Thursday, March 31, 2016

365 days of sparkles

"Pink1sparkles", oh how far we've come one year later. 365 posts later and we are still sparkling. Today's blog is such a special post for me. Now I've had a few special posts since I began this on April 3, 2015, but this one marks the importance of the "sparkle". This is my 365th post on this blog. I have officially posted every day since I dedicated myself a year ago. 

I believed in myself and believed that I could keep the sparkle alive. With my blog I have reached so many people far and wide that I never have even met. Some of these people have privately contacted me and expressed there deepest gratitude with my writing. It has given so many people an inside look at me with no blinders on. I've been real, dark, bright, and never have let myself not tell the truth. I've said it from the beginning, and will continue to post and preach. 365 days of the sparkle will help other people through the grieving process. My blog has not only helped others, but has been my continued outlet with my emotions. I feel so much better letting my "sparklers" or supporters know how I'm feeling. I remember saying to myself before I started this, "I'm kind of tired with people asking me how I am doing." This was my way of letting people know, and opening my heart up.

Now people have asked me, "once you hit 365 post what will you do?" Well, my goal is to actually publish my blog and write a few chapters about Sydney, grieving, the twin bond, and were we go from here. I will continue to blog as it really helps me, and I believe people look forward to seeing how I'm doing. My next year of posts will focus a lot on "pregnancy after a death of a child". No one ever told me how to grieve, and now no one has told me how to process my emotions since becoming pregnant. I know more people might find a connection with losing a child, and I feel this might help. 

I'm not a miracle worker by any means, but I am real. This is me and this is my life. Thank you for letting me reach out to you every day, and for believing in me. Thank you for always letting me sparkle a little brighter, and for not judging me on the darkest days. I know Sydney is so proud of her mama, and I'm proud of myself! This year has definitely been a whirlwind, but we are trying so hard to make it by. 

With the love and support of everyone we are continuing to make Sydney proud. 

As I end this blog I am going to leave you with my first blog post a year ago. I'm just so amazed at how far I've come. I'm not sure what the next year will bring, but I know more than anything there will still be sparkles, and that's all I need to get by. 

Special thanks though to my husband who had supported me since the beginning, grieves a little differently than me, but believes in me and us. Without him by my side I'm not sure where I'd be. Also lots of love and kisses to my little man and love "LoLo", who on the darkest days makes me smile, and remembers that Sydney is always with him! 


Hard to believe its been two weeks since our sweet baby girl Sydney has passed away and has left her twin brother, mommy, and daddy heartbroken. I thought long and hard about writing a blog about how I was feeling as her mom throughout the grieving process and what other people might think. People who know me know that I often worry about what others think or worry how others feel before myself. It's just my nature to worry about others and try to make everyone happy.

My goal of this blog is to be an extra strength for others who might have been affected by a similar tragedy, to let people know how I'm feeling, and to release my thoughts throughout this emotional roller coaster.

I can't promise that I will blog every day because I'm not sure how I'll feel; however, I can promise that I will get stronger each day. Words can't express the amount of support that we have received from friends, family, and people that we have never met. I know her sparkle and spunkiness will live on each day.

I believe Sydney had a mission that she wanted me to instill in others. It's my job as her mommy  to teach that mission and touch other peoples lives big or small like Sydney did.

Two weeks down a life time to go. Sydney will never be forgotten and she will live on throughout her brother, each butterfly I see, tutu, and pink bow.

Here's to blogging and letting her sparkle shine! Sending lots do sparkles your way.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Snuggles will help a tired Mama

Last night I just wasn't feeling well. It was a combination of being tired, probably  what I ate for dinner, and pregnancy hormones. If you've been pregnant before I think you can all relate to this feeling. The only thing that made me feel better was my little man. "Mama you lay on couch and we cuddle" and "mama I love you so much" with a giant hug and kiss. He just knows exactly what to say to make me feel better. I know I've said it before, but I'm so lucky to have such an amazing little boy. He is such a special little boy with so much love to give. I bet if Sydney was here she would be just as loveable as Logan. I know, and believe she's with Logan everyday, because I always see her inside of Logan. There's something special about the twinbond that will live on forever!!!

