands, we were able to savor each butterfly's release.  My favorite part of the day was watching Patrick Jr. as a butterfly danced on his hand.  He was so proud as he stood there holding one and then another, just as he had held the container of butterflies before we started to release them.  

One of the day's highlights was seeing a heart drawn on the backside of a dried strawberry in Patrick's lunch.  Mind you I had packed it earlier that morning, hand choosing each strawberry from the last of the bag, never having noticed the now so distinct heart.  It's as if she wanted us to know...know that she'll always be in ours.  Later, the grandmothers joined us as we toasted her with a bottle of rose champagne, a gift from her Uncle Martin.  We've saved it until this day, to toast our girl.

It was a touching experience and one I hope to repeat again each year, as it reminds me of a new beginning.  And as we trust in God's plan, we trust in our own new beginning and rest peacefully.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Guess who's heart is PERFECTLY HEALTHY?  New baby girl's!  We had the 22 week echocardiogram today and after a very extensive look, her heart has been deemed healthy.  This was followed by more cause for celebrating as the rest of herself looks wonderful too.  We almost don't know what to do with ourselves now that our appointments are monthly and with only my OB.  Insert "ah."  Here I am in my first official baby belly pic...a little delayed at almost 22 weeks and baby is 15 oz.  4 months and counting...

Monday, February 4, 2013


Well it happened.  February 3 came and went in just as much of a flash as our last 12 months have gone.  As a mother, babies will always seem to grow up right before our very eyes.  Although different in my case, I still find it hard to believe that one year ago Charlotte was born.  To celebrate the occasion, we spent the day honoring her in our own way...and it was perfect.

My mother gifted us with a mass intention on Sunday which could not have been more appropriate.  We also carried the gifts, a first for our family and with honors, as I like to say.  The Knights of Columbus were at mass and lead us with their "pirate" swords.  Patrick Jr. was adamant about carrying the Host, so we walked slowly while Mommy helped with a guiding hand.  As we got close to the altar, Father famously said "take your time" as our little man proudly took the last steps with the Host. I couldn't help but smile then...or after we received communion as my child cried, "commmmmunion!"  He just doesn't understand waiting 4 or 5 more years!

Following mass, we met at Sparkman Hillcrest to release balloons and just be.  After having seen first hand what a hit blowing bubbles continues to be, I knew that my counselor would be right again - releasing balloons would be so too.  In true Charlotte style, and in the mix of the pink and white balloons, one got away early.  But it was the red one and the one which signified the anniversary of her 1st birthday.  (A FANTASTIC idea I borrowed from an inspiring blogger, Katie's Keepers.)  We watched it float away and then released the rest, slowly at first and then all at once.  I loved watching the group stay together and later, "meet up" with the red one.  And with genuine excitement I heard ourselves call out as we watched them work their magic in the sky.  One stayed behind, as it had caught itself in the tree, but I'd like to think that it lingered to stay with Charlotte before it too floated up to Heaven, despite P's best efforts in rescuing it.  

He cried when I told him it was time to leave saying, "I don't want to leave!" It's as if the Lord knows my heart or something.  He explains to us that Charlotte lives "with Heaven and God" and I adore that, just as I love how he so proudly wears her memory as he carries her in his heart and mind.  I love...that my son knew my daughter, however brief of a moment.  

A favorite memory is having kissed a balloon to send to our Charlotte in Heaven.  There's something to be said about a 2 and half year old's heart that makes your own a humble one.  Once we convinced Patrick to leave Lullaby Land (a little cake talk will do that to a toddler) we headed to La Duni and ate outside on again, the most perfect day.  Just like Charlotte's famous trip outside to the Butterfly Garden and later for her funeral reception, her birthday anniversary day was no different.  The weather sat at the perfect temperature while the sun kept us warm and the breeze kept us cool.  Another gentle reminder that He is always in the details.  Take for example our cake.  It was decorated to resemble roses, like our Sweet Charlotte Rose.  Or the toast we made with a bottle of rose champagne, as we had after her funeral.  Much like waiting in His plan, greatness happens even when we don't expect it, for instance, feeling our newest baby move yesterday. Make no mistake, as it was her, and she made herself be known before the sun had even a chance to wake. 

It was a day of days and I'm so glad to have to honored our girl.  And even though our hearts still ache for her, I can joyfully celebrate the goodness that is her and the graciousness that is Him.  As we drove home, it was noticed by my mother that the lone balloon caught in the trees had freed itself.  It too had made its way to Heaven.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


My little Patrick always comes to my rescue, even when I don't know I need rescuing.  Yesterday as we were driving home, he was looking at photos on my phone when I heard, "there's my sister Charlotte."  Just hearing him say those words made my heart happy as I understood he recognizes her as his sister.  And shortly thereafter I heard, "where's my other sister?"  I had to laugh as I explained she's still in mommy's belly which seemed to satisfy him for the moment.  When he came across a picture of Mommy and Charlotte, he matter of factly said, "you at hospital, I home."  Yes, my child...I was at the hospital all those days while you were looked after at home, despite how desperately I pleaded otherwise. And as profound to me as it is, I realize that his now almost 3 year old mind is able to express itself as he carries Charlotte's memory in his heart so proudly.  To this mama, it's just what the doctor ordered. 

Monday, January 28, 2013


I was driving Patrick Jr. to MDO, affectionately known around here as "school," when I happened to look up on that particularly non-January, gorgeous morning.  As I stared at the sky and the fast moving clouds, I saw a heart take shape.  For awhile I just stared at it, thankful that I was at a stoplight, but quickly gathered myself enough to ask my brain to think.  I mean, I needed to capture with a photo - duh.  I snapped a quick one with my iPhone as the light turned green and off I went.  At first I didn't think I'd gotten it, but fortunately I pulled up the photo later that day and saw the beautiful heart staring back at me.  It's a small, blue heart (above the door in the semi), outlined in white clouds.  I shake my head now because I described it as a 'blue heart' and that's exactly what my Char's was - a blue heart, in medical lingo, of course.


When I actually stop to think about it, I realize that ONE is a monumental occasion.  I think back to Patrick's 1st birthday and I spent weeks planning that blessed occasion - one which he has no memory of nor that he ever will.  But don't fault the mommy, especially the former event planner mommy, because it's in my blood.  So it's only natural that I would want to plan something for the occasion of my daughter's birthday, but I'm not.  Of course we're planning on celebrating her in our own way come Sunday, but it won't be met with head counts, menus, favors or a birthday outfit.  It'll be quieter, but just as joyful because as my mother puts it, the day Charlotte Rose was born was one of our best life days and, to me, that's reason to celebrate.  

I would have never chosen this path we've walked over the past year plus, but I'm thankful for it because I met my daughter.  My first born daughter lay in my arms, looked into my eyes and allowed me to be her mother.  And I felt my heart expand...again.  Despite her absence, her presence is felt in our hearts, within the walls of our house and in our every thought and memory because simply put, she was one of us and forever will be.  She is ours...and she is missed.