About Me

I am saved by grace.

I failed my only art class in high school.

I am a NICU mom, times 3.

I am discovering that I am naturally a rule-breaker, not out of rebellion but out of my need to follow who I am created to be.

I am obsessed with twinkle lights. I hang them in our home all year long.

I have a teaching degree, and taught art and yearbook for three years in a tiny private school.

I lost our first baby.

My story and what I share here has a lot to do with the new outlook on life that formed since our loss.

I try to convince myself that chocolate is basically a vegetable.

Farmer’s markets are my happy place.

I am a DIY-er.

I struggle with insecurity.

I find that comparison is the thief of joy and gratitude is the cure-for-all for so many of life’s darkest hours.

I believe laughter is healing.

I don’t use shampoo or conditioner, and I really don’t miss them.

I wish I liked squash and green veggies more.

Fireworks make me happy.

I was sad to see Gilmore Girls end.

I think if you have dreams you should go for them. And to dream BIG.

I hang garden lights throughout our kitchen. It’s kind of magical.

I don’t have a favorite color.

I have a problem with how the western world treats grief as a whole.

I have only had two manicures in my whole life (professionally done and all…).

I got married at 21, and knocked up two years after that with our first.

I believe loss changes you, inside and out. And it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

I am inspired by brave people and people who speak the truth.

When I was a girl I wanted to be a missionary to Romania, specifically orphanages.

Growing up in my teen and college years, my dream job was to work for Hallmark and make cards all day. I am kind of living that dream, in a way I never expected.

Writing helps me process my heart thoughts.

I am a hopeless night owl.

I was saved at 17.

I love to buy books and have a hard time finding the time to finish them.

My favorite book is Bloom by Kelle Hampton.

I am sensitive, and wish I wasn’t many times.

I L O V E to travel. Anywhere and everywhere.

The further I go into this life, the more I realize the LESS I know. Especially when it comes to God and faith.

My kids (all three of them) are my ultimate dreams come true.

One day I want to grow a vegetable garden.

I am not outgoing by nature.

I look for hearts in the clouds almost every time I am outdoors.

Pinterest is basically my cookbook.

I love thrift stores and hate paying full price for anything.

I am passionate.

I believe in letting go.

I am humbled at the responsibilities that motherhood involves. HUMBLED. And a bit petrified at times that we only get once chance to do it right.

I find that it is a constant battle to be true to yourself in the world of social media.

The love of God is something I will never get over.

I played the piano for nine years off an on all the way through my late teen years.

I like all kinds of music.

The rain brings a lot of raw emotions to the surface, which I find cathartic.

I think everyone deserves the chance to do what makes them truly happy.

The beach is my ultimate happy place.


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  1. 1
    alely says:

    hi fran! i just found your blog through carissa’s miscellany monday. i love her! she is the sweetest and i’m so glad i came across yours. i’m looking forward to reading more of you and will try and link up to your blog hop!


  2. 2

    Fran, I just found your page & I’m in love with it!!! I love that I can relate to you blogs, wording & ideas 100%. I give birth to baby girls Twins Ava & Ella just 10 months ago 26 weeks premature but sadly both passed just 6 days later. Since the loss of our first children our world has been turned upside down but we have taken the good out of it & started to make a difference in a small way. We also support RMHC (Australia), what a great charity they are- in December we raised $7500 in a charity event that I organized for RMHC and the hospital our girls where at. If your interested is following my story I have a FB page that I use and I have also just started a photoblog http://www.photoblog.com/equalshappiness . keep doing what your doing Fran it really is helping others & I’m sure your self also. lauren Xxoo
    Lauren Cooksey recently posted..A fellow follow this morning has shared a page with us that helped her & now the…My Profile

    • 2.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      Lauren, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I am so sorry for the recent loss of your precious girls. I visited and liked your page just now, what a beautiful ministry you have to honor their lives. That is also incredible that you support RMHC, and that you were able to raise so much for them. That organization did a great deal for us while Jenna was in the NICU, they really are a wonderful charity!! :) I hope to keep in touch with you!! lots of love xx
      Franchesca recently posted..If you asked meMy Profile

  3. 3

    What a beautiful and inspiring site that I am so grateful to have come across! I needed some encouragement and it is exactly what I have found browsing through “this beautiful mess.” I, too, have a beautiful mess, and have written my story in “Facets of Life; What I Didn’t Expect When I was Expecting.” I was inspired to write a book because I searched for years for someone to tell their story, the raw truth, and the messes that came along with the death of a child. My son passed due to a utering rupture while I was delivering him, and I was not successful in finding any true stories on uterine rupture, so I wrote of my own. He lived about 25 minutes. I published it last year and have been really involved in helping others through the tragedy of losing a child(ren). It is a journey like no other. Thank you for sharing your life and journey with others, and thank you for sharing with me today, on a day when I really needed to find this. My son passed almost 7 years ago, but not one minute goes by that I am not missing him, but also not one minute goes by that my love for him has ever stopped. Have a blessed day and know that you made a difference in my life today! I recently started a blog in addition to my facebook page, but if you would like to look at my website loricweatherly.com, there is more info there on the book and a little of my story as well. With much hope, Lori

