Art by Erin Leigh Giveaway!

It’s finally here. The appreciation/ thank-you/ oh, how much I love you GIVEAWAY.

No really, I love you guys. It’s no secret that blog world has kept me sane.

And because of some really, really amazing indie shop owners this giveaway is made possible. So… here we go!

Have you heard of or seen Art by Erin Leigh? If you haven’t, you must. She is beyond talented. I am in LOVE with her whimsical style and how she uses her it to illustrate such positive messages. When you visit her shop, you leave feeling uplifted, happy and refreshed.

{images are linked to her shop’s listing}

 

Loveliness. And if you clicked on any of the images above you know how affordable her prices are! Today you can win $50 shop credit by clicking here.

{please don’t leave comments on this post, as they will not count}

So go on and enter! A winner will be announced in a few days :)

you might want to read this…

This past week has been a real eye opener for me work-wise. I started blogging after we lost Jenna never imagining where it’d take me. Never imagining what could be possible. Never imagining all the AMAZING women I would meet along the way. My real reason for blogging was to help someone not feel cRaZY after losing a baby. I felt crazy. And then I met hundreds and hundreds of women who had also lost a baby, and realized I wasn’t crazy – I was {am} a grieving mother.

I’d trade it in a heartbeat for even a second more with her. Life is funny like that though, I don’t get to choose.

I am thankful for each reader, each ‘liker’ on facebook and twitter, each person that stops by my blog even for a moment. I can’t even describe how much it means that you care to share the legacy {what I like to call a beautiful mess!} that she left behind.

I am thankful to my daughter for visiting my world, changing me forever. For leaving something behind for me to do while I wait to hold her again.

This giveaway is an appreciation giveaway. It’s for all of you, and I hope to God you enjoy it. It’s bits and pieces of some of my favorite things on the planet+stuff that I think you’ll just love. For a change this giveaway will include things made by someone else :)

The giveaways {YES, there will be more than one} will start Wednesday, August 31.

Hope to see ya then!

xo

Life Lately

In a few words life has been happy and sad. I am bursting with happiness from Bubby’s tremendous progress in walking. I was getting worried he’d never want to walk! ;)

He’s almost a pro. Almost.

Happy because I finally got in my beautimous planner that keeps my crazy life a little organized. It makes me feel important too. HA! That was a joke.

Happy because God’s given me some really great friends. Great is an understatement.

Sad that a six year old is fighting an aggressive form of Leukemia instead of starting school like a regular kid this August.

Sad that there are entire hospitals around the world for children, just like her.

This is life lately in an instagr.am-nutshell.

 1. me and princess nevaeh

2. my beautimous planner

3. my buddy. he was wiped out from all that walking.

4. he likes to sport my aviators.

1. more aviator fun {in target might i add}

2. talking, making faces in the car on the way to grandma and grandpa’s

3. totally emptying out my purse while i was skyping {is that a word? oh well, just used it}. awesome.

4. the definition of handsome. like father like son.

1-4 me trying to capture cuteness while he was determined beyond imagination to take.this.hat.off. winter is going to be awesome.

1. me and amy.

2. more funny faces in the car.

3. my purse from africa. isn’t it pretty?

4. yours truly.

iPhone love + a Winner

Instagr.am.

Now I feel a little wasteful for buying my DSLR. I mean this little app makes everyone’s photos look amazing.

That’s an exaggeration. I still love my canon, but it’s so handy to just grab, click and apply filters in seconds. I think my favorite filter is ‘pop rocket’ and ‘nashville’.

See, I think both my babies love it as much as I do… ;)

This was at the at&t store, but it reminded me so much of my Jenna.

Never ever fails. Every time Bubby shuffles around in our DVD collection he stares at this one. For a long, long time. Haha, crazy kid!

:::

Pandora…

equals bliss. I have found so many new artists through it. Love this piece. A lot.

And the winner!

The randomly chosen name was Natasha! Congrats lovely lady, please check your inbox for details on how to redeem your software!

If you would still like to own the software, be sure to apply this coupon code STMMMS90838 and receive $10 off to receive the software for 29.97 AND $10 store credit to buy all those adorable scrapbook kits!!

Click here to shop!

Need a SMiLe?

This little book came with one of Bubby’s birthday gifts a few months ago. Unlike any of the pamphlets of instructions that usually come with new toys, this one was different.

