Because of Him

4/18/2014

“Death has no sting,
The grave no victory”

Happy Easter.
I love this Holiday,
it’s such a sweet reminder
of everything we’ve all been given.

And it’s all because of Him.

Meah By Amanda: Custom Necklaces

4/17/2014

I am overly excited to share this post for so many different reasons. It’s for all the Angel Mom’s out there, it’s for anyone who has suffered a loss, and I hope when other’s lose children, you’ll share this post with them. I’ll link it under “Help” on the navigation bar up above.

After losing Preslee, I was given multiple necklaces with pictures, birth stones, and her initials. To this day I still love them, and it’s a quiet way to keep her close to my heart. Over the years I’ve received many e-mails asking me where to find necklaces, and I haven’t always known how to answer since they were gifts. Many times custom necklaces are expensive, so it’s not always the most affordable piece to purchase.. But I’ve finally found a very affordable, yet beautiful product for all of you who have suffered a loss, and would like a necklace for yourself.

Meet this amazing couple, Amanda and her husband Jason.

Custom Necklaces

They create some amazing pieces of jewelry, and currently offer memorial pieces at a significantly lower price. All the details are posted below, but here’s a little of what they have to offer.

Memorial necklaceMemorial necklaceMemorial necklaceMemorial necklaceMemorial necklaceMemorial necklace 
Aren’t they perfect? Once you read the facts below, I’m sure you’ll agree Amanda and her husband are wonderful people.

Written by Amanda

How did Meah by Amanda come about?
I was loving the style of jewelry that we now work on and I LOVE anything custom. I couldn't find anything that was perfect for me or the one-of-a-kind quality I was looking for, so my husband and I decided it was something we could do ourselves.  I love to create and my husband is an engineer so he pays amazing attention to detail.  I do all the creating and he does the soldering which I have no patience for ;)
After making and creating for myself, my family and friends, people started to ask for custom pieces and that just kept going until we started a small hobby business.  We both still have our careers but this is something we can do together and quenches my thirst for a creative outlet and my husband likes to do the tinkering and is a great help with organizing and the computer work involved as well.

And that is Meah...just me and my husband tinkering into the night after the littles are fast asleep.

custom necklaces

How did we get into memorial pieces?
A friend/coworker of mine and I followed an Inch of Gray and loved her writing style and her witt.  When we learned of the tragic loss of her sweet Jack, my friend proposed that we put together some pieces to send to the family.  We went through her blog and took what we thought would be very meaningful photos and sayings and created pieces for both Anna and her daughter and a keychain for her husband.  My friend sent them out and that was that.  A while later she sent a note back thanking us and saying how much it meant to her to have such a personal a piece to carry close to her heart.

After Anna's sweet words I thought it might be a great idea to offer memorial pieces at significantly reduced price.  She loved the idea and so we went with it.  At first we offered it to mothers but very soon after I opened it to anyone that would find comfort in such a piece.  I had no idea how far it would reach.  We had requests from all over the world.

As people shared their stories with us and with every piece we created, my husband and I both realized that this was sort of a ministry for us.  We pray for every family that we work with and I remember every single face of every 'child' (old or young) that I've ever worked on and I remember all of their stories.
And as I write this, Jack's picture is sitting on my shelf along with several other pictures that families have sent us through this journey :)

This isn't a one-time-offer for us.  We will continue to offer memorial pieces at the lowest prices we can.  Indefinitely.

Memorial necklaceMemorial necklaceMemorial necklace

Details:

  • The options are really endless.
  • We offer necklaces, bracelets or key chains.
  • The cost is $25 and that includes the necklace, chain and 1-2 charms or beads and shipping in the U.S.  The only time the price increases is if we don't have a charm that someone is looking for and in that case we only charge what it costs us.  We try to keep the pieces as close as we can to our cost so they can be enjoyed by everyone.
  • We take payment through PayPal or by check to make it as easy as possible.

What we need to get started:
We take orders by email at
meahbyamanda@hotmail.com
Once we get a request we will work with the recipient on the details to make them just right.

There are just good people in this world, and I feel Amanda and Jason are two of them.

Good Timber + Free Printable

4/07/2014

The room felt chilly, and looked different with the early morning sunlight streaming through the window. It now seemed bright, small, and bare. The cold dark floors were anything but inviting, and the constant beeping gave me anxiety. But I was only focused on one thing in that room, and it was my daughter, laying in a hospital bed.

drowning

 The sweet nurse quietly but quickly pulled up a chair which allowed me to sit next to Preslee. As I held her hand, I replayed yesterdays events in my mind, still trying to make sense of how we ended up here. Twenty-two hours ago, Preslee and I were picking Patrick up because his car broke down on the highway. Nineteen hours before, the three of us were driving to Sam’s Club. Seventeen hours before, Preslee climbed out of her crib for the very first time. Fifteen hours before, Pat and I were walking out of the movie theatre when we received the devastating phone call which told us to rush to the hospital, where we would learn our daughter had drowned in a canal. From that point on, everything was a complete blur, filled with images of doctors, tears, family, prayers, sending Preslee off on the life flight plane, flying in a stranger’s private plane to SLC, UT, spending hours in the waiting room, and now finally being allowed to be with my daughter. As I sat and stared at my little girl, I knew whatever the outcome might be, life was going to be different.