  4. 4
    Rochelle Blanton says:

    I just have to say thank you for the blog, and the magazine “still standing”. I am amazed, and i am inspired. After losing my baby almost 7 months ago, I have to say that these things are needed, they are appreciated, and they help to restore a little bit of hope and healing in devestating times. I love that you call it a beautiful mess, I hope that my mess will be beautiful, that there will be beauty from these ashes, that in the middle of my heartache there will be joy and life. Thank you….

    • 4.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      Thank you Rochelle. My heart goes out to you, I am so sorry for your loss. It is hard to see it, and sometimes believe it, but there will be joy again. It always breaks my heart to learn about another mother who is living that unimaginable pain. Just know you are never ever alone, and just as I have found, there is a beautiful supportive community who gets your pain. The community i found through blogs inspired a lot of my healing over the years. Sending big hugs, and prayers for healing. xxxx

  5. 5
    Yessenia Bradford says:

    Hi i ran into your page through Carly Marie and i love your page . I lost my little girl 2 months ago her name was Khloe Eileen but we called her Khloe Bug she was 13 month old .I can honestly say this is killing me , sometimes i feel like it will never get better and im sure it will never get better i will just have to learn how to deal with it. But it is awesome to fine women who know what im going through. So thank you for your blog .

  6. 6
    Lacy says:

    Thank you for writing and creating this space. I just discovered your blog but have been reading quite often at Still Standing. I lost my third child, my 8 week old baby girl, Naomi on June 22nd. Some days it is hard to just breath. And with each passing day and week it gets harder. Knowing there are others who have walked this way before does give me comfort and hope. A beautiful mess…your words about your daughter’s impact on your life and this world are beautiful. Thank you for sharing her.
    Lacy recently posted..{this moment}My Profile

    • 6.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      I am so so sorry for your loss Lacy. Thank you for stopping by, it is an honor to share our Jenna Belle with the world. Sending big hugs and prayers for you xxxx

  7. 7
    Brenda says:

    I am a TX girl also, and found your page through Carly Marie’s Seashore of Remembrance page. I found her page after reading your Still Standing Magazine or on a support group on FB. My husband and I recently lost our first child and daughter Lily due to IC. She was born at 22 weeks 3 days on May 30, 2012, and lived with us for 3 hours. We love and miss her everyday. She lives with us though, and as we have started to ttc, we hope she will help us through this time of sadness. However, like you, we understand that even though we may not know why, she was called to Heaven for a reason. Thank you for sharing your family with us.

  8. 8

    Fran, I just found your site through a fb friend who recommended it to me. This is wonderful. I’m going to add you to my network. It is such a horrible thing, losing a child… but I love that you write that her gift was for you to love deeper, and that your life is beautifully broken. Those words resonate with me so much right now. Thank you for sharing your story. Here is mine, if you would like to read it: http://chantalandfam.com/love-overcomes/

    Lots of love and blessings and healing
    Chantal Hayes recently posted..Grief: What we’re not supposed to talk aboutMy Profile

  9. 9
    Angela U says:

    I have not suffered the loss of a child..but I am currently in the hospital expecting our 3rd child. Our doctors have given us a fatal prognosis for our son and I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around what to expect once our precious son is born. I have to say, that if the Heavenly Father decides to call our Son home, I have comfort in knowing there is an amazing support group of moms that I can turn to. I am truly sorry for your loss; for all of the mothers and fathers that have to endure such pain. I know I am not alone, and I appreciate your blog. God bless.

    • 9.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      Angela, I am so sorry to hear this. I am praying for you and your precious son. I hope you can enjoy the rest of the days in your pregnancy as much as possible, I know that can be challenging. Sending big hugs to you. And praying so much that you’ll never need this amazing support system but if you should, we will be here for you. xoxo

  10. 10
    Diana Stone says:

    I think I’d found your blog long ago, but today someone posted a picture you made saying, “I lost my twins” from your site saying they were thinking of me.

    I lost my twin boys this past May at 20 weeks after a horrendous week in the hospital. I have had your magazine mentioned to me time and time again, but as things are so jumbled still, haven’t ever had the chance to sit down and find it.

