• Theodore’s 3rd Birthday in Heaven๐ŸŽˆ

    August 31, 2022 by

    August 30, 2019 It was the day that you, my breathtakingly beautiful baby, redefined the meaning of my entire life. It was a day that your perfect self entered our world through so many imperfect adversities. And still, somehow, Mama finds it more difficult to manage the raw emotion surrounding the day that you entered… Read more

  • ARTHUR IS โž“ ๐— ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ง๐—›๐—ฆ!

    May 26, 2022 by

    โซธ ๐•‹๐• ๐•ก ๐•‹๐•–๐•Ÿ ๐•‹๐•š๐••๐•“๐•š๐•ฅ๐•ค โซทโ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โž™ 18 pounds 13 ounceโž™ 28.75 inches longโž™ new words: โ€œGa-Ga!โ€ & โ€œMaaaa!โ€โž™ got 4 new teeth on top all at onceโž™ โ€œMr. Open-Mouth Slobbery Smoocherโ€โž™ smacks lips and signs for โ€œmoreโ€ foodโž™ favorite: swinging fast at the parkโž™ only drinks from special 360-rim sippy cupโž™ lowered crib since strong boy… Read more

  • My Easel Backย ๏ฟผ

    May 8, 2022 by

    Thatโ€™s right, Michael Nelson, youโ€™re an easel back. Hear me out… Iโ€™m talking about those long straight edge structures that protrude out from behind a picture frame. It may be the unpopular opinion, but the โ€˜easel backโ€™ is quite frankly the most important piece. Without it, the beautiful image behind glass would simply fall flat… Read more

  • Seeing The Unseen

    April 18, 2022 by

    ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ดย ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒย ๐—จ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป Itโ€™s such a blessing and a curse.  The hard truth is when I look at a picture of my children, I instantly see the one that is missing.  It is my broken heart that sometimes has the 20/20 vision, while my regular eyesight takes a backseat. I see the unseen. I see the empty space… Read more

  • ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒย ๐—™๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜ย ๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ

    April 11, 2022 by

    ๐Ÿฐ/๐Ÿต/๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—™๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ I saw the flat line.  It was a flat line that told me your heart was finally too tired to produce another beat.  An illuminated flat line had the ability to call the attention of dozens of people within seconds; my own eyes being the first and the last to acknowledge the magnitude of its… Read more

  • โž‘ย ๐— ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ง๐—›๐—ฆ!

    March 24, 2022 by

    โซธย ๐•‹๐• ๐•กย ๐•‹๐•–๐•Ÿย ๐•‹๐•š๐••๐•“๐•š๐•ฅ๐•คย โซท โž™ 17 pounds 5 ounces โž™ 27.5 inches long โž™ only sits still for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse โž™ rather nibble on own feet vs. dinner  โž™ โ€œMr. Crazy Squawky Pantsโ€ โž™ hits fists on mouth to make funny sounds โž™ huge fan of peanut butter  โž™ loves when Mama sings โ€˜Open-Shut Themโ€™ โž™ย highly offended if binky is offeredย ย  โž™ย obsessed with banana puffs… Read more


    February 25, 2022 by

    โซธ ๐•‹๐• ๐•ก ๐•‹๐•–๐•Ÿ ๐•‹๐•š๐••๐•“๐•š๐•ฅ๐•ค โซท โž™ 16 pounds 11 ounces โž™ 27.5 inches long โž™ two cute bottom front teeth โž™ somehow acquired nickname: โ€˜Moo Mooโ€™ โž™ โ€œMr. Loves To Shoutโ€-not just for the Bills โž™ boycotts sleep whenever possible โž™ not a fan of peas and green beans โž™ loves music; especially Big Sis… Read more


    February 21, 2022 by

    Mama certainly prefers being ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ the camera verses in front of it… but Iโ€™d also climb to the top of Mount Everest if it meant sharing your story, Theodore… โ€˜CHD Awarenessโ€™ is now something I will be forever passionate about until the day I die, when I can hold my courageous heart warrior in my… Read more

  • โค โ…” โค

    February 15, 2022 by

    Hereโ€™sย ๐Ÿย of myย ๐Ÿ‘ย little Valentines that will forever occupy their own little spaces in my heart. Theodore has taught me that our hearts are cool like that… what the eyes can no longer see, the heart will always remember.ย ย And even though my heart feels very empty with one Valentine gone, the perfectly portioned sections specially reserved for… Read more

  • ๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ง๐—›๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐—œ๐—ฆ โž ๐— ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ง๐—›๐—ฆ!

