What Wives Need from their Husbands

January 16, 2018 in Family

I had the chance to interview with Dr. Matt Townsend this morning about what women want from their husbands. With the help of a lot of you, I came up with an acronym you might want to share with your spouse. 😉 You can listen by clicking HERE or by clicking one of the links below:

Google Play
Apple Podcasts


We aren’t perfect by any means, but I’m so grateful for my husband’s example and hope that some of these things might help your family too!



Record Keeping

January 10, 2018 in Family

A few weeks ago I asked a bunch of you what your favorite way to keep track of your kid’s lives was. I thought I’d combine a few great ideas that everyone came up with and share with you some of my favorites as well!

Texting Journal: This system sends you prompts for your individual children and let’s you text in unprompted entries and tag them with a child’s name (ex. #jason), and it will automatically send it to their baby book/journal. You can also tag one entry with multiple children so that entry will go in all of your kid’s journals. This system is genius because it takes two seconds and we’re on our phone a ton of the time anyway right?! The books that are printed out are $14 for 30 pages and are high quality images (which is super important to me!). They are 6 inches x 6 inches. Here’s an example of what it looks like and you can read more about it HERE.

Promptly Journals: I just recently started these and have loved them! They’re an older style of journaling, so you handwrite everything, but I kinda love that too. You fill out the blanks and the journals go from the womb until their 18 years. I wish I had started with these when I was pregnant to remember everything, but I’ve found it pretty easy to fill in the blanks from previous years. They are a little on the pricey end but I feel like they’re worth it plus it’ll be fun to give our kids when they’re older! Handwritten is sometimes just priceless, ya know?!

Instagram/Chatbooks: I have a separate account for both of my kids that I keep private and try to document little moments, the things they say, or their milestones in and then use Chatbooks to print. These books are so cute and little. They’re $10 for 60 pages (free shipping!). They aren’t the best quality (could possibly be IG’s fault on that one), but we love having them around our house to look at. My kid’s are obsessed too! I just love having another way to keep track of everything!

Shutterfly: I’ve used this company before a couple times. (You can sometimes score free or super cheap books from them on groupon!) I printed off my baby’s birth stories with this and have loved the quality. (I printed off an 8×8). Another idea I got from a sweet mama was to take a survey of questions for each kid and document how each kid changes and grows from year to year. These also make perfect grandparent gifts! (thanks for the idea @lauraleealtice!)

Blog2print: I know a few of you who still have your family blogs! This is another one I’ve used where you can print your entire blog into a book! We have a hardbound book from about 5 years of our family blog and it’s the best! Because we waited so long to print it, it cost us around $80-$100, but you can get 20% off of your first order!


E-mail Accounts: A lot of moms use e-mail accounts for their kids so that when they’re older they can log in and have everything. I personally feel like this is genius in our technology world these days!

External Hard Drive: I feel like this is SO important. You need to keep your pics + videos in 2-3 places. We have an external hard drive similar to this one HERE. I highly recommend having a hard drive to keep everything on as a back up!

iMovie: One mom said she puts all her videos of her kids each year for their birthday in a video on iMovie, sets it to music, and has a video of each of their year of their life! I thought this was so fun! It’s time consuming, but such a keepsake! I feel like this is the best way to keep your videos organized and easy to watch regularly! (Thanks @brynnjorgensen)

Youtube/Vimeo: This is another option if you’re low on space or need an extra backup. Sometimes if I can’t find a video I’m looking for, I love knowing that I at least can find it on youtube!

1 Second Everyday: I just got this app when my second baby was born and LOVE it. Especially in those first few months when they grow so stinkin’ fast! It basically has you put in a video every single day and creates the cutest video. I did it for each month and loved being able to see what adventures we did or how much she grew in that time frame. This one is a fun one to have and super user friendly!

I hope this helps!! Would love to hear any other way you keep track of your family’s life in the comments below!

Happy journaling!









Hey There!

November 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hi sweet friends! I haven’t done an intro on the blog in a long while so I thought I’d do a quick one real fast for those of you who are new around here! I’m Aubrey and I’m so glad you’re here!

I have had this little space on the internet for a couple years and what started out as a small group on Facebook has turned into something that consumes my mind most of the day. I have had the opportunity to connect with so many of you moms in different aspects of your lives and I’ve been completely blessed!

I live in Texas currently and am so over the moon in love with my little family. My husband is my biggest supporter and believer, and my babies are my world and are the reason blogging about “motherhood” has been possible.

