Monday, April 28, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 28

DAY 28

Today was an unplanned act of kindness. I don't know these people but I know how it feels to have a pet run off. Tonight I was visiting a friend when all of the sudden we watched a neighbor's dog slip off her leash and start running down the street. I'm quite familiar with a dog (or two) that would run every time they got a chance and I couldn't help but start looking for Sonya. I spent an hour and a half this evening helping the neighbor look for her dog. Unfortunately, she still has not been found. She is a medium size dog with a patch over her eye. She is a possible Dalmatian/Lab mix. She is a puppy and she likes to run. She is micro-chipped but needed to be caught first. She was last seen in the Riverside Park/Bergstrom Mahler Museum area. Seen as far as Neenah Pool. Please, if anyone sees this dog please let me know. Thank you!

Photo Courtesy of Dog Vacay

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 26

DAY 26

Today I found out that a company close to my house was sponsoring a Glow4It Marathon tonight and they were using glow sticks to light their way shortly after sunset. I prepared myself, set myself up on the trail and handed out glow sticks! Here's the batch before giving them out. I will update the other pictures in the morning.

















Friday, April 25, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 25

DAY 25

A little background: The last time we went to Olive Garden in Appleton we had terrible service. We waited for about a half hour for our server to bring us boxes and the check, then even longer to bring us back the cashed check. She asked my friend "do you need change?" I gave the manager feedback only because I feel we spent more time waiting then we did eating.

Today we went to Olive Garden in Appleton and our server was Curtis. This gentleman was one of the best servers I've had. He brought us our appetizers and food quickly and he had it timed perfectly. He was friendly and personable talking about his child turning two and being at the age that just wants to move and explore. He brought us refills on our drinks without being asked and answered every question we had with a smile. 

It's servers like Curtis who make me want to give something to them like they have given something to me. Between my friend and I our bill came to $41.92. I had a $30.00 gift card so our bill only came to $11.92. My friend tipped the 20% (off the original bill - of course) and I decided that this gentleman deserved a little extra for the great service he put forth tonight. Thank you, Curtis, for restoring my faith in Olive Garden!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 24

DAY 24

Today I regret to say I was unable to fulfill a random act of kindness where I was able to give out a card. However, it's not always about giving out a card... it's about doing a random act of kindness that would make someone else feel better. I did hold the door open for several people as I was walking into the gas station this morning. It's not always the big things in life that make a difference. Sometimes a simple smile or a "good morning" or holding a door can go a long way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 23

DAY 23

Today I helped a friend's child campaign for her school fundraiser. This year they are raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes. I started by making the first donation of $15. We then made calls to family members and asked them if they would like to make a donation on behalf of her. I felt good helping out a child who wants to raise money for a good cause. She raised a total of $45 tonight and I'm very proud of her! Way to go Em!

To help this little girl reach her goal, please click here.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Grave Decorations

You normally wouldn't think one would be excited about buying grave decorations. For most, it's not. But when the grave site is all you have of your child, you get excited about the smallest of things. Yesterday was her 1.5 year anniversary so I went to decorate her grave with new lights and decorations for spring. Here is what it looks like during the daylight.


I decided I'd be a rebel and visit her tonight make sure all of her lights are working properly. Here's what it looks like at night:




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Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 22

DAY 22

I'm sure you're all wondering what happened to day 19-21. To be honest, I hit a bit of a depression with a side kick of a tooth ache and fell off the train for the past couple of days. I feel terrible about it. It hit me that yesterday (April 21) it has been a year and a half since I lost her. This breaks my heart to say it. There's days that it hurts so bad I don't know how I can go on. There are days that I feel great and hope she's smiling down on me. Today is another day in which I hope she's smiling down on me.

I went to the local Dairy Queen in downtown Neenah this evening. I've been trying to diet, but as you can see by my trip to DQ that, well, it's not going so well today. I felt something in the back of my head that was just telling me that I should pay for the order of the vehicle behind me. I paid for my order and asked the nice cashier if I could pay for the order behind me and if she would give her one of Ana's cards. She allowed me to and as I pulled forward and up to the street I watched as the lady behind me went to pay for her treat. She reached out to hand the cashier money and the cashier handed her Ana's card. Her look was a look that I will not forget. The shock on her face made my day. In the brief time I was stopped at the exit to the street, I saw her take the card and glance forward at my car. I just smiled. I hope that Ana touches her in a very kind and special way today.

