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Monday

Charlotte



Alright, so it's been a few months. And I honestly didn't know when I'd blog again, but on the other hand, I didn't ever feel done with blogging. I feel like a lot of people turn more these days to the "quick fix" of posts on Instagram and Instastories, but every time I pulled up this old blog and it ended showing the below happy-go-lucky, life-is-kinda-normal post about Lochlan turning one month old, it just didn't feel right. Life isn't the same as it was on July 23rd. But man, I kind of long for those days of semi-innocent bliss that I was experiencing on July 23rd.

I don't want to rehash the past 3 months here, because I think most everyone knows what's going on with our sweet Charlotte. I've documented most everything on a dedicated Instagram page, @charlottesjoy.

In the hospital, I toyed with the idea of just closing off everything. Shutting it down. No blog, no Instagram, no putting our very personal story out for the world to witness, talk about, whisper about, and possibly even judge. We don't live in that happy highlight reel anymore. We have real life sadness, challenges much deeper than I ever expected. As we neared our July 31st diagnosis, I got scared that what was going on with Charrie was going to be life-changing, but I still thought it could be "solved" -- or at the very least, managed -- by medication and cutting-edge technology.

But, that's not the case.

It was my husband who held me one night in the hospital and gently encouraged me to continue this if I wanted. To continue to share life as I have been since 2010, to continue to bring people in, to continue to flex this muscle IF and only IF it was therapeutic and helpful to me.

I didn't want to document the daily trials and tribulations here and on my main Instagram page; the hospital stays, the tube feedings, the regressions, the overall challenges ... because, maybe one day, I may want to scroll back  and really just relive my OWN highlight reel. Protect my own heart. See the good, backburner the sad. Focus on the cute family pictures, the smiles. The happy times. Not see my daughter in a hospital gown. Not feel that hurt. I'm not denying it's there, I'm just finding a new little place for it. A place I can choose not to re-live on the daily, if needed.

We've been supported by YOU in ways that I never could have imagined. Ways that make my throat ache and eyes water every time I think about it. You know how you look back on things in your life and think, "AAAHHHHH -- I get it now, I see why life did THIS so that THAT would happen." Well, that's what is occurring. I really do feel in my heart like I was led to blog in 2010 because eventually I would need this connection, need this virtual warm hug from all of you, need this outlet for ME, need this connection to people who genuinely care. People who say "I started reading when you were pregnant with Camille," that happens a lot and I feel such a connection to you. It's like we've "met" even though we've never MET.

So anyway. I will wrap this up here, but I guess I just want to say that I will be back from time to time, when it feels good and feels right and feels fun. That's what this blog has always been for me. A happy place. I have so many beautiful memories of Charrie-girl on these pages and it will always be refreshing and cathartic for me to re-read those posts. I write them for you but mainly for me. I need to stay busy, I need to fill my life with tasks that keep me busy and productive. Aldi finds? Stocking stuffer favorites? Recipes you need in your file? These are all problems I can fix.

I need problems I can fix.

So thank you for hangin' tough, for being there for a girl when she's in a place she never dreamed she would be. My baby. My Char. I don't know why things happen the way they do, but all I do know is that nobody questions my devotion to this amazing, lovely, sunshiney-smile girl. Have you ever seen a more beautiful smile?

Me neither.

See ya here for the happy stuff.

46 comments:

  1. You are incredibly well written April. Along with incredibly strong, incredibly wise, incredibly inspiring, incredibly motivating, and incredibly, incredibly loved.

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  2. You are amazing. Thank you for bringing the happy to stuff to my life as a reader. You have impacted my life by sharing yours. xx.

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  3. I am one of those who have followed you since you were pregnant with Camille. We had our three children at similar times. I pray all the time for you and Charlotte. I have no words for what you are going through. I don't get it. But you are loved, God is there in the midst of the valley with you and you are doing such a beautiful job being a mama to those three babies.

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  4. So moved, so touched, and so happy to see your name pop up on my reading list once again. I hope this space serves as a safe, warm place for you when you need it. I can't tell you how inspirational you are as a momma and a person to me. <3 Hugs.

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  5. April, you are just incredible. So happy to hear that you are continuing to blog. <3

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  6. You're amazing & your children and Ian are so blessed by you. Continuing to hold your family in prayer that our God would sustain you, that He would multiply the minutes you have that are joyful.

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  7. You are the epitome of grace during tragedy. The way you put your daughter’s happiness first is inspiring.

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  8. April, what a beautiful picture. I think it's safe to say that a lot of us will show up for the happy stuff and the tough stuff. You have always been the real deal and I think people can see that in your blog posts over the years and have responded to that authenticity. Your strength in the face of this terrible diagnosis is inspiring and beautiful. I am praying for all of you and sending you all so much love!