Playtime with LoLo

There our times when I get sad seeing Logan play by himself. I know sooner than later he will have a new playmate, but until the new baby gets bigger I must watch him play independently. He's done such a nice job adapting since Sydney has left us that it often doesn't phase me as much. 
Yesterday after dinner time Logan asked to have his new play hut put together that he received from Auntie Krissy and Uncle Stephen. He was so excited to play in it and that put a smile on my face.
Of course when your 3 year old asks you to come play, you "think thin", and do your best to get in. At that moment I didn't care about anything besides the time I was playing with LoLo. It's the little moments that we cherish, and the things we do to make our kids happy. I'm sure this won't be the last time in the tent either. There will be a lot more memories to be made, and fun to be had by all. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy birthday LoLo and Syd

March 28, 2013- the day Shane and I were doubly blessed with two beautiful babies.  A boy and a girl would complete our family. We watched them reach their milestones, blow out their candles on their first birthday, and build on the twin bond all the way until 9 days prior to their second birthday. March 19, 2016 our life was shook up, and changed forever. Logan was without his with twin physically, and would have to go on our to celebrate his second birthday without his twin by his side. 
A year has passed and we remembered, and sparkled so well. We've laughed, cried, got angry, and found ourselves overwhelmed with emotions. Yesterday we celebrated year 3. Sydney wasn't here, but I bet you she was watching over her brothers excitement as we celebrated his birthday. Logan requested a HelloKitty balloon and a MinnieMouse balloon to accompany her area and the garden. We celebrated with breakfast this morning were we said goodbye to Nana and Papa. Then we made our way to LegoLand, spent the afternoon doing a few errands, a quick 3 year checkup, off to Sydney's area, and then came home to blow-out both cakes. One for Sydney and one for Logan. We had an amazing weekend and a great day yesterday. Logan is happy, healthy, and full of energy. He's a growing 3 year old with so much love to give. As Logan blew out the candles we wish more than anything that his year is filled with love, laughter, and great memories. We hope Sydney is twirling around in her tutu, singing a song, and smiling up in the sky. Here's to another year where we watch Logan grow up into a handsome young boy, and we continue to remember the sparkle above!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A hopping Easter 2016

Easter 2016 was filled with lots of love, laugh, family, friends, and of course a little bit of sparkle. This is actually my second Easter without Sydney, but pretty much feels like the first. Logan was such a good boy today. He was filled with lots of smiles, giggles, and just enjoyed all the Easter activities. Unfortunately, my heart hurt a little extra today, because all I could think of was my baby girl. As I looked at all the other little girls today in their Easter dresses I couldn't help but have a heavy heart. I always wonder what Sydney would be like if she was here, and how special the bond would be to see. This has been a fun-filled exhausting weekend, and we have one more day to finish the celebrating as Logan and Sydney's birthday is today. Easter 2016 is in the books and it was a good day. Here's to another year when the Easter bunny comes to visit again, more memories are made, and we continue to remember the sparkle!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Logan's 3rd Birthday Paw-ty

What an amazing day yesterday spent with friends and family for Logan's 3rd birthday. The expression on Logan's face was priceless all around. We are so blessed to have so much love given to Logan on such a special day. We know that Sydney was with us, and was spoken about a lot yesterday. Last year we should have had the twins' birthday party at My Gym,  but we changed the party because of the tradgedy that hit us hard. 
As Logan blew out the candles we all made a wish. A wish that Logan would be happy and healthy, and that all his dreams will come true. Logan, mommy and daddy hope the rest of your birthday weekend is amazing. We would like to thank everyone who came out to celebrate, and who made the day extra special and sparkly for LoLo. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

