Saturday, December 14, 2013


Today is our baby boys 2nd birthday.

Two years. Two whole years. It amazes me how life can go by so fast yet feel like everything just happened yesterday.

In the last two years I have felt so much emotion. I still struggle some days with overwhelming sadness and grief but I also have learned to enjoy life and appreciate life even more.... 

My husband and I are not the first couple to lose a child and we unfortunately will not be the last. It is a part of life that God has created and for some of us we must accept it as reality. There really is no way to explain this loss unless you yourself have experienced it....and each family who has gone through this experiences it in a different way.

I've learned over these two years that the pain doesn't necessarily go away or get better. It is a part of who we are now. Our pain is different now then it was two years ago but it is still there and I'm sure always will be.

Some days I still question God as to why he choose this path for our family. Why he felt we could handle it....But the thing is he was right...He has allowed us to grow closer as a family. To love with all of our prepare to welcome a new baby into our family. He has allowed us to keep Reid as a part of our hearts and for us to share our story with others who have gone through something similar.

Reid will remain as a part of our family forever. He was real....He is real. He is our son and we will continue to remember him. I am so grateful that God allowed Reid to come to us. No matter how much pain we have endured we have gained just as much if not more love. We have meet some incredible people that we never would have had a chance to if Reid was not part of our lives. We have been blessed with a 3rd baby due really any day that without Reid may not have been possible. We are in an amazing stage in our lives right now....We feel love, we feel hope, we feel peace.

I'll always wonder what our lives would have been like if Reid got to stay with us here on earth...Where we would be today. What Reid would be like. But I will also always be grateful for God and for Reid for choosing us to be his family. For choosing us for this journey. It's not an easy one but it has been a rewarding one.

 Happy 2nd Birthday baby boy. I will love you forever. I will love you for always.


PS I don't blog here often any more....I do blog on my business site much more often with some personal post thrown in there...I have received some emails over the last year wondering how we are doing etc so if you are ever interested you can get an update that way :) Michelle C Photo

Friday, December 14, 2012


One year. 365 days. 525,600 minutes.
That's how long it's been since my world change.

366 days ago I was blissfully ignorant. I was hopefully. I believe that my Christmas miracle would come.

366 days ago I prayed over my belly. I hoped that the stress of the last 3 months would be for nothing. I hoped that I would get to hold my baby safely in my arms.

The last 365 days have been filled with more emotions then I knew were possible.

I have been sad. Sad for myself. Sad for my husband and my daughter. Sad for my little boy who didn't get to stay.

I have been happy. Happy for the blessings I have been given. Happy for the way my daughter loves her baby brother. Happy for my family and friends who have stood by our sides and loved us unconditionally.

I have been angry. Angry for losing my son. Angry that I couldn't fix him. Angry that I couldn't protect him.

I've been grateful. Grateful for the 4 days my boy was on this earth. Grateful that our sweet and loving God allowed him to go to his everlasting home. Grateful that my son does not have to feel any more pain.

I feel broken. I carry around a broken heart...Every...Single...Day. A piece of my heart is gone. I can't ever get it back. I don't want it back.

But most of all I feel loved. I feel the bond between my husband, between my daughter, between my son and between me. Our souls are forever connected. I feel the love of God. I feel the love that God really did give us our Christmas Miracle...just not the one we thought we would have. I feel the love that Reid brought to this world. The love that he allowed others to still feel. He brought a whole new perspective to life. On how to live and how to love.

I miss the days of blissful ignorance. I miss the days before my beautiful nightmare began. But I wouldn't change a minute of it.

I miss you baby boy with my whole soul. Happy First Birthday, Reid!

PS. If you are feeling in a Christmasy giving type mood and are looking for a way to give to someone else we would love for you to make a donation to the NICU at Florida Hospital for Children in memory of Reid Cristan. The beautiful men and women there gave us 4 days with our son and we are forever grateful for that.                                            

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I've been hearing it a lot lately...

So many people have told me you are so amazing...I'm in such awe by how you have embraced life. I am so impressed by your strength.

The thing is...although I am beyond flattered there is no truth to this.

You see...I am a believer that God has our lives planned from the moment we are created in our mother's womb. I believe our journey is set for us at the very, very beginning. But I also believe that part of life and part of faith is how we respond to our journey.

