Monday, September 18, 2017

4 Year Anniversary of Miscarriage

This past weekend has been a whirlwind. Between packing for our Disneyland trip and hosting Brooklyn’s 3rd birthday party, I didn’t really get to prepare for this day.

Today is September 18. This day will always be a dark spot on the calendar for me. When I woke up this morning I had so much to do to make sure I got out of the house in time because I have an OB appointment for Kaitlyn today and with our trip, I need to get my hours in. I really didn’t have time to reflect on this at all before I left the house today.


I brought my remembrance flower to work though and once I got here, I could slow down and really remember how our lives changed 4 years ago. I still remember what it was like walking in to the ultrasound room and how quickly it all happened between starting the machine and rushing us in to a room to wait for the doctor. I remember not believing what they were telling me. I remember crying. I remember spending days in bed not able to force myself up and deal with anything else. I remember the loss of all my hopes and dreams.

It all seems so clear still, even 4 years later. Our baby boy brought us so much hope and showed us how we could love someone we never even got to meet. It seems unfair to not get to meet someone you’ve already created this love for and had all the plans and excitement to see what they would become. It’s not fair that he was not given a chance and that I never even got to see his face or hold him in my arms.

Just last week I found myself reading Brandon’s poem and looking at the ultrasound pictures of our baby boy that is hanging at the top of the stairs. I love this memory even though it does make my heart ache. But since I have no real pictures or mementos of my baby boy, I treasure this. It’s all I have of him. I also wear my Pandora bracelet to all my special occasions and he has a charm on there so I can always remember him and have him with me. So he was there celebrating Brooklyn’s birthday with us yesterday.

So today we will follow our traditions and have dinner at Rubio’s, have my white remembrance flower, and light a candle for this baby boy we didn’t get to meet. I know he watches over us and I still think of him when I see butterflies and pennies on the sidewalk or the breeze hits me just right. I know he watches and protects his baby sister and now his future new baby sister. These girls have brought about sunshine after our storm, but the storm will never be forgotten.

If you’re family, please light a candle tonight for our sweet baby boy and to this day, please know how grateful we are for your love and prayers on this day 4 years ago. Today I will cry and grieve my baby boy and pray that God is still holding him close until we get to meet him to hold him in our arms ourselves.

I love you Baby Boy Ray.  Remember to give your loved ones extra hugs and kisses and never go to bed angry. Tomorrow is never promised.

Take our million teardrops, wrap them up in love, then ask the wind to carry them, to you in Heaven above.

I’ll Be There
Daddy please don’t look so sad,
Mama please don’t cry
Cause I am in the arms of Jesus
And He sings me lullabies.

Please try not to question God,
Don’t think he is unkind.
Don’t think He sent me to you,
And then He changed his mind.

You see, I am a special child,
And I’m needed up above.
I’m the special gift you gave Him,
The product of your love.

I’ll always be there with you
And watch the sky at night.
Find the brightest star that’s gleaming
That’s my halo’s brilliant light.

You’ll see me in the morning frost,
That mists your window pane.
That’s me in the summer showers,
I’ll be dancing in the rain.

When you feel a little breeze
Form a gentle wind that blows,
That’s me I’ll be there,
Planting a kiss on your nose.

When you see a child playing
And your heart feels a little tug,
That’s me I’ll be there
Giving your heart a hug.

So daddy please don’t look so sad
Mama don’t you cry.
I’m in the arms of Jesus

And He sings me lullabies.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Baby Girl Ray #2 Name Reveal!

We have finally decided on a name for our newest little girl. We are about 18.5 weeks away from meeting this little sweetie, and we're so happy to finally have a name for her.  So without further adieu.....

We love Kaitlyn because she can keep it at the full name to be professional but she can also shorten it up to Katie if she'd like a nickname. We will never use Kate, unless it's what she ends up preferring when she's older.

As for her middle name, it was my grandmother's middle name. I've always had a special bond with this grandma, down to the fact that I got married on her birthday and then she passed away on my birthday. So her middle name is extra special to me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review: The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm #1)

The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm #1)
by  Michael Buckley, L.J. Ganser (Narrator)
Date Read:  3/16/17
Rating: ★ ★
   

Oops, I never wrote my review of this book! I enjoyed it. I listened to it as an audiobook, so it took a little time to get in to it, especially because it’s told from a girl’s perspective, but it was a male narrator.

The story itself was pretty good. I liked the twist on the fairytale world and real world. It was very reminiscent of the TV show Once Upon a Time. Once thing I loved about the show is how not everyone you thought was a villain is actually a villain and vice versa. This book does a good job of that as well.

Sabrina was a little obnoxious and annoying at the beginning of the book. I tried to remember the fact that they’ve had a hard life with losing their parents mysteriously and all the different homes they’d been put in. But all that happened before the book, so you still couldn’t quite relate to it. I think of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Now those are kids you could feel sympathy for and root to get a happy ending.

However, once Sabrina got over that and accepted fairy tales are real and who her ancestors were, the story got pretty good. I liked a lot of the characters that we were introduced to. You weren’t quite sure who was going to end up being a good guy or bad guy.

I look forward to continuing the series!

Book Review: Beheld

Behld
by  Alex Flinn
Date Read:  3/20/17
Rating: ★ ★
 

To say I’m disappointed in this book is an understatement. Actually, to be honest, Beastly has been Flinn’s best novel I’ve read. All the subsequent ones I’ve read had left something to be desired.  But I think this has been the worst.

