Thursday, November 24, 2011


Though I have so much to be thankful for this year, there is still a bit of sadness that permeates my soul.  Tomorrow will mark 17 months since Harper has been gone physically from our lives.  17 months seems like such a long time and at the same time, not very long at all.  I wish I had something new to say about her absence but I don't.  It is still hard, I still miss her and wish she were here; these are things that will never change.

The holidays will be bittersweet this year.  I have Norah and I am so excited about her first holiday season.  She makes my heart sing with so much happiness and love every single day.  At the same time I can't help thinking of our angel daughter and remember the absolute despair I felt in her absence last year.  And even though a whole 17 months has come to pass, she is still missed.  She will never be far from our hearts no matter how many months or years come and go.  

As I reflect on the last year and all of the things that have happened and all that I have to be thankful for, my heart is so*very*full.  As I type this, the sweetest baby girl sleeps across the room from me, cooing and smiling in her sleep as she dreams.  She has brought so much joy into our lives, so much more than I ever could have imagined.  And even though there have been many bumps and scrapes along the road (with many more to come, I'm sure), I am so thankful every day that I am so blessed to be living this life.

I shared this message found in a comic last year on Thanksgiving and I wanted to share it again:  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Two months old

Our sweet Norah turned two months old this past friday and 9 weeks old today.  It is so hard to believe.  I mean it seems like we just brought her home yesterday.  The time really does fly, just like they say it does.  She had her two month check up and she is growing like a super weed!  She is up to 11lbs, 7oz and 22.5 inches; 66th %tile and 56th respectively.  She was 6lbs 12 oz and 20 inches at about a little chunk.  I guess she is making up for lost time.  She wasn't quite back up to her birth weight at her two week appointmentt so we started to supplement with formula and she has done really well.   She is such a sweet little thing.  We are getting more smiles and more head control every day.  And she is so strong!  It really is amazing to watch her change before our eyes.

Check out those cheeks--she looks like she could smuggle a serious amount of acorns.

Tummy time!

Sweet little bum and lots of red :) hair.

Zeus and Luna enjoying some tummy time, as well :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

There's no place like home...

Hi, remember me?  I have been *very* absent from blog land for a while.  We have been pretty busy around here.  Not only caring for Norah, who is 2 months old today (!!!)  but also moving...yes, you read that right, moving.  Really great timing, eh?  It has been a whirlwind of a month but I finally feel like I am starting to catch my breath.  Things take so much longer to accomplish these days and I am not near as productive as I once was but that is so okay because it means that I have a sweet little baby wrapped up in my arms who I get to hug and snuggle and kiss and rock and watch grow everyday.  It's pure love. <3

As I sat down to write this post , I wanted to pick out a few pictures to go with this post.  Two hours later, I have gone through almost my whole iphoto library getting caught up in how much time and life changes us (and how skinny I used to be :).  Reminiscing about so many memories; happy times and horrible ones.

We have lived in our sweet little house for the past five and a half years.  A lot has happened to us in those five and a half years, it was our first home (I am not counting apartment living) and I am desperately sad to be saying goodbye to it.  It almost feels like I am leaving a little bit of myself behind, leaving the old me.  I mean, that girl has been long gone since June 2010 but she had a lot of happy memories packed away in these walls.

There is also a part of me that feels like I am leaving a little bit of Harper behind.  This is the only place that she ever had life, this is the place where we planned for her arrival with blissful abandon and then didn't get to bring her home, where her tree is planted, where we learned how to grieve for her, where so many tears have fallen , this was her home and it breaks my heart to leave.  Some may say it is good to start anew, to make a fresh beginning but it is also hard to let go.  I suppose I never will.

This is also the place where Chris and I got engaged, and the place we came home to after our honeymoon.  This is where we brought our pups home and tortured them with countless halloween/thanksgiving/Christmas costumes and laughed our arses off at how wrong we were.  This is where, despite the sad times, we have had countless good times, great times.

