Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are visiting because you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, let me say that I am so very sorry. I started this blog shortly after our Baby Grady was stillborn on November 12, 2008. Please visit the sidebar below called "Labels" to find the topic in which you are interested, or just read as your heart desires.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Well, we made it hiking yesterday! It couldn’t have been a more perfect day! The weather was great(sunny, 70 degrees & a slight breeze), and I was with my three most favorite people in the world!

We went to the Elachee Nature Center. My sweet friend, Amy Ellen, suggested it to me on Saturday, and I’m so glad she did!

We started the day with a .75 mile loop called the Dodd Trail. Well, there are no bathrooms open on the weekend right where we were, and of course, after about seven minutes of being in the woods, Emma Grace announced that she had to go "tee tee". I felt bad but told her she was going to have to wait.

There was an overlook area, so we tested out Jessica’s photography abilities. Not so bad for an almost 10 year old!

Once we finished that loop, we piled back in the van to drive over to the bike trails. It wasn’t a real restroom – more like a glorified outhouse - but it served the purpose!

We drove back to the nature trails because we weren’t ready to leave. I had packed some food, and the girls chose to picnic in the back of the van instead of at the picnic area.

We started a second trail called the Mathis Trail. This one was a little longer, at one mile. As we were walking along, Emma Grace started talking about Baby Grady and how much he would like our hiking, too. Right after that, Emma Grace started a collection of pine cones. Then Jessica joined in. I had my eyes open to finding small ones because I think they’re so cute. I found a small one, and either Jessica or Emma Grace said, “That could be Baby Grady’s pinecone”. I love how they think of him in everything we do!

As I was walking, I stumbled upon this:

This may mean nothing to you, but there are three small pine cones on a small stick. When I saw it, I immediately snatched it up because to me, they represent my three children. They’re held together in a cluster, just like siblings should stick together, and they’re attached to a stick, just like they are a permanently fixated to my heart.

The hike was going well, until Jessica fell in the creek.

She was so distraught about getting her pants and shoes dirty. She was kind of stuck and it was tricky getting her back onto the side of the bank. As Gib was helping her jump across, Emma Grace fell with a pine cone in her hand. OUCH! She cried for a minute but was a trooper. She has many small little cuts in the palm of her hand from the prickles on the pine cone.

As we were trying to get this hike done, as it was starting to go downhill, Gib saw another place where he could get to the creek to try to wash Jessica’s dirtiest shoe off.

Jessica waited patiently on a log...

Emma Grace tried to sit on the log with her sister but fell backwards on her bottom. That girl!!!

Now, they were both curious as to where Daddy went to clean the shoe, so off they went trodding to the creek again…

Needless to say, at the end of the hike, we were all pooped! Time to head home.

Well, the fun didn’t stop there. Jessica decided she’d stick her head out the window for the 30 minute drive home. (She was buckled in!)

Emma Grace was buckled in her booster so that she couldn’t move very well, but she settled for her hands.

I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to spend with my family!!! When we got home, Gib asked Jessica if she’d like to go hiking again. Her answer, “Yeah, but not next Saturday!”. Everyone slept well last night!



  1. I love this post! These are such great pictures. It looks like a very fun day. And I love that your children include Grady in what they see and do.

    I hope you had a good Monday... I'm going outside :)

  2. What a wonderful family day - it looks like a such a fun hiking trail, and it sounds like you all had a great adventure.

  3. Okay Tonya, I thought you had learned your lesson about Gib and cleaning things. Remember the last time he tried to clean something he ended up flushing them! LOL!!!

  4. Tonya,
    We enjoy catching up with you through the post. What a great day it looked like you all had, how much fun!! How wonderful that Grady is remembered in all activities of life.

    Shannon Lowry