Celebrating Trek’s 3rd birthday

The week of Trek and Conner’s birthdays (April 11 and April 18) were full of celebrations. We had an impromptu family party for Conner when we had some family in town, then it was Trek’s actual birthdate which we celebrated just us 5, and at the end of the week we went to Great Wolf Lodge to formally celebrate Trek’s and Conner’s birthdays (and were there on Conner’s birth date).

I will share how we celebrated the day of Trek’s birth today, and about Great Wolf Lodge in another post-I have too many pictures to combine them!

Trek arrives on April 11, 2011!!!-

blog post-Trek’s birth in the driveway

1 year old, I woke up to this little, happy face-

blog post-Trek’s 1st birthday at Great Wolf Lodge

blog post-Trek’s 1st birthday in Maui party

2 years old and I woke up without him. We celebrated his 2 years on a boat in Thailand

blog post-Trek’s 2nd birthday celebration in Thailand

Trek’s 3rd birthday celebration-

I think it goes without saying that its incredibly surreal to celebrate your child’s birthday when they are no longer here. So many things we do with Peyton and Conner in mind, just as we did in deciding how to spend Trek’s days after he was diagnosed. We want to keep Trek a part of their life and make lasting memories on things involving him. With the boys ages right now, that usually means something really fun and kid-friendly.  Peyton and Conner make it easy to have fun and be in the moment, and not having Trek leaves a big empty space in the day at the same time. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate our 3rd son because there is so much to celebrate about how amazing Trek is, and also so painful that he is not here.

This year we decided to revisit Great Wolf Lodge since that is where we spent Trek’s 1st and only birthday. But that was not scheduled until later in the week, so on April 11th, we saved a special family outing and Jarrett took off of work. There is a National Geographic Pirates exhibit in town at Moody Gardens (an Aquarium, Rainforest, Imax, Museum in 3 large pyramids-a kid’s dream). So we decided to visit there for Trek’s special day.

The Pirate exhibit was a total flop, the boys were really disappointed. Thankfully there is a ton more fun things to do at Moody Gardens!

After a fun morning, we went out to lunch and then home to write Trek a birthday letter. I wish I taken a picture of what we all wrote, for my own journal and memory, but in the moment it was too raw and I couldn’t. We each wrote Trek a note about our love and wishing him a special 3rd birthday, it was hard and really sweet. I love to hear what the boys say in those moments and about their little brother.

We put it in a bottle and headed down to the beach.

Jarrett threw it out to sea.

and it rolled back in:) The boys then waded farther and took turns throwing it out. It either finally got taken by the current or is still on the beach, I keep meaning to go back and check. Either way its at a beach. We spent almost every day of Trek’s life at some beach in the world, and we released his ashes in an ocean in Thailand, so the ocean is where we always feel most connected to him.

We then made a special birthday dinner in honor of him. Steak, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and homemade rolls. It was really nice and relaxing and felt like the perfect way to end the day.

The boys chose chocolate cupcakes for his cake.

The timer on my camera tried to take a family photo of us:)

After dinner we all snuggled in the living room and watched home videos of Trek. Oh my goodness. I was extremely surprised at how many we have of our baby. We have hours of footage. I have become in charge of photographs in our family and Jarrett seems to be the one always videoing. He also has done a great job organizing and saving all our videos, its been such a busy 18 months since Trek died that I did not realize how good of a job Jarrett had done. They are all labeled and in order and we have dozens of them. It was wonderful. We laughed so hard and smiled so much our faces hurt. And then we all broke down and just had to stop. We got through about 1 hour of Trek videos. He is just beautiful and there is so much room for him in our lives-I wish he was here to fill it.

We love you so much Trek-we hope you had a wonderful 3rd birthday! We have loved celebrating you your entire life. There are so many things to love, admire, and celebrate about you! We send you all our love, every single drop of it.


Daddy, Mama, Peyton, Conner, and your little sister

Here is my favorite video from the night-





Happy Easter 2014!

I love Easter! It has always been my favorite holiday. It’s so fresh and springy and I love, love, love hiding and finding easter eggs. Jarrett and I have now spent 10 Easters together. The first one he gave me an Easter basket (which I still have), a little stuffed chick (have that too), and a noodle necklace he hand painted silver and then added real pearls to. I had mentioned something about not caring about jewelry and being happy with a noodle necklace, and when you are engaged you listen and act on such things-hehe.

Easter 2006-our first Easter as a family

the Easter bunny came for Peyton

Easter 2007-Conner almost here!

one of my favorite pictures of Peyton

that’s the Easter basket and little chick Jarrett got me when we were engaged:)

Easter 2008-our first Easter in Maui

egg hunting

Easter 2009-Maui

their little Maui friends at our annual egg hunt at the Ritz Carlton, and the first year I made their Easter outfits

Easter 2010-in Maui with our bestest friends

I made the boys outfits again (my dress was a super cool Salvation Army find, and I was playing a joke that it was my real Easter dress at the Easter party we were hosting-hehe:). Conner’s outfit is lying on the floor…

and I don’t have a photo of him in it-he could not be bothered with clothes when he was 2 years old

Easter 2011-look who came along just days before-baby Trek!Conner upgraded to egg hunting in his undies at age 3

Easter 2012-this Easter was quite different-we knew it was Trek’s last one (at the Great Wolf Lodge in Dallas for his 1st birthday)

Trek finding his first egg! (Trek’s 2nd Easter blog post)

Peyton and Conner egg hunting

Easter 2013-1st Easter without Trek and celebrating it in Thailand

I had to be creative on the Easter presents in a country where its not celebrated!

blog post on our Easter in Thailand

Easter 2014-today.

