What I’ve Enjoyed Reading Lately!

I’ve started having a love affair with my Kindle app on my phone. I read at night. I read in the bathroom. I read when I’m sitting in the school pick-up line.

I read what people suggest. And I read what my friends write.

Most of the time, I can’t remember what happened in the book two days later, but for the hours that it takes to read one of these novels, I’m fully engaged and living life with the characters. It’s a lovely escape.

Here are a few of my recent favorites. And yes, they are affiliate links. If you purchase through these, my Starbucks habit doesn’t have to be broken. Mwah! Happy reading, y’all!

One Plus One: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

Cancel the Wedding: A Novel by Carolyn T. Dingman

Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel by Jessica Knoll

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Like No Other by Una LaMarche

Landline: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell

Take My Husband, Please: A Romantic Comedy by Kimberly Jayne

The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

The Girl You Left Behind: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (I highly recommend the hardback copy of this book so you can underline and highlight and draw in it!)

After You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes (sequel to Me Before You)

Divorce: A Love Story by Jonathan Weiler and Anne Menkens

Say Their Names: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month 2015

“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention them 
because you think you might make them sad 
by reminding them that they died–you’re not reminding them.
They didn’t forget they died.
What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, 
and…that is a great gift.”
~Elizabeth Edwards~

Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In 2006, after years of pushing for it, the day was recognized by the House of Representatives. In 1988, President Reagan had declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. But in my opinion, celebrating this day for ONE day is much easier for a parent who has lost a child than for the whole month.

The International Wave of Light is the simultaneous lighting of candles in memory of these babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss at 7pm in your local time zone tonight. The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period. Just think about that for a minute. How beautiful!

So tonight at 7pm, wherever you are, light a candle or say a prayer (or do what you do) in memory of all the baby angels that are watching over us and in honor of all the parents left behind to grieve the loss of dreams and bright futures for their children. Take a minute to say their names out loud. Remember them. Realize they were here and real and loved and are still loved…

These are my special Angels and members of The Club I will be lighting a candle for tonight:

