Friday, December 28, 2012


I did it. I made it through Christmas. Everyone is asking me how my holiday was and I respond, It was good. But was it really good? My daughter died and I miss her. I cried. A lot. There is nothing good about any of that. But the more I think about it, I can honestly say that it was good. It was sad, but wonderful all the same.

It was wonderful because we were surrounded by family who share all the same tender feelings of sadness and loneliness but also happiness and confidence of a knowledge of life after death.

It was wonderful because we have been so greatly blessed and were able to give to each other and our family and enjoy watching gifts be received.

It was wonderful because we have a new son that got to experience his first Christmas surrounded by people who adore him.

It was wonderful because this year above all we were able to focus so intently on the real meaning of this season. Because a big part of our family are not on this earth with us anymore, I often think about heaven and what might be going on there. I am constantly reminding myself of the things that are truly important as it is so easy to get caught up in worldly things. I am consistently forcing myself to think of happy memories and positive thoughts so as not to be totally consumed by sadness.

It was wonderful because as others asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I thought about it, I realized there is nothing that I want more than for my family to be together forever. There is not one worldly possession that could even come close to being as important as this. My eyes have opened so drastically to the sincere love a mother has for her family.

It was wonderful because we had our very own Christmas angel, the cutest little stringy haired angel in heaven. I know without a doubt that Q has been with me so much these last few days. I was not looking forward to Christmas at all this year and was dreading it because I wasn't sure what kind of emotion I would be dealing with. But I did it, the holiday came and went and I now know the meaning of letting the Lord carry our burdens as I feel that mine have been somewhat lifted, enough that I really have been able to enjoy Christmas.

It may sound silly that I so badly wanted to enjoy Christmas and that I had to try so hard to do so, but it is still a daily struggle for me to remain happy and positive. My heart is so sad. I do not want to live a sad life. I want to enjoy the things I used to love and not let my swollen heart take all my joy. I have so many things that still bring me joy and I strive every single day to focus on those things. My doll is okay and I need to be too.

I am so thankful for my Lord and my precious angel that help carry my sadness.

Until we meet again Q.

month 3


You have turned into a new boy this month. You are so much happier now and I feel like we can finally enjoy you. I will be honest, the first two months you drained me and I didn't always love being around you. I am especially weak right now and you did not start out as the easiest baby. But this month you have turned a corner and you are absolutely adorable!
Like Q, you smile a lot and talk like crazy. You have giggled a few times and it is so dang cute. Unlike Q, you are a true boy. You fart (a lot), you grunt, you whine and when you are hungry you are mean. I felt like I could hold Q off a little from eating if I was in the middle of something but not you, when you are ready to eat you do not want to wait one more minute. You eat a lot, poop a lot and sleep a lot. You are such a different baby than I am used to, but I am starting to get used to you and your ways.
 I can finally brag about how well you sleep! This is a really big deal to me. I don't do well if I don't get sleep. At about 10 weeks you started sleeping through the night. This happened at the perfect time because I have now started back to work and really need my sleep. You are consistently sleeping 8-9 hours without a bottle which makes everyone so happy. Since I went back to work this month you started going to daycare. You get to go to Carrie's house. Quincy loved Carrie and I can already tell you do too. You smile so big at her. You get to play with Quincy's friends and are exhausted when you come home. I'm sure it makes Q happy to see you with these people she loves so much.
This month you were introduced to your softie. Q loved her softie so much that we decided to see if you would like one too, and you do. If you are sleepy we hand you your softie and you will pull it up to your face and cuddle and rub it. It settles you down. I like to think it reminds you of Quincy too. I think all our babies will have softies.
Ryder, I am so happy you are mine. Losing Q has hurt me so badly I have put up a huge wall. I have been afraid to give you my heart in fear of losing you too and feeling the intense pain all over again. But you are persistent and you are quickly breaking my wall down. I am falling more and more in love with you. I know I have said this many times, but you are a huge blessing and you have truly saved me. You are my boy and I am your mommy and I pray every day that you will never leave me. I need you little Ryder dude.  

Love you lots.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


These are not your typical family pictures, but they are mine and they are pricless. There is nothing more important to me than these 3 people.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis the season... be jolly. Jolley: an adjective that means happy and cheerful. Synonyms: jovial, merry, cheerful, joyful. I want to be jolly.

Christmas is coming fast and although I usually look forward to the holidays, including Halloween and Thanksgiving, this year has been drastically different. Halloween has come and gone, we went to a party and gave out candy, I bawled most of the day. Thanksgiving we stuffed ourselves with turkey and potatoes, I cried all day the day after, and now comes Christmas. The tree is up, the lights are on, the shopping is done and the presents are wrapped.

I am not jolly.

Think about everything that you look forward to with the holidays. What makes them so enjoyable to you?  Halloween, now that I am a mom, is about my children. What will they wear? Who will we show them off to? What kind of candy will we give out? It's so fun to take them around knocking on doors. Thanksgiving, to me is all about family and those who you are surrounded by, focusing on your blessings. Yes, the food is wonderful, but the company is better. And Christmas. Christmas is magical. Especially when you are a parent. And although I have sweet Ryder to spoil this year, it's just not the same.

I have really struggled these last few months being jolly. Or cheerful or even happy. I know the real meaning of Christmas, the reason we celebrate. But I'll be honest, since becoming a parent the worldy part of it has become a bigger deal and it is so much fun. But this year it has been made so very clear to me what truly is important. Although nothing about "Christmas" has changed as far as music, trees, gifts, parties and festivities, it is so painfully different. I am surrouded by all of the "things" that make it Christmas, but it is just not the same without Quincy and Kathy and Val. It is so hard to get into the spirit with so many loved ones missing. I am so sad.

I have been dreading Christmas since the accident because I knew I was going to be so sorely dissapointed and lonely. I have had to force myslef to decorate and shop. I still dont choose to listen to christmas music. I usually love it,  but it makes me feel like everything is ok and normal and it isn't. Every store I go into I automatically drift to girl things. Toys. Clothes. Bracelets. Babydolls. Doggies. Oh I miss Quincy so badly. It's so heartbreaking that I cannot spoil my little girl this year. Or ever.

