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.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wow it’s been a while! As my other kiddos get older, life gets busier and I have less time to really stop and think and write.  One thing that has not changed and never will is the fact that I think of Hailey every single day, ALL the time, from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed. She’s on my mind just as much as my children who are here. She is there during everything I do with her siblings. When they eat breakfast I wonder what she would be eating and if she would still have eating issues. When they get dressed I wonder what Hailey’s “style” would be. When they leave for school I wonder if Hailey would be bossing Ava around as they walked down then street. When I volunteer in their classes or attend a school activity I wonder who Hailey’s teacher would be, what kind of student she would be, and who she would play with. After school I wonder what activities she would have wanted to be in. Would she be a dancer, a gymnast, an artist, an athlete, or just a kiddo who liked to stay home? During homework time, I wonder if she would gladly sit and do her homework or would she be fighting with me about it.  When her siblings are fighting, I always wonder where she would be in the mix. Would she be joining in (probably!) or sticking up for one of her siblings?  Who would she fight with the most?

Those are just some of the things I think about everyday. But there are also many other things mixed in there, like when I’m with friends who have children her age and I wonder what she would be like and look like. Or when we go to the river as a family and the kiddos are laughing and jumping off the raft into the water and I think of how much she would have loved that.  Or when her birthday comes along and I wonder what kind of party she would have wanted and what kind of toys or books or movies, etc. she would be into.  Or at church when I see the girls in her Primary class giggling together or talking about their testimonies of the Gospel and I think about when Hailey said, “Me know Jesus.”

There are so many things to wonder and there are many more to come that I probably haven’t even considered yet.  I hate it.  I hate having to wonder.  Yet, I continue to do so and sometimes wonder if it’s better that I don’t know because maybe what I don’t know is better than what I do know.  Maybe her health issues would have caused her a much more difficult life than I imagine. I think as a mother we always imagine the best life for our kiddos. We imagine they will be happy, healthy, well adjusted, and successful; but honestly, I’m not sure that’s what Hailey’s life would have been like. I don’t know if her eating issues or her scars from surgery, etc. would have caused her to be made fun of at school. I don’t know if she would have been constantly sick, as she always was in the beginning of her life. I don’t know if she would have had severe brain damage if they had been able to revive her after she choked. I just don’t know.

What I do know, though, is that she is happy where she is now. She is not in any pain. She is aware of us and knows what we’re up to. She watches over me (and her family and friends) by sending us dimes and Lay’s trucks. I know she is very loved both here on Earth and there in Heaven. I know she has made a huge impact for good on more people than I can count. I know that her legacy is one she can be so proud of and one that she deserves after all she went through in her short life. I know that being her mom has changed me more for the better than I could have ever thought.  I know that I am way more compassionate, empathetic, caring, non-judgmental, and faithful than I’ve ever been before.  I know that I live my life to make her proud. I know that she will always be as much a part of our family now as if she were still physically here. I know how strong and how weak I am. I know the most horrible pain any mother can feel and I know that I can survive it.
I know that I miss her more everyday, if that’s even possible. I know my life will never be the same or without heartache because she’s not physically here. But, I also know that our Heavenly Father is aware of my pain and heartache and I know that Jesus Christ felt all of it and comforts me when I need it.  I know that I will be with her once again and in complete joy for eternity.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Another Birthday...

I’m sitting here at Hailey’s Place right now looking down at her beautiful little smile staring up at me.  Gosh, I miss her.  Her birthday is this Wednesday, July 20th.  She would be turning 10. 

I hate the days leading up to her birthday.  They are usually worse than the actual day itself. I always try to tell myself not to focus on the actual day, but deep down inside I feel like I have to do something special or profound as if to prove to myself and everyone else that I haven’t forgotten.  Of course I haven’t forgotten.  In some ways I remember even more.

As time has moved forward, I feel that the wall of pain around my mind and heart has thinned out a little and sometimes gives me quick, slight glimpses back into those initial first days, weeks, months, and years without Hailey. I try not to go back and think about that sheer pain, agony, and heartache, but sometimes for some reason unknown even to me, I’ll allow myself to go back to that day.  I can usually only handle the memory for a minute or so before my heart starts racing and I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack.  I sometimes have a random flashback of a moment that will literally feel like someone socked me in the stomach and took my breath away.  It never ends.  This is my life. I realized recently that I’m living every parent’s worst nightmare.

Joey’s birthday was in June.  It was so fun watching him get super excited as he anticipated that day, especially his birthday party!  The joy on his face as his friends showed up and the even bigger smile as he opened all his presents and blew out the candles on his cake was priceless.  Lexi’s birthday is in August. Just yesterday she asked me if we could start talking about her party. She can’t wait to make her guest list and plan all the details! She talked a mile a minute about all her ideas!

Ok, I’m crying now as I type this because where’s Hailey in all this? Her birthday is Wednesday. I want to see her excited face in anticipation of being 10. Double digits! I want to see her guest list in her own handwriting. I want to go with her to pick out her cake and decorations. I want to see the joy in her face as her friends arrive and sing to her and laugh with her and watch her blow out her 10 candles. Instead, we’ll be having cake at the cemetery and singing Happy Birthday to that adorable little picture on her headstone.

It’s not fair. Life is not fair. I HATE July and August. Every July I have to deal with the anticipation of one more birthday she won’t be here for and then the very next month marks one more year that I’ve lived here without her.

On that somewhat depressing, yet brutally honest note, I have to say that I’m surviving. Not only am I surviving, but I’m thriving and even happy. (As happy as I could possibly be without Hailey.) I laugh. I laugh a lot. But, yes, there is pain behind that laughter. A pain and sadness that will always be there, a sense of innocence forever lost.  But, there is always wisdom and gratitude behind that laughter.  Gratitude for the amazing blessings and miracles that have come from Hailey; gratitude for the faith and spiritual growth I have gained since Hailey came into my life; gratitude for the amazing family, friends, and strangers that have loved and supported us; gratitude that I have other children to continue to bring me joy; and most importantly, gratitude for a Heavenly Father who loves me and Hailey so much that He will never let us be apart forever and for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who made that possible.

As I sit here getting buzzed all around by flies, I’m going to end. I don’t really have anything profound and new to say. Just thanks. Thanks for loving my Hailey, and my family, and me.

Happy Birthday Hailey.  I love you baby girl.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Feeling Sad...

Wow! I can't believe it's been so long since I've last written.  I realized that I'm most active on Facebook, so that seems to be the place I share my experiences most often.  Tonight though I'm feeling sad. I mean, I pretty much feel sad everyday, but more so tonight. I was in the car driving and a song came on the radio that literally describes my experience so well.  I can never get through listening to it without crying and tonight was no exception.  

Life Ain't Always Beautiful, by Gary Allan...

Click on the link to listen to it, but I promise it will make you cry.  

For some reason, it compelled to me come back here and write. I'm sitting here with that familiar lump in my chest because I just want to break down and cry so badly, but I hate doing that because it takes so much energy for me to recover.  So hopefully, by writing, I'll be able to get the same amount of emotion out. 

As I've said before, no amount of time ever makes losing a child easier. It just makes the pain and grief different.  I very rarely cry on the outside anymore, especially in front of people, but honestly, I cry on the inside everyday.  I think that's one of the reasons I love to laugh so much; it helps to relieve the sadness I feel.  Hailey is still on my mind every single day, just as often as Lexi, Ava, and Joey.  I seriously hate living my life without her. I'll admit, I have what I consider to be a great life, minus one thing, my Hailey.  As my other children continue to grow up it's so hard not having Hailey around. We do so many more fun things now as a family since we're finally out of the "baby stage."  Fun things that I want Hailey to be a part of.  It truly sucks not being able to have my whole family together...ever.  Watching my other kiddos grow, laugh, play, fight, and experience life is so hard without Hailey in the mix.  

It's amazing how much a part of my daily life she still is. Every day as I get my kiddos off to school I think about how she's not there to walk with Ava.  I wonder what she would have wanted me to make her for lunch and what kind of clothes she would have liked to wear.  After school while helping with homework, I think about how Hailey would be doing in school.  What would her writing look like? Would it be neat or messy? Would she like homework or whine and complain about it? At dinner, I wonder what she would have been telling us about her day.  At bedtime, I wonder what books she would be reading and how she would have wanted her bedroom decorated. 

Every school event, I'm reminded she's not there to be a part of it. Ava just had a 'jog-a-thon' at school and as I was there cheering her on and watching the huge smile on my face, guess who wasn't there for me to cheer on, Hailey.  When I take Ava to her singing class or piano lessons and Lexi to her sewing class I wonder what Hailey would have liked to do. When I'm cheering Ava and Joey on at soccer, I wonder if Hailey would have liked to play sports.  What shows would she have liked to watch on TV, what games would she like to play, who would she fight with the most, what would be her favorite song, and the list goes on and on and on.  These are things I think about and wonder every day. 