  • Our first baby: Junebug – miscarriage at 13 weeks, June 19, 2002
  • Our second baby: Charles “Charlie” Fleetwood Anthoine – died at 24 days old from late-onset Group B Strep, born May 21, 2003 and died June 14, 2003 – his story here
  • The daughter of Pam Doherty, Hannah Noelle MacDonald was born still on February 3, 2003 from Group B Strep sepsis. Her father is John MacDonald.
  • Oliver Nelson Wright, son of Chris and Danna Wright, born and died October 2, 2010.
  • Leighton Sophie Taylor – daughter of Amy and Chris, twin sister to Jaxon – born May 26, 2011 and died June 17, 2011 from Group B Strep
  • Stephanie and Anna Causley – daughters of Paul and Robyn Causley – miscarriages at 12 and 6 weeks, respectively in 2003.
  • Sara Kay – born still September 7, 2009
  • Susan and Matt’s baby – miscarriage at 12 weeks – December 25, 1999
  • Emma Jade – Kat’s sweet baby – miscarriage at 9 weeks in 2001
  • Cara Jennifer – daughter of Carrie-Ann – born and died on August 17, 2010 – lived 12 minutes
  • Jill and Kyle Clay’s babies – Baby Clay, miscarriage October 2004 and Baby Clay, miscarriage October 2005 – both around 10 weeks
  • Cora Mae McCormick – November 30, 2009 to December 6, 2009
  • Skye, Dakota and Martina – Nanna Chris and Mommy Staci and Little Sister Joclynn’s triplets – July 7th, 2007
  • Drew and Amanda’s Baby – miscarriage October 6, 2010
  • Brianna Elizabeth Franzen – Daughter of my friend, Julie. Born January 29, 1998 and died March 7, 1998 from a heart defect.
  • Cecily’s Sons – Nicholas and Zachary, October 27, 2004
  • Shauna’s Babies – one at 16 weeks, one tubal pregnancy
  • Erin’s Babies – Baby 1, September 2006, miscarriage; Baby 2, January 2007, miscarriage; Baby Girl 1, December 2008, late miscarriage; Baby Girl 2, born still on August 17, 2009 at 18 weeks.
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Baby – Baby Childs, miscarried June 12, 2006
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Friend’s Son – Jonah Oliver, delivered and died on Thanksgiving Day 1997 at 18 weeks gestation.
  • Becca’s friend’s daughter – Chandler Rivers, born 13 weeks early and died a week before her due date.
  • Jessica and Mark’s Daughter: Hadley Jane, born October 9, 2007 and died October 11, 2007.
  • Trish’s baby “Peanut”
  • Michael and Robin’s babies – miscarriage at 5 weeks in April 2009, and miscarriage at 10 weeks in September 2012
  • Olivia Grace – daughter of my friend Barbara. She was born January 8, 2004 and died August 23, 2004 from bacterial meningitis.
  • Sunday’s babies – Tomorrow Dawn- December 1993, miscarried at 8 weeks and Samuel- January 2002, miscarried at 11 weeks (named our first son Samuel in his honor and memory)
  • Lindsay’s baby – little one lost to miscarriage at 10 weeks in May 2003
  • Lynn’s 8 babies – 5 lost at 14 weeks and 3 lost early at 8-10 weeks
  • Ms. Marie’s baby – miscarriage October 1977
  • Isabella Pearl De Leon – Stillborn one week before scheduled delivery. March 5, 2011. Paul & Nicole De Leon
  • Nora Henke –  Born still December 30, 2012
  • Mike & Lauren’s babies: miscarriage at 6 wks in 1999; miscarriage at 7 wks in 2000; miscarriage at 10 wks in 2001
  • Carter Austin – March 18, 2006
  • Tucker Harris Neu and Fletcher Thomas Neu
  • Fiona Jane Tully was stillborn on May 8, 2011, and her sister, Brigid Eileen Tully, lived from May 8, 2011 to June 23, 2011 – daughters of Eileen Tully
  • Leah Brook Tomlin – daughter of Bevin and Adam, sister of Taylor. Born January 7, 2013 and died January 13, 2013 from Prenatal-Onset GBS
  • Carl Martin Kerr – passed away in utero at 6 months. Born on January 25, 2013. Baby Kerr – miscarried at 6 weeks on August 25, 2013. Both children of Solanke and Cincia and siblings to Isabella.
  • Jacob, born at 20 weeks in 2006. Lived for 52 minutes. Son of Nick and Melissa Tabbert.
  • Isabella-Rose Elizabeth, born still October 12, 2009, daughter of Tia.
  • Bailey Winter Dumitru, son of Tori and Kevin, born at rest December 8, 2007.
  • Renee’s daughter, Lucielle Diane, born and died July 15, 2013
  • Caleb Andrew Franklin, beloved Son of Julie and Andy. Born at 24 weeks on August 17, 2004 and died August 25, 2004.
  • James Chadwick “Chad” son of Jimmy and Debbie and brother to Kristen and Brandi, born and died November 16, 1980 due to a placental abruption.
  • Asher Vinsant, son of Kylie Vinsant, born January 4, 2012 and died January 12, 2012 due to Early Onset Group B Strep.
  • Eve, daughter of Wade & Kacey Dixon, born October 21, 2010 and died November 4, 2010 from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Amelia, daughter of Bob and Catherine, born May 4th, 2014 and died June 1st, 2014 from Late Onset Group B Strep.
  • Angel Wills, baby of Michael and Jamie, August 2010.
  • Henry, son of Sara and Brian, born May 29, 2007 and died December 17, 2007.
  • Andrea and Jay’s baby. Miscarriage in November 2010.
  • Heather’s daughter, Clara Edith Webb, who was stillborn on July 1, 2012 at 42 weeks 3 days gestation.
  • William Benjamin Redland, born April 10, 2014 and died April 28, 2014 due to Group B Strep.
  • Beckie’s baby. Miscarriage, March 1999 at 9 weeks.
  • Jo’s babies: John Sebastian – Potters Syndrome, full term, born still November 12, 1999; Damian Paige – late term miscarriage August 20, 2005; Willow Soleil – November 18, 2013 miscarriage.
  • Alisha’s son, Mason Daniel Pablo. Born still at 26 weeks on July 23, 2015.
  • Kelli and Michael’s son, Grady Michael, born and died June 12, 2015 from Potter’s Syndrome. Little brother to Slater and Mykelyn.
  • William Barsi, son of Jennifer and James Barsi, big brother and fierce protector. Arrived at at 24 weeks, 1 day on January 29, 2013, and in doing so saved his twin brother and his mother’s lives. He died on Valentine’s Day 2013.
  • Baby Girl K and Baby EE, babies of T.
  • Chloe, daughter of Leesa, ectopic pregnancy in 2001.
  • Angela Talo’s baby, miscarriage February 26, 2006.
  • Skylar Natasha Maine Milner, daughter, younger and older sibling to John, Joanna, Haylie, and Aria. Born June 18 2013 died June 17 2013 at 28weeks.

