Friday, April 22, 2016

I don't always cry when I workout...


A few weeks ago, my friend posted an article about how people cry in Spin

and it's sooooooo true.  I am a runner as we all know, but have lately been going to Spin more to give my knees a break from the road, plus with all those people in there I am not taking slacking like I do in the open air... And as I go more and more, I start to like it more and more as well. 

This week I have been trying to do all my workouts, whether out running, at Bootcamp or at Spin.  Not half-ass them like usual, really just give it my all! And Wednesday at Spin... was the best.  Every sprint, surge even recovery I was thinking about Brianna. I was thinking that my legs are killing me, I am sweating like crazy, I wanna pass out, but if I could Spin to Bree I would never stop till I got to her.  I would run a million marathons, I would do 1,000 burpees.  I would do whatever it takes to see her. 

And, although, I knew she wasn't going to pop out of the Bike-O-Vision screen at the end of the ride I knew that I could at least try... Plus what's the point of life without trying. 

So live with purpose... whether your angel babies or your sweet babies here on earth... Try... Be purposeful... Work hard... Don't give up and finish your ride.  You never know what will be waiting for you are the end. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Start Something that Matters

I love books. I always have. Old-fashioned, turn pages, highlight and write in books.

I am a sucker for the Library book sale.  For $1.00 per grocery bag you can have as many books as you can fit in.  What kind of happiness is that!

The last book sale I went to I grabbed a book called "Start Something that Matters."  I had no idea what it was about until months later I finally decided to read it.  It's written by Blake Mycoskie, the man who invented TOMS shoes.  It is kinda a memoir and kinda a book about making a difference in the world.  As far as I know, TOMS was the first company of its kind.  A company that was for profit, yet very charitable.  There was a process that got Blake to think that way, but that isn't the point of this blog.  The book also outlined points one needs to make a difference in the world and looking back were the ways that I started Blankets for Brianna.  I thought the book was great, and really have been recommending it to everyone.  And for now, I am going to share some of the aspects of his message.

Other people may want to start a non-profit, or even a for profit business, or just a project that makes a difference in the world and what Blake says necessary is to 1. Find your story, 2. Face your fears, 3. Be resourceful without resources, 4. Keep it simple, and 5. Build trust.

1. Find your story.
    Obviously, for Blankets for Brianna that came easy.  Without the story of Brianna, there would be no Blankets for Brianna. Blake says that having a story might be the most important part of your new venture."  He says to find your story, find something that you are passionate about.  If you can't immediately figure out what you are passionate about, he says to ask yourself if you don't have to worry about money, what would you do with your spare time?  What kind of work would you want to do? And, What cause would you serve? Once you answer these questions, you will find your passion and once you discover your passion, you have the core of your story and the beginning of your project.

2. Face your fears.
    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do that by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.  -Mark TwainBlake says "when you live your story, you don't have to pretend you're someone you're not.  You can just be yourself." He also quoted Thomas Edison and said "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."  Facing fears is important in every day.  Life isn't easy.  As you all know, I am a runner and that definitely isn't easy.  Reaching goals is hard.  If it was easy everyone would do it.  Just dive in and get it done.  If we wait until the perfect time, the time will never come.

3.  Be resourceful without resources.
   When I started Blankets for Brianna, I knew I had a couple friends who would maybe crochet or knit me a blanket or 2.  I never even dreamed of meeting the people I have been in contact with or the groups who have donated to this cause.  This goes a long with face your fears as well.  Don't let it get in the way of what you want to achieve.  Use your resources, no matter how little or nonexistent they are.  People know people who know people and word of mouth goes a long, long way. I think I already said it, and I may say it again, but DON"T GIVE UP!

4. Keep it simple.
    The mission of Blankets for Brianna is to donate blankets and other baby items to hospitals for stillborn and NICU babies.  Simple right? Blake suggests to not only keep your mission simple, but to keep your life simple, own less, unclutter your office.  In doing this, you are able to focus and think more clearly. Blake says make a simple plan, answer each of these questions with just one sentence. "1. What is your business about? 2. What do you want to be known for as a person? 3. Why should someone hire you? 4. What social cause are you seeking to serve? 5. If you are designing a product or service, look at it and the decide: What else can you remove from the design or service and still keep its function intact."