My goal is to create a way for every mom to have a friend. Whether it be a workout buddy, a shopping buddy, or just someone to hear you rant about your day, or to help keep you up during those late night feedings. Everyone needs a buddy. We’re taught that as a safety rule when we’re little, but I think it applies to moms more than ever when they’re in the trenches of it all.

I would love nothing more than to provide a soft place for moms to land. They say it takes a village to raise kids… but I want to create an army of women who can link arms and lift each other up in the process.

When I first started this blog I was an avid writer. I would stay up late to jot down my thoughts and it became nightly “Me” time. as time as gone on and life has gotten busier, you’ll find me more over on Instagram HERE or Facebook just because it’s a little quicker to post over there.

Here’s a quick Insta round up and a few of my favorite things!



Hat: Gigi Pip || Watch: Jord Watches

Stroller: The Baby Cubby  |  Diaper Bag: Anchored East

Head Wrap: Ivy Knots

If you’re not apart of the Facebook group(s) and would like to be, send me an e-mail at themamahoodblog@gmail.com and I can hook ya up! We have a seat for everyone!



Anchored East Diaper Bag

November 15, 2017 in Fashion / Product Reviews
***This post is sponsored but opinions are all my own***

You guys. I love love love finding amazing products that are totally functional for #momlife. What’s an even better bonus is if it doesn’t break the bank!

When Anchored East reached out to me, I couldn’t help but fall in love with their product. Between the price, functionality, and cuteness, I was all over their diaper bags!

It’s a designer look bag with TONS of pockets on the inside, outside, and sides. There is one pocket that has insulation, and includes a changing pad as well.

I’m all about the backpack style because you just need both hands as a mama. It has plenty of space and would be AMAZING to travel with.

The only thing I didn’t love at first was how much bigger it felt compared to other bags I’ve used, but after using it I feel ten times more organized which is a win in my book! Plus, once you put it on it doesn’t feel too big at all.


The best news? They’re only $49 on Amazon right now!!….whaaaa?!

Click HERE to snag yours! I’m for sure a fan.



Instant Pot Series: Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

October 3, 2017 in Recipes

I am so excited to be doing a series of Instant Pot recipes!

I have tried a bunch of recipes to make Cafe Rio sweet pork and this copy cat recipe is the one that we love! Its already super easy but when you do it with the Instant Pot its so quick.

Here’s what you need:

2 lb pork

Coke—NOT diet

1/4 cup brown sugar

garlic salt or garlic powder

1 can diced green chilies

10 oz can red enchilada sauce

1 HEAPING cup brown sugar



(In the morning) Cut up your pork into pretty big chunks. Marinade in 1/2 can Coke + 1/4 cup brown sugar.

(In the late afternoon)
Turn the Instant Pot on ‘saute’. let it heat up while you drain the marinade. Then add 1 T olive oil to your Instant Pot and sear the meat for just a minute or two. Add garlic (fresh or powdered—doesn’t matter) and a can of Coke. Start the Instant Pot on Meat/Stew for 35 minutes.

While thats cooking make your sauce. Add that HEAPING cup of brown sugar, 1/2 can of Coke, red enchilada sauce, and green chilies to a blender (I use the NutriBullet).

Let your Instant Pot release naturally (don’t turn to ‘venting’). When the button releases drain (if necessary) and spread your pork. Add all the sauce to the Instant Pot and start it again for 10 minutes.


Put it on top of rice and beans and add lettuce, guac, salsa, chips, and of course DRESSING.




Here’s the RICE recipe. Also done in the Instant Pot!

1 cup white rice

1 t butter

1 t (ish) minced garlic (i use the squeeze kind)

2 3/4 cups water

2 cubes chicken flavor

juice from 1 lime

2 t sugar

3 T chopped fresh cilantro (i use THESE herb scissors)


Turn the Instant Pot to sauce and add butter and garlic. Stir just until you smell it. Add rice, water, chicken, and lime and stir. bring to a boil. Cover and turn to low for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add sugar, lime, and cilantro.


and BLACK BEANS recipe for the Instant Pot!

olive oil – just a tiny bit

1 t minced garlic (i use the squeeze kind)

tiny bit of cumin (or to taste)

1 t of salt

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 can diced tomatoes

2-3 T chopped fresh cilantro


Turn your Instant Pot to saute. Add the garlic and a bit of oil. Add salt and cumin then beans and tomatoes. Use the manual function for 3 minutes. remove from heat either by turning it off for a while or moving it to a different bowl and add cilantro. If its too hot your cilantro will wilt and not be as pretty.


and lastly the DRESSING.

