Sunday, November 10, 2013


This weekend was all about nesting.  I had a strong desire to be prepared - get organized and get as much done as we could so I can then... theoretically... relax until the big day that Hope arrives.

It started on Friday morning when Miss Sara arrived after I dropped Brian off from school.  She's a saint, honestly.  She spent the entire day at our house - including having dinner with us - so she could help me get the tree up.  We did the basics - everything but the ornaments - while Brian was in school.  Then, she stayed with Brian while I headed to my OB's office for my twice a week non-stress test (where everything looked great!).  Brian was so patient waiting for me to get home to start decorating.  He was VERY excited about having the Christmas tree up so early!!
We have a lot of sentimental ornaments on our tree every year.  I even have some homemade ones from my childhood that my Mom put on the tree every single year until I was married.  (I guess now you know where I get it from!)  Gavin and Brian have had new ornaments every year since they were born. Brian was anxious to find Gavin's and carefully unwrapped ornaments until he found what he was looking for...
I bought a ton of sparkly blue butterflies for the tree this year as a way to honor Gavin.
And I'm hoping that this year - if I find the right one - will be the first year we put an angel on the top of our tree.  It would be very special through the years to remember "the first year we had an angel" was the year we lost our angel.  I've looked so many places and just haven't found the "right one."  It would have to be pretty big (our tree is 7 1/2 ft.) and dramatic.  So many of the ones I've found have motion and LED lights - which I don't want.  In my mind, I picture an angel with darker hair... a flowing skirt that has blue and green...and, in a total fantasy, includes some type of ocean-like theme or accessory.  I'll never find this angel.  And if I do, she'll be completely unique and one of a kind - like Gavin.
We added our first ornament for Hope on the tree!  While we were at the beach this summer, Brian and I picked out pink, ceramic booties.
It's such a relief to have the tree and staircase done.  We even put up our manger scene - which Brian LOVED helping with - and our collection of Byer's Choice carolers.  My parents started collections for all five of us many years ago and each Christmas we've received a new one that is special in some way.  Last year was a tribute Caroler for the Salvation Army in memory of my Dad.  My Dad was a big fan and supporter of the Salvation Army.

This is all about nesting - and my need to feel "ready" in case this little girl of mine arrives early.  I'm not trying to make you feel like a slacker if your presents aren't bought and wrapped.  Oh, I didn't mention that part?  Yep - Ed and I had an assembling, wrapping and hiding party on Friday night.  We are ready for Santa!!  (To be clear - Ed thought I had lost my ever loving mind.  But... once he put together a complicated Star Wars toy, he was glad he wouldn't be spending Christmas Eve rushing to get it all done.  Moral of the story - I'm pretty much always right.  *wink*)

At this point... my house is having a severe identity crisis...
Today we did something very special.  It's become a tradition in our family to make a bear from "Build a Bear" for each of the children.  Ed and I made one when I was pregnant with Gavin and included a recordable disc in the paw that has his actual heartbeat from one of my ultrasounds.  It was so special to be able to push that bear's paw and hear Gavin's true heartbeat.  And it's even more special now.  Then... when we were expecting Brian... Gavin chose and "made" his bear with Brian's heartbeat.

Today was Brian's turn as the big brother.  He chose a sweet bunny for Hope.
He lovingly handed the "heartbeat disc" to the woman and then helped her stuff the bunny.  She had him put a little heart inside, which she asked him to kiss and make a wish on.  He told us he made a wish about Gavin.  No surprise.
Afterward, he gave the bunny a nice bath.
We created a "birth certificate" for the bunny - and Brian chose her name!  
"Bella Bunny"
It was a fun experience.  A little sad that it will be our last time... but we're so happy to have three special bears with their own, true heartbeats.
Obviously, Gavin was with us all day (and every day) - but we wanted to do something special to include him.  So, after we left Build a Bear... we headed straight to the fountain!  When I told Brian I wanted to take his picture, he climbed up on the ledge - outstretched his arms and said, "Hi Gavin!  Hi Pop!" as he looked up through the glass ceiling into the sky.  (If you're wondering... yes.  It was hard to continue taking photos after that!  Sniff...)
We were really missing Gavin today.
But we are so grateful that we have Brian... and the promise of Hope.
It was a very special weekend for our little family.

Tomorrow I will have a very exciting update about Gavin's trust project - with photos!!  And I'll also update you on the Emergency Room project!

Thank you, as always, for caring about our children.


  1. Kate, have you checked Etsy for an angel? There may be crafty person out there that makes beautiful unique angels.


  3. Kate, did you have an idea in your mind about how big you would like the angel to be?

  4. These don't have green, but they do have blue and butterfly wings.

    Maybe hit up a craft fair and find someone who's style you like and see if they'd be willing to make a custom one. The heartbeat in the build a bear is amazing.

  5. Yes, try etsy. So many items on there are custom made and can be personalized.


  7. You guys are adorable :)

    I wanted to share this website with you:

    It's a place where makers are connected with clients. Just describe what you're looking for and it will be posted on a board for makers to browse. If anyone thinks they can make what you're looking for, they'll contact you! It's a great site - I've used it from the maker-side many times and haven't had any issues! Good luck!

  8. Kate...
    These words come to mind...Remarkable. Loving. Lucky. Brian is so lucky to have a family who includes him in this grief process so fully, and so beautifully...And Gavin and Darcy and Hope are so lucky to have you and Ed for parents, and the boy with such a genuine smile and great big heart for a brother...

    I (and the rest of your readers) are lucky to have found such a kindred spirit...

    With love... ~AE

  9. As the others have mentioned -- I found this mermaid Angel on Pinterest a while back and loved it - elegant, beautiful, and whimsical without any of the electronics most angels seem to have these days. (I'm sure you've already seen many of these images on the internet!!)

  10. That's such a sweet tradition!

  11. So, when you described your angel, a LLadro came to mind:

    I don't think it entirely fits the bill, but while I was going through other angels they had, this jumped out at me. It's Gavin & Darcey...I just had to share.

  12. Kate,
    Growing up, the Angel on my tree had been hand made by my Grandmother. She purchased wax faces and arms and then made the angel dress and wings from material cut from her wedding dress. I can think of nothing more special than an Angel crafted from actual mementos of Gavin. It may be that one of the crafters on one of the above listed web sites could turn some of your cloth mementos into your vision.


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