This is where we anxiously went through a pregnancy after our loss.  The place that hope finally started to creep back into our lives.  This is where my water broke and I went into labor on a random Sunday morning.  This is where we brought our sweet rainbow baby home.  It will always be Norah's first home, even if it was only for 7 weeks.

I realize that home is where your heart is and as long as you are with your loved ones, then you are home.  I know that a house is just a house; sheet rock, shingles and brick but it's more to me.  It's  memories, laughter and pain all wrapped up with lots of love.  This was and will always be our "gingerbread house" (notice the web address of this blog :)...a very special place.

Under the mistletoe <3

Baby Zeus

The torture begins

Poor Zeus, can't you tell he's our first??

Meet Luna :)

She's bossing him around already!


French maid...this wig *may* have been put on one of the human's heads 
but it was more like a really bad toupee. :)

I think they have had enough.

Happy New Year!!

Date night!

Harper's BFP's!!

The day we found out!!  Happy, happy!!


Taken 3 weeks before she was born.

Harper's tree and our first balloon release on her due date.


Father's day 2011. About 27 weeks pregnant with Norah.

Harper's first birthday

Big mommy! Taken four days before Norah was born.

Daddy putting all of our shower loot together. Frick and Frack in the background.

Sweet Norah. 

Looking at Daddy.

Sweet smiles. Wearing her "little sister" onesie for the balloon release on October 15th.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Norah & Harper

We have a collage that my mom made of some of Harper's pictures sitting on our book shelf.  Last night while we were making dinner Norah was swinging and started to get a little fussy so we switched the direction of the swinging from side to side to front to back (more like rocking).  Right after changing directions, we noticed her looking up at her sister's picture.  She seemed mesmerized by it.  She stopped fussing immediately and just stared and stared.  I couldn't help but take a picture through my tears and it captured what looks like Norah waving to Harper.  Even typing it out brings tears to my eyes.  I wonder if they communicate.  As Chris said, "If anyone is able to talk to Harper it would be Norah".  I know Harper is looking down and is happy but I miss her so much and wish both of my babies were here.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A little update :)

Norah is 2 weeks and 4 days old today!  Hard to believe that if all had went as planned, (scheduled c-section on Sept. 12th) that she would only be 3 days old today.  Just crazy to think about.  We have been adjusting to our new life at home and she has been doing great.  We have been enjoying these early days as we get to know each other and spend most of our days cuddling and taking in every precious moment.

Emotions have been running a little high as we can see so much of Harper in Norah and all of the things that we missed out on at this time last year are so much more apparent since Norah's arrival.  But she is such a light in our lives and we are so very blessed by her presence everyday.  Actually, the meaning of Norah is "the shining light".  Pretty fitting, huh?  That is why we picked her name, she is our light and our little blessing after a time of such darkness.  And of course, her middle name, Grace, is in honor of her big sister Harper.

Here are a few pictures from the last week :)

6 days old...bright eyes!

First real bath, 1 week and 2 days old!  She loves the warm water!

1 week and 3 days.  Isn't she a cutie?!? :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

She's here!!!

I am ELATED to announce that our rainbow, Norah Grace Johnson, arrived this past Sunday, August 28th at 3:19 pm.  Norah weighed in at 6 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long, bright eyed, perfect and with so much hair!  She was a little early arriving at 36 weeks and 6 days but she is doing wonderful!  She probably knew that her mommy was starting to go crazy and needed to come on out :)

I will post her birth story soon.  It didn't quite go down how we planned it (what ever does?), but it turned out perfect and I couldn't have asked for a better way for our little rainbow to make her entrance into this world.  She is truly a miracle!  I just look at her in awe most of the day (and night!), she is so beautiful and I still can't believe that she is finally here and OURS!  It has been a long, stressful road but we are feeling more blessed than I could ever put into words.  I know that Norah's big sister is watching over us with love and pride.  Harper most certainly paved the way for the safe arrival of her baby sister.

Without further ado, here she is!  My little love <3

Right after she was born <3

All cleaned up!

Going home!!!  I love the look on her face :)  
Yes, it is summer in Georgia and we have a hat on our poor child, we promptly removed it when we got outside and realized it was much warmer outside than it was in the hospital!  

