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

Contributing Writer’s Fest

I can’t really put into words how reaching this date makes my heart feel.




And just about ready to do a happy dance around my living room at almost 2 in the morning because it’s finally here. It makes the launch date, May 5th feel unfathomably close. And yes, I’m still up at this ungodly hour these days.

Today I’m going to share a little about what I will be writing on the magazine and follow that short and sweetness by a list of the Monthly Contributing Writers for the magazine, their blog links and the date they will be posting. You will get the chance to meet each writer on her own blog from now until May 4 and read a little about what she will be bringing to Still Standing.

… Mostly I will be sharing my heart on loss. And the real factors – about how it changes marriage, trying to conceive again, pregnancy, relationships and even faith. I will also be talking more about the little things along the way that have helped me move forward and find healing.

Be sure to come back to this list everyday to visit each writer and show her some love on her day! These women have POURED themselves into their first posts (I’ve read most of them and they are AMAZING!).

April 19 – Tara from Life in the New Normal

April 20 – Beth Morey

April 21 – Rachel from Writers Write

April 22 – Stephanie from Beyond Words Designs

April 23 – Catherine from Between the Snow and the Huge Roses

April 24 – Kristine from Cora’s Story

April 25 – Lori from Lori Does Maryland

April 26 – Carly from CarlyMarie Project Heal

April 27 – Mandy from Who you callin’ INFERTILE?!

April 28 – Beccy 

April 29 – Amy Nevaeh’s Gift

April 30 - Lori from Facets of Life

May 1 – Beryl from Beryl Ayn Young

May 2 – accidentally added someone twice so this is a free day ;)

May 3 – Kristin from Once a Mother

May 4 – Kristin from Dear Stevie

Be sure to join our free mailing list to stay up to date with our progress as the launch date approaches! We have a lot going on these days!

Join for free here

ps- if you haven’t seen the rest of the pictures from our photo shoot, they are now live on Flickr.

Happy day friends! This is going to be amazing, or at least I hope so! :)


warning // picture overload.

I couldn’t help myself. Even though the moment didn’t last long (insert hot sun rising on us, child wanting to run to street and ant piles everywhere) it was quite lovely.

Perfect actually.

This time last year he didn’t walk. He rolled everywhere, almost helpless.

This year he was fearless.

Linking up here, here & here

Life in Instagram {the rodeo, zac brown band and bluebonnets}

1. eyes of wonder. someone on instagram said it perfectly. his eyes are always looking for something to get into, climb or eat! :)

2. at the rodeo this truck was custom painted with extremely detailed images of our country’s history. quite impressive, moved me to tears.

3. joseph discovered the amazingness of indoor play gyms. he will never be the same.

4. and i repeat, he will never be the same.

1. he pretty much completes me.

2. they were setting up stage for zac brown band and mutton bustin’. probably the best part of the rodeo was watching those kids hang on for dear life on those poor sheep. i have high hopes for bubby one day! :)

3. i didn’t ride this at the rodeo carnival. i’m not too embarrassed to admit i am a total chicken when it comes to rides. i rode one, and almost regretted it!

4. we don’t normally wear cowboy hats, even though we are in texas. just thought it would make a cool picture. if only that man were smiling! he looks way more serious than he is!

1. bestie + me at the rodeo

2. this time bubby broke no state laws (i’m so proud of him). instead of picking them and eating them like he did last year, he just walked around, mostly interested in wandering off toward the street or dragging around my tripod. let’s just say the bluebonnet pictures were a bit more challenging with a toddler!

3. bluebonnets. times like this i LOVE living in texas. the picture seriously doesn’t do those beauties justice.

4. zac brown band. i’m still sad the concert is over.

linking up here & here

Happy, happy Friday!

So This is Love

I kind of see myself in him, in the first picture. The rest of the time I think he looks just like his Daddy.

God smiles, Bubby and everything in between

1. hanging out with my little man.

2.orders. believe it or not, they’re trickling in these days. >>insert happy face

3. hobby lobby gets me every time. a few days ago i walked by this display that screamed jenna. i like to think her mansion is more like a castle ;)

4. his two favorites thing — goldfish + outside. the best part? he dumped them out and proceeded to eat them off the ground. #bangsheadondesk

1. i love this picture with his grandparents.

2. not too long ago he hated the nursery at church, thankfully he is loving it. i won’t say those days are behind us, because – well, you never know.

