This blog is an uncensored look into my soul. I am writing this as part of my healing process, but am leaving it public so others can follow me through my journey.

If you'd like to start from the beginning, click on the beautiful, adorable picture of Hailey on the right hand column.

You can also email me at:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas - It's a Boy!

I am happy to report that Christmas this year went much better than last year!  I'm not going to go as far as saying it was easy or my heart didn't ache like crazy, but it was actually bearable this time.  Partially because of our big announcement to my family: The little angel Hailey has sent us is a BOY!!!  (I'll give more details and my feelings on this little bundle of joy in my next post.)

As for Christmas, I think the anticipation was much, much worse than the actual day.  I just kept thinking of how ridiculously heart wrenching and excruciatingly painful last year was, which caused me to be terrified for this year.  I remember sleeping for 5 hours that day, while the rest of my family took care of my girls.  Then, that evening laying in a ball on my bathroom floor and crying so hard I got a bloody nose.  But, this year, now that all is said and done, I must say I'm a little proud of myself and how far I've come!  Yes, it hurt.  And yes, I wondered all day about Hailey and how she would have fit into the mix had she been here.  And yes, I missed her like absolute crazy.  But, no, not in a hopeless, depressing way.  Instead, I felt hopeful and a sense of peace in my heart for my little angel.

I decided to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, which is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and what that really means for Hailey and my family.  Because of such a profound event, one like none other, Hailey and I will be back together again one day in total happiness.  Not to mention, that I'm sure her Christmas was much more "beau'ful" than I could even begin to imagine from here.  I know, literally without a shadow of a doubt, that she still lives and is happier in Heaven than she could ever be here on the Earth.  Not that it always makes it easy on me or that I'm completely okay with it, but that knowledge will do for now. 

Last night, on Christmas Eve, we brought down our life sized cardboard cutout of Hailey and sat it in a chair in our living room.  Of course, that may seem very weird, or even crazy, to some people, but it really brought a huge sense of peace to me. Last year, I couldn't even look at it of without being reduced to sobs, but this year it made me smile!  I honestly felt like she was right there with us, which I know she was.  And she will continue to sit with us every Christmas from now until we meet again!  I know that when the day comes that I'll get to see her and hold her in my arms, she'll remember every Christmas we had since she was gone, because she really never was gone!    

We still include Hailey in all of our family things.  For example, our yearly ornament exchange; every year we each pick a family member, in secret, and buy them an ornament representing something from that year.  Well, we do still include Hailey in that exchange, and always will.  I want her to have her own ornaments and continue to be represented on our tree, as we all are.  We also take whatever money we would have used to buy her Christmas gifts and donate it to our foundation in her honor.

Of course, we went to visit her today at her place and it was absolutely "beau'ful.  The cemetery couldn't have been more peaceful and beautifully decorated.  Not to mention, all the wonderful people who stopped by and dropped off little tokens and notes of love!  It made my day to think that others would take the time to remember her and us on such a special day.  I also found a dime there!!  As most of you know, we just got over having 5 straight days of torrential rains, which basically destroyed her place.  I still stopped by every day or two to clean up what I could, even though it was raining.  We always had 2 loose dimes, tails up, laying on her headstone that someone had left there while visiting.  Well, after the rains they were long gone and no where to be found.  I was there yesterday and dug all around her stone, cleaned up all the leaves, wiped all her little knickknacks off and polished her stone to perfection!  Then I left a huge bouquet of flowers and an adorable Santa and reindeer balloon.  Well, today when we came back to visit, I walked over to her stone and sure enough there was a dime, half buried in the dirt, by the upper corner of her stone.  She was there...I know it!

Anyways, thank you all so very much for your supportive words, emails, texts, phone calls, letters, and silent prayers.  Each one made an impression on my heart and helped me to have a "beau'ful" day!

Merry Christmas! 

Hailey with us on Christmas.

Hailey is sending us a little boy!

Hailey's Place decorated with love.

Merry Christmas Sweet Angel
Can you see the tiny dime in the upper right hand corner of her stone?

It looks like she's happy with her decorations! 
 (Her Christmas tree even has solar powered lights that come on at night!)

We miss you baby girl.

Lexi with her little sister.

Grammies and Grampies

Auntie Kim

My dime!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feeling A Little Uneasy

Normally I would be asleep by now, but not tonight.  It's 12:01am to be exact, and my heart is full of longing for my little Hailey.  Christmas is only 3 days away and I'm missing her and aching for her more and more each day.  As much as I want to think this Christmas is going to be easier than last, I have to admit that I'm feeling very uneasy about it.  Every time I think of last year my stomach does somersaults and my heart aches.  It was definitely the most excruciating day of my entire life, aside from the actual day Hailey passed away. 

