March 27, 2012

A letter to my girl

Dearest Savanna,

My heart hurts. My stomach turns. My emotions are on hyperdrive. Your birthday is tomorrow.. your second birthday. And I am overwhelmed with the feelings and the pains in the pit of my stomach. 2 years old. That's how old you would be. That's what we would be celebrating. Instead I am left here with all of nothing but memories and some pictures. My dreams and thoughts on what this day would look like. I am so sad. And so mad. All at the same time. Today in my therapy session, Dr D asked me what I want to tell God right now. "I want my kid back.." that's all I could think to say.. I just want you in your most perfect form cuddled close under my arms. I want to feel your breath blow against my skin. I want to twirl your hair between my fingers. I want to kiss that sweet little face and nibble on those sweet little toes. I want your precious little hands to be curled into mine. I want to see the slow and steady rise and fall of your chest as you take breath after breath. I want to hear your heart. I want to see your beautiful smile and glowing eyes. I miss you. I miss every part of you. And this time around, this birthday.. seems so much harder. So much more pain. And so when she asked me that question, that's all i could think to say.

I often wonder what you would look like or what your voice would sound like. My mind swims with thoughts of how our lives would be if you were still walking this earth alongside us. How drastically our life has flipped since you left and i just can't seem to wrap my brain around it all. One day i went to the store and left my phone at home. i felt 'naked' all day long. and as i thought about that feeling, as small and inadaquate as this metaphor may be, it brought me to you. i feel so naked without you here. but the only difference.. i went home and my phone was sitting there patiently waiting. you never will be. i will never get to be greeted at the door by a bouncing over zealous toddler. i will never get to to take you to the bus stop or embarass you in front of your very first boyfriend. i will never get to watch you make mistakes and learn. most of all i'll never get to watch you grow.

your birthday haunts me more then the angelversary does. dr. d asked me why that was. to me.. everyday your dead. the day you died is only a reminder of the same reality we live each and every day. but you're birthday? that signifies your life. that proves to me that you were real. it shows me that you breathed your perfection into my existance, and knowing that i will never get that from you again hurts more then anything i could even explain in words. your life that we gave you, the love we poured over you... thats what tomorrow signifies, the celebration that you lived and you're alive.. only youre not. you're not anywhere near that.

i have been guilty of being angry with you sweetheart. and i am so sorry for that. i just so selfishly and lovingly want you back and cant possibly understand why you didnt fight harder to be with us. i didn't want another angel, i wanted my baby girl. dont worry im not too mad.. just heartbroken is all. im sure you understand. i hope you understand. my anger comes from a place of love and loss. a place of the deepest darkest sorrow. each day i try to remember. each day i remind myself of you.

i love you baby girl. your daddy loves you. we want you back. we know we cant have you but it doesn't take away from the given reality of our feelings. today my heart is heavy with thoughts of you. i hope youre birthday in Heaven is as magnificent and you deserve.

you are my light in my dark.. help me find my light my bug. my hope is dwindling into hopeless and im searching for you in the pit of despair.

come to me.. in some way.. any way.. i love you... momma

March 14, 2012

A few updates

I have a few things to update you on.. bare with me.. I have been battling a migraine all day... thanks anesthesia! :-/

1. The pathology results came back from my lumpectomy/biopsy.....

NO CANCER!!!! Yup, that's right.. no stinkin blinkin cancer... ahhhhh.. I can breathe again. Tumor was benign (adenoma) it was exactly what they thought it was from the scans. It was definitely an incredibly scary, denial stricken and nerve racking time. And I have to thank SO many of YOU for all your prayers and thoughts. I go Tuesday to get these stupid stitches out... I'll be asking a few questions... will this re-occur, does this increase my cancer chances, do I have to do more frequent scans?? You know... all the important stuff. I'll let you guys know what I find out.