"Let us make Christmas real. It isn't just tinsel and ribbon,
unless we have made it so in our lives. Christmas is the spirit
of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because
 we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others.
 It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. It is
peace because we have found peace in the Savior's teachings."
-Thomas S. Monson

I hate so much that I have no Christmas spirit. I want to be jolly so so bad. I have tried so hard to find some happiness among all my sadness and find things that will bring me some joy. I put up my tree. Bought some gifts and wrapped them, but the things that have brought me a little hope and a little joy this season are not these things. They are the things I have done for others. "Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people". This is what I have thrived on the last few weeks. It helps to give. It helps to see other peoples joy. It helps to not focus on me and my sadness. It really is about Christ and his life of service and caring and pure love. It is about family and memories and feelings.

Although I don't get to buy gifts for Quincy and watch her face light up Christmas morning like my mommy heart so badly longs for, I have to focus on the blessings I have. I have to remember what this season truly is about, our Savior. And that is who my beautiful baby girl is with at this very moment, she is spending this special day with the one person we are all celebrating. What a lucky girl.

Take just a minute Christmas morning as you are surrounded by your loved ones, look around and take it all in. The gifts and the magic of Christmas aren't bad things, but it's much more than that. Enjoy your families. Enjoy your children. Enjoy making memories and feeling the spirit of our Savior who loves us dearly. I am so thankful for Him and that I know that my little doll and her lovely grandparents will be spending this special day with their Savior. Makes me feel closer to Him and makes this Christmas just a little more jolly.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Month 2


I am slow to get this letter written and you are now closer to 3 months than 2. I must say month 2 has been better than month 1. You continue to be fussy and gassy but not quite as much. I took you off the meds and took you to a chiropractor where she did some cranial sacral massaging and it has helped quite a bit. You are less fussy and gassy than you have been and seem to be a little more pleasant.
I still cannot brag about your sleeping habits as I did in almost every post for Quincy. You're not quite the sleeper she was. You were waking up every 2-3 hours for the longest time but since seeing the chiropractor you are now sleeping 6-7 hours at a time, eating and then going back to sleep for 3 more. I can't complain about that. We are starting to feel a little more caught up on our rest. Although you fight sleep during the day you go to bed without any hassle. It's nice. You are learning to sooth yourself and put yourself to sleep like Quincy did.

This month you have learned to smile. WE LOVE IT! You are not always the most pleasant baby so when we get smiles it makes us really happy. You are starting to smile and coo more and more. I hope that means you are feeling better about life.
first smile picture
The first month you were so unhappy all the time I felt like I didn't know anything about you. As you have become more comfortable I have been learning more about you and feel like I am finally getting to know you. You are an eater! You love love love to eat and it shows! At your 2 month appointment you were 11lbs 1oz and 23 inches. You fill your 3 month onesies out nicely. You are a much bigger baby than I am used to. Q was so petite, but you my boy, are not. You still refuse to nurse which makes me so sad. I love to nurse and was looking forward to sharing that bond with you. But it stresses both of us out every time we try so I pump and you get your bottle.

You do not like a dirty diaper. You are much more pleasant when your bum is clean. You don't like tummy time, but you love baths. Every single time you take a bath you pee. Every time. I'm sure Q did too, I just didn't know it. You are not too much of a binkie baby. If you are are hungry you most definitely won't take a binkie and when you are tired you will take it for a minute than spit it out. You are very persistent and I believe can be a good thing. You will need that ambition as you grow up in this uncertain world.
Ryder, you are quite the boy. You came to us at such a vulnerable time. But your timing was perfect. I have not been a very nice mom as I am still hurting so badly and I have not been very patient with you. I hope you can stay strong and continue to be patient with me. You truly are a blessing to your dad and I and we are falling more and more in love with you the more we get to know you. You must be a special boy to come to our home at this time and we are excited to see who you will become.

Love you lots.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I know when bad things happen we are told not to focus on the whys and what ifs. Lately i am consumed with these two words.

What if we never went to Moab? What if I had Q in a different car seat? What if we would have come home earlier? What if Kathy would have answered her phone when we called on our way?

Why did 3 people have to die at once? Why did Quincy have to die? Why didn't God save her? Why did it take so long to get pregnant with Q just to lose her so soon? Why wasn't I warned or somehow prepared for this? Why did God shatter a perfectly happy, content family? Why do I have to live the rest of my life with such pain and grief? Why did He take my happy healthy baby girl and give me a fussy sad little boy?  Why did Quincy have to die? Why does He think I can handle this?

Is there really a plan? And if so, why is this one mine? How could God allow anyone to hurt this much?


Sunday the 11th was Ryder's blessing day. While such a special day for Ryder we couldn't help but think about Quincy's blessing day. Both Brady and I were pretty emotional. It was a tender day.

Brady gave a beautiful blessing warning Ryder that this earth life is hard and to never be hesitant to drop to his knees and pray to his Father in heaven for help. He also told him that he has a special little angel that he needs to let help guide him throughout this life. The blessing was perfect and I am so thankful that Brady is able to bless his children.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Lately I have been feeling extremely homesick. I am homesick for my house. I miss my kitchen. I miss my tub. I miss the smell of my home. I miss my bedroom. I miss Quincy's room. I miss Quincy. I'm homesick for my life. I miss me.

Right now we are living in Val and Kathy's house. It is a beautiful home and has a wonderful spirit, but it's not home. I feel like I am on vacation or just visiting my in laws for a while. I feel like Quincy is being tended but soon we will get to go pick her up. I feel like things will return back to normal, back to the way they were. Perfect. We left Quincy to go on a vacation and never got to see her again, except for in a dying, broken body. I still miss her like I did that weekend and feel like she is just waiting for me to come home. I still feel like we are waiting to get home and see her.