Four days old and enjoying her swing

Five days old, my little cutie pie!  

Friday, August 26, 2011

17 days or less...

As of today, we have at least 17 days until we get to meet our sweet girl.  I still do a double take when I look over at the lilypie ticker and see how far we have come.  I will be 39 weeks on September 12th and we will not go past that date, however we may be meeting her sooner than that, since at my last Dr appt we learned that the contractions I have been having, though irregular, have caused me to become 2cm dilated and 50% effaced...exciting and this really happening?!?  I hope she can hang out until the 12th but we feel confident that if she were to make an earlier entrance that she would be ok.  It is so exciting and surreal to think that we have just a little over two weeks until this part of our journey is over and a new one begins.  Even being this close, it is so hard to believe that it may actually happen.  I get giddy just thinking about the possibility of a happy ending.

I had the last of my progesterone shots this past Monday.  I actually got emotional after my nurse, who has taken such good care of me and my nerves, walked out my door that morning.  She kept calling it our finale visit and me a graduate.  It was cute.  I will miss seeing her every week but I am so excited to have reached this milestone, I will be 37 weeks (FULL TERM!!!) this coming Monday and I never thought in a million years I would be saying that.   It feels good, really good.

We have been in full prep mode for Pooh Bear.  I had my second shower last Saturday thrown by my sweet friends at work, where I haven't actually worked since February, and we received so many thoughtful gifts.  They are a group of incredibly kind and generous ladies and it was so great seeing everyone and celebrating the upcoming arrival of our girl!

Between my two showers there was only a small handful of things that we actually had to go out and buy.  So, this week we got all the last minute things that we need, have washed clothes ( I love the way Dreft smells), organized the nursery and put things away.  All of this last minute nesting has been such a blessing but has stirred up many emotions in our house.  There were a lot of things that we had purchased or received as gifts for Harper that we never got around to washing, folding or putting away with care in a nursery that was initially prepared for her.  So as good (GREAT!!) as it feels to be prepping for Pooh, there is still plenty of grieving for all of things that we missed out on with her big sister.  The complexity of emotions is amazing to me, so happy and sad all at the same time but still so incredibly blessed.

17 days, sweet girl, but you can come on out if you are ready.  Your mommy and daddy can't wait to finally meet you an see your sweet face.  We love you so, so, so much.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I have had two different people ask me if we are planning on "reusing" Harper's name for Pooh.  This question is unbelievable to me.  Why would we reuse her name?  That is her name, it is the name we gave to her.  People with living children don't name their kids the same thing, do they?  Of course not.  So, why would we?

It just brings back to the surface that most people really just don't get it.  Do they think that just because Harper passed away that she doesn't count anymore or that her name doesn't belong to her because she is not alive?  Do they not understand that she is our first born and always will be?  That just because she died doesn't mean that she isn't a person.  That we love her, planned for her, wanted her, and still miss her so much that it hurts.

Every time I hear about another little girl who is given the name, Harper, it stings me and it kind of ticks me off (like I have rights to the name Harper, or something).  And I suppose it will always feel this way.  "Harper" is a name that has been gaining in popularity over the last 9 months or so, which I attribute to a few celebrity babies.  For us, it was a family name and when we chose it for our girl, it wasn't popular at all.  It was my husbands great grand-father's middle name. His name was John Harper Johnson.  So I assume that it was a surname from that side of the family from long ago, since that is what southerners do. :)   It will always be a special name to us because it is our daughter's name.  It is the name we gave to her.  And her baby sister will have her very own, special name, too.  Well actually, she already does!  Stay tuned for that :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Home free"...yea, right!!

**I apologize in advance, this is a bit of a rant.  I almost didn't post this because I probably sound like some weirdo, hormonal pregnant woman who needs help because she worries too much but I needed to get this off my chest. :)

The comment usually goes something like this and it has been said to me many times in the last few weeks, "You are home free now that you are in the third trimester. You can stop worrying so much, you will have that baby in your arms sooner than you can think. You are good, you are past 28 weeks. The baby will be fine. You are so deserving of this." (insert raised eyebrows, eye roll and jaw dropping to the floor here)  I think I usually say something to the effect of "thank you and we sure hope so"...I can't remember exactly as I am usually in shock as to their naivety and obvious crystal ball reading skills.

