• You Better Not Pout, You Better Not Cry… 🎅🏼

    December 15, 2022 by

    “You better not pout, you better not cry, you better not shout…”  … scratch that, because actually, sometimes it’s okay! You’d be wearing your 3T Christmas Tree Sweater that matches perfectly with MacKenna and Arthur.  I imagine you in a brand new phase of ‘fascination with Santa’, showing your little brother that he’s really not… Read more

  • Theodore’s 3rd Birthday in Heaven🎈

    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


    May 26, 2022 by

    ⫸ 𝕋𝕠𝕡 𝕋𝕖𝕟 𝕋𝕚𝕕𝕓𝕚𝕥𝕤 ⫷—————————➙ 18 pounds 13 ounce➙ 28.75 inches long➙ new words: “Ga-Ga!” & “Maaaa!”➙ got 4 new teeth on top all at once➙ “Mr. Open-Mouth Slobbery Smoocher”➙ smacks lips and signs for “more” food➙ favorite: swinging fast at the park➙ only drinks from special 360-rim sippy cup➙ lowered crib since strong boy… Read more

  • My Easel Back 

    May 8, 2022 by

    That’s right, Michael Nelson, you’re an easel back. Hear me out… I’m talking about those long straight edge structures that protrude out from behind a picture frame. It may be the unpopular opinion, but the ‘easel back’ 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

    𝗦𝗲𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗻 It’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

  • 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝗹𝗮𝘁 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗲

    April 11, 2022 by

    𝟰/𝟵/𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝗹𝗮𝘁 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗲 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

  • ➑ 𝗠𝗢𝗡𝗧𝗛𝗦!

    March 24, 2022 by

    ⫸ 𝕋𝕠𝕡 𝕋𝕖𝕟 𝕋𝕚𝕕𝕓𝕚𝕥𝕤 ⫷ ➙ 17 pounds 5 ounces ➙ 27.5 inches long ➙ only sits still for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ➙ rather nibble on own feet vs. dinner  ➙ “Mr. Crazy Squawky Pants” ➙ hits fists on mouth to make funny sounds ➙ huge fan of peanut butter  ➙ loves when Mama sings ‘Open-Shut Them’ ➙ highly offended if binky is offered   ➙ obsessed with banana puffs… Read more

  • ‘223 Reminiscent Days’ with “my boy(s)”…

    March 4, 2022 by

    Today, you outlive your brother.  Which means: 223 days of loving you… 223 days of studying your eyes; I fixate on the faint gold ring around your dark pupil and how it dissolves into a large mass of deep crystal blue.  223 days of kissing your head; I lean in with pursed lips, simultaneously inhaling… Read more


    February 25, 2022 by

    ⫸ 𝕋𝕠𝕡 𝕋𝕖𝕟 𝕋𝕚𝕕𝕓𝕚𝕥𝕤 ⫷ ➙ 16 pounds 11 ounces ➙ 27.5 inches long ➙ two cute bottom front teeth ➙ somehow acquired nickname: ‘Moo Moo’ ➙ “Mr. Loves To Shout”-not just for the Bills ➙ boycotts sleep whenever possible ➙ not a fan of peas and green beans ➙ loves music; especially Big Sis… Read more

  • ❤ ⅔ ❤

    February 15, 2022 by

    Here’s 𝟐 of my 𝟑 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.  And even though my heart feels very empty with one Valentine gone, the perfectly portioned sections specially reserved for… Read more


    January 24, 2022 by

    ⫸ 𝕋𝕠𝕡 𝕋𝕖𝕟 𝕋𝕚𝕕𝕓𝕚𝕥𝕤 ⫷—————————➙ 16 pounds 1 ounce➙ 26.25 inches long➙ rosey cheeks; poor teething babe➙ sits-up unassisted for a few minutes➙ “Mr. Handsome Hot Temper”➙ wakes up 1-2 times a night for a snack ➙ devours all of Mama’s homemade purées➙ favs: snowy walks & blowing raspberries   ➙ refuses the bottle and demands Mama➙… Read more


