Friday, November 6, 2015

Michael's Memory Boxes for Stillborns

Each year around Michael's birthday we like to do something special for the families in our local hospital who have also lost a baby. We've done things like blankets, beanies, burial outfits and more blankets! This year we have thought long and hard and decided on making memory boxes for stillborns (and also baby's who pass soon after birth).

When we lost Michael, the hospital presented us with a beautiful box full of things that would help remind us of our son. It contained pictures that the nurse had taken of our sweet boy, hand and foot molds, a stuffed bear (that was his exact same size!) and other items that we treasure. I remember being so touched and thinking about the family who had donated the supplies to make such a sweet and tender memory box. They certainly knew the comfort it would bring to us, probably because they had been through a similar experience themselves.

I cannot tell you what comfort these boxes will bring to these families for years to come! One of my kids' favorite things to do is go through Michael's box. They ask questions and ooh and ahh over the cuteness of how tiny his hands and feet were. It brings me so much joy to know that he is real to them even though they never had the chance to meet him.

We priced out the boxes and were excited to be able to purchase a handful of them on our own to deliver on Michael's birthday. But then we had a thought and wondered if there were others who would like to contribute. We know we are not alone in our loss and know so many of you who read this blog have had similar losses of your own (or are close to someone who has). If you would like to contribute in helping us purchase and donate these boxes, we would love it and I KNOW the families will love you for it.

To donate just CLICK HERE. I will also have a link on the sidebar of my blog for the next few weeks. Every and any amount is helpful. We are so excited for this and will be sure to keep everyone up to date with the progress.

Thank you to all of you who have shown us such love and support. You will forever be dear to us!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Showers of Love

photo credit : Lizzyography
Yesterday was one of those days in motherhood that one would call "a doozy".

It wasn't necessarily the particular things that happened that caused it to be such a rough day, but rather mine and the kids attitudes. Yesterday was really like any other day in mothering. I made three different breakfasts for three different children, wiped multiple bottoms (multiple times), started laundry, forgot about laundry, cleaned up play-doh a million times, made lunch only for it to go uneaten, scrubbed off ink that an "artist" used to decorate my van's leather seats using hairspray (it works!), took the two year old to a well check at the doc, carpooled kids home from school, took a short breather trip to Target for an alarm clock (and got home with three bags full of things that did not include an alarm clock), started making dinner only to realize I didn't have the right ingredients... you know, typical-every-day-mom stuff.

However, when you take an average mom day and you throw in children who are sugar crazy and have their sleeping schedules completely out of whack (and you yourself are sugar crazy and have your sleeping schedule completely out of whack) well then, that makes for a day that you hope will never be repeated.

As I laid in bed last night I felt a familiar tinge of guilt. I had felt it many times before after days like yesterday and I couldn't help but beat myself up a bit for not learning from the past. However, as I thought harder about the day I realized something that kind of came as a shock to me. Amidst the craziness and tantrums I was somehow able to find tiny windows of opportunities to let each child know how much I loved them. I had a deep desire to make those windows into doors and from there even bigger.

I couldn't help but think of our Heavenly Father and how he does the same thing with us. During our times of chaos, struggle, trials, loneliness, depression or what have you he always finds opportunities to show us His love. Sometimes those opportunities are windows and other times they are doors and during very special times in life the heavens are completely opened up and we are showered with His love.

My new focus is to make those windows bigger in my every day life with my kids. I want them to know that if they will allow me to I will shower them with all the love I have, no matter what kind of crazy day we are having. I love the quote from Elder Russel M. Ballard that says, "The joy in motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times. But amid the challenges there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction." Those shining moments of joy and satisfaction, to me, are when there are showers of love in the home.

Monday, October 26, 2015

I'll Love You For Always Printable (and a promo code!!!)

I have been MIA for almost a year now but I wanted to share one of my newest prints from the shop (along with a promo code!!). My littlest pumpkin is turning two this Halloween and I wanted to make something special for her room. I remembered a book from my childhood titled "Love You Forever". In that book there is a part I have always remembered that says, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be".  The book is so sweet and tender and makes me cry now that I am a mom! I am constantly praying for time to just stand still for once because my babies all grow up way too fast. Wanting to remind myself that my little pumpkin will always be my baby, I decided to combine the two phrases to make this poster to hang in her room.

The print comes in pink, blue or yellow. Use the promo code "HILSBLOG" to receive 40% off this printable!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Here to stay.

We made blankets for stillborns and donated them to our local hospital
in honor of Michael for his birthday this year.
It has almost been two whole years since I last posted. It's true what they say, "There is a time and a season for everything". I'd hate to say that my time and season for blogging has passed, but it definitely is not something I think about and make time for anymore. Maybe one day the desire and the time will return, but as for now I am left with the decision of whether I should keep paying for this domain or not. There have been several times when I think it's a waste of money and it's a lost art that once was a big part of my life.

This blog helped me through the grief and loss of my stillborn son. Recording his story was such a great outlet for me. There were so many nights when I couldn't sleep because of thoughts racing around in my head. I would sit down at my computer and pour my heart out. Typing my feelings helped me fall asleep, and eventually helped me heal. When my husband and I first learned about Michael's condition, we both felt strongly that we should share our story. My blog became a great way to do just that.

