Sometimes you never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.Dr Suess

I wanted to start off today's blog with a big fat thank you. Thank you to everyone who has commented on this blog, sent me emails, sent me texts, sent me a card in the mail-thank you to anyone and everyone who has held my son and I in your prayers. I had a woman, that I have never met, come up to me at church on Sunday and tell me how much she and her aunt have been following our story and praying for us. It never gets old to hear that. It humbles me, every time, to know that someone takes a moment from their day to lift us up in prayer. You know what else? I feel them. I feel those prayers on my really hard days. I know that when people say that they are praying that they are and it means the world to me. Thank you for reading this blog and for all of the ways that you encourage me daily. Truly.

My son loves pictures of his Dada. We have pictures up all over our home and many times when he walks by the picture of Joel he pauses, smiles and says "Dada!" I recently had several photos framed of Joel and put them in my sons room. My Mom had talked about laminating a photo for Milo to be able to have with him. I liked this idea but I found something even better. My friend Larissa sent me a link for something called a Hugee doll. It is primarily for kids who's parents are away in the military but it can also be for a child who's lost a parent. It is just a little doll with a plastic opening that you can slip a picture into. When I saw this I knew it would be perfect for my son. After Milo had his evening bath and before he went to bed I told him I had something special for him, then I gave him the doll. He squealed and got the biggest smile on his face. Then he came and sat in my lap and kissed his Daddy's face over and over. Then he held the doll up to my lips and wanted me to kiss his Daddy. Man, it broke my heart in two and made me so happy all at once. I don't know any better way to describe it. I would say more than the sadness it brings me some relief knowing that Milo can have his Daddy so close to him. The sad part is just thinking it really shouldn't be this way. No baby should ever have to grow up without his Father. The day that Joel died, even more than my own pain-which was so deep, my heart broke for my son and what he had lost. All we have to hold onto are the memories, the videos, the pictures, and each of these things have become priceless to us. I'm so thankful that we found this doll and that Milo can have it right with him as he drifts off to sleep every night with his Daddy by his side.

If you are interested in one of these dolls you can find them HERE.