Today was my first 'full' day back at work since the surgery. It was a little rough. a little tiring. and battling this headache since the moment i got up has NOT helped whatsoever.. on top of it, i'm still a wee bit dizzy and lightheaded. I get a little winded when I exert any kind of energy.. which if you know where i work you know thats pretty much what i do.. exert energy haha. But I'm hoping with a cancer free sleep I'll feel better in the morning.. I have to work a 16 hour shift tomorrow and i'm praying i can make it through..

2. We FINALLY get to go see Savanna's spot. I think Christmas was the last time we got to go. I hate that she's so far away that I can' just get in the car and go. But the last few times it's been hard. I've been so angry and resentful. I guess mostly because the reality of everything is really and finally sinking in. For the first year, i would fully expect to see a beautiful bubbly little girl sitting atop the headstone.. waiting for me to come. Sounds silly maybe, but the mind is a wonderous thing.. and my mind knew it would never happen, but you can't fault a mother's heart. A mother's wishing and wanting heart at that. I guess this last Christmas, our second Christmas without her, it truly hit me that no matter how many times we went, no matter how many different flowers or decorations we brought, she would NEVER be standing there, sitting there legs swinging, hair blowing, eyes glowing, smile beaming. It would always and always will be an image i'll hold in my mind.

It sucks. it really does. there's no other words that seem to even break ground to the way this whole journey feels. and sucky seems to be the best one. crappy is a good one.. or how about shit-hole. that one works too..

on top of the feelings we have just plain been busy. i work, i go to school, j works, j goes to school now. i work every saturday because of my school schedule. and it just hasn't worked out. but this week is spring break and so i was able to take some pto to steal away for the weekend to pay a visit to my sweet girl. the guilt has been overwhelming that i havent been there to spruce up her spot.. but now in less then 3 weeks time, her 2nd birthday will emerge and i will be forced to face yet another milestone... without her. but i did manage to make it to the store to get her some new and updated spring and birthday goodies...

Some new whirly gigs... and a little spring/easter decor

I went for fun flowers rather then just a standard bouquet i usually do

I'm still in disbelief sometimes that this is how we 'get' to celebrate her birthday. J and I were looking at photos of her last night before bed and I found myself constantly reminding my mind that yes she was real and yes she did live. Funny isn't it.. you would think my mind would get it by now.. but the factuality just can't seem to maintain a spot in my mind. The surrealness still seems to overpower the realness of it all.

But anywho, I'm just happy to go visit. And happy to get some new and updated pictures.

3. If you have followed my blogs for awhile you'll know that since Savanna's death, I have felt like there was a purpose. Well that's what I allowed myself to believe. She couldn't have just died for nothing.. there had to be some 'grand plan' right? Well that's what I led myself to think. Right or wrong.. it worked for me. I felt a calling to help other people. I didn't know how.. I started doing SIDS advocacy work, we did Spring for SIDS, I attempted to do a memory box project... all different kinds of things. I would scour blogs upon blogs of BLM's who had found such beautiful and precious ways to mark a spot in the world for the little ones lost. And I was struggling finding mine. I would semi-commit only to let the projects fall to the wayside.. but now, now I think I have found it.


i have always been interested, always wanted to get into it, but always scared. knowing it was never something i could really be 'good' at. after Savanna died, a picture was all I had left. Photographs brought me back to memories I had sometimes forgotten, reminded me of minor details that i missed the most. the sad face.. my favorite face. it had begun to fade from my memory... but that face was captured by the shutter and a snap and i am now forever able to pull that photo up to recall any and every detail. all the way down to the wrinkles in her feet to the rolls in her arms and legs. and leading to the sweet little curls that would so stubbornly peak out from behind her ears.