What I want to say was "How do you know that everything will be fine and who says that I wasn't deserving before.  Everyone I know who has lost a baby, hasn't lost their beloved babe because she was undeserving or because she would have been a terrible mother.  Plain and simple, life isn't fair, sh*t happens to good people and we were unfortunately one of the unlucky statistics." But that probably comes off as a little saucy and I am not usually the confrontational type.

The comment, "you can stop worrying so much" is laughable, too.  Stop worrying?  Ha!  That will never happen.  It's not that I worry because I like to worry, believe me, I hate it.  I hate that the innocence of pregnancy has been stolen from me.  I hate that with every twinge, every day without much movement, every cramp (even though it is probably gas), I worry.  I can't help it.  My mind is programmed to worry and to expect the worst because I have lived through the worst.   I hate that I can't just expect a happy ending.  But unfortunately, I know better.

"You are good, you are past 28 weeks".  Nope!  Wrong again, I know of too many people who lost it all close to the end, right at the end of their pregnancies, or had to say good bye to their sweet ones days or even months after they were born.  While I realize that all of this is rare, it still happens more than I care to think about.  Again, I don't enjoy worrying but it is just something that comes along with pregnancy after a loss.  And I have been exposed to a whole community of "deserving" parents who came out on the crappy end of the statistics.

Do I have hope?  Of course I do, I am not doom and gloom all of the time.  I wouldn't have gotten pregnant again if I didn't.  I hope and pray with all my heart and soul that we will get our happy ending this time and that we will get to bring this baby girl home to raise, nurture and love here on earth.  But I can't assume that just because I have made it to my third trimester and am a little over 5 weeks away from delivering.  I know that the chance of tragedy striking again is slim, but there is always that chance.  Just because I have lost one child doesn't exempt me from losing again.  I wish it did, but that isn't how life works.

I love being pregnant, it is a miracle that is truly beyond words.  To grow another human being, another life is amazing.  It is the most rewarding, remarkable thing that I have ever done.  I am thankful for everyday that I get to carry this sweet girl and take care of her and protect her.  I am her mother, I will always worry about her.  Even when she is here, there will always be worries.  And I don't know if I will ever feel like we are out of the woods.

People who haven't been in my shoes don't understand and how could I expect them to?  It is impossible to imagine the unimaginable.  I appreciate that most people around me are so optimistic and I really do try to be, but it is hard.  Somedays are just harder than others.  In my heart, I feel that our Pooh will make it and that we will get to bring her home.  But it is just hard to hear the words, "I know that everything will be ok this time" because no one really knows.  We hope, we pray, we have faith and that is really all that we can do.

From our BPP this week, LOVE that sweet face <3
Yes, those are hands AND feet by her face :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Guess whooo had her first baby shower?!?

I did!  This past Saturday, my dear friend, Caroline threw a beautiful baby shower in my honor.  It was a wonderful day; full of friends, good food, sweet gifts and lots of love.  Caroline gave the most heartfelt toast before the shower began that had me in tears (of course!). We toasted to the hopes and dreams we have for sweet Pooh and also remembered her big sister, Harper, and the love that we will always carry for her.   It was such a great day and I feel so blessed to have so much love and support as we continue on this crazy journey.   

Here are a few pictures!!

Handmade, yes handmade (!!), invitations.  Aren't they cute? 
(I blacked out her address and phone number)

Me with my very crafty and talented hostess with the mostest and Roscoe.

Me and Mom.

The group of lovely ladies.  (The tissue pom poms at the top of the picture were also handmade. ) 

Two rainbows at the shower :)

Pretty table with diaper cake in the back ground.  

The cutest cake ever, I absolutely loved the owl theme! These little guys are full of so much personality!

Yummy chocolate fountain.  To.die.for!