If I'm Being Honest...

I feel like I've been blogging a lot of random topics lately...
and that, perhaps, a "check-in" on a more personal level is due.

You know, just being honest with
where we are, what life is like, how we feel...
and other things that will, not only clue anyone interested in,
but will be good for me to write down for posterity sake
in the years to come.

So here they are... 
random blurbs & thoughts.

{Editor's Note: Buckle up.}

*  *  *

Yesterday, I got really sad when I realized that November 2nd
was the date that we had our 20 week sonogram
and found out we were having two girls.

I haven't been up for watching the video we made,
but it is pretty cute if you haven't. 

Why is it that anniversaries are so much harder than other days?

There's nothing particularly different about them,
but I guess they just remind us that life is moving on
and we are officially a bit further removed from that person.

It doesn't help that Viola is so cute, either.

The more we love her,
 the more we see what we lost.

In a flit of boredom last night,
I looked at our pictures from the hospital.

They start the night I was induced...
such light, carefree faces in the delivery room
where Tyler is juggling heart rate monitor bands
and then switch directly to the two of us 
sitting under the bright lights of the NICU holding our sweet babies
with puffy eyes and the emptiest looks on our faces.

8 months later, 
and I still feel just as caught off guard.

I had a dream just last night that I was pushing two little Violas in a stroller
and then I look down and one has disappeared
and, in the dream, I thought: 
Oh yeah, she was never actually here. 

I hate that part.

*  *  *

When I see other moms "mourn" their babies getting "so big" 
on social media, I have to remind myself not to get fussy.

Having your baby grow 
and do "big kid" things
is what every parent who has a child
that won't hit those milestones dreams of.

You'd be devastated if they didn't.

But behind my defensiveness and jaded perspective,
I have the luxury of knowing where they are coming from
by having a perfectly wonderful baby, too.

And so, I try to remind myself to savor Viola's smallness today,
because I know one day this baby won't be exist anymore...
she'll be a toddler/kid/teenager/adult
so my time with "Baby Viola" is fleeting.

And, safe to say, I'm not taking any time for granted.

I'm breathing in cute moments a little longer
while they are here and enjoying them for what they are...

The three of us cuddled up in bed on a rainy morning.

How Viola looks curled up in my arm with her nose squished 
on my curled up arm... which is probably connected to my iPhone. #shameful

Pushing the stroller through Portobello Road with her clutching on to my finger.

Her toothless little mouth.

*  *  *

Wow, Lauren, stick to blog posts on donuts & France...
this stuff is low.

I know, sorry.

So with all of this sad talk,
where does that leave us?

Wistfully mourning? Yes.
Hopeless? No.
Scared to death of "what else" could happen? Trying not to be.

Tyler & I would both say
that we are at the point 
where we've just nestled into
the bigness of God and his goodness.

We really do believe that, 
even if it's not right now,
and despite our aching sadness-
He is good.

Does it sound like crazy talk if I tell you
that I have felt God's love more this year
than ever before in my life?

It probably does,
because- in spite of my sadness, 
I am so thankful to Him.

I feel like I'm the character in a really great happy movie
in the low point where they hit their moment of crisis...
but the writer will obviously write for everything to come together 
and happiness be restored.

And until that happy ending arrives
and I find myself smugly walking off in the sunset holding Tyler's hand,

The end of Psalm 52 will be playing on a continuous loop in my mind....

"... I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever.
For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name, for your name is good."

*  *  *

So there you have it...
a quick look into my crazy brain.

Kinda like walking through a spook house
with scary things at every corner, eh?

Perfect timing for Halloween.

Don't worry though,
 you'll make it out okay in the end.

(And, you know what? So will we.)

*image via


  1. Loved this and I actually was just thinking about you guys the other day and how you're doing as I was planning our London trip in a couple weeks. I hope each day it gets easier!