The recipe we love is HERE.





Baby Products: Nice vs Necessary

September 27, 2017 in Uncategorized


Let’s face it. There are a bazillion baby products out there these days! Isn’t it kinda amazing and overwhelming at the same time to know what to get when you have a baby? I decided to make a list of some of my FAVORITE baby products and let you know what I feel like is worth the money and some products that I wouldn’t waste my money on.

Let’s start with:

STROLLERS. With my first baby we had NO idea what we were looking for. After extensive research and thanks to The Baby Cubby who helped show me the bells and whistles of all strollers, I’ve found my favorite – The City Select Lux! At first, setting it up and figuring out all it’s tricks was a little bit of a pain, but now that I’ve mastered that I love love it! Why? Because it grows with your kids. You can use one seat, two seats, a seat with a jump seat or foot stand, plus you can move the seats how you want them to face. The best part? You don’t feel like a school bus pushing two kids. I love that both of my kids can be in it (in addition to all my crap!) and I can easily push it with one hand. Also… it’s just classy. This stroller will last us forever. I’m all about that! Definitely something worth investing your money in.

DIAPER BAGS. Okay mamas, I’ve tried all shapes and sizes of diaper bags and my heart will always be cheering for the Fawn Design. It’s everything. Fits all my stuff, turns into a backpack, classy enough for husband to carry, and just is perfectly functional in my book. The owner, Jenny is amazing. I hate that so many people have tried to copy her design because she’s the diaper bag genius and I’m excited to see what more she comes up with! I also love THIS diaper bag for a church bag. It’s perfect and has lasted me forever. I owned a Petunia Picklebottom bag when I first became a mom and I’ll be honest, it didn’t last as long as these other two by a long shot. I won’t go back!

CARRIERS: As far as wraps go, I’m a fan of the Solly Baby Wrap (similar to THIS one). I have a ring sling, and other fabric carriers, but I love the functionality of the Solly Baby. My only complaint is that it takes me a minute to put on, plus is tricky to do it when you’re not at home and don’t want the fabric to touch the ground. (I’m a total germaphobe!). I also have a Baby Bjorn carrier that I love as well. (currently wearing it as I type this post) I feel like the Bjorn gives me more back support than the wrap, but I love having both options.

SWINGS: Okay, let’s talk the beloved Mamaroo. My opinion on this might differ actually from a lot of moms out there, but in my opinion, it’s nice to have, not a necessity. I feel like the different settings it does is more for the parents than the baby. I have a fisher price swing that was half the price and both of my babies have loved it just as much. Nice to have? Yes. And some moms swear by it, but in my experience it’s definitely been nice, not a necessity. THIS is the one I have.

COVERED GOODS: I love my car seat/nursing cover. It’s honestly a must have. Would I spend a fortune on this one again? Probably not. I see them on sale over on Jane.com ALL the time and I wouldn’t pay more than $20 for one. THIS is the one I have.

DOCKATOT: This is another controversial product and one that I will swear by! It’s made so that your babe can safely sleep in your bed. The edges go along baby’s body so that he/she feels cozy. Do I worry about transitioning to a bare crib? Yes. But I definitely would spend money on this again and again. I’ll be curious how that transition goes because I have the Deluxe and not the Grande. I don’t know that I want to get the grande because at that point I want my babe to sleep in her crib, but I’ve loved the Deluxe. We also took it with us on our last road trip and it was awesome to bring along and have my baby feel like she was in the same bed every time. Worth the investment and sleep! THIS one is like mine.

OWLET: Okay, another yet again controversial product. My husband and I have constantly talked if this is a nice product to have or a necessity. It’s a tough call. If you were to ask me 3 days into using it, I would’ve said to not waste your money. It went off one night and probably caused more of an issue with my heart than with hers. Totally freaked me out and I was ready to take it back, but now I can honestly say, I love when she has it on. She was in the NICU for a week and monitors constantly go off in the NICU and so I feel like the Owlet is similar and an extra pair of eyes. I did a little bit of research on this and they have the range of settings already preset so you can’t change it. They had multiple doctors and researchers set the range so it’s definitely well thought out. That being said, I don’t know if it would go off before my baby needed CPR, so I definitely don’t have all my trust in it, I just use it as an extra set of eyes. You can snag the sock 2 HERE.