3. dear blissdom, thank you for letting me meet the fabulous allora handmade in person. on her instagram feed someone was calling these flowers cotton candy, i LOVE that! :]

4. this is when i get the bulk of my work done. the rest of the time we are flying by the seat of our pants! i don’t know how anything is getting done with this underway… so excited!

1. a set of nine pieces twice as big as these. very excited to see how they’ll turn out :)

2. the morning sunlight is one of my favorite things in the world. it feels like God is literally smiling at you.

3. he feel asleep in his high chair today. something about this makes me feel like a bad mom.

4. bubby + home depot. what a mess! he wanted to climb in, on, under that chair while we waiting for the door we ordered to be brought to the front of the store. let’s just say it was a looong wait.

are you on instagram? it’s my second favorite thing in the world, i think it ranks higher than chocolate even! find me @smallbirdstudios to follow our messy+beautiful life.

Is it just me…

or does it look like gerber daisies are always smiling?

Is it just me or does time seem to be standing still and racing by all at the same time?

and does this sometimes just get old? Waiting on Heaven, I mean.

Is it just me or does it seem like friends live much too far away sometimes? Yes I’d like my own private jet. I’d paint it fuchsia and name it Belle.

Is it just me or does anyone else find this woman inspiring? I know it has nothing to do with baby loss, but the lives she is changing makes my heart smile.

Smile. It’s a good thing. It’s something our world has forgotten with the sadness, the heartache, the responsibilities. Don’t lose your smile friends.

You might save someone today with it.

linking here, here & here

ps- I promise to resume our love story sometime this weekend :]

Life in Instagram

It’s been a while since I’ve linked up with Jeanett’s sweet instafriday blog hop. I have a lot of instagramming to catch up on. Instagramming is now a word, in case you were wondering ;]

1. mud. remember yesterday’s post? yea i couldn’t resist the temptation to try some insta love on his muddy messy self.

2. this princess crown that i gave her at christmastime is gone. i was ticked off to say the least. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. (okay minus the gold butterflies) was gone at jenna’s grave. ticked off doesn’t even begin to describe it. the cemetery workers were nonchalant about it all. i’ll just have to find another princess crown!

3. before the mud.

4. bubby+mommy. i know i’m biased but… he’s SO handsome!!!

1. long long hair that needs a trim. good thing you can’t see my hair close up ;)

2. at the thrift store with my little man.

3. amy (bestie)+ bubby

4. bad mommy award. he fell asleep on the floor the other day! ugh, where have my mommy skills gone?

1. insert ‘uuuuuhhh!!!!!’ (or I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE!!!)

2. valentine’s bottle. all i need is some flowers to go inside. (Pete- hint! hint!)

3. story time!

4. someone got bored in his car seat and decided it was time to strip.

1. mud!

2. studmuffin.

3. who knew mud could be so fun!?

4. his favorite book of all time. i’ve read it 794 times as of yesterday.

1. snap dragons.

2. a reminder, much needed one too.

3. b+w love.

4. valentine’s gifts for the elderly people at our church.

1. bubby found this bridge in ms. jo’s garden. he didn’t want to leave it!

2. does this tree not look like it could be in alice in the wonderland?

3. imagine his delight when he found a BALL in this garden! :)

4. tree love.

1. a sweet butterfly.

2. more mud love.

3. while passing out those valentine’s gifts to the elderly in our church yesterday, one of the caretakers randomly (yes very random) offered to do my hair into this neat braid! i just wish i knew how to do this myself!

4. bubby on the bridge.

Linking up here, here & here!

Are you on instagram? Find me @smallbirdstudios :)

Rain Boots

The other day you finally wore your rain boots from Grandma. Without crying, fussing or making funny faces. We’ve been getting more rain than usual and your little spirited self loves the outdoors these days.

So I told you if you were going to go outside, you’d have to wear your rainboots. And you did.

I was so proud. You walked funny for a few steps and kept looking at the frog eyes on your rainboot toes, probably wondering what they were all about but once you hit the back door you didn’t think twice about them.

You were a fantastic muddy mess after the rainboot photoshoot, but it was so worth every second. Your heart was in Heaven, and so was mine, watching you.


In between this world and the next there are many things that go unseen.






Silence from Heaven.




A realization that He never, ever left my side.


The sadness/ anger/ what-have-you just had a way of smushing God out.