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  9. I've been following along with your journey on IG, and I'm just amazed at your strength and grace. I've been praying for your sweet Charrie-girl and will continue to do so. She is so blessed to have you as her Mommy, April. You are AMAZING and inspiring.

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  10. Thank you so, so much for posting -- and for continuing to share your life/lives with us. You are loved; your strength inspires me each and every day.

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  11. Your hubby is a smart, smart man & I am glad that you will be stopping in from time to time. I've been away for a long time but I am hopeful to be back too as this blogging world is such a nice release. I am thinking of you & yours. I just started following the Instagram page for Miss Charlotte.

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  12. I am in tears and in awe. April, I have followed you for so long -- before any of your children were born. You have always been a favorite!! I will continue to pray for you, your family and your beautiful, precious Charlotte.

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  13. You bring me to tears. Your strength, your raw emotions, your real life perspective and your positivity even in the hardest times... I’m one of the people that falls in the “we’ve never met but after following you I feel like I know you” category. You are a beautiful person, mother and friend and your children are amazing! Praying for all of you.

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  14. I am one that has been following since before Camille was born. You are an amazing mother. I hurt for you and lift y’all up in prayers. Your grace is something you can only get from the Holy Spirit and we all admire that of you. ❤️❤️

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  15. Oh April, your strength and composure is astounding. I too have followed for years, always admiring your beautiful heart, smile, life and mommy hood. I felt like my heart shatterred into a million pieces when I read about Charlotte. The happy times and pretty pictures are still there and always will be. So much love and light to you xoxo

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  16. So happy that you continue to share your sweet girls and boy with the blogosphere.
    Your strength, unconditional love, joy and faith is so inspiring.
    Always praying.

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  17. Your strength is inspiring and amazing. Praying daily for you and your family.

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  18. I’m so happy to read a blog post here again. I too followed along when you were pregnant with Camille and looked forward to your weekly updates. I used them later as references in my own pregnancy. I look forward to reading your posts here. You are a talented writer and such a relatable woman. Onward and upward!

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  19. I’ve been reading since your WEDDING! And followed along as we both had babies and milestones with me just behind you. When you had Lochlan, I felt that wondering ache for my what-if-never 3rd baby. There has not been a day since July 31 that I haven’t thought of you and Char and your family, but then again, as a reader, there weren’t too many days prior where you didn’t cross my mind either as a frequent sharer of your life. Glad you can find your happy here. No one deserves that more than you. Love, ‘a stranger’

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  20. I love this post and I love you so very much my friend ! 💛

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  21. Oh mama, your grace, honesty, and sheer devotion to your sweet babies brings me to tears on a regular basis.
    I’m so honored and inspired by you- thankful I started reading so many years ago because I truly feel blessed to “know” you. This space has brought all of us to you as much as it’s brought you to all of us and we are better for it. Sending you so much love!

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  22. Praying for your beautiful family!! I love your realness and transparency. You have inspired so many or there, while beautifully loving your beautiful babies. Sending you so much love and support!!

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  23. April, it’s funny how this crazy world we live in and all this technology can make you feel like you know a person you’ve never met. Thank you for sharing your sweet family and keeping us up to date on your precious Char. Much love to you!

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  24. Seeing your post pop up in my feed made me smile, and following your blog is something I have done for years... Always praying for your sweet family x

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  25. I think of you and sweet Charlotte all the time. You’re an amazing mama!!!! Please know that you have so many prayers for your family through this journey.

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  26. April, words fall short. I’ve always enjoyed the refreshing real and down to earth manner in which you shared your life. I’ve been inspired by how you mother long before July 31st but since then, am reminded of your strength and passion for your kids even more. Praying for y’all often.

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  27. I’ve been following you since before you had Camille, and you’ve always been a favorite! Y’all have been on my heart and in my prayers so much these days. You do whatever you need to do and make this space whatever it needs to be whenever you need it to be that! ��

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  28. You and Christina were my virtual “pregnancy buddies” when we all had our first girls, all within a week or two. I guess that is about five years now that I have thought of you as a friend, and you guys are constantly on my mind and in my prayers. You navigate life and life’s challenges so beautifully and are such an inspiration to many. This community of supporters will continue to be here for you, and cry with you through the sad and smile with you through the happy. Thanks for letting us in. Xoxo

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  29. Been reading since before Camille was born! I've loved following along over the years, watching your family grow, and learning from your wisdom, now more than ever. I can't even describe how amazing and inspiring I think you are. Please know how many people are thinking of you, your family, and joyous Charlotte each day. You all are an incredibly tough bunch. Xo

