Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I'm Back!

In September, I decided to take a break from blogging.

You see, we decided to purchase a house here in Missouri and settle down for awhile. Four houses in four years was just a little too much moving and it was time to put some roots down.

Looking for a house, dealing with banks and realtors and packing and de-cluttering and painting and cleaning and caring for Henry made writing almost impossible. Ok, I guess I could have written after Henry went to bed but at that point I just wanted to watch "White Collar" with the hubs.

Now that we are unpacked and settled in I can finally blog again. Hopefully the holidays won't mess with my good intentions. :)

Anyway, we love our little house and are very happy here. We have downsized and don't have as much stuff and it's so nice. Having less possessions to take care of and keep up with is very freeing. 

See our adorable little house? And see how nice and warm it was when the picture was taken? 

It's nice to be back. I've missed this.

As you can see from the picture, it is a duplex. Yes, we bought a duplex and no, we did not buy the other half. People keep asking me that. Strange.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Stick Family

Once upon a time there was a stick family. They lived in the automotive aisle in a store. One cold day a man bought them and brought them to his home.

He wrapped them in pretty paper and put the package under a beautiful Christmas Tree.

A few days later, the stick family felt themselves being freed from the paper and were soon gazing into the face of a woman. She was so happy she was crying.

She and the man and a little baby took the stick family and placed them in their new home, on the back window of a little yellow car. There was a mom, a dad, a baby and two cats. Above the stick family the man and woman placed a little girl, the one who lived in Heaven.

The stick family loved their new life on the car window. Together, with the man, woman and baby, the stick family traveled all over the country. They visited many interesting places and had a good time.

Then one day, something very sad happened. The little stick baby, who by this time had grown bigger, had to leave the stick family. He went to Heaven to be with his big sister and another baby sister. The stick family was very sad and missed him. They comforted themselves with looking at them, flying above them on the window.

Very soon after the little stick boy left, the stick family once again had a stick baby by their side. It was a different stick baby, but they loved him. They were still sad and missed their other stick children, but they were happy, too. Life was good.

The end.
The Stick Family
John, Audra, Melody, Avery, Glory, Henry, Anne and Kit Kat

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's Not True, Really

I can't write it. It has been over a year and I still can't write it.


That's what I can't write. My brain knows that in a physical sense, what happened on June 2 was death. That Avery's little body had to stop. That process is called death.

But my heart tells me something different. My heart tells me that Avery, the real Avery, the sun-shiny, sparkly, happy, joyful little soul is alive and well.

Avery's body stopped working but his soul did not. We can't see him right now but he is not gone from our lives forever. He is just waiting for us to join him someday.

And that is why I can't write the word. It is not true.

He's alive, just living in a different place.

I sure wish I could see and talk to him though! I miss him.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Send A Card

It's easy to send someone a card, but in this day of technology, it is becoming rarer for cards to be sent. It is so much easier to email, send a message on Facebook, or text.

Card played an important role in the days following Avery's move to Heaven. During the long nights when we could not sleep, we read cards the people sent. We received so many cards that they lasted us well over a month, reading a few each night.

Now I am trying to "pay it forward" but sending notes of encouragement when I can to people who are going through a rough time. I want to help others like I have been helped.

You've Got Mail!

I am challenging you, my readers, to send a card to someone who is struggling. It does not matter what the struggle or hurt is, send them a note. It does not have to be on a Pinterest-worthy homemade card. Just send a card no matter how plain. It will make someone's day. And maybe, when you need it most, a card will show up in your mailbox.

Or, maybe an adorable puppy. Aw. He just melts my heart!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Am Afraid

I am afraid.
I am afraid that something will happen.
Something bad.
After all, something bad did happen.
Three times.
I am afraid.
I am afraid that I will have empty arms yet again.
That I will lose.
That I will spend sleepless nights crying.
That I will fall asleep and wake up to a nightmare.
I am afraid.


I am trying.
Trying to hope.
Trying to heal.
Trying to make sense of the senseless.
Trying to live.
I am trying.
Trying to take one step at a time.
Trying to love.
Love unreservedly.
Living as if today is the last.
I am trying.


I am afraid.
Afraid of not trying.
Afraid of not loving.
Afraid of not living.
Afraid of going to a dark place.
And so I am trying.
I can’t understand but that’s ok.
I move forward.
One step at a time.
Being afraid and trying anyway.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Complete Story

Recently, I realized that I had never shared our full story. I originally wrote it for the Lil Angels Hankies blog, and thought I would share it with you.

