Launch Party {Melanie’s Butterfly Boutique}

Welcome to the fifth giveaway of our Launch Party for Still Standing Magazine!!! In case this is your first time here to our Launch Party, we are celebrating the launch of Still Standing Magazine with a series of some amazing giveaways from now until May 5!

On an awesome note: All the fabulous giveaways have been generously donated by business owners and shop owners to make this possible

About the magazine:

Still Standing Magazine is for any woman who has lost a child, suffered from infertility, and sadly for some who have faced both. The vision for this magazine is to help these women embrace life in the face of tragedy. It will also include segments for grieving fathers, children, grandparents and other family members. It is representative of the resilience in the human heart to survive catastrophe. We are still standing in the midst of our losses and heartaches. And more importantly, we are not standing alone.

Collectively, we have 16 contributing writers from around the world, all bringing something unique to our readers – such as parenting after loss, TTC, pregnancy after loss, coping mechanisms, doing good in your local community, and much more. Each contributor will post on the same day each month (for example – first Tuesday of every month). There will be plenty of room for guest posts and we already have a few community projects underway.

And on to the giveaway…

Melanie from Melanie’s Butterfly Boutique is giving away a Ripple Lap Afghan. If you haven’t seen her work, you must! She is so talented!!

Hi! My name is Melanie. I love the Lord with all my heart, blessed wife to my loving soldier, a stay at home mother to my rainbow baby, an avid crocheter, and just living life to the fullest! I became an avid crocheter after I miscarried in March of 2008. During my grieving process I found healing thru crocheting. Thanks to my cousin, Melina with MRC Photography, for being my inspiration and helping me start my online business in Feb of 2011. Be blessed!

***To enter you must follow SS Mag on Facebook

For additional entries:

+ Share this blog post through facebook, a blog post, stumbleupon or twitter

+ Follow Melanie on her Blog / Facebook

+ Follow Still Standing Magazine on TwitterPinterest

+ Sign up for our newsletter here

:::

Be sure to leave a comment for each thing you do/ like/ follow :)

A winner will be announced on the SS Magazine Facebook page sometime after May 5

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
Winner: #6, Jamie

Launch Party {The Pregnancy Companion}

Welcome to the fourth giveaway of our Launch Party for Still Standing Magazine!!! In case this is your first time here to our Launch Party, we are celebrating the launch of Still Standing Magazine with a series of some amazing giveaways from now until May 5!

On an awesome note: All the fabulous giveaways have been generously donated by business owners and shop owners to make this possible

About the magazine:

Still Standing Magazine is for any woman who has lost a child, suffered from infertility, and sadly for some who have faced both. The vision for this magazine is to help these women embrace life in the face of tragedy. It will also include segments for grieving fathers, children, grandparents and other family members. It is representative of the resilience in the human heart to survive catastrophe. We are still standing in the midst of our losses and heartaches. And more importantly, we are not standing alone.

Collectively, we have 16 contributing writers from around the world, all bringing something unique to our readers – such as parenting after loss, TTC, pregnancy after loss, coping mechanisms, doing good in your local community, and much more. Each contributor will post on the same day each month (for example – first Tuesday of every month). There will be plenty of room for guest posts and we already have a few community projects underway.

 And on to the giveaway…

Jessica + Heather from The Pregnancy Companion are giving away a copy of their book.

About the book + authors:

After walking together through friendship, loss and fighting for their families, Jessica Wolstenholm and Dr. Heather Rupe have partnered to bring pregnant and trying to conceive women an information packed, inspiration filled resource – The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood. With a heart to help women experience a peace-filled journey to motherhood, the authors worked to bring medicine and faith together in this girlfriend to girlfriend type guide.