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  30. April, as you know, I've been reading here since before you had Camille. I loved following you virtually through your pregnancies with the girls as mine were born not far behind. After I found LipSense and decided I needed a discount (HA!) I came to you because I just felt some weird, virtual connection to your story.
    I am SO GLAD your blog and makeup brought us together. You are an inspiration to me and you have one of the kindest, most genuine hearts I've ever had the pleasure of getting to know. I know you know my heart aches for you, your family and Charlotte. I would do anything to make this just magically disappear.
    However, it is a testament to your character and heart as a mother that you have continued to radiate joy and positivity during this unimaginable time. You have made an impact on so many women in our journey as mothers. You have reminded us all not to sweat the small stuff and celebrate happy times with our children. Sending you so much virtual love and hugs from my family and friends to you. Please squeeze Charlotte for us. <3

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  31. I think I found your blog when you were pregnant with Charlotte and I was also pregnant with my second daughter. I think that's why I've felt this connection to you and the blog.
    I think about you guys all the time. I think having a daughter Charlotte's age has made your ordeal so much more real to me. I just can't imagine, and my heart just goes out to you.
    I had hoped to see you/meet you at the CLTjoy pop-up but didn't see you (I think I might have somehow missed a section)! Hopefully someday we'll cross paths. Until then, just know I'm thinking of you, and hopefully the kiddos are enjoying the snuggly elephants.

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  32. You have been one of my favorite blog reads for years, even before you were expecting Camille. I have loved reading the recipes, tips on motherhood, fashion, babies etc. Your strength, authenticity and positivity has always shown through your posts. Always praying for your family! Much love and support to you and your family.
    (Please ignore past two comments, I was having an issue trying to publish.)

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  33. Sweet April,

    I have followed you from the very beginning. I remember when you got engaged and your wedding! I follow very few people and you have always been one of my favorites. Praying for your whole family right now and will continue.

    xoxo,
    Melissa

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  34. I stumbled across your blog when you were pregnant with Camille. I felt an instant connection, like we'd be best friends in real life and continued to follow you ever since. You are absolutely right, you were made to write this blog for a reason. Your voice spoke to us and you built this village of wonderful followers. We have been around for all of the fun times and we will be around for all of the difficult times. Praying for you and your beautiful family. oxoxo!

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  35. I am one of those that started following you when you were pregnant with Camille. My heart is breaking that your family is going thru this. My 4 year old prays for Charlotte who we only know thru pictures, but feels like family. Xoxo

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  36. I've been following for years, and my heart hurts daily for your family. Glad you're back to blogging!

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  37. I have also been a reader for years (with no Instagram), and I pray and think about you and your family all of the time. I check your blog every day for a chance that maybe you have updated. Thank you for being the very definition of grace and love. Sending all of the prayers.

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  38. What a tremendous example of dignity and grace you are as a strong southern mother. I pray that God gives you strength as you take care of your family, especially beautiful Charlotte. Thank you for letting us in on your journey.

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  39. I'm not sure how long I've been reading your blog, definitely awhile. I appreciate and respect the raw honesty that can be found in the words of this most current post. I am not sure what comfort my reply here can give you, but just know that Charlotte and the entire family have been in my thoughts and prayers, and, will remain there. You have become such a beacon of strength, grace and dignity under such challenging circumstances. You and your family are really an example for everyone even folks such as myself who are a few generations older with no children. I follow you on Instagram and feel so uplifted by the loving posts that can be found there. Family devotion in real time. Bravo to you and your husband as you carry on with life, take care of Charlotte, and raise your newborn and big sister. We are all with you in spirit so in the darkest of moments know there are many strangers out there who are puling for you. Be buoyed by that.

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  40. I found your blog some time ago and reading your post today I had no idea how much your family’s current season has brought. My prayers are with you and your family. May the Lord give you strength and time.

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  41. Ahhh April, so nice to see you back but I have been keeping up on Instagram with you. You truly amaze me, your strength, your realness, your rawness, the joy you find in everything you are able to. You are an inspiration to many many people. I think of you and your family every day and ask God to send you some comfort and peace virtually that surpasses all understanding in traveling this road. Char is so lucky to have you as parents, she will only know joy and love and that my friend is a priceless gift. Continued prayers to you all and yes, she truly has the BEST smile in all the land. Big hugs. 💜😘🙏🏻

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  42. SO darn good to read and see you back! Your blog has been NOTHING but a CONSTANT inspiration to me since the very beginning. I've definitely opened my bookmark to your page multiple times just to check and see if you decided to come back. Instagram is great but you're right, the blogging community is absolutely amazing. That picture of you both is fantastic - love love love! Thinking about y'all daily and thanks so much for sharing your life. We all love y'all and continue to send daily little prayers your way friend! xo

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