Each time I think about deleting this blog I end up receiving an email from one of you. These emails usually contain heart breaking stories of your own losses and trials (or those of your loved ones) with either stillbirth or Ebstein's Anomaly. After reading these emails I am always convinced that I can't delete this blog. Knowing that Michael's story is of some help to someone experiencing something similar is worth keeping this blog around!

So, for now, this blog is here to stay.

Friday, May 17, 2013


My poor mom thought she was getting a sweet, beautiful baby girl when she had me.
She didn't realize she would instead soon have a life size troll doll on her hands. ;)
Well it's official. Today I am one year older than I was a year ago. The big TWO SEVEN. I have learned a lot in my short time here on this Earth (like how to down a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough in no time flat), but one thing I have yet to even begin to grasp is the concept of time. How is it that during different experiences it seems to craaaawl and others it goes by way too fast? Why is it that it seems like just yesterday I graduated from high school and yet when I was in school it seemed as though that day would never come? Same goes for my oldest child starting kindergarten this fall when it seemed as though he would never grow out of the colicky phase as a newborn.

I may not ever learn how time works, but one thing I have learned (this past year especially) is that life and it's experiences are precious. Every. Single. One. The good, the bad, the happy, the tragic, the beautiful and the ugly. They all stick and mesh together to create each of our individual lives. The combination of all the experiences we have ever been through create a life that is so unique and different from anyone else's and makes us who we are. I have had some crappy things (and a few tragic things) happen to me in my lifetime. Things that when I was going through them I would have gladly given up for something better or easier. We all have. But as I look back on those experiences now, there isn't one thing I would change if given the opportunity. Those experiences (and how I reacted to them and grew from them) made me who I am today. For the better or for the worse. Hopefully for the better. :)

I can't help but recognize my Heavenly Father's hand in all things. I know he has a plan for me and for each one of us. That knowledge has allowed me to get through some pretty tough times in my life and allowed me to appreciate the good times even more. Hind sight is always 20/20 and that has proven to be true for me. I can't help but look back and think "DUH! That's why that had to happen!" on so many different occasions. My hope is to remember that when going through a tough time. To know that whatever trial or experience I am going through at that particular time will only continue to mold me and help me become the woman I am supposed to be.

So here's to twenty seven years and the knowledge that comes along with it. I feel like I have only reached the tip of the ice burg and can't wait for the many life experiences I have ahead. I can't describe just how happy I am and how much I love my life. Life at 27 is good.

p.s. I know you are thinking you wish you knew what to do for my birthday. Have no fear, I have just the thing! ;) Feel free to donate to our 5k we are running in honor of Michael tomorrow. Today is your last chance to contribute!

p.p.s. my sweet friend Marta posted a favorite recipe of mine in honor of my birthday on her blog today. I love just love her!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

General Conference Weekend

Whoa, hey! I am still alive! Just wanted to pop in and let you know what have been and will continue to be up to all weekend. It is our church's general conference and it has been AMAZING as usual. I encourage you to check it out, even if it's just for a talk or two, especially if you never have before. The messages that are given are for everyone and are guaranteed to enhance and enrich your life. The thing I love most about conference is that there is always that one talk or two that I feel was written specifically for me and the struggles I am going through at that moment. I am able to find peace and comfort and feel renewed and strengthened by the words and counsel that are given.

If you have any questions at all after watching, please don't hesitate to shoot me a comment or an email!

You can watch conference for free by going HERE.

Enjoy! :)

p.s. conference is best enjoyed with your favorite treat in hand. our treat of choice today were donuts from our favorite local bakery. I may just have to give Marta's conference trail mix a try for tomorrow's sessions!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reese's Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles

Happy Valentine's Day! It's the day of love and I love making treats. (If you couldn't tell already by the nature of all the recipes on this blog. I'm pretty sure almost each one of them is some type of baked good or dessert!) I wanted to make something fun and somewhat special for Valentine's day and went scouring through my cook books. I found the winner in my favorite goodie book "The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook" that I got from my dear friend Marta. (She knows me all too well!) I love this book and find myself looking at it quite often because of the yummy treats and gorgeous pictures it contains. This time I landed on an "Inside Out Cookie Dough Truffle" and knew I had to make it. 

As I searched my pantry for all the ingredients, my heart sunk as I realized I didn't have them all. I didn't want to have to pack both of my boys up and drive to the store just to get those specific items. So, I made due with what I had and altered the recipe a bit. They surprisingly turned out REALLY good and pretty darn cute. Below is the recipe I altered and highly recommend you making them some time soon. I plan on making the original recipe once I have everything on hand. :)
Reese's Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles
adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook 


1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped Reeses baking chips
8 oz almond bark (vanilla candy coating)


In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir in Reese's baking chips. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.

Form dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place sheet in freezer and chill for at least 15 minutes. Melt candy coating in a double boiler or microwave according to package directions, being careful not to overheat it. Using a fork or dipping tool (I used my fondu fork), dip truffles one at a time in candy coating to cover. Tap fork on side of the bowl to remove excess coating, and return truffles to baking sheets until set. With the left over coating, add food coloring of your choice (optional) and transfer into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (or a plastic bag with a tiny hole cut in one of the corners) and pipe decorative lines over top of truffles.

Refidgerate in an airtight container, truffles will keep for up to 1 week.
p.s. Finding it funny that I posted a super unhealthy treat in the same week that I talked about being heart healthy and running? Me too. But that's just how I roll. ;)
Simply Yours Designs Cute Blogger Designs