Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Seriously So Blessed

This site is hysterical.  It is a spoof on LDS bloggers.  Pretty funny, check it out if you aren't an easily offended and need a good laugh at our culture of blogging.  And while you are there vote for Emily who is a blogging friend.  We have both had a boy with HLHS and children with major brain disorders.  Her son and daughter with holoprocencephaly were both here on earth for very short times before returning to their heavenly homes.  She has been through a lot, awaiting a baby through adoption and deserves a little pampering.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Conservatory of Flowers

The family tried going to the new San Francisco Science Museum the other week, which was sold out.  Regardless, we had a great time in the City.  Scott chose to take Bart which he loves.  He looks out the window, watches passing trains and loves tunnels.  It is so cute.

The weather was beautiful.  I stole this photo from a motorcycle ride Danny went on this week.  
We were in t-shirts which I LOVE even though we need the rain.

Danny's favorite plants were the carnivorous ones.

A neat train exhibit.  All the buildings are made of different recycled material.  Blinds, computer pieces, tapes etc.  

Do you know your San Francisco buildings?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Blessing of Blogging

So many of you know that our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka the mormons, lds church or one with the missionaries with tags and on bikes, don't have paid clergy. The church has a prophet, 12 apostles, seventy, teachers, etc. The same as in Christs time. Well, these leaders are extrordinary people of faith with ordinary lives and families just like you and me who have been called of God. This form of leadership by inspiration trickles down even to where we go to church at our ward level. I love that we have the opportunity to learn from these callings, be stretched, rely on others and help the Lord. It is a marvelous way to grow. Danny was a nursery leader, he and two others taught 10-15 two to three year olds about Christ, did music time, snack time and palygroup each Sunday. Danny was recently released or ended that calling. With the release of a calling comes the thought of what does the Lord have in store for me next? Some callings are very time consuming. Although we know that blessings, love and growth come with each calling, and are willing to help in anyway possible, the McMillans don't aspire to be placed in a super difficult or time-consuming calling. So the news has started to circulate that we are planning to move most likely from our blog. Why is this a blessing at this time? The bishop asked Danny if he was planning on moving to figure out an appropriate calling. With the affirmative response, one would imgaine that Danny is free from a super busy or difficult calling at this time. Just one more blessing of my blog. So if you haven't started your blog, just one more reason to start one.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


You want to know something sad about my life. I am 27 years old and didn't celebrate the New Year. The great thing about living on the West is that you can always celebrate with the Times Square folks at 9PM and feel satisfied. Sadly, I didn't even watch them. No complaints because we were having a great time with the McMillans who were in town that we forgot all about the worldwide celebrations. I was sleeping at 12 which my body greatly appreciates!! Maybe next year Danny and I will celebrate like the majority of people our age (minus the alcohol of course).

I love the New Year for two main reasons. First, it is a time to reflect upon the past year. It is always fun to realize how much our family has grown, accomplished and achieved in just 1 year. Hopefully the trend continues that we grow in a positive direction. Second, we get to make New Years Resolutions to help, or at least give us hope, of all we can accomplish in the upcoming year. So here we go...

Geneaology! This one is on my list every year. I used to be really good at this and love doing it. So every week I want to find about an hour to devote to genealogy.

Get in Shape! I haven't excercised in about 4 years. How sad is that?!?! I want to start jogging 3x/week. Even if it is just for 5-10 minutes at first. I love being in running shape, just hate getting there. I have had a pregnancy in 2006, 2007 and 2008 which hasn't been good for my bottom or abs. I am lucky that my body stays small and returns to small shortly after birth but my muscles are non-existent.

Make a blog book! The final book will be my christmas gift next year.

Rent our Condo! This entails painting, finishing floors, moulding, finding renters and moving out. I have a feeling moving out will be the hardest. I have so much attachment, memories and love for our home.