It’s possible a lot of that has to do with there being 4 stories jammed in to this one book. You never really get attached to any of the characters or sucked in to any of the stories. I think my favorite would have been the first story about Kenda and the Salem Witch Trials. I wish she would have just done one story and focused on that – and if she’d focused just on the Little Red Riding Hood story, there probably wouldn’t have been insta-love. After that, Kendra was hardly in the book as you progressed with each story. 

I felt that you understood the characters the most in the last story, but it was a bit boring. It was an ugly duckling story, but very loosely. Kendra was barely in this book except to make Chris blossom in to someone handsome.

I pretty much hated the two stories in the middle and didn’t recognize either of the fairy tales.

This book was really hard to get through. There was a point where I almost didn’t finish it. But I’m a stickler for trying to finish what I started and I really wanted to like this book because of how much I loved Beastly.  I don’t think I can overlook the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy Flinn’s writing anymore. If she continues writing, I’m not sure I’ll pick up her books.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review: Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted
by  Gail Carson Levine
Date Read:  2/7/17
Rating: ★ ★ 
  


Wow, it's been a while since I've posted a review! It took me a LONG time to get through The School of Good and Evil #3. In the meantime, I've listened and completed Ella Enchanted too. Here is the review for the latter.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It took a while to get used to the narrator – she sounds like a 12 year old girl!  But once I got used to it, it worked and I was able to get in to the story.

I’ve seen the movie several times and enjoyed it. But the book is really different than the movie. The main character names and the obedience curse are about all that they kept for the movie. I really liked that Ella and Char knew each other for a long time and were good friends. You could really see how their feelings grew for each other. No insta-love here.

The one thing that I didn’t think the book captured was just how horrible being obedient could be – in the movie, someone tried to use her to harm another person. That never happens in the book – she just considers it when she’s contemplating making a move on her feelings for Char.  I think the book should have capitalized on that more. And it made more sense in the movie how she was able to break the curse herself. In the book, she broke it on the THOUGHT of someone using her in that way, so it just didn’t feel as strong enough a reason to break the curse.

The other languages were odd as well. I couldn’t keep straight which was which. Maybe it wouldn’t have been as strange if I was reading the physical book, but listening to it just kind of jarred me out of the story.

The parts with her step-sisters and step-mom are believable. I liked how much time the story took to build all of these relationships, whether love or disgust. I noticed the Cinderella elements more toward the end of the story.  This was a fun, easy to read (listen) fairy-tale retelling. I’m looking forward to reading the book with my daughter one day and then watching the movie with her to identify the differences.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Review: A World Without Princes (School for Good and Evil #2)

A World Without Princes (#2)
by  Soman Chainani
Date Read:  11/17/16
Rating: ★ ★ 
  

I’m going to start by talking about the length of this book. It was over 400 pages. Do you know how heavy that is to carry back and forth from work? How hard it is to keep a book that size opened and on the correct page while you’re eating lunch? I lugged this sucked around for WEEKS because my only reading time is during my lunch break at work these days (I love my 2-year-old to pieces, but she definitely has drastically changed my life)! 

There were times I felt like this book kind of dragged on…but that’s easy to do when you’re 400+ pages. About 300 pages in I was ready for answers.  I had a wait a little longer until things started piecing together and much longer for Agatha to put it all together. However, the positive to the length of these books is that nothing feels instantaneous. There is NO insta-anything. Everything is very believable through both books.

I also felt like I was able to relate to Sophie a little more in this book. Or at least I understood her motives more in this book than the first. I couldn’t stand her in the first one. I still don’t condone what she did, but at least she had good intentions (for herself anyway).  The only thing I wasn’t happy about was how long it took for Agatha to figure it out.  Sure, it had more impact having her make the realization at that point, but as the reader who has known since the beginning of the book, it was super frustrating. It would have almost been better if this book was told only from Agatha’s POV and we hadn’t known.

I also wasn’t a fan of how quickly Agatha and Tedros lost trust for each other. And did the honestly never think Sophie’s name when the mentioned the pink spell? I mean, honestly!
I did enjoy Agatha’s relationship with the witches. I really enjoyed every time the 4 of them got together. It also showed that good and evil can work together. There are blurred lines. Not everyone is black or white.

I thought it was an interesting concept that the towers of Good and Evil became Girls and Boys. It was also interesting how quickly they hated each other – though I suppose if I was evicted as rudely as the boys were, I’d be pretty upset also.

I think the concept that the author is working around about love vs friendship is so unique. Everyone always thinks you can’t have these best friends anymore once you get married. I love one of my best guy friends when I got married. So I’m really interested to see how this works out in the end.

I’ve really enjoyed the concept and I enjoy most of the characters. The world is super interesting. Looking forward to what is in store for Agatha and Sophie in the final installment.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ebates Referral for Black Friday Shopping!!


Hi all! I know I've been a bit absent lately. Once November hits, our lives get pretty busy and time gets away from me. Black Friday ads have been leaking all over the place, so I've started putting my list together. The best part? I can do most of my shopping online and get cashback through Ebates!

I wanted to share this with you all. Most of the major stores do extra cashback for Black Friday and throughout the holiday season.  Most years, I end up with at least $50 cashback just from my Christmas shopping. It doesn't require any work. You just need to sign up, and then you can either just go to ebates.com and click on the merchant link from there, or you can install the Ebates button on your browser so you'll never miss an opportunity for cashback - it notifies you when you are on a merchant website offering cashback.

The best thing about Ebates is that you still get the same amazing deals but you get a percentage of it back just by clicking the button!

TIP: Sign up through my referral link here and you will get a $10 bonus after you make your first purchase over $25 using Ebates.

So check it out and sign up before you start your shopping! I know everyone looks for great, easy ways to make extra cash, and this is a great way! You don't really have any extra work to get this cashback!
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