Saturday, May 29, 2010

Banded in Blue!!!

So excited, our Drowning Awareness wrist bands arrived!!
We will be selling these for $5 each.
The bands are blue and say DROWNING AWARENESS on one side and on the other.
All procedes will go to becauseofBRAYDEN to promote Water Safety, fund scholarships for self rescue swimming lessons, aid in bringing more ISR self rescue instructors to the lowcountry, and create educational materials to spread the word and help prevent Drownings.
Please contact me at if you would like to purchase.
We are still working on the website but plan to have something up this weekend. We will also eventually have a donate button and a place to purchase the wrist bands on the site and here on this blog.
Thank you everyone for your support, encouragement and most of all prayers as we set out to change lives, promote water safety, and see that not one more child drowns.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So.. reality hit tonight as I ripped open the fed ex package I picked up. I opened the bag (then another, and finally another!) to reveal some very special bracelets. Our Because of BRAYDEN wrist bands. It is our first fundraiser for the Water Safety Charity. We will be sellling them for $5 each to raise money for self rescue lesson scholarships as well as training for future ISR instructors.

I don't know if it was seeing his name, knowing the meaning, or reading the words, "Drowning Awareness". But a flood of emotions hit as I placed the bracelet on my wrist.
This really is going to happen. We are going to make this happen.
Thia is what we have been waiting for...
The positive from the pain.
The Good in such a tragedy.

Lives will be saved, eyes will be opened, and awareness will spread.

I'm so excited avout this opportuinity and the great things that lie ahead.
Hopes, Dreams, thoughts.....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sneak Peak...

OK.. so I have been trying to hold off blogging, facebooking, or saying anything much about this... but I just can't hold it in. All day my head has been spinning with ideas and I have searched, and read, and googled till my head hurts.

Thanks to the encouragment and partnership of my wonderful sister, Lauren, we are starting a non-profit!!!

She has wanted to "do" something for quite sometime now. And me? well, we all know that I have been tossing things around for a year... unsure of which way to go and what to do.

Since beginning Elliana's self-rescue swim lessons there has been quite a change in me. A new stirring in my heart and a new perspective on things.

I feel the tug more and more to begin to do something along the lines of Advocacy. So many peaole just don't know. I know I am not alone in the blindness I had to so many things.

I want to spread the word. I want to make a difference. I want to fill a need. I want to raise awareness. I want to be apart of saving lives.
So... the dream is becoming a reality...

"Because of BRAYDEN"...
Building Resources and Awareness of Youth Drownings through Encouragement and Networking!

We are only in the very early stages of Dreaming, planning, hoping and gathering... but there are some awesome things in the works. We are creating a website and beginning to make contacts and look forward to sharing more plans soon!
Please partner with us and keep us in Prayer that we will have strength, clarity and open doors to do what we need and are supose to do with this dream.

Lots more to come...

Broken... but not without Hope

1 Peter 5:10
"This suffering won't last forever. It won'y be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ--- eternal and glorious plans they are!--- will have you put together and on your feet for good." (The Message)

Wow. About all I could say after reading this verse. I LOVE, LOVE this version of it too. Such Hope. How encouraging. Though I feel so broken and scattered... there is Hope for me. My God promises to put my peices back together! And for Good! Pretty Amazing.
Looking forward to the unfolding of His plan and the good he will bring to completion in me.
Thankful. Blessed. Encouraged.

Hope you are too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Post 100...

I started blogging more regularly in Oct. 2008. That was 19 months ago.

It was a new venture for me... a way to journal out my thoughts and feelings, to express my hurts and my struggles. It was also a way for me to celebrate the memories. To talk about my precious Brayden and share the ways he has impacted our life.

I never imagined anyone would read my blog. I didn't consider that people would be interested in my writings.
I had no idea how much it would help in my healing and grief journey to blog.

Yet here we are... May of 2010. This is my 100th post.

I have friends, family, and even unmet strangers (I now consider friends!) who tell me they are encouraged by my writing. That our story has touched them as well.

I have people who "follow" my blog and check in to see the latest post.

That means a lot to me.

It's encouraging more than words could say to know that there is beauty in the midst of pain. That through my suffering, others have been blessed.

I pray that this continues... I pray that my story, my life, my pain.. will be used for God's glory and that he will bring it all together for the good.

I am so thankful for the opportunities to reach out. To speak encouragement, and to celebrate the bits of healing along this journey.

Thank you all for sharing this part of my journey with me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seventeen Months and One Day...

Today Elliana is seventeen months and one day old.
Brayden was seventeen months and one day old the day that he died.
The anticipation of this day has been so difficult. The ache in my heart has been unbearable at times and many tears have been shed.

Today has come ... and almost gone.

We took of work today and made the decision to spend it together, as a family. I knew that I would not be able to leave Elliana today. I just needed to be with her, to have her near me.

Suprising to me... the hardest part of today was bedtime.
Saying goodbye to this day.
Knowing it's over.
Tomorrow, Elliana will be seventeen months and two days old.
Tomorrow, She will be older than Brayden ever got to be.
Elliana will continue to grow older, to experience new things... there will be moments we never had with Brayden, new experiences that never came.
It seems hard to know how to go on.
Part of me feels frozen. That time should just stand still.

I wanted so badly to skip her ISR lesson today. The thought of putting her in a pool, even in water, today, seemed impossible. My mind flooded with emotion filled thoughts and I felt my self becoming anxious ... over nothing.
I soon realized that of all things to do, this was one of the greatest things I can do for Ellie. Teaching her these life saving self rescue techniques is going to impact her for life. This day would never have come.. would not be so difficult, had I known about these lessons before.
So we went... I made it through.
With support of awesome friends and family who stood beside me I was able to celebrate with Ellie's accomplishments in the water. She is learning and trying and doing so well. I am so proud of her.
Moving forward. Positive steps. Facing fears. TRUSTING.

So as I went to tuck in my sweet little girl tonight, I found myself not wanting to let go. I held her close, rocked her gently, and prayed over her.
I thanked God for her, as I do daily. I asked God to bless her with many many more days. I asked for the strength to allow her to grow.
Protection, Safety, Health, Comfort, and Peace.
I asked for renewed Joy.

I feel as though another chapter is over. A new part of the journey now begins. Yet, I'm not sure where to go from here...

Lord, let me never take even one moment for granted. Give me the courage and the strength to trust you. Allow me to love Elliana and care for her for years and years to come. Bless me with the knowledge and discernment to make the decisions I need to make to help her grow and mature.
Make me the Mother to her and Nathaniel that you want me to be. Help me to love them as you do. Thank you for these precious gifts.
Remind me not to lean on my own understanding.. but in all my ways look to you.