*Thrifty Living * Homeschooling * Natural Living * Creating * Baking * Learning * Exploring * Subscription Boxes * Childhood Cancer* Death of a Child*

Monday, September 30, 2013

It's a Funny Thing


Sometimes I'm okay. There are small moments I am able to enjoy:

Amy's chuckles

Joe's antics

A joke Becca tells me

One moment I can be smiling, or talking, or just feeling okay and then it hits. I feel the smile fade off my face. My throat clinches. The breath is sucked from me.

Seeing anything Star Wars in a store

Hearing a song on the radio that explains it all

Seeing an 8th birthday party on Facebook where the boys are all happy and  healthy

Finding a random piece of Jacob's clothing in the laundry basket

Seeing family pictures of others and knowing that ours will never be complete again

The list could go on and on. Sometimes it is the littlest thing that can hit me like a ton of bricks.
                                      (The balloon release at Becca's grief camp)

Grief; it's a funny thing. It's not funny at all. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trim Healthy Pancakes

I'm still working on the Trim & Healthy Mama plan. Not every single meal, mind you. I am too exhausted to totally switch up things completely right now. It's mind boggling how exhausting grieving is, along with caring for three other children when all you want to do is stay in bed. 

We've tried a few recipes that we didn't like. Spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti noodles were not a hit. The Broccoli Cheese Soup wasn't great either. One absolute hit was the Trim Healthy Pancakes (an E meal). We enjoyed these more than traditional pancakes and I could eat these several times a week! 
Place one cup of Old Fashioned Oats into blender and blend into a powder. Add 1 cup egg whites and 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese. Add 2 tsp. baking powder, 2-3 tsp. Truvia, and a dash of vanilla (I just added a few drops of NuNaturals stevia vanilla mix. Blend well.

Heat nonstick griddle or pan to medium temperature. Spray with a bit of oil or slight amount of butter. Ladle mix onto skillet and spread batter out a bit. Once bottom is golden brown and bubbles appear on top, flip and brown other side. 

You are allowed to have 1/3 of this batter, so about three average size pancakes. This was plenty to fill me up. Instead of butter or syrup I topped them with plain yogurt and thawed berries. These were delicious and both Becca and Joe came back for seconds and thirds!


Friday, September 27, 2013

The Duty Of Delight Edited by Robert Ellsberg

The Duty of Delight; The Diaries of Dorothy Day Edited by Robert Ellsberg

I'm not quite sure what to say about this book as I just wasn't able to get into it and quit about half way. I think my problem is that I don't know enough about Dorothy Day (she helped establish the Catholic Worker, which was a community to aid the poor and homeless) to begin with. Had I been a big fan of hers I would have enjoyed reading her diary entries. So for anyone who has enjoyed studying Dorothy Day or wants to know more about her work this would be an interesting book but for those wanting to get to know her I think a biography would be better suited.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist

If you are cookbook reader like me, I know that you will enjoy the book Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. The book is a collection of stories with a recipe at the end of each chapter. I love reading about another person's journey to cooking, why they choose each recipe, why certain recipes are special to them, etc.

Just her way of writing is delicious. For example, the paragraph on the back cover alone made me pick up this book and read it:

"My prayer is that you'll read these pages first curled up on your couch or in bed or in the bathtub, and then after that you'll bring it to the kitchen with you, turning corners of pages, breaking the spine, spilling red wine on it and splashing vinegar across the pages, that it will become battered and stained as you cook and chop and play, music loud and kitchen messy."

That right there is a perfect review of her book. It was warm and comforting, delicious and thirst quenching. While the majority of recipes were not ones I would try (the Breakfast Cookies on page 116 sound divine though!) I enjoyed it as a book and would recommend it!

Disclaimer: This book was given to me from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Escape Monthly September Box Review - Oregon

Escape Monthly is a new subscription box which is a "vacation in a box". Each month is a different destination and one lucky subscriber, who finds the "golden ticket" (not really golden, of course!) in their box that month actually wins a trip to that destination!