    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for making this a little pain a more beautiful in what can be perceived as so ugly.
    Diana Stone recently posted..On Being AngryMy Profile

  11. 11
    holly mcgillvray says:

    my daughter riley was stillborn at 34 weeks on 9/26/12. i found your site through a community board on baby center.com. i have experienced a roller coaster of emotions over the last several days. most of all, i am stuck trying to find meaning behind her passing. my hope is that through your site and through others’ stories, i can find peace in all that is happening.

    • 11.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      Oh Holly, I am so sorry for your recent loss. My heart goes out to you. It is extremely difficult to find meaning in so much pain. Praying the days and months ahead are gentle on you. Sending peace and love xox

  12. 12
    Leah says:

    Hi! I’m a new reader from Canada. Your site is peaceful. Our family grieves 2 devastating pregnancies and 2 miracle children. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum twice, and was hospitalized for many, many weeks, all the while not knowing if I or the baby would survive. It, too, has changed me forever. We can’t have any more. I’m working on an ebook about our experience with HG. Part of my website/blog is a support site for other moms who have suffered with the same. I’m so glad to have found your blog.
    Leah recently posted..Let’s Meet…My Profile

    • 12.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      Thank you so much Lisa. I am so sorry for your losses. I would love to hear more about your book when you are finished, it sounds like a great resource.

      Sending big love xx

  13. 13
    Katie says:

    I know now that I’m not alone….Bless you for sharing your heartbreaking feelings with us. Loss of a baby isn’t something easily understood by those who have not experienced it. I lost my son at 17 weeks after trying to get pregnant for 2 years. That was last May. I’m praying for my rainboy baby, but it’s going to be another long journey of hope and despair. WHEN I finally become pregnant again, your book is on my list to buy.

  14. 14

    Hi Fran,
    I have recently joined Heartfelt Organisation in Australia. One of my mums whose baby girl I photographed told me about this wonderful site called Heartfelt. I am a professional photographer. Browsing through their website I stumbled on your blog by chance. I wish when I have my babies there was somewhere to meet over people after saying goodbye to three of my babies. Alec, Jayne & Rebecca. Alec was 10lb and over 23inches. Big bruiser but died two hours after birth. Told it was a one off thing.
    It wasn’t. Six weeks after holding Alec I fell pregnant again to Jayne. At 18 weeks had routine ultrasound in Sydney. We had to fly down there from Northern Rivers. We could tell straight away she didn’t have kidneys. So we made the decision to give birth to her then. So we had two babies in the one year but went home to empty nursery one week before Christmas. I found packing up the nursery one of the hardest things I ever went through. Beside holding my babies until they stopped breathing.
    Six months later I fell pregnant again with Rebecca. Had the top specialist in the country. Ultrasound at 18 weeks perfect baby girl. They where 99.9% sure healthy baby girl. Twelve weeks before her due date my mother died suddenly of a brain tumour. The day she was diagnoised. Broke my heart. So twelve weeks later I had our second daughter. She died one hour after birth in my arms.
    I am telling this story because after all those losses, I now have two healthy young men. Lance 21 and Ewen 19. When pregnant with both boys we never went back to specialist in Sydney. Went to Brisbane and we knew we would have to wait until the baby was born to see if affected with rare recessive gene disorder. Their was less than 100 cases in the world. Neither side of the family but we both had this rare gene.
    After Rebecca I never did another nursery up. I just couldn’t do it after three times. Its so hard to go there and pack it all away again. So when Lance was healthy I had to organize it when home. Same for when our second boy cried after birth.
    I am writing this story for other mums out there who feel they are alone and wrapped in sadness. Miracles do happen after our hearts are broken into million pieces. Never give up hope. The road is dark and lonely at times. The sky grey. I cried for two years. Don’t bottle up your emotions. Talk to people you love about how sad you are and talk about the beautiful baby that you created. I have an album full of photos for Alec and Rebecca. They will always be apart of my life and memories to last a lifetime.
    But in the end I found that rainbow and now have two beautiful healthy young men.
    Now I am a nanny. Me a nanny after everything we went through. Have handsome little man called Jaxon. He is six months old.
    Never give up Miracles Do Happen”.
    Chris McQueen recently posted..Baby TaylorMy Profile

  15. 15
    Katie says:

    I lost my son 5 years ago at 40 weeks. I still miss him everyday. There are no words for what you re doing or others. Hugs

    In him,

  16. 16
    Katie says:

    Sorry I ment for others

  17. 17
    Aleah says:

    I was looking for an angel ornament for my little girl today when came across your website. Today is one week since my husband and I lost Parker Jane. The pain is unreal. I was only 6 months pregnant. I’m trying to begin the healing process. Hopefully next year we can participate in Light the Night with Love. It is such a beautiful idea.

    • 17.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      Dear Aleah,

      My heart breaks for you as you enter the grieving process and new life after loss. I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. Sending so much love xx

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