Happy Birthday to my Little Lady

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Eight years ago, I became a mommy for the first time.

Eight years ago, I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Eight years ago, I saw the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.

Eight years ago, she almost died.

Eight years ago, my God began becoming big to me.

Eight years ago, (plus 8 days), she survived.

And today, she is just as beautiful and alive as she ever was.

Happy birthday, Little Lady! I love you!

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Weekend Roundup | Day 18

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I’m celebrating my daughter’s big #8 birthday today. So in order to make enough popcorn for all the people she invited and a cake big enough to feed them all, I’m keeping the writing to minimum today. Enjoy some of these posts from other fellow 31 dayers about Moving, Transition, and Making New Friendships.

 

Marian’s tips on making friendships in a new place when you have lots of littles.

 

Then there’s Erin who makes a move in 16 days. The days started on October 1. So now she’s there. Barely. You’ll love this journey!

 

And for the weekend adventurous, there’s Tabitha, who straight up is going homeless and moving herself, her husband, and her tiny small children to Ethiopia. This. Is. Crazy Awesome.

 

Ya’ll have a great weekend! Bday pics coming on Monday.

 

Love,

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Free Fun Friday | Day 17

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So if you want something fun (and super educational and patriotic!)  to do, and you’re up for a little traffic, a lot of people, and maybe a crazy expensive parking tab ($18 for the day), you should head downtown.

I mean, really. What trip to Philadelphia would be complete without a stop to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall where our Declaration of Independence was signed?!

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So this is the room. Like, the exact room! And that’s the chair that George Washington sat in. Crazy cool. 

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When you go down there, stop in at the Visitor Center and get your timed pass to enter the house. It’s a free ticket, but when you get the timed entry pass, you are able to be guaranteed a 30 minute tour and maybe you’ll get this incredibly smart history buff park ranger who was an great guide.

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Inside the Visitor Center, you’ll find some special guests dressed in period costumes with some really neat props. This guy was demonstrating the art of the time – all ink and quill pens. Kami was able to join in on the fun and make 7 bookmarks. She also was super curious about all of his costume accessories. The people were super helpful and patiently answered all of the girls’ questions.

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If you’re up for spending a little cash, take a carriage ride. The 30 minute tours are $35 for a whole carriage load (up to 6 people) and hit most of the major historical spots. These people are history experts first, carriage driver second.

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Make sure you stop for silly face photos. It’s a must.

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It was so fun having my mom, Nana, here with us! She really helped us get around town and navigate the crazy rush hour stuff we ended up in. And she made the Liberty Bell even more beautiful! The girls loved their special assignment of finding out what made the crack in the bell. 

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Be ready to walk! While most of the history stuff is in about a square mile downtown, if you want to get to all of it, you’ll walk close to 2 miles at least. I did it all in my favorite Southern style – barefoot. Sorta. 

And lest you think my girls were super perfect about walking all over the city and endless moments of history lessons that they barely understood….here’s what they do too. iPhones and nose picking. But Kami promised “I won’t eat it this time, Mommy.  So, is that fine with you?”

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Falling together | Day 16

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This blog post is part of a 31 day series called Fall in Philadelphia. If this is your first stop along the way, I am so glad you’re here and I hope today’s post brought you a little warmth and coziness. This journey is best taken from the very beginning as each day’s posts are pretty much *live* as I’m living this journey. All of the blog posts in this series will be linked together on the Fall in Philadelphia landing page. Click here to be taken there. 

Fall in Philadelphia

Forget Me Not

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To my child & grand children in heaven,  

I can’t wait to see you and I am so thankful for the chance to hold our precious Kyle!

Love Susan (Kim’s mom)

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Kim,
I cherish that Kyle is a part of my life.  God has blessed me in so many ways just by your path and my path crossing. I am forever thankful to know Baby Kyle, you, and your wonderful family.
Love you!
Jen

(The ultrasound nurse who performed all 20 or so ultrasounds – and gave us some of the best photos I’ve ever seen a tech pull off. And hundreds of hours of video footage to cherish forever.)

Baby Kyle
To those whose mothers were grieving so hard they couldn’t muster the strength to say what they wanted here:

You are loved. Every single day.

To Sam. And Catherine. And to my precious Kyle, whose birth time stands still on this clock. As my entire world stood still that cold day in December. 

You are loved by your sisters here, your dad, and me. I can’t count the days until I see you again. But I can make the days until that day of our meeting count.  I love you. I always will. 

Love, Mom

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Baby P

I remember.

- a sweet mother, aunt, and friend in South Carolina

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There simply aren’t enough candles……I’m remembering Baby Kyle and you and so many other babies and their parents and families.  I have been blessed by so many and I am forever thankful.
♡ Jen

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The 6 candles we lit tonight are in memory of the four waiting for us, plus the two God has blessed us with here; our precious boys, Caleb and Josiah.

“Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But, baby, let sweet Jesus hold you til mom and dad can hold you….
You’ll just have Heaven before we do
You’ll just have Heaven before we do”

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Baby D

This is for my son – Nate

Choosing Joy,

Penny

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Baby K

To my sweet baby,
On June 13th, we said goodbye to you at only 11 weeks. It is difficult not being able to see you grow into a beautiful child but we know it was part of God’s plan. We love you!
- Mommy, Daddy, and big brother in California

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To our precious babies, January 24, 2014... our lives were changed forever as you left this earth to meet Jesus. We love you so much little one & miss you every day. We know your great-grandparents are loving having you in heaven... we will see you soon. July 9, 2014... Little one, we so longed to hold you in our arms. We prayed for you, asking God to sustain your life, but He had different plans. We know your enjoying heaven with your big sister. We love you so much & can't wait to hold you in our arms one day... until then rest in the arms of Jesus. Love, Mommy & Daddy

To our precious babies,
January 24, 2014… our lives were changed forever as you left this earth to meet Jesus. We love you so much little one & miss you every day. We know your great-grandparents are loving having you in heaven… we will see you soon.
July 9, 2014… Little one, we so longed to hold you in our arms. We prayed for you, asking God to sustain your life, but He had different plans. We know you’re enjoying heaven with your big sister. We love you so much & can’t wait to hold you in our arms one day… until then rest in the arms of Jesus.
Love,
Mommy & Daddy in Missouri

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Baby H

I didn’t get to see the first two babies I lost, but I did get to see my third, a week before I lost him (do not know the gender for sure, I just *felt* he would have been a “he”), in a moment of grief I decided not to keep those ultrasound pictures, a decision I regret now. But a friend made me this and I always keep my angel babies close to my heart!

- a beautiful mother not too far away

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Baby (s) C

For my nieces and/or nephews that I will only meet in heaven.

- Janna in South Carolina

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Baby C

April 3, 2014

“You are my first baby.  The one I waited 3 years for.  I knew you were with me for 8 hours.  I went to sleep with my hands holding you, and your daddy gave you kiss.  Although we lost you that following morning, I will never ever ever forget how much joy I had for those precious few hours knowing that you were the first person to give me the title, ‘mom’.”

- Rebecca in Georgia
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 In remembrance of little Kyle, and all the little babies everywhere.
- a sweet friend  
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Kyle’s Candle
- Sara June in Michigan
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Baby (s) G
Remembering on this day and always:
Colt Nathan Galyean – Born into Heaven on October 25, 1990
Talerie Paige Galyean – Born into Heaven on December 28, 1991
Olivia Grace Galyean – Went to Heaven 8 hours after birth on September 27, 1999.
- Rhonda in WV
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Baby N

Today we will light a candle for our Grayson Paul and our precious little one we never got to meet – but whom Dalton calls Landon. (That’s one of the names we had picked and Dalton suggested that’s what we should name our little bean.)

All I ever wanted to be was a wife and a mommy. I am so very thankful for our three beautiful babies God has blessed us with to take care of on this earth. It’s been 8 years since we held Grayson in our arms but I think of him every day, several times a day. He’s never far from my mind.Sometimes, I will look at all three of the kids doing something sweet together and I immediately think of him. What would he have been like? Would he have been a lot like Dalton? But then I remember God has a plan. I know Grayson & Landon are being well taken care of. And I know they aren’t alone. They have so many little friends there, even a few cousins, and some amazing grandparents.

To my friends who have experienced this kind of loss, I’m sorry you, too, have had to go through losing a child. I’m praying for you today and sending extra hugs. It is a loss that no one else completely understands unless they have been through it.

Know that you are not alone.

- Mary in West Virginia
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Baby V
For sweet little Aldora Baelie (“winged one”, “before all others”). Your Mommy is still hurting so deeply. But she loves you. And protects even your memory with the fiercest passion in her heart.
- Kim from Kimzkitchen posted for little Aldora’s beautiful mother, Anna in South Carolina
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Baby S 
To Karis Elizabeth Schubert,
Here is the candle I lit for you. My son was a year old and I was told that it was a miracle that I conceived and carried him. I was shocked and thrilled to become pregnant! The weekend before my first appointment, I lost you. Our pain was so deep. We had not told anyone yet and it was too painful to explain after that. My husband and I carried that pain for well over a year before we were even able to tell our families and others. It will be 6 years ago this next month. I look forward to the day I am reunited with you, my sweet child. I have no idea whether you are a boy or girl. My feelings always were that you are a girl. 
- from your lovely mother Beth in New York
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To add your own memory to this post, click here for the details. The post will continually update throughout the evening.