Buy a House! It would only make sense that we have somewhere to move. Danny works in Brentwood and although he loves the commute we feel it is right to move there. A little sad, a little excited. Another post will have to explain all this.

Write a Book! This is the most exciting goal for me. Since Tyler was born, I have had an itch to write a book but the topic, story, ideas never came to me. Timing was not right and to be honest, I didn't know if this would always be a dream or actually become a reality. After Carl was born I had an "ah-ha" moment. I have started to write and it is almost as if things are just coming to me. It is one of the neatest and inspiring feelings. Life is very simple and easy for me right now which makes this possible. Another goal that I need to write more about.

Get Pregnant! Who knows what the Lord has in store for us. Sometime in the future I want to get pregnant again. I don't have that feeling like I had with Scott, Tyler and Carl of when it will happen, which is nice. Maybe it won't be for a while. One thing I have realized is this one is in the Lord's hands not ours.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

70's Party

Heather, my sister, and Melissa celebrated their birthyear, 1979, in true style. Happy 30th birthday girls.  You looked great and have both accomplished so much in these past 30 years!  It was a great party! 

William made an appearance in true fashoin at the party.  some might wonder who William is?  Danny has a split personality with wonderful teeth that like to come out at parties.  If you haven't met him I don't know if you should consider yourself to be really missing out or extremely lucky.

The 3 Lietz girls.  I found a maternity top that still makes me look prengnant paired with some hideous silver pants. Loved my moms pants and my sister was a true pregnant 70's diva. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009


2008 In Pictures

Tyler turned yellow due to liver malfuntions = Very Sad Baby! Mom and Dad are very sleep deprived after 5 months of unhappy baby.
Happy 2nd Birthday Scott! Scott loves anthing that moves and can be fixed. Is turning into a mini-Danny full of love, sweetness and fun.
After postponed sugery due to the liver, Tyler recovered in March and flew through his Glenn. He was home in less than 2 weeks a much happier baby due to his liver.

I continue to work at Aquabears which I love. The kids sometimes get dragged along
Danny loves being a dentist. He worked in a great environment where he was succesfful happy, productive, gained speed, skills, confidence and love for dentistry. He returned to the dental school to teach in June which is fulfilling and something he loves!!
Consisted of hanging out at pools. Either having fun with the boys or coaching lessons and swim team. We met the Pentlands through lessons who became some of our best friends. Scott had his first little best friend.
Found out I was pregnant labor day weekend followed by being tired and feeling somewhat sick for the fall months. Scott wasn't quite ready for pre-school so we started a co-op with 3 friends which was great for Scott.

Tyler had a heart-cath to dialate his pulmonary artery which went great.
Scott loves Thomas Trains.
We went to Utah to surprise the McMillans for Thanksgiving. We left Tyler behind which was hard but good to have time with just Scott.

Danny continued his mechanical hobbies working on his Riv and VFR. Scott started to enjoy these projects with Dad which was fun to see.
We put long needed new floor in the condo. It was a fun project to work on together that went smoothly.
We found out we were having a 3rd boy. We were excited until we realized that something was wrong. Lots of doctors appts and tests to conclude that he had major neurological problems. Carl Lavar didn't have to suffer very long and was born stillborn on Christmas morning. The greatest Chritsmas gift we can recieve is the knowledge that we will see our little boy again which is possible through Christ.
Merry Christmas!!

The McMillans came to visit for Carl's burial. It was great having them in town.

The LONG version of 2008 for Me

2008 has been full of tremendous growth and change for the McMillan’s. Sometimes I can’t believe how much we can fit in, accomplish and mature as a family in just one year. Hopefully the trend continues. It feels great to look back and recognize the Lord’s hand in our lives, countless blessings and amazing life we have.

