Tag Archives: In Memory

Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #30

My Promise to You

I promise to lovingly remind the world that, while you aren’t here, your fairy tale cape still hangs here.  We promise to remind each other of your life and our memories. We promise to remember your birthday and your passing day.  We promise to remember how very special you are and how much you still belong to our family.



Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #15

Wave of Light

Tonight we are remembering all those babies and children got too soon.  To those who continue to share the life and spirit of that special one, we are thinking of you.
Tonight I am reminded of the families who have received a diagnosis and may already know that this candle will be in their future. I am hoping for your miracle.



Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #12

Lemons + Lemonade

Lemons & lemonade was something that my husband talked about during Clara’s wake.  Since then we have always called things our Pink Lemonade.  My blog name, our team name for the run, even the logo for my business ties back to it.

For me the biggest lemonade is finding my gift for cake decorating.  You see our “rainbow baby” was born before we honored Clara’s first anniversary of her passing.  On the day that our “rainbow” was officially older than his sister, he was diagnosed with a lifelong medical condition.  It would require a major surgery before he turned one. What a basket of lemons!

After spending 21 days in Iowa City getting amazing care, we went home and celebrated his first birthday.  It was then that we realized how special birthdays really were.  Not every kid gets to celebrate them and there are so many more that fight like mad to see their next one.  We often assume that our kids will see tomorrow.  As parents we should be treating each day and especially each birthdays like it is their last one.  Life can change in an instant.

Everyday I am making a little lemonade in memory of my little girl.  My heart always has birthdays and especially first birthdays close to it.  I LOVE making them!  They show me that so many little ones that have made it through another year.  They give me a chance to create what I didn’t get to with Clara.  With every birthday cake I deliver, I make a wish for another year for the recipient and family.  With every baby shower and gender reveal cake, I make a wish for a healthy, loved baby who gets to see their first baby.  With every wedding cake, I wish for ease of fertility and healthy babies (if desired because there are couples that are happy baby free).

I am so thankful to have had the chance to find my caking talent.  Being able to use it in a way to honor Clara makes it even sweeter.  When Happy Cake Baker makes your cake you are getting so much more than a delicious cake and beautiful decorations.  You are getting a piece of my heart and a wish for another year.




Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #11

Creative Heartwork

Over the past seven years we have been given many gifts in remembrance of Clara.  Angels, jewelry, flowers, tokens at the cemetery.  This year when we were back in South Dakota we were surprised with the beautiful heartwork.  This blanket is absolutely everything Clara from the pink butterflies to the green stripes.  It reminds me of her flower play mat with the crinkly butterfly.  It reminds me of the lovely white dress she work for Easter, our family pictures, and as her last outfit.

We will forever treasure the blanket/quilt.  You know what makes it even more awesome?! It was on display in a South Dakota fabric store for several weeks. Even though it is years later, someone still took the time to share Clara’s memory with the world and then give this gift to us to treasure.  <3




Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #10

Signs & Symbols

When Clara passed away we were given a beautiful crabapple tree.  The following year it bloomed during the week of her passing.  It was absolutely unexpected but it felt like a sign from her.  For the next few years we would watch her tree bloom each May.  One of the hardest things to do was move away from her tree.  It was heart wrenching to know that I wasn’t going to see this tree grow and bloom.  It reminded me of the pain when we lost Clara. We promised each other that we would leave little pink trees everywhere we went.

That next May little pink flowers bloomed on a tree at our rental.  I could hardly believe my eyes!!  They weren’t from a tree we planted but from one that was already there. It felt like a sign that were were right where we were supposed to be and that she was right there with us.

This spring we finally settled into a new home.  We knew that our new place wouldn’t have our favorite pink tree.  On Mother’s Day weekend (the weekend she passed) we went out in search of another crabapple and came home with a beautiful tiny tree already full of blooms.  We look forward to watching another tree grow with us.   Every time I see these lovely pink blooms I am reminded that she is still with us.  Her beauty is in those flowers.  Her life was real and it is still touching ours.  I may not be able to physically touch her but I most certainly feel her.




#CaptureYourGrief – Day #22 {Part 2}

Dreams & Rituals


We have many things we do in memory of Clara.  We don’t really call them rituals but when I looked into the meaning of the word, I think they would fall under that category.  I think we shy away from the word “ritual” because for many it has a very religious meaning.  Like worshipping something other than God.  I wouldn’t say we do that with our honors in memory.  We simply make these special events something we look forward to and do each year.