I'm also reminded she's not here by other painful means too.  Every time I meet someone new and they ask how many kids I have. I hate that people I don't know assume I only have three kids, when I really have four.  Or when I'm out with my family they don't know we're missing one.  It bothers me so much.  Just the other day I took Lexi to a new dentist and the paperwork asked how many siblings she had and their ages.  Seriously? I had to sit there for 5 minutes debating with myself about what to write.  I don't want to write two because she doesn't have two siblings, she has three, but then what do I write for Hailey's age, and what do I say if they ask why she doesn't come there too, and..., but still, she has three siblings!!! Anyways, in the end, I wrote three because she has three.  If they want to ask me about it, then I guess with that lump in my chest I'll have to tell them.  

Also, every time I hear of another family who had a child pass away, all my initial emotions resurface.  It's like I'm back at the beginning of this journey again walking beside them in my heart. It's a pain and heartache that most people will never know (lucky for them), but I know it all too well and therefore feel a sense of responsibility to grieve with other mothers who are grieving a similar loss.  That's a lot of weight on my shoulders; yet I crave to be there for them.

At my church we all hold "callings." A calling is a position or assignment members have been asked to serve or perform.  They are all volunteer since we have no paid clergy.  Anyways, I was called, by my Bishop, to be our Primary President, so I am in charge of all our primary aged children (18mos-12yrs).  Every week when I see Hailey's class walk into our Primary room my heart aches a little.  When the whole primary gets up to sing on Mother's Day or for their part in our yearly Primary program I'm reminded that Hailey isn't there.  

So here I am, 7 years later, still sad, still missing my little Hailey all day, every day.  I'm learning how to live and cope with it, but honestly it's exhausting sometimes. 

Since it's been a while, here are some pics:

Hailey and my "Beautiful Day" candle

One of my favorite pictures of all my beautiful kiddos!

On Hailey's 9th birthday a bunch of my friends surprised us with a party for her at the pool!  I have such amazing family, friends, and support. I honestly couldn't be more grateful for all the people who continue to show me compassion, love, and support. One of my favorite things is all the random texts I receive with photos of dimes, Lay's trucks, etc. from people thinking of Hailey! 
They make my entire day.

Ava wrote "I'am looking to Hevin" on a picture she took at Chuck E. Cheese. She told me it made her think of looking up at Hailey.  For having been so young when Hailey passed away, she has such an amazing connection to her.

Joey putting flowers at Hailey's Place.

A family picture at our aMAYZing Kids Annual Golf Tournament to support our non-profit therapy clinic opened in honor of Hailey.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Waiting For Her To Come Home...

I don't care how much time passes, you NEVER get over it.  You NEVER stop hurting.  You NEVER stop missing and wishing and hoping and praying.  You just don't.  It's not possible.

I have become a master at hiding my feelings on the inside.  I'm not sure if that's something to brag about, but it's reality.  I love to laugh, which I think comes from the fact that it softens the pain a little every time.  My philosophy in life is, "One can never laugh enough."  I think that just goes to show, in some ways, how much softening I need for the pain that I carry everyday.

I miss her.  I seriously miss her so much.  I ache for her.  I yearn for her.  I hurt for her.  I go on for her.  

Sometimes I think watching your children grieve can almost be worse than your own grief.  Ava has always had a strong connection with Hailey, both before and after her death.  But lately, that strong connection has become bittersweet.  It keeps her sister's memory alive in her heart.  It makes her want to talk about and hear about her sister.  It makes her want to know her sister more and more.  However, it also makes her miss her sister, cry for her sister, wish for her sister.  

Tonight she came to me crying and told me that she just misses Hailey so much.  These times are so dang hard for me...beyond words actually.  I hugged her and she decided she wanted to go to bed early and look at a memory book I made for Hailey of her first year of life.  We laid side by side and looked at all the pictures.  I explained what was going on in the ones where she was in the hospital covered in tubes and wires and then told her funny stories about the ones where she was laughing or covered in food all over her face.  (I can't believe how much I've forgotten about Hailey's first year of life.  All the hospital stays, brushes with death, surgeries, setbacks, triumphs, pains, and joys.)  After looking through the book I had tears streaming down my face.  Ava put her little head on my shoulder, her arm across my chest, and asked me to tell her more stories about Hailey.  The moment was one that most parents will never experience with their 5-year old daughter, but me, I experience it often.  It is precious...sacred.

