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:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Can Live With God Again

As I watched this video on a friend's Facebook page, I couldn't help but cry my eyes out.  It is so beautiful. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another Angel in Heaven

My Grandmother died this morning.  It's interesting the different perspective it brings when you already have someone so close to you there in Heaven.  I have such faith and immense belief in the fact that when we "die" it's literally just our body that stops working.  Actually, I don't just have faith, I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that life goes on after we leave this Earth.  That being said, I've been thinking all day about what my grandma is doing up there in Heaven.  

It's so real to me that I imagine her as alive as if she were sitting in her apartment in Boston.  Really the only difference is that I can't call and talk to her or visit her whenever I want.  Unfortunately, that's kind of a big difference and even the faith and knowledge that I have doesn't take away my sadness to see her go.  I'm really going to miss her.

I read a book called, The Message, right after Hailey died that gave me such peace and comfort in regards to where she is.  It's written by a man named Lance Richardson who spent three months in a drug induced coma. During that time he left his body several times and visited the Spirit World.  The book is his account of what it's like there and what he learned.  Of course, not everyone will find this believable which is totally fine with me.  I will say, though, that I believe it 100%.  It follows exactly what my religious beliefs tell me is true, not to mention, that he gives several experiences that really can't be disputed.  (For example, he went and watched his children in their classrooms and upon waking up from his coma he was able to describe exactly what they were wearing, where they sat, and what questions they asked.)  That's enough for me to believe, and honestly, if for some reason I'm wrong it's okay with me because it gave me the comfort I needed in this lifetime!

Anyways, as I've been thinking of my Grandma and her reunion with her family members who have died before her - in particular, Hailey - I can't help but feel the joy in her soul to finally be out of her 94-year old body and free for the intense pain she's felt for so many years!  I decided to look back through the book for some comfort and here is one passage that I read:  

"I watched numerous people pass through that veil while I was there.  It was most enjoyable.  I witnessed an elderly woman whose family anticipated her arrival.  They were jumping up and down excitedly, as if waiting for a loved one to come off an airplane. ... Upon seeing the group, the woman's expression turned to one of absolute splendor."

"The group began to walk away together.  "They are going to where a family celebration has been planned," Randy explained."  (Randy is Lance's cousin who passed away 20 years prior.) 

I could quote this entire book!  It is seriously one of the best and most exciting (if you will) books I have ever read in my lifetime!  It gave me so much hope and peace when Hailey died.  I highly recommend everyone check it out...even if you're not a believer, it's still very interesting. 

Anyways, selfishly I wish my grandma were still here, as I also do Hailey, but unselfishly I think they are so lucky to be where they are.  They are even more a part of our lives from there than if they were physically back here on Earth. I seriously look forward to the day when I get to go be with them again and check out that Spirit World, or Paradise, as we often call it.

My Grandma meeting Joey for the first time, a week before she died.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The aMAYZing Kids Clinic

An aMAYZing thing happened last weekend...yes, the pun was intended!!!  Before I go any further, I'm going to attach the two articles that were in the paper for you to review:  (Make sure to click on the photos in the articles.)

Now, assuming you read the articles you already know what that aMAYZing thing was!!  Our clinic is finally open!  It has taken Sean and Hailey's therapists over a year of extremely hard work and dedication to get to this point, but it has paid off!!  I am so proud of them!

I often go and volunteer on Wednesday's when my mother comes down to watch my kiddos.  It is such a wonderful experience.  I really wish I could work there full-time because I feel Hailey's spirit so strongly there.  It is such an awesome place to be!!!

Since I'm only able to be there once a week, I haven't really seen any children be treated until just recently.  A couple of weeks ago I sat in the office listening to the therapists work with these special kids and my eyes welled in tears over the sheer joy it brought to my heart.  I remembered so vividly all the times I heard them say the exact same things to my sweet Hailey.  It was such a beautiful thing.  After listening for a little while, I couldn't help myself so I peeked around the corner and watched for a few minutes.  It may sound odd, but it was so exciting to see the pride on the children's faces when they were successful at a task and heard, "Good Job!  You did it!"  I was right back there with Hailey all over again.

The thought of us being able to help other children and give them the same sense of pride and increased quality of life Hailey has is one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced in my entire lifetime!  The therapists that worked with her, and now helped create aMAYZing Kids, are among the very best...not just at what they do, but at who they are.  These woman love their job, along with the children they work with, and it shows every time they are with a child.  I will be forever grateful and indebted to them for what they did for Hailey and even more so, for how much the loved and still love her.

I want to extend a special and heartfelt thank you to all those who have supported us in this venture.  aMAYZing Kids would not be possible without all the volunteers and donations we have received.  It is so overwhelming to me how much my daughter was and is loved!

I could have NEVER imagined, 2 years ago, that what I thought was a tragedy in the sudden death of my baby girl, would in fact become a huge triumph and blessing to so many.  I know she is proud!

For more information on aMAYZing Kids, please check out our website at:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pretend City

The other day I took Ava to a place called Pretend City.  For those of you who don’t live near me, it’s literally a mini city for children. It’s in a huge warehouse-like building and the inside is set up like small downtown.  It has a house, garden, grocery store, doctor’s & dentist’s office, library, restaurant, bank, beach, police station, water area, construction area, art area, stage, and even roads with little cars the kids can drive around.  Basically the kids just run around and pretend to be whatever they want to be.  It’s a great place!