***To enter you must follow SS Mag on Facebook

For additional entries:

+ Share this blog post through facebook, a blog post, stumbleupon or twitter

+ Follow The Pregnancy Companion on their Blog / Facebook / Twitter

+ Follow Still Standing Magazine on TwitterPinterest

+ Sign up for our newsletter here

:::

Be sure to leave a comment for each thing you do/ like/ follow :)

A winner will be announced on the SS Magazine Facebook page sometime after May 5

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

#1, Trisha

Launch Party {Kayce Jones}

Welcome to the third giveaway of our Launch Party for Still Standing Magazine!!! In case this is your first time here to our Launch Party, we are celebrating the launch of Still Standing Magazine with a series of some amazing giveaways from now until May 5!

On an awesome note: All the fabulous giveaways have been generously donated by business owners and shop owners to make this possible

About the magazine:

Still Standing Magazine is for any woman who has lost a child, suffered from infertility, and sadly for some who have faced both. The vision for this magazine is to help these women embrace life in the face of tragedy. It will also include segments for grieving fathers, children, grandparents and other family members. It is representative of the resilience in the human heart to survive catastrophe. We are still standing in the midst of our losses and heartaches. And more importantly, we are not standing alone.

Collectively, we have 16 contributing writers from around the world, all bringing something unique to our readers – such as parenting after loss, TTC, pregnancy after loss, coping mechanisms, doing good in your local community, and much more. Each contributor will post on the same day each month (for example – first Tuesday of every month). There will be plenty of room for guest posts and we already have a few community projects underway.

And on to the giveaway… :)

 Kayce from Kayce Jones Designs is giving away a Sterling Silver Stamped Ring, as seen below.
Whole sizes from 5-10 available

 

***To enter you must follow SS Mag on Facebook

For additional entries:

+ Share this blog post through facebook, a blog post, stumbleupon or twitter

+ Follow Kayce Jones Designs on Facebook

+ Follow Still Standing Magazine on TwitterPinterest

+ Sign up for our newsletter here

:::

Be sure to leave a comment for each thing you do/ like/ follow :)

A winner will be announced on the SS Magazine Facebook page sometime after May 5

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

#140, Brandie

Launch Party {Jewel Boards}

Welcome to the second giveaway of our Launch Party for Still Standing Magazine!!! In case this is your first time here to our Launch Party, we are celebrating the launch of Still Standing Magazine with a series of some amazing giveaways from now until May 5!

On an awesome note: All the fabulous giveaways have been generously donated by business owners and shop owners to make this possible

About the magazine:

Still Standing Magazine is for any woman who has lost a child, suffered from infertility, and sadly for some who have faced both. The vision for this magazine is to help these women embrace life in the face of tragedy. It will also include segments for grieving fathers, children, grandparents and other family members. It is representative of the resilience in the human heart to survive catastrophe. We are still standing in the midst of our losses and heartaches. And more importantly, we are not standing alone.

Collectively, we have 16 contributing writers from around the world, all bringing something unique to our readers – such as parenting after loss, TTC, pregnancy after loss, coping mechanisms, doing good in your local community, and much more. Each contributor will post on the same day each month (for example – first Tuesday of every month). There will be plenty of room for guest posts and we already have a few community projects underway.

And on to the giveaway… :)

Christy from Jewel Boards is giving away one her custom wall hangings, as seen below.

This piece with this Angel quote can be customized with your child’s name, available in pink, blue or cream. ($20 value)

***To enter you must follow SS Mag on Facebook

For additional entries:

+ Share this blog post through facebook, a blog post, stumbleupon or twitter

+ Follow Christy on her Blog / Facebook

+ Follow Still Standing Magazine on TwitterPinterest

+ Sign up for our newsletter here

:::

Be sure to leave a comment for each thing you do/ like/ follow :)

A winner will be announced on the SS Magazine Facebook page sometime after May 5

***THIS GIVEAWAY POST IS NOW CLOSED***

#110, Angela

Launch Party Kick-Off!

I cannot believe it is HERE! Today finally kicks off our countdown to the launch of Still Standing Magazine! 6 days til’ we go LIVE!