I hope and pray that I am helping her deal with her grief properly.  I never expected her to actually grieve.  She was only 9 months when Hailey passed away, so I guess I just assumed we'd talk about her memory and Ava would know she has another sister but it wouldn't go beyond that.  Well, I couldn't have been more wrong.  And although it is tremendously painful, I'm grateful that I was so wrong.  I'm grateful that she adores her sister so very much.

Just last week Ava told Sean that she was sad it was taking Hailey so long to come back.  Apparently, she was hoping Hailey would be back by Halloween so they could eat candy together.  

Most 5-year old children can't wait for their birthday or Christmas or popsicles for dessert.  Not my 5-year old...she simply can't wait for her sister to come back home.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

5 Years - It Still Hurts

The 5 year "anniversary" of Hailey's passing is very quickly approaching.  (Only 2 more days to be exact.)  I wish I had some great words of wisdom or inspiration that 5 years of grief have taught me, but honestly, I think I've pretty much covered everything over the last 5 years of writing my blog.  

One thing I can say for sure is that time does NOT heal all wounds.  It definitely makes them a little less sore and a little more tolerable, but they are not by any means healed.  I actually feel this year has been my hardest since my first, although I'm really good now at not showing it on the least not through tears.

On the inside though I've been so sad.  I've felt very vulnerable, insecure, fearful, overly sensitive, etc.  I have that pit in my stomach all the time and my heart flutters when I stop and think about her.  My heart has been on my sleeve and my feelings are hurt a lot easier right now, probably because I'm already hurting.  I feel lonely even though everyone around me is so supportive.  I think it's just the longing I have for my little girl.  

I seriously miss her so much and often feel like 5 years has been long enough to live without her so it's time to bring her back. I've passed the test.  I stayed faithful to God and my religious beliefs.  I've done tons of service in her honor.  I've stayed strong for my family.  I've helped others around me who are also grieving.  I've created a beautiful legacy in her honor.  The list goes on...  But now, selfishly, I want my reward.  I hate to admit that, but it is what it is.  I don't want to live another 5 years, 10 years, 50 years without her, yet assuming I live a safe and healthy life that is most likely my reality.  Yuck.

Ava has been showing real signs of grieving lately and I'm not sure where it's coming from since she was only 9 months old when Hailey died.  It could be the fact that she can sense my renewed grief and pain or that she is getting older and the reality is setting in that she's really not coming back in this lifetime.  

This morning she came into my room and woke me up and told me she was feeling like she wanted to cry about Hailey.  So I rolled over, lifted up the covers and she climbed in beside me.  As I hugged her tight a few tears slipped down her cheek.  She kept asking me when she was really coming back because it's been soooo long and she wants to see her soooo bad.   It is impossible to put into words what that does to a mother who is already grieving.  My heart broke for her.  I'm worried that she'll start to get impatient and "give up" on Hailey.  

Then today we went and had milkshakes at Hailey's Place as a family and as we were leaving Ava ran over and "hugged" Hailey and told me she wanted to cry about her again.  I told her she could cry about her anytime she wanted and I would be there to hug her every single time.

I've found over the last five years that the months and days leading up to Hailey's Birthday and the "anniversary" of the day she died are often worse than the actual day.  The anticipation sucks.  The constant thoughts of what we should do to "celebrate" her life turn over and over again in my head.  On one hand I want to do something super special in her memory, yet on the other a part of me wants to just go about it as a normal day and pretend like it never really happened.

Well this year, as every year so far, we're going to do something fun as a family to celebrate both her life and my mom's.  She passed away on my mom's birthday, which obviously makes it that much more difficult.  We were all supposed to go to dinner that night, but of course never made it.  So now we say that Hailey and my mom share a birthday.  Hailey's Heavenly Birthday and my mom's Earthly Birthday.  And we try to celebrate that day, instead of being sad.  It usually ends up being a "beau'ful" day!

At Hailey's Place Tonight

The kiddos and their milkshakes

Ava hugging Hailey
(Every time I look at this picture my stomach does a flip flop.)

