Loss and Food

Have you ever gone through a loss? If could be any loss. The loss of a baby, child, parent. spouse, sibling…the list could go on and on. When you think about this time what do you remember after the loss? One of the things I remember after my dad passed and after Brayleigh passes was the food. Believe me I really couldn’t eat after Brayleigh was born sleeping but I still remember the food. I don’t really remember much about what kind of food we had but I do remember the amount.

When my dad passed I remember for atleast a week someone would deliver a full meal every night for us. It was that food that just brought comfort like mac and cheese and a chicken pot pie. But it wasn’t really about the food itself it was who the people were that made the food and about the thought behind it. It was food made in a mass quantity that could feed many. It was a little different when my dad had passed because my sister and brother were still living with my mom and I so there were more mouths to feed but we all had many people over that were spending time with us. During a time like this it was hard for us to want to “entertain” so to say. Having this food ready to just put out was great.

After we lost Brayleigh, the food came again. It was different people this time but the thought and time that went into it was unbelievable. From trays delivered from the local eatery to homemade soup and mac/cheese. The food still served the same purpose. We had people at the house everyday and it helped so much to just be able to pull the food out and serve.

Now…for what I had originally planned on writing about. Tear Soup. This is a grief book that I have heard about. I personally haven’t read it yet but would like to. Soup is something want when you are not feeling so great. Something you may bring to someone who is ailing. Well Tear Soup is a little different.

First you start off with a pot whatever size you might think goes with your loss/grief. You can start with a big pot and eventually simmer down to a smaller one. You then add your ingredients for your grief. It could be many different things or just a few. The one common ingredient everyone will have is Tears. This is something that you might cook for awhile it might get smaller or it might get bigger. It is however something that you want to keep stirring. You don’t want your tear soup to burn or scorch. Below is my Tear Soup a year into my grief journey. I wish I had done this sooner to see how it might have changed.

Butterfly Dream Soup

countless tears shed
a palmful of guilt
a dash of dreams and hopes lost
a heart that has been smashed and left in piece
a family that has taken that heart and tried hard to put it back together
a bottle of fine wine
a couple handfuls of anger
many nights of no sleep

Tear Soup: a recipe for healing after loss: authors Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen

If you have experienced a loss and would like to add your tear soup please comment!!

My New “Normal”…

Normal…what does that even mean. Who has ever been normal in their life? Does normal really even exist? You go through life trying to achieve your goals and dreams. A normal way would be going to college, graduating, finding the love of your life, getting married, and having a family. Well I can tell you that after the graduating part my life would not be normal. I did however find the love of my life, get married, and have a baby but not exactly in that order.

I found the love of my life in college and we had our beautiful daughter Lorelai. After a little time we got engaged and decided that we should try for another child. We got pregnant in the August 2011. We would be having another baby April 16th, 2012. It would have to be a planned c-section because Lorelai was a c-section. We were both excited to be having another baby. We really didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl we were just excited to be having another baby. We found out it was a girl that winter and quickly began our planning. We were all so excited to be having another baby. Lorelai turned 2 that September. She was excited she would be having a little sister to play with. We did have to explain to her multiple times that her sister would be a little baby first and would take some time before she would be able to play with her. We decided on the name Brayleigh Elizabeth. As the time began to tick away and I finally went on maternity leave we were starting to get more and more excited. Then one day the normal that I knew everyday was going to change forever.

On March 27th, 2012 our normal became a new normal, although I am not how normal this life is. At my doctor appointment that day I found out that our baby girl no longer had a heartbeat. We had lost our baby. Although I really do not like to use the word lost. I feel like it means we misplaced her. We were then put on what I like to call a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster of change, grief, and crazy. Our normal went from a family of 3 with a baby on the way to a family of 3 with a baby that was born an angel.

It has officially been a year since Brayleigh was born and we are slowly coming up on the day she was buried. No parent should ever be in that position. Kids are suppose to burry their parents not the other way around. Now I live everyday wondering what she would be like. Would she be crazy outgoing like Lorelai or would she hopefully be a little more calm. I do think that having something tragic like this happen makes you realize how important life and family are.

One Year and it Still Feels like Yesterday…

As I sit on the couch so many memories come to me. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office trying so hard and wishing so hard to hear a heartbeat. With all that wishing and hope there was no longer a heartbeat to be found. I had to make a phone call i never wanted to make to tell my husband that we had lost our precious daughter Brayleigh. Now we sit on the eve of her one year angelveristy and dream of what we would be doing with her right now. How much her older sister Lorelai would love playing with her.

As I think about what my day may bring tomorrow. I feel like wearing a sign to work that says please don’t ask me how I am feeling unless you really want to know. I will write more tomorrow about Brayleigh’s angelveristy.

Hi my name is Tess…and I am addicted to Pinterest


I along with a million plus other people are addicted to Pinterest. I love it. You can go on Pinterest search for whatever your little heart desires and you will most likely get a result. Take a look around your house. Do you have toys, gift wrap, tubberware all over??? You know you do. Search on Pinterest organization. You will find ideas for organization that you didn’t even know you could organize. You will be able to turn any space in your home into an organizational maze. Do you teach? BINGO….search what you are teaching and come back with a ton of ideas for charts, lessons, crafts, etc. Do you love to cook? You will have hundreds of pins you would like to try. Do you love to bake? You will have hundreds of pins you would love to try. Now do you have a bunch of pallets hanging around the house? You will find a ton of uses for pallets. I could go on all day what you can find.

NOW that you have your countless pins what do you do? When do you have to the time to tackle your ambitions? Do you have the finances to tackle your ambitions? Do you have the drive to tackle you ambitions? I have been successful when it comes to food. I have been able to accomplish a lot of the dinners and desserts I found. The biggest hit being fudge. I have done a few crafts and organizational things, but I want to do more.

Future…I am going to try hard to accomplish more of the things I pin. I have found a lot of things that I love that can be bought but I love making things. The kiddy art and craft side of me comes out. I will continue pinning and crafting….If you have found pins that you love and have accomplished please post. I would love to see them!! I will try to post more of mine!


Holidays…it is amazing how much we can pack into the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Between eating your face off, getting a Christmas tree, putting up lights, listening to Christmas music 24/7, and buying presents. You can’t forget about getting together with your families. This year was a little different. I still did all the things above but I also worked at the storm center in Manahawkin which in the beginning of December started to turn into a toy drive. It was a very rewarding opportunity to help so many people with supplies for storm clean up and to make so many Christmas dreams come true for kids.

The day after Thanksgiving Brayleigh’s gravemarker was laid.

It is beautiful.

We went to Smithville to see the light show and have dinner at Fred and Ethels a couple times this season. We saw Santa and he asked Lorelai what he wanted for Christmas. Her response was a bike for my friend Londyn. When asked again her response was a bike for my friend Jackson. Everytime you asked Lorelai what she wanted for Christmas she always said a bike for her friend Londyn. One time she said a gray bone for her dog Wave because he likes gray bones. This girl always amazes me. She has a huge heart. I love her so much.

As I sit here on the couch the night after Christmas I look back on this holiday season in remembrance. Remembrance for those we lost this year and those we have lost in past years.


I am ready for the new year to be here.

New Year’s Eve…Bring on 2013


Yes…December 31, 2012 is upon us. That would be my daughter on her New Year’s Eve hat. This past year as many of you know has been crazy with a capital C…

Last year at this time Sean and I were expecting our second daughter on April 16th. What we were not expecting is the loss of our precious Brayleigh. On March 28th it will be one year since we said hello to our baby that was born an angel. It is amazing what has happened in this past year. Between our loss of Brayleigh and the passing of both my Grandmother and Sean’s Nana. But with all the lows that were thrown at us on September 1st, Sean and I got married. It was a long time coming but we did it. We were suppose to get married in October but his brother was leaving for Air Force basic on September 11th. We pushed our wedding up to make sure he could be there to share in our day. It was a great day! Along with our wedding two of our friends got married in November.




As I sit here watching the movie New Year’s Eve on New Year’s Eve I look back and remember last year but most importantly I’m looking forward to a year that I know will be our year. I start my new job on Jan 2nd. Which I am both excited and nervous about. Also like many people do on December 31st every year I will also be making resolutions for 2013. My resolutions are more like hopes and dreams for 2013. I hope for a healthy year for my family and friends. A year full of joy not sorrow. To not sweat the small stuff. There are so may things that happen that really don’t mean anything of significance.

Lastly I want to give out a few thank yous. Most importantly to my wonderful and caring husband. I may some times (well most of the time) be a little hard or a lot hard to deal with. I am pretty stubborn but you help me out in so many ways. I know that without you in my life this past year it would have been extremely difficult to pull through. A thank you for my beautiful loving daughter. Everyday she greets me with a smile and a hug. Without her in our lives I am not sure where we would be. She brings so much joy and laughter to us everyday! A thank you for our family. Our family is always a phone call away and they are all so amazing. Without their love and support together we all pulled through a few dark spots this year. Finally to our close friends. You were there to help pull us up when we were low and you were there to help us celebrate a high of getting married. You know exactly who you are and you know that we like you are a phone call away to help or celebrate. I also want to give a little shout out to my cousin and his girlfriend. I just found they got engaged today. I wish them many years of happiness. As you watch the ball drop in NYC tonight and kiss your loved ones. I wish you all a year of happiness and dreams come true.

God Bless!

Butterfly Dreams

Butterfly Dreams…

Many cultures believe the that butterfly is a symbol of a soul or of a passed love one. I have heard many stories of a butterfly appearing at a specific moment when only a loved one would know to. I have also seen this happen. The one I saw gives new meaning to butterfly kisses. Butterflies have become a big part of my life. I find them to be fascinating. This is why I started Butterfly Dreams. To me some of the butterflies I see hold certain dreams. These dreams are the ones they were meant to be spent with the loved ones that have passed. My biggest Butterfly Dream is of my daughter Brayleigh. There are certain times I see butterflies that it reminds me of the dreams I had of my family. The little baby who never came home with us, the little sister that Lorelai doesn’t get to grow up with, and the family with dreams of becoming four. Yes those were the dreams that I felt were lost better yet taken away from me. But now I can look back and see that those dreams were not lost. Brayleigh did come home with us just in a spirit that I know is always around. Lorelai plays with her little sister in the form of a bear that she plays with and sleeps with every night and she will get to grow up with her memory in her heart. Our family still became four but our forth is in heaven watching over us.

This Christmas I asked for cards to place on our christmas tree that were addressed to Brayleigh. On Christmas Day we opened them. There were messages about love, remembrance, and strength. Love of a baby that didn’t take a breath of air, remembrance of a girl who touched so many hearts, and strength for a family that will pull through together.

This holiday season we were surrounded with loved ones both family and friends. These are the people who were there for us through the ups and downs of the roller-coaster we were put on blindfolded on March 27th. These are the people who helped us make decision we were never prepared for, the people who are always there to talk to, and the people who mention her name. I am forever grateful for these people and you know who you are!!