Anyways, while I was there watching Ava play in the restaurant area, pretending to be a waitress and bring me fake food, it struck me how much I have come to love pretending again, as an adult.  I love to pretend that Hailey is still here, alive and well and growing up with her sisters and brother.  When I’m with my kids, I often sit back and watch them wondering where Hailey would be in the mix and pretending that she’s up in her room playing or in the bathroom or on a play date, but wherever it may be I also pretend that she’ll be home that night for dinner.

I have found that I actually enjoy talking with people I don’t know, and that I’ll probably never see again, about my kids.  When I do so, I just pretend that Hailey is still here and talk about her as she was and as I think she would be.  For example, I met a lady sitting in the doctor’s office one day when I was with Ava and Joey.  Of course, the inevitable question, “How many kids do you have,” was asked.  I quickly answered 4, as I always do and always will.  Then, like clockwork, she asked their ages.  I know she was just trying to make small talk, but people have no idea how much that question stings when you’ve lost one of your children.  It’s the worst.  So, as always, I said, “8, 5, 2 ½, and 3 months.” 

It took me so long, after Hailey died, to figure out how I was going to answer those questions because I knew that’s usually the first thing people ask when they see someone with a bunch of kids. After much thought and trying out of different responses, I decided from now on to answer just as I did.

Anyways, since I knew I would probably never see this lady again, I felt no need to inform her that my “5” year old isn’t actually five because she died when she was three.  When that comes up, there’s always the awkward, “Oh, I’m so sorry,” and then silence, to which I end up comforting the person I’m talking to and trying to make them feel better by saying it’s okay, (when, in fact, it’s really not).  So instead of going there I just started telling her about Lexi and how she’s in third grade and all about Hailey and what a great big sister she is to Ava and Joey (because I know she would be).  I started to really enjoy pretending that Hailey was still here and talking about her as if she was now a happy, healthy five-year old in Kindergarten.

I don’t know if that’s considered lying or not and at first I worried about it because one thing I am definitely not is a liar, but then I realized that it’s not a lie at all because Hailey is still very much here and alive in spirit.  And she is still the same strong, spunky, happy go-lucky, aMAYZing, little girl in spirit as she would be in body. So that’s my Pretend “City.”

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hailey's "First Day of Kindergarten"

So today would have been Hailey’s first day of Kindergarten. I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t think about it all day long.  I went to bed last night thinking of how excited she (and I) would have been when I tucked her in.  I woke up this morning thinking of how excited she (and I) would have been when I dropped her off.  It really hurt. 

I wonder what she would have worn, how we would have done her hair, what backpack she would have picked out, where she would have sat in her classroom, how she would write her name, and on and on and on.  I longed for a picture of my two girls together on their first day of school, just like all those ones I see on Facebook.  I ached to see them walking together, hand in hand, to their classrooms.  (Okay, that one was a little bit of a stretch…I know Hailey would have refused to hold Lexi’s hand!  But I still imagined it anyways.)  I saw her running up to me after school with a huge smile on her face as I wrapped my arms around her and asked her how her day was.  I could hear her chatting away telling me about all the exciting events of the day.   

I know she would have absolutely LOVED school!  I remember how much she would want to stay with Lexi when we would bring her to school.  One day I was chatting with some friends as I was walking to my car after I dropped Lexi off .  All of a sudden I realized Hailey was missing.  I went frantically searching for her everywhere and after about 5 minutes found her sitting in Lexi’s classroom on the floor in the middle of all the kids.  Lexi’s teacher (or the other kids for that matter) never even noticed her.  I laugh every time I think of it because she just thought she was the cat’s meow!

 Here's a picture of Hailey that day.  She's wearing a green shirt and has a lollipop hanging out of her mouth.  I just love her mischievous expression!

Anyways, I know as a mother we always want and assume the best for our children.  Sometimes I wonder if Hailey’s life would have been as great as I had imagined it or if I was just in denial at how difficult her struggles would have truly been. 

She was smaller than most of the children her age, although her personality was 10 times the size of the average 3 year old!  But I know how cruel children can be at times (not because they intend to, but because they haven’t quite developed compassion and empathy yet).  Would the other kids have made fun of her because she was smaller or because she had a lot of scars from all her surgeries or because she got really “phlegmy” when she would eat and even have to gag sometimes?  Oh my gosh, that would have been absolutely devastating to me as a mother if one of my children were made fun of.  Although, I will say that Hailey, even as small as she was, didn’t put up with nothin’ from no one.  She would have taken those kids down in a heartbeat!

Anyways, I just wanted to share my feelings today.  I miss my little girl and hate the fact that for the rest of my life I’m going to have to wonder what she would be like.  I want so badly for her to be here living a “normal” 5 year old life.  I would give anything to see her and Lexi go to school together each day and grow up together and be best buds (and enemies) together.  Even with faith and hope, life still can feel really unfair at times.  I'm just grateful that I know she is right where she wants to be and probably couldn't be happier...even though I would very selfishly bring her back in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hailey's 2nd "Heavenly Birthday"

I know it’s been a while since I’ve last written, but this summer has been so busy!  Not that I’ve forgotten Hailey or my blog…I actually have a whole list of things I need to write about to catch up, so I decided to finally get started.