I have learned in life that tremendous blessings (at least for our family) often come from being tried and stretched. That used to scare me, which doesn’t anymore because I am able to live with a more eternal perspective. I know the Lord is over all, will never give you more than you can bare and will always bless you if you stay close to him. That brings great comfort and peace. Although the magnitude of the trial often appears harder with age, our increased testimonies and ability to cope make the trial easier to endure. It is comforting to realize that with the Lord, we help you accomplish whatever we are asked to endure.

Tyler’s health consumed the beginning of the year. One of the hardest things we have experienced thus far as parents was having a child who was in extreme pain 24 hours a day. We took shifts, didn’t sleep and couldn’t console our poor Tyler. The so called “colic” turned out to be gallbladder stones/sludge due to TPN. What a relief when we found the cause of so much pain. I have so much empathy for people who can’t find reasons behind the pain and live in pain or see loved ones live in pain.

Although I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, great things came from this experience. I am now more likely to follow my intuition and be an advocate for my child. I always felt it was more than colic, but didn’t insist on finding the problem. All I and doctors seemed to focus on was the function of Tyler’s heart and not everything else going on. I remember going to UCSF and them validating this wasn’t normal and they would run tests until they found the problem. “Of course,” I thought, “Why didn’t I think of that months ago?” Second, I learned to rely on others. My personality is to get through things on my own and handle my own life. That is mostly due to pride. I am a pretty independent person who has always managed to handle the plate I have been given. Although this is still hard for me, I have improved on accepting help and service from others. I realize it is not a good thing when most of the service we receive is from people taking the initiative to serve and not from our request when we need help. Third, I learned to treasure the happy and healthy times. Health is a blessing that I don’t take for granted.

Tyler’s liver problems resolved with medication and he had a successful Glenn operation. For the first time it felt like we had a normal, happy child. This change brings indescribable joy and well needed sleep. It is one thing having a sick child and it is a whole different challenge having a miserable child.

Giving the majority of our time and attention to Tyler definitely affected Scott. You try your hardest to make life as normal and uninterrupted for your other children during sickness and hospital stays, but the reality is that an uninterrupted life is simply impossible. Scott understood Tyler was sick, yet too young to communicate and deal with the situation and his emotions. He had major separation anxiety. I felt as bad as a parent and learned to rely on prayer to know how to meet his needs. I grew in patience, comfort and love for him instead of frustration. Pushing him to gain independence wasn’t the solution or underlying problem that needed to be resolved. He needed to regain trust, comfort and security. As a parent you feel so bad to see your child go through something difficult as a result of you or factor outside his or her control. However, at the same time you come to realize that part of who he is and the amazing person he will become is largely due to his role as a big brother to Tyler and all that this entails. Including the Lord and prayer in our parenting is such a blessing!! I don’t know what people do without that. He is now doing great and actually looks forward to his activities with his friends and without mom.

Trying to help Scott gain independence and social skills resulted in forming a “co-op” and doing a pre-school during my bible study. I learned the importance of having structure in our lives. Some people are good at organizing their lives on a daily basis and finding activities for their kids to do on a last minute basis. I am not one of them. I need structure and a routine to make sure my kids and I have something to do a couple days a week. I still like having one or two days to just play relax and play but we also need scheduled activities. This took me a while to figure out, something I am still working on and has been one of the greatest things as a stay-at-home mom.

Danny has been blessed with stability and happiness in work. He has gained speed, skill, confidence and enjoyment in his profession. This is so rewarding and comforting for me to see. He also returned to teach at dental school. I used to try to control our stability and his working life. If he wasn’t happy in a working situation I would encourage him to send out resumes instead of him taking control of his decisions. How horrible is this!! I am proud to announce I have improved in this regard. Danny loves what he does, I don’t worry about it anymore and I realize that is what is most important.

