May 5 2012

Much More Muchness

I had a lot of apprehension about turning 30 last year (September 2011). It wasn’t a vanity or ageist thing, it was a me thing. I wasn’t happy with where I was in life. It felt like there were still so many things left to achieve, one of which was motherhood, something that was ripped away from me on September 18, 2009 when our first child was stillborn at 37 weeks.

In the years to come I had to learn how to incorporate grief into my everyday life. It was a painful transition and my muchness was something that became completely masked by the darkness. I missed my muchness, but it seemed hopelessly lost forever.

On September 1, 2011 I announced my first muchness challenge. During those 30 days some huge milestones were reached including: attending my first baby shower since my own, my husband’s birthday, our son’s 2 year mark and my 30th birthday. (Unfortunately due to technical issues most my original posts were lost).

Participating in the challenge made me see my life different. Instead of living days or weeks or months or even years in advance, I learned to find the beauty in today. Live for now, not the past or the future.

In the end my muchness beat out the darkness. Found the strength to survive another year without my son AND survived turning 30.

Exactly 30 days later (well, 31 because it was Halloween), we found out we were expecting another baby!!!!! And just like that, I had another shot at finding my motherhood muchness.

We’re currently 30 weeks pregnant and ready for round two of Finding my Muchness: Motherhood Addition.

I am very excited to share this journey (and baby) with you. Pregnancy after Loss is an unnerving roller coaster just like grief. Every day brings on new challenges and what better way to stay focused than to fill my days with MUCHNESS?!

My new challenge will begin May 6th, 2011. You can find my journey at
For more information on baby Buttercup visit my personal blog at Tales from the Womb


Want to take on your own Muchness Challenge? For information on how to join please visit

Sep 30 2011

A Look Back

Today is the last day of my 30 days of muchness challenge. Want to take a moment to look back and share some of my experiences with you.

Day 1 was probably the hardest day of my entire challenge. There was a family baby shower happening over Labor Day weekend and I knew I wanted to create something unique for baby H.

It was my first creative project (and baby shower) since my own son died and just the idea of creating something for another baby (boy) had me in limbo. Found some woodblocks at the resale shop a few days prior and with a little burst of creativity I decided to create some nursery artwork. With the help of some black acrylic paint, a sharpie, a ruler and spray adhesive I began digging into my fabric stash and pulling out some of my favorite swatches.

By day 3 my present was complete with an added bonus of swatches used in my son’s nursery. Now a little piece of my son will be shared with their new family.

Day 13 was a prep day for my husband’s birthday. Decided early on that I would create monster cupcakes for him. Went to the candy store and bought loads of penny candies for decorating.

Day 14 was his birthday and so began hand-creating 30 uniquely different cupcakes. Along the way I found myself creating cupcakes for our son, since his birthday would be coming up next. Decided right then and there that this year I would ask my friends and family to honor our son by making or buying a cupcake and sending us a picture.

Day 17 I gather my son’s urn and carried him downstairs to take his annual picture next to his memorial jade plant. It’s amazing to see how much his plant has grown!

Day 18 was his 2 year birthday. We spent the day at Kings Island and made sure to walk through Planet Snoopy in his honor. When we returned home my best friend surprised me with a visit. She wrote his name out in cupcakes and goodies and it really made my day.

Later that evening a friend sent me a picture of her jade plant and a cupcake for our boy. It was another heart-warmer because I actually took a cutting from my jade plant to send to her in memory of her son R.

Day 28 I woke up to balloons and candy! I thought for sure my husband got his days mixed up. Comes to find out he wanted to kick off my 30th birthday with 3 days of celebration!

Day 29 I woke up to a beautiful fall mum with a note “A mum for Mom” (which totally melted my heart!)

Day 30 it was all about my chocolate cake!!!!!


I hope you have enjoyed the look back on my 30 days of muchness. Thanks to all who followed my journey and kept me on the muchness track. Special thanks to Tova for thinking this up and sharing it with us! If you are interested in taking the muchness challenge yourself, click here for all the info.

Sep 1 2011

30 Days of Muchness Intro

Two years ago today, my life (and womb) was jam-packed of muchness. It was such an exciting time for all of us. We were expecting our first child, a son come late September.

Everything was beautiful. Beauty surrounded me inside and out. On my daily walks with the dog, I would stop and watch the families play in the park. At the grocery store, the clerks always asked about the baby and how I was feeling. At night I would lay awake smiling while my son had his “late night dance parties.”

My creativity was also peaking and my fingertips ached to create. My mom and I would meet up weekly for sewing dates. We would spend hours picking out the perfect fabrics to make crib sheets, curtains, clothing and blankets. We created artwork for the nursery walls, decoupaged the dresser drawers and collected vintage Fisher Price toys for him to play with.

At thirty-six weeks the only thing left to finish off the nursery was our son.

…he never made it home though.

Our baby boy was stillborn on September 18th, 2009 at thirty-seven weeks.

And with his death, my life (and womb) lost all of its muchness.


Life became as still as my son. Nothing made me feel better. My muchness for anything I found joy in was gone.