CRIB: I am a cheapskate when it comes to cribs. I think the crib we got with our first was a yardsale find for $60. This time around I came across Wayfair.com and was a little worried about ordering from them, but I couldn’t have been happier with the one we found! It’s similar to THIS amazon one that is beautiful!! I love the more modern looking cribs. Minimal, clean lines, and goes in any nursery.


BOPPY: A necessity. Especially those first few weeks. I love mine and would definitely spend money on this. I like THIS one from The Baby Cubby because it comes with the cover. Or THIS one with THIS water resilient cover!

NIGHT GOWNS: When they are still so itty bitty, nightgowns are a lifesaver for boys or girls because you don’t have to zip, snap, (or find your husband missed one in the middle of the night!) My cute MIL found these darling ones and I’ve been obsessed! These I would definitely spend money on again and again! The ones I have are HERE.

SWADDLE BLANKETS: I’ve always been a fan of muslin swaddles. Adan + Anais and Little Unicorn are wonderful, but lately I’ve been loving the Cloud Island brand! You NEED muslin blankets in my opinion. One that I have used a ton with this baby in these first few weeks is THIS and I’ve loved it.

BREAST PUMPS: If you are breastfeeding, Medela is the way to go. ALWAYS check and see what your insurance will cover because if they can cover a Medela that’s what I would recommend. My last pump had a trillion pieces, I was always cleaning so many random parts over and over again. I feel like the Medela is more simple but more powerful too.

NOSE FRIDA: Every mom NEEDS this! It does wonders and you’ll be so grateful you aren’t using the bulb to suck those little bugs out of their nose! You can read more about them HERE.

There are so many things out these days it’s so fun but also a lot to take in. The items listed above are the ones that come to mind that have saved me. Some things that I wouldn’t waste my money on again are: changing table, changing pad, diaper warmer, diaper genie, and baby bath tub. I just feel like I never used any of those enough to have it be worth my money.

Would you agree to any of this? What are some of your MUST HAVE baby items that you can’t live without?! I’d love to hear!




***May contain affiliate links but all opinions are my own.***


July 11, 2017 in Love Notes

I love Prime Day! I thought it would be helpful to share a few of my favorite deals that are on Amazon right now. A lot of these sales go fast so run! (Prices will sometimes change, so click on the picture to view more info).






The Mamahood Project

July 5, 2017 in Events

Mamas! I’m so so excited to be sharing with you my next project! Each year I’ve tried to figure out a way to give back with this blog and the community behind it.

Last year I hosted an event (see HERE) and we were able to help give back to a charity organization called Share Parents of Utah that offers support to mothers who have lost babies.

This year I am selling THESE shirts to help refugee moms who are pregnant and/or single who are coming over with little to nothing. These moms need feminine hygiene supplies, baby essentials such as diapers, wipes, and other necessary items.

So with every shirt sold, I’m giving a portion of all proceeds to help these moms.

I’m partnering with Refugee Services of Texas to make this happen. To order your shirt, head HERE! I’m excited to see what good we can all do and will be posting updates! I can’t wait to see moms supporting moms! And if you happen to snag a pic of your shirt in the beauty or trenches of your motherhood, I would love to see it! Just tag #themamahoodproject.

***if you share this post, I would love to send you a coupon code for free shipping! After you share just shoot me a message at themamahoodblog@gmail.com and I’ll send it to ya!***

Love you all so much and excited to have you be apart of it!



Baby Shower

July 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

My heart feels so full today. Not everywhere do you find such wonderful people who constantly just give love. I had the sweetest baby shower and seriously started crying when I looked up to see how many people came to celebrate this rainbow baby with us. I wish I coulda told myself last year that all the heartache would be worth it. Happy tears today!?





Mama Spotlight: Facing Heartache and Fighting for a Family

June 30, 2017 in Love Notes

I love having the chance to share other mama’s stories. This one is near and dear to my heart both because  Ashley and Tom are my sweet cousins and because I’ve felt some of the emotions she opens up about. I love her positive outlook in facing their heartache and fighting to grow their family. I was glued to every word she said. Here is their story:


“Hello, to all you sweet people reading this. Today, I am opening up about my infertility and our decision to pursue adoption. Bear with me, this is a long post very much from the heart and real.I struggle to talk about this topic for a lot of reasons, mostly the fear, judgment, heartache, and tears that it brings. However, I feel that talking about it, in some ways is helpful. In meeting others that have gone through similar experiences it has helped calm my aching heart. I feel at peace knowing we are not alone in our trial and though our stories are unique, on some level I feel we understand each other.

Our journey is a long one. We got pregnant with our first baby in 2010.  Although it wasn’t a “planned” pregnancy we were excited and anxious. I didn’t find out I was pregnant until we were into the second trimester due to some medical complications. Not long after we found out we were expecting, we found out there was no heartbeat, they didn’t pay much attention to it and thought the baby was just in a strange position. We were to go back for another ultrasound a few weeks later. It was a Sunday evening and we were at my in-laws when I started to experience heavy bleeding. I was rushed to the hospital as we knew something wasn’t right. There was no heartbeat, the baby had stopped developing at 12 weeks and my body didn’t recognize it until 19 weeks. As we sat in the hospital room that night looking at a screen with a lifeless baby my heart shattered. I was broken. The doctor told us that 1 in 3 women experience a miscarriage and it was nothing to worry about, we could try again when the time was right. I was hopeful and optimistic that he was right. I will never forget all the emotions I along with my husband felt. All the unanswered questions, confusion, sadness, anger, bitterness. I was stubborn and knew we would figure things out and get the answers we were looking for. Not long after our loss, we had an ultrasound done to make sure the baby had passed, at that ultrasound the tech noticed I had a misshaped uterus and possibly a uterine septum. She sent us to a fertility specialist to confirm and it was, in fact, a uterine septum. I had a large piece of dead tissue running down the center of my uterus.  This gave me hope and I felt like it was the answer I was looking for. The doctor explained that if the baby implanted on that septum we would miscarry because of the lack of blood flow. They advised that we have the septum removed through surgery. After taking some time off from trying to get pregnant we decided to schedule the septum surgery for February of 2012. Surgery went well and afterward, the doctor said my uterus was in perfect shape and ready for pregnancy. He urged us to try to get pregnant right away as the septum could grow back. Both of us agreed after the surgery that the time wasn’t right to get pregnant, put simply our feelings had changed. We felt like all would be fine with the septum and we would try once we felt ready.

Fast forward to October 2014, we got pregnant with baby #2 very easily. We were so excited. We announced our pregnancy to the family at Christmas and it was a joyous time. We were thrilled and anxious to finally welcome a baby to our family. We were scheduled to have our first ultrasound between 10 and 11 weeks. We went in for our ultrasound and the sad news came, no heartbeat. We felt confused, angry and wanted a second opinion. This is when we found Dr. Terry. He is an amazing doctor and we cannot speak highly enough of him. He confirmed the nightmare we hoped wasn’t true, our baby did not have a heartbeat.  I had a D&C (Dilation & Curettage) on January 9th, a day my heart will always break over. Dr. Terry was hopeful that we would get some answers and thought we should try again soon, so we did. As I look back I am not sure why I felt we should try again so soon, as my heart was still very broken, but I longed for a baby more than anything, so we tried again. We got pregnant in June of 2015; we went in for our first ultrasound at 8 weeks and again, the baby had no heartbeat.  At this time, with three losses in a row, two back to back I was overcome with emotions and so much anger.  I didn’t understand what God was doing, and his reasoning for it. However, I was determined to find answers, all while knowing through my faith that God is in charge and it is His timing, not ours. I had another D&C on the 28th of July, and the testing began. Dr. Terry wanted to figure this out, I appreciated his concern on our behalf. We both had blood tests done, tests were done on the babies tissue, countless ultrasounds, Sono histograms and lab work. I quickly felt like I became a human pincushion. I was frustrated and hoped we would, in fact, get the answers we were longing for. My blood tests came back with something, I have a blood clotting disorder, known as Prothrombin 20210 for which I am homozygous, making it more severe. They felt like this might be a large part as to why I kept miscarrying. The doctors explained it was an easy fix and explained I would be on baby aspirin as well as Lovenox shots daily with our next pregnancy. At the time it seemed easy enough.  During all the testing we also had our Sonohysterogram done and found the septum had in fact grown back. Both our OBGYN and the fertility specialist felt we should have the septum taken down again and then get pregnant six weeks after. I went in for my second uterine septum surgery the day before Thanksgiving in November of 2015. Surgery went fabulous and the doctors advised that six weeks after the surgery we start on Clomid (a fertility pill) to help us get pregnant before that septum had a chance to grow back.