Ava "crying about Hailey" 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grief = Emotional, Mental, Physical, & Spiritual

I've been really thinking about my grief a lot lately.  Today I had a heavy heart all day.  I don't know if it's because Hailey's "Earthly" birthday is coming up on July 20th and her "Heavenly" birthday is coming up on August 11th or because in the last year I've had several close friends experience the tremendous loss of a loved one, but whatever it is my "Grief Journey" has been on my mind a lot.  

It's weird because part of me wants to go back to the day Hailey died and remember all the little details, yet when I try my mind literally slams the door and I can't concentrate on it.  I guess that's my emotions, mind, body, and spirit telling me I'm not ready for that.  (Who knows, I may never be.  I know nothing good can come of reliving that day in my memory, but in some strange way I also never want to forget it.)  

Anyways, as the door slammed once again this afternoon while I had a quiet moment to think, I was instead guided to thinking about grief as a whole and what it really did and is still doing to me.  (I feel pretty confident in saying that most people who have experienced the tremendous loss of a close loved one can probably relate very closely to the following.)

Grief literally wrecks you.  It rips you down to the bare bones in all areas of life: Emotional, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual.  It's almost as if you are stripped down to nothing and have to get up and start from scratch.   Now, let me say, I'm nowhere near that point anymore.  I think I'm definitely well on my way through my journey to healing in all those areas, but for those of you who haven't been through it or who are currently going through it, I thought I'd explain, (as best I can because there really are no adequate words to describe it), how grief has and still does affect me in those 4 main areas.

Emotionally I was a wreck.  I couldn't stop crying.  I became terrified.   Will I be this sad forever?  Will I never be able to stop crying?  How am I going to survive the rest of my life without Hailey?  What if someone else I love dies?  Will I ever stop feeling so lonely?  One minute I was so sad I couldn't stop crying and the next I was furious.  The anger raged in me.  Then I would laugh at something.  How dare I laugh?  Did this mean I didn't love Hailey as much as I thought?   The guilt would start to set in.  I felt guilty for everything: laughing, crying, feeling angry, neglecting my other children, not being a better mom to Hailey while she was here...the list went on and on and on.  The guilt was overwhelming.  Along with this tornado of emotions, I also felt so vulnerable, like anything could rip me apart again. I was terrified to go out in public.  What if someone was rude to me?  Would I break down and start to cry in front of them?  I felt sick and wounded, as if the whole world would know my heart was broken and in some ways I wanted the whole world to know.  I lashed out at those around me, primarily my family and friends.  I think I took it out on them the most because I trusted that they wouldn't leave me, although to be totally honest, I didn't even care sometimes if they did because all I really wanted was to be alone in my grief.  I wanted to wallow in my own misery.  I wanted to yell and scream and punch and kick.  Nothing really mattered to me.  Then hope.  I would feel a sliver of hope, like maybe I would survive this and one day be "happy" again.  A smile would form only to be quickly slapped off my face by another round of guilt and then the whole emotional roller coaster would begin again.

Mentally I couldn't think.  It felt like someone had wrapped my brain in a heavy wet towel and all my thoughts were being held in and smothered.  I had trouble focusing on any subject, except my grief, for more than a minute or so.  All I could think about was THAT day and my very depressing future.  What could I have done differently and how was I seriously going to survive this?  It was difficult for me to do even basic things such as pay bills, read a book, drive my car, cook dinner, do laundry, etc.  My mind would get lost and I would come back unaware of where I began or what I was even doing.  Anger would rise in my chest when someone would interrupt my thoughts of Hailey or ask me to think of anything but my grief.  I had trouble engaging in a regular conversation or even thinking about the next 5 minutes.  I couldn't plan anything, commit to anything, engage in anything, or really do anything.  I felt so alone all the time, especially amongst a lot of people.  I never once thought of ending my own life, but there were definitely times that I prayed and begged God to take me because I honestly didn't think I could bear one more moment of the torture I was feeling.

Physically I couldn't move.  My eyes burned from crying.  My arms literally ached.  My heart throbbed and burned.  It felt so heavy in my chest.  Sometimes I wondered if I was having a heart attack. I often felt like I was gasping for air because I couldn't breathe.  I was constantly nauseous and the thought of eating could cause me to dry heave.  My stomach did constant somersaults.  My whole body physically hurt.  I felt heavy, as if someone had placed a backpack of bricks over my shoulder and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get it off.  Even taking a shower would take every bit of energy I could possibly muster up.  Sometimes it was hard to walk or even move, yet others I would just want to take off and run and never stop.  I would want to scream my lungs out and physically punch and kick things. And the exhaustion...the sheer exhaustion from it all was indescribable.  All I wanted to do was sleep, every minute of every day.  It was all I could do to escape. 

