This past weekend we celebrated the release of Loved Baby! It was a launch party, but not really. I wanted the attention of the evening to not be upon me, but as a time to shower love onto others. We wanted everyone to feel, “So Very Loved.”
This evening was a tangible “thank you” to all of the folks who helped make this book possible. Perry & I hosted a “thank you” dinner and a “celebratory” dessert party out on our farm. It was our time of rejoicing!
After a week filled with book signings, radio interviews, teaching my mom’s sixth grade class about publication, late-night trips to Costco, midnight hanging lights in the trees, and writing, writing, and MORE writing…this night was the perfect cherry on top of an amazing week.
Local women and men–who contributed to the book were in attendance, local members of the launch team, and my friends and family– who have been pivotal in supporting this project in so many ways crowded around the tables as we enjoyed an October evening underneath the night sky. Then we had some other loved ones join us for desserts. Being together with 100+ people who helped create Loved Baby was amazing.
My dear friend Lynda–who contributed to the book & came all the way from Indiana to join us–said it best. “We have mourned together & now we rejoice together.” She’s the new leader of our Loved Baby Pregnancy Loss Support Group. I love her so much.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 NIV
And oh my. It was so great to hug on the tribe of women who shared their hearts for this book. And to just say “thank-you” to all my family & friends who’ve allowed me to be MIA from their lives the last bit while I’ve written. From setting up my webpage, to babysitting my kiddos, to reviewing the book with their “scholarly & medical wisdom”, to praying over this project, I truly have the BEST friends and family. Do you see that man in the pink shirt? That is Dr. Griffith. He delivered both me and my husband. Plus he also is the OB who delivered for my parents when my mom gave birth to her son who was born still. He’s a compassionate caregiver! As is my own doctor–Dr. Roberts–who came to the event!
Then, the ones who couldn’t attend (due to prior fall-break plans) sent tokens of love. My friend Amber, found a whole collection of beautiful prints from Hobby Lobby that I used as decorations. Joy sent a beautiful flower arrangement. I was also able to use my grandmother’s quilts for the hay-bale couches, vases my grandparents had gifted me on my wedding, and just a multitude of objects that we used to make the night special. My sweet husband was up past midnight the week before the event climbing trees and hanging lights. This was after he got home at 10pm from workin’ on the farm. He’s a true gem.
And THESE girls–Jennifer & McKenzie, had a BIG heart to make this night special. And worked very hard to get it together. We battled the wind. Ha! <side note..if you don’t have table cloth clamps to keep the table cloths from blowing away you can tie the sides with twine. like we did. thanks to my hubby for coming up with this genius idea>
Jennifer knows very well the struggle of infertility + pregnancy loss & Kenz has a big heart to walk alongside women that face this grief.
They poured in their skills of decorating & even went so far to go actually pick pumpkins from the patch for us to use as decorations. Here we are all dressed up. Our “before” pic wasn’t as glamorous. Ha! My mom also helped decorate, as well as my Mitzi & our sweet nephew’s girlfriend Cassie. My other friends prepared food all day (thanks Tonya, Jonathan, & Barnett family for preparing an incredible meal of steaks and bacon-wrapped chicken…yum!). & Jennifer + Alan took these pics for us. I also need to thank Tucker for all his mowing, the guys on the farm who helped get the space ready, & my mother-in-law Ruthe & friends Rachel & Brent who helped babysit so we could get it all together. Then Lacey, Chad, Kenz, Mark, Lourdess, Megan, & Glenn stayed till midnight helping clean it all up. It took a team! & there are so many more I’m failing to mention. Please forgive me!
I didn’t take any pictures. Nor did I video the night or FB live it. I really wanted to live in the moment and celebrate with the people who were in attendance. I think the only video we have of the entire evening is of the cows coming over and popping the balloons!
I was able to gift the “tribe” these beautiful bracelets from Fashion&Compassion. To get your own or purchase one as a gift to present to a loved one you can click here. And if you already own the book, why don’t you consider purchasing the bundle and donating the book. To your church, OB office, or holding on to it for when you find out a need.
Here is the tribe. The silver heart represents our child (or children) blooming in heaven. We love these bracelets from Fashion&Compassion!
My husband gave the most kind speech I’ve ever heard him give. It made me blush, tear-up, and thank God for him all at once. (Does anyone have a video of his words? I’d love to have a copy!)
I struggled with what to say. I’m usually the type who has every word prepared and practiced. But not for this. I just spoke from the heart. And because we had all gone so deep in our emotions the past three years, I decided to not go there. Instead it was just a thank you, thank you, thank you. I got to tell everyone that the book was touching lives from Australia to California to New York. We were able to use all that hurt for good. That was emotional enough. Every single person in attendance helped make this possible. My name might be on the cover, but it is a book created by everyone.
After our toast I got to issue some more incredible news.
The Family Tree Candle Company created a special Loved Baby Candle. Because our babes are part of our family tree. Isn’t that a lovely symbol?
Not only does it smell exquisite (we used pineapple-sage…their bestselling scent) but it is a candle with a cause.
Lean in as I tell you…for every single candle sold, the Family Tree Candle Company will DONATE a book to a family grieving a pregnancy loss.
This means, Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss, will be incorporated into OB offices, hospitals, and pregnancy loss support groups.
With each purchase YOU receive the Loved Baby candle + a book is donated to a family in need. Isn’t this a great way to show love to families, and perhaps even honor the memory of your child? You can purchase it here.
I’m a bit of a candle snob. This one burns forever and has the most glorious scent. (It’s even better than the competing and well-established names…that I won’t mention because that would be rude).
Y’all. This evening was lovely. Perhaps I should have live-streamed it to invite you in, but I really wanted to just let the night unfold with authentic conversation. And truly, between talking & eating the absolutely amazing desserts prepared by Ruthie Burris, there was not a single second that I thought to grab my phone.
If you’ve experienced the grief of loss I invite you to grab a copy of Loved Baby. It has been described as being like a sisterhood. A first-name basis of friends mourning together. Contact me at anytime. I’d love to connect with you. And show you the love of Christ. He is the reason that all this happened. He is the one source of comfort. And please, don’t mistake our glee or rejoicing for anything other than the rejoicing over the fact that this books lives to minister to families. We rejoice that women, who hurt oh so bad, don’t have to walk alone.
And to every. sweet. soul. who came out to our house this weekend…THANK YOU. You are the reason this book has wings and is flying out to help others. I love you.
(and for more pictures of the evening click here! here you will find the ones I saved from my friend’s cell-phone pics:). <PICS COMING SOON>
Oh, here is a galley of memes you can use to help give this book further wings & to help you as you mourn. You can purchase the book on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Lifeway, ChristianBooks.Com, Fashion&Compassion, and more!