The day we finally said goodbye

March 26, 2015- the day we finally laid our baby girl to rest. I actually had to go back and look at what the date was, because it all seems like a blur in relation to the 19th of March. I remember a lot from a year ago, and can imagine how blown-up my timehop will be with pictures and memories. There was just a sea of pink that day, and a rainbow that filled the sky as we came up to the church. It was supposed to rain that day, but we had pink umbrellas on hand. We didn't need them because Sydney was with us, and the sun was shining until we were done. 
As I look back on a few pictures in my phone I actually can't believe how little Logan was compared to now. 2 years old to now 3 years old. Look how far we've all come. Tomorrow we will spend our day celebrating Logan all day at his birthday party filled with lots of friends and family. No matter how much fun we will be having there will be something that might bring me back to a year ago. A year ago we said goodbye to the pink casket, let the pink and white balloons go, and wished upon a star that Sydney will always be with us. Fast forward she's still with us everyday, and will be with us as Logan blows out the candles tomorrow and makes his own wish!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Nana and Papa come to visit

Yesterday my parents came in from Florida( West Boca to be exact for all my family friends). It's been a year since I have seen my dad and 18 months since I saw my mom. The last time my mom saw me, Sydney and Logan were 18 months old and we had visited everyone in Florida. Unfortunately, my mom wasn't able to make it up for Sydney's funeral because she was recovering from knee surgery. It was very hard to not have my mom here with me, but ultimately I had to grieve on my own. I asked my parents to go to see Sydney's area and bench prior to seeing me yesterday. I wanted my parents to have their alone time with Sydney without me, because it's just too hard to watch my mom grieve. It makes me feel like I'm regrieving all over again. At dinner last night my mom would talk about Sydney and say, " why did this happen?" It's very painful to deal with this. My parents will be here through the weekend, and will be able to celebrate Logan's birthday. They are very excited to spend time with Logan and see us. It wasn't easy yesterday, but we got through it. Here's to a weekend with my parents, friends, and family. 

Keep Calm and Sparkle On

Yesterday morning my co-workers decided to throw me a "sparkle breakfast" in honor of Sydney. There was a lot of pink, sparkles, good food and good company. It was nice to come together with everyone in rememberance of Sydney. Even though I might not talk about her every single day I am still constantly referencing her, or thinking about her. I ask myself everyday, "how do I do it?" To be honest I surprise myself, but there's something about the sparkle that keeps me alive, well, and powering forward. It's not easy, but I believe if people are thinking about Sydney for even a second during the day, that some how it comes back to me. Pretty remarkable I think? Her power is huge, the sparkle is truly strong, and the impact is widely spread to young and old. As always I'll lift my head high, shine bright, and will sparkle on!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dreaming big for Sydney's Foundation

The last few days have been so busy that I forgot to announce some exciting news from The Sydney Craven Memorial Fund. After 364 days we have become an official non-profit. This is something that takes a lot of effort, dedication, hard work, and an amazing support team. I couldn't imagine doing this alone, and I'm so thankful for my amazing board members who have helped me make Sydney's foundation a success. We are a new non-profit, and we still have a lot to learn. We are so excited for our first tutu run/sparklefest on June 18th, and can't wait to give out our first round of scholarships to children in the community. These scholarships will help children enhance their self-esteem through extracurricular activities. 
As Sydney's mom my dedication continues to grow. I want to keep her legacy going forever, and keep that sparkle alive. This mama has been though so much, but is dedicated to sparkle on, and establish a fund that will help others in the community. I'm not going to give up Sydney, and will continue to make you proud!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bringing my little helper to school

Mondays are always difficult especially after a long emotional weekend, but this Monday was a little different. A snowstorm caused a two hour delay, and  Logan was my little helper at school. This made for an eventful and short Monday. Logan was great and so well behaved. He actually was mistaken a few times for a kindergartener. My baby boy is turning 3 next week, not 6. He is very much preschool ready, but it makes this mama sad that he's growing up so fast. Logan talked about Sydney at school and wore his pink bow proud. It's hard when I bring him to school because I know people ask about Sydney, but that will never change. Last week was a very tough week emotionally, but this week shouldn't be too bad. This week we look forward to my parents coming in from Florida, a day off Friday, Logan's birthday and Easter this Sunday. Thankfully it was an easy day yesterday, and should be an easy and fun week ahead. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