When we reach a crossroad in our life...such as my husband and I have with the loss of our son...we have to make a decision. We can choose to let this crossroad rule our life...bring us down. Or we can choose to embrace it...with a smile on our face....continuing to praise God.

I'm not sure about you but I'd rather live life...with love and laughter.

Now this is not to be mistaken as me saying this is an easy decision. I struggle each and everyday....asking why me...why my son...why my family. When I walk by Reid's room while at work I have to choose to remember the beautiful sunshine that God allowed to shine down on us as Reid was brought to heaven. I have to choose to not cry.

But sometimes I do.

And I think that's ok. Experiencing grief is not about being strong. It is about making a decision. I choose to remember the love that my son has brought into my life. I choose to remember the lives that he has touched. I choose to believe that God brought me to this but that God is also there for me. That he loves me. I choose to have faith in this amazing life and I choose to live it with a lot more love then I ever thought possible.

So I'm not amazing. I don't have any super human powers.

I just choose to smile.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

{Hurt}: What not to say to a Parent who's lost a child

In a time like losing a is hard to know what to say to someone. How to express your sincerest condolences without overstepping any boundaries.

But how would you know what to say? It's not an everyday occurrence that someone you know loses a child. So how? The simple answer is you don't know...there isn't a book out there on "What to Say to Grieving Parents".

I know a lot of people have been worried about if they've said or done the right things and so I thought that I would reassure you that yes I remember these things but I honestly don't remember who says them. The words sometimes are just so's like a knife ripping my heart out. But I know...with my whole entire heart that they are not meant to hurt me. These words are meant to comfort bring me strength. And I also know I have been on the other side of things...before losing Reid...where I have said things like this.

So here's a couple of the things that are best left unsaid...

"I'm so sorry for your loss...but at least you have Averee." - Well sure I am beyond grateful to have Averee...she is my whole world. But one of my dear friends said it best...She said...if my 4 year old died...I wouldn't be like awwwww well I least I have the other kids. A child is a doesn't matter their age...Heck it doesn't matter if they have their birthday/angel day all at the same time. They are a child and to a parent they are their whole world. So I lost part of my whole world the day I lost Reid...and it's a part that no one can ever replace.

"You's better this way." - Ok. son does not have to suffer...for that I am grateful but is better to live without my child then with him? I want him here...with me...with his daddy and with his sister. I want his body to be healthy and I want to have the family that Ian and I "planned" for. So the pain in our hearts does not make this a better way.

"God always has a plan." - This one...this one is hard. Because I do believe that God has a plan for each of us...but this statement is not comforting...because it is a painful reminder that for some reason God picked me and not you. Why did he pick me to have my baby in heaven? Why did he pick me to see the hurt in my husbands eyes and why did he pick me to have to try to explain to our daughter that her baby brother is never coming home?

"You must be so strong that God brought you to this." - This one didn't really resonate with me until attending the support group that my husband and I attended and this was brought up. I knew that it was bothering me but I couldn't figure out why. And someone in the group stated it so simply. They said...ok so you are saying I am so strong that God sent me on this you are saying this is all my fault. You are saying that if I was a weaker person my child would have survived. You are saying I did this to my child. Crazy rationale? Well maybe...but I think this is how a lot of parents who have lost feel.

"You are so can always have more children." - To start for anyone who has lost a child they want that baby and that baby only. Bottom line. It goes back to the first one where one child does not replace the next. Plain and simple. Second, there are situations like for my husband and I where we do not know why our son's body failed him. We have zero answers and included in those zeros answers is the fact that we do not know if we can have more children. We don't know if any future children we may have will have their bodies fail like Reid's did. We just don't know. So yes we are young...but we may not have more children.

This last one I heard recently and it struck me like a bolt of lightening....right through my heart. What hurt even more was I could see how pained that person was after they realized what they said. It broke my heart because I don't want to see anyone else hurt. It is someone I don't know very well but saw and they came up to me, saw Averee and said....I heard you are going to have your second baby...congratulations. As soon as the words came out of their mouth I'm sure they saw the look of shock on my face...and they remembered. I think it is common for people to put those "too painful" moments away in the back of their mind...completely out of reach from reality. I mean why would you think on a daily basis about losing a child and what it must feel when someone loses a child it goes away from your thoughts. For a parent this is not possible. You are consumed with your whole being...with every moment...that the unimaginable happened. The person apologized profusely and like I said earlier...I know each and everyone of these things are not meant to be hurtful.