Last month was their very first box and was a "Napa Valley" one. I didn't enjoy it much. Not that it wasn't a great spa box, because it was, but it didn't scream "Napa Valley!" to me. This box, the Oregon one, was much put together much better since it features almost all products exclusively made in Oregon. Now that is what I wanted when I subscribed.

Can I say that I really, really, really wanted to win the trip this month, since Oregon has been on my husbands "go to" list forever? At least I feel like we got a taste of Oregon. :)
Included in the September box was:
*Doug's Nuts ($5.95). A blend of almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. I can't wait to try this for a healthy snack!

*Grounds for Change Peru "Café Femenino" whole bean coffee ($10.45). Organic and fair trade.

*Moon Oregon Travel Guide ($21.99). I will actually save this and hopefully use it to bookmark a trip there!
*Oregon Rain Soap - Portland Rose Lotion ($8.99). This is made with real Oregon rain! Can't wait to try it!

*Portland Bee Balm ($2.75). Made by hand at the home of its owners! Love these natural, small home business health and beauty products.

*Molly Muriel Volcanic Bliss bar soap ($6). Great for trouble skin - this will be wonderful for most of the family members here!

*Bonus Item was a wooden pumice brush ($5.99)
*Oregon Orchard Cherry Chocolate hazelnuts ($3.29). These sound sooo good, can't wait to try them!

*Primitive Lights Beeswax Cinnamon Roll Votive ($4). Handcrafted in the heart of Oregon. This smells delightful!

*Metolius Tea and Apothecary tea tin ($10). Coconut, lavender, and raspberry. This will make for some before bed brew time. :)

I really loved this box and got a good taste of Oregon through it. This is one of the more expensive subscription boxes at $49.95 a month but I feel this little "get away" is worth it! You can use the code TROPICALESCAPE to get 20% off at Escape Monthly. Next month is Hawaii and I can't help but feel it will be awesome.

Disclaimer: Referral links included.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama

I have heard a lot about the book Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. All of it was positive. I hesitated at the $35 price tag because I never pay that much for a book! At over 500 pages I knew it was a wealth of information though. Finally, I saved enough Swagbucks up that I was able to purchase an Amazon gift card to help pay for it.
It arrived yesterday and I dug right in. This book is not about another fad diet or eliminating huge groups of food. It's just about eating sensibly.

The basis is that our primary fuel sources are fats and glucose but that both should not be eaten all in the same meal. That if you stick to one or the other you body can burn through that one fuel and then attack your fat afterwards. The book goes into much more detail on it but basically, you can mix and match your meals throughout the day but there is Satisfying meals and Energizing meals to choose from (better known as S or E meals). 

I flipped through the recipes and loved what I saw - new recipes that sounded doable and yummy! I started the change today and hope to see how it goes for one month. I haven't been starving and have been quite satisfied. 

For breakfast I had two simple fried eggs and a cup of coffee (S meal)

For lunch I had two pita breads with tuna and mayo (S meal)

For supper I made a simple side salad and Fooled Ya Pizza (from their cookbook). The picture below does not do it justice (I snapped it while holding a baby and two hungry children hovered at my elbow!). 

You'll never believe that pizza crust is not made with flour but rather CAULIFLOWER! Yep, I thought it sounded disgusting at first but figured I may as well put one of the weirdest recipes to the test.

Steam 16 oz. bag of frozen cauliflower. Drain in colander and press out as much of water as possible. Put cauliflower in food processor (I had to use a blender as that is all I have) and pulse a few times. You want about rice sized pieces.

Add 3/4 c. egg whites and pulse a couple more times. Add 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, pinch of salt, dash or two of Italian seasoning, and a little onion and garlic powder. Mix ingredients with spatula inside food processor.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and grease this as well. Plop entire mixture in middle of cookie sheet and spread outwards on pan. The crust is better thin but don't let edges become wispy thin or they get too dark when cooked.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool crust and then top with sauce, your choice of toppings, and a little more mozzarella (not a lot since there is lots in the crust). Broil until toppings are done.