I am awake in the wee hours of the morning, the Easter bunny has already come and the boys will be up in a couple of hours. I have a lot of nights that I cannot sleep when I am pregnant (especially at the beginning and end), and anytime there is an “event” that brings up more Trek feelings than usual I have trouble sleeping too.

This is our 2nd Easter without Trek and we are pregnant with baby #4. I have almost ordered the her basket many times, we are pretty sure on her name, but not sure enough for me to have it embroidered on anything yet. As Peyton always says, lets just wait to meet her before we decide. The boys are excited, Peyton told me that I was the Easter bunny before he went to bed, but Conner still believes (and maybe Peyton will in the morning?!):)

I have not really started any traditions with holidays and Trek. So far each one I feel different and want to do different things. The first Christmas without Trek (in Thailand), we bought presents for a little Thai boy that would have been Trek’s age. This last one we bought presents for Peyton and Conner that were “from Trek”. This Easter I got the boys some chocolate gold bunnies they had been wanting, I put them in Trek’s basket for it to be from him. As Jarrett and I were hiding eggs at 2 am this morning, we could not stop talking about how much fun it would have been to watch Trek look for eggs if he was still alive-3 years old is such a fun age for such things. photo (46)

Even though I am filled with many mixed emotions, I am excited for this spring and all the love and joy to come. I hope your day is special and full of so much fun!

Happy Easter!!!


A Rainbow Baby Shower



My sister threw me a beautiful baby shower for this little rainbow baby girl! It was amazing, and as usual Amanda went above and beyond-it was such a special and beautiful gathering. 

food and drink bar-yummo!

the party favors-made by our friend Ashley with Giggle Forever Naturals just for the baby shower! Rainbow soaps and lip balm (she is the one who makes Trek’s Lavender Baby Wash :)

Amanda had some newborn paper diapers that everyone wrote on-they were so cute and funny. My favorite one someone wrote, “This one is for Daddy”.

a baby playdoh game

and my special gift from my sister Amanda.

This little statue family means more to me than almost anything I own. Peyton and Conner love it and stare at it all the time. Its so special to see all 6 of us represented in some kind of physical form, since we will never all 6 be together physically earthside. Peyton is the green little boy, Conner the red, Trek the little yellow angel, and our daughter the rainbow baby in mine and Jarrett’s lap. I love how we are all looking at Trek. I found this statue on an Etsy shop online, I messaged it to my sister to show her how special it was and that I was going to order one, and she responded shocked. She told me she had found it and ordered it for me the week before and the lady was already making our family!!! It’s now in the center of our living room. The Midnight Orange Etsy Shop

everyone making their playdoh baby-I picked who made the cutest one:)

the orange baby on the bottom right won (my sister-in-laws:), but it was close with my friend who made the middle blue baby that had the placenta attached! I loved that:)

Amanda Jean holding my sister’s baby-Dawson

Speaking of my amazing sister-in-law. She also got me a very meaningful and special gift.

She crocheted our baby this beautiful bubble rainbow blanket and found the perfect pillow to go with it-Trek and his sister floating in the clouds together:)

getting little pink things totally blew my mind!!!

it’s seriously waaaaay too much fun!

thank you so very much to all my wonderful friends and family who came to love on us and our new baby girl!!! We love you so much!

thank you to my AMAZING sister Amanda for the BEAUTIFUL rainbow shower!

Yes, we are super dorks. On right was from one year ago at the baby shower I threw for Amanda for baby Dawson at the same beach house. And yes, we purposely wore the same dresses because we are cool like that. This photo made me giggle, as Jarrett says, I have blossomed:) It’s nice to know its the kind of “blossoming” that will disappear in a couple of months;)

We can’t wait to meet you Rainbow Baby!!!

comings and goings

The last two weeks have been busy and nice, and full of love and fun. The next two weeks hold more of the same with some sadness mixed in. Trek turns 3 years old in two days on April 11th. To say we wish he was here to celebrate him and throw a big party is a major understatement. But we will still celebrate him in many ways, part of which we are going to Great Wolf Lodge next week for his and Conner’s birthdays, which will be so much fun and a little bittersweet.

We have had a few beach days since the weather has been nice, we are so ready for summer and warm weather every single day!

The boys swam in the ocean for an hour even though it was freezing water! I had to brave it myself to wade in far enough to call them back in-they were a little too far in for this mama’s nerves!

We have been trying to make all the homeschool group activities, the boys really enjoy them and I enjoy hanging out with the moms. Plus they always do the best learning and fun activities. The boys are in full baseball mode right now. They have practices or games 3 times a week. Thankfully they are on the same team so its pretty easy, next year will be harder when Peyton moves up and we will double the practices and games. Jarrett’s work schedule is perfect and he can make all practices and games and helps out-it has been a fun season so far.

Galveston National park

Bayou Animal Park

the boys loved the goats, they want a pet so bad

the park was so much fun-you could feed the animals right from the tram

Peyton at pitcher with Jarrett helping out in the field after he got off of workPhoto: Go my little Astros!

Go Astros!

We took a trip up to our Granny and Granddaddy’s cabin last week. It was a wonderful break and so nice for Jarrett to be physically distanced from work. He works so hard and often, its sometimes hard for him to stop thinking about it, so it felt like a real vacation for all of us.

kite flying

helping Granddaddy plant his garden

The boys had their first Major league baseball game-it was a lot of fun. I got a hot dog and my sister and her family came too. It worked out the boys are on the Astros for Little League, so we already had lots of fan gear to wear.

I am 31 weeks pregnant. I feel great, which is so nice. I am still enjoying being pregnant, but I am very excited to meet her in 2 months!

my sister threw a baby shower for me this weekend-I will share all about it in the next post! 

Have a great day and rest of your week! xoxo, Chelsea