About the magazine:

Still Standing Magazine is for any woman who has lost a child, suffered from infertility, and sadly for some who have faced both. The vision for this magazine is to help these women embrace life in the face of tragedy. It will also include segments for grieving fathers, children, grandparents and other family members. It is representative of the resilience in the human heart to survive catastrophe. We are still standing in the midst of our losses and heartaches. And more importantly, we are not standing alone.

Collectively, we have 16 contributing writers from around the world, all bringing something unique to our readers – such as parenting after loss, TTC, pregnancy after loss, coping mechanisms, doing good in your local community, and much more. Each contributor will post on the same day each month (for example – first Tuesday of every month). There will be plenty of room for guest posts and we already have a few community projects underway.

I don’t know about you, but after endless hours of planning, writing, designing and much, much more, I am ready to PARTY! I want to send a special thanks to every one of these shop owners/ business owners. Each of the giveaway items has been generously donated to make this awesome Launch Party possible.

And without further adieu… let the fun begin!!! :)

Today’s giveaway comes from a special artist + friend (and ps! she’s a Contributor!), Stephanie from Beyond Words Designs.

giveaway item: art necklace (16 inch choker) of winner’s choice

***To enter you must follow SS Mag on Facebook

For additional, optional entries:

+ Share this blog post through facebook, a blog post, stumbleupon or twitter

+ Follow Stephanie on her Blog / Facebook / Twitter

+ Follow Still Standing Magazine on Twitter/ Pinterest

+ Sign up for our newsletter here

:::

Be sure to leave a comment for each thing you do/ like/ follow :)

A winner will be announced on the SS Magazine Facebook page sometime after May 5

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

Winner: #73, Pamela

A More Perfect Love {from the archives}

I don’t ever share the poems I write here, but honestly friends I have a hard time finding words these days. This poem pretty much sums up everything, especially so close to everything- mother’s day, Jenna’s birthday, Bubby’s 2nd birthday. All of it.

I wrote this on my first blog on August 16, 2009. I hope it speaks to you, if you have lost a child. I like to believe there really is a more perfect love in Heaven. One that will make sense of the nonsense we went through down here, the second we get there.

I see your tears
When noone else does
I know how you miss me
And the emptiness you feel

I wish sometimes I could tell you
How I really am ok
How Heaven is far sweeter than words can tell
How precious the Lord is and I’m at home
Where all is well

I know that doesn’t soften the blow
I know that doesn’t dry your eyes
But if I could tell you just one thing
It would be that in Heaven there’s just a more perfect love

A love that dries tears
A love that stands still
A love that doesn’t know time
A love that forgets the woes of this life

And while you miss me being in your arms
I miss you too
But time hasn’t torn a hole in my heart yet,
It’s not been but a few moments
that I have been gone

The place where we one day will meet
Is closer than it feels
And me, your precious Angel
Am closer than you think

The life that I lived reached our Father’s will
Far sooner than you would have chosen
But from Heaven the big picture is clear
And there’s no doubt behind it there is perfection

The love that fills your heart for me
Does not go unseen
The tears you cry because I’m not there
Will be dried in Heaven

The longing that haunts you with emptiness
Will one day be restored
But Mother, in my new home
There is just a more perfect love

Sponsor Giveaway Day

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*** to enter you must be a follower of this blog via email, RSS or bloglovin‘ ***

To enter:

+ share this post.

+ like / follow the links above.

+ follow SBS on facebook / pinterest / twitter

be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do

One winner takes all.

A winner will be announced one week from today.

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

Instead

Instead of tears, these days are filled with excitement, hope and deadlines.

Instead of dread, love.

Instead of fear and anxiety, a vision.

The launch of Still Standing Magazine has somewhat minimized the normal amount of anxiety I feel around Jenna’s birthday.

Of course there are moments that catch me off guard and I am just in awe of how much time has passed since I last held her.

It crushes me.

Organizing the bones and structure of Still Standing Magazine has been a collage of sleepless nights, early mornings, many scattered lists and a constantly bombarded inbox.