Hailey’s 2nd “Heavenly Birthday” was August 11th and it actually turned out to be a nice day.  It started off a little shaky because I couldn’t help but keep reminding myself that it’s been an entire 2 years, 24 months, 104 weeks, 730 days, 17,520 hours, 1,051,200 minutes, and 63,072,000 seconds since I last physically hugged, kissed, or heard my little girl laugh.  But the good news is that I did really well at not reviewing the events of that horrible day over and over again in my head.  I did think of it a couple times, but then reminded myself that Hailey would not want me remembering her in death, but only in life. Not to mention, that I knew it would do me absolutely no good.  That’s one of the reasons I’m so glad I started my blog because I have it all written down so I don’t feel the need to continually review everything over and over and over again out of fear of forgetting.  If I ever need to be reminded, I can go back and read what I’ve written…which, by the way, I still have not done out of pure terror at what difficult emotion it might bring back.

I did have a really cool experience that day, though, that I wanted to share with you all!  That morning we went and had frozen yogurt at Hailey’s Place.  I brought her a side of strawberries because every time we’d get frozen yogurt she would literally say about a hundred times, “Mommy, no ‘i keem,’ just stawbewwy…no ‘i keem,’ just stawbewwy.”  So I would always get her two big sides of strawberries instead of yogurt. The weather could not have been more perfect and her place more serene.  I felt like I was experiencing a little slice of Heaven while sitting there visiting her.

Later that evening my family and I went to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings because they were having a fundraiser for Hailey’s Foundation.  What better way to celebrate her life than by going to dinner and making money to help other children in her honor?  As we were there I quietly asked her to send me a dime so I would know that she had a “beau’ful” day and was there with us.  It was already about 7:00pm so I knew there weren’t many chances to find one, but I also had faith that she’d come through for me.  I scanned the restaurant and the parking lot as we left but found nothing. 

While at dinner, my friend asked me if I wanted to go to the movies with her.  It wasn’t a movie I was dying to see, but I thought it would be a good distraction.  When we arrived at the theater it was around 8:30pm so the parking lot was packed.  We decided to park a few rows away and walk instead of driving around for hours looking for a parking spot.  She randomly picked a spot where there were no other cars and parked.  I opened the door, stepped out and right at the tip of my foot was a dime shining in the light, tails up!  Of all the spots we could have parked, we just happened upon the one with the dime right there! I couldn’t believe it!!  My sweet Hailey heard me and was there.  I can’t even describe the smile that put on my face and the joy in my heart.

After 2 years, she is still just as much here as when she first left us!  I know she will always be nearby looking out for us and keeping in touch by sending her little tokens of love…a dime, tails up!

Monday, August 8, 2011


As the two-year “anniversary” of Hailey’s death quickly approaches I’ve been reflecting a lot on what I’ve learned since she died.  First off, I put the word anniversary in quotes because I hate using that term for a death.  To me, an anniversary should be something celebrated…a joyous event, so I’ll do my best to celebrate that “beau’ful” little life she lived.  Anyways, I’m not going to lie and say these past two years haven’t been the hardest, most excruciating years of my life because they absolutely have, but even so, I’m still here and moving forward everyday.  Even more surprising is that I still feel peace and joy at times.  This is because my precious child lives on and I know how proud she is of all the work we’re doing in her honor!

Over the past week as I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who I am and how this trial has changed me.  One of my big epiphanies was that I'm not taking full advantage of one the special “gifts” that Hailey has given me.  I realized that I wasn’t enjoying my children, or my life for that matter.  When Hailey first passed away I remember suddenly becoming so aware of the little things and how important they are.  By little things I mean hearing my children laugh, seeing a beautiful butterfly, eating a yummy ice cream sundae, etc.  I really started to appreciate and savor those moments and it was wonderful.  Unfortunately, that appreciation didn’t last as long as I would have liked and I quickly fell back into being easily annoyed by the little things.  In this case, by little things, I mean a spilled drink on the table, a messy playroom, a fussy child, some traffic on the freeway, and so on.  Those “little things” that I once so appreciated were now overshadowed by the “little things” I began to find so darn annoying. 

I've finally gotten sick of being annoyed and miserable all the time and decided to really pray about it.  I mean, a real prayer.  Like the get on my knees, pour my heart out, and beg the Lord for help kind of prayer. So I did just that and I’ve done just that every single day now for over a week.  I told Him how much I just want to be happy.  How badly I want to enjoy my husband and children.  How I want to hear my children laugh and feel joy.  How I want to see the sun shine and feel joy. How I just want to wake up in the morning and feel joy.  And how willing I was to do whatever it would take to develop that feeling of joy.

The day after my first prayer I already started to feel it.  One of the impressions that came upon me was to stop voicing all my complaints aloud but instead keep them to myself.  And when those negative thoughts do creep in, argue with them, play devil’s advocate and see how true they really are (or aren’t!). Okay, WAY easier said than done!!!  But I truly feel that as I work on this and speak positively my thoughts will eventually follow suit.  My prayers aren’t usually answered this quickly or profoundly, but I think that God knows my desperation and pure intent. 