    January 24, 2022 by

    โซธ ๐•‹๐• ๐•ก ๐•‹๐•–๐•Ÿ ๐•‹๐•š๐••๐•“๐•š๐•ฅ๐•ค โซทโ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โž™ 16 pounds 1 ounceโž™ 26.25 inches longโž™ rosey cheeks; poor teething babeโž™ sits-up unassisted for a few minutesโž™ โ€œMr. Handsome Hot Temperโ€โž™ wakes up 1-2 times a night for a snackย โž™ devours all of Mamaโ€™s homemade purรฉesโž™ favs: snowy walks & blowing raspberriesย  ย โž™ refuses the bottle and demands Mamaโž™… Read more

  • ๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ง๐—›๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐—œ๐—ฆ โžŽ ๐— ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ง๐—›๐—ฆ!

    December 24, 2021 by

    โซธ ๐•‹๐• ๐•ก ๐•‹๐•–๐•Ÿ ๐•‹๐•š๐••๐•“๐•š๐•ฅ๐•ค โซทโ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โž™ 15 pounds 1 ounceโž™ 25.5 inches longโž™ reaches for anything in sight, our faces includedโž™ met Santa, but infatuated with Mrs. Clausโž™ โ€œMr. Iโ€™ll Bite Your Knucklesโ€ (if you let me)โž™ enjoyed 1st Thanksgiving at the tableโž™ sleeps through the night… when Dad is homeโž™ favorite: staring at all the… Read more

  • Merry Christmas- 2021

    December 19, 2021 by

    Tears are allowed to exist amongst happiness; when they appear, theyโ€™re just deemed โ€˜happy tearsโ€™.ย  So surely smiles are allowed to exist amongst grief; I say we just deem them โ€˜grieving smilesโ€™… These grieving smiles are certainly forced at times; yet they also originate from new perspective, and carry immense gratitude for the present day.… Read more

  • ๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ง๐—›๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐—œ๐—ฆ โž ๐— ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ง๐—›๐—ฆ!

    November 24, 2021 by

    โซธ ๐•‹๐• ๐•ก ๐•‹๐•–๐•Ÿ ๐•‹๐•š๐••๐•“๐•š๐•ฅ๐•ค โซทโ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โž™ 14 poundsโž™ 24.5 inches longโž™ officially part of the โ€œrolling clubโ€โž™ superhero Jack-Jack for Halloweenโž™ โ€œMr. I Donโ€™t Like Sleep Anymoreโ€โž™ enjoyed 1st time on the swing at the parkโž™ wakes up every 2-4 hours overnight againโž™ loves to watch Big Sis dance and play pianoโž™ cracks up at Dadโ€™s… Read more


    October 25, 2021 by

    โซธ ๐•‹๐• ๐•ก ๐•‹๐•–๐•Ÿ ๐•‹๐•š๐••๐•“๐•š๐•ฅ๐•ค โซทโ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โž™ 12 pounds, 11 ouncesโž™ 23.75 inches longโž™ gives wide-mouthed smiles to anyoneโž™ starts to giggle when feet are rubbedโž™ โ€œHappy Drooly Thumb-Suckerโ€โž™ made first trip to Niagara Fallsโž™ usually sleeps 10 hours through the nightโž™ favorites: long car rides to fall festivalsโž™ loves having loud โ€œconversationsโ€ with Dadโž™ got dedicated… Read more


    September 24, 2021 by

    โซธย ๐•‹๐• ๐•กย ๐•‹๐•–๐•Ÿย ๐•‹๐•š๐••๐•“๐•š๐•ฅ๐•คย โซท โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€” โž™ 11 pounds, 13 ounces  โž™ 22.25 inches long โž™ gives the most adorable genuine smiles  โž™ loves to have babbling conversations โž™ โ€œSmiley Spitter-Upperโ€  โž™ completed a 7-hour road-trip vacation โž™ sleeps 6-8 hour stretches at night โž™ favorites: blue binky & finger nibbling  โž™ enjoys long warm baths with Mama โž™ prefers lullabies over white noise  โซธ ๐•„๐•’๐•ž๐•’โ€™๐•ค ๐•„๐• ๐•ค๐•ฅ ๐•„๐•’๐•ฃ๐•ง๐•–๐•๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ค ๐•„๐• ๐•ž๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•ฅ โซท โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€” Contrary to time… Read more