  2. Lauren, this made me want to give you a hug. I think of your family often and send love your way.

  3. You are a beautiful, beautiful person.

  4. Viola is so lucky to have you, and clearly you are just as thankful. I can't imagine going through the mix of emotions you have been through this year, and you certainly deserve those days to mourn, no matter how long it's been - it's what makes us human after all!

  5. Awh this is a beautiful way of expressing your "state". I love how you compared where you are to a writers story :) Sending lots of love your way!

  6. I'm so glad you posted. I'm sure many feel like me in that they don't want to ask but they so want you to know how much you're cared for and thought of. Don't be afraid to post the good, bad, and ugly. It's good for you, but it's also good for others who can't always hide their sadness. Enjoy your beautiful family but don't feel ungrateful for mourning, either.

  7. Love your blog. Love your honesty! 2 Corinthians 1:1-8 talks about how God comforts us more in our troubles. The more trouble, the more Jesus gets to shower us in comfort.

    Seriously though. Love. Your. Blog.

  8. A really lovely post. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

  9. I lost my sweet baby this year too. And, I too have never felt closer to God or more loved. It really is a mystery how something so tragic can turn into such a blessing. My thoughts and prayers are with you- I'll add you to my list of ladies who have lost to pray for! xoxo Kelsey

  10. Beautiful honesty. I wish I could give you a big hug. Thank you for sharing this post.

  11. Thinking of you, Lauren! You wrote out your feelings so beautifully.

  12. Love your honesty and your heart. xx

  13. Like Jay above, I think of your family often and try to send a little sunshine your way.

    And don't be self conscious about publishing the heavy things here. Your writing is beautiful. Have you ever thought about doing a book?

  14. Oh, Lauren, leave it to you to make my mascara run while I'm at work! So well-written. And I'm so glad that you share here on your amazing blog, when you feel up to it. While I have never faced anything like your struggles, your honesty, candor and perspective are so inspiring. You have a beautiful family. And God IS good. Sometimes, on a crazy day, that's as far as I get... but in the end, that is truly enough! Hug your sweet V for me! xo

  15. Never apologize for sharing the tough things. Sure, we can connect over France and donuts... but not like this. This is the important stuff. The experience of being human is ALL of it. We connect to all of it. Thanks for your vulnerability. It inspires us to open up more, not to hide. And it opens YOU up, allowing you to receive this flood of love and support from around the world that will be a part of your continuing healing process. We are connected; we are not separate. Let's be there for one another! Sending love from Charleston, SC!

  16. france and donuts are why i like your blog. posts like these are why i like you. it still breaks my heart that you lost one of your babies and that viola will grow up without her sister.

  17. Thank you for sharing this and I am praying for you and your family. If I could hug you, I would but I will send a virtual hug your way today xx Also, this is a beautifully written post.

  18. Lauren, I love you. And your family. Reading this post made me so sad, and made me question the injustice of the ways of the world sometimes. But it also strengthened my admiration for you - the best way to judge someone's character is to see how they respond to tribulations, to all the things we have to experience that are awful and that aren't fair and that just really, really suck. You, more than anyone, are allowed to despair and wallow in misery, but I respect you so much for giving yourself time to grieve and to be sad, but then to be able to pick yourself up and face the world with a brighter perspective. One that might be dimmed every now and then and rightly so, but one that always brightens eventually. Praying for you and Tyler and baby Viola everyday!

  19. Sending lots of love your way! xx

  20. You & your amazing family are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing with all of us, your raw honesty was beautiful. He always has a plan and we just have to remember that!

  21. Your words are so inspiring and real. I thank you for your honesty at a time when things still are so raw and new. You are brave and strong!! Always sending hugs your way. :)

  22. Lauren, I cried...you're such a good-fantastic-amazing-great woman/mother/wife.
    I really think this! People say that God send us only things that we can bear...I tried it on myself....it's true, even if sometimes it really hurts...but I think that you and Tyler together can overcome everything!
    I send you a huge hug from Italy!!!