so for Christmas this year, J bought me a camera.. and i started to dabble a little.. first with J's cousins little babe, then another and another... and now--well now i think i have found that fork in the road to take. i think i have found where i can be to help another. i am able to capture moments, faces, timeless and priceless memories for families. i know all the things i miss of Savanna all the things i wish i did have captured that i don't. and through the eyes of my loss and my grief for my daughter I am able to capture these moments for others. I may not be the best or the most technically skilled... but I know what I miss and I know what a mother loves and I know what my heart feels. and in all this i feel closer to Savanna. She guides me and reminds me why I'm doing it. I am able to help someone, help someone remember the small moments. The special in-between moments. The moment when mom is nursing her sweet new baby and dad gazes so lovingly at his precious gems before him. i can capture this for a family to have forever. and so Because of her Photography has been born. And I am so excited and thrilled, inspired and ready to fulfill this journey and walk this path wherever it may lead.

Here is my facebook page if you would like to take a look :)
And here is my photography blog i have yet to add too much to this one yet.. but i will be working with Franchesca once again over at Small Bird Studios to do a blog and logo design and I CANNOT wait!!!

4. this is the last of the updates.. i promise not to keep you up too much longer.. :) Speaking of Franchesca... she recently posted on her blog about passing on Abiding Hope Collage A project she started in memory of her daughter Jenna. Franchesca has a kind heart and such a sweet and giving soul but realized it was time to pass the torch for this project.. I had fought all that day, prayed if this is something I should take on or not. So finally I emailed her, and what do ya know... :)

so i am incredibly excited and supremely humbled to have officially taken over this wonderful project. This project is a way to help baby loss families remember their sweet babes taken too soon through the use of words they associate with their little ones. It is a collage of these words, put together individually by me. If you would like more information, or would like to put a request in for your very own please visit our blog and/or facebook page for updates.

Abiding Hope Collage Blog
Abiding Hope Collage Facebook Page

I am so excited to see where this project will take me! Thank you Franchesca for your confidance and trust in me to carry on this very dear project!


Well that's it.. well that's enough I should say! Those are the most major of major things going on in my life right now. I feel in a better place for the most part. Not feeling so self absorbed. And I must say... it feels GOOD to blog again :)

Here's that face.. my favorite face.. next to her dazzling smile of course..
the sad face.. i miss it something terrible 

March 12, 2012

A visit

There are certain aspects of my life that I do keep private. When it comes to Savanna though, whether about her life or death, I am very open.

There has been a recent...uhh.. situation? that has transpired in our lives. Another slight bump I guess you could say. I have only shared with a small number of people.. but then (as it always seems to) Savanna became intertwined into that situation and I knew I had to share.

Maybe you are, unfortunately, new to this grief journey and maybe my little experience will give you hope. I don't know, but what I do know is that it is worth sharing. May not seem big to some, but to me it was a moment I will never forget.


On Christmas Day I found a lump on my left breast. I had felt that lump about two weeks prior but thought nothing of it. But then, on CD I felt it again and it felt slightly bigger. Had my husband check, he said it was weird. My mom and dad were in town for the holidays and he urged me to have my mom take a look. (my mom's a nurse.. so naturally that qualifies her to know EVERYTHING haha) she felt it and told me I should have it checked out.

Breast cancer runs in my family so it was a bit of urgency behind it. But on a more positive side, my mom said the lump was 'floating' and that's usually an indicator that its NOT cancer. OF course this DIDN'T ease my mind...

Sooo.. it took me about another month to make an appointment.. call it denial, shock, or lack of attention span.. I'm not sure. But it took me awhile. All the while thinking... are you serious??? Could things seriously get any better.. So I threw myself a pity party for a couple weeks.. so sue me! :)

Finally I called the doc.. thinking OK it will be a couple weeks.. wrongo! They scheduled me an appointment that same afternoon. That kind of freaked me out. So I went in, doc examined, doc said most likely a cyst. It's free floating.. MOST of the time NOT cancer. So I said good. He scheduled an ultrasound.

Next week I went for an ultrasound, she took pics, gave us a disk and sent us on our way.