  • ๐—ก๐—ข๐—ง โ€œ๐—ง๐—ช๐—ขโ€ ๐—™๐—”๐—ฅ ๐—”๐—ช๐—”๐—ฌ…๐ŸŽ‚

    August 30, 2021 by

    Oh Theodore, you wouldโ€™ve been TWO today…ย  I remember this moment…ย  I remember being so thrilled that you were โ€œcomfortableโ€ enough on this particular day to lay โ€˜chest to chestโ€™ with mommy; feeling your chest rise and fall with each breath against mine was well worth recruiting someone to help coordinate the process of delicately… Read more


    July 24, 2021 by

    On July 23, 2021, at 5:57am, all 7 pounds and 19.5 inches of you entered this world and brought a fresh, yet familiar wave of immeasurable joy… We cannot wait to introduce you to the worldโ€™s best big sister, MacKenna, and teach you all about your incredible big brother, Theodore. I know Teddy is looking… Read more

  • …It all begins and end with a kiss ๐Ÿ’‹

    June 21, 2021 by

    Think about it. The first instinct a father has when holding their precious baby is to kiss their cheek… because what feels better than fresh newborn skin pressed against your lips when no words seem significant enough to properly represent your overwhelming amount of love? Those same fathers eventually experience earthly departures, yet that same… Read more

  • โšก๏ธWONDER WOMAN IS 6โšก๏ธ

    June 18, 2021 by

    I laughed when this little โ€œsuperheroโ€ requested a โ€˜Wonder Woman Birthdayโ€™ because prior to last month, the words were never even in her vocabulary… Ironically, her โ€˜silly thoughtโ€™ quickly evolved to a very โ€˜appropriate suggestionโ€™, as I soon began to realize that MacKenna casted herself for the perfect role… I think back over the past… Read more

  • Family Of Five ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿผ

    April 9, 2021 by

    ๐Ž๐ง๐žย ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญย ๐ ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญย ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญย ๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ๐ค๐ฌย ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐๐žย ๐ฆ๐ž… ๐Ž๐ง๐žย ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญย ๐ ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญย ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฏ๐žย ๐ญ๐จย ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐๐žย ๐ฆ๐ž… ๐Ž๐ง๐žย ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญย ๐ ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญย ๐ง๐จ๐ฐย ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ๐ฌย ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐๐žย ๐ฆ๐ž…ย  Dear Theodore-ย  The gift of your life has brought immeasurable joy, even through the darkest days. The gift of your life has drawn us closer to God, as weโ€™ve realized our own lack of control. The gift of your life has indicated that prayer does not always change circumstances, but it certainly… Read more

  • 1 Year In Heaven…๐Ÿ‘ผ

    April 8, 2021 by

    Tomorrow, April 9, 2020 – My heart broke the same day yours was made whole… And although I miss you more with every beat of my broken heart, Iโ€™d gladly give-up a piece of my heart, to know that God has replaced the missing piece of yours… I hope you know how absolutely, incredibly PERFECT… Read more

  • A Special Gift ๐Ÿฐโœ๏ธ

    April 5, 2021 by

    โ€œTheodore picked out this stuffed bunny as a special gift for you, right before he went up to heaven to live with Jesus…โ€ Thatโ€™s what we had to tell our 4-year-old three days before Easter last year. As tears welled-up in MacKennaโ€™s eyes, she was devastated, yet grateful all at the same time. She couldnโ€™t… Read more

  • live. love. & smile.

    January 2, 2021 by

    2020, if youโ€™ve taught me anything, it is that a smile can both disguise pain and exude joy all. at. the. same. time… It is that sadness and happiness know how to coexist if youโ€™ll allow them… It is that grieving can last a lifetime, but family lasts longer; family bonds are eternal… Yes, 2020,… Read more


    October 9, 2020 by

    Hi Theodore,Momma here…Today, marks 6 months.Half a year since I’ve looked into those fierce eyes.I have nothing profound to say,besides “I love you more than life itself”.ย Thank you for filling my arms for 223 days.It’s your strength that has quite literally become mine.Just one thought of your courage empowers me to do absolutely anything.And it… Read more

  • IMPRINTS ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿคš๐Ÿผ

    September 14, 2020 by

    Happy Birthday, Michael! Although we never have a shortage of family ‘selfies’, it was these two very separate and distinct monumental moments that pulled at my heartstrings while I was browsing for a picture that best depicted YOU.  It was reflecting on these two emotional days of saying ‘hello’ to our daughter and ‘goodbye’ to… Read more