  23. I love your honesty, Lauren. I'm sure it's easier to write about sweet things and beautiful places but I really value that you take time to talk about other things, too. No matter how difficult those things must be. I cannot imagine how difficult this past year has been for you, and how there will be times in the future where it will be difficult again, but I firmly believe things happen for a reason and with your faith and the love of people around you, you can conquer anything.

  24. Thanks for sharing, Lauren. I appreciate your honesty and insight into your life. You really tell your story beautifully--all sides of it. Sending positive thoughts and prayers across the pond to y'all.

  25. Lauren, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Your writing is so beautiful and honest. God has a way of shining the brightest in our darkest moments and I know this journey has been so bittersweet so far but I fully believe that you're right, there is a happy ending! I love the verse Psalm 56:8. It says, "You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?" He is not an absent God, praying you feel his nearness this week! -Courtney

  26. Never commented here before but I love your blog. This post is beautiful. Thank you for writing it. It had me in tears. I know what you mean about feeling the nearness of God. I went through a dark season a few years ago and I felt the same way. Praying for you!

  27. Lauren,
    Hankie please to wipe my tears away.
    Hang in there, you are loved by me and so many,

  28. oh Lauren, you have no idea how much I needed to read this today! After a pretty rough week where I have realized my hope has been placed in most things other than the Lord, I really needed to read that Psalm and bring my focus back on truth. I immediately sent a link to Rob :) thank you friend ... and thank you for making me well up with tears at my desk!! You guys are in my continued prayers!

  29. I don't really feel as though I have the right to comment- I just can't even begin to remotely imagine how it must feel to be both so deliriously happy with Viola, and so unbearably sad without her sister. Regardless, I am sending so much love in the direction of your little family. xx

  30. Whenever I read your graceful posts I always find myself reciting e.e. cummings i carry your heart with me. May they both always be your sun and your moon.


  31. i love these posts and i hope you know how great tyler and you seem to be doing and viola is one lucky little girl.

    will keep you guys in my prayers and you never know maybe one day i will bump into you around london :)

  32. What a beautiful verse...thank you for sharing.

  33. I'm so so incredibly sorry that you had to experience such tragedy in your life and pray that nothing like this ever happens to you again. I too have thoughts like you. Periods of extreme sadness that come and go. A few years ago, the night before one of my best friend's weddings, I found out that my 11 year old sister had cancer. I was completely devastated, in shock, and for two years had to watch her be the strongest person I know... going through surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and losing her beautiful long hair. I felt like I couldn't be happy anymore knowing that she might not make it. Such a dark time for my family, but we were one of the lucky ones who had a happy ending. She has been in remission for almost three years now, but I still feel like my happiness is on pins and needles and hate getting phone calls from my family because I'm always sure that it will be the call that says the cancer is back. It has taken a lot of prayers and faith to feel semi-normal again and I still have days that I question why it had to happen. She was just a little girl. Why her? Now I do my best to accept that I cannot understand god's plan and I can only hope to enjoy the life I have while I am on this earth. With time, my sadness periods get fewer and far between but I am sure will never go away. I hope that yours get fewer and far between too. Will keep you and your family in my prayers and wish you so much happiness in the future.

  34. Lauren, honesty is good! I've been following your adventures for awhile now, and I love these posts as much as the travel and food ones. You are truly amazing to share ALL of it with us! Much love, and strength, and happiness to you and your sweet, sweet family! xx

  35. Lauren, I am so glad you shared this. I can't imagine what you are going through, but to see your faith shine through is amazing! You have been in my prayers a lot this year.