This was quite easy! You cut it in small pieces since it is kind of floppy (I find it to be best eaten with a fork, not your hands). I fed it to my family and only asked afterwards how they enjoyed it and they all said it was good. Hubby even liked it...and he is picky! I then told them it was a cauliflower crust and they didn't believe me!
To me it tastes a bit like an underdone pizza crust (which is that way we like it). Next time I will spread it a little thinner and see if it bakes up crispier but either way this will be on the menu often. I always feel so bloated after eating lots of pizza but just felt satisfied after this meal. It's a great way to sneak vegetables into picky kids as well!

Have you heard of Trim Healthy Mama before? Tried their plan? What do you think?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

On this one month anniversary since Jacob's passing I wanted to remind everyone of the Random Acts of Kindness that we (and the world!) are doing in Jacob's honor. This news clip tells all about it.

Jacob's Facebook page profiles what random acts people do, as well as random people who never heard about Jacob who had a random act done for them. Some recent stories are:

*A few hours ago I was in line to buy groceries when the lady in front of me turned around and handed me a card... I glanced at it, thinking it was a coupon she couldn't use or something, then looked up to see the cashier was ringing up my groceries on her tab... she then told me she was paying for my groceries! I was stunned I teared up a few times and hugged her. I could hardly think or move, we both were tearing up and everyone around was watching. I was so flustered I didn't even shut my van door all the way before leaving the parking lot! This was so unbelievably moving for me, I have three children and we have had a very hard past couple of years. I am battling some fierce depression so this was overwhelming for me.... THANK YOU for reminding me of the good in the world. I could never imagine losing a child and he must have had a huge heart.... please know that today Jacob has impacted me and my family in a big way. I cannot wait to pass it on.

*Just was treated to breakfast for myself and son at bagel store, courtesy of Jacob. Brought tears to my eyes....I actually posted the card on facebook, told my small story of this am, and asked my friends to also pass on. God bless.
Thank you for making me stop and think about life.

*Yesterday I was the recipient of a random act of kindness in Jacob's honor. It was the 19 year anniversary of my husbands diagnosis of sarcoma. And the one week anniversary of my diagnosis of breast cancer. I wanted to update my... family photos as the last time we did them we only had two kids. We now have four! They range in ages from 11 to 1. A girlfriend of mine found us a photographer who was willing to do them on short notice. Once the photos were done I tried to pay her. She proceeded to tell me about Jacob's ladder and how she needed to do this for me. Hesitantly, I graciously accepted. I realize this is going to be a long, difficult struggle for me, but I will pay it forward. Someday, somehow, I will in honor of Jacob. Thank you for sharing your story.

*So I had to share - I received the cards, I have been randomly using then, dining, grocery stores, just wherever I feel lead to use them, carrying groceries or paying, whatever just doing, last night I ran to the pharmacy to get a few things for my son, as I approached to pay the rung everything up and handed me one of the cards I gave and told me the medicine was paid for.

These are just some of the many stories. It makes my heart happy to know that people are being kind in honor of Jacob. He was such a giving boy and I know that he is smiling down on us as we do these acts. Because, these acts aren't just honoring him, but also our selves and the people around us and especially, God. 

          Acts 20:35    
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”


FabFitFun Fall 2013 Box Spoiler

The Fall 2013 FabFitFun box hasn't even shipped yet but there is an awesome spoiler already. Included will be this gorgeous Gorjana & Griffin Canary Scarf, valued at $57.  
These boxes are quarterly and cost $49.95 each box. Word on the street is that the fall box will have a value of over $175. Their first box, the spring edition, was a total disaster. They went above and beyond that for their summer edition. I am excited to see what the fall edition holds. I'll be sure to post my review when it arrives (ships October 9th). With that said, it's not too late to sign up to receive the fall box! Sign up here!