Then, sure enough, on Sunday in church one of the lessons we had was completely on JOY!!  I mean, could that have been any more perfect?  It so inspired me!  I know that God wants us so badly to be happy and feel joy, just as we want that for our own children.  Of course it may not be possible every single day, but I think overall when we look back upon our life, He would want us to say we lived a happy, joyful life.  So that has become my mission.  And let me just say, it is a work in progress.

So, what does this all have to do with the two-year “anniversary” of Hailey’s death? 

Well, another impression I had while praying was that one of the “gifts” Hailey gave me when she passed away was the freedom to enjoy her siblings.  When she was here, almost all my time, efforts, and worries were focused on her, which they should have been.  But that also left me little time to focus on her sisters.  Luckily, they are both healthy, very happy, well adjusted kids so it didn’t seem to bother them much.  But now I no longer have to worry about Hailey.  I know where she is and that she is much better off than she ever was here.  Does that make everything okay?  Of course not!  However, it should give me the peace of mind to be able to focus on my other girls and my new baby boy.  I realized that I owe that to her.  I owe it to her to take care of her siblings and enjoy them to the fullest.  Yet I have done nothing of the sort. 

I realized that I’m have become such a ridiculous control freak because losing Hailey made me feel so out of control.  I waste so much time being stressed and anxious over trying to control every aspect of my life and everything around me.  To be quite honest, it is so exhausting and extremely overwhelming.  The ironic thing is that losing Hailey really should have taught me that I truly have no control over anything or anyone but myself and the way I behave.  That’s a tough thing for me to swallow, but I’ve finally gotten to where I’m ready to give it up.  I literally cannot do it anymore.  I have wasted so much time stressing over everything being exactly as I think it should be that I’ve completely missed out on the pure joy of those little things.

So the past few days I have seriously worked really hard at letting go of that false sense of control and just enjoying what is.  I am constantly reminding myself that those little things that I think are so annoying and frustrating will pass tomorrow and be completely forgotten.  So why waste one second on them now?  Not to mention that my little kiddos are not going to be so little for long.  I don’t want to look back on their childhood wondering why I wasted it all away trying to be in control rather than just loving what is and enjoying who they are.

Today was the perfect test.  I had all planned out in my mind how it would go, yet it went completely different and I totally embraced it.  Ava wasn’t feeling well and actually slept until 11:30…yes, 11:30!  That is completely unheard of and the “old” me would have been so annoyed that she missed preschool and I didn’t get to do the errands I was planning on. Instead, I reminded myself that my sweet little girl needed her rest and if my errands didn’t get done that morning, the world was not going to end. (Although, I’d probably be cool if it did!)  I embraced the peace and quiet and actually relaxed.  When she woke up, I took the girls out front on the driveway and pulled out this huge cardboard house Sean and I bought, a bunch of paints, paintbrushes, and markers and just let them go at it.  (So not my style…too messy!)  We had so much fun together!!!  The three of us sat out there and painted, chatted, and giggled for several hours.  And when Lexi asked me if she could paint her face (It was washable…I’m not that relaxed yet!) my initial reaction was to say “No way,” but instead I looked at her and said, “Absolutely!”  So, of course, Ava followed along and they had a blast!  And you know what?  When we were all finished, I put them in the bath and washed it all away…and yes, the world was still spinning! 

To some of you this may sound so trivial because you do things like this all the time with your kids, but for me, that would normally be very overwhelming due to the lack of control I would have felt over the mess.  Today I learned that messes can be cleaned up, but precious moments lost cannot be retrieved.  I think Hailey would have been very proud of the fun I had with her sisters!!!

So, in honor of Hailey’s 2nd Heavenly birthday, my gift to her is to truly enjoy her siblings and the “worry free” life she left me.  Of course, I would take all those worries she brought with her back in a heartbeat if it meant she were here, but since that’s not an option I’m going to do my very best to feel a little bit of JOY, in her honor, each and every day!

Here are some pictures to prove it!!!
(Seeing the joy in my girls' faces made it all worth it!)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Video from the aMAYZing Kids Fundraiser!

Hi Everyone-

Here is the video from the "entertainment" portion of our fundraiser last Saturday.  It's about an hour long, so below is a list of what is featured.  In parenthesis is the time frame you can find it on the video in case you don't have time to watch the entire thing.  Drag the bar at the bottom of the video to get where you want to be.  (For example: If you just want to watch the first musical number drag the bar to the 15 mark.)  It's all really great though!!!

Click Below for the Video:
aMAYZing Kids Fundraiser 

  • Intro 
    • Sean's Remarks
  • 2 Musical #'s (@ 15 min) 
    • (The second one was written by Sean's brother for Hailey while he was on the plane flying out here for her funeral...It's absolutely beautiful!)
  • Halo Recipient (@ 26 min) 
    • This is a family who received a "Halo" from your generous donations.
  • Hailey's Therapists (@ 33 min)
    • These are the four therapists who worked with Hailey and who will be running the clinic!
  • Me (@ 42 min)
    • Yes, I said some stuff.
  • Grampies' Song (@ 47 min)
    • My dad decided to sing a quick impromptu song for Hailey.
  • 2 Musical #'s (@ 50 min)
    • One written especially for Hailey after the dragonfly story I wrote on my blog - I explain it on the video. (50 min)
    • In My Daughter's Eyes...a song that I used and dedicated to Hailey in her first birthday video. (54 min)
  • Closing Remarks (@ 57 min)
I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The aMAYZing Kids Fundraiser!

