"Take the sourest lemon life has to offer and

turn it into something resembling lemonade"


July 12, 2014


What a year it has been.

We have a beautiful one year old daughter. She is sweet. She is beautiful. She is funny. She is wild. She is doesn’t fear much. She is a firecracker. She is my July baby.

I’ve been so happy to celebrate her. She is everything I thought my daughter would be like.

She’s in her bed. Tucked in tight. Despite the little bit of cupcake that Nana bought her. That we celebrated with Tutu’s on- one for her – and yes one for Kingston. Kingston said “Oh my sister looks like a princess.

I won’t lie though- I thought this week was going to be nothing but pure happiness. Pure joy for I had something big to celebrate. I looked for happiness at every corner.

Looking at the gift that baby Leo gave me makes me urn for him in a way I haven’t, ever. I could do it. I think I could have them all three here- my boys and my girl.

I cried a couple of nights in front of Leo and by myself. Talking about how crazy and wonderful it would be to have all three.

I couldn’t find it. I was looking.

Wednesday I got a blue note in my mailbox. You can pick up your package tomorrow. I was so mad. I called.

“I was home” I told the post lady.

“Can I come today?”

“yes” She said.

So at 315 I took my lunch break and ran up to the post office when I called my mom.

“I’m going to Cincinnati now.”

“Mom, why? Why didn’t you call me? I can flex my time and come with you.” I said

“Stacey! I’ll turn around. When can you be here”

“I can make it by 4” I said

I got my package from the post office and I said


You see i was thinking this package was Lola’s beloved tutu for her birthday party.

I was kinda bummed and I got in my car to go home to ask my boss if I could leave.

I drove the 4 miles of country roads to my house and opened the package.


It was a Willow Tree figure with blue birds on the girls outstretched arms.

This was the same motion I did as I left the Boone COunty Health Center the day that I found out Leo’s heart stopped in April 2012. I’ll never forget it. I was letting happiness in that day, the sunshine, I was 30 weeks- I was the mom of two boys- and I was so close to chalking two points up for two babies in my arms. Just 30 minutes later I would have my most sad moment.

Happiness. This whole week I was chasing it- and my friend Jenny sent it to me. In a package in such a symbolic way.

My boss said it was ok and I was on a mission to get to moms by 4 to head up to Cincinnati to do some shopping for Lola’s birthday and wait for my niece or nephew to be born.

At 8:06 my niece Mia was born. I thought it was going to be a boy. And maybe a boy like a brother for Kingston not too close in age but pretty close. But then thinking of how I love my sister and my cousin Jen I thought a girl would be awesome.

I sat in the waiting room waiting for my brother in law to come out with a “Max” or “Mia” sign..

Nervous. Thinking of my sister. Thinking of her baby. Knowing Tim would be what Leo was to me in that time- a strong steady man helping her to bring their baby into the world.

He came out. Told us they were doing well. And the baby was here.

He left and came back.

And draped the banner I made for them


I instantly felt excited. So excited for Mia. Thinking of Lola. THinking of Lola having that sister feeling that I am so thankful that I have.

I sat down and we waited for them to have time with the baby.

“You guys can come back now”.

I walked fast. And I turned to my mom and her super sweet mother in law and said “You guys can have the baby I just want to see my sister”.

I was the first in and i saw her there holding her baby and my breath was instantly taken away. I was thinking of Leo my baby, and knowing they probably met- I know Leo picked out Lola for me- and I know he certainly picked out her best friend- Mia. I felt in that moment she was the last one to see my sweet Leo.. I can’t really explain it.

I cried on her shoulder and just told my sister I was so proud of her.

I was quiet on the drive home. I felt like I needed something to feel closer to Leo. Seeing my sisters family grow by +1 makes me think of my family of 4 in my home that is supposed to be +3 babies.

Then my mom looked over at me. We were getting ready to make it to the city

and said

“Stacey, this might make you cry”

I glanced over..very tired, very sleepy..

She said

“Kingston got a pen and paper today and he said, “Nana, will you draw me a picture of my brother? He’s in heaven.”

I cried. It made me cry really hard. But then that happiness I had received and had been looking for flooded my heart deeper than it ever, ever has.

He knows. Everyone knows- Leo is my son.

I sometimes feel very special. Like I was picked to lead a very special life. And I feel like my kids are meant to live very special lives as well. Kingston always says the right things. He is so special to me for so many reasons.

My was overflowing with happiness in that moment. So proud of Kingston. So happy that Leo is my son. And thankful for my Lola.

Here I was driving home from meeting my new niece. Talking about how special Kingston was with my mom- lemon drops to melt our troubles away in the trunk for Lola’s rainbow birthday party- and knowing that not even my sweet Kingston will forget that he has a brother. That’s happiness. Pure happiness.

And here we are. 1 year ago today I brought Lola into this world and held her and I have cherished her and Kingston more and more each day because of Leo. I never thought I would have a daughter. I didn’t. Everyday is magical here because of her. She shook things up- she is sweet and snuggly- she is Kingston and Leo’s baby sis..She is special.

She is home..

She is home..

my kids- my heart running around outside of my body- my happiness.. running around .. crashing at 90 miles an hour

** Immediately when I got my “Happiness” willow tree from Jenny I thought of this song.. and I listened to it again just recenlty and I was like Oh my goodness….. I believe it’s baby Leo singing to me.. a song.. to remind me life is really, really, really beautiful.. Thanks for brining her home little baby boy– she is home, she is loved. … that is happiness


Happiness is just outside my window
I thought it crashed going 80-miles an hour
Or is happiness a little more like knocking
On your door you just let it in

Happiness feels a lot like sorrow
Let it be, you can’t make it come or go
But you are gone- not for good but for now
Gone for now feels a lot like gone for good

Happiness is a firecracker sitting on my headboard
Happiness was never mine to hold
Well Careful child, light the fuse and get away
‘Cause happiness throws a shower of sparks

Happiness damn near destroys you
Breaks your faith to pieces on the floor
So you tell yourself, that’s enough for now
Happiness has a violent roar

Happiness is like the old man told me
Look for it, but you’ll never find it all
But Let it go, live your life and leave it
Then one day, wake up and she’ll be home
Home, home, home

She’ll be

She’ll be

She’ll be

She’ll be home.

She’ll be home

She’ll be home.

She’ll be home

She will be home

She will be home

(yeah, yeah, yeah)

She’ll be home

She’ll be home

She’ll be

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