Better Than A Hallelujah

absolutely LOVE this song.


Our first Thanksgiving without her

My beautiful family.

Ryon, Chloe, Bellabear watching over,

& Austinbelly hidden by the table :)

and ME

This year was tough im not going to lie.

It just didnt feel "normal"

I woke up throughout the night checking on my dough and warming up the towel that was over it hoping it would rise by the morning! I woke up for the last time around 7am...

dough wasnt quite ready but we werent ready to eat either...heck Ryon slept for a few more hours!

I got the ham ready and popped it in the oven for 2 hours.

While that was cooking I prepped the turkey and put it in the electric roaster I borrowed from my MIL. So nervous to cook it in that since I had never used it before. We had expected it to take about 4.5 hours or so but that sucker was ready in 3 hours!!!

After I got the meats started I decided to take a shower before starting on the SIDES (opposed to "fixin's)

The shower seems to be my "safe place" to cry. If its a bad day I can put on a happy face but once Im in the shower it just all comes out! I was a mess...TMI but I cried so hard it made me throw up! I hadnt had morning sickness for a few days so I guess it was that time?

After the shower I went and laid with Ryon and told him how much I missed Bella.

Last year I had less than a month to go before she would arrive. I talked about how this thanksgiving would be sooo much better with her here. I imagined everything. Daddy sleeping while mommy and Bella cooked up a storm! Well this year it wasnt like that. Just quite. Cooking alone(which I love but I wanted my Bella)

I hated it.

I hated that she wasnt crawling around, "helping" me, you know just being a sweet little almost 1 year old.

Well anyway...Ryon woke up and made eggs while I made the frydoughs (a yummy Ritter tradition)

The ham was ready and we ate our holiday breakfast.

Then off to the kitchen to make all the sides I went!

baked mac n cheese

baked mashed potatoes(w/skin!)

broccoli, cheese, rise casserole


asparagus -lemon :(((  (wont do that again!)




 pumpkin pie (from scratch!)

oreo pudding pie

yum. yum. yum

Austin loved it and kicked at every bite!

I cant wait until next year. I picture a much happier Thanksgiving. I didnt "see" next year in my head because I cant see the future anymore...but I imagine things being a little "easier" with a healthy, happy baby in the house. We could really use the happiness that a baby brings.

It was really hard to get into the holiday spirit and being thankful.

Dont get me wrong...I am VERY thankful this year. I dont mean to sound completely bitter and sad...but of course theres lots of sadness being this is the first year...

Im thankful I had 22 days to adore my little girl. Stare at her. talk to her. tell her I loved her.

Im thankful for her. Shes taught me so much and continues to do so even tho she is no longer living.

I see the world in a different light...and I am thankful...I would have never seen the beauty in everything if it werent for my angel.

I am thankful for my wonderful husband who is my ROCK. We have become SO much closer this past year. I am glad I have someone like him to share everything with.

Im thankful for all the wonderful friendships ive made with all the mothers of angels...they have helped me tremendously this past year!

The few friends that have been there for me...I thank you.

FAMILY has been great and im SO thankful for some of the wonderful things they have done for us.

I am SO thankful for my little bean. My rainbow. I dont know where I would be on my journey of grief if he werent brewing in my belly. I dont want to imagine my life without him. I am so thankful he is starting to become more active and kicking up a storm. This makes me one happy and thankful momma.

Most of all I thank God.

Now if we could make it through Bella's birthday, Christmas, and her Angelversary...

There IS a light at the end of the tunnel.


New Video

From my sister:

Here is a long overdue video I made in memory of my sweet niece Bella Renae Blehr who passed after 3 short weeks from ACD, a rare fatal lung disease. Information on how to purchase this amazing song used or to buy the complete compilation cd is included in the video. A portion of all proceeds will go to ACD Research. Thank you for your support in helping to raise money for more research, as we search for answers and find a cure!
God Bless!


If you watch it from the blog be sure to pause the music playlist!



I cant believe its already November. I made it through Halloween, although that wasnt too hard. I was a little sad that I didnt get to dress her up and show her off like other glowing new parents.

Thankfully we live in the back of our neighborhood and we dont get too many trick or treaters anyway so I didnt get any candy to give out. I would have hated to start crying passing out candy to happy little trick or treaters. Everyone keeps saying..."oh, well next year.." let me tell you, that does not help whatsoever.

Ah, now on to the next.... Thanksgiving.

Ryon is all for this holiday...any excuse to eat :) Well not me. I am just not in the mood to celebrate ANYTHING this year. Normally ill cook at home and bring food to my MIL's. I really like being home so I was really looking forward to having Bella and staying home for holidays. We were going to cook at our house and just lounge around and eat and watch football and be with our little girl. Ah, my perfect Thanksgiving. Well since shes not here Ryon said we'd go over to the in laws. Id much rather just stay home tho. Its coming quick so we better figure out what were going to do.

Her first birthday is almost here...I cant believe it! This year just flew by but in my head it felt like time was standing still. Like people were rushing past me. Strange feeling. All year I was thinking about what to do...what to make. Well I havent done ANYTHING. Im stumped and dont know what to do. Hopefully ill figure somthing out soon.

Christmas is just a few days after and I suggested to Ryon that we go away. We get a small bonus from work (usually) and since I dont plan on buying anyone gifts I figure we could use that to go somewhere for Christmas Eve/Christmas. Still not sure where and if well go but thats what Id like to do. Better start looking!