Now as curious and google search savvy j and I are, we of course pulled up a picture of my lump and compared it to other US pics of lumps. (great bonding time i tell ya ha) Well we were able to determine, in our VERY professional opinion, it was not a cyst, nor did it look like a malignant tumor... it looked to us like a fibroidadenoma.. a benign (non-cancerous) tumor. Not dangerous but does grow.. so with our google self diagnosis, i was able to put myself at ease.. for the time being.

Fast forward a couple weeks.. I go to see the specialist. Dr M is one of the top breast docs in our area, so naturally i went to him. Nurse took the scans. Doc came in. Doc felt lump. Doc said... it's a fibroidadenoma. (who knew google COULD be smart sometimes) I would have to have surgery to remove it... although not dangerous will just grow and grow.. so it's kinda like a third boob ha! Surgery got scheduled for March 12.

Fast forward to March 12.. that's today by the way. :)

Went into surgery this morning.. about 630. Last thing I remembered was them asking me to switch from  the regular bed to the operating table. And then here is where warmness filled my inner being.

In a blink of an eye I was waking up.. (how GREAT is general anesthesia!) I caught a glimpse of hubs and bro standing to my left but before I could fully focus and before I could completely come out of my medically induced sleep. Savanna's face filled my mind and I heard her name whispered in my ear.

At that moment I had the overwhelming feeling that she was with me.. maybe she even visited me in my anesthetic state.. although I don't remember.. I know, just KNOW she was there. Call me crazy, call me delusional, hell call me drugged! But I know what I know.. and I know she was there.. carrying me through this.. because although I acted as if I didn't care, although I acted as if this was no big deal.. I was scared as hell and nervous as all get out.. and of course she knew that... the whole way to the hospital and in pre-op I prayed for comfort, calm and peace. And when I woke and saw the image of my sweet girl and her name in my ear... I knew he had answered my prayers.


On another note... I am now on twitter :) @mrsbogue


PS.. the tumor was sent off to pathology and they should have results within a week. I will update you guys once we here something. But so far.. we have a positive outlook. I am recovering well.. just in some pain.. and a little tired from the anesthesia. But other then that.. everything went well... I just hope I don't have a gnarly scar on my boob!!! :)

March 2, 2012

Spring for SIDS 2012


Well it's that time of year again. Only 49 days left until National SIDS awareness day. It is Friday April 20th!

What are we doing this year?
 As much as I would LOVE to do t-shirts again this year.. my schedule just will not permit it. Between nursing classes and crazy work schedules plus aspiring photography busienss, I just don't have the resources this year. So... we have decided to do wristbands this year!

For every $5 donation made to our team you will receive a SIDS awareness silicone band. It looks something like this...

 These are the ones we got last year.. they say 'remember Savanna Dawn' I plan to order more, but will also have spring for sids 2012 and team savanna's smiles on them.

You can make your donation by going to our team page Savanna's Smiles directly on the Spring for SIDS website.

Now, that YOU know how you can contribute.. what are we doing??

we are doing a garage sale.. all proceeds will go towards the foundation.
we may be possibly having a dart tourney in Savanna's honor
money jars around town

Now, one last thing.. we have decided to do a CHALLENGE this year! And the challenge is for you!!! Spread the word... we encourage you to help us raise as much money as possible., so create your own mini team under us! maybe you will do a garage sale..recruit people for wristband sales.. maybe you do your own money jars or silent auction? maybe you'll just accept donations at your job.. whatever it is. whatever your idea email me your ideas and your goal. The mini team with the most donations (made to our SFS webpage) will receive a goody basket!!! the specifics are not nailed down but it may include the following..

ladybug blanket (because you know how awesome ladybugs are to us!)
willow tree statue
silicone wristbands
paracord wristband
gift card
and maybe a few other little goodies :)

So get your mini team ideas a brewing and email me your ideas and your goals!!! We have 49 days!!!!

(email me your ideas at t.bogue {at} live {dot} com )

share this link with all your friends!!!!