"Do not judge the bereaved mother.
She comes in many forms. She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.
She smiles, but her heart sobs. She walks, she talks, she cooks,
she cleans, she works, she IS, but she IS NOT all at once.
She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity."
-Author Unknown

Many people ask how I am doing. Well, this poem says it. I am here, I smile, I cook, I clean, I will soon return to work. I am. But I am not. I am here, but my heart is not. I am trying so hard to return to life but it is so hard to do when part of me is not here. I am so lonely and homesick for something that will never again be. At least not in this lifetime. It is a crippling reality. But each day that I am, I continue to be. And each day is one day closer to eternity with my family. 

I guess in a way we are on "vacation" and Quincy is "home", waiting for us. Oh how I can't wait to go home and see my little girl.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

who am i

6 months. 6 months ago today my world was shattered as we let our beautiful baby girl leave this earth. This day was followed by the most terrifying day I could ever imagine. When I think back to the 6th and 7th of May I am physically sick. My mind is consumed with memories of the horrific phone call, the heartbreaking accident scene, the hospital, the helicopter, the waiting room, the waiting room, the smells, the tubes, so many tubes, paperwork, decisions, obituaries, caskets, little white dresses, headstones...... When I think about all these things I can't even believe that those are memories. We did that. We lost three people in 24 hours. These are nightmares that became my reality. It happened to me.

"When something bad happens
you have three choices,
you can either let it define you,
let it destroy you,
or you can let it strengthen you"

Who am I? Since I lost Q I have really struggled to find myself again. My mom used to always tell me I have a sparkle in my eyes. Lately she has been telling me I have lost that sparkle. Quincy was my sparkle. Quincy made me who I really was. She made me a mom which is what I always wanted to be. I was happy, I was content, I was her mom.

Have you ever read a really good book that you couldn't put down? You were totally consumed by the characters and the plot and even found yourself thinking about it when you weren't reading it. And when the book was done you were so disappointed that there wasn't more, you weren't ready to be done with it and maybe even still thought about it days or weeks later. That is how I feel about my life. I was so enthralled with the way things were. I was obsessed with my little girl, just found out I was having a little boy, purchased a lot to build a new house, marriage was great, I felt nothing could go better. My life was perfect.

May 6th. Everything changed. Crumbled. Shattered. My world ended. How could I possibly live through this. 3 of the most important people in my life are gone. I felt such peace about Val and Kathy being able to go together, but I missed Q so badly after being gone for the weekend, our first trip without her. I wanted to hug her and kiss her and give her the little blue jeep we searched all of Moab for. I will never get to hug or kiss her, or give her that jeep. How am I going to do this?

How does a mother lose a child
And move on day by day
How do you pick up and be strong
How do you live this way

How do you wake, how do you rise
How do you just move on
When everything you wake up for
Has been taken, now is gone

A home once filled with laughter
Has changed to sobbing cries
A face once carried happiness
Now sullen, heavy eyes

Walls and mirrors still littered
With tiny fingerprints
Toys and smells still linger
Leaving all her evidence

The emptiness inside this home
The pain inside my chest
A piece of me is missing
I don't know how I'll pass this test

I know that she is with Him
With her father up above
That she is perfect and shes happy
Shes encircled by His love

So Father since you have her
You get to hug and hold her tight
Please share her love with me today
Please stay with me through the night

Watch over and protect me
As I continue on my way
Without my perfect angel
To get me through the day

I wrote this a few days after Q died and I couldn't even figure out how to get out of bed in the morning. I literally could not get myself out of bed. I could not eat, I could not stand, I could not function! I honestly couldn't figure out how I was going to life another day let alone the rest of my life.

So here I am 6 months later still trying to figure it out. Who am I? I feel so broken. I'm in a different home with a different baby. I don't even feel like the same person. I still struggle each day to get out of bed, but I do! I am learning and starting to accept that I will never be the same person. Quincy was a huge part of who I am and until I am reunited with her, I will never be the same. I have accepted this and am learning how to be a new me. I am learning how to make a new space feel like home. I am learning how to love a child, a child that is mine but so very different from the one I so deeply long for. I am learning how to laugh and feel joy while still being encompassed with pain and sorrow. I am re learning how to be a mom, a wife, a sister, a friend. I am learning how to live with a broken heart.

I was not ready to leave the life I had for this new one, but it is not my choice. I never would have chosen this. But my choice is now how I decide to handle the changes. I will not let them destroy me. I feel so blessed to have been given those wonderful 20 months with my sweet angel. I wish more than anything I could have kept her here longer but I choose to embrace this experience and make the most of the rest of my life with her as my guide. I will not let anything stand in the way of being with her and the rest of my family for eternity. I choose to continue to find the new me and be the best me I can. I choose to be strengthened. I choose to live as if Quincy were still here, because I know she is.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

month 1


You have made it through one month. I must apologize, your first month has not been as exciting as Quincy's was. We have kind of been home bodies, you and I. It's amazing how quickly we forget how much work a newborn is. I think as much as you are trying to figure this life out, once again so am I. And I am struggling with having you here without your sister. It's so different than I imagined it would be. I always thought I would have my little helper and be able to teach her so much about babies and new life. I am trying hard to not let that get in my way of enjoying these first few special months with you.

You are starting to grow like a weed, finally! After you came home from the hospital you were a little jaundice and lost weight. It took you a month to finally get back up to your birth weight and once you did you starting putting on the pounds quick. You now weigh in at 8 pounds 8 ounces. You are still a tiny dude, but your cheeks are starting to fill out and you are losing that scrawny newborn look.
You are not a real content baby. You like to be held and are kind of whiny.You started out pretty happy and were sleeping wonderfully at night, but after your stay at Primary Children's you have kind of gone down hill. While there I pumped and fed you bottles and once we got home you decided that nursing is too hard. You are kind of lazy and don't want to work for your food. You get upset really quickly when you are hungry. We are working on nursing, but for now you are winning and I am a pumping fool.

