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February 10, 2016 / Ingrid

Sharing His Light

With Jesse’s 3rd year anniversary in Heaven coming up next month, I would like to do something simple but yet special.

I remember when Jesse first started high school the big issue was… “What group do I fit in with?” That question seemed crucial to him because he didn’t grow up in North Carolina and had not established childhood friendships. “Mom, What am I?”, he would ask. “Am I a country boy, jock, prep…”  I always encouraged him to be himself, not try to fit in with one group. And that is exactly what Jesse did. He could talk & sing country, sling mud from the truck tires, shoot a squirrel mid air jumping from tree to tree, throw a mean curveball, hit a home run, and he loved shopping at the mall so he could dress to the nines. BUT no matter the occasion, Jesse always wanted to smell good. He was very particular about smells and the fragrance I remember the most on him was A&F Fierce.

Consequently, while embarking on my soy candle making venture, I started making Jesse’s A&F cologne scented candles. They smell so good and bring back wonderful memories.

On March 6, 2016, Jesse’s 3rd anniversary in Heaven, we will be lighting one of his special scented candles in commemoration of our love for him. During this time we will be giving thanks for all of our blessings and praying for you.

If you would like to join us, we would love to Share His Light! I am making a special batch of travel size candles with Jesse’s cologne fragrance, and will mail them out to the first requests. Please contact me as soon as possible with your mailing address. One option is to privately provide your address under the ‘Send Us a Message’ tab in the top right corner of this page. 🙂

Thank you for loving Jesse, being by our sides and keeping his memory alive!

~Ingrid <333


December 24, 2015 / Ingrid

Hung with Love

The ornaments we received for Jesse’s special Christmas tree have truly blessed us this season. It is evident that each handpicked ornament has a special meaning just for him.  I love the handmade ones too! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your love & support.

December 22, 2015 / Ingrid

Keeping Jesse’s Memory Burning

So many times I have been asked how I keep going after Jesse went to Heaven. It has been interesting to see how God has provided me with peace and an open mind to explore my creative side.  Acrylic painting, chalk art, travel photography, seasonal crafts, cooking and now candle making…they all have been wonderful outlets.

Candles are one of my favorite things.  Most every morning before I make coffee, I light a candle and read a daily calendar scripture.  Needless to say, candles are a necessity :).  This year I was inspired by our girl, Makenzie Sanford, to make my own soy candles.  It has been so fun to learn the process. Vanilla, citrus, cinnamon and most recently Jesse’s favorite cologne fragrance have been my scents of choice.

I share my handmade candles…to keep my Jesse’s memory burning.IMG_7645



Kenzie Sanford shares her leukemia survivor story on Facebook through her line of candles…check out her page called ShineOn!





December 6, 2015 / Ingrid

Christmas Preparations…


Jesse's Christmas Tree

We are coming up on our 3rd Christmas without our son Jesse.
As the season approaches, I find my heart aching and tears welling up more than usual. I can honestly say, time does not take away the pain but keeping his memory alive softens the grief.

Our first Christmas without him we chose to take a road trip south to visit and celebrate with family. That was a great way to connect and share but yet avoided reliving a Christmas at home without our son. Needless to say, Christmas cards weren’t sent out either. How was I to sign cards without his name? I couldn’t, so I didn’t.

Our second Christmas without Jesse was actually Savannah’s last Christmas at home as a high school student, so we did it up. We all pulled it together… decorations & treats made, a real tree put up, visit from my sister & niece, and a wonderful meal prepared by my Dad. Yes, I even sent out Christmas cards but Jesse was included. I found a healthy photo of him during one of his happiest moments fishing and added it to the card. That seemed to make card giving a bit easier.

Now here it is, the third Christmas approaching and what should I do? I can’t begin to imagine the Christmas celebration Jesse gets to partake of in Heaven but my human heart still wishes he was here with us. After some thought, I decided to dedicate and decorate a small Christmas tree in memory of our Jesse. One of our family traditions has been to give the kids a new ornament every year. Those in addition to the precious ones he made as a child will be a nice start.

This year I would like to open an invitation to you. If you feel moved to provide an ornament for Jesse’s special Christmas tree, I would love to hang it for you! The only thing I ask is that you please write your name on the back…this would really bless my heart! ❤️

As we navigate this path God has placed our family on, I will continue to give thanks for the 18 precious years I was blessed with our son and attempt to keep his memory alive. Thank you for your love, support and prayers.

I love you Jesse!  Forever & Always ~Mom

“Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and my privilege of being a mother. In Your Holy Name. Amen.”

Tree Decorations1 Tree Decorations2 Tree Decorations3













*if you would like our mailing address please iMessage or email me



September 26, 2015 / Ingrid

Happy 21st Birthday Jesse…

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 1.33.19 PM  Jesses muscles

Twenty-one years ago today was one of the most exciting days of my life… I was blessed with baby Jesse.  That day my life changed forever. I learned what it was to become selfless, focussing on the needs of my new family.  We always acknowledged Jesse was a gift…but God’s child first.  It was a privilege to love, guide and care for him for eighteen years. Jesse provided our family with endless excitement especially with ER visits due to a skateboard collision concussion, stitches, a broken arm from falling out of his bunk bed or the other broken arm due to jumping off the top of the monkey bars trying to impress the girls. He loved to make people laugh, especially me when he was in trouble…oh, how I miss my boy.  Sometimes, I wonder what he would have become but I can’t stay in that thought for long because I get too sad. That’s probably the most difficult.

But today…I give thanks for the time we had with our son. For his fearless nature. For his courage. For his fight. For his faith. For his heart. For his birth.

Happy Birthday Jesse!  I miss you & love you, Forever ❤️ Always ~ Mom

“You know my heart Lord…and today is a significant day. I am missing our son Jesse. I miss his hugs, smile, laