Baby Big Sister

Very soon my boys will reach another milestone. However, this milestone will be much different than the ones we’ve celebrated in the past.

I won’t take their picture. I won’t write it in their baby book as to remember it forever. I won’t give a “Yay, Jake” or a “Yay, Luke” in the typical high-pitched mom voice.

Instead, I will attempt to hold back the flood of tears that have haunted me as I knew this day was inevitable.

My boys will soon be older than their big sister. They will be the oldest, but not the first born. They will have a baby big sister.

No matter which way I say it, I cannot make sense of it.

Unfortunately, for our family, our unique situation, it is true.

Just before Thanksgiving, my boys will go from being the youngest, to the oldest.

I knew this day would come. Just like all the other milestones that have come and gone before. This one, more than any other has affected me greatly.

I will be a new mom. There will be lots of firsts, which are certainly exciting, but they will feel different.

It’s not unusual to hear, “That’s what Emma did” around our house. But soon, those phrases might become obsolete.

That’s the scariest thing about this damned situation. My frame of reference has expired. I have no comparison.

While most of the time I “wing it” as a mom, I’ve always had some similar experience to fall back on.

If I’m being honest, and quite vulnerable, I’m afraid the Emma memories will stop like her age did.

With each passing day, I’m further away from what was. I hope as we continue to make new memories that the ones of Emma are still spoken, still remembered.

If you knew Emma, I ask that you continue to speak her name. If you didn’t know Emma, ask me. I could talk about her forever.

For those who are prayerful, I hope that you would say some extras for my family as we all struggle daily.

Prayerful and Present



Thank you, officer.

Lately I've had a very special person on my mind.

I don't know his name and I couldn't tell you what he looked like, but I will never forget him.

This man is a police officer.

This officer stood at attention in the hospital room while doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to revive my daughter's fragile body.

Then, even hours later, he remained at attention while he guarded my daughter's lifeless body.

He watched as I hit the floor. He heard my screams, my profanity. He saw things that I can only hope he will never have to witness again.

He never moved.

Tears silently streamed down his face. He didn't dry them. They just fell.

An officer cried, on duty, in uniform.

He was vulnerable in what could be considerably one of the toughest uniforms.

I'm grateful for this man.

In the midst of a social media outrage of law enforcement I wanted this to serve as a reminder that there are good officers in the world.

I'm not biased, I've had officers give me tickets and arrest some people I love dearly.

Despite those things, they are the first ones I'd call if I ever needed help.

A very special thank you to the officer who didn't ask to experience what he did the day my daughter passed away.

To all officers, thank you. I can't imagine dealing with the things you do. I wish you got the appreciation you deserve.

I will always back the blue.

Much love to all LEO and their families.

Prayerful and Present

He Cries Too

For some reason we live in a society that thinks men can’t cry. Not that they don’t, but that they can’t or shouldn’t. 

When a woman miscarries, we tend to her needs. When a baby is stillborn, we ask how the mother is doing. When a couple experiences child loss, we ask how the wife is coping. It is as if because the father did not carry the child or give birth that they cannot experience the same grief. 

Men grieve. They just aren’t given the permission to do so. Often times we tell our little boys to “be tough” or “stop crying.” They can’t cry, because well, they’re men and men are tough. 

When men experience grief their manly role is to take care of the woman, and “be strong” for her. And if these things aren’t actually said, for some reason they are expected.   

This way of thinking puts men in a position to where when they are grieving, they don’t ask for help, they don’t seek advice. They grieve alone. 

That part makes me sad. I never want my husband to grieve alone, especially when he’s been my rock in my grief. He deserves better.

So to those daddies who are grieving; I see you. Go on, cry. You’re not less of a man because you have emotions and feelings, too. When your partner cries, make a date of it. Grab the Blue Bell and Kleenex and y’all be hot messes together. 

You experienced loss too, and have the right to grieve or cry if you want to. Be open with your partner like she most likely is with you. 