There's no buddy like a little brother

After we found out we were pregnant I couldn't wait to find out what we were having. To be honest I always had a hunch that it was going to be a boy. I was actually protecting my heart, but secretly knew we were going to get what Logan needed. I wasn't sure what other people thought I was having, but some people assumed it would be a girl since I lost Sydney. As the weeks went on I kind of let my heart go and thought maybe it could be a girl. Either way we wanted a healthy baby, and a sibling for Logan. We found out we were having a "boy", and initially the news was a little difficult to digest, because I was filled with so many emotions. I was still grieving Sydney, and couldn't process all the information with the hard week that was coming up. I finally soaked up the love for another little boy, and a little brother for Logan. The brother bond that Logan will have with this little boy is something that will be so special to watch. Logan is so lucky, because he gets the "brother bond,"and also the "twin bond" that will always be remembered. This is what is meant to happen, and we couldn't be more excited. Yes, I miss the girly things, but I always find a way to shine. There's only one Sydney, and we will continue to do our best to remember, and bring the sparkle to the new baby boy. Logan's so excited and that makes me happy. Here's to a new little boy who will be loved so much. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

It was a "Special Day" for Sydney

365 days later and we sparkled more then I could have imagined. Today was spent with lots of friends that are family, and was followed by many "sparklers" and friends near and far. I don't know if I was so emotionally drained from a rollercoaster of grieving this week that I actually didn't cry today. I'm actually numb to the emotions that some days I'm able to hold it together. Kind of ironic that it was on her one year anniversary, but Sydney wouldn't want it any other way. The sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It seems weird to say, but a very sad day actually brought a little sparkle and a smile to my face. Logan was such a good boy and kept on repeating that it was a "special day". I told him we were celebrating "Ne-Ne" all day, and that there would be lots of sparkles and pink for him to see. 
I smiled a lot today, because I was with loved ones that cared. I know Sydney was with us, and would have been so proud. She left her mark pretty much everywhere I went yesterday, and even threw in a few jokes( nothing like an ice-cold shower, because the water-heater went out in the morning.)
I often feel bad that I don't get so upset on difficult days like this, but need to realize that the grieving process takes it turns, and goes from a high to a low often. One year later we all came together. I wish Sydney was here with us; however, since she's not, honoring her sparkle and celebrating her personality is second best. We will never forget you Sydney, and will always remember you each and every day. Sparkle On baby girl Sparkle On!!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

365 days without the sparkle

8:45pm, the time that our lives changed forever 365 days ago. I've been strong, weak, courageous, ashamed, positive, and have felt the deepest pain that anyone could ever endure since that time my little girl was taken away from us. I can't believe we've come to the 1 year mark of her passing. It still seems unreal and that I'm living in a nightmare that I will just wake up from. 
Reality is that we are not in a bad dream, and this is real life. This is our new life, moving forward as a family of three, and of course soon to be four. Grieving never goes away, nor will all the memories. There are days when I want to pretend that this never happened, and days that I can't even look at another sparkly or girly thing, because my heart breaks that mine was taken away from me.
The years will go by and new memories will come forward. We are sparkling forward, but never ever will forget. Sydney will ALWAYS be part of our life until we meet again. Today is a day that I stand tall, and wear my pink and sparkles proudly. I will lean on others for support, and make the best of a difficult day. We will always remember our baby girl who was taken to soon, and keep her sparkle alive. 365 days later the sparkle is stronger then ever. 
It was my goal and my mission to keep her sparkle going; Sydney I hope I am making you proud. We miss you so much. I will do all I can to keep your memories alive and keep that twin bond strong. Thanks for looking out for your "brotha" too, it means the world to me that I can see your personality living on in him. Keeping sparkling baby girl, keep twirling in that tutu, and always shine on!!! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Pain is Awful, Just Awful

As we rapidly approach Sydney's one year anniversary, I have to be completely honest. The intense pain I am feeling right now is something I never could have imagined or anticipated. I'm actually "regrieving" and reliving the passing of my baby girl all over again. The realization that she is never coming back feels like a knife in my heart every second of every day. I don't know if I was naive to my feelings, but I honestly didn't expect it to hurt so much. I do blame the hormones partially, which are raging as I try to process and move through one more day until the year mark.
People often are very concerned and want to help. The appreciation is there, but at times no one knows what I really need but myself. Only Shane and I know what's best for our family. I do take people's opinion, and appreciate the advice, but I will navigate on my own. I always have, and will get through this too one day at a time. 
People often say time will tell and I believe that, but struggle with the realization. What's true is that I'm breaking down inside. I'm regrieiving, and the pain will always be there all the time; just some days worse then others. 
I'll continue to breathe deeply, silence myself a little from the outside world, and let myself remember. It's not a pretty process, and very difficult to digest. No matter what day it is I'll always grieve. That's something that can never go away as long as I live. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Missing the Irish Sparkle

St. Patty's Day marks the last holiday with out Sydney. The last few pictures I have of our baby girl are of her smiling and wearing her piggies proud in her St. Patty's Day attire with her "brotha". The days are getting tougher and I'm starting to feel the pain more than ever. I'll be honest I'm breaking down and nothing can fix it. I'll remember like I always do, but will allow myself to break down. Yesterday I had a moment, and I ended up fighting through it. Tears are just a way of your heart trying to grieve. My heart is doing just that, grieving, remembering through the holiday, and making the best of the memories that we had. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sparkling through a tough week

Many people have asked me if I'm going to take any days off from work this week. To be honest, work is the only thing that is keeping me busy this week. It's always been hard to go back to work since Sydney passed away, but I've had amazing support from my friends and colleagues. When I came into school yesterday I noticed that everyone had on bright pink bows in honor of Sydney that they will be wearing all week. It's not easy thinking about her every hour of the day, but I try. It was a little hard yesterday when some of the students found out what the bows meant and were coming up to me saying, "Mrs. Craven I heard your daughter died". Pretty blunt, but I need to remember they're only in elementary school. My response, "yes" as we moved on to another activity. As the week goes on I am sure it will get harder. I'll be wearing a little bit of pink each day this week and trying to sparkle. I know that Sydney would approve as I sparkle on.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Sparkle Reading- 1 year later

As we approach Sydney's one year mark, one of the special things that I wanted to do again was connect with a medium. We had the pleasure of meeting with Maureen Hancock who met with us when Sydney passed away. I wanted to meet with her again before the anniversary coming up Saturday. 
When Sydney comes through to Shane and I it is pretty much amazing and special. Sydney confirmed things that I knew, and new things that will come ahead. One thing that is comforting is how excited Sydney is about the new baby. I knew it, and feel some comfort in that. Also how much Logan can see Sydney, and how that twin bond is stronger than ever. 
Having a reading is pretty amazing. It brings lots of emotions. Tears, smiles, and laughter. Sydney is a spunky little spirit that is full of energy. She's always open to sharing new information, and making sure her mommy and daddy are ok. 
After meeting last night I know that Sydney is with us, and will continue to be with us. It's not easy Syd, because we really want you physically here with us, but if this is the closest thing we get then I'm happy. Thanks for sparkling Sydney! We are so proud of you, and will continue to look for all the new sparkle to come. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Daylight savings

Time to push the clocks ahead and welcome spring. Time to welcome all the nice weather, all the outside activities, Sydney's anniversary next weekend, and of course Logan's birthday this month. No matter how much I talk about this week ahead it's going to be so difficult. I've been thinking of her constantly, and have been prepping myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. I can already tell that my body is taking a beating from all the highs and lows lately. 
On the outside I look fine. I even have a little baby bump, but of course inside my heart is just an open would that aches each day. Yesterday's time change definitely threw me for a loop. I was tired when I woke up extra early, but it felt good to keep the door open and have it turn dark later in the evening.
This weekend was draining, and so will be this week. Sydney will be on my mind every hour as I try to make it by this week, but that's no different than any other day. I'm putting one foot forward, and going to try to do my best. 