March 1, 2012

standing still

have you ever tried it? stood still? both literally and metaphorically. I'll be the first to tell you i haven't. ever since i was young kiddo i always remembered being busy. that's how i like things.. if i had free time, there was room for just one more thing. constantly overachieving and continuously looking for self validation. this has been the subject of almost every therapy session since i started going. my innate need to continuously be busy, to NEVER stand still. why is this? i get so exhausted and run down and yet i keep going.

until recently i just figured i was a busy type of person. i like to stay busy. but after further dissection i have found it has been something more. its my coping mechanism. i have done it my entire life, well as far back as i can remember. if i stayed busy and kept my mind on something else, i never had to deal with the so-called demons lurking at the back of my mind. if i stayed busy i could lock that terrible dark closet with cobwebs and darkness surrounding it. but life always has a way of turning thing upside down and forcing you to unlock those bolted locks.. whether you want to or not.

too much was never enough for me and like i said i just thought that was the way i was wired. but in my session with Dr. d i have found that the constant need to be continuously busy comes from somewhere in my past. after all, as she likes to say, we are a product of our environment and our dealings in grief are a product of our past.

at the age of 13 i had my first panic attack. i didn't realize it until recently that that is what it was. and after unveiling that scary undesirable time in my life i was able to pinpoint that moment as the exact place where i became busy.

i was involved in activity after activity while maintain a part time job. at one point i had 3.. count them 3 jobs. but i never knew how to say no, i never knew how to just stop for one moment and 'smell the roses' so to speak. and now, with the death of my daughter, i have stayed busier then ever.

you see, to stay busy means i don't have to think, i don't have to deal, i don't have to live that time. i can be in these other moments. i hear on a daily basis, you're doing too much, you need to slow down. but quite honestly i don't know how. i have wired my brain to react and act in such a manner. to slow down and stop means to feel, and to feel means to deal. and that right there is all the more reason why i keep going. most days this makes me feel emotionally stunted. tears are hard to come by and quiet moments alone are unheard of.

so this has been a challenge set forth by my Dr. d. stand still for a moment, learn to say no. learn to stand out in the rain and feel the drops trickle down my face. stand with my back to the wind and feel the breaths of nature. stop and admire the wondrous colors that mother nature paints across the lands. sit still, stand silently and allow for things to happen. allow myself to feel whatever it is i need to feel. sounds simple right? NOT!

but.. i am tired. and i am exhausted. and i am ready to move forward, i am ready to truly know the person that i can really be. i am learning, and it is a process, to stand still. it has been my new challenge, my new goal, my new venture. I'm trying to learn to live in each moment. to deal with whatever feelings that the stillness might bring. it scares me to death though, i will admit. there are days where i try to pretend it never happened, you know, the death of Savanna. sometimes i wish it away to that dark crevice of my mind. but i am getting to a point where i can no longer do that. because she did die, and she is gone. it burns my heart just writing those words. and although to outsiders i seem so 'put together' and 'coping so well' but that's the thing... that image that i am able to portray, well i have mastered it. i am so good at it that i don't even have to think about it. it is as natural as eating and sleeping.

but i am ready. i am ready to no longer feel so numb, so stunted in emotion, i am ready to really grasp reality. i am ready to smell the sweet smell of spring and listen the the chirping of the crickets. i am ready to be frozen in my moment of grief, wherever i am in that stage. i am ready.

i am ready to continue a life.. a life that was molded by my past and enlightened and blessed by Savanna. a life that is so worth it because she was able to breathe next to me. she is continuously my light in my dark and my reason to 'do better.' I have had many self validating and self affirming moments since she has died.

who knew the lessons a life so short, a life so sweet and innocent, a life of a little love bug could make all the difference in my world.

so i challenge you too. sit still, be silent and live in the moment. not because it may be the last time, not because you may not be here tomorrow, but because you deserve it. because you're worth it. because our children are guiding our every move whether we realize this or not.