Wow!  People are so “aMAYZingly” good!  Saturday night we had a fundraiser to help make our dream come true of opening the aMAYZing Kids therapy clinic in Hailey’s honor.  It was an enormous success!  I can’t even describe how overwhelmed I am by the amount of people who came out to support us!!!  It was one of the most aMAYZing nights I’ve ever had!  As Sean and I stood up and addressed the crowd (I’ll post video once we receive it) my heart literally swelled with gratitude for each and every face staring back at us.  To be loved that much by so many people is indescribable. 

The generosity of people, especially in tough economic times like these, is something that I am in complete awe of.  I was telling my sister in the car on the way home that night how I felt somewhat embarrassed by the fact that I don't even know where to begin in properly thanking each and every person for their immense support.  I am a person of many words, but sometimes there really are none.  I guess all I can do is pay it forward and pray each night that the Lord will personally bless each and every person who has taken time out of their busy life to show their love, compassion, and support for us.  It was an honor to be in the same room with so many wonderful people! 

At the end of the night we ended up raising $20,000 to go toward the clinic!!!  I’d have to say it was a HUGE success.  We are so excited to have the opportunity to open such a special place.  The whole point of this new clinic is to help underprivileged and/or under-insured children get the help they need to live as normal a life as possible.  I was quite skeptical myself about putting Hailey into therapy when she had just turned one.  She only had an hour a week and I wasn’t convinced that was going to do her any good.  To be totally honest, as you all know I am, I only put her in it because it was free and gave me an hour break!!

Well let me just say, I am now a believer and huge advocate for these services.  The therapists that worked with Hailey literally changed her life.  Not only did she learn to do “simple” things that you and I take for granted (like step up onto a curb), but she gained such confidence in herself (almost too much at times!)!!  Her quality of life would not have been near what it was without these amazing therapists in her life.  This is why we are so passionate about making sure that other children get the services they also need.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a parent who has to watch their child struggle and deteriorate because they cannot afford therapy and honestly I didn’t realize what a reality that is for so many right now.  Several “halos” we’ve given out were to families who needed help paying for therapy for their child.

All that being said, this is why we’re so excited about The aMAYZing Kids Clinic!!!  To be able to help children get the services they need in Hailey’s honor is so exciting!  Losing a loved one is the worst thing in the world, so if it’s possible to make some good come out of it that means everything.  Opening this clinic has become Sean’s passion and he has worked hundreds of hours with Hailey’s therapists to achieve this dream.  I wish I could take some of the credit for something so great, but I have to admit that it’s all them.  They are a ridiculously amazing group of people and anyone who has the honor to work with them should consider themselves extremely lucky!

I think one of the most important and special things about the clinic is that it’s non-profit.  Sean and I will never make a dime on this venture.  It’s all about giving back and helping those in need!  Losing Hailey has taught me how wonderful it feels to serve and give to others!  It’s such an awesome feeling!

Hailey made Sean, myself, and her therapists very proud while she was here, so I hope that we are now able to make her just as proud!

Here are some pics from the event!
(I tried to stay away from posting pictures of the guests for privacy, but just for the record there were about 150 people in attendance!!)

Here you could purchase one of Hailey's hand prints and write a message to her.  They will be made into a mural by a professional artist to go permanently on the wall in the clinic!
(If you're interested in buying a hand print for yourself, please email me at  They are $5.00.  I will mail it to you so you can write your message for the mural!)

We gave away a diamond ring that was donated!
(Oh, and there was Martinelli's Apple Cider for those non-champagne drinkers!  Ha Ha!) 

The equipment wall!
(Also, if you're interested in purchasing a piece of equipment for the clinic please email me at the above address and I can let you know what's available.)

Hailey's Table
This was full of photos and knick knacks that belonged to Hailey! 

The 4 most aMAYZing therapists in the whole world!
Me showing off a custom made necklace in Hailey's honor.  It's a halo of diamonds with white gold angel wings.  The couple who won this in the auction later gave it to me as a gift!!!  I am soooooo thrilled!!!

There were several musical numbers, most of which were written just for Hailey.  (This is one of the therapist's daughter singing.)

The final song, In My Daughter's Eyes, really brought the tears flowing...

Some of our many sponsors...
We also have Ed Asner as an official sponsor too!!!  Click on Ed's name below to view his public service announcement!!!  
(For those of you "youngins" who don't know who Ed Asner is, one of his latest projects was the voice of the man in the movie Up!) 

If you haven't already checked out the aMAYZing Kids website click on the following link:

Friday, July 22, 2011

aMAYZing Kids!!!!

As most of you already know after Hailey passed away we received a lot of money from family and friends showing their love and support.  We felt that we didn't deserve it for ourselves and decided to use it to do something in Hailey's honor.  The Hailey Mayz Foundation was born!   