    December 24, 2021 by

    ⫸ 𝕋𝕠𝕡 𝕋𝕖𝕟 𝕋𝕚𝕕𝕓𝕚𝕥𝕤 ⫷—————————➙ 15 pounds 1 ounce➙ 25.5 inches long➙ reaches for anything in sight, our faces included➙ met Santa, but infatuated with Mrs. Claus➙ “Mr. I’ll Bite Your Knuckles” (if you let me)➙ enjoyed 1st Thanksgiving at the table➙ sleeps through the night… when Dad is home➙ favorite: staring at all the… Read more

  • Merry Christmas- 2021

    December 19, 2021 by

    Tears are allowed to exist amongst happiness; when they appear, they’re just deemed ‘happy tears’.  So surely smiles are allowed to exist amongst grief; I say we just deem them ‘grieving smiles’… 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


    November 24, 2021 by

    ⫸ 𝕋𝕠𝕡 𝕋𝕖𝕟 𝕋𝕚𝕕𝕓𝕚𝕥𝕤 ⫷—————————➙ 14 pounds➙ 24.5 inches long➙ officially part of the “rolling club”➙ superhero Jack-Jack for Halloween➙ “Mr. I Don’t Like Sleep Anymore”➙ enjoyed 1st time on the swing at the park➙ wakes up every 2-4 hours overnight again➙ loves to watch Big Sis dance and play piano➙ cracks up at Dad’s… Read more


    October 25, 2021 by

    ⫸ 𝕋𝕠𝕡 𝕋𝕖𝕟 𝕋𝕚𝕕𝕓𝕚𝕥𝕤 ⫷—————————➙ 12 pounds, 11 ounces➙ 23.75 inches long➙ gives wide-mouthed smiles to anyone➙ starts to giggle when feet are rubbed➙ “Happy Drooly Thumb-Sucker”➙ made first trip to Niagara Falls➙ usually sleeps 10 hours through the night➙ favorites: long car rides to fall festivals➙ loves having loud “conversations” with Dad➙ got dedicated… Read more


    September 24, 2021 by

    ⫸ 𝕋𝕠𝕡 𝕋𝕖𝕟 𝕋𝕚𝕕𝕓𝕚𝕥𝕤 ⫷ ————————— ➙ 11 pounds, 13 ounces  ➙ 22.25 inches long ➙ gives the most adorable genuine smiles  ➙ loves to have babbling conversations ➙ “Smiley Spitter-Upper”  ➙ completed a 7-hour road-trip vacation ➙ sleeps 6-8 hour stretches at night ➙ favorites: blue binky & finger nibbling  ➙ enjoys long warm baths with Mama ➙ prefers lullabies over white noise  ⫸ 𝕄𝕒𝕞𝕒’𝕤 𝕄𝕠𝕤𝕥 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕦𝕤 𝕄𝕠𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕥 ⫷ ————————————————————— Contrary to time… 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 world’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 💋

    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


    June 18, 2021 by

    I laughed when this little “superhero” requested a ‘Wonder Woman Birthday’ because prior to last month, the words were never even in her vocabulary… Ironically, her ‘silly thought’ quickly evolved to a very ‘appropriate suggestion’, 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 🖐🏼

    April 9, 2021 by

    𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐠𝐢𝐟𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐦𝐞… 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐠𝐢𝐟𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐦𝐞… 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐠𝐢𝐟𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐦𝐞…  Dear Theodore-  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 we’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…👼

    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, I’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 🐰✝️

    April 5, 2021 by

    “Theodore picked out this stuffed bunny as a special gift for you, right before he went up to heaven to live with Jesus…” That’s what we had to tell our 4-year-old three days before Easter last year. As tears welled-up in MacKenna’s eyes, she was devastated, yet grateful all at the same time. She couldn’t… Read more

  • live. love. & smile.