5. Build trust.
    Having people around you that can help is essential to making everything work.  Its hard to do everything yourself, yet I know even for me its hard to sometimes give up the control since you think no one else can do it just like you.  Blake says "A leader can create a company, but a community creates a movement." 

6. Giving is good business
He says "even if you're not going to start a company that matters, you can still start something small that can be built into something that matters in a very big way." He suggests that giving is the best investment you can make.  I know from experience giving is awesome. I love it and hope that I am in a position to give for years to come.

I have a couple pairs of TOMS and never thought anything of the charitable aspects of them.  However, since reading this book I feel like a proud owner that helped at least 2 people get shoes.  Also, did you know TOMS stands for Tomorrow, as in Shoes for Tomorrow.

Let's all continue to make this world a better place and create better tomorrows all around.  No matter how we get to that point, lets try to start something that matters!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Run the Mile You are in

Most of you know that I love running, (lately my right knee doesn't love it, but thats for another blog).  I didn't always love running.... My parents, sister, soon to be husband and I were in town for the St George Marathon on lucky October morning, 2010.  Side Note- later that weekend my husband would ask my dad for my hand in marriage. YIPEE!

That was the first time I have ever been a spectator at a race or ever been apart of anything like that.  St George Marathon is known to racers as one of the Most Scenic, Fastest and Most Organized Marathons so it's a good one.

That day my sister and I said we are gonna do this... She went on to run St George Marathon the next year. AMAZING.  She is running it this year too. AMAZING.  I went on to run a Half Marathon in DC (my favorite of favorite places) the next March.  I got pregnant with Brianna just about 2 or 3 weeks after I ran that Half...

I feel like running has been a big part of my adult life as a parent.  Its been a constant and a companion.  Its been a stress reliever and a sanity keeper.  Its been an upper on hard days and it is evidence to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to, no matter how much it hurts or how much time it takes.

This year I am running a full marathon! Guess I am not ambitious as my sister, but this year I am. I am going to do it.  Slow and steady, hopefully no major injuries or setbacks... In fact, I am running 2 full marathons. Both I think will be great.  Long Beach, a city that is special to me for a few reasons, and Vegas, just because who could resist running down the strip at night.  If you are considering any race of any distance sign up for this one... Best I've ever run.

Today, while I was enjoying a quiet afternoon alone, I was reading Runner's World and a sentence caught my attention....


This so applies to life.  I have to try to remember that running is a competition against ourselves.  All we can do is better ourselves and our times or paces.  It doesn't matter that people can run half marathons over an hour faster than me, it matters that I am trying and doing my best and keeping my training schedule.

Life is that way.  It doesn't matter that people grieve different or have cleaner houses and cook better, or that they do better at my job than me... all that matters is I am doing the best I can do and all that matters is you are too.  RUN THE MILE YOU ARE IN... try the best you can where you are on the race or in this life.  Be happy.  Be happy is a big one!  It makes all the difference.

Whether you are 6 miles from home, trying to run back and get a negative split, just starting a path of grieving of any sort, or you are just trying to grow up... Live the moment you are in.... run the mile you are in....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So much to be thankful for....

I have been wanting to post for sometime.  I had a few things that I thought were post worthy, but must have not been since I never sat down to actually type them up.  So here I am now.

Now all I really want to say is thank you. THANK YOU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who have donated time, money, talent, support and whatever you could to this project.  My heart continues to be touched and I know that without all of you this would never be possible.  I could never make as many or as beautiful items as have donated to Blankets for Brianna.  In fact, I can barely make anything.  I have taken on the administrative roll of contacting hospitals and delivering blankets.  On a side note, I can still help anyone who is interested in doing that in their own area.  

I am so thankful for the people that I meet.  I have never met anyone who isn't just the most kind hearted person.  I meet lifelong friends from people who donated 2 blankets to people who continue to contact me with multiple items.  Blankets for Brianna even came up in conversation yesterday to the service writer as I was getting my oil changed.  I don't know what impact this little organization is making, but my heart is touched.  My heart is softened.  And for that I thank all of you. 