I was talking to a friend whose husband is starting his own business. This is stressful on all because in the beginning of most start-ups income decreases while expenses and risk increase. Her husband is a man who likes to do everything himself and I asked her if this panicked her. Although she has some concern she said something that stuck with me and made me reflect on Danny and our marriage. She said that she knows her husband will provide for her family if this company does or doesn’t succeed. I too am confident that Danny would always do his best to provide for us. Something I will never fully understand is the innate weight Danny feels to provide for his family. We are a very traditional family and feel we were just programmed differently. I have more of a desire to be home with the kids and he has a desire to go and work, which works great for our family.

When we were waiting for his DDS license to come through, he worked as a janitor making $10/hour. Some thought that was silly but it was a great blessing for our family in so many ways. First, it gave him something to do and feel good. Second, it showed me that he would do whatever it took to contribute to our little family. Third, it provided us with some extra money. I was working so it wasn’t crucial to survive, but every lit bit helps and adds up. I have friends who are struggling to make ends meet but feel that most jobs won't make ends meet or are below them. I think that a little money year to year is better than none. With that said, it is important to realize every family situation is different, outside factors like loosing a job or illness can occur and it is important to have a plan,

Once I realized that his work wasn’t my problem and had peace and comfort that he would always do his best in his profession and taking care of us, both of our stress levels decreased. Looking back I feel so bad for not showing him the confidence and assurance I had in his abilities and talents. His stress was probably greater than mine due to my attitude. How liberating to have an added confidence and assurance from within that I now have in Danny. It was something that I needed to figure out which really had nothing to do with him.

I continued to work as a coach for the Aquabears which I love. It is the perfect profession for me and provides so many great opportunities to our family. I love the friends that I have on the team, the influence of the kids in my life and the joy I gain from coaching. Over the summer I was really busy with too many lessons. I came to realize that the reason I coach is for the enjoyment and the importance of having balance in my life. Unless I need to, I am not going to have such a hectic summer again. I feel I have gained a lot of confidence and skill as a coach this year. I have been blessed with great mentors and find fulfillment through teaching. Sometimes it is hard to get to work and I question if I would rather be at home and realize that right now this is a great blessing to me and my family. Would I do it if I were a billionaire? Probably because right now it is right. Will I do it next year? I don’t know. We might be moving, the kids are getting a little older, I am not home with my husband at night, get to eat dinner together as a family, or winding down as a family. I love it for now, but don’t know if it will be right next year. I really want to write a book. I would love to be an LDS author. I want to help people through writing. I don’t think it would be an easier or more difficult, give me more time with my family, but feel a stronger and stronger tug that perhaps I am supposed to do that. You never know what the future holds, but I know this is right at this second working is right for me.

The end of the year was summed up with our third pregnancy, tests, neurological complications, a tsunami of emotions and the stillbirth of Carl, our baby of hope, on Christmas morning. This was a very unexpected and difficult event in our lives, which has filled us with a greater understanding of the atonement of our Savior, tender mercies of the Lord and stronger testimonies of the plan of salvation. We both became better at communicating our feelings and emotions during this time which will be a blessing for the rest of our lives.

I am much more willing and able to write down and share my life, emotions and feelings. This used to be very hard for me. Some of it probably had to do with being more private, thinking it was inappropriate to share, offensive or inappropriate because my feelings are probably very different than their own and pride that I had a certain assumed life. For me it is has been so therapeutic for me to write down everything and post it on my blog. I really don’t care if anyone reads it. It does feel good to hear that something you said had a positive impact or something someone else said were the exact words or answers that you were looking for. That is a very cool thing about blogging. But more than that, it is a way of me putting my feelings and emotions out their to the world, to my friends and to my family. In some weird but very real way it is like a validation to me that it is ok for me to feel this way because I am me and my life is real. It is a validation that everyone’s life is unique and different.