    January 2, 2021 by

    2020, if you’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 you’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”. 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 👣🤚🏼

    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 Dad’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 it’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

    ️Here is my favorite ‘brunette Elsa’, who happens to be much better at ‘melting hearts’ 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 ‘value’ to something that could benefit from being strengthened.  And there’s no doubt that Theodore Nelson was born a ‘fortifier’; his tenacity could invigorate anyone and enhance their lives for the better.  He was a… Read more

  • •• REALITY ••

    May 22, 2020 by

    MK insisted on taking her little brother for a drive today. Never in my wildest dreams did I think ‘playtime’ would look like this… but ‘this’ is our reality. And that’s the thing about ‘reality’ – you can’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 I’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, I’ve realized this:  it’s not about “learning to get over it”, it’s about “learning to live through it”… 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 nothin’ on the ‘Teddy Bear Warrior’ community! I’m still speechless from this complete SURPRISE… & I’m still having a very hard time formulating sentences to express what is in my heart; my heart is simply in… Read more


    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 I’ll give… Read more

  • 3/24/20 -OPEN HEART SURGERY #3

    March 24, 2020 by

    Today we switch lanes on the hi-way.  We’re entering a whole new phase of this journey with Theodore; I just pray that we’re veering into the ‘express lane’ with a straight shot home from here… Although, the next leg of this trip hasn’t yet begun, this Momma is already feeling a little “car sick”.  Traveling… Read more

  • 🎉❗️200 DAYS IN THE CICU❗️🎉

    March 21, 2020 by

    Our ‘Mr. Theodorable’ turned 200 days old this past Tuesday and still continues to fight hard for life with every determined breath he takes! (…not to mention, he makes me smile about 200 times per day, too! ) I have learned a lot in 200 days… I have learned that one person’s ‘inconvenience’ can be another… Read more


    March 14, 2020 by

    “… The ‘unknown’ never bothered me anyway! “ ” ‘Cause don’t you know there’s part of me that lovvvess to gooo… into the UNKNOWNNN! “ I’ve obviously been exposed to Elsa songs way too much lately; thanks MacKenna!  🤣 …But in all seriousness, the declared national emergency has brought about a whole new extra set of ‘unknowns’… Read more


    March 2, 2020 by

    Our ‘Mr. Theodorable’ is 6 months old and able to turn anything from ordinary to extraordinary‼️… Working towards traditional developmental milestones with ‘half a heart’ is like climbing Mount Everest against every unfavorable condition that exists.  When Theodore first smiled  before his six month birthday, we reached the highest peak and claimed victory! I jumped… Read more


    February 27, 2020 by

    Who doesn’t love a good drama? …Perhaps one with a juicy plot twist filled with new characters and unexpected events? …But what happens when the screen goes black and the white block lettering emerges: “to be continued…”?  And better yet, how do you feel when it’s YOU staring as the main conflicted character? I was… Read more

  • 🖐🏼 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 ‘fierce’ in your twinkling eyes… I see the ‘determination’ in your pursed lips. I see the ‘courage’ in your healing scars. But most of all, I… Read more


    January 18, 2020 by

    Is anyone guilty of being a “backseat driver”?   Michael and I are about to depart on trip number 18 down to Pittsburgh; if you are counting “there and back”, that’s actually 36 different 4-hour windows of time where I’ve had the opportunity to be ‘that someone’ 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 ‘magical environment’ for your child was exponentially multiplied by more serious factors that… Read more


    December 2, 2019 by

    Who doesn’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 “happy hour” 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 I’ve learned anything through this journey, it’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 ‘unicorns’ 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

  • 💯DAYS!

    December 9, 2019 by

    We’ve officially hit “triple digits”… 100 DAYS IN PITTSBURGH’S CARDIAC INTENSIVE CARE UNIT‼️ Grateful for how far we’ve come… Hopeful for how far we’ll go… -️ Momma Bear, Praying Isaiah 53:5  #FallingRightSideUp TEDDY BEAR PRAYER : Sometimes my heart is quiet…and that’s okay.  Sometimes the prayers that carry the fewest words are the most powerful. God knows our… Read more

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