Things went as planned and we got pregnant with our fourth baby February of 2016. Deep down I was excited but mostly scared. This time felt different, Tom was giving me Lovenox shots every day, I was having my blood drawn to check HCG 3 times a week, my HCG was rising perfectly, and things were going very well. They scheduled an early ultrasound at 5 weeks; after our last experiences with ultrasounds we were very anxious and scared hoping that it would be different this time and sure enough, it was. For the first time ever we heard our baby’s heart beating. It is a sound that still brings tears to my eyes. It was the best feeling in the world and I felt like the miracle we had been waiting for had finally come. This time was going to be different, and it was. I had severe morning sickness; couldn’t keep much of anything down. I had to have IV’s to help keep me hydrated. I didn’t have energy, and to be honest was miserable, but I was so happy because it meant everything with this baby was going smooth. We had ultrasounds once a week, the baby was active and doing great. I made it to 14 weeks and felt we were in the safe zone, at this point I was finally able to calm down a little.

Three weeks later we were scheduled to find out the gender of the baby. I had always felt it was a girl but our doctor was convinced it was a boy, I was just hoping for a healthy baby, the gender didn’t matter to Tom and I. The day of our appointment I felt something strange happen while I was using the restroom at work, it was a sudden pop. I stood up and realized I was losing a lot of blood as well as what I thought was water.  I screamed down the hall for help and a lady at the office came running. I was shaking, in shock and completely scared beyond words. I kept asking if my water broke and they all said no, it doesn’t happen this early.  I then worried that I might be hemorrhaging as I was on blood thinners. Every worst case scenario was running through my head. Tom picked me up and rushed me to the doctor. They took me in for an emergency ultrasound and I will never forget the look on doctor face. He didn’t even have to say anything, I knew it wasn’t good. He had to excuse himself because it was too much for him to take in. It was confirmed my bag of waters had ruptured. I went from 22cm of water to 1.2 cm. It was drastic. I lost all control and could not hold it together. It was supposed to be different this time, everything had been perfect, what happened, why? The Dr. gave me the option of being induced and delivering our baby, or to go home be put on flatbed rest, drink lots of water to hopefully restore some of the water, keep an eye out for infection, pray that we could get this baby to at least 24 weeks, and hang on as long as possible. I felt hopeful that bed rest would help and would be the only option if we wanted to give our baby any chance. Unfortunately, the week at which my bag ruptured was a crucial time for the baby to have fluid, as this is what helps the babies lungs develop. I went home, stayed down as much as possible, drank as much water as I could, and prayed harder than I have ever prayed. I had a feeling come over me that this baby just needed a body and that it wasn’t going to survive. I tried my hardest to do everything to get her here but in the end, my body couldn’t do it. The biggest risk for both the baby and I was an infection. At 19 weeks, I started having horrible back pain. I thought this might be labor, then quickly thought I am losing my mind, the back pain is from laying on a couch for two weeks straight. The pain got worse but I decided I could tough it out as we had an ultrasound to check things with our Dr. the next morning. The pain and pressure I felt that morning was almost too much to bear. I remember them taking us back to the ultrasound and as I looked up at the screen, things were different; I panicked because I saw no baby. The tech saw the fear in my eyes and explained the baby was in my birth canal and on its way. She said that I was fully dilated and that the baby was coming. She ran down the hall to grab my nurse, and the next thing I knew we were down in labor and delivery getting ready to have the baby. I wasn’t ready, it wasn’t time.  I knew this meant the baby wasn’t going to survive and it tore my heart out. My biggest fear was becoming a reality. I can’t explain how I felt that day, but it was the hardest day of my life. This was something I had been dreaming of and I felt like in an instant it was taken away. I had my husband with me, our moms, and our sisters to help support us and help us through this difficult labor. After a very difficult and painful labor, we welcomed a baby girl to the world.  She was beautiful, and perfect in every way.  Our precious girl lived for an hour, her little heart was strong and wouldn’t give up. Had her lungs been more developed I am confident she would have been strong enough to survive.  We named her Grace Lynn Olsen. I remember the pain of that day being unbearable. I felt like my heart had left me, it was as if a piece of my soul left my body. I was empty, broken and knew from this day my life would never be the same. Not only was I dealing with the great grief from losing our girl, but I felt like a complete failure of a women, wife, and mother. I felt like I had let everyone down. I know many women have felt these same feelings. I knew from this day on it was the start of a journey for Tom and I that I knew would not be easy.

