Sep 2 2012

Butterfly Giveaway

Does seeing a butterfly remind you of your baby? Well, here’s your chance to win one of three decorative butterflies that are ready for you to customize!

 

Each of these three plastic butterflies have been primed and are ready for you to paint or decorate however your heart desires! Sizes are small (5 inches wide), medium (7.5 inches wide), and large (9.5 inches wide).

To enter, leave a comment and tell us how you would customize your butterfly to represent your baby (we’ll also need your name and e-mail address). You will automatically be entered for all three giveaways, check it. We will announce the winners here, on twitter, and our facebook page on Friday, September 14th!

Winner of the small butterfly will be randomly selected on Monday, September 10. Winner of the medium butterfly will be randomly selected on Tuesday, September 11. Winner of the large butterfly will be randomly selected on Wednesday, September 12.



Jul 13 2012

AUGUST Monthly Milestone Exchange

Now accepting participants for AUGUST!

If you have a milestone (birthday, due date, miscarriage, etc) that falls inside the month of August, you should consider signing up! Here is how the Monthly Milestone Exchange works:

–  If you are interested in participating you must fill out this form. PLEASE only sign up if your milestone falls inside the month of AUGUST (we will be posting new forms for each month). Please utilize the “Special Instructions/Free Space” area for information regarding your specific milestone.

– Serious participants only! This is a get a gift, give a gift exchange.

– Cut off date for this exchange: July 21st.

– You will be randomly partnered and contacted by the e-mail address you supply. You have 72 hours to reply to our e-mail. If we don’t hear from you, you will automatically be removed from the exchange.

– You are responsible for getting in touch with your partner and mailing their gift. Please contact your partner if there will be a delay in shipping. It is better to say something, then nothing at all. Have your package postmarked 5-7 days BEFORE the milestone.

– We highly encourage this to be a handmade card/gift exchange. The more personalized the gift, the better. Create a keepsake for life. Please keep gifts/supplies between $5-20.

– Have fun and be creative! This shouldn’t be a stressful project. If the thought of creating something is stressful please don’t sign up.

Any questions, feel free to contact us at



Jun 24 2012

In Memory: Donation Support

 



 





Our mission statement is: Helping families find their way back to life after loss.
Donations help us do that.
Our In Memory: Donation Support program will help all involved.

While there are many ways to honor the memory of pregnancies and babies gone too soon, friends and family often have no idea how. Some still feel “bringing them up” might upset you. In Memory: Donation Support was designed as an easy way for anyone to remember and support their friends or loved ones dealing with pregnancy and infant loss.

With every In Memory: donation, we will create and send a handmade tribute card to the family notifying them a donation has been made in their baby’s memory. Families are deeply impacted by donations made around their baby’s milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries and due dates and these cards will be wonderful keepsakes for them.

 

We also offer custom creative services for families who wish to have donations made directly to Grieve Out Loud such as:

– in lieu of … donation cards for funerals, birthdays or other occasions
– please consider a donation in honor of my baby cards
– today is my baby’s birthday, please consider a donation in his/her memory
– an expression of sympathy donation cards
– donation statement cards


(More examples available. Contact with any questions)

Donations are accepted online through PayPal, or by check. Please for special instructions when mailing a check.

Any help we receive will directly help families in need. Here are just a few examples of how your donations translate into support:

$10 donation = 20 stamps for Pen-Pal cards
$20 donation = 1000 business cards
$30 donation = a 2 year renewal of our domain
$50 donation = 500 postcards for hospitals and clinics
$75+ donation = savings for our future babyloss convention

Please consider making an In Memory: Donation today!

 





 

 



Jun 11 2012

CliffsNotes on Grief – A Book Review


CliffsNotes on Grief
Good Grief! by Erica McNeal
By Julie McAnary
Photo credit: ericamcneal.com

:::::
If you were to ask Erica McNeal why bad things happen to good people, she would likely reply with, “Why not?”

I consider myself an expert in grief. In my thirty years of life I have already buried my mother, my grandmother, my son and a few family pets to boot. Not even my own expertise prepared me for the magnitude of loss that unfolds in just the first few pages of McNeal’s Good Grief!

With no thanks to reality television or pop music, we hear the term “survivor” all the time. Erica McNeal is the true definition of a survivor. McNeal perseveres in spite of all the grief and loss she has experienced and leaves us with what I can only describe as CliffsNotes on grief.

No matter how healthy we seem, how spiritual we are, or how many times we wash our hands, bad things can and do happen to all of us. For McNeal bad things kept coming. Instead of letting these struggles define her, she turned them into a tangible resource for individuals and families dealing with cancer or illness, pregnancy and infant loss, and facing difficult trials all from a personal point-of-view.

Good Grief! recognizes that friends and family have the best intentions when it comes to consoling the bereaved, yet sometimes the wrong words fall out. McNeal shows us how to fix those wrong words in an encouraging and spiritual way.