I remember a long time ago I really offended someone by telling them that they should try something that brought me a lot of joy. I quickly learned that the word should isn’t used in their family and they were really offended. I felt so bad for so long. I feel I have done a lot of growing up since than. I now realize that some people might not like me and that is ok. It is my job to try to be loving, caring and adjust my words or personality to make them feel more comfortable and happy but regardless because of who I am they just might not like me. I respect that and am ok with that. If I write something that I am going through that someone else feels is wrong or ridiculous that is ok because it is me and my life. I have also come to realize that is what makes life so great. I love that we are all so different, unique, have our own experiences and can grow in empathy and love one towards another by trying to understand each other. Part of me being able to be more open with sharing my emotions is being more confident in myself and who I am. With an assurance that I am far from perfect, a human with many things I still need to work on which will be much more evident to people but an assurance that I am trying my best and know that I am loved by a very real and loving Heavenly Father.

From reading, talking to others and seeing my husband go through all he did with Tyler and Carl; I have come to realize that men are very different than woman. They deal with family crisis different, have different concerns and are much less likely to share their feelings. Danny feels the financial weight much more than I do. Having sick kids or preparing for a funeral can be very expensive. He feels that weight. He had a crazy emotional wife who he couldn’t help. He said that was one of the hardest things for him to not make me ok. While I was mourning and healing, he was trying to take care of me, the kids and home. People were often asking me how I was doing and forgetting about him. Woman are expected and more easily programmed to share their feelings where men aren’t. Danny broke that mold. In my opinion that was one of the greatest blessings Carl has given to our family.

During Tyler’s surgeries and illness Danny I don’t know if Danny knew what his role was. He worked hard to pay for everything which I really appreciate because that is one more stressful burden on the family. He was always looking out for what everyone else needed and rarely talking about or dealing with his needs. For one of the first times since I have known Danny, I saw him vocalize his emotions and needs. He was able to articulate and share what made him feel good, what didn’t make him feel good and work through so much of his past. I think this is so important in life because so often we don’t know what someone needs, is feeling or what to say during times of crisis. Everyone is so different and needs different things. The ability to communicate those things is priceless and often so difficult. I think especially difficult for men.

I can’t describe the growth I saw in him in such a short period of time, can’t express the significance it has had on our family, but am filled with joy because of it. At the funeral he was able to express that the emotions he was feeling were very real and very hard. It was good healing for me to see that he was going through the same loss and grief I was going through. Maybe we felt different things, to different degrees, at different times, but one thing we both comprehend is what it is like to burry a stillborn child who belonged to our family. In life your spouse is the only one who can really comprehend so much of what you have been through and it is so wonderful to have him by your side and see that he goes through much of the same emotions in one way or another that you do. In so many ways he became a transient character, which will be such a blessing to himself and his family. I know our marriage and our kid’s ability to communicate will be stronger because our ability to communicate with each other, our children and others is increasing.

I am a much different person today than I was a year ago and that brings me peace and happiness. I am grateful for a lifetime of growth and experiences to grow closer to our Lord. Danny and I have been blessed with countless blessings. Sometimes I wonder how and why it is possible to be so blessed. I look forward to 2009 and all that another year will bring into our lives, marriage and family.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Journal Dilemma

One of the best things for me with Tyler and Carl was to write everything down. It allowed me to express my feelings, journal my thoughts and let others know what was going on. I have tried to do another private journal through blogger, but it is hard to update and remember both. I want to put it all in a book which Denae wrote about and which is so cool. As I write this, I think a solution came to me. My dilemma is that there are sometimes (as you can tell, not often) experiences that are too personal or I just don't want to share. I still want to include them in my life and blog but didn't know how. I should be able to write about them on this blog and just not push post, right? They will be saved and I can probably include them in my little book and still have them in chronological order with my other posts. So my dilemma is now solved or so I think. If you have a better solution please let me know. I am trying to figure this out.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


After being away from the boys for a day it was so great to be with them Christmas morning.  All Danny and I wanted to do was leave the hospital and be with our boys.  We had added joy to see them happy and enjoy opening their presents.  Can you tell what they both love and asked for this year?
Cars and trains.
Mom found this kitchen set and the cutest fruit stand with a cash register on craigslist for $1 thanks to a super rich family in Alamo.  Almost all of our purchases for Christmas were on Craigslist.  Did you know I love Craigslist?  
The boys with my parents.