A few days later we had a graveside service for her and it was beautiful. The words both spoken and sung by our loved ones were inspiring, beautiful, comforting and gave me feelings I will always hold near to my heart. The day we buried her was an incredibly hard day but I felt so much peace and love and I know her little spirit was with us.  Our Grace is how we got through it. The love we felt when we delivered Grace and the day we buried her were more than words could ever describe. The days following have been full of deep heartache, grief, pain, sadness, confusion and at times anger. I long for answers and have come to a hard realization that we may never have those answers. The doctor will probably never know why my water broke, or why she came early. However, I do have one answer, and that is that our Heavenly Father has a plan, he knows the reasons and I am confident that our baby just needed a body. She was too perfect for this cruel world. I feel blessed to know that I have a little girl waiting for me on the other side. It has helped me to try to be a better person, to live with purpose and to make her proud. I smile knowing that most people dream of Angels, and I had the opportunity to hold one in my arms. I am confident she is where she is supposed to be. I still get angry and sad, but when I do, I remember that it is NOT on my terms, timing or plan, it’s our Heavenly Father’s and I know He is in complete control. I am learning to be less selfish through this process. Heavenly Father needs her at this time. I will see her again and will have the opportunity to raise her. I am choosing to take this trial and learn from it and I pray I am being shaped into the character that our Savior is wanting me to become. Our miracle did happen, we had our baby. It might not have been the way we wanted or hoped but it happened just as it was supposed to. Our miracle has wings. 

After all the loss we have experienced, I have taken the last year to reflect and take the time needed to grieve. The pain is still very deep, but I am learning to manage and take things day by day. Grieving is normal, everyone’s timeline of grieving is different. We grieve to remember and to not forget. I will never forget what our baby girl has done for us, and the gift she is to our family. We love her more than words could ever express.

That brings us to our decision to pursue adoption. It may sound silly to some but we have always known we would adopt. We knew that adoption would be part of how we grew our family. We both have a deep love and passion for adoption and always knew that we would want to help another baby and give it the best life we could. As I went through each loss, I would feel at times like I just wanted to prove that my body could do it. I didn’t want my body to fail us anymore. However, it became clear to Tom and I that we were waiting on something that we had wanted all along and that was to grow our family through adoption. I began to set my pride aside and felt the peace that adoption was the direction we needed to go. We have wanted to be parents for a very long time and we know adoption is our next step. My body, our hearts, and our emotions need a break from the loss. We are thrilled to help raise a baby and give it a life that the birthmother wants their baby to have. Adoption will not solve our grief, we will still miss our girl, however, we have chosen to stare heartache in the face and we are fighting to bring some life and joy to our family. It will not be easy, but I know the hardest of things, are often the most rewarding. I love this quote by President, Spencer W. Kimball. I pray that we can meet the needs of our baby and I know they will meet our needs. Adoption is such a beautiful gift. 

I am grateful for my trials because through them we have learned of our great commitment to each other, the beautiful miracle that each baby is, the blessing that our Grace is in our lives, and our unwavering love for each other and for our Savior. I know things happen for a reason. No, I don’t know the reason, but I choose to believe there is one. Grace changed our lives forever and touched so many others lives as well in her short time here. She has a special place in my heart and always will. Her siblings will know about her, we visit her often and she is embedded into our lives. We believe God has called us to adoption and we are thrilled to start our journey. We know Grace will be on the other side guiding us through this process. We feel blessed to have so many wonderful family and friends who support us and will be a huge part in helping us raise our baby. I think we have learned that in all of this there is sunshine down the road ahead, and although it might not be easy, it will be worth it. We struggle to ask for help, but we would feel so blessed by any help you can give. We want this baby to know of all those who helped us bring them home. Adoption is a leap of faith, there are so many unknowns, but we know with all of your support, we can do this, and it will be worth every difficult moment. I think we can all agree that this baby has been prayed for and loved by many for a very long time. Thank you for the encouragement and excitement about our adoption. Announcing that this is the next step in our journey has been so exciting. Seeing this come to life is a dream come true.”


To follow Ashley and Tom’s journey click HERE, and to help them out, click HERE.



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