Although, I don't outwardly show it, I am still carrying a lot of pain and heartache with me every single second of every single day.  Having both girls home this past week and all next week leads me to constantly wonder where Hailey would have fit into the mix.  What would we all be doing together?  Would Hailey and Lexi actually be getting along and playing together, instead of Lexi playing by herself?  I was home with Hailey all day everyday for three years, which means that I face her loss all day, everyday now.  Sometimes its hardest when Lexi is at school and Ava is napping and its just me alone, yet other times its hardest when we're all together as a family and she's missing.

I'm trying so hard to stay positive and focus on the good things about this year.  Thanksgiving went very well, better than I had expected.  And the fact that we were just able to help five other families in need with donations given to us in Hailey's honor is definitely uplifting, not to mention, this new little baby on the way.  But, even those things don't come close to taking away that emptiness I feel inside for Hailey.  

Christmas shopping was very difficult for me.  As I made out lists of what to get the girls and then walked the aisles of the stores, I couldn't help but look around and wonder what Hailey would have wanted.  What would have brought her beautiful smile out on Christmas morning?  

I absolutely hate the fact that I have to spend another Christmas (the rest of my Christmases) without her here.  I absolutely hate the fact that I didn't get to see her sit on Santa's lap excitedly telling him what she wants.  I absolutely hate the fact that I don't get to tuck her into her warm bed in her new p.j.'s on Christmas eve and kiss her little head as she is bouncing with anticipation for the following morning.  I absolutely hate the fact that I don't get to watch her face light up as she races down the stairs on Christmas morning to open her presents.  And I absolutely hate the fact that I have to go visit my precious daughter at the cemetery on Christmas.

Gosh, I hate to be a downer so close to Christmas, but it's rough.  There's so much joy and excitement around during the holidays and I'm trying my best to take that in and remember all the things I still have to be grateful for.  I love my family so much and I am thrilled to be able to spend Christmas with them!  I still have two beautiful girls here and a new baby on the way!  And my husband is the most wonderful, supportive man I could ask for!  Plus, I still have so much support from all of you who continue to stand beside me and walk this journey with me.  Thank you for that.

Anyways, the anticipation and uneasiness of Christmas Eve and Day is practically killing me, so I just needed to get it off my chest.  I'm praying my little heart out that it will be a little easier than last year and I won't have another emotional breakdown like I did then.  But, I am nervous.  

The one thing that has given me just a little comfort here and there is a poem I posted last year around Christmas that I'll share in closing:

Christmas In Heaven

I see so many Christmas trees
around the world below.

 With tiny lights like Heaven's stars
reflecting on the snow.

 The sight is so spectacular!
Please wipe away that tear.

For I am spending Christmas,
with Jesus Christ this year!

I hear the many Christmas songs, 
that people hold so dear.

But the sounds of music can't compare,
with the Christmas choir here.

I have no words to tell you
the joy their voices bring.

 For it's beyond description
to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me.
I see pain in your heart.

And even though I'm far away,
we really aren't apart.

So be happy for me special one.
You know I hold you dear.

Be glad I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year!

I'm sending you a special gift
from my heavenly home above.

I send you each a memory
of my undying love.

Please don't forget "love" is the gift
more precious than all gold.

It was always most important
in the stories God has told.

Please love and treat each other
As God has said to do.

For I cannot count the blessings
or the love He's sent for you.

So have a Merry Christmas
and wipe away that tear.

Remember that I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Five Hailey's Halos Given Out!!!

Well tonight we gave out 5 more "Hailey's Halos!"  What a beautiful way to start a Christmas week, that would otherwise be quite difficult.  First, before I tell you about the families, I want to extend a special thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have helped to make these opportunities possible.  We could never do this on our own.  It is all because of your generous donations, participation in Hailey's race, support, and prayers that we have been able to touch these peoples lives.  May God bless you and your families for your continued love and compassion in honor of our precious Hailey.

(I am going to keep the names of these families anonymous for their own privacy, however they have all agreed to share their stories and pictures on Hailey's Foundation website!  You can find the link on the right hand side of my blog.)

The first family we "haloed" has 4 children.  Their second child is a 5 year old little girl who found out 2 weeks after her 5th birthday that she had bone cancer in one of her legs.  Although the doctors ended up having to amputate her leg, she has been an amazing inspiration to her family.  Her spirit has not wavered and her mom even said that she's been trying to do cartwheels.  We happened to call at the perfect time because they currently have a leak in their house that desperately needs to be fixed, but they couldn't afford it due to medical expenses.  It was such an honor to be able to give them some money to help out and also acknowledge their faith and strength!  They were so grateful and will hopefully have a wonderful Christmas!