I do wish that we would hear more about how these blankets and other baby items are received.  Here at Blankets for Brianna we donate directly to hospitals and from there they are given to families.  Most of the time the families do not contact us.  But, I am not sure why they would.  Remembering back to my own child loss, I don't think I would have contacted an organization.  So I don't hear really anything about families who receive our items, but I did get a glimpse into one family.

Blankets for Brianna has been delivered to Dixie Medical Center in St George, Utah a couple times.  That is where my parents live.  My dad recently had a friend pass away.  My dad went down to the mortuary to make sure that this friend would be getting Veterans honors during his service and such.  I am not sure how it came about, but my dad saw a small blue gown on the counter.  He asked about it to the man at the mortuary.  It belonged to a sweet angel baby who was going to be dressed in it to be buried. My dad checked the gown and it had a Blanket for Brianna tag.  My dad never met the family of course, but to relay that story to me was so special.  I don't know if that is all the boy had to be dressed in or that it was special and dear to their heart, but either way it was what he was going to be buried in and that warmed my heart.  I wanted to share with all of you to know the impact your small blankets and gowns and beanies or whatever is donated brings to these precious families. 

So all in all, THANK YOU!!! Thank you to everyone who makes up this wonderful organization.  THANK YOU!!!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Birthday to my Angel

One of my favorite quotes that has to deal with infant loss... "Some people only dream of angels, but I got to hold one."  Happy Birthday Baby Girl...

Last year we did something a little different for Brianna's birthday. Something we couldn't do this year. I had been trying to think of a way, a perfect way, to celebrate or remember Bree, but I was kinda at a loss.  I finally decided I would order those specialty cupcakes and take them to the Doctor's office and the Hospital where Bree was born along with some blankets from Blankets for Brianna. I got a couple quotes... For what I wanted it was going to be $80. EIGHTY Dollars.  I was thinking $40, so was a bit surprised when I found out the true cost.

I thought that was extremely ridiculous.  I decided then to use the money instead to get a pedicure or to do something for myself to make myself happy on this special day.

I started to think that was ridiculous.

Then I realized the perfect solution.

I have a dear friend who helps run a charity called Faithful Servants.  Check them out at  They are seriously the most amazing organization I have ever heard of.  They do anything and everything they can for everyone, person, animal.... you name it.

Faithful Servants feeds about 30 homeless people every single Saturday.  I decided that's how I would use the money I was going to buy cupcakes with.  I am sure cooking and serving the homeless would make Brianna way more happy than just taking cupcakes to nurses who don't need it. 

I don't cook much. I am still learning.  I was thinking it would be a cold day so I decided to make Taco Soup (kinda like chili) and cornbread.  I also made birthday funfetti cupcakes. 

Well the day came... January in California.. turns out its not so cold.  It was hot, I was sweating.  But the Soup was still a hit.  It was the best experience.  I didn't say why I was there, but had Bree on my mind the whole time.  The all time best part of the afternoon was taking the cupcakes around to everyone for seconds since there were so many and getting to say hi and chat a little with these humble, grateful people. 

A huge SHOUTOUT to Kendra for gathering up about 6-7 young women to come help serve. You ladies are lifesavers and was so nice to have familiar faces around.  Thanks for keeping me organized too. 
I wish I could afford to do this every weekend, but for now I will just hope to serve again and maybe even cook again.  For those of you in the Perris area, contact Faithful Servants at their Facebook page.  They are always in need of donations of any sort.
Bree's birthday was the following Monday.  We, of course, stopped by to visit her and drop off flowers.  Visiting a cemetery is pretty much the worst! Especially when it is for a child of your own.  I really hate it! Spending the day with my family was the best though, with Brianna in all my thoughts.
Later that week, I mailed blankets and such to Parkview Hospital where Brianna was born.  No one got fancy cupcakes though.  Next year I hope to celebrate her birthday in a similar way.  Hopefully, I can make it a tradition. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Walk Walk Walk .... RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October has become my favorite month.  It welcomes the holiday season, which everyone loves, and it is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (P.A.I.L.).  Its strange to think that I love it, but I can't change that I am part of that community so I might as well participate in it so I am not alone in my grief.