As I bragged so much about your sister and how well she slept I can't do the same for you. You are not horrible but you usually only sleep 3-4 hours at night where at this point she was sleeping 6-7. Sometimes you give me 5 which I love, but not very often. You do go to bed really well though. We have been putting you to bed awake like we did Q so that you learn to soothe yourself and you are doing pretty good at it.
You have had really bad acid reflux which makes you pretty fussy. We just started you on some meds to help you feel better. I feel so bad that you are in pain and hope to see a different baby as these meds start kicking in. I don't want you to be sad all the time.

You are quite the talker already. When you are awake you are rarely quiet. If you aren't fussing you are cooing and grunting and squeaking. I like the soft happy noises. Makes me feel like you are trying to tell me things. We haven't gone too many places besides running around town but I have thoroughly enjoyed having you come along with me. I love having a buddy in the car with me and in the cart at the store. Makes everything more enjoyable. We took you hunting in Wallsburg a few times. We didn't get a deer but shot a raccoon. You didn't even flinch when I shot the gun. That's great, we are getting you used to the sound early on.
Ryder, you are so different than your sister and that is ok. It is taking us some time to adjust to such a different kid but we are truly happy to have you in our family. Like Q, we feel like you are another huge blessing and feel honored to be your parents. I hope you can continue to be patient with us as we continue to grieve for your sister and learn to love you like we do her. We love you more and more every day and hope we get to spend a long happy life with you.


Love you lots.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

too close

I feel that I kind of live on eggshells. Since Q died I always have an underlying fear of the worst. I tend to over analyze situations thinking of what could happen, especially when it comes to my child. I never really worried with Q because she was such a huge blessing I just figured she would be somewhat "protected" and honestly nothing really tragic had ever happened to me before so I had that all empowered feeling of "It won't happen to me". Well, it did and since then I don't ever feel completely relaxed. I always have a bit of fear nagging at me.

It was the morning of October 5th, Ryder's big day, his circumcision. As I said before I now tend to run over every scenario in my head of what could go wrong. I was nervous about taking Ryder to the circumcision but continuously repeated to myself that it's a routine procedure, he was going to be fine. I have a cousin that lost her little boy of 2 weeks after his circumcision and I just couldn't get that out of my head. I kept telling myself to relax, I just lost a child, nothing will happen to this one. I said a little prayer on the way in to the office to calm myself.

When I got in there the Dr. asked if I wanted to stay or if I wanted to go and they would call me when they were done. I never thought I would want to watch because no mother wants to see their child in pain, but I decided I would stay and give Ryder the sugar water. Also I was curious. I had no brothers and this is my first boy. Ryder did great during the procedure and my fears were starting to subside. Why do I always have to be such a basket case? The Dr. told me to hold him for a few minutes while the bleeding slowed and he would be back to check on us. Ryder was very calm and relaxed as the nurse came in to give him some Tylenol. That's when things got scary. He held the Tylenol in his mouth and wouldn't swallow. He looked like he didn't like it, but I soon realized he was choking. I told the nurse to go get the Dr. and as she left Ryder stopped breathing. His lips and chin quickly turned blue and his body was turning purple. I did the motherly thing and flipped him over, thrusting my palm on his back. Panic began to set in as I once again held my lifeless child. I realized that hitting him on the back was not helping and I ran down the hall to find the Dr.

The next 30 minutes were a battle. I was trying so hard not to fall apart in that small room. A room I remember having a happy, healthy Quincy in not too long before for a well child checkup. A room where I feared I was going to lose another child, my worst fears becoming a reality once again. How could this be happening? As I paced the room my mind was spinning with thoughts of funerals and headstones. My arms were aching with the feeling of a lifeless body. My throat was choking back sobs, my eyes holding in tears. I was terrified.

The Dr. was working furiously to keep Ryder breathing and soon realized that he needed more attention. He called the ambulance and sent us to Primary Children's Hospital. I had text Brady during all of this and he got there just before the ambulance. After 2 days in the hospital and multiple tests it was determined that Ryder may have just aspirated the Tylenol and is a healthy baby. What a blessing.

I couldn't help but be angry that this had happened. Doesn't God know how fragile I am right now? Why does he have to scare me so much? The thought of losing another child is crippling. I honestly don't think I could go through all the pain again. I am still going through it. As I was in that room watching my beautiful child on the table struggling to breath, fighting to live, I prayed. I prayed and prayed. I felt so incredibly helpless as I realized once again that this life is not our own. It doesn't matter what we do, when God wants us home we are done here. I tried so hard those next two days to let go of that fear and just trust. Trust that God would bless my boy to live and that everything would be healthy and normal. Every test they took I prayed. Please please let him be healthy. And he was. And he is. And I am so very thankful. 
I don't know why I have to keep having these experiences, but I hope that whatever it is that I am to learn I am learning it, because my heart can't handle much more. I know that God is aware of me and my feelings and emotions and I trust that he will watch out for me. I have to let the fear go and trust that He knows what's best and then be ok with what happens, which I am learning is not always an easy thing to do. My prayers were answered this time and I am so thankful for my precious boy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Lately I have been overwhelmingly consumed with sadness. I feel so guilty because I have this beautiful, perfect, happy, healthy little boy in my arms and yet I am filled with pain and tears. I'm not depressed, no postpartum, just sincerely sad. I love Ryder so much and I really do feel blessed to be able to have another child, but I long so badly for Quincy I can hardly stand it. I so desperately want Ryder to be enough, to feel that indescribable joy that most mothers feel when they hold their newborn and be content and satisfied, but I don't. I always feel like someone is missing. I feel like the joy is being suffocated by sorrow. I keep thinking the day will come that I will think of Q and smile and feel a warm comfort and peace knowing what I know about where she is and the Plan of Salvation, but I don't feel that way at all. I feel pain. I feel loneliness. I feel longing. I hurt.

Along with everything else, I am afraid. I am fearful. I loved Quincy with every tiny piece of my heart. My whole life was consumed by her. I was obsessed. And to lose her, I feel like I have lost a piece of myself. I am so terrified of losing another child and the pain that goes along with it, that I am cautious to give my whole heart again and to love as sincerely. I know this is awful and I hate to even write it, but it's true. I always have the thought in the back of my mind that I may never see my child again and I hate it.