The second halo was given to a single mom who has a daughter with Trisomy 18.  Apparently, she was not supposed to survive past the age of 1, but is still living and thriving at the age of 5.  She was nominated by her daughter's paternal grandmother because her son (the father of the little girl) has chosen to walk away from the situation.  This grandmother continues to support her grandson and his mother in the best way she can, but unfortunately they are both dealing with some major financial struggles.  The mother was devastated that she couldn't afford to give her precious child a Christmas.  She was so thrilled and grateful to have received this Halo!!

The third family has a child who has many health struggles.  He was in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy for three hours a week until their insurance copay became beyond what they could afford.  This situation is one that's dear to my heart because Hailey was in 5 hours of therapy a week, which drastically changed her life and gave her the ability to do so many things she would have struggled with.  Unfortunately, this precious little boy hasn't been to therapy is several months now due to the financial strain it has put on the family.  They were so surprised and honored to have been nominated and chosen to receive a halo!

Next on our list was a little girl, age 2, with brain cancer.  Unfortunately, the type of cancer she has is wrapped around her brain stem, inoperable, and incurable.  The doctor told her family there was nothing more they could do and that they should go home and enjoy every moment with their little girl.  As her mother started researching the cancer online, she found a doctor in Texas that does alternative medicine and was able to cure several children of "incurable" cancer.  Of course, insurance didn't pay a dime of it, so the family pooled together everything they had and ventured forward in the journey.  As of now, their daughter is symptom free!!!  Their one dream is to take her to Disneyland, which they posted on their blog.  When we talked to the mother she was telling us how she just put the entire trip on her credit card and was going to deal with it later.  Well, later actually came sooner because we were able to help her pay that trip off and make her dream come true!! She just cried and thanked us over and over.   It was such a beautiful experience. 

Our last halo was to a family who had a son born 70 days early.  He was still in the NICU fighting for his life when they were nominated, but upon talking with the family we learned that he passed away a few days ago.  This was a tough call because the emotions were still so painful and raw.  They originally said they felt that they shouldn't accept the donation because their son was no longer here, but of course we insisted.  They were so touched and with tears flowing we were grateful to hopefully give them one tiny moment of joy this Christmas season.

The choice Sean and I made to start this foundation in Hailey's honor has been one of the best decisions we've ever made in our lives.  Although at times its painful, and I wish we never had to take this road, it has also been full of miracles, joys, and healing.  We are so blessed to have such supportive and compassionate people in our lives to help make this foundation a reality.  And again, I'll never say it enough, thank you so much to all of you!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hailey's Christmas Dress

Last night I went shopping with some of my girlfriends for our monthly "Girl's Night."  As we were browsing through the store I found the most adorable Christmas dress for Ava.  I debated buying it and then decided against it because I hate spending money on clothes that I know will only get worn once or twice, and realistically this dress was one of them.  So I put it back and continue browsing.  

Next thing I know I come across the same exact dress in Lexi's size.  This is rare because Lexi is seven and Ava is two so the style of clothes between those two ages aren't usually the same.  So then I started re-debating buying the dresses because Lexi, even at seven, loves to match Ava.  She's always trying to get me to dress Ava in the same or similar outfit as she's wearing that day.   Anyways, I considered it more (I know...a lot of thought over a dress!) and then thought of Hailey.

The Valentine's Day before Hailey died I looked EVERYWHERE for three matching dresses to get the girls' pictures in, but couldn't find anything.  Eventually I settled on three similar dresses and called it a day.  So I kind of felt that finding three adorable Christmas dresses in the exact sizes I needed for the three girls was almost like a sick joke.  I'll be honest, it hurt.  I didn't expect it to hurt so bad or affect me in such a harsh way, but it did.  I couldn't imagine only buying two of the dresses without one for Hailey, but on the other hand, why would I buy the one for Hailey since she's not here to wear it? I debated if it was crazy to even consider it.  Was I being ridiculous or in major denial?  Was it creepy?  Why did I even have to think about dumb stuff like this?  How unfair.

One of my favorite things in the world was taking pictures of my girls all together, so every time I take a picture of Lexi and Ava it stabs my heart...especially if they were matching.  I know it's something I'm going to have to figure out and accept because I have a lifetime of pictures without Hailey and I can't not take pictures of my other kids because she's not in them.  Anyways, it's just one of those stupid issues that come with losing a child that I'm just going to have to deal with...for the rest of my life.  :(

So, back to the dresses...I ended up buying all three.  I just couldn't bear to only buy two when I have three beautiful girls.  Now came the next debate...What do I do with Hailey's dress?  I was trying to think of a way I could incorporate it into the picture without it seeming too weird, but couldn't come up with anything.  