Disclaimer: Once again, referral links are included in this post.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

PopSugar Must Have September Box Review

Due to money issues, I have cut way back on my subscription boxes. PopSugar Must Have is not on my cut list (it doesn't hurt that they have a great referral program!). I've enjoyed every box I've received and while I haven't loved every. single. thing. in each box I set things aside for gifts or sell the items. This box always introduces some pretty cool brands to me! 
The September box is all about "doing it yourself". It includes:
*Rifle Paper Co. Coaster Set ($16) These are so pretty. I'm not much of a coaster fan myself but know it will be a great addition to my gift closet.

*Kitsch Headbands ($12) Most headbands hurt my head and behind my ears, so I am excited to try out these super soft, super thin headbands. Love the colors too!
$25 gift card to Shoptiques

*That's It. Bar ($1.50) All this bar has in it is 1 apple and 3 apricots. I'm excited to try it - I'm thinking it will taste somewhat like thick fruit leather? Something to stick in the diaper bag for a quick snack away from home.

*Sharkies energy chews ($1.50) I'm thinking these may be good for a day when I am dragging (wait, isn't that every day?!). All I know is I must keep these away from Joe because the last thing he needs is more energy.
*Barr-Co. Original Scent Reed Diffuser ($45). This smells so good and I already have it set up in my kitchen. The scent is a blend of milk, oatmeal, and vetiver but I never would have guessed it because it just plain smells good.

*P.S. - You're Invited by Erica Domesek ($15) This is such a pretty and fun book - 40 beautiful and easy-to-make DIY projects. Lots of pretty pictures!

This month's box had a value of $116! Each box is $35 (or cheaper if you opt for a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription rather than a monthly) but you can use the code REFER5 to save $5 off your first PopSugar Must Have Box. I see that the October box has already sold out so be sure to subscribe soon if you want the November box. Subscription boxes really amp things up close to the holidays!

Disclaimer: My referral links are included in this post. If you choose to subscribe and go through my link I thank you - it helps to feed my subscription addiction. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Animals will often chew their own limbs off in order to get out of a trap.

I only wish it was that easy.

I would gladly chew off a limb to get away from this pain. I feel trapped. No matter what I do, where I turn, where I go this grief stays with me. There is no getting away from it - I need to trudge, waist deep, through it and hope I can drag myself safely to the other side.

Today I had to make the decision to put our dog to sleep. At 11 years old she was way past her prime. Arthritis in the hip, congestive heart failure. Today I found a large lump on her chest. While she had two similar lumps last year that turned out to be benign she is too old to go through surgery and this lump apparently was growing quickly (since I hadn't noticed it before). She acted like she was in pain the past few days and that made up my mind.

While I sat in the room with her, waiting for the medicine to take effect, I rubbed her ears and wondered how one comforts their dog as she's killing it (I realize euthanizing is not murder, per se, but it feels like it). That brought back feelings of how one comforts their child as they are dying.

Because as bad as it is to lose a child, to have that child gone from your life, it may be worse to be losing a child. Watching a child, your child, slowly die is the most gut wrenching, twisted pain there is.

The only thing worse than watching your child die is not watching them, die day after day. To watch their pain linger.

That's not to say that much of Jacob's journey home wasn't holy and beautiful. I think, and pray, that the medicine kept him pretty comfortable those two months.

But it was a solo journey for him, one that I couldn't walk step for step with him. I couldn't take it all away or make it better.

When a child lays dying, when a child dies, a piece of you leaves with them. Each of my children are literally a piece of me and one of those pieces is now gone. The pain of that is as physical as it is emotional.

If only the answer of escaping that pain was as simple as chewing off a limb. Because I know that would hurt a lot less.

Ipsy September Bag Review

Ipsy is a monthly beauty bag filled with sample and full size products. Cost is $10 a month and the value always exceeds that greatly.
Ipsy is one of my favorite subscriptions and luckily one of the less expensive ones. The September bag was "Classic Beauty" and included:

*3 Freeman Paper Masks ($2 each). I've been wanting to try a paper mask so will have to see how I like them!

*Cailyn tinted lip balm in Big Apple ($19) Nice color for fall!