We have been able to give, what we call "Halos," to families who have a child in need and are struggling financially.  It has been the most aMAYZing blessing for us and those we've helped.  Now we've decided to take it a step further and are opening a non-profit therapy clinic called aMAYZing Kids!!!!  Sean has worked for countless months and hours alongside some of Hailey's therapists to get this awesome place up and running!  The doors officially open September 1st!  

I'm putting all this out there now because many of you have been asking how you can help with the Clinic. TODAY ONLY - July 22nd Vivint is matching all donations made up to $50 per person. This is a great way to make that dollar stretch! 

Here is the link (I think you need Facebook to donate), and thanks for your support!!

Click on the following link for more information on the clinic!!!! 

Thank you so much for all your continued love and support!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Hailey

Today would have been Hailey’s 5th birthday.  It’s 3:30pm right now as I’m typing this and I haven’t cried until now.  I thought I was going to get through the day without tears, but as soon as I started typing the flood gates opened.  It sucks because I want so badly to be happy, but I’m not at all.  I get so angry at myself for not being able to snap out of my dumpy mood and just be grateful for all the wonderful blessings I still have.  I'm also a little confused because I don't even really feel sad either, but instead very irritable and tired.  It’s taking every ounce of physical strength I have to get through the day.  If I could have it my way, I would literally stay in bed all day long, curl up in the fetal position, and sleep the entire day…partially because I’m so darn tired from having a new baby and partially because I’m emotionally and mentally drained. 

It’s really hard to grieve when you have other children at home.  I guess in some ways that’s a good thing because it keeps me from wallowing in misery or dwelling on the absence of Hailey, but then again some days that's exactly what I want to do and feel like I deserve to be able to do. On those days I get really frustrated and overwhelmed because I can’t be alone with my thoughts and grief.  Today, for example, has been really rough because my kids don’t understand nor really care how I’m feeling or what I’m going through, which is normal for kids, I know.  But Lexi has been following me around since I got up this morning, talking my ears off, wanting to bake and decorate a cake and plan a party and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…  At least that’s how I feel. 

On top of being completely exhausted and drained emotionally, mentally, and physically from grief, childbirth, and three kids home during the summer, I feel horrible that I just don’t have the energy to be as excited as Lexi is.  I feel so guilty when I tell her I need some time alone or I get short with her because I just want to get through one complete thought without being interrupted. I would do anything to be able to let loose and enjoy the day and be excited to "celebrate" Hailey's birthday, but instead I feel horrible, like I’m walking around with a ton of bricks on my shoulders that I can’t seem to shrug off.   Gosh, now I feel bad that this post is so negative, but I guess that’s just the reality of where I am right now.

On a more positive note, I went by Hailey’s Place today so we could decorate for her birthday.  It's kind of a neat little tradition there that when a child has a birthday their family will decorate their stone, as well as leave little favors or cupcakes on the stones of the other children who's families they've met and gotten to know.  So Lexi picked out some cute little party favors and confetti to leave at some of Hailey's "friends" stones as well!  When we arrived and I saw that a bunch of people had already stopped by and left little notes, gifts, and flowers for Hailey my day was definitely brightened and it put a big smile on my face!  Tonight I’m going to dinner with my family at one of Hailey’s favorite restaurants and then we’re all going to Hailey’s Place to sing Happy Birthday and have some cake, so that should be nice.

Oh, and this morning while driving Ava to school a Lay’s truck passed right in front of us, which made me think that Hailey is here with us today!  I love her and miss her so much and I’m so grateful for my faith and the knowledge that I will get to be with her again one day!  I honestly can’t wait until then!  What a BEAU’FUL day that will be!


Well I have to say that my day ended much better than it began!  After writing the above bit I felt somewhat relieved…I guess I just needed to get it off my chest.  Later we went out to dinner and then had dessert at Hailey’s Place.  It was the most beautiful night ever.  The weather was perfect. 

I will admit that it was tough visiting her and thinking of what a 5 year old’s birthday should be like…definitely not like that.  I shouldn’t be singing Happy Birthday to my daughter on her 5th birthday at her gravesite.  But then again, I realized that it’s not really for me to determine what any birthday should be like.  I’m learning that the only way things should be or the only way they are “right” is exactly the way they are.  Does that make sense?  Things are the way they are because that’s exactly how they are supposed to be…otherwise they would be different.  (Not that I always agree or am okay with that!)  Anyways, that’s my deep thought for the day.

The Lord definitely blessed me today and I know that Hailey is the luckiest little girl to be able to celebrate her birthday with Him.  How many kids can say they celebrated their 5th birthday with Jesus and their Father in Heaven?

P.S. I forgot my camera when we went to visit Hailey, so these pictures are from my iPhone and not the best quality...but at least I've got something!!
So many people stopped by and left things!

Lexi wanted a princess theme because she thought that's what Hailey would be into if she were still here.  We happened to find a gold princess crown that says, "Angel" on it!   We also found confetti with Hailey's name!

Happy Birthday Hailey...We LOVE you!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Baby, New Emotions

I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve last written, but I do have a good excuse! As most of you already know, I just had a baby!  Our little Joey will already be one month old on Monday.  He’s been a wonderful, but chaotic addition to the family.  I don’t know how I did it with 3 kids before because I feel like I’m trying to learn the ropes all over again. 

