Where do I even begin???
The entire month of April was difficult. It was like the calendar turned to April 1st and my mood changed along with it without even knowing. The week before Sophia ‘s & Ellie’s birthday was especially hard. I had been told by my special friend Nan to keep busy and when I started feeling sad to do something for my girls. I thought about this and although it sounded like wonderful advice, I didn’t know how to implement it, but then it just happened.
As you know I really struggled with what to do for Sophia’s & Ellie’s birthday. I didn’t know what to do or who to include. After talking with Hutch and hearing a few other things, I decided to just keep it to our little family. But then one of my sils asked about going to the cemetery that day because her kids wanted to release some balloons for the girls. So that got me thinking…A few days before their b-day I sent out an e-mail to our close family/friends and told them we would be at the cemetery at 1:00 to celebrate the girls’ birthday if they would like to join us. I also asked them not to feel any obligation to be there because I really didn’t want to bother anyone with this. I was pretty overwhelmed when I saw that everyone I had sent the e-mail to was there…I really wasn’t expecting that.
So the days before Sunday were filed with preparations. Some of these were things I began weeks ago, others were last minute thoughts. Many weeks ago I contacted Butterflies and Prayers. This organization's mission “Is to provide butterflies and prayers to families grieving due to the untimely and tragic loss of a loved one.” They connect families to butterfly farmers in their area who are willing to donate these beautiful butterflies for special events. I was so happy to learn we had a local farmer who was willing to do this for us, and it just happened to be someone that I used a couple years ago for pony rides for Emma’s birthday party! So that was one thing checked off my list.
Another person I contacted a while ago was Dana from Portraits by Dana. I wanted her to do a sketch of Sophia & Ellie. I have pictures taken when we were in the hospital, but they are not something that many people would be comfortable looking at. So I contacted Dana and had her do a sketch. I LOVE it! It looks just like my girls and it is something that I can feel good about when other people look at it.
Another thing I did was make a card to give to those people who would be joining us on Sunday. On this card I included the sketch because not many people have even seen Sophia’s & Ellie’s pictures. I also found a poem, Two Little Butterflies, that I changed just a little and used on the card. I then wrote a special message from us and gave the link to Sophia's & Ellie’s MOD bands if anyone was interested in making a small donation in honor of them.
Since butterflies kept working their way into Sophia’s & Ellie’s special day, I decided to go with a butterfly theme. Instead of doing a cake I decided to make cupcakes to give to everyone who was coming. I spent a lot of time looking for the right thing to top off the cupcakes. Well this turned into a bit of a fiasco! I ordered tags with the girls’ names, birthdate and two sweet little butterflies. The order was to be rushed to me, but when I hadn’t received it on Friday, I contacted the seller. Poor thing…she felt so badly…she forgot to mark the order as a rush and although it was filled, it sat in her shop in Texas Friday afternoon. When I read this I lost it, I sat at the computer with tears streaming down my cheeks…I understood how the mix-up happened, but why did it have to happen to me, for this event??? After I calmed down, I decided to ask the seller if she could send me a pdf of the tag and I could make them myself. While I was typing this message, she sent me another message asking this same thing! So she sent me the file, I called her and she told me all the tools I would need to make the tags. I really am so happy that things worked out this was, because it kept my hands busy and my mind occupied so I didn’t have too much time to really sit and think about all the details that get my emotions going. It made me happy to be doing something for Sophia & Ellie. Emma was a big help with the tags. She punched out all the butterflies for me, while I assembled the rest of the tag.
Then the cupcakes…Emma & I started baking Saturday morning. My mom stopped by and was sucked into helping me! After she put together a flower arrangement for the girls’ grave, I had her help me with decorating the cupcakes. I put the icing on and her and Emma did the sugar sprinkles. Then we boxed them up and mom tied the bows and I put the tags on. (Forgive the pictures, Emma was the photographer of the day.)
So everything was ready, I had the butterflies lined up, the cupcakes were ready to go, the card was safely tucked under the cupcake box, flowers were ready, I was getting balloons the next morning…I was ready. Ready as one can be I guess.
I will save Sunday for another post since this is getting quite lengthy. However, I do want to thank you for ALL the messages I received wishing my girls a happy birthday and me a peaceful day. Your kind words brought me much comfort…Thank you!!!