It was colorful, it was recycled and it was full of happiness.

Inside of it are a bunch of random, hilarious statements kids have made.

“My triceratops is afraid of our dust bunnies” – Clara, 4

 

“Mommy, you’re the most beautiful woman in the whole world I ever saw before I left the house.” – Callie, 2

 

Maddy: “What does it mean that it’s Election Day?” 

Mom: “Today everyone picks who they want to be President and run our country.”

Maddy: “Oh, I hope they don’t pick me.” -Maddy, 4

 

“Jazz is my favorite color of music!” – Keely, 2

 

“It’s not real anymore.” – Brody, 2 referring to ‘outside’ when his car window was rolled up

 

“Soda is not good for your body. You drink it and then you want more and more. The next thing you know you are smoking.” – Alyssa, 5

I’ve read these statements a few times now, and they always make me smile. I can’t wait to hear what sort of randomness will come out of Bubby’s mouth! I think I’ll keep a notebook or something. The kid’s already babbling like crazy, and every now and then he says something that sounds like a real word. It can’t be long… :)

Just Wondering…

Lately I’ve been getting glimpses of the smell of the NICU. In the most random places. I realize most of the scent in the NICU was the medications, but it is strongly associated with one of the sweetest times in my life.

It’s like anything that has to do with Jenna.

Sudden. Heart-stopping. A whirlwind of emotions slip through me in a matter of seconds. I live those moments, those days all over again. Quickly.

I love these moments.

I am sad that I did not keep her princess blanket sometimes. It just didn’t feel right, it was hers, so we buried her with it. It matched her lavender embroidery on her dress. It was hers. A part of me decided she needed it.

When I smell something – even something that smells like the soap in the NICU – I feel close to her again.

If she could tell me one thing right now, I wonder what it’d be.

Would she tell me about Heaven’s angels?

Her little friends up there with her?

The strong arms of Jesus?

About her conversations with Bubby, and how she’s the one that makes him laugh sometimes?

I think maybe she’d tell me about the love that Heaven only knows. A love that is completely sold out what God has allowed, a love that leaves all question to rest in His hands. A love that believes time will only separate us for a while.

“A Noise With Dirt On It”

When we found out we were having a boy with my pregnancy with Bubby I was a little worried. Worried that I wouldn’t know how to be a mommy to a boy. I had spent the last year or so preparing my heart and our world for a little girl. Life has a way of just taking care of all that. I found out I didn’t have to know a thing. He shows me everyday what little boys need. Snuggles, goldfish and a ton of dirt.

Boy, n.:  a noise with dirt on it

- not your ordinary dictionary

Changing Your Blog Layout

I have just discovered (yes, shame on me) the amazingness of the new Blogger Template Designer. I have seen some of their features used on a few blogs, but not many. This is definitely amazing for anyone trying to customize their blog on their own. In truth Blogger has done a nice job at adding many features to make your blog unique. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing little tips here and there that you might want to try out from the Template Designer on your own blog.

*note- if you have a custom design on your blog, this will not apply as your template is most likely unique to the default template on Blogger.

Always, always back up your template before trying anything new.

1. To edit how many sidebars you have and the layout for the sidebars and posting area, sign in to Blogger.com and click “Design”.

2. Click Template Designer as seen below.

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3. Click Layout on the next screen, from the grey links on the very left-hand side.

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4. Click on the layouts from the top and preview the changes on the bottom portion of your screen. This is a designer’s dream!

5. When you find the layout you like best, click the orange “Apply to Blog” button in the far right.

ENJOY! :D

I’ll be back soon with more fun tips to try out.

Day of Hope

Gosh. If there ever was a day to celebrate hope today would be that day.

My heart is overwhelmed with heaviness for Nevaeh. Things are just getting worse.

I kept telling Amy that God is good. God is good. God is good.

He is good but He is such a mystery.

I found myself repeating the things the most helpful people told me.

Hold onto hope.

He is good.

Don’t go there.

Hope. What a fragile thought. But so so powerful.

It breathes life into us at our weakest existence.

The next two weeks are crucial in Neveah’s journey against Leukemia.

I realize the Day of Hope is for remembering babies gone too soon, but I couldn’t help thinking what a lovely, yet awful coincidence that this tragedy is colliding with August 19th, the Day of Hope.