  36. Such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

  37. Been thinking of you guys so much lately. A beautiful post. Sending love and hugs xx

  38. You are loved by so many, your raw honesty is beautiful to read. Thinking of you and your beautiful family x

  39. lauren this is such a sweet and honest post. you are such a STRONG person and i really admire your strength and faith. much love to you and the family xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  40. long time reader, first time commeter -- amazing. thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability. the fact that you can trust that God is so good, even after all you've been through, challenges me to remember that truth every day. keep writing. it's blessing so many people.

  41. This was a beautiful post Lauren. What a good reminder of trusting in God, you are moving along in what I can only assume is unbearable sadness sometimes, with such beauty and grace. You have a lot of people rooting for you and your little family :) Thank the good lord for the blogging community!

  42. oh man. this is so hard. i can't imagine. i am totally one of those 'my baby's getting so big waah waah' people but it IS a blessing. he's here.

    thinking of you girl. you're feeling the feelings and that's good.

  43. You have remained in my prayers since that day. Continuing to pray.

  44. This makes me like you even more.

    God IS good.

    This post was one of my favorites.

    Manda from Eat Cake

  45. Dear Lauren, I'm not even sure how I happened across your blog for the first time last year, but I have enjoyed your posts very much. I remember when I realized you'd lost one of your sweet babies, and though I do not know you, I mourned along with you. Though I know that there will always be a place of sadness in your heart over what you've lost, I am so glad to hear that you are feeling God's loving presence so close you. He is holding you in the palms of his hands and will always continue to do so. God bless you and your family, and thank you so much for having the courage to share your heart with all of us. Take care.

  46. Oh Lauren. What a beautiful post. I have been following your blog for quite some time now, and reading this post gives me a whole new perspective on my own life. We are blessed with two boys, and I have been trying to be more present is something I constantly struggle with! Your ability to cling to God through such a difficult time is only inspirational. Thank you for being so honest!


  47. Lauren, your blog has always been one of my favorites for your openness and honesty. Thank you for sharing with all of us. <3

  48. This mix of posts is what keeps me coming back to your blog. I love the dreamy, drool-inducing posts on tea in fancy shops and vacations in France just as much as I love the introspective, soul-baring ones. Because if you just posted about the amazing times, I'd probably hate you, and if you just posted about the hard times, I'd probably be too heartbroken to keep reading. But I love how even in your more solemn posts, you manage to leave things hopeful, inspirational, and optimistic. I think you have this balance thing down just fine.

  49. This is such a beautiful post, Lauren. Beautiful because it is honest and true, and not hiding behind a facade of happiness and perfection. I think of you often and wonder how you are REALLY doing. God IS good, and you obviously know that. You are much loved.

  50. I've loved you for a long, long time and today I love you more than ever. Thank you for sharing your world and your faith!

  51. You are one of the most incredible people I know... thanks for sharing your heart xx

  52. Thank you so much for sharing your grief with us. Just this week a friend of mine delivered her twin daughters and lost one. It's made me think of you and how you have been getting by. Thank you for giving me a bit of insight that hopefully I can use to help her.

  53. I experienced depression when I lived in Northern Europe..and the short dark days there this time of year are not helpful. I am not suggesting that you are depressed..but grief can surely take you there. If your sadness continues....I hope that you will seek assistance. Blessings to you and your darling family.

  54. ...and that is why I read your blog! Beautifully and wonderfully written! What a testimony you are for others who do not have their hope in God.


  55. A friend of mine lost her daughter shortly after her birth. That was over ten years ago. I still remember sitting in the coffee shop with her and then in a cafe with her husband listening to them--wishing I could just hug them and take their pain away . . . and couldn't. I can't imagine losing a child, but as you have found, God completely understands you. You will never forget, and you will always mourn, but there is beauty in the ashes, and you are starting to see that.
    Thank you for being real because that is your calling.

  56. Lauren, this is a beautiful post. Real. Honest. Raw. And, I think it draws everyone that much closer to you. I continue to have you, Tyler and Viola in my thoughts. Remember the poem/story, "Footprints"? Your experience reminds me of that, for I feel like you've been carried through this by God. And, he won't let you go now!