My mind is very busy

This weekend I have to attend a conference in Boston for work. The conference is actually interesting and I'm with some great co-workers, but my mind is not only on school work, but also in Sydney mode. The countdown is on-7days away, and I can already feel my anxiety rising through my chest. It's hard to focus when your just thinking of all the emotions that will run through your head all week. 
I was so excited to see Logan after the conference today. All I could think about was him and Sydney all day. It's hard to leave him on the weekends, but I know he's spending quality time with daddy. I was greeted with a giant hug, and a "hi mama" as soon as I walked in. Boy do I love him a lot, and man is this week going to be difficult.
This mama is ready to take on tomorrow and the rest of the week. This will be such a hard week, but it's expected. We all know how quickly the "19th" is approaching.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Flashing back the Sparkle

As a parent you often have many flashback to some amazing moments, and then some moments that you want to forget. For myself I often get a glimpse back into the most amazing moments with Sydney, and then the dreaded flashback to the night she was taken from us. 
No matter how many times I tell the story to someone the pain just comes through my heart. Yesterday I had a chance to tell the story about Sydney to someone that didn't know it. The lady was so proud of the way I told her story and said, "thank you for sharing". As soon as I was done sharing, I got that pit in my stomach. A flashback to the night the doctors at the hospital said, "I'm sorry Mr. And Mrs. Craven there is nothing else we can do", or even "she's not breathing Heather" as I ran into their bedroom. As a parent nothing prepares you for something like that. I have multiple flashbacks from that night, and even the one of Logan who just cried, because he didn't know what was going on. He was comforted, and thankfully will only have the beautiful memories that we remember with of Sydney. 
I retell the story so many times, because it helps. It makes me sad, but then happy that we're coming along so strong. It's not easy, and I'll say it until I'm old and gray, but "I want everyone to remember Sydney." Flashbacks or not she had an amazing little life, and will always shine and sparkle on!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The News is Out

The news is out and boy does it feel good. Obviously I've known for awhile, but when you're such an open person it's hard to hide something that is so important to you. One of the most exciting things that I can't wait to start is writing a new blog. After I finish my 365 Days of Sparkle, I will start a new blog that focuses on being pregnant after losing a child. No one prepares you for losing a child, and no one prepares you for the rollercoaster of emotions once you  become pregnant. I have so many highs and lows all the time. Not only will my first blog help others, but this second blog will help someone going through something similar like me. Like I said before, I am an open book, and can't wait to share more about this experience. As we come up to the 19th next week the pain is just as strong. Even with good news my heart still aches. I'd do anything to have her here, and experience this with her brother, mommy, and daddy. As much as it hurts I know she will be with us. She might not be here physically, but will make sure her "sparkle" does shine down! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sharing a Special Announcement

You know the expression "A picture is worth a 1000 words", well the picture that we posted yesterday sure was that! Logan's going to be a big brother come September 2016. We are so overjoyed with so many emotions that it's hard to keep them all straight. Support is what we want and support and love is what we got, and will continue to receive. I'm so excited that the news is officially out there, and we can take one day at a time, and move forward. Nothing is going to change with the "sparkle", and we will continue to make it by next week and in the future. One thing is for sure is that this baby will be loved so much, and will have a special little "sparkle angel" looking over us each day. Thank you for all the love and support we have received thus far. We are blessed, our hearts are filled with love, and we will continue to sparkle on!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

LoLo giggles with Ne-Ne

Yesterday a video was posted by Auntie Krissy that melted my heart. Sydney's giggle was just infectious, and could be heard everywhere we went. Her spunky personality, her dancing feet, those piggy-tails, and that giggle pretty much summed up our baby girl.
I always like to share videos and pictures with Logan. He always says, "mama let me see". Last night we watched Sydney's video three times together, and the best part was that Logan was laughing along with his sister the whole time. I tried not to cry, because it really hurts so bad. I think it hurts so much, because there's no reason she shouldn't be here with us today. It's just such an awful feeling that she's not here with her "brotha". I do all we can to keep her memories alive. One day Logan will talk about his "Ne-Ne" to everyone he meets. Logan has a heart of gold, and reminds me so much of Sydney. That's how I survive everyday. I know somehow that Sydney is with him.