Our Story

I always knew I wanted to be a mommy. From my earliest childhood I cared for my family of stuffed animals. As I matured I babysat, taught children’s classes at church, and spent time with my younger brothers. I was good with children and could not wait to have my own babies to love and care for.
When I married in 2009, I was excited and we started trying to get pregnant right away. In August we had wonderful news, and although I was not feeling well, I was happy.

Right before Thanksgiving we went to the doctor for the 20-week ultrasound to see how things were going. The nurses found some abnormalities, and the doctor told us that he thought our sweet baby had Turners syndrome. He sent us home and told us to check back in two weeks to see how things were progressing. We were devastated but hopeful. That evening I prayed that if our sweet baby would be going to Heaven that John could feel her kick. On Tuesday, December 1, John felt the baby kick for the first time. It was beautiful. On Wednesday, December 2 we found out that our Melody Hope had gone to heaven. She was born on December 3 at 22 weeks.

The days that followed were dark and sad, but we made it through and in May of 2010 we were expecting again.

Avery John was born in January of 2011. He was beautiful and we were head over heels in love.
When Avery was 7 months old I found out I was pregnant again, but the next day we lost our baby Glory. It was hard, but having Avery to hold helped.

October brought another pregnancy and soon we found out Avery had a little brother. We were excited. Having two boys so close in age was going to be fun!

I spent the spring of 2012 spending time with Avery, taking him to Kindermusic classes, going to the park, playdates with friends and just enjoying being his mommy. It was wonderful.

In May Avery got very ill and was sent to the hospital for what the doctor thought was meningitis. It turned out to be a viral infection, and he was sent home to recover. Two weeks later he was back at the doctor, and this time was sent by ambulance to the children’s hospital in Nashville with low blood counts. We spent 5 days in Vanderbilt Children’s hospital and were again sent home with what they thought was a viral infection.

Memorial Day was a fun day with Avery feeling better, eating a lot, and hanging out with us at home.
It was our last holiday together.

June 1 brought a very sick Avery and this time he was life-flighted to Nashville. He made it to the hospital and was stabilized but later that evening went into cardiac arrest. He fought all night but late morning on June 2 he went to Heaven. He was 16 months old.

We were shocked and heartbroken. Our arms were once again empty.

We went home to a quiet house and grieved while we waited for Henry’s arrival.

Henry was born on July 25 and is a happy, healthy little boy. He fills our home with the sounds of laughter and occasionally, temper tantrums. He is a joy to be around.

We don’t know what the future holds but we are determined to face each day as it comes and enjoy each moment we have together.

Our story has been a hard one, but it has been good. We are thankful for the time we had with each one of our children. They have been such blessings to us, and we would not trade them for the world.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Very Belated Thank You

Dear Friends,

I want to thank you for you love, prayers, gifts, meals and support you have given to us this past year. Because of your kindness and generosity, we did not have to worry about where our next meal was coming from, medical bills, and preparing baby things for Henry.

Your kindness and generosity allowed us to take time off from work and other responsibilities and focus on grieving, healing, and getting excited about Henry's birth.

The many cards you sent comforted us during the long nights. Right before bed, we turned on praise and worship music and opened card after card filled with loving words. We were able to do this for several weeks. They gave us peace during a troubled time.

The meals were delicious! Since Avery would help me make dinner, it was hard to even go into the kitchen, and all the wonderful food kept us fed until I was able to cook.

The monetary gifts you gave were a blessing. Neither John nor I were up to any budgeting or figuring out finances, and the money helped in so many ways with medical bills, groceries, a few much needed date nights, and baby things.

The baby gifts you showered on Henry were a blessing! It was good to have new things for him and not have to go through Avery's baby clothes. We were not emotionally ready for that. Henry was (and still is!) the best dressed little guy in the US. The sweet handmade blankets, the hats, socks, toys and stuffed animals helped us get excited again about the arrival of Avery's little brother.

I am sorry this is so late, but the grieving process takes a lot out of one, and add a new baby and a move to a new state on top of that. It makes for a very busy year.

 I am so very thankful for each and every one of you. Some of you I don't even know, and yet you showered such love on us. It is overwhelming and makes my heart feel all happy and peaceful when I think of the way you have shown us love and support during our darkest days.

So thank you, once again, from all of us.

~ Audra, John and Henry

PS I think Avery is thankful too, as he looks down from Heaven and sees Mommy and Daddy and baby Henry being loved by all the people that loved him. :)