The car behind me at DQ Neenah, WI
This photo courtesy of Neenah Dairy Queen Facebook

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 18

DAY 18

A very supporting friend of mine owns Dickey's Barbecue Pit Appleton, WI and she ever so kindly donated a four pack of Timber Rattler tickets for tonight's game at 6:35pm!! I have these tickets in my hands and I will be heading there this afternoon to give them to some lucky baseball fans! Pictures to come tonight!!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 17

DAY 17

Today I wanted to do something for someone that was close to me. Someone who maybe doesn't get the kindness or the thank you that they deserve day to day. So I decided that I wanted to do something for my mother. I bought her this beautiful flower... just because. Mom, if you're reading this... thank you for everything you do for me and our family. I love you!




P.S. Stay tuned for tomorrow's Random Act of Kindness sponsored by Dickey's Barbecue Pit - Appleton, WI!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 16

DAY 16

I remember my mom reading I'll Love You Forever to my sister and I when we were younger. The story goes on to explain the stages of life from a newborn to a 2 year old to a 9 year old and so on... and it explains the love of a mother for her child. I never imagined what inspired this book until I lost Ana.

The story was written by Robert Munsch after he and his wife had two babies born dead. From his website:

"Love You Forever started as a song.

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

I made that up after my wife and I had two babies born dead. The song was my song to my dead babies. For a long time I had it in my head and I couldn't even sing it because every time I tried to sing it I cried. It was very strange having a song in my head that I couldn't sing."

I bought a total of 4 of these books. One for myself, one for the basket I already donated. Now I have two left. I would like to give these books to two individuals who read my blog. If you are reading this please leave a comment and tomorrow April 17th, 2014  at 9:30pm CST I will draw a winner through Random.org.


**UPDATED 4/17/14 9:45pm**

There were 7 comments on my blog, one was a deleted duplicate. So I numbered the comments 1-6. Using random.org, here are the winners from Day 16:

Ashley G. - Who ever so kindly passed because she already has a copy.

Kim D.

Denise C.

.......... and I actually had one more so the last one goes to......

Leah H.

If your name is above... to claim your copy of Love You Forever please message me on Facebook HERE.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 15

DAY 15

There were two big factors that played part in my random acts of kindness project. One big factor of inspiration was from a fellow angel mom named Alyvia and her Kisses for Claudie campaign. During this time she started her project in the month of November. The second being a post on Facebook about paying it forward to the first five people that commented on your status. I've been patiently waiting for the right time to send these gifts to people. At first I struggled because I didn't know what to send them... or how I was going to send them. But I did it today. I'm not going to reveal what this item is because I know some of these people follow my blog. However, in the next week or two you should expect something in the mail. I hope each of you enjoy this special gift I chose for you Hugs and love :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 14

DAY 14


I was asking around for ideas of other things I can do for Random Acts of Kindness. I one of my friends is a volunteer at the Neenah Children's Hospital and said that they could use sleepers and not just for premies. I went out and bought two pairs - one girls and one neutral. I am dropping them off at the children's hospital this evening.


Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 13

DAY 13

Today I wanted to recognize a special friend who is always there for me. He's always there when I need a helping hand and I don't get the chance to say thank you enough. So I decided that while this wasn't random, it was an act of kindness for someone who has a very big heart. I took my friend out to dinner at the local Olive Garden restaurant, my treat :) No pictures today since my friend is camera shy. Sorry guys!

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 12

DAY 12

So it's Saturday and I really don't have anything planned for the day. I don't have any place I need to go, and I was thinking about just finding something easy to put a smile on someones face. I decided that I would buy a lottery ticket or two and give them away at the local tobacco store. The only reason I picked the tobacco store is they only allow those 18+ to enter the store, and I know you technically have to be 18 to play the lotto. I decided upon two crossword lottery tickets and gave them to the first two people that looked like they could use a pick-me-up. I hope it helped make their day as much as it made mine :)


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 11

DAY 11

Yesterday was day 11 of Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness. I decided to stop into the local bakery on my way to work. Intending to pick up a sweet treat for breakfast, I walked in and saw that their sale of the day was a 6 pack of cupcakes. I decided that this would be a nice gift for the ladies that work at the store next to my work. So I took these cupcakes to Branching Out yesterday!


Ana's Angels Random Act of Kindness DAY 10

I'm behind on posting a few days so I'm posting what I've been doing the past few days!

Day 10


Today I didn't have a lot of time to go out and do something in my local community. Therefore I decided to do a random act of kindness over the computer... by buying an item from someone's Amazon wishlist! I have no clue who these women are. I went to the Amazon Baby Registry and typed in my last name and my child's last name to pull up registries with similar last names. I chose three of them and decided to send some gifts to them in memory of Ana. So here's the receipt!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 9

DAY 9


Day 9 - The unsuccessful. My situation: pay day is Friday and the past few weeks I've been paying it forward every chance I get. So I had to decide what to do for a random act of kindness with little money to spend and only about an hour of free time.