You won’t see me complaining, but the work has been unbelievable.

May 5 it will be all worth it.

Instead of ordering (I don’t bake ya’ll) a butterfly cake, I get to release this into the world.

For her.

And for any woman who has been affected by loss and infertility.

I have a strong feeling about this. Not that my feelings are reliable, but this just has to be incredible.

Have you been able to meet some of our contributors these past few days on their blogs?

With each of these amazing women, it just has to be.

This weekend our March of Dimes walk takes place, and our Launch Party for SS Magazine also kicks off. It’s going to be quite the weekend.

I just wanted to prepare you that my blog will be a PARTY next week, full of giveaways - all donated by some kick-butt people – to help us celebrate the Launch of SS Magazine AND our seven day countdown til it’s debut!

There will be at least one, and most days two giveaway posts, but fear not! My blog is not turning into a PR/ ad blog. Also, since Facebook has strict rules on giveaways (which could possibly shut down our page) I thought it would be best to host it here on the blog.

Since both my son’s and daughter’s birthdays are next week (and sweet Nevaeh’s) Amy and I are doing a birthday week for them and celebrating together. I won’t be around much online, but I promise to share details after May 5. We have quite a birthday week planned :)

April 29, the fun begins!!! :)

ps — tomorrow a newsletter for Still Standing goes out, and you get a sneak peek at our website before it goes live! Be sure to sign up for free here.

A Special Giveaway {Mama Mia Custom Hand Stamped Jewelry}

Thank you so much Franchesca for letting me guest post on this very special day! xo

Hi There!  I’m Tina.  I’d like to introduce you to my special girls, Sophia and Ellie.  Today is their third birthday.  On this day in 2009, I was 21 weeks and 1 day pregnant with identical twins.  That morning I very suddenly went into preterm labor and had to deliver my precious babies.  My world was shattered and has not been quite the same since.

Sometimes it seems like this all happened so long ago, other times it feels like yesterday.  My memories of that day are all so vivid.  However, I don’t let me mind go there very often, sometimes it’s too painful and it’s just my way of coping.  The last three years have not been easy.  I look back at where I started and where I am now, and I have come so far.  Today, I can say that I am thankful for my girls.  I am grateful that I was chosen to be their mother, I am grateful for the time we had with them, for the gifts they have brought into my life, the friends they have bonded me with, and the many lessons I have learned and continue to learn from them.  Needless to say, not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could change the outcome, but nevertheless, I am still thankful.

So I am inviting you all to help me celebrate Sophia and Ellie’s 3rd birthday by having a giveaway!

You have the chance to win one of my God Gave Me You necklaces.

To enter leave a comment here and tell me who God gave you.

***you must be a follower of Small Bird Studios {on bloglovin‘, RSS or email} to enter***

For additional entries:

+ Share this giveaway post on facebook, twitter, or your blog

+ Like Mama Mia Hand Stamped Jewelry on facebook

+ Visit the shop and pin your favorite item

+ Follow Tina on Pinterest

+ Visit Tina’s shop and pin your favorite item!

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

 ps- Jennifer from Fadeless Memories is generously offering all Small Bird readers a $5 off discount. Click here for special pricing :)
***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

Leaning into

I am coming here because my heart needs it. And I really don’t know where this post will go. There has been a slew of drama (facebook), and well, that just left me feeling so empty yesterday and worrying about things I usually don’t think twice about.

I told God I could not do this alone.

This post was exactly what I needed to read the other day. I am so guilty. Thinking I can just do it all.

And it gets done. But at what cost?

I honestly forget to lean into God, and let him take my burdens. And there are times I convince myself I am past the point of receiving his help.

How good is he to continually want to take these from me?

Good enough to keep trusting, serving, and depending on.

Good enough to GIVE him my everything. Burdens, heartaches, dreams… all of it.

Depending on him to find truth and beauty even on the darkest of days.