It’s been wonderful having our little guy here and I often sit and stare at him wondering if Hailey is around.  I’m guessing she is because someone once told me that the closer your loved ones (who have passed away) are the more you miss them, which must be true because I’m am missing Hailey now more than ever.  I think when they’re close by it’s harder emotionally because you can subconsciously feel their presence but can’t physically see them or reach out and pull them to you in a big, huge hug.  Does that make sense?

I have to admit that I wasn’t the least bit prepared for the emotions and vulnerability having a new baby would rekindle.  I thought I was starting to heal from Hailey’s loss, but now I think I was fooling myself.  This past month, since Joey’s been born, I feel like I did the first month after Hailey died.  I’ve cried for her almost everyday and that wound in my heart is wide open again.  I’m sure some of it has to do with all the hormonal stuff and the sheer exhaustion of having a new baby, but I’m not quite sure where the rest of it came from.  All I know is that it’s been a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.  I miss her so much.  Looking at pictures of her, listening to music, hearing my girls laugh or cry, visiting her place, etc., etc., causes me to break down in tears.  She is on my mind 24 hours a day.

It’s very hard to see Lexi and Ava loving their little brother so much and not having Hailey here to experience it too.  Yes, I know she’s here spiritually.  I know she’s probably around him all the time, which is great and all, but I want to see it.  Hailey was so great with Ava when she was born!  She just adored her and I want to see that with her little brother. It may sound odd, but sometimes I feel guilty that I have all my kids here with me except for her.  I thought having Joey would make our family feel complete, which in some ways it does because he’s our last, but in other ways it feels so incomplete because Hailey’s not here.  I think in some ways I felt better knowing that she had her little brother up there with her and now that he’s here with us I feel like I took him away from her.  Now, I totally know that’s not really how it all works but my mind has an amazing way of making up great stories!

Anyways, I’m hoping that things will start to get easier again once life falls into a pattern of normalcy and we get used to our “new” little family.  Although, this next few months are going to be somewhat of a roller coaster.  Going back a couple months there have been some big events that have occurred that make missing Hailey that much harder: May - was Mother’s Day, June - Joey was born, July 20th – would be Hailey’s 5th birthday, August 11th – is 2 years since Hailey died, September – Hailey would have been starting Kindergarten, and so on.  That’s one of the worst things about grief…there’s always something.  And unfortunately the anticipation of those days/events is often much worse than the actual day/event itself.  I say unfortunately because the anticipation can start months before the day, whereas the actual day is over so quickly. 

I’m really working on just living in the now and enjoying this new precious gift that Hailey has sent us.  We do love our little guy!  I can’t wait to see him grow up and tell him all about his big sister.  He will know her just as well as the rest of us.  (He probably already does!)

I’m going to try to stay caught up now, but it’s often hard to find time to write because it’s such an emotional thing for me to do so I need it to be quiet (which is very rare in my house right now!) and I need to be in the right frame of mind.  By the end of the day, I’m so exhausted that I can’t handle the emotional side of writing, but I’m going to work on it because it’s a great release for me to get it all out.

Our first family photo after Joey was born!

My beautiful children

Joey's first visit with his big sister...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So Grateful...

Today Sean surprised me with a day at the spa so I could relax before our new little guy arrives.  As you could probably tell from the majority of my posts over the past few months I’ve been quite emotional lately, so this was a very much needed and exciting surprise! As I sat there in the quiet, peacefulness of the spa I felt like I was experiencing a little piece of Heaven and wondered if that is what its like for Hailey everyday.  If it is anything like that, I have to admit that I can’t totally blame her for wanted to check out of this crazy place we call Earth!

Anyways, while I was getting my facial I started thinking about how great my life really is and how much I have to be grateful for.  I mean, aside from losing Hailey, which is a HUGE negative thing, everything else in my life is pretty much wonderful.  So as I laid there I started going through the list of things I was so grateful for and realizing how much I still take for granted and how life changing real gratitude can be.

Topping my list is definitely my faith.  I was baptized into the LDS church 16 years ago and I have to admit that I still consider it the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.  I hate to think where I’d be today, after such a difficult trial as losing my child, without the incredible knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what it really means for little ol’ me.   I am so grateful knowing that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us more than we could ever begin to imagine or comprehend.  That’s why I don’t just call him "God," but also my Heavenly Father.  He is so much more than just "God."  He is a living being who created each and every one of us and knows us by name.  That gives me so much comfort when it comes to Hailey.  Seeing how much my father (here) loves me and what he does or would do for me and seeing the same in Sean for our children puts me at great ease with where Hailey is now.  I know she’s with her true Father, the one who dwells in Heaven, who created her perfect little spirit and loves her more than I can imagine.  I know she remembers Him and He is loving her and taking better care of her than anyone here on Earth could.  She is truly home.  I am so grateful to know that she’s in no way scared or lonely there.  She was His daughter first and will always be His daughter (as well as mine in the flesh) and He would never take that away from me.