I decided to go to my local grocery store and offer to help people load groceries into their vehicles. You would not believe the weird looks and the quick "No I'm ok" that I got. I tried to briefly explain that I was doing a random acts of kindness project and very few people listened.

Living in this area my whole life, this is not the type of response I had expected. Most of us are quick to say good morning or hello, but are not able to accept help from a stranger just trying to make someones day a little easier. I was only able to help two people and they only had a few bags... I think they did it because they felt sorry for me.

So I ask you: If you had a cart full of groceries and were asked if you'd like help loading your groceries, what would you say? What is your reasoning behind it? I'd love to get some feedback on this one.

Pic from Bimmer Forums

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day #31 - Sunset

While the sunshine can fade to darkness... my love will never fade. 
I love you Ana. 
Forever and always… my baby you’ll be.







Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 8

DAY 8

I'm sorry for the late post but yesterday was personally a rough day. Just felt very overwhelmed and needed to do something good. I spent some time with Ana's father and felt a little better afterwards. I wasn't planning on the random act of kindness I did yesterday, but it came at the most opportune moment that I had to jump on it. My work had a sprinkler system line burst and flood our office from top to bottom. We were able to save most of the things that were not touching the ground.

For insurance and business purposes my company decided to buy laptops instead of computers for the office. After going through and getting the computers tested, they were in good working condition. The hard drives had confidential business information on it so they will be taken apart. However, they had 4 nice computer monitors, keyboards, mice and speakers which they were looking to donate somewhere. I mentioned that I work at the local domestic violence (DV) center and they could always use donations like this. My boss said we could donate the computer equipment to them and I thought that this would include my random acts of kindness. It didn't pay to throw them away when they work!

So yesterday I delivered these computer monitors to the DV shelter in our county.




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day #30 - Growth

This one is hard for me because in some ways I feel like I regressed. I want to believe that my daughter had a higher purpose but it hurts me so bad not knowing why she had to leave. Why MY daughter? I see the world now as a fragile place; pieces of glass being held together by paper Mache (money). I see others as naive… but also just as broken as I am.

This one is hard because I feel like I'm moving on without her. I know she doesn't want me stuck in 2012, dwelling on her loss. I know she wants me to be happy. I know she wants me to give back. In reality, I've grown a lot. In stead of moving on I'm living her memory. I want to keep her memory alive in the things that I do. This will also bring awareness to PAIL.

Before my loss, losing a child was unthinkable... I think to every parent who hasn't lost a child it is. You get past the first trimester and you think everything's going to be just fine. That's why I want to educate. I want to grow in my knowledge of pregnancy and become a doula. Then, maybe when I'm strong enough and have enough stillbirth/PAIL knowledge that I can start my own support group in the Fox Valley area.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 7

DAY 7

Her due date... one year ago today - April 7th, 2014 was her due date. It would have been a Sunday. She should be a year old. I should have been planning a birthday party. I should have been teaching her how to walk. I would be gawking over her every little move.

Instead... I visit her grave. I decorate it on special days. I bring her flowers. I miss her more and more every day. It's been a long road. It's been a lot of downs and very few ups. But I've made it this far.

I haven't been up to the labor and delivery floor at the hospital since before I lost Ana. Since I wasn't past 24 weeks, they wouldn't even send me up there. I've had several friends have babies since I lost Ana. I haven't been able to visit any of them yet, let alone in the hospital. I've been dreading the day that I would HAVE to go back there.

Today was that day...

I took a big step for my healing. I decided to make a basket and deliver it to someone in L&D who had a baby girl today. I also took up three tulip plants... one for the mother of the girl born today and two for other moms who have had babies today or in the past/next day or so.

Walking through the halls leading up to the elevator my heart started pumping and my  palms started to sweat. I was unsure of how I would react if I saw a newborn today. I felt my eyes swelling as I pressed the button for the 3rd floor. As I exited the elevator I was greeted with a friendly smile. I explained to her why I was dropping these plants and basket off and what I would like done with them. She was a very nice lady and I am glad to have went up there even if it was just to talk to her.

I walked away as a couple and their daughter walked out. The little girl had dark skin and dark hair and made me think of what Ana would be today. What she would look like. What she would like. As I stepped back into the elevator I felt an overwhelming sense of relief rush over me. I did it. I made it through delivering the gifts without a break down. I'm healing. One step at a time.

I hope these mama's enjoyed their flowers and basket. Here's a peek of what I dropped off today:

Special thank you to Michelle G for sewing a blanket for the basket last minute. You're awesome!