McNeal holds your hand and gives you all the guidance you could possibly ask for. In return, she hopes you become the incredible support system your loved one desperately needs. “When you stay consistent and intentional, you create a beautiful oasis in a very dry desert for your loved one to grieve appropriately.”

:::::

Good Grief! is now available for purchase!
As a thank you, McNeal is offering 5 bonuses for anyone who chooses to purchase the book from June 11-15.
For all the information please visit her website: ericamcneal.com

:::::

Julie McAnary is the founder of Grieve Out Loud, a pregnancy and infant loss support network started in 2010 after her first child was stillborn at thirty-seven weeks.



Jun 9 2012

JULY Monthly Milestone Exchange

We’re back and ready to accept participants for JULY!

If you have a milestone (birthday, due date, miscarriage, etc) that falls inside the month of July, you should consider signing up! Here is how the Monthly Milestone Exchange works:

–  If you are interested in participating you must fill out this form. PLEASE only sign up if your milestone falls inside the month of JULY (we will be posting new forms for each month). Please utilize the “Special Instructions/Free Space” area for information regarding your specific milestone.

– Serious participants only! This is a get a gift, give a gift exchange.

– Cut off date for this exchange: June 23rd.

– You will be randomly partnered and contacted by the e-mail address you supply. You have 72 hours to reply to our e-mail. If we don’t hear from you, you will automatically be removed from the exchange.

– You are responsible for getting in touch with your partner and mailing their gift. Please contact your partner if there will be a delay in shipping. It is better to say something, then nothing at all. Have your package postmarked 5-7 days BEFORE the milestone.

– We highly encourage this to be a handmade card/gift exchange. The more personalized the gift, the better. Create a keepsake for life. Please keep gifts/supplies between $5-20.

– Have fun and be creative! This shouldn’t be a stressful project. If the thought of creating something is stressful please don’t sign up.

Any questions, feel free to contact us at

Happy Exchange!

 



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 julie.findingmymuchness.com
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 findingmymuchness.com



Mar 27 2012

What was your baby’s First Nickname?

Baby’s can acquire many nicknames. What was your baby’s first nickname? Did it stick? Tell us the story behind their nickname.



Feb 27 2012

What was your First Craving?

What was your first craving? Food or drink? Savory or sweet? Junk food or health food? How long did the cravings last?

Share your stories with us!



Nov 1 2011

2011 Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange

The year we lost our son I participated in a handmade gift exchange hosted by Mother Henna. It truly helped us get through our very first Christmas after our loss. It was such an inspiration. This year we have teamed up with Faces of Loss to create the 2011 Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange!

The call for participants is NOW OPEN! If you are interested in joining please leave a comment including your name and either your blog url or e-mail address. The cut-off date for all participants will be November 13th! November 14th we will post the partners list so make sure to check back then.

Here are the guidelines:

– This exchange is open to everyone from anywhere. You might end up with an overseas partner. Keep that in mind when shipping.

– Please have your package(s) post marked by December 15th. If you miss the date please contact your partner and let them know when to expect it.

– You will be contacting your partner for their mailing address. This will be a great opportunity to ask them about their loss and how you might incorporate them into your project.

Here are some tips & tricks:

– Don’t be afraid to ask your partner questions. The more you know about them, the more ideas you will have. Research things like birthstones or zodiac signs. Find out what their favorite color is. Your gift should be from your heart to theirs. Anything is possible.

– You can create using any type of medium you feel comfortable with, so long as it is handmade! Some examples include: baked goods, drawings, paintings, ornaments, jewelry, picture frames, fiber art and knits, photography, wall art, candles, music, cards, or tags. Think etsy.com!

– Make sure to snap photos of your work-in-progress and the finished piece(s). We would like to do a photo collage of some of the projects you created.

– If you have any questions feel free to !

To help spread the word please share this graphic on your blog or website.

We look forward to seeing what you create!

ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED!



Oct 14 2011

2011 Wave of Light

Saturday, October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Everyone is invited to light a candle at 7 p.m. in ALL time zones, all over the world! Snap a picture and share who the candle is burning for.

In the past years many of you have submitted some amazing photos. I would like to keep the tradition going. If you aren’t already, please add us to your FB Page. When you have posted your pictures of your candles, tag us in the photo. In the next few days I will make us a photo collage of all the candles as a keepsake. Also looking for high-res pictures from your memorial activities that are going around in your city. These photos will be used to bring awareness on how important October 15th is and to show in picture how we find ways to remember our children. If you are not on FB please feel free to e-mail us your photos at

Looking forward to hearing about everyone’s activities on the 15th. Every year more opportunities seem to pop up. Let us keep the awareness out there and remember our children in style!

(Photo from: Sweet Peat Project)