This leads me to my extreme gratitude for the knowledge of eternal families. It’s so wonderful and comforting to know that our Father in Heaven would never separate us from our family members.  We will have the opportunity to be with Hailey forever when all is said and done and right now it’s just a waiting game until that day.  But I know that He allows her to be around us all the time and He allows us to feel her spirit and the peace she brings with her.  What an amazing blessing that is!  Those tender moments when I feel her near keep me going every day.

Along these same lines is my gratitude for a Savior who has willingly gone through and felt every single thing each of us feel.  Although He didn’t physically have every experience we’ve ever had here on the Earth (especially us women!) He did experience every single pain, heartache, and emotion that each of us have ever individually felt. This is what the atonement was all about and why He bled from every pore (That was probably when he was experiencing the pains of childbirth!) when in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is also why He is so non-judgmental of anyone and loves us all unconditionally for who we are, faults and all.  I didn’t fully understand this until after Hailey died.  There were several times when I felt more alone than I could ever have imagined possible, even with family and friends around me, and yet all of a sudden in those darkest moments I could feel Him!  I could feel His love and compassion and pure understanding as His invisible arms wrapped around me and comforted me.  I’m not sure I would have ever experienced something like that or had the ability to truly understand His love and compassion without the life changing, difficult experience of losing a child.  So in some ways, I’m very grateful for that.  I now actually understand what it means to have Him as my best friend.

I’m also so very grateful for such a wonderful family.  My family is everything to me and I seriously got the best of the best!  Starting with my amazing husband, whom I couldn’t be more grateful for.  He is my eternal companion who I will be with forever…even after death (another thing I’m grateful for the knowledge of!).  He has been my rock through this trial and I’m so grateful for his faith and commitment, which has helped us to keep our marriage strong and intact after such a horrible heartache.  I am grateful for my beautiful children and this new little guy on his way (any darn day now!).  I always hear people who are pregnant say they don’t care what gender the baby is as long as it’s healthy… and let me tell you, until you’ve had one that isn’t totally healthy you have no idea what that really means!  I am so grateful that all my other children are so healthy and happy.  They are such a joy and an even greater blessing to have. 

On the other hand, having Hailey, who wasn’t totally healthy was an entirely different but just as big of a blessing.  I couldn’t be more grateful to have had her in my life.  Knowing that our Heavenly Father trusted me, of everyone else in the world, to be her mother and raise her for those 3 years she was here is such an honor!  The lessons I learned from her are beyond words.  She taught me so much about life, unconditional love, sacrifice, and faith.  And now as I reflect on her and the “beau’ful” life she lived, I realize that she continues to teach me every single day.  I am so grateful that the Lord allows her to be around me and send me signs and give me comfort when I need it. 

I’m grateful for my parents and sister.  My parents raised me as a God loving and respecting person and that knowledge is the best knowledge I believe any parent can give their child.  It has made my life significantly easier and more blessed.  My mother taught me so much about unselfishness and how to put others first, which I’m still not the best at, but which definitely helps me when it comes to taking care of and raising my children.  She has given me more unconditional love and support that I could ever be worthy of.  My father has been a rock to me as well.  He was there beside me since the day Hailey was born, taking days off work to go with me to the hospital and visit, calling and texting me constant messages of love and encouragement, and always being able to make me laugh!  And my sister has been the best friend I could ever ask for going through this.  I am so grateful that she moved in with us for the first year and half that Hailey was gone.  Her presence and help was priceless.  She was always there as a shoulder to cry on or to watch the girls when I needed to get away for a bit or to encourage me when I was going through my days of sadness and anger.  Even though she has since moved out, I am so grateful that she still lives so close and continues to support me in any way she can. 

(My facial was 50 minutes long so I had a lot of gratitude to think about!)

I’m also so grateful for such wonderful extended family, wonderful in-laws, and friends.  The love and support I’ve been given over the past 2 years, and still continue to receive on a daily basis is absolutely overwhelming (in a good way!).  I never knew how much I was and am loved until this occurred and what a blessing that is.  I am so grateful for the immense compassion and goodness of people.  Every comment, message, text, hug, smile, thought, quote, prayer, etc, that comes my way is so appreciated and treasured.  People are inherently so good and I am extremely grateful to have been able to experience that goodness firsthand.

I am grateful for how much I’ve learned and who I’ve become over the last couple years.  I still have so very much to learn and so very far to go, but I’m grateful to be going through that “refiner’s fire” with the knowledge that I will one day come out on the other side a much, much better person than I was going in.

I still have so much more I could write that I’m grateful for…the beautiful place I live, my lovely home, my health, my therapist who has literally changed my life, manicures and pedicures, massages and facials, beautiful days, prayer, blessings, tender mercies from the Lord, the list goes on and on. 

So even on my worst days, and there have been quite a few lately, I am still deep down grateful for the immense blessings in my life.  Although losing Hailey is a trial that I wish I never had to go through in this lifetime or ever, I am grateful to my Father in Heaven who has made it as easy as possible for me.  I’ve experienced His pure, infinite, unconditional love first hand.  He has literally carried me or held my hand every single step of the way and still continues to do so.  That’s why I LOVE that poem Footprints in the Sand…it is so true!

Wow…I need spa days more often!!!  Maybe the Lord will see how great they are for me and bless me with at least one a month so I can keep up on all my gratitude!!!