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted as my mom walked in, and took a seat on the other side of the hospital bed. I filled her in on Preslee’s status, and then broke down. With tears running down my face, I asked her,“Why us? Why Preslee? What did we do to deserve this? We’ve done everything that has been asked of us. What were we being punished for?”

drowning 
(Preslee and my mom)

Three and a half years later, I’ve heard others ask the same question, “Why us?” as they too, experienced difficult trials. The more I study, and the more I watch good people struggle, the more I understand this phrase to be true-

Good Timber_2 5x7 printable (“Good Timber”, by Douglas Malloch)

It seems when people learn we lost our daughter, many of them tend to share the trials they’ve been forced to endure. Its been humbling and eye opening. I’ve listened and been amazed as they share how they drove their roots deep down into the earth, and they stood tall, and in the end, became stronger trees. I’ve learned that trials often make the most beautiful kind of people, they develop talents and qualities this world often tends to lack.

James E. Faust taught:

“The thorns that prick, that stick in the flesh, that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope. This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength.” 

That cruel, hard, pain which Elder Faust speaks about has been present in my life, especially thinking back to that cold hospital room, to the moment we realized we were going to have to say goodbye, when we watched our only child take her last breath, battling depression, and even now, during those moments my heart literally aches to have a five year old little girl helping me with her brothers, I too know this pain. But with time, I’ve learned how to answer the question I asked my mom three years ago,

“Why us?”

Because the Lord had plans, and saw something I didn’t. (And still does when I doubt) Like President Faust taught, my prideful self needed to be softened, reshaped, and be given the opportunity to become something stronger. I may only be a small tree, who withstood the first storm, but I’ve learned from others to thrust my own roots down deep, anchor them in soil.

Good timber

And when my roots were anchored, I found:
Hope – which helped me put one foot in front of the other, and eventually brought happiness back into my life.
Love -  grief taught me to love much more deeply, with that comes compassion.
Faith – in the gospel of Jesus Christ, that this life isn’t the end.

But the number one thing losing Preslee taught me, is I don’t have to withstand the storm alone. When grief becomes consuming and detrimental, and it feels like I can’t withstand the wind anymore, I’ve learned I don’t have to fight the high speed winds by myself, I can trust in my savior, Jesus Christ to be the one next to me, shielding the wind at my most desperate times.

I just have to be the one who seeks Him out.

Whether you are battling the biggest trial of your life, or it is yet to come, remember good timber does not grow with ease. When you want to scream, “Why me?” Remember, God knows your potential, and he’s pushing you to become something beautiful, and usually something to bless someone else’s life. I know I couldn’t have gotten through the past three and a half years without those who already survived their storms.

If I could give one piece of advice to someone who is struggling, or those who have yet to face significant trials in their own lives, it would be to dig deep, and anchor your roots in the gospel of Jesus Christ and His teachings. If I've learned one thing during this storm, it’s that you never know when the wind is going to blow, or how hard it will hit.


Free Printable created by:
Miss Audrey Sue

Water Safety…

4/04/2014

As summer quickly approaches, most of us will be spending time around water. A few bloggers (myself included) wanted to share what we’ve learned from the accidents that have happened in our own lives. Hoping all of you can learn from our experiences, and maybe even save a life.

Kate, from Our Best Bites, wrote a very honest post about her experience with her son’s drowning. It hits close to home, but I couldn’t have said it any better. Please take the time to read it, I promise it’s well worth your time. 

ALL THE THINGS I WISH I’D SAID (ABOUT WATER SAFETY)

Toddler Activities…Trucks!

4/02/2014

I’m always looking for ideas to keep Ledger busy. It seems like the web is filled with millions of idea’s for girls, and not as many for boys. So this is for all of you with boys who love trucks as much as my toddler does!

toddler activities

After bringing the twins home, there have been soo many times when I needed something to entertain/distract Ledger so I could focus on the babies for a little bit. I wanted the activity to be hands on, rather than more TV. My SIL, Cara, came to the rescue with this simple idea, and it’s become one of Ledger’s favorites. I don’t let him play with it too often, it’s used more as a reward or when I’m simply desperate. Therefore, he’s always REALLY excited to play with it.

toddler activities At first, I was hesitant to put this together. I was afraid the rice would make a bigger mess than it would be worth, but it hasn’t been that big of a problem. (I warn Ledger if he makes too big of a mess, it goes back up into the closet) And shortly after I took these pictures, I started laying an old sheet down, and having Ledger play on top of it. When he’s finished, I shake the rice outside. Easy cleanup :) But I’m amazed at how long Ledger will play with these trucks.toddler activities

Graduating in Elementary Education, I learned the importance of sensory activities. Ledger loves the feel of the rice.

toddler activities 

toddler activitiestoddler activities 

The best part is it has a lid, and when he’s finished, it goes right back up in the closet and is ready for next time.

What you need to make your own:

  • 1 large container (preferably with a lid)
  • A few mini construction trucks. (I bought these for only $5.88. They’re also at Walmart or the same price)
  • Rice, beans, anything you want to fill it. (I used rice)

Fill your container with rice, add the trucks, and let your toddler go crazy!

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