The 3 Lietz women.  Can you believe my sister is 6 months pregnant in this picture?  She looks great.  We are so excited to have a baby Maddox join the fam in 2 months. He has been one ofthe greatest blessings and miracles for our family this year.   Family is truly one of the greatest blessings to celebrate during the holidays.  I am grateful for all the family and friends that we are blessed with!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Carl's burial

The ceremony and burial were perfect!! My family, Danny's family, Betty and Bob, the Pentlands and the Bains (our bishop) were all there to celebrate the life of Baby Carl. It a perfect, simple ceremony to honor and remember our little boy. A prayer was said, I said a little something and the Bishop dedicated the grave. This is what I said at the funeral.

From the beginning of this pregnancy I often heard the gentle voice of the Lord reassuring me that this baby is a baby of hope. These words would come very clearly and softly during prayer and throughout the day. As test results came in and showed major neurological problems, I started to understand what having a baby of hope really meant.

It meant having hope in the Lord, his plan, atonement, resurrection, and the temple covenants we have made and ultimately hope in eternal life possible through Jesus Christ. President Uchdorf, a living apostle says, “If only we could look beyond the horizon of mortality into what awaits us beyond this life. And what kind of existence can we hope for? Those who come unto Christ, repent of their sins, and live in faith will reside forever in peace. Think of the worth of this eternal gift. Surrounded by those we love, we will know the meaning of ultimate joy as we progress in knowledge and in happiness. Because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations.

Some have questioned why we have been dealt so many trials in the past two years. Tyler with half a heart and Carl whose brain simply couldn’t sustain life. No one will ever have exact answers; however, one thing is certain. We do know the Lord has higher purposes to serve. We walk in faith and recognize to the Lord “Thy will be done.” We have been grateful for Tyler and his heart and now are grateful for Carl, our baby who will bring us and others hope each and every day of the reality and power of Christ.”

Carl’s mission is indeed one of hope. His journey was so short in this mortal life. Long enough to gain a body, yet short enough to not suffer. He blessed and changed our lives forever on Christmas day. I know his birthday was no coincidence, for his mission is to testify of the power, reality and hope of Jesus Christ. Carl’s short life has already blessed countless people, including ours.

One friend wrote. Thank you for sharing Carl’s life with us. He has helped remind me to never take loved ones and God's blessing for granted. I am now more compassionate. Thank you Carl for your little life that has left a big impression on me. His itty bitty foot is perfect and he is a Christmas blessing to all of us! He is a reminder of the bigger and greater gifts we all receive because of our Savior Jesus Christ and that is the gift of ETERNAL life.”

Another writes, “I have been so strengthened by baby Carl’s story. Thank you for giving me hope in my own life.”

Someone else writes, “The words of faith have helped me regain my own faith in God that I feel have questioned lately. You and your family have truly given me hope. I just wanted you to know that you are silently helping others.”

These are just a few of the people who have been blessed with hope and faith by this amazing little boy. A little boy who none of us have yet had the opportunity to meet in the flesh, but who so many have been blessed and strengthened from.

My mission president and his wife, who I love dearly and who is now serving as a member of the 1st quorum of the 70 wrote this to us about Baby Carl.

Dear Heidi and Danny

I just wanted to write and tell you how saddened I have been over the loss of your baby. We have been so impressed with your amazing faith over the past few years and are so proud of who you are. I know how difficult and lonely it is for you. I pray for the comforter to be with you and help you understand more fully the great things that you have to look forward to. I know God’s plan of happiness is real and that you will have your little Carl Lavar with you again and you will be able to watch him grow in a much better world, that will be free of the pain and suffering that our present earthly life offers.