*Starlooks Eye Pencil ($12)

*It's So Big Volumizing Mascara ($8)

*NYX eyeshadow in Pure Gold ($4.50)

*Blue Makeup Bag

That's a $49.50 value! I usually love, love, love Ipsy but this month was a little meh! about it, only because I don't use eye pencils and rarely use mascara so really won't use those things. I can store them for gifts or sell them though so it's not a total loss. There is a wait list for new subscribers so be sure to sign up now if you hope to get the bags closer to Christmas - those are usually totally awesome!

Disclaimer: My referral links are included in post.

Monday, September 16, 2013

This Week

*We are having lovely fall weather the past week, which means we spending more time outdoors. I feel as though I missed the whole summer, so I am not quite ready for fall quite yet. Keeping my fingers crossed for an Indian Summer.

We had a picnic at the park on Saturday and went for a hike afterwards. Amy loves the Ergo and fell asleep half way through the hike. She is a little nature baby - always happy when she is outside.
*We are having a toy purge in the house this week. Becca is great at keeping her toys picked up. Joe, on the other hand, is a tornado when it comes to his toys. With Amy becoming mobile soon it is dire that he keeps his little toys picked up and he just won't listen.

Last night the final straw broke when for the millionth time I told him not to bring his toys downstairs and he didn't listen and almost fell down all the steps with his bin of cars.

We are now about half finished with going through his things. He has a three drawer organizer that he can keep his items in but not carry around everywhere (seriously, is it so much to ask to keep toys upstairs only?). We have a whole garbage bag ready to donate this week and I hope to have one more before we are finished.

*Not only are toys leaving the house but so is other stuff. I dropped off two garbage bags of items at donation, one large bag of clothes in the mail to Moxie Jean (since my aunt's consignment shop doesn't take off season clothing I often send it to Moxie Jean instead of holding onto it for months), and one bag to consignment today. I haven't touched Jacob's things, other than to box some of it up and store under the bed. I just can't handle that yet.

*Amy has a cold so has been a bear to live with the past 24 hours. She is only happy when being held or fed. I'm either dealing with allergies or coming down with something myself.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sam's Club

When I posted about the Sam's Club deal (which is no longer available) I mentioned that I would post a review of whether I thought it was a good savings or not.

I've been to Sam's Club a few times with my membership and find that a lot of things aren't a good deal, though they are no worse of a deal than at normal stores. I've also found some items that do save me a lot of money.

Bottled water is an excellent deal there. We don't drink it often but like to keep some on hand for car trips, picnics, etc. Much less expensive than picking up a drink on the go!


Fruit and vegetables. For example, this past week I was able to get 12oz. packages of raspberries for $2.98. I typically watch for what is on sale and that is our fruit/vegetables for that week. My kids were thrilled with the raspberries (one of their favorite fruits!).

Grains and pasta.

Dishwasher detergent.

Laundry detergent.

Birthday cake (this is where we purchased Jacob's cake, on a whim, and the customer service in the bakery department was great - they decorated it with Star Wars right then and there for us)

I wouldn't shop there weekly but do think it is worth it monthly to stock up on certain supplies. I don't know if I will renew next spring, unless they have a special like they did this year.

Friday, September 13, 2013


*I'm wishing we had our own chickens. Our town allows up to four hens in your yard but hubby has said no. Just look at those pretty eggs! I guess I have to stick to trying to find farm fresh eggs from others.
*I'll be busy painting Becca's bedroom in the coming week. I'm finding all kinds of projects to keep my mind busy. If I'm exhausted at the end of the day (which I always am!) I am able to fall asleep much faster. A busy mind is the key to my survival these days.

*I'm getting back into cooking, though have a horrible time coming up with meal ideas and actually grocery shopping for them. Yesterday, at Sam's Club, I almost burst into tears several times. The last time we were there was on Jacob's birthday, picking out items for our camping trip. Everything reminds me of Jacob. I can't make his favorite food items yet: roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, baked beans. 

*It feels like fall today. I keep thinking it is July or August yet - I kind of missed this whole summer (much like last summer when we were in the hospital for 40 days). It's time to start pulling out our fall clothing. Maybe I can get all the bins organized in the process. It makes me feel sick thinking about putting Jacob's clothes away.