**UPDATED 4/7/14 9:11pm**

Special thank you to Rickee S. - 250$ worth of groceries for a new mommy who had absolutely no food in her house when she brought her newborn home from the hospital Friday night. we went out and stocked her up all in your sweet name Ana <3


Who You'd Be Today


Tonight I will write about who you'd be today. For now, here's the song.



Who You'd Be Today - Kenny Chesney


Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
I feel you everywhere I go.
I see your smile, I see your face,
I hear you laughin' in the rain.
I still can't believe you're gone.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who'd you be today?

Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family,
I wonder what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue,
I feel like I can talk to you,
An' I know it might sound crazy.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who you'd be today?

Today, today, today.
Today, today, today.

[Instrumental Break]

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
The only thing that gives me hope,
Is I know I'll see you again some day.

Some day, some day, some day.

Day #29 - Healing

Today should have been Ana's first birthday had she been born on her due date. I know it's rare to be born on their due date, I still hold today close to me.

I've come a long way in the past year and a half. I've been working on healing a very sore, open wound. The most that’s given me healing is helping others. Helping them through a loss like no other gives me a warm feeling that only my daughter could fill. Talking about her, about the dreams I had for her, for the things she will never get to do. Being able to talk to other mother’s near or far and knowing that I am not alone in what I am going through and that (even though it feels like it) … that it’s not the end of the world and that I can still go on and live.

photo courtesy of http://ldsscripturespremium.com/

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 6

DAY 6

Simple yet sweet. Paid for someone's order in the Starbucks drive thru. Oh... I might as well mention I don't like coffee or ever go there :)


Day #28 - Special Place

This would be her grave. 
I go there often to talk to her or my grandfather who is next to her. 
I go there when I’m upset, I go there on my lunch breaks. 
I go there on anniversaries and special dates. 
I go there when I feel like the whole world is caving in on me. 
I go there for peace and comfort. 
I go there because I can’t hold my angel in my arms.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 5

DAY 5

I can't think of anyone more deserving of a thank you than those in our Armed Forces. Across the country brave men and women stand up for our freedom every day. They sacrifice so much for us and I could not imagine doing what they do. Their bravery is truly admirable.

Both yesterday and today I searched for men and women who are serving or have served in the military so that I am able to send them thank you cards. I reached out to people on my Facebook page and asked them if they knew anyone who I could send a card to. I wrote them out and will be sending them Monday. Here's a peak at some of the cards :)

If you know someone over seas or even a veteran back home, I would love to send them a thank you. They deserve it. Please let me know.



Thank you Kim D. - "I travel a lot to Kenosha area and I helped a old man when his car ran out of gas and gave him a card in memory of your angel"

Day #27 - Signs

I don't believe in "signs" from the past. Maybe it's because I consider myself a realist. Or maybe it's because it's never happened to me. I've read stories of other moms who feel that they get signs of their child with them. Some say it's butterflies, some say it's a certain feeling that takes over them.

I wish I could say I feel her. That I've gotten signs. But I haven't. But I do believe that the day we went to the grave to release her balloons that she really wanted those balloons up there. Three of them were stuck in a tree but before we left each one of them got loose and flew away. We watched until we couldn't see them anymore.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 4

DAY 4

Today I will be going to dinner and leaving my waiter or waitress a generous tip. I'm not sure how much this will be because I do not know where I am going to dinner. I was hoping to find a pregnant lady or one who just looks super stressed out. Doesn't even need to be my waitperson! The wait staff do not get paid enough and sometimes they rely on their tips. I will update with a picture later.... STAY TUNED!

**UPDATE**

I went to dinner with my parents this evening and I my parents pick what restaurant we went to. Their first suggestion was TGI Friday's. I'm not a huge fan of the food, but I said that's fine as ultimately I was out to give a nice tip to a waiter or waitress who deserved it. When we got there we were told there would be a 25 minute wait. In reality, that wasn't that bad of a wait time, but my mother is diabetic and when she needs to eat, she needs to eat. So we decided to go to Solea's Mexican Restaurant in Appleton, WI. 

We got there and we were immediately seated. There was only one or two empty tables in the main lounge and what looked like two waitresses. Our waitress, Paige, did a great job tonight and while talking to her I learned that she is a 27 year old mom with a young daughter and is paying her way through college. I felt like she deserved every bit of this tip and I was happy to give it to her. When she saw it she immediately tried giving it back but I told her that I was SET in doing this. For Ana... and for you Paige. Thank you for all you do.


UPDATED April 5, 2014

From the waitress, Paige J. - "Thank you so much for giving me the gift that you did...it is so appreciate and I know your little angel is smiling everyday with pride for her mother. Thank you again."

and

Thank you Stephanie H - "I donated to autism speaks and tipped at an fast food restaurant."