I stopped walking the dog because I couldn’t handle seeing all the happy families and babies in buggies. We were terrified to go to the grocery store — scared someone would ask about the baby. Dreaded going to bed at night. Tossed and turned and would sometimes cup my stomach wishing I could feel his feet dancing inside me one last time.

My creativity took the biggest blow. Just the thought of working with my hands to create something made me sick to my stomach. To this day I have not fired up my sewing machine, held a paint brush, or followed through on a creative idea.


I lost two years of my muchness and the last two years of my 20′s.

That changes today.

September 1st starts the thirty day countdown to my 30th birthday and I invite you to follow me on my Thirty before 30 Muchness Challenge!

This will be a life challenge. Turning 30 is proving to be a difficult transition for me, however this challenge will help me see the positive in turning 30 instead of the negative.

Hope my muchness can forgive me for neglecting her so much. I know the muchness is still there, it might just look and feel different now. Hope you will join me!


I will be posting weekly updates on my 30 days of muchness journey here. Feel free to follow my daily progress as I try to reconnect with my creative side.

Aug 19 2011

30 Days of Muchness Challenge

On September 1st, 2011 I will be participating in the 30 Days of Muchness project created by the lovely Tova Gold, a fellow babyloss mama who lost her identical twin girls, Sunshine and Daisy to TTTS. I will be sharing highlights from my journey with you. Here is the scoop on her project and how you can take the challenge as well. Thank you Tova for taking the time to share this amazing project with us. You are such an amazing and inspiring woman!

– Julie, Grieve Out Loud Founder


I used to be Much Muchier, But then I lost my Muchness.”
I read this quote, from Alice In Wonderland, and it changed my life.

I thought, “That’s me!” I used to be much Muchier! I used to be vibrant and confident! Full of optimism, positivity. As I got older, got married, got into the routine of a job, marriage, kids… ya know, life- my Muchness started fading. I felt at the time it was a small trade-off for the things I did have – a great husband, a beautiful daughter, a reliable job. But then, I lost my babies. And whatever was left of my Muchness died with them.

I was almost twenty-four weeks pregnant, carrying high-risk Identical twin girls, forever nicknamed Sunshine and Daisy. We were being heavily monitored for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and we were finally getting to the point where I started to believe I may be lucky enough to bring home two healthy babies.

And then, in an instant, they were gone.

Like all moms who have experienced babyloss, I started navigating through the unknown darkness that is The Grieving Process. And it was a hell I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

Soon there after I was pregnant again. Though I was excited and grateful to be carrying a healthy baby girl, I was overwhelmed by all the things I now knew could go wrong, and I was still very much in grief. A few weeks into that pregnancy, I decided it was not fair to myself or the new baby I was carrying to allow my grief to completely overwhelm my joy. But it’s not that easy. Grief is not a faucet you can just turn off. I felt like I just needed a spark of something joyful to help me feel even a little less depressed. And so, I started wearing sequins. Little bits, here and there, somehow helped me to be in a better mood! It seems silly, but it was almost as if the light of the sequins on the outside, helped make up for the darkness I was feeling on the inside.

I started mentioning my sequins obsession on the babyloss boards where I was a member. At first, I assumed the women there thought I was nuts. But soon I started receiving emails “I saw some sequins today and it made me think of you and it brightened my day!” or “I really didn’t want to go (somewhere), but I wore a sparkly headband and it really cheered me up!”

And then, I read that sentence “I used to be Much Muchier, But then I lost my Muchness.”  That was it! The sequins were helping me tap into my long lost Muchness! On a lark, I decided to challenge myself to wear sequins every day for 30 days. It was to be my ’30 Days Of Muchness Challenge.’ I photographed my sequins every day and shared it on my Facebook wall. The response was truly overwhelming. People were so responsive and encouraging and inspired!! And for me, it was tremendously healing. I was finding my Muchness, and I was finding Myself. Reminding myself who I had been, learning who I now am, and being true to myself. After my 30 days I started my blog to bring The Muchness to a larger audience.

Since then lots of women have joined in to take the 30 Days Of Muchness Challenge on the site. Everyone’s Muchness is different, it’s not sparkle for everyone, and taking the 30 Day Challenge helps them remember what theirs is. It reminds them what they are grateful for. What gives their spirits a lift. What, besides their losses or hardships or challenges, truly defines them. They remember how to be happy. And how to find that happiness in the everyday.

And now, I am SO PSYCHED  and honored that Julie from Grieve Out Loud has decided to take the Challenge!!! It’s eye-opening and so interesting to follow along with the challengers as they tentatively start their journey, unsure how they will feel in 30 Days. Will they really keep up with the challenge? Will it really affect them? Is it worth the hassle? (yes, yes, and um, yes.)

I hope you’ll follow along with Julie on her journey – and join in and take it yourself! It’s so easy to participate, anyone can do it – you can even do it from your smart  phone!

It is truly
30 Days of Life
30 Days of Color
30 Days of Sparkle
30 Days of Fun
30 Days of Found Joy
30 Days of Healing
30 Days of Happy

Visit the site to read more about The Muchness Movement, meet the challengers, and check out the sequined Muchness Bands- they are ‘little bits of light to help you find your way through darkness.”

Thanks soooo much!


Stay tuned for highlights from my 30 Day Muchness Challenge starting September 1st, 2011!