*I may take the kids to the Amish discount store today. I was able to stock up on a lot of organic and whole grain items for very cheap last week. It's a new favorite place.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


My breath literally caught in my throat.

"They will never be happy again."

I read those words on Facebook, written by fellow cancer mom, shortly after Jacob was first diagnosed with cancer. She is an outspoken mama who was trying to explain to her daughter how a couple, who had just lost their son to this terrible disease, would have happy times but never truly be happy again.

What?! Did she know something I didn't know?! My worst fear, as is any parent's, was to lose my son. But to also think that happiness would forever be gone made my stomach clench. Those words never left me, even now that I have faced my greatest fear - losing my own child.

I now know that those words were lies.

This mother hadn't lost her child to cancer. How could she have possibly said those words as truth when she couldn't know.

It's only been three weeks. I'm in the midst of sadness, anger, anxiousness, confusion. But I still see the light. Those words came from a mama who was not a Christian, and I can only imagine how I would feel if I didn't have faith. If I didn't think we all had a purpose on this earth. If I didn't think that I would someday see Jacob again. Maybe I couldn't ever be happy again if that were the case.

I see him all around me. I feel him close by. And I know, that someday, I will hold him in my arms again. That brings me happiness. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This Week

*My husband is working odd hours, so the days seem LONG. I don't know how military or single parents do it.

*Dear Amy is still teething. Two teeth in one week means that she is a busy girl. She also wet all over our bed yesterday and exploded her diaper all over the rug today. She had her first taste of food this week (oatmeal cereal) and loved it (that may also be the reason of the diaper explosion)
*I'm hoping to find the new Yankee candle scent "Happy Halloween" somewhere local. The smell of black licorice? Yes, please!

*I'm having a bad week with up and down emotions. Enough said.

*I slept 10 hours last night (not straight through, mind you), it felt delicious. I think I could sleep 10 more though.

*I took my energy out on the laundry room and carpeting on the steps this past weekend. Two bags of junk gone and clean carpeting made me feel better, for a few seconds anyway.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Appointments With Heaven Review

I picked up Appointments With Heaven By Reggie Anderson the last day that Jacob was on this earth. I was struggling along with his pain that day so sat on the couch by him and read. I needed something spiritual to help me get through it. 

I've read several books about Heaven before. I don't doubt that some people are able to get a glimpse of Heaven while here on earth. It's just hard to know which books are honest and which are not (because some I've read seem so far fetched that you really have to question them).

Written by a doctor who not only had his own glimpse of Heaven but also has had some with patients as they cross over. It's a subtle glimpse at Heaven. Reggie Anderson tells us how he lost his faith for some time and how he gained it back. How caring for the living and the dying has helped him see parts of not only Heaven, but also hell.

The book kept me interested the whole way through and helped strengthen my own faith, especially in a time when I needed it.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Does He Know?

That was always the first question people asked when they found out that Jacob was dying.

"Does he know?"

If they didn't say it out loud, you could see the question in their eyes. It must be similar to the question people want to ask after a suicide "How did they do it?"

Some people told me that he needed to know, others were adamant that he shouldn't know. The fact is, there is no right way.

I felt around. I saw that he got nervous when I talked about certain things so I backed off. I never told him that he was dying.

Because of that he was able to live while dying. After all, are you really dying if you don't know it? 

I assume the soul knows. We are all born with a wise soul, it's our minds that are immature. Deep down, inside of us, we all know right from wrong. We all feel things that we don't see. And we all know things that we aren't told. I think his soul knew that his body was towards the end of it's journey. That it was almost time to go home.

I didn't need to prepare him for the end of this journey and the beginning of the next. There is no way to prepare yourself for such greatness. There is no map or guidebook on how to die. No instructions.

He knew the way.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What's It Supposed to Look Like?

"I saw your daughter the other day and she seemed to look like she was doing okay," a lady said to my mom yesterday.