Because the truth is everything will be okay.

I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day that went something like this…

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

I had planned on having a paint day with little man today, but time got away from us after his nap. In the morning, God-willing we will be heading to the dollar store, picking up some finger paints and going to town.

It’s been forever since I’ve painted anyway. This is a good way to start, right? :)

Here’s to a beautiful day friends…

Keeping this Moment

Don’t you ever wish you could capture a moment forever? I suppose that is what pictures are for, and pictures do a great deal for bringing back memories. But sometimes I wish you could capture moments in a bottle.

And pop the top open when you splash your face in the happiness of that day, that moment in time once again.

Unphased by the many layers of mud his little body wore that day.

And the look of complete and utter happiness in this puddle of mud from yesterday’s rain.

This little boy is growing up, and it’s moments like these I never want to forget.

Dear iPhone, your rock my world. You help me capture little moments like this when the big camera is zipped away in the camera bag, or too large to handle when dodging puddles and mud splotches from a sweet, muddy child.

Happy Sunday friends.

 

The Other Day

… it felt like yesterday.

I was alone in the truck, retreating from so many mixed emotions that flooded my soul after the NICU volunteer meeting.

Don’t think for a second I don’t want to be a part of it. I knew there would be days like this.

But I also haven’t had a day like this in a long, long time.

There is a sacredness in tears.

I really believe that.

It somehow unites the world with the expression of your heart.

It is healing.

But so draining.

Last night I got 2 text messages and one message on facebook about three different heart-wrentching situations.

Everyday there is somebody whose world is being rocked to the core.

Saying goodbye to their teenage soon, battling a possible life-threatening disease, experiencing an extremely difficult pregnancy situation.

Life is hard.

My heart hurts for the people that I love. This world doesn’t make sense.

As I drove home, looking like a crazy woman with a pitiful display of mascara-stained cheeks, there was a whisper that only Heaven could give.

She is alive.

She is alive and well.

As much as this separation from her hurts, that helped me. To remember that even though we visit her at the grave, she is NOT there.

She is long gone. Far from pain, hurt and questions.

And if she could tell me one thing, I believe it would be just that.

I’m alive mama. Don’t cry.

linking up with Tesha.

Guest Post + Giveaway {Somewhere Over the Rainbow}

I am so excited to share Katy and all her awesomeness with you again today! With a sweet giveaway too! :)

Thank you to the lovely Franchesca for hosting me once again. I’ve got just a thought for you today and then on to our giveaway.

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
― Martin Luther King

I happened to stumble across this quote on Facebook one day and well now it’s right up there with “A person is a person no matter how small” by Dr. Suess. It just struck me.

I’m so thankful for my own personal creative force (my sweet baby girl in Heaven), that it is hard to fathom having chosen the alternate path. It could have left me angry. It could have left me bitter. Her death could have left me hopeless and wandering. And in ways, for periods of time, I guess it did.

Then something new emerged. She changed me. She transformed every fragment of who I am. She became that force he speaks of. What could have destroyed me made life sweet. Bittersweet, but still sweet.

What drives you? What sufferings have sat upon you only to realize the blessings that were hidden within? What or who fills your heart?

Up for grabs is a “what’s in your heart” frame-able card. Mine is just full of my babies—share with me who fills yours!

To enter leave a comment here and tell me who or what fills your heart!

***you must be a follower of Small Bird Studios {on bloglovin‘, RSS or email} to enter***

For additional entries:

+ Share this giveaway post on facebook, twitter or your blog

+ Like SOTR on facebook

+ Visit the shop and pin your favorite item

+ Follow the SOTR blog

Be sure to leave a comment for each entry

*the winner of the Fadeless Memories giveaway is #24, Sarah.

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

Breaking Away {trip to the park}

This week’s ‘breaking away’ involved packing a container of fresh fruit, cold water, and enough diapers for a full day of fun. We got to the park, and Bubby hit the ground running. 

