Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My super special and important announcement!

Gabe's Gifts
I've never blogged about this, because I have rarely talked about it.  However, I knew that I wanted to do something positive.  And in order to do that... I have to share my story. 

Earlier this year I was pregnant.  And over the moon excited.  We moved so the baby could have his own room.  We started buying baby stuff.  We told our friends and family.  We picked out a name.  Everything was going well.  In fact that day I had bought a new stroller.  My due date?  My birthday.  

At the time, I was a part time manager at Gymboree.  I went into work that night and came home as usual.  Andy left for work when I got home (He works 3rd shift).  I fell asleep on the couch,  but kept having horrible dreams.  Something was wrong.  I prayed.  Somewhere I had heard that a Mother's prayer for her children was one that GOD listened to with the most urgency.  I tried to tell myself it was nothing.  A few hours later I knew, I was losing our baby. 

I didn't call Andy.  I couldn't tell him, mostly because I couldn't say the words myself.  I just laid there crying.  Praying.  And then yelling - I wasn't sure GOD had heard me.  When Andy got home he rushed me to the hospital.  We lost our little boy, Gabriel Austin Smith, on August 28. 

I walked into the hospital pregnant.  And later that day, I left.  Childless.  I was tired.  I was in shock. I was sad.  I was angry.  I was frustrated.  

Healing has been hard.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of our baby.  I have an extra room in our house with baby clothes hung up in the closet.  My craft stuff thrown in the closet in the front room.  I just can't bring myself to turn the baby's room into anything other than a baby's room.  My faith was tested beyond testing.  I couldn't understand.  Why had GOD taken away my baby, but given babies to people who don't take care of them?  And if something was wrong with my baby, why hadn't GOD just healed him?  I know he has the power to do so!

I quit my job.  {I was planning on quitting, but losing Gabe made me do so earlier.  It killed me seeing people come in and with their babies buying the same clothes that I have hanging in his closet.  Pregnant women were everywhere.  And I was no longer one of them.}  That's when I started blogging.  It's given me some sort of refuge.

Everyone (well, a lot) of people told me, "It's ok.  You're young.  You can try again."  I know that during a time like this people don't know what to say.  But, that was not what I wanted to hear.  It made me feel like I was just supposed to forget.  A do over.  Like how Joshua erases a mistake on his homework.  I vowed that I wouldn't forget.  And that I would do something -- something that would make Gabe proud.  Something that when I say his name I associate it with goodness, not tragedy.

So I decided to start a blanket drive.  Have you heard of Project Linus? Their mission is  mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”  I can't think of a better way than to honor Gabe. 

Starting in January (well, you can start making one now!)  Gabe's Gifts will begin.  It is a year long blanket drive.  Each Monday I will feature a blanket tutorial and the last Monday of each month we can host a linky party showcasing any blankets made.  I am in the process of creating tags for you to print off and fill out with your blanket (including what it's made of, any special washing instructions, your name and email if you wish).  As you finish your blankets I ask that you mail them to me and I will make one large donation in Gabe's name.  (Also why I am making tags!  I want you creative ladies to get the credit you deserve on your awesome work!) Also, if there is a special child you would like your blanket to be donated to honor please include that information with your blanket.  I can't speak for everyone, but even just trying to put together this project - knowing something good will be attached to Gabe's name has helped the healing process more than I can express.

If you are a blogger and have a blanket tutorial (can be crochet, knit, how to bind, quilt patterns, sewing tutorials) and would like it featured (both on this blog and on Today's Top 20) please e-mail me. 

I would also REALLY appreciate anyone taking Gabe's button (top left corner) and helping pass the word along for me!   I'm hoping to have enough blankets to make the first donation on my birthday and Gabe's due date (3/14).  I know that it is going to be a hard day for me and this would really help. 

I know I pledge to make at least 12 blankets.  One each month to donate.  I hope I can count on you to help too!  Thanks for reading this -- I know it's long.  But I don't think you know how much I really appreciate it. :)

Any questions, comments, tutorial submissions or for my address to send in a blanket please e-mail me: amandaandandy(at)yahoo(dot)com


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, but love how you are turning it into something great even though it is hard! What a great way to remember Gabe! I'd love to help spread the word! Do you take purchases blankets? (I'm not much of a sewer!)

  2. My heart breaks for you, I can only imagine what you've been through. I will absolutely help! I'm not much of a sewer but I'll do my best. Plus my mom makes blankets ALL. THE. TIME.! I'll get her on board too.
    ~Mary xoxo

  3. Adrian Rieke-VaughnDecember 29, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    I will be parying for your family and God's plan. I pray you can find the joy in your pain that only comes from Him as you await His perfect timing. It is hard, but you will make it through this. It will strengthen you for the blessings He has in store for you.

  4. I truly know how you feel. I lost my first son 9 years ago and I will never forget him. I will be making a blanket for him and your son. LOVE this idea!!! Remember the time you had and have with him. I say have because everything that you are doing he will be with you.
    I hope this helps. XOXOXO

  5. This is such a beautiful way to honor your baby boy! Amanda Formaro, Home & Garden Crafts editor at Craft Gossip, sent me a link to your blanket drive. I blogged about it over on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    Please keep me posted on your blanket tutorials so I can link out to them each month.

  6. I too love my baby boy, Emmitt Lincoln, in March. I also started blogging to help keep my mind from dwelling on out loss. I heard about project linus via craft gossip and decided to make blankets in Emmitt's honor as well. I was excited to find that there actually a chapter here in Fairbanks where we live. Its feels good to something good to honor our angels.

  7. Found you via Craft Gossip, as well....what a great idea! I lost my first son, Paul James, nearly six years ago and while I have a beautiful boy (the light of my life!) who is about to turn five, that fist loss is still pretty raw. Thank you so much for sharing & for doing something to honor your makes it easier for the rest of us to talk about it, too.


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