I've been wondering what grief is supposed to look like. Am I okay if I'm not wearing my pajamas out in public? If my eyes aren't red rimmed does that mean I've gotten over the hurdle? If I'm grocery shopping does that mean my life is getting back to normal?

I totally relate to the words that another mother who lost her child said; "Just because I'm not crying doesn't mean that I'm not sad and just because I'm laughing doesn't mean that I'm happy."

Grief is such a private emotion. Just because I'm able to put one foot in front of another, just because I am able to keep our household barely running for the sake of our other three children doesn't mean that I'm okay. It also doesn't mean that at some point I won't be okay. This takes time.

I catch myself in the middle of a conversation, a sentence in a book, a scene in a movie - having a flash back of Jacob in the hospital, or Jacob lying on the couch, or just plain happy Jacob. I imagine that my eyes may glass over. That something in my expression may change. Because at that point I am no longer in the moment. I'm somewhere else entirely. Sometimes it's a good memory, and other times it is a bad one. I wonder if people notice the fear, the pain, the loss within me. Sometimes I feel as though I can't catch my breath, when the realization that he is no longer here hits me anew. 

Because most days I feel like someone has literally ripped a piece of my heart out. It's as much a physical pain as it is an emotional one.

But on the outside I guess that I look like I'm doing okay.

Diaper Deal

The Honest Company is offering a great deal for new customers. Save 40% off any bundle (one bundle per new customer). I love, love, love their diaper bundles. I haven't been using cloth lately for Amy with everything that has been going on and feel better when I am able to use eco-friendly, free of lotions, fragrances, and latex diapers for her. Their diaper bundles include six jumbo packages (and so many adorable designs to choose from - pick several of the cute designs per bundle!) and 4 packages of their wipes (which are also another favorite of mine). That makes a bundle of 6 packages of diapers and 4 wipes for $48. You can't even get store brand for that price, much less eco-friendly.

Don't have a child in diapers? Their household bundles are also 40% off for new customers. Pick from laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, cleansers, health and beauty, etc.

If you don't want to be a part of their auto ship just call and cancel once your order arrives. I think you may end up loving their products, they are reasonably priced and everything is sent directly to your home. One less things to think about each month (you can also put off shipping for a few months at a time if you don't need products that month. I know the diaper bundles last me much longer than one month).

Use code PlumB2S40 at check out here.

Disclaimer: Referral links included.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Love From Heaven

The Hospice nurse and social worker came for a visit today. They also brought heart balloons for the kids to release, which had "I Love You" written on. 

We photographed them flying away.

Anyone notice the handprint in the cloud...that is American Sign language for "I love you".

I have no doubt that as the kids released their "I Love You" balloons up that Jacob was signing his "I Love You" to them.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Crowded Tub Box Review August

I was thrilled when I ran across a new subscription box for children - one focusing on bath time! I knew this would be perfect for all ages and something where we could use everything as all my children love their bath time.

The Crowded Tub centers around natural and organic bath products, toys, and other bath time fun items. 
Joe was our tester but all the products are safe enough for Amy and fun enough for Becca. The day we received the box Joe decided to take an afternoon bath just to test out the product!
Included in the August box:

*Water Bugs bath toy by Boon ($10) Joe loves to catch these bugs in the net!

*Bath Salts in Bubble Yum by the San Francisco Bath Salt Company ($4) These bath salts smell so yummy but they also make bubbles...which is awesome! I love bath salts but also want bubbles so this is the perfect product and Joe loved them!

*Organic Washcloth by American Baby Co. ($2.50)

*California Baby Calming Shampoo and Body Wash ($3) We love California Baby products so this will be used on both the little's in our house.

*Vermont Soap Oatmeal and Lavender ($5) This made the whole box smell divine. Mama may even end up using this one!

*Bath Time Kids Bubbly Bath ($3)

We really enjoyed this box. Everything was very useful and I love that the products are natural ones as I only bathe Amy and Joe with organic and natural products. 

Disclaimer: This box was sent to me in exchange for my honest review.


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