Life is such a gift.

Score Music LOVE

I love music. Especially soundtracks.

I notice score music in movies, and it almost always provokes the feelings that stay tucked away in life. I guess that is why I am a big fan of score music. It resurfaces what my heart tries to hide. It allows me to revisit the pain, but in a beautiful way.

I am in love with the music from Avatar. Not to mention the movie!

 

Thank you Carly for the music sharing :)

The Road Trip {nashville, TN}

It went by way too fast but I am glad to be home. It was such a pleasure sitting down and talking with Angie Smith in person. The whole meet up was extremely last minute for both of us. We checked into the hotel, I popped open my laptop not expecting much and almost died. “KATIE! SHE EMAILED ME BACK AND CAN MEET TODAY!!!” {SQUEAL!!!!!!!}  She is in one word FUN! And she asked about Jenna. Like she really wanted to know all about her. I felt like a puddling mess, didn’t know where to start, umm… I LOVE YOU ANGIE!!!!! We also had the pleasure of meeting all four of her girls, which is why I withheld from begging for a picture with her! ;) I didn’t know how she might feel with a pic since she was holding Charlotte toward the end. Oh well.

Meeting Adrienne and her sweet Bennett was also a gift. He is such a little miracle, and his eyes are strikingly beautiful. I remember when he was born a little over a year ago at 24 weeks or so, and how God has just pulled him through and given him so much strength. Every one of Adrienne‘s kiddos are amazingness in their own ways. If you haven’t seen her blog, you must. She is an amazing mama and Christian.

Anyway… while we were strolling around the Nashville area I was camera happy, as usual.

Target stop… a must! Thank God for Target :)

Aunt Katie & Bubby!

Union station.

This place called Boot Country was having a buy 1 pair get TWO free sale!!!!!! Too bad most of the boots I liked were like $400…

Adorable handmade paper invites… and twine. Wish I could remember the shop name!!

Check out their ceiling deco! How fun would that be to have hanging from a bedroom?

Probably my favorite stop downtown… Hatch Show Print. These artists hand make vintage-inspired posters for events in the area. They use a printmaking method I LOVED LOVED LOVED to do in college. Jealous CITY! This would be my dream job, you know if I didn’t live 827 miles away.

the studio

the cats

Bubby enjoying his goldfish…

Just thought the lettering here was pretty cool.

While we were waiting for 2pm to arrive (to meet Angie!!!) we were killing time in the ADORABLE town of Franklin. Are these angel wings not the coolest thing ever? It’s almost like they are happy accidents of some messy swirls.

My new favorite drink at Starbucks. Blended Strawberry Lemonade. YUM.

Sunset on Thursday… so much PINK! :D

How fun is this picture? Bubby had so much fun with all the mirrors in the dress shop. And so did I!!!

I think Pete missed us… just a bit. I came home to these lovelies :)

ps- Just found out Blissdom will be taking place in Nashville next year… looks like I might have a very nice excuse to visit this beautiful city again soon! Let me know if you plan on going, I’d love to meet you!!! :)

Good Times

More pics coming soon, just thought I’d share one of my all time favorites.

His face= priceless.

Rockstar Mural

Once upon a time I used to paint. I miss it sometimes.

It’s just so much easier to ‘paint’ on my computer with a little one now all over the place. Painting on real canvas is not so practical, but I commend any one who does it with babies! And children.

I am joining Carly Marie’s Project Heal Music Class today.

The prompt is asking what sort of music we love and if music has had an impact in our healing and grief journey. Please read the week one intro to this series here. The idea is truly brilliant for baby lost parents.

I was cleaning off my insanely messy desktop on my mac tonight, and found this image I copied from my old flash drive to my mac a few weeks ago.

I did this painting right after finishing college. I can’t remember the exact dimensions anymore but it is at least 6 feet wide. It was a commission piece, but now I so wish I would have given this to my dad. It is mostly inspired by the music I grew up listening to through my dad. He’s a music lover.

Of course after losing Jenna, just about every song has taken on new meaning. I used to listen to Enya almost every day and the songs would literally make me cry. I had no idea why. This was ever before we lost Jenna. I guess it goes to show you how truly powerful music is.

Now listening to her music brings my heart to a calm, peaceful place. A safe place to remember my daughter.

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