And women; let him grieve, let him cry. Dry your eyes for a bit and open your ears. Chances are your man doesn’t say much about how he’s feeling so when he talks, listen. Your relationship will improve and this terrible grief will get a little less hard. 

Prayerful and Present 



I’ve always been a worrier. I can remember being a child and not wanting to break rules because I worried. I didn’t fall into temptation, not because I didn’t want to, but because I worried. I worried about everything, mostly things I couldn’t control. 

If anyone knows the book Wemberly Worried, consider me Wemberly. 

I think worrying, to an extent is normal. If people didn’t worry, I’d actually be worried that they didn’t. 
I still worry everyday. Did I turn off my straightener? Did I lock the door? Did I remember to send the boys to school with everything they need? (Who am I kidding, I forget something every day!) 

At the end of the day, like Wemberly, I realize that most of my worries were unwarranted and unnecessary. But still, I worry. 

While struggling to conceive I worried that it would never happen. When I became pregnant I worried that it wouldn’t last. Then, when Emma was born, I worried that she’d get sick or get hurt. As much as I worried, I never worried that she’d die. Never. 

But she did. At 28, I bought a casket that was 3 feet long. I buried my one and only child. 

I remember going to a support group meeting and telling one of the ladies that I always worried about Emma. Her reply was, “What difference did it make?” Ummm, excuse me, what? She was right though. (I didn’t tell her that) Worrying about Emma didn’t save her life and there was no way that it could have.

But still, I worried again. Would my life go on? Would my marriage survive? Would I ever be a mother again? 

I did become a mother again, to two adorable little boys. 

(Jake and Luke) 

To say I still worry would be an understatement. My worry has heightened. I can’t lose another child. I would not survive it. 

My worries are different now. I don’t care if I left my straightener on or if I forgot to lock the door. Sure I don’t want those things to happen, but my point is that those worries are minute in comparisons. 

I worry that one or both of my boys will die. I specifically worry that they will die in the same way that took my daughter’s life. I know that sounds terrible, believe me, I live it. It’s my reality, it’s what the grief of losing a child has done to me. 

There isn’t enough medication in the world to stop my worry, it certainly helps, but I never completely stop worrying. 

Worry has robbed me and my boys. 

My worry has not allowed me to be the mom or wife my boys need because well, I worry too much. My twins and husband are paying the price of my worry, my worry that death gave me. It’s a horrible cycle. 

While I’d like to think lightning won’t strike my family twice, why wouldn’t it? 

I don’t want to be a helicopter mom and I know I cannot hold my children’s hands the rest of their life. I just want to protect them, save them. I want them to outlive me.

All I can do is try to settle down, (I hate when people say “settle down” like it’s so easy) and raise my boys the best I can. 

I want to be what my children need, and that means the best of me. 

While worry still sits upon my shoulders every now and then I won’t let it consume me. 

My twins are my babies. They were the rainbow after my storm. I will hold them, and cuddle them for as long as I can and hope that their future wives don’t despise me. 


Prayerful and Present 



I’ve always considered myself to be a faithful person. I believe in God and I have always tried to live a godly life.

And then my daughter died. My daughter died unexpectedly in the care of another.

When I fell on that cold, nasty, hospital floor I asked God why. I begged him to bring her back, He didn’t. I pleaded with him to spare her life, He didn’t.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t mad when God didn’t answer my prayers. I mean he’s God after all.

Just days after Emma passed away I found my husband reading daily devotionals. This was something I had never seen him do before. While most things are still a haze, I can specifically remember our conversation. I asked him, “Why are you all of a sudden reading scripture?” In his most serious voice, he responded, “I want to see our daughter again.”

Let that sink in for a minute. In the lowest of our lows, when I wanted to drown in my sorrow. My husband reminded me of faith.

Faith doesn’t mean that I have to understand why Emma Kelli passed when she did, it doesn’t mean that I have to agree with it. Faith means that I have to trust and lean on His word, and not my own interpretations.