After spending last year at the hospital w/Bella and then having dinner at Waffle House(it was the only option, and terrible...) I never thought Id want to be away from home again. However, I never thought we'd be without her this year. Being at home would just be so depressing.

Anyway...really just dreading these next 2 months


Sharing a bold post written by another baby loss mother

I applaud her for writting this.

In her memory

I really want to help other baby loss mothers and have read several blogs about what other women have done and it just got me really inspired to do something.

We got 2 memory boxes from the NICU at UVA(one after Bella passed and 1 at the memorial service that my mom and mother in law attended). So I think thats the route ill go.

They were very nice hand painted boxes. The one that we recieved after she passed had some of her things (the shampoo we used to bathe her, bp cuffs, locks of her hair, several of her hospital bands, ect) and the one from the service had a bag with angel shaped cookies, which I used to put some more of her things in.

Well my plan is to make a few boxes myself...and fill them with things that I beileve would help a baby loss mother and something also for the father. I love crafts...so hopefully I can make some nice boxes myself and inside include things like a book I found comforting, a candle, a charm or some sort of jewlery that has to do with an angel(s), a (bella) bear, and a handmade card.

I want to do this for her birthday every year...and donate to either the UVA NICU or Winchester's NICU...or both :)

This year its financially impossible to do but im hoping and praying that we can finally pay off her medical bills next year and be able to give back. Im really excited about this project and cant wait to get started. I think that ill use whats left of a michaels gift card I have to start on the boxes :)

I had planned to use it to make Bella something for her birthday but im stuck and cant figure out what to make/how to make whatever for her grave... any ideas???



Ive really been having a hard time lately. It started right before our vacation, perfect timing, which made the trip just lovely.

The holidays are coming up and this is the time of year I was dreading. Halloween, Thanksgiving, her birthday, Christmas, New Years, her angelversary...constant heartache.

Things seemed too easy for a while. I just wasnt crying that much and stopped doing things I would normally do. Instead of reading to her at her grave I started to just do "drive bys" (stop, give her kisses, tell her I loved her n leave) I stopped going in the nursery and talking to her. It just started to feel so cold and empty. I stopped giving her (picture) kisses goodnight...mainly because I usually pass out on the chair and sleep walk to bed.

I didnt get the chance to go by and see her before we went out of town, and this made me feel TERRIBLE. I felt like such a horrible mother leaving and not saying goodbye. I had a few tear times on the trip and lots of moodiness I blamed on my pregnancy hormones which wasnt completely true. I really just missed her. I still miss her...and ill always miss her. But she should have been with us. This was going to be her first time at the beach. It would have been a totally different trip is she was there...that really made me sad/mad/upset.

I had such a special bond with her. From the second I found out I was pregnant to the first kick at 17 weeks...I was head over heels in love with my Bella. I would talk to her, sing to her, tell her I loved her...all the time. I loved people talking about her, and I didnt mind the belly rubs and extra attention!

This is a big reason why im having a hard time. Im 19 weeks and I feel reluctant to bond with Austin. I dont talk to him and rarely rub my belly. He doesnt kick like Bella did so its not hard to "avoid" him. I dont know what it is but im just really uncomfortable when other people notice my belly and pay any attention to him...and those belly rubs that I didnt mind before, now they make my skin crawl.

This REALLY disturbs me. I read in all the books that some women have this reaction for fear of losing the baby again. Before I got pregnant I said "oh absolutely not me!" I thought for sure I would enjoy every second and embrace the pregnancy. I am so thankful to be pregnant...but im terrified.

*Id love to hear from other womn who've felt the same and how you dealt with it.

Anyway, I decided last night to ask Bella for help. I stepped into the nursery (which is STILL set up for her) and leaned over the crib...I told her how I was feeling and asked her to help me. I want so badly to bond with Austin...but im just having such a hard time. After crying out to her and talking for a while...I felt a huge sense of peace. I layed down and Austin started rolling all around. Hes been kicking a little more..and im hoping thats all I needed, was to feel my little miracle inside of me.

Its crazy how Bella is no longer here but talking to her always makes everything so much better. Shes a good listener and a big help to her mommy. So lucky to have my angel o:)

Mini update

So im back from Hawaii...and working on that blog. I might have it up by next year :)

I will be 20 weeks in a few days. I wanted to start another blog for our rainbow baby instead of adding on to this one which started out as "bella's"...and I fiiinally did, just a few weeks late(I guess part of me is still a Ritter lol)

This one I plan on writing about our angel, the family, our grief, and random stuff.

Ill be posting about the pregnancy and the baby on:


I cant write in my new blog tho until I can figure out how to add it to my blog app...I seem to only be able to blog from my phone nowadays.

Anyway...more blogs are swirling in my head so stay tuned! lol


(This wasnt written by me...found it on another baby loss mothers blog where she had posted poems that SHE found...so im not sure who wrote it :) but any baby loss mother can relate im sure)

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family's life.

Normal is feeling like you can't sit another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don't like to sit through anything.

Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what if's & why didn't I's go through your head constantly.

Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind, holding your head to make it go away.

Normal is staring at every baby who looks like he is my baby's age. And then thinking of the age they would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.

Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.

Normal is telling the story of your child's death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my "normal".

Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.

Normal is making sure that others remember them.

Normal is that everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn't compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.

Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.

Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.

Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done this because..." I love God, I know that my baby is in heaven, but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why healthy babies were taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother.

Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did laundry or if there is any food.

Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have a child, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have no children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.

Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.

And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are "normal".