  57. lauren, i have been reading along for a while now, and while i love all of your posts on places to eat + things to do when in London (my husband, daughter and i will be moving to London next summer!), i am always drawn to these honest posts of yours. the ones where you open your heart up a little and give us a glimpse of what's inside. you have a way of sharing just enough to make us feel all that you are feeling, while still keeping just enough to yourself so as not to ruin the preciousness of the moments you share. i can only imagine the pain you and tyler feel. and, i have to say, i am totally one of those people who get so sentimental and emotional over their little one growing up. my daughter turned one on saturday, and i couldn't help but feel a bit sad that we have already reached this milestone. but, i know that i am so beyond blessed to have this little girl and that she is growing and thriving. sending lots of hugs your way.. xx Erin

  58. Sending you and Tyler all of the love I own. I so appreciate your honesty and can only begin to imagine what you two must be feeling. You are so amazing and I thank you for opening up to us.

  59. with everything you've been through, "nestled into the bigness of God and his goodness" sounds like the most blessed place to be. SO much love to you all.

  60. what a beautiful, honest post! I love your blog for your fun travel posts and for you genuine thoughts. It's so admirable and wonderful that you still have hope and love in your heart. Take care!

  61. Wow, Lauren - thank you so much for sharing your heart. I sit here, almost in tears at its poignancy, and so much rings true for me, too. I've just gone through my third ectopic pregnancy, but your words make me so much more determined to nestle into God's goodness, despite the fact that the reality of the situation hangs heavy. Thank you for your honesty, and for continually pointing to God. Ruth x

  62. Love you lots and lots. Big hugs to you from over here. xo

  63. I have different baby making problems, so I appreciate your honesty. I am another one of those strangers that read your blog and feel we could be best friends if we lived closer. This just makes me want to give you a big hug. http://www.aspiringkennedy.com/logout?d=http://www.blogger.com/logout-redirect.g?blogID%3D3648266294703204304%26postID%3D8839992568319434918

  64. A huge reminder that I am so blessed and Annie got a huge hug tonight as well.. Hugs to you lovely and thanks so much for sharing.

    Rachie xo

  65. I love your honest posts even more than the ones on sweet desserts. Miss you sweet friend. Hope we can meet up this weekend for coffee. x

  66. Thank you for sharing this. At the risk of sounding trite, I'll just say that I know God will see you through this low, and I'm praying for you and your family.

  67. Have just found your blog - wow this is such a beautiful post. Sending love!

  68. So beautiful. I understand what you mean about feeling God's love so strongly in your sadness. I felt the same way when I was going through my cancer stuff.

    But you are right... you are the character in the happy movie. Nothing will ever fully take away the pain, but something wonderful is definitely in store. :)

  69. Love this post. So appreciate the honesty.

  70. i never comment, but loved this post so much. i can somewhat relate, having had 2 miscarriages in the past 18 months before finally finding myself 19 weeks pregnant now. as i find myself complaining about morning sickness or whatever symptom of the moment i have, i remember when i would have given anything in the world to feel them. what a good reminder you've shared with everyone - thank you for your bravery.

  71. Thank you for your perspective, sharing with us and just your heart. I love you.

  72. Reading that post broke my heart for your family, but it also opened my eyes on how lucky I am to have a healthy baby girl - we thought we lost her for a moment during/at the end of the labour, I've never been so scared my whole life - as I keep mourning how she is growing too fast and that I don't want her to grow up blah blah blah. You are right! I should be happy for each one of her milestones - which I actually am, even though there is a bit of nostalgia with it - and not feel nostalgic.
    I love those personal posts by the way :)
    You look like a strong women.
    Sending you and your family lots of love, courage, more happiness and wonderful moments with Viola.

  73. I love this. Your perspective is a beautiful thing. I don't comment often, but I love following your families sweet European adventures and I know your little angel above does too :)


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