My questions are still very much unanswered. I don’t know why out of all souls, EK’s was the chosen one. I don’t know how or why or even what happened leading up to her death. What I do know is that my faith tells me it doesn’t matter.

My faith means trusting in Him despite the circumstances or when it’s convenient for me.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

I have learned that God can use bad things for good. Acts of Kindness in Honor of Emma Kelli
Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

My faith lets me know that my life is not over.  
Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

My faith has reminded me to not blame or point fingers.
Genesis 50:19-20: But Joseph said to [his brothers who had sold him into slavery], “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Having faith doesn’t mean that I don’t still wonder or worry, I do those things often. It means that I can rest assure knowing that He is in control. Having faith is a choice that brings me a sense of content-ness which certainly beats the alternative.

The best part of my faith is absolutely knowing that Emma Kelli is in heaven.

Prayerful and Present



My Daily Choice 

Two years ago I walked my daughter into daycare not knowing that it would be the last time. 

It was the last time I kissed my daughter, told her I loved her, and saw her alive. 

It was undoubtedly the worst day of my life. My world stopped, and I was certain that I would never breathe again. The day Emma died, part of me did too. 

My life was forever changed that day. I’m forever changed. 

I’ve been sad, mad, angry, and confused, and still am. 

During my grief then and now, I’ve had choices. I could choose to let grief take over and spend the rest of my life mad. Or, I could grieve, while continuing to move forward in my life. While there are days when one choice seems much easier than the other, I don’t want to let grief take over my life.

Everyday is a choice. For me, it’s a conscious decision to be happy. Being happy doesn’t mean that I don’t still get mad and angry, and feel confused. I can promise there are many times when I don’t even want to get out of bed. 

However, I choose to keep moving. I choose to not let my family experience another casualty.

Everyday I get out of bed I determine the outcome of my day. There are many times when I would much rather lay there and wallow in my sad story but when my world stopped, the rest of the world kept moving. 

I cannot let my grief keep me from being a wife, mother, or teacher or just myself in general.

Regardless of my grief, pain, or sadness, I have a choice. 

Today, I choose to be happy. I will undoubtedly cry and be sad but I refuse to let sadness consume me. I have experienced the worst of tragedies, yet I’m still living and breathing. 

Prayerful and Present 


‘Tis the Season…

Last year was mine and Jacob’s first Christmas since our daughter, Emma (16 mos. 20 days) passed away. It was tough. We didn’t put up our family tree, just hers. No cookies or milk were laid out and we didn’t wake up to Santa’s gifts under our tree. 

This year, our family tree, along with Emma’s is decorated and lit, cookie dough has been bought, and Santa is getting ready to visit. 

Our hearts feel a little different this year. I’m happy to feel a little more jolly than bah-humbug this year, but our hearts still hurt. 

Our stockings are hung, but not all of them will be filled, Santa will come, however, he will only bring toys to 2 of our 3 children. 

This year we will visit family and again, pretend to be ok. When grace is said we will hold back tears when the part about loved ones passed is spoken. We will inevitably wonder what Emma would have asked for when we see the other children open their gifts. We will look forward to seeing our boys play, or in this stage, chew on the gifts they receive. 

The truth is, we will never have a Christmas with Emma again. As hard as it is to type, it’s even harder to believe. This is the second Christmas without her, the same number of Christmas’ with. Ultimately, the number of holidays without will far surpass the number of holidays we had with her. It’s logic, but it doesn’t make sense. 

This holiday season, I will be sad. But this holiday season, I will also be glad and rejoice knowing that my daughter is where all believers long to be. She’s in heaven. Although she went to dance and play among angels much too soon, she’s there. 

I have no worries about Emma Kelli. My heart can rest. My mind is at peace. My baby is safe in His arms. 

For anyone grieving a loss this holiday season, may you find peace in the memories you shared. 

This video was sent to me and I found the words to be relevant and true.
Merry Christmas

Prayerful and Present