Joseph Smith said , “The Lord takes many away even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, the sorrows of evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning, we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again . . . “ (History of the Church, 4:553-54: from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Mar. 20, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois).

There is no doubt in my mind that Carl is a celestial spirit who only needed to receive his body to complete his mission here on earth. You were entrusted with a little child who already proved himself in the pre-mortal life. Can you imagine how good he must have always been? I can't help but think how good his parents are and have always been as well. I know that little Carl was very blessed to belong to your family and have two parents who love the Lord and His gospel and are committed to each other and to the covenants they have made. I am sure that he is proud of you. It is not a coincidence that you were blessed to be the parents of such a valiant spirit.

Joseph Smith said on another occasion,” Will mothers have their children in eternity?” Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children, for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid. Children must rise and just as they died; we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory – the same loveliness in the celestial glory.” (History of the Church 6:366).

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. His words are true. You can count on them.

We pray that you will feel the loving comfort that we recognize so well. That your burdens will be made light. That you will feel the love our Heavenly Father has for you and that your testimony of His plan will only become stronger. We love you. If we can ever do anything to help. Please let us know.

With lots of love, Lynette and Shayne Bowen

I have felt the loving comfort of my Heavenly Father. I have experienced his tender mercies. Carl gave us the greatest Christmas gift that one could ever receive. A reminder of the true blessing of Christmas. A reminder that long ago there was a boy born in Bethlehem who provided eternal life to all. Over 2000 years later, our son was blessed to share his birthday and remind us of the miracle and hope of Christ’s birth. When Carl was born, Danny and I were blessed to feel his presence and hear his sweet words. Calling us mom and dad he reminded us that he was in a better place, that he loved us very much and that he would see us soon. He is our baby of hope who we love so very much. We miss you baby Carl and can’t wait to see you again and have the opportunity to meet the amazing person that you are. We know you are in a better place surrounded by loved ones. We feel privileged and honored to have you in our lives and family. We know that you will continue to be a ministering angle to so many. We love you so very much, our baby of hope.

The dedication of the grave is a priesthood ordinance done under the authority of the Melchizedek priesthood, which we feel has been restored to the earth. The bishop dedicated the gravesite to be protected and a resting place for Carl's body until the resurrection. We feel that when we die the spirit leaves the body until the resurrection, provided to all through Christ, until the second resurrection. The bishop blessed the area that it would be a place of peace for those that came and visit. It was the perfect prayer and one of peace and hope.

The ceremony was about 15 minutes and we all congregated and had the chance to mingle afterwards. Scott wanted to give Carl a teddy bear which was so cute. He wanted to open the casket to give it to him, but we just placed it on top. Danny left him with a little motorcycle which will be in the vault. It was an emotional day. I felt a lot of peace. I love where he was buried. It is a sacred place for my family. It is an area of just children and babies. It has a special spirit there. I have a different feeling about cemeteries now. I feel peace there, I have a spiritual closeness that I didn't necessarily feel until this time in my life. I don't know if it is having this experience of what caused this change in me. I watched Scott and his friend walk and run through the grass, surrounded by balloons and flowers that people had left for loved ones and it brought me peace and joy. I imagine these spirits having added joy in the happiness and love of little children.

My family is just starting to find and add traditions to Christmas. One that I look forward to is visiting the grave site of Baby Carl and remembering what is possible for my family and all because of Christmas. I love that our children here on earth will be able to learn and grow from this experience. I love that he was born on Christmas. It was a true tender mercies of the Lord. He is so often aware of what brings us added joy and peace. Reminders that he is aware of our needs.

There are emotions that you can't fully put into words of going through this experience that I cherish and feel very blessed by. It is a day that your mortal body feels sadness from not having your child with you anymore but one filled with peace of an assurance that he is in a better place. There is something special about having an angel child. You have a constant reminder of what you are living and striving for. I feel a closeness to the Lord that I hope will stay with me. I know it will stay with me as I remember the feelings that I felt this day.