As I was discussing my ideas and options with my friends, one of them said, "Why don't you find a family in need who can't afford to buy their little girl a special Christmas dress?  Then you could donate it to them in Hailey's honor?"   Ding, Ding, Ding...Jackpot.  I loved the idea!!  This way a wonderful little girl can look "beau'ful, as Hailey would say, and as Hailey is, for Christmas!

So all that being said, or typed, I have no idea how or where to find this little girl.  I asked Hailey to help me and now I'm asking all of you for your help.  If you know of a deserving little girl, who's family cannot afford to buy her a "beau'ful" Christmas dress, please email me at the address on the top of my blog.  If I receive more than one request, I'll put the names in a hat and draw one.  I'm totally willing to send it wherever it needs to go, so it doesn't matter where you live.  The only thing I'm hoping is that the family would be willing to send me a picture of the little girl wearing it, so I can see her smile and think of Hailey, but that's not a requirement!

Wow...such a big fuss over buying a Christmas dress, huh?  But I'm hoping all the fuss will result in a special little girl looking "beau'ful" and having a special Christmas in honor of my little Hailey!

Here's the famous dress.  (It's a size 4)

P.S. I decided to dress Lexi and Ava in their dresses and take their picture at Hailey's Place so she can still be a part of it!

Thanksgiving Weekend and a Really Neat Dime Story

I know I'm a little late for a Thanksgiving post, but I've been meaning to get around to it, so here I am.  This year was quite uneventful (in a good way).  I have to say, that unlike Halloween, it was easier to get through this Thanksgiving than last year's.  I still have so much to be grateful for and I've learned to really focus on those things because you never know when one of them will be taken in an instant.  I've become so aware that no matter how bad life can be or seem, it can definitely always get worse.  So I'm trying to keep gratitude in my heart and enjoy my family the most because everything else is just material things.  I mean, don't get me wrong, they're nice to have, but most can be replaced...people, family, cannot...Ever.

We always go to a little town called Solvang, up near Santa Barbara, each year from the Friday to Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Last year was literally excruciating for me.  I wrote a post about it back then, but haven't gone back to read it.  Actually, I haven't gone back to read any of my posts yet because each and every memory and moment is still much too painful for me to relive...even the positive ones.  The emotions attached are still so strong.  I guess that's why this blog is good for me.  One day I'll be able to go back and relive this journey, but for now, I'm just getting through every "today."  

Anyways, back to Solvang.  Last year I remember walking through all the little shops reminiscing about Hailey and wondering what she would have been doing.  It had only been three months since she had passed away, so as you can imagine the emotions were still very fresh and raw.  It took all I had to keep from breaking down into hysterical sobs at each new Christmas song I heard.  Eventually the pain did become too great and I completely broke down.  I sat outside in the courtyard of our hotel and cried hysterically.  It was tough.  Just writing about the memory makes my eyes well with tears.  

But this year was different.  It was a little easier, which I hate to say or admit because in a lot of ways it scares me.  I'm so torn because I relish those days where the agony isn't so profound because the relief is much needed, but on the other hand, I dread them because I'm so afraid it means I might be "getting over it."  Of course, I'll NEVER get over it, but this is just uncharted territory that I'm not used to dealing with.

So, while in Solvang, of course, I was looking for my dime.  I kept begging Hailey to send me a dime so I knew she was there and was going to continue to join us every year, even if only to drop off that little token of love.  As I walked through the little streets and shops my eyes were crazily scanning the ground the entire time, but to no avail.  So I was pretty bummed, to say the least.  I was also a little worried that maybe she was forgetting about us.

Later in the evening, Sean, my sister, and I decided to check out an Indian Casino down the street.  (Thanks Mom and Dad for babysitting!)   I instantly perked up because I thought if there was anywhere I was bound to find a dime, it was in a casino.  Well, I quickly discovered that technology has also taken over the casino world and no machines took coins.  Seriously?  Not to mention, they had no dime slot machines, only pennies, nickels, and quarters.  Every machine only takes bills and whatever you win comes out in a receipt that you have to cash more jingling of the coins as they all pour out.  My hopes were dashed.  But...knowing Hailey, I should have had a little more faith.  After about a half hour there, Kim went and found a quarter slot machine she wanted to play.  I sat down next to her to watch.  After about 5 minutes I happened to look down and see a white receipt in the bottom of the machine.  I asked her if it was hers and she said it wasn't and that she hadn't even notice it.  So, I picked it up hoping it was someone's million dollar winnings.  Well, it was way better than that!!!  It was for .10!!!  Yes, ten cents...a dime, if you will!  

I couldn't believe it!  What are the odds that we would happen to sit at the one quarter slot with a receipt for 10 cents left there?  My spirits soared and I was thrilled for the rest of the trip.  (Oh, and I didn't cash it in.  I had to keep the proof on that one.)

Way to be creative Hailey!  I love you baby girl.