I knew lots of mixed emotions would come after I had Ryder. Having a newborn again is like reliving Quincy. She taught me everything I know about babies and being a mother. But I didn't think it would be this hard. I didn't think I would be this sad. I don't want to be so sad. I know that I will always hurt for Q, but I don't want to be consumed by it. I want to enjoy Ryder and the other children I hope to have, just as much as I enjoyed Q. I don't want to be afraid and always worry that I might never see them again. I want to love again with every little bit of my heart.

I don't know why this terrible thing has happened and why God thinks that I am strong enough to get through this, but it did and He does. So what do I do? How do I make it through every day and move forward and enjoy the rest of my life? I trust, in Him and myself. Trust that He will strengthen and guide me, calm and carry me. And then I have to let Him. And I will.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ryder W

On September 18th, 2012 we welcomed our much anticipated baby boy, Ryder W, into this world. He came 2 weeks early, which I feel is a little bit of a blessing, not only because I was feeling gigantic and uncomfortable, but because my heart needed him.

I knew that Ryder was on his way Sunday night the 16th. I didn't feel well and went to bed early. I didn't sleep much and the next morning I still felt awful. I thought maybe if I went to work and got moving the pain might ease. It didn't. I called Brady and told him that the baby was coming. He was excited. He came home and showered and packed a bag. I wasn't quite as excited. I was nervous and emotional. Not nervous to have the baby, but nervous because I wasn't sure I would be able to juggling the conflicting emotions of joy of having a baby and sorrow of loved ones who aren't here.
I think any mother that has more than one child can admit that there's a little bit of worry that you aren't going to love your second child as much as you love your first. It doesn't seem possible to have that much love to give. Even though Quincy isn't here, she is still everything to me. I was so worried I would not be able to love this new baby as much as I love her. But I do. It's only been one week and I am already so in love with Ryder. It's amazing how much love a mother can have for her children individually. I never imagined I could love this much again. It feels good.
I thought that having Ryder would help me miss Quincy a little less, that he would fill that void in my heart of losing her. He doesn't. I miss her more. I love him dearly, but it's a new love that I have for him. The void for Q is still there more than ever. I have such an intense love for her and I have realized that it will never be healed. I will love all my children just as much as the last, but she will never be replaced, that void will always be there. Having a newborn brings back so many memories of everything I went through with Quincy. There is something so special about your first child as they teach you how to become a parent. I am reminded of so many precious little memories. I often sit and imagine what it would be like if Q were still here. She loved babies so much and I know she would have loved Ryder. I am constantly living in a daydream of a life I wish were still mine.
Ryder is a good boy. I want so badly to focus on him right now and how wonderful he is. I don't want to think back to his first weeks of life and only remember how sad I was. I want to feel the true joy that others feel when they have a newborn baby. I often feel that my joy is overshadowed by sorrow because I can't get past the fact that Q isn't here and that he is my only child when I should have two. I am trying really really hard not to dwell on this, but to focus on the fact that I am incredibly blessed to have another child who I truly adore. I know Ryder is supposed to be here in our family right now and I know he will help me heal. He doesn't fill the void of not having Q here, but my mother heart is healing every day. To have a little one to take care of again is wonderful. I am a mom which is the best feeling in the world. 
Ryder W Draper 09.18.2012 7 lbs 20 in 1:28 pm

Once again, we are blessed. Welcome to our world Ryder W Draper.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I found this quote on Pinterest and I have thought about it so much. This is something that I have really been struggling with and dwelling on. As it gets closer to having the baby, I have been dwelling a lot on the fact that Quincy isn't here anymore. As a woman and a mother, you tend to have your whole life planned out years in advance. Not only planned, but envisioned. Before I even found out I was pregnant I had already imagined what it would be like to have two children and what Q would be like with a sibling. I envisioned her helping me change diapers and feeding the baby. I envisioned her teaching her brother or sister how to swing and how to color. I envisioned going to the grocery store with two kids and being outnumbered all the time. I envisioned chaos and bliss. I had it all planned out. I knew exactly how it was all going to be.

One of the hardest parts of all of this change has been letting go of that vision. I will never know what kind of a big sister Quincy will be. I will never get to see this little boy interact with her and learn from her. He will now be the oldest and I will watch him interact with his younger siblings, but as for Q, I have to let that go. As I see other families with multiple kids, especially the oldest a girl, I tend to still daydream what it would be like if Q were here. I'm envious of those families. I want my older daughter. I always had said that I wanted a boy first, but after having a girl I grew very fond of the idea of having a good helper for when the next baby came around. Quincy loved babies. She would have loved to be a big sister.

I tend to believe that things happen for a reason. I think that some things have to happen in order for other things to happen. I want so badly to believe that it was Quincy's time to go, along with Val and Kathy's. That their test was done and that for some reason they had to leave this earth so that unforeseen things could happen. I guess that's why this quote has hit me so strong. I do believe there is a plan for all of us. I believe that there is a life mapped out for us and things that are going to happen that we cannot plan for or envision. And when something "unplanned" happens we have to be willing to adapt or our whole lives will crumble. It's ok to crumble for a little bit, but we have to be able to pick up and move forward and let the life that is waiting for us happen. This accident has really changed my perspective. I no longer dare look so much to the future, but am really focused on what is going on right now, today. I don't want to miss out on anything. I don't want to have any regrets. I have spent so much time in sorrow. I long to feel joy and relish in my daily life. There is a lot of good around me and I truly do feel blessed.

In trying to move forward, I decided to put together a room for our little boy that will be here so soon. I thought that this might be somewhat healing. It's something that a mother usually looks forward to, but I have been putting it off for quite a while. I have decided to use as many of Quincy's things as I can because I love her things and I want to see him love them. Putting the room together was not very healing. It was hard. I cried most the time. I am so looking forward to having another little one in our home, but to pull out Q's things was heartbreaking. I think as a mother to pull out your first child's things they have outgrown is bittersweet anyway because they grow so fast and it's a time to reminisce, but the fact that she isn't here anymore is truly heartbreaking. I want her brother to use her blankets and play with her toys and hold her teddy bears, but I want her to be here to share them with him. It's hard. So hard.