Older “babies” we choose to remember today, too.

  • Laura Kaye Anthoine – October 20, 1969-April 3, 1981 – Daughter of Kaye and Roy, Sister of my husband Jason
  • Allison Reid – daughter of Robin and Sean Reid – though she was not an infant when she died, she contracted the same bacteria that Charlie did and suffered long-term challenges. Allison was born on March 1, 2002 and died on January 25, 2008. I had the honor of meeting Allison and she was a fabulous fighter.
  • Cason Heard Adams- January 27, 1989-December 4, 2001 , was called home to live with the angels. He was a bright light to all that knew him and is greatly missed everyday by his family and friends.
  • Chrissi’s Son: Tyler, born March 22, 1997 and died September 15, 2003

** I will add babies if you email me at janasthinkingplace@me.com to tell me you want me to add your angel. I know there are so many more, but I don’t want to publish without your permission. These are from previous years and I’ve added new ones. I have also decided to add older children because really, they’re all our babies.**

A Few Of My Favorite Books of 2015 (So Far)

Seems that I’ve made this year a year of reading. Maybe it’s because I have some quiet nights when Henry is at Jason’s. Or maybe I just want to take my eyes off my computer and drift into another world with characters who give me ideas and inspiration and hope.

I thought I’d share a few with you. Go forth and read!

Books by our very talented Listen To Your Mother Cast Members:

Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected by Kayla Aimee

The Beauty of Grace: Stories of God’s Love from Today’s Most Popular Writers by Dawn Jacobs Camp (and many other contributors)

Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford

All Beautiful Things by Nicki Salcedo

Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now by Ann Imig and other LTYM Cast Members from across the country

Other books I love and highly recommend:

Damselfly Inn (Thornton Vermont Book 1) by Cameron Garriepy

Buck’s Landing (A New England Seacoast Romance Book 1) by Cameron Garriepy

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

After You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes (pre-order sequel to Me Before You)

Kindness Wins by Galit Breen

Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir by Wednesday Martin

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 1) by Cheryl Strayed

Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love – by Anna Whitson-Donaldson

ALL the Housewife Assassin’s Books by Josie Brown

Disclaimer: Contains affiliate links. Buying through these links will feed my travel habit. And keep my local Starbucks open. 

Apart.

Apart.

It’s an adverb, used with verbs like drift, grow, or live.

It describes how our hearts have grown over the years. Apart.

Our love has drifted and now we have chosen to live that way. Apart.

It wasn’t a split second decision. And the details aren’t important.

Apart, for now, is how we will be.

Will it be permanent? We don’t know.

But for now it’s where we find ourselves.

We’ve grown to this place and hope that in the apartness, we can both drift towards our individual happiness or newfound togetherness.

Words, Glorious Words!

Words, Glorious Words!

I sat and sat, thinking about what my word for 2015 would be. I wrote down random words that popped into my head and tried to think, meditate, pray, and contemplate what this very important ONE WORD should be.

Since December, the word glorious has been popping up everywhere. You see, we went to an event for an organization that partners with local Tanzanians to provide education to children, healthcare to families, and opportunities to women. The organization is named Glorious. I left that event with the strongest desire to be part of it — to go to Tanzania to help. To do whatever I could.

Glorious is an adjective that means “having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration.” It’s a synonym for wonderful, amazing, marvelous, magnificent, spectacular, lovely…

Who wouldn’t want to be glorious? Or to have a glorious life?

I want this. And this year, I will live with this word on my heart.

2014 word glorious

With that said, I’m hopeful (very hopeful) that it will work out for me to go to Tanzania this year with Glorious for three to four weeks. By saying it out loud, here, in front of you, I am setting it as a goal. In fact, I made a Pinterest board where I can look at pretty pictures of things to do while in Tanzania, because if I go all the way over there, I plan to volunteer and then take time for myself. Maybe you’re interested in going, too? Let me know… we can go together!

This year, I wish to focus on myself. Not in a selfish way, but I need to tend to myself and my heart and my happiness. I need to huddle inside of myself and regroup — find happiness within and intentionally share it with others. I long to keep my energy clear and not allow myself to get muddled down by outside energy.

On top of that, I have very few goals or resolutions for the year. 2015 will be good. I will make it so.

And maybe I’ll bring you along for this glorious journey!

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