Baby candles | Day 15

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Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

So many women are sharing stories already – some for the first time.

And many are remembering their little ones whose lives lasted for such a short time. But whose memories fill up a lifetime. Here’s a few candles from last year’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  Some were lit for Kyle. Some were lit for others. All were sent to me. And all of them were special.

 

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In memory of Kyle and others

 

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After my post yesterday, I heard of those who didn’t get the chance to memorialize their little ones.  I came up with this idea – maybe some of you would like to join in?

Today, if you have a photo and a memory or a candle and a memory, or just a memory, and you’d like to share it on my blog, please send it my way today! Send them to my email: kimzkitchen@gmail.com by 8 PM tonight and I’d be happy to share them on here for a little virtual memorial service.  That post will go live at 7 PM EST but will be updated throughout the evening until everyone’s photos and memories are posted.

And some of you have friends who have lost little ones. The best thing you can do for a grieving mother is to let her know that you remember. That someone else besides her remembers their very real life that grew for days, weeks, or months with her. So light a candle for her and for them. And send it my way. She’ll be honored that you remembered. I promise. I know. 

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I’ll look forward to hearing from you! God bless you all today.

Love,

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Remembering Kyle in Philadelphia | Day 14

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Special Update on 10/15/14: There’s a virtual memorial service going on here at Kimzkitchen beginning at 7 PM (EST) See the info at the end of this post, or click here to get all the details. It’s a special day. Because the babies are all special. wpid-img_20131011_194930

We had a service for Kyle. A memorial service a few weeks after his birth into Heaven to celebrate his 220 days with us. After that service, the nearly 250 people in attendance formed a sort of impromptu receiving line. I had spent the last hour or so thinking about my little guy dancing on Heaven’s streets. I was on a supernatural high from everyone’s prayers for me. But the thought of greeting every one of those people became overwhelming to me. My girls were tired. The physical and emotional strain of all the pomp and circumstance was getting to them. We had friends who had traveled far to be with us that day and were looking forward to crashing with them over dinner. The long line of people stretched pretty far.

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But you know something? Women began sharing their stories. Men began sharing their stories. A lady from my church in her late sixties said to me, “I lost a baby at birth forty years ago. They took the baby from me in that small hospital room. I never saw him. We never talked about him. Today, I came to grieve with you. But today, I began healing. You’re the first person I’m telling this story to. Thank you for letting me heal.”

View More: http://rebeccacerasani.pass.us/baby-kyle

The stories continued. And I was humbled to be a part of them. Some babies had names. Some didn’t. Some babies were looked at by their mothers. Some weren’t even (allowed to be) touched. But no matter what parts of our story matched, we had something in common. We were all grieving, and, because we were able to share, we were all healing.

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The thing is, death does sting. It hurts. It’s awful. But that sting isn’t going to be forever. One day there will be an amazing victory over sin. One so amazing that death will not sting any more.

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I can’t wait for that day.

Tomorrow is day of grief, healing, remembering, and sharing. It will be a day that will sting for many women. Some will talk about it. Some won’t.

Tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

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This is a big day for me. And for Jenna. And for Hanna. And little Allie’s Mom. And so many others. Including some who are very close to my heart.

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Not a single day goes by that I don’t think about my little Kyle. Or Sam, or Catherine, the other two we lost before Kyle.  And there’s not a single mom out there who has lost a baby who doesn’t think of their little ones.

Tomorrow is a day that others are a little more open to hearing about them. Share your stories. Light your candle at 7PM tomorrow night. Even if you’re the only one who knows what it’s for. It’s ok  good to remember. It’s good to grieve. It’s the only way you can heal. It’s good to share.

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Thanks to my friend, Tammy, over at Perinatal Comfort Care, I was able to get the support I needed. And not only me – but also my girls. And my husband. We were all taken care of in our own special way.  I had help with formulating my care plan, delivering that to the doctors and nurses who would be over my care, and creating keepsakes that I hold on to so dearly.

If you know of someone who is in the middle of a pregnancy with a terminal diagnosis, the best gift you can give them is to introduce them to Perinatal Comfort Care. 

And join me tonight night at 7 PM? I have readers all over the world. We can have a candle burning a flame of rememberance for most of the day. And when you light that candle, say a prayer for those mothers who are grieving their losses. Not just tomorrow, but everyday. I’ll be putting together a virtual memorial service for anyone who would like to participate. Send me your photos of candles, babies, moms, ultrasounds. Or just short memories or just names. You can comment here or email me at kimzkitchen@gmail.com – i’m happy to include them in my post that will go live tonight at 7 PM (EST). If you can’t get it in by then, no worries, I’ll be updating the post throughout the evening. I’ll look forward to hearing from you. <3

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