Spiritually I have to admit, I struggled the least.  Although my faith has always stayed strong, and I think I was least affected in this area, I still had many questions and concerns.  My mother is a woman of great faith and I learned a lot watching her as I grew up, so I was pretty strong in this area.  I would always say that it's easy for anyone to say they have faith until it's truly it was my turn.  My belief in the after life and God's plan for each of us kept me on a straight path. I knew that we would be together again one day for eternity, but I also didn't want to wait for that day...that alone seemed like an eternity. I also knew that Hailey was His daughter first before she was mine.  I felt honored that He trusted ME, of all people, to be Hailey's mom.  However, I also felt angry that He would send her to me to love so much and then turn around and take her back only 3 years later.  I felt like that was so unfair.  I think the major area I struggled in spiritually was my trust in God.  I knew that He would always be there for me, but I was (and honestly, still am) terrified of what other trials He may have in store for me.  I spent many hours praying, asking God questions, yelling at Him, crying to Him, and even begging Him to send her back.  I would feel frustrated when people would assume I'd be okay because I had such strong faith and knew about God's plan for each of us.  That didn't make it okay that my baby was gone.  It would anger me when people would tell me she was in a better place.  I know that she is, but that doesn't mean that as a mother I wouldn't selfishly rather her here with me.  Overall though, I have to say that it was my faith and my religious beliefs that kept spirit lifted and well. 

Well, I'll admit, that was some heavy deep stuff!  Now again, let me assure you that I am far beyond most of those feelings now.  I am well on my way to healing, but I would say all those things listed above lasted for at least the first year, some a little beyond, and some are still present in me today.  Each time someone I know experiences death I revisit all the above for them.  In many ways I carry their pain with me because I know the long road ahead for them.  It is overwhelming for me to think about starting the road over again and I pray that I NEVER will again.

Emotionally, I'm much, much stronger now, although I still have my days here and there and I'm ALWAYS missing her.  I still have days that I'm sad and I cry for her. But, I have to say I'm the most stable and happiest I've been since she died.  I now know I can pretty much get through anything and I've learned how to make good out of the bad.  I have my sense of humor back and still LOVE to laugh and have a good time.

Mentally, I still hate to have my thoughts interrupted, but with 3 other kids to take care of, that's normal.  I do still fear everyday that another person I love is going to die, so I'm still working on that.  But, I'm not constantly dwelling on the day Hailey died and all the details that surround it. (However, as mentioned above, I do still have times that I revisit it all)  I'm able to focus on things and rationalize with myself when I'm starting to feel the slippery slope of grief creeping up on me.  I've learned healthy ways to deal with what could be such a negative and anger filled trial in my life.  

Physically, I'm feeling better than ever.  Yes, I still love my naps, but they don't happen nearly as often and I don't NEED them anymore.  I have much more energy and feel stronger and healthier than I've felt in 4 1/2 years. (No, I'm not going to start working out yet!)  I definitely can feel the times when I'm actively grieving and need to sleep more than normal, but once I get through it I'm good again. And I no longer feel the weight of the world on my shoulders!  I've learned how to relax much better.

Spiritually, I'm the strongest I've ever been.  I love my Heavenly Father and have grown so much closer to Him.  I've learned how to truly offer deep, heartfelt prayers.  I've learned how to see His hand in everything and I know that no matter what comes my way He will be there by my side to carry me through it and bless me in ways I couldn't have imagined before, but I've also learned that I have to allow Him to do so.  I've learned what it means to have Jesus Christ as my best friend and I've personally felt how He and only He knows exactly how I feel and what I'm going through.  I have a testimony of the Plan of Salvation and why we're here and where we're going.  I know Hailey still lives, not physically but spiritually and I have often felt her so closely I could almost reach out and touch her.  I am grateful for eternal families and the fact that I am part of one.  I know that I will be with Hailey one day forever.

So, there's my update!  I still miss my little girl more than words can describe.  I still cry for her.  I still ache for her.  I always wonder what she would be like if she were still here.  And I'll never stop wishing she'd come back.  But through all that, I'm okay and I'll continue to be okay...and one day even better than okay!

(If you ever have any questions about my beliefs and/or church please never hesitate to ask me or visit (We're not as weird as some people think!!  Ha Ha!)