I pray that in time the pain and heartache will ease. That joy will overcome sorrow. That I will be willing to let the life that is planned for me happen and enjoy every minute of it that I can, because we never know when something is going to change our plan.

Monday, August 27, 2012

birthday girl

Last week, Sunday the 19th, was Quincy's birthday. I have been dreading this day since Q passed because I knew it was going to be hard. And it was. We didn't want to pretend like it wasn't an important day, but really didn't know what we were supposed to do. There was nothing to celebrate. But it is still her day, and always will be.

We decided to do a family BBQ and then visit the cemetery in honor of her short, sweet life. At the cemetery we sent balloons up to heaven and put gifts at her "headstone". Everyone was so thoughtful bringing her things they knew she would love. Doggies, bubbles, babies and purses with love notes, flowers and pretty things. I'm sure she was there and I'm sure she was thrilled. I wish I could have seen her face.

I have to be honest, as positive as I try to be, I have really been struggling. Planning this get together was extremely heartbreaking. It brought back so many memories of last years BBQ in Wallsburg when Q turned 1. I made her a cake and bought her gifts and balloons. It was so much fun. Val and Kathy were there. Everyone was there. Q was the center of attention and she loved it. I was looking so forward to many more of these memories. And this birthday was far from what I ever imagined. There are quite a few little ones that have or are turning 2 these last few months and it breaks my heart to see them and hear about their parties. I so badly wanted to see Q turn 2, and 12 and 18 and 45.

I know that I will never get the experience on this earth to see her open gifts and blow out candles and play with balloons. I will never see her grow and mature. I will always wonder what she would have been like. I constantly notice little girls around me and try to imagine what Q would be doing if she were here. I wonder what she would look like as she grew older. Would she like her hair long or short? What would her favorite color be? What would she wear on her first day to kindergarten? Would she continue to love babies and girly things? Would she hunt with her daddy like he looked so forward to? I will never know these things.

But I do know something wonderful. I know she is a valiant daughter of God. I know she is ok and she lives. I know she is in heaven with our Savior. I know she is with her grandparents and her siblings. I know she will watch and make sure these little ones will make it here safely to this earth and give them pointers on how to make the best of this life. I know she is watching over Brady and I, helping us make it through each day. She came to this earth by much faith and many prayers. She was strong and she was bold. She was tender and caring. She was wonderful. She was ours and she changed mine and Brady's life forever. We are sad and we are lonely and we struggle every single day. We miss our little sweetheart more than we will ever be able to express.

Happy Birthday Quincy. Wish you were here to sing to us.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I have been so caught up in my sorrow of losing my sweet daughter that I haven't even been able to deal with the loss of two other extremely wonderful people. It still doesn't seem real that Val and Kathy are gone as well. When I really think about it, it just doesn't seem possible. Maybe because they weren't a part of my daily life I feel like they are still here. At their home. Making dinner. Getting ready for bed.

In a few days Brady and I are going to move into Val and Kathy's house. I am going to honest, I am not sure that I am ok with this. I so badly don't want to leave my home, because it is comfortable and it is mine and I love it. I don't know if I can handle another big change right now. But my home is also a painful place to be. I see Quincy all over this house. She was so much a part of why I loved this place that without her here it's a sad place. But all in the same breath, I don't want to leave because I will miss seeing her here. Part of me wants to start new memories in this house with her brother so that it won't be so hard to leave. I'm so torn. It's all bittersweet. But Brady and I have made a decision that we feel good about and that is to move. Have you ever made a decision you don't like, but feel like it's the best thing to do, so you do it? I guess we have to trust that someone knows better than we do.

It is going to be hard to live in Val and Kathy's house because there are lots of priceless memories there too. We have had some wonderful times in that home. But in a way I also feel like living there is kind of an honor. I feel like we will be able to feel a little closer to them by being in their space and using the things they used. And we will think about them more, which will be hard, but good.

A few weeks ago Brady and I were visiting with some of his sisters and their husbands and the word tremendous came up. It's a word that Val used often, which we all agreed was kind of funny. But I think that word is perfect for Val and Kathy because they were tremendous. In the short time that I got to know them I learned so many valuable things that I will always remember.

Val was so valiant. He taught me about service. He was currently the bishop of his ward and was always serving his members. He truly loved those people and talked about them often. There were so many Sunday dinners that he would come late and leave early because someone needed him. I have had countless people tell me that because of Val, their lives were turned around. He was a great servant and he was always prompting us to do what was right. Val was a great father. Brady could call him any time of any day and he would drop what he was doing to lend a hand. He and Kathy always made us feel so welcome in their home by putting down whatever they were doing to visit with us. They made us feel so important. Val taught me about hard work. He didn't always feel great but he always worked hard until the job was done right. Along with his ward, he also took time to take care of Grandma Lee. He took her to Dr. appointments and the temple and lunch. He was truly her friend. He served willingly. Val truly was tremendous.

Kathy taught me who I want to be. She taught me about patience and love and sacrifice. I don't think I have or ever will meet another person that was as patient and kind as Kathy. She always put others first. Always. I never once saw her get impatient or lose her temper. I never heard her say an unkind word. She never made me feel bad about myself or what I was doing. I feel like she loved me as much as one of her own children and I loved her as much as my own mother. She taught me how to let things go and not make a big deal. She taught me how to be flexible. By her example she taught me how to love Brady unconditionally, who is so much like his dad. She raised eight children who are happy and get along and love each other, which is amazing. She was tremendous.

When I write these things, I miss Val and Kathy more than I realize. We take such little things for granted and until they are gone, we don't know how blessed we are. I will always remember the things that I have learned from my wonderful parents-in-law and I hope that I can teach my children to be like them, even though they won't get to know them on this earth. I am thankful that they are watching over my sweet little Quincy. It brings peace to know they are all up there together. Three tremendous people.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Dear little boy,

I am starting your letters early. I am getting way too anxious for you to come. I am now 33 weeks pregnant, with 7 weeks left until you get here. Maybe more. Hopefully less. I am so ready to meet you and hold you and smell you and smother you.