In between my world and yours, sweet girl,

what others don’t see,

what I don’t allow them to see most of the time,

My lack of patience for Heaven.

The tears that fall late, late at night.

the longing in my heart for my first born..

My fear

I’ve lost you, and big chunks of myself. I don’t want to lose much more.

In moments of pure happiness I miss the child that should be in that moment celebrating with us too.

It doesn’t steal the joy of the moment,

Be what goes unseen to the rest of the world, is seen by me.

And while the rest of the world does not, and just simply put CANNOT see the holes in this life that I see everywhere I go…

I am certain, beyond the shadow of a doubt,

that the tears that fall for you here are kept.

They matter to the One that holds you tonight.

Dewberry Farm + a winner

Dewberry Farm. What a place.

We had the pleasure of going with my youngest brother and my mom last Saturday.

Apparently everyone and their mama knew about this place before I did.

Since having a little one around I take interest in things like carousels, pony rides and pumpkin patches. He changes just about everything :]

And yes, we did the whole ‘pumpkin patch’ thing again.

I couldn’t help it. Not only was Saturday a spectacular day… I was having serious cabin fever last week. Working from home will do that to you.

Hope you enjoy the photos :]

Loved watching his little face light up with the sight of so many pumpkins… :]

Wishing you all a happy Saturday today!


ps – the winner to the Dandelion Dream giveaway is #15 Jill! Please email me at so I can get you & Erin in touch with one another :)

Small Miracles {the little things.}


It’s the little things.

Like getting a glimpse of my little man soaking in the dirt, grass and backyard with his fingers and toes.

Like the dragonfly that honored me with her presence on October 15th.

Like the precious memories that come to my heart at the most random moments. I used to be afraid of losing them. I know now that is impossible.

What has blessed your heart and life lately? What has brought you hope? Or is hope just hard to find right now? I hope you’ll share your heart on your blog and link up with us this week.

sending love & peace,

ps – click here to download the freebies for day 16 & 17 :)


Well friends, we found our pumpkin patch yesterday. Okay, it was sort of a pumpkin patch, but I loved it all the same. It’s at the same family orchard that has seasonal fruits like persimmons, figs and blackberries.

They have a little picnic canopy, a baby swing and a children’s playground area. I love going in the morning time, when I get up early enough to beat the hot sun. It’s Texas ya’ll. We’re praising God when it gets down to 80 degrees right now :)

Hopefully in a week or so Bubby’s Halloween costume will be coming in and I’ll be making a trip back to this little ‘pumpkin patch’ to snap some more piccies. AH! I think I will die of overexposure to pure CUTENESS. ^_^


ps- don’t forget to enter the giveaway… :)

Dear October

… you’ve pretty much crushed my spirit. I think I’d like to fast forward to Christmas if it’s alright with you. But we all know Christmas won’t be the same this year.

I got a glimpse of your sunset yesterday in the midst of utter chaos. It’s still crazy to me that the sun can shine on the most awful days imaginable. Thank God for the privilege of witnessing a child’s world of innocence and delight. He chased the soccer ball around as the sun rays danced on the asphalt. As the world became a little more bitter. All the while Heaven is growing sweeter.

He has no idea how much I need him these days.

I really don’t feel liberty to share too much here at this time concerning Nevaeh, but I would just ask that you hold the Ramirez family in your thoughts and prayers. They need them more than ever.

One Word

This was part of an Illuminate Photography assignment. All the letter images together is supposed to spell “Music”. The lyrics from this song are hauntingly beautiful. I hope you’ll read them.

Timshel ~ Mumford and Sons

(click to have a listen)

Cold is the water
It freezes your already cold mind
Already cold, cold mind
And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance

But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand
Hold your hand

And you are the mother
The mother of your baby child
The one to whom you gave life
And you have your choices
And these are what make man great
His ladder to the stars

But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand
Hold your hand

And I will tell the night
Whisper, “Lose your sight”
But I can’t move the mountains for you


One year from today I hope I can still remember that moment, when I let her go. That moment of complete helplessness. The raw pain.

The compassion.

A lot has changed. But a lot hasn’t.

I still remember.

Sadly this is the last week of the class. It feels like it has only just begun, but it has been a tremendous experience. If you are a bereaved parent at any point in your grief journey I hope you’ll consider signing up for Beryl’s Illuminate Class. You seriously won’t be disappointed.

update: linking here March 16th for a Photo Challenge :)