    August 30, 2020 by

    Happy 1st Birthday, my sweet Theodore. Mommy wanted to do something extra special to honor your beautiful soul; an eternal soul that is still very much alive.  From the day you were born, it was always your soul that touched me more than your body. Even on your birthday, they whisked you away for the first open… Read more


    July 29, 2020 by

    The church doors opened, and all I saw was you. Not the friends and family gleaming on either side of the aisle, or even the photographer following us with flashing lights could distract me from your eyes. I felt my Dadโ€™s strong grip around my arm, but it was your misty eyes that remained my… Read more


    July 10, 2020 by

    That is how it should still be… your pudgy little cheek pressed up against mine; your wispy blonde hairs tickling my temple as I press in closer and closer to you. Some mornings when itโ€™s extra hard to catch my breath, I even find myself taking the back of my hand and pressing it up… Read more


    June 22, 2020 by

    Little did I know that this would be your last picture with Theodore. And the more I stare at it, the more I realize how this final moment with your son perfectly summarized your entire relationship. Theodore always felt safe in his daddy’s arms. And you, Michael Nelson, are the pillar of strength for our… Read more


    June 17, 2020 by

    ๏ธHere is my favorite โ€˜brunette Elsaโ€™, who happens to be much better at โ€˜melting heartsโ€™ than freezing them…  HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY, MacKenna! Mom & Dad could not be more proud to call you our daughter. You became a big sister, and lost your baby brother all in the same year. Your delicate little heart has… Read more


    June 5, 2020 by

    All 1,248 ounces were fortified with an extremely large dose of love… When you fortify, you add an element of โ€˜valueโ€™ to something that could benefit from being strengthened.  And thereโ€™s no doubt that Theodore Nelson was born a โ€˜fortifierโ€™; his tenacity could invigorate anyone and enhance their lives for the better.  He was a… Read more

  • โ€ขโ€ข REALITY โ€ขโ€ข

    May 22, 2020 by

    MK insisted on taking her little brother for a drive today. Never in my wildest dreams did I think โ€˜playtimeโ€™ would look like this… but โ€˜thisโ€™ is our reality. And thatโ€™s the thing about โ€˜realityโ€™ – you canโ€™t hide from it. You can either run from reality, or choose to accept it. Although, trying to… Read more


    May 9, 2020 by

    It has been one month since Iโ€™ve held my beautiful baby boy… and within those painful 30 days, besides feeling every single emotion known to man, coupled with periods of complete numbness, Iโ€™ve realized this:ย  itโ€™s not about โ€œlearning to get over itโ€, itโ€™s about โ€œlearning to live through itโ€… and for me, that includes… Read more

  • Surprise Tribute From Community Honoring Theodore R. Nelson

    April 17, 2020 by

    We laid our cherished Theodore Richard Nelson to rest on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020. This global pandemic has got nothinโ€™ on the โ€˜Teddy Bear Warriorโ€™ community! Iโ€™m still speechless from this complete SURPRISE… & Iโ€™m still having a very hard time formulating sentences to express what is in my heart; my heart is simply in… Read more

  • LOVE IS ETERNAL โค๏ธ

    April 11, 2020 by

    My beautiful Theodore; my precious Teddy Bear, my strong and courageous Warrior, my brave and fierce Baby Boy – Momma will always love you with every fiber of my being and every ounce of my soul. If love could have kept you here, it would have kept you here one thousand years… but Iโ€™ll give… Read more

  • 3/24/20 -OPEN HEART SURGERY #3

    March 24, 2020 by

    Today we switch lanes on the hi-way.  Weโ€™re entering a whole new phase of this journey with Theodore; I just pray that weโ€™re veering into the โ€˜express laneโ€™ with a straight shot home from here… Although, the next leg of this trip hasnโ€™t yet begun, this Momma is already feeling a little โ€œcar sickโ€.  Traveling… Read more


    March 14, 2020 by

    “… The โ€˜unknownโ€™ never bothered me anyway! “ ” โ€˜Cause donโ€™t you know thereโ€™s part of me that lovvvess to gooo… into the UNKNOWNNN! “ Iโ€™ve obviously been exposed to Elsa songs way too much lately; thanks MacKenna!  ๐Ÿคฃ …But in all seriousness, the declared national emergency has brought about a whole new extra set of โ€˜unknownsโ€™… Read more