Can you spot the butterfly? :)

We got the water in the play area started and I should have taken his clothes off sooner. I regretted not bringing extra clothes for him but wasn’t going to let that get in the way of having a good time! It was warm enough to let those clothes dry almost completely before heading home.

Watching him have the time of his life was a great start to this commitment of breaking away.

I hope you’ve found some time out of your normal routine for the things your heart enjoys :)

xo fran

Guest Post {LilyWraps}

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ April from Lily’s Amazing Grace through this blog world. I loved her story and could relate to so much of it. I am so excited to share her amazing work she is doing in her daughter’s memory. And the career change she made because of her.

Miracle: n. -an extraordinary or divine intervention considered as a work of God.
-a wonder, marvel.

I’m not sure that everyone believes in miracles, maybe you have to witness one to believe. I witnessed my first miracle eleven years ago when I ruptured at only 24 weeks, my daughter was ultimately born at 26 weeks. She weighed a mere 1 pound & 12 ounces and she was perfect in every way. We were totally blindsided, we had a healthy son at home…how and why did this happen? My husband and I prayed that our daughter Isabella would survive. We didn’t bargain, we didn’t beg, we just prayed-not harder or better than anyone else and this time our prayers were answered. Our Isabella came home with us after four trying months in the NICU. She escaped the shadow of death on more than one occasion and she is our miracle.


Isabella’s journey taught me that I took life for granted before she was born. I vowed I would never be so selfish again. I wasn’t a nurse at the time of Isabella’s birth and I quickly realized that I had a greater purpose in life so I went back to school-of course to be a NICU nurse. There is something humbling about being one of the first set of hands to touch a new life. I don’t know many people who can say they have unless they work where I do. We see and touch your baby before you do. We weigh them in grams not pounds. The NICU is a sacred place where miracles happen and it’s a place where dreams are shattered.

I can appreciate every emotion our families feel. Some of you reading must be questioning by now, “But you took you daughter home?” Yes, I did, but she was not my only premature baby. Last year I ruptured early again, this time I knew instantly we would lose our sweet Lily, it was too early. Anyone who has ruptured prematurely gets the feeling…it’s indescribable. It’s a feeling of total loss of control; total helplessness…those moments will haunt me forever. Our world fell apart around us the day that Lily was born. This time I prayed that God would give me the strength to face each new day without Lily and the strength to find the courage to tell my children that their baby sister had passed away. Just saying those words took courage, it was the hardest thing I had ever done.

We faced our darkest days after we lost Lily. I woke up every day with a feeling of heaviness. Everything was so wrong, I was angry and I felt so empty. I replayed those days over and over in my head. As I read stories written by other women like Fran I realized that we were supported by a community that I didn’t even know existed. I also came to realize that we left the hospital empty handed; not only without our Lily but with nothing to remember her. We were never given a blanket to take home with us. That’s right-after the shock of that settled with me I vowed that this can’t happen to anyone else. That is why I created LilyWraps. LilyWraps were inspired by our daughter for families like you and me. They are custom wraps made for parents to hold and love their baby after they have passed away or as they journey to heaven. My original intention was to donate our LilyWraps to the labor & delivery unit where our Lily was born. I had no idea how much they would be loved by the families and the nurses. LilyWraps can be purchased and donated by visiting my blog Lily’s Amazing Grace. http://www.lilysamazinggrace.com/ Please know all profit from the LilyWraps is donated for families who do not have the means to have a service for their baby. It is our way of quietly serving others during their weakest moments.

via

This past year has been the most difficult and challenging year of my life. I have realized that although we can’t change the past it’s okay to look forward to the future. I found the courage to walk back through the doors of the hospital where we lost Lily and go back to work in the NICU. I have so much to offer our families. I am more than a bereaved Mommy-I am a NICU Mom and a NICU nurse. This is what now defines me as a woman and it helps me to face each new day. One day together we will sort our way through this all in our own time, at our own pace, in our own way.

-Love to you all today, April ♥