This year I did something different than last and attended ALL the local Walk to Remembers.  At first I was a little apprehensive thinking it was going to be too much emotionally, but as each weekend passed with another Walk to Remember I realized it was the best idea and hope to be able to do it again next year.

The first Walk to Remember was in Orange County.  I can't say which was my favorite since they were all so wonderful in their own way.  I loved Orange County (minus the Santa Ana winds... YIKES).  Carly Marie was there!!! Might have been the best part.  I am not one to care about celebrities, but I guess she isn't like a movie star.  Someone at her booth suggested I wait for her to come back and I am so glad I did.
I instantly got teary eyed... She was just wonderful to meet.  To find out more about Carly Marie check out 
Something else I loved about this Walk was the book Special Delivery.  It is a free children's book to help children understand infant loss... Get your free copy at    

The next Walk to Remember was at Loma Linda Children's Hospital.  Many of my friends from my local support group was there which made for a nice Sunday Afternoon.  I think my favorite part of this one was the Dove Release. I am not sure why... I just really liked it.


The last Walk to Remember was one near and dear to my heart. Some really good friends came along to make the day extra special... and of course my brother to help with the booth (Thanks Crockett for giving up a Saturday morning for me).
Unfortunately, my camera died so the other pics are on my phone and others phones and all over.  Next year I will charge my battery between each Walks just to be sure : )
Last the RUN part... The first three weekends were full of Walks and the last was a Half Marathon in Boulder City, Nevada.  I trained for this race, but I have come to a conclusion I am not a runner... But then again who is.  I still want to thank my team and especially Dan and Dennis for coming to run with me the last half mile.  I ran with wings and a halo to stick with the P.A.I.L. theme.


In some ways I am glad the month is over and the rush is done, but in other ways I am a little sad since its done... but lets hope next year is similar... except if I run that half I better do better!!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Making Memories of our Angels

I recently was given the opportunity to speak at the Loma Linda Always in My Heart support group about Making Memories of our Angels. I was so honored to even be asked. 

I met one of the nurses who runs the support group and she noticed that I have pieces of my own angel all over my house, which gave her the idea.  Not until I sat down to brainstorm what to take and talk about did I realize that Brianna is sprinkled all over my house.  There is a little bit of memories of her in 7 of the rooms in our house, which include all the common areas except the loft. (Now I gotta put something in there).

Here is the little table that was set up with the ideas. 
Blankets for Brianna recently published a new brochure for bereaved parents along these same lines that gives them idea of making memories of theirown angels.  It is something I think is really exciting... yet sad at the same time thinking about the parents that actually need to make memories of their babies.
If anyone would like a brochure email me ( and I will get one or as many as you need in the mail to you.  I, also, plan to make a page on the webpage spelling out each idea for making memories of our angels.
Some of the ideas in the brochure and featured on the table are ideas such as baby books that are specific for parents with a loss, photobooks like on Mixbook or My Publisher where you write your own story and include your own pictures*which usually have deals on Groupon or Living Social, DIY ideas like the pillow and picture on the black block, items you can buy like Origami Owl or Willow Tree figurines, things for bereaved parents from other bereaved parents like blocks from Maura's Mission or Molly Bears.... the list goes on and on. 
Here at Blankets for Brianna we just hope that people who have suffered a loss feel free to remember their angel as much or as little as they want.
My experience with the group was touching.  I thought I would just go and talk about stuff... literally the stuff on the table isn't hard to talk about; however, they went around the circle and had everyone tell their story and then I told mine. Listening to these mothers grieve for their babies and then talk about Brianna was NOT EASY.  I talk about her lots, but wasn't expecting to that day even though that's why I went.  I think it threw me off.  Brianna is such a huge part of my life. I miss her every day.  I think the hardest part is not knowing what type of person she is... is she funny? friendly? compassionate? loving... a little bratty : ) Is she loud like her momma or quiet and reserved like her dad.... Hopefully I will know someday.
Thank you again to everyone who continues to support this organization, whether by making blankets, delivering blankets or sending monetary donations.  We are always accepting of anything and receipts can be provided. Thanks to you all who love Brianna and Blankets for Brianna.