You see...this face...this beautifully...perfectly...angelic face can never be replaced. This face...this is the face of my son. And no one will ever have this face again. 

And again...this is not meant to hurt any one's I said...I don't even remember who has said these things. Each time I hear something like this my mind goes to a completely different place...almost like a survival instinct...where my only concern is not about who I am talking to but how am I going to keep going on with a smile on my face so that that person....does not have to feel this pain...even if it is only for a brief moment in time.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Twenty eight years ago I was born.

Twenty eight years since my parents first became parents.

Twenty eight years living on this earth.

I have worked hard, I have have gained friends that have already lasted a lifetime, I have family who have been my friends and have been by my side my whole life. I have a loving husband, two beautiful children and an amazing career (actually...I have two amazing careers!)

To say that I am blessed is truly an understatement.

Thank you to everyone who has been with me the last 28 years and thank you to everyone who has joined me along the way! Thank you for providing for me, guiding me and loving me. And mostly importantly thank you to our Heavenly Father for allowing all of these blessings into my life!

And for a little fun...I've always thought that my children look like me...not everyone agrees :) But I saw this on another photographers page and I thought it would be fun...enjoy!

(And yes...Reid was missing those chubby checks and his poor hair was all thinned out from all his "haircuts." But I still see Averee 1000% :) )

So what do you think? Is it just me??

Friday, March 9, 2012


I've noticed that my writing over the last few months has been rather....depressing.

I think when I'm having one of those hard days writing is what I turn to. It is how I make it through. 

It is important to know however that I am....Happy.

Sure, I expected my life to be different right now. I had imagined myself stressed balancing two kids while trying to balance the rest of my life. I imagined myself with a new baby to snuggle, taking walks in our double stroller, reading stories snuggled on the couch with a baby on one side and my girl on the other.

And even though that is what I imagined it is not what God had planned for me. And instead he has shown me a whole different world. Now I'd be lying if I said I'm sooo happy with his decision to bring Reid to him so soon but I'd also be lying if I said that I am not happy. 

I still have my beautiful daughter who I get to spend my days with. I have my incredible husband who matter what...can always make me laugh. I have amazing parents who have stood by us through everything and have offered us so much support. I have friends who have embraced me. I am surrounded daily by so much love and it's just impossible to not be happy. 

Sure I have moments...daily...that I am sad that my boy is not here....but I also have moments...all day long...that I am happy. 

I believe God gave us a gift...not only did he give us 4 days but he also gave us a lifetime of gratitude. We embrace the hugs, the smiles, the kisses from our daughter more then we used to. We smile when the sun is shining... and we take time to rest when the skies are crying. 

We live a little more passionately these days and well that...that makes me happy.

Here's a little glimpse of some of the moments over the last few months that have put a smile on my face :)



Monday, March 5, 2012


Long story short....we do not have any.

You see, over the last 6 months we have been searching. Vigorously doing research, consulting with doctor after doctor after doctor....searching for an answer as to what was going on with our son.

There was never an answer. And there still is not an answer.

The doctors believe it is possible that it is genetic. That my husband and I may be carries of some rare disorder. They also believe that it is possible that it is not. But they also believe that they can't piece it all together and that there is no way to actually test my husband and me and that even if they did it is possible that this disorder, if it is what Reid had, just randomly happened.

They have no way to give us answers.

They have no way to calm our fears that our daughter might have to experience something like this.

They have no way to help us decide if we should have more children or not.

They have no way to give us peace.

I wish that I could say that I fully understand that God has a plan for our family...but I don't.

I ask Him often...why us? What makes us so important that we have to experience life without our son. I ask Him often why he allowed me to do it all "right" yet still end up with a sick child. I ask Him why a lot.

I think we will always kind of stay in this state of limbo...unsure of how to travel this world now. I do know that I will continue to look to God for guidance. He obviously had the faith in our family to take this journey so I feel it is important for me to share my gratitude for Him.

I know that we will never have our answers. But I know that God will lead us, as long as we ask him to, towards the peace that we are so desperately searching for.

PS It's the perfect moments like this that give me faith. 
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