When I first found out you were a boy I was excited, but not quite as excited as your dad. He is so happy to have a boy coming that he can share his interests with. When we found out you are a boy, we said that our world was perfect. We had our girl, and soon our boy. It couldn't get any better. Just 3 days later, your beautiful sister was taken home to heaven and our world changed. Our world shattered. I hate to say this, but as much as I should have been grateful for you to be in my belly at that time, I was not. I was mad. I was mad that Quincy was gone. I was mad that you were a boy and not a girl. I was mad at everything.

As time has continued on and we have continued to learn to live without Q, we have tried to focus on you. We have started gathering things to change a girls room to a boys. We have gone through toys and blankets and clothes and saved some of your sweet sisters things for you to enjoy. We have gotten ultrasounds and talked about names and daydreamed what you are going to look and act like. We have been learning to say "he" instead of "she". We are starting to heal from the unbearable pain of losing your sister and beginning to imagine our new future with you, Quincy's brother. I am now, with time, beyond happy that you are in my belly and that you are a boy, I am ready for you.

As much as I feel I am ready for you, I hope you are ready for me. I am really unsure how I am going to be when you get here. I know that the joy of you coming is going to help push out some of the sorrow I feel for Q, but I'm unsure how my heart is going to handle two such extreme emotions. I'm scared. I hope that I can be strong for you and I hope that you are a good boy for me. We can work together and things will be great. I know that you are what I need to heal and continue to move forward. You are going to make me a mom again. I can't even tell you how excited I am to be your mom. You have pretty big shoes to fill little guy. I'm telling you now, your sister was awesome. She was very special and everyone loved her. She was outgoing and smart and happy and energetic. She was wonderful. I know you will be too.

I hope that you are enjoying your last few moments with your sister and that you are learning from her. In the short time that she was here we learned so much from her. Make sure to tell her thanks for teaching us to be better parents. We will forever cherish every moment with you and your other siblings, as we are now so aware that we are not in charge of how long we will get to have you. We loved every minute with Quincy and will do our best to enjoy every minute with you.

Come soon little boy.

We love you already.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

blessings among tragedy

Today is August 7th, marking 3 months since we lost our little angel. It seems like a lifetime. I would love to write a post and say that as time has passed I am doing great and things are wonderful. But they are not. And I am not. I am sad. And I am so tired of being sad all the time, but I am. This trial has been far more painful and heartbreaking than I ever could have imagined. I want so badly to be happy and carefree like I used to be, but I feel like that will never happen again for me. I just don't know how I can truly be one hundred percent happy until I am with my little doll. I know that one day I will feel that joy that I am promised when we are reunited, but until then I feel like I am going to have to create a new happy. I am going to have to learn to find joy in new things. I will always have a sadness, but I hope as time continues the pain will ease more and more and I will feel happiness and joy more and more.

I have a sad heart today as I think about the 7th of May, just 3 short month ago. The time we spent in the hospital with Quincy and the heavy, permanent decisions we were forced to make. The pain and fear and horror. The sadness and the shock. I feel like I was so numb during that time. I feel like I was so much stronger during that time. I feel like I have become so much weaker since then. I have never prayed so hard as I did in that hospital bathroom, on my knees, pleading for my daughters life. From the time we got the phone call to the time we let Q go I was in one giant, constant prayer. And I know the Lord could have saved her, but he didn't. And now, somehow, I have to find peace in that. I have to trust that He needed her more on His side than I do on mine, which is so hard to convince myself of.

As I think about the horrible accident and all the pain from that day, I feel like in the midst of all the turmoil we were surrounded by countless blessings. When I get overwhelmed and sad and think about the details of that day, I try to focus on those blessings.

While in Moab Quincy called Brady and I with Kathy's help and told us she loved us. Kathy said she had been begging all day to call and talk to us. At the time I didn't know that was the last time I would ever talk to her, but what a huge blessing for her to want to call us. I feel like she just wanted to make sure we knew that she loved us.

The timing in the canyon and where we were when we got the call of the accident couldn't have been better. I feel like we were in the exact spot we needed to be. We were planning on taking a jeep ride that morning and coming home later in the evening, but Saturday our friends jeep broke down. If we would have gone on the ride Sunday morning, we would have been in Moab still when we heard about the accident. That would have been a long, frantic, 4 hour drive home. A huge blessing we weren't still in Moab.

Our friends are early birds and since the morning ride wasn't an option anymore they wanted to get up at 6 and come straight home. We talked them into going to breakfast first which stalled us in getting home. If we would have gotten home earlier Brady would have been at the house and would have gotten the page and responded to the accident, which would have been awful. Another blessing.

As we were coming up the canyon, Brady's friend text him and asked where we were and told him there was an accident and that the canyon was closed. We didn't know at the time it was our family, but talked about going up and around Salt Lake because we were anxious to get home and we were supposed to pick up Q. We had decided to go through the canyon and just wait it out and not waste the gas. As 2 ambulances passed us and we saw life flight leave Brady had said that if we could get close enough he would jump out and help since it looked like a bad one. We were stopped about a mile away from the scene, another blessing we weren't any closer than we were.

We got stopped at the Wallsburg turn and I kept getting the feeling to have Brady call his friend and ask if he knew how long the wait would be, I was really anxious to get home to Q. He did, and that's when we found out it was our family in the accident. We were in a place where we don't usually get service. Another blessing the call was even able to go through and that we were close enough to get the the hospital quick.

We were with our good friends, the McPhie's and I am so glad Brady and I weren't driving. When I found out that it was Val and Kathy's car in the accident and Kathy had already passed and Q was in really bad shape I think I went into shock a little. I don't remember anything about driving to the hospital except people yelling at us for going up the wrong side of the road and yelling back "It's our family!!" And the carseat. I vividly remember the carseat on the side of the road next to the mangled, cut apart Altima that was Kathy's. Sickening. To be with Jake and Megan who are so level headed and calm was a HUGE blessing.

The fire chief was just leaving the scene and escorted us to the hospital. Jakesaid he was going 92 as Megan said a prayer. We got to the hospital just as they were loading Q into lifeflight but gave us a quick minute to give her a blessing and kiss and touch her. That brought great peace to me. To see her hooked to those machines was heartbreaking but to be able to give her a quick blessing and let her know that mommy and daddy were there brought great comfort to me.

That the accident was Kathy's fault is actually a blessing to me. I trusted no one more than Kathy with Quincy. I don't know what happened and why she crossed lanes, I will never know, but I have complete confidence that she wasn't being neglegant and that it truly was an accident. I know she loved Quincy more than anything and would have done anything in her power to avoid all of this.

Kassidy. I am so thankful that she is ok. She has a long road ahead of her but her life is such a wonderful blessing. She is a strong little girl.

The fact that I was able to get pregnant again and to have a little boy growing inside my belly, another wonderful blessing. Sometimes I forget to be grateful for him because I long for Quincy so badly and I have so many mixed feelings about him coming. At first I was mad that he was a boy because all I know is girl and everyone tells me how different boys are. I don't want anything different. I want Q. But as time continues I am truly grateful he's a boy and that he will be different. I hope there's enough of Q in him we can be reminded of her, but he is a blessing and we are counting the days until he gets here.

I know there are other things I haven't mentioned, but as I reflect on the whole experience I'm just amazed that we survived it and we are doing as well as we are. I know that we were surrounded by our 3 angels and that they have helped us tremendously. It's hard. Every day is hard. Everything is hard. There isn't one minute that I don't think of Quincy or Kathy or Val. Everything around me reminds me of one of them. I often have a tear in my eye, but I'm learning to smile about the memories and focus on the great things we got to share with all of them and not as much the fact that they aren't here anymore. My sister in law told me something that I have thought about so much lately. She said that sometimes these people, although so important in our lives, are taken back to heaven because they can help us more from that side than they could here. I feel like I need Q here to survive this life, but I have to trust that I need her help from that side more. She will be able to do things now that weren't in her power here on this earth. I have to remember the bigger picture and learn to trust and continue to watch for the blessings. Because we are so blessed.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

i miss you


I wish I was writing this letter to update your achievements and milestones but I am writing this because all I can think about is how much I miss you. It's been almost 3 months since you have been gone and I would love to write something happy and exciting, or say that everything is wonderful, but oh Quincy darling, it's not. I miss you so much. I don't even think the word miss comes close to explaining how I feel. I long for you. I yearn for you. I ache for you. I think about you every minute of every day. What you would be doing if you were here. What would we be having for dinner. What would you be wearing.

I miss so many things about you Quincy. I miss every single thing about you. I miss your chubby dirty little hands. I miss wiping figerprints of off everything. I miss them touching my face and playing with my hair. I miss holding them while helping you with everything. Those little hands were the only thing in the hospital and the casket that still looked the same. I love that we got a mold of your hand and foot. I miss your tiny feet. You were barely in a size 4 and I loved buying those tiny shoes for you. I miss the way that every time I told you to get your shoes you picked the pink squeeky cowboy boots. You loved those boots so much.
I miss the messes you would make and having to clean them up. I miss sweeping the floor around your chair. I miss feeding you "logurt" and "ceweal" for breakfast. I miss eating cold food because I was feeding you. I miss you "helping" me load the dish washer by closing and opening the door between each dish. And helping me wash dishes in the sink by playing with bubbles and acting like you hated them on your hands then asking for more.
I miss bathing you. I miss seeing that little head bobbing just about the rim of the tub. I miss the way you would put your whole body strength into opening the bottom drawer and almost falling over every time you opened it, and then putting every single bath toy you had in the tub one by one. I miss your cute little bare bum and the way you would waddle to the trash can to put your diaper in the garbage. You would always stall before dropping it in and look deep in the can. Then you would run around and find dad and make sure he knew you were "naken" before you got in the tub. Oh I miss that little body. I miss cuddling after you get out of the bath. We never missed a cuddle. I miss lotioning you, clipping your nails, cleaning your ears, combing your hair, brushing your teeth. I so badly miss the clean smell of you after a bath. I even miss the dirty smell of you before your bath.
I miss having your seat and your crumbs in my car and a diaper in my purse. I miss, when scheduling anything, planning around your nap time and lunch time. My whole life revolved around you and I loved it. I miss buying you things. Every store I went to I always had my eye out for something that I thought you might like. I still find myself looking for little things for you. Every time I walk past the $.97 treat bin at Wal Mart I think of you. You always picked a treat to share with dad and talked about it all the way home from the store. I miss talking to you. We rarely listened to the radio in the car because we would talk back and forth. I would ask you about your day and Carrie's and you would tell me you played and ate a "mamich". We would sing songs and recite the ABC's and counting to 10 in English and Spanish over and over. I miss your little voice so much. Most of all I miss your little voice calling me Mommy.
I miss reading you books and rocking you to bed. I miss your little voice coming from your room jabbering about who knows what, sometimes asking for a candy or a drink. I miss it in the morning when you call for me or daddy to come get you. I miss getting you out of bed and waiting while you gathered all your stuff, your blankie, your softie, your pillow pet and your doggie. You always had to have your hands full. I miss cuddling in bed and watching Bubble Guppies. I can't even go past that channel on the TV anymore without crying. I was getting so sick of Bubble Guppies. I think I had every episode memorized, but Quincy I would do anything to sit and watch it with you agian. I would watch it all day if it meant you were here with me.
I could go on and on and on about every tiny little detail that I miss about you darling. I honestly genuinely miss every tiny thing about you. I just cant say enough how much I miss you. I feel like a day will never go by that I won't think about you and just how much I love you and wish you were here with me. I am counting the unknown number of days until I get to see you again and until then I will miss you every single minute.

Love you lots.