    March 2, 2020 by

    Our โ€˜Mr. Theodorableโ€™ is 6 months old and able to turn anything from ordinary to extraordinaryโ€ผ๏ธ… Working towards traditional developmental milestones with โ€˜half a heartโ€™ is like climbing Mount Everest against every unfavorable condition that exists.ย  When Theodore first smiledย  before his six month birthday, we reached the highest peak and claimed victory! I jumped… Read more

  • HIS STORY ๐Ÿ“–

    February 27, 2020 by

    Who doesnโ€™t love a good drama? โ€ฆPerhaps one with a juicy plot twist filled with new characters and unexpected events? โ€ฆBut what happens when the screen goes black and the white block lettering emerges: โ€œto be continuedโ€ฆโ€?  And better yet, how do you feel when itโ€™s YOU staring as the main conflicted character? I was… Read more

  • ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿผ MONTHS

    January 31, 2020 by

    HAPPY FIVE MONTHS, my sweet Teddy Bear.  You have overcome more in five months than most people do in a lifetime.  When I look at you, I see the โ€˜fierceโ€™ in your twinkling eyes… I see the โ€˜determinationโ€™ in your pursed lips. I see the โ€˜courageโ€™ in your healing scars. But most of all, I… Read more


    January 18, 2020 by

    Is anyone guilty of being a โ€œbackseat driverโ€?   Michael and I are about to depart on trip number 18 down to Pittsburgh; if you are counting “there and back”, thatโ€™s actually 36 different 4-hour windows of time where I’ve had the opportunity to be โ€˜that someoneโ€™ who provides unwanted driving advice… We’ve all commented at… Read more


    December 30, 2019 by

    This holiday season has been exceptionally hard. The normal stress that is induced by trying to purchase perfect gifts for practically every person you know, chasing down local Santas for one quick picture, and decorating the house just enough to foster a โ€˜magical environmentโ€™ for your child was exponentially multiplied by more serious factors that… Read more


    December 2, 2019 by

    Who doesnโ€™t love leftovers? Some would even argue that the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers… Everyone looks forward to them; they lighten the burden of future meal preparation and can instantly turn lunch hour into โ€œhappy hourโ€ at work!  Nothing beats the convenience of tossing a previously well-cooked meal into the microwave for a few… Read more


    November 18, 2019 by

    Do you know how much I love this precious little child of God?  I have been smoochin’ his precious little cheeks through many scary transitions over the past five days.  I could not be more proud of my Theodore and how far he has come thanks to his incredibly strong will to fight! He has… Read more


    November 13, 2019 by

    Twas’ the night before surgery… when all through Mom’s mind, many thoughts were stirring, none two of a kind…  Sometimes it feels like I am drowning in my own thoughts; so many thoughts, like millions of water droplets compiling together, creating one big raging sea.  In the midst of negative speculations and unfavorable odds, I… Read more


    November 10, 2019 by

    If Iโ€™ve learned anything through this journey, itโ€™s the fragility of life. These pictures are only a week old, yet our current situation depicts nothing close to the care-free playfulness of silly unicorns and an adorable rainbow… But anyone who knows our daughter MacKenna, knows very well that โ€˜unicornsโ€™ are her current obsession.  And anyone who… Read more


    October 30, 2019 by

    Yesterday marked 14 years together; 7 of which we’ve been married!  October 28th has always held a special place in my heart because it was the day where it all began.  Our wedding anniversary on July 28th would not exist if we didn’t take the chance on each other 14 years ago on October 28th!  So in… Read more


    October 26, 2019 by

    This statement is dangerous.  I’ve been on both ends of it; I’ve personally said: “I’m not getting my hopes up“, and I’ve told others: “don’t get your hopes up!“.  But who am I to steal someone’s hope?  Better yet, why would I want to rob myself of hope? Hope is the confident expectation of what God has… Read more

  • ๐Ÿ’ฏDAYS!

    December 9, 2019 by

    Weโ€™ve officially hit โ€œtriple digitsโ€… 100 DAYS IN PITTSBURGHโ€™S CARDIAC INTENSIVE CARE UNITโ€ผ๏ธ Grateful for how far weโ€™ve come… Hopeful for how far weโ€™ll go… -๏ธ Momma Bear, Praying Isaiah 53:5  #FallingRightSideUp TEDDY BEAR PRAYER : Sometimes my heart is quiet…and thatโ€™s okay.  Sometimes the prayers that carry the fewest words are the most powerful. God knows our… Read more

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