In Memory #1:

Lach Legacy’s annual Run for Their Live’s.  We have been fortunate (or unfortunate, if your glass is half empty) to attend it from the very first year.  It took a couple of years but we established our family picture to be taken while we are there.  It helps to see this picture change each year.  You see, when school pictures come home every fall, we get to change five pictures but one stays the same.  Getting to see this family picture change takes the place of changing hers.  It brings me comfort to be making memories that include her.  We will keep doing this as long as it goes on, even if it means a 7 hour drive 🙂

In Memory #2:

No birthday is complete without a birthday cake.  The first few years it is hard to celebrate.  As I look back I wish I would have realized just what birthdays are all about.  I wish I hadn’t been so sad and angry.  I missed out on a day to celebrate the life we held.  She left us with so many good memories and those deserve to be celebrated.  It was Chris’s idea for the Barbie Doll cakes.  I love making them and I am thankful to be able to celebrate even when I am sad or disappointed.

Clara's 5th Birthday cake - Jan 2014

Clara’s 5th Birthday cake – Jan 2014

In Memory #3:

May 12th is a hard day for us.  In the past I have always visited Elaine.  I feel like she is sometimes forgotten in our loss.  Her love for Clara was, and still is, evident.  I miss having the chance to connect with her, to hug her.  I failed on this memory maker this year but hopefully we can connect next year, even if it is only through the FaceTime or Google Chat.

This is a day we often release balloons.  The kids like to write messages to send to Heaven.  One year a couple balloons got caught in a tree.  The boys were very upset.   I told the boys that maybe Clara couldn’t read them all at once.  By morning they had flown off and the boys were happy.  (PS.  I know it isn’t environmentally friendly but my boys got a lot of comfort from it so we did it.)

It has been a couple of years since we did this on her angelversary. The older boys have gotten older and it isn’t the same for the little kids.  Their losses are so different.  It is sometimes challenging to balance the two different losses as well as my husbands and my own.

In Memory #4:

Each Christmas we give gifts to little girls around, what would be, Clara’s age.  In the beginning it meant a chance to walk down the girls aisle and add dolls and strollers and barbies to our cart.  It was healing for both of us especially when we are shopping for 4 boys and know what we are missing out on.

This year we will search for a 7yo.  In a way this will be a golden year.  There are seven of us purchasing seven gifts for seven seven year olds.  The kids enjoy getting to pick their own gift to give.  It is our way of remembering and making memories that include Clara.

Clara's Memory Wrapping Session 2014

Clara’s Memory Wrapping Session 2014

In memory…

We do many more things but these are the ones that are really important to us.  They open doors for us to talk about Clara’s life and keep her a part of ours.  It is so hard to forget the little girl who gave us so much to remember.  Our rituals help us to remember, to celebrate.




The CarlyMarie Project – Day 15

Wave of Light

Wave of Light - In Memory of Clara

A Child on Loan

“I’ll lend to you for a little time,
A child of mine,” God said,
“For you to love while he lives
And mourn for when he’s dead.”

“It may be one or seven years
Or twenty-one or three,
But will you till I call him back,
Take care of him for me?”

“He’ll bring his charms to gladden you
And should his stay be brief,
You’ll have these precious memories
To comfort you through grief.”

“I cannot promise he will stay
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.”

“I’ve looked this world over,
In my search for teachers true.
In the crowds of this great land,
I have selected you.”

“Now will you give him all your love
Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call
To take him back again?”

I fancied what I heard them say,
“Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joy Thy child shall bring,
the risk of grief we’ll run.

We’ll shelter him with tenderness,
we’ll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known,
forever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for him,
sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.”

Edgar Guest



The CarlyMarie Project – Day #9

                                    In Memory


Over the years we have done so many things in memory of Clara.  One year we made shadow boxes for the kids, another year we planted a tree, and every year we have chosen a little girl, the same age as Clara would be, from the angel tree.  This year was a different kind of project.  This year I began making birthday cakes for friends, family, and strangers.  The name we chose was the name Damon gave me on xBox live, Happy Cake Baker, because “making cakes makes Mom smile”.  I may not have had the opportunity to celebrate Clara’s birthday with her on earth but I do get to help other families celebrate fun special milestones.  The joy of seeing kids faces when they see their special cakes for the first time is priceless and reminds me how special each cake and each child is.  I never got the change to see that smile on Clara’s face but seeing others joy brings joy to me.  Thank you to those who have allowed me to bring joy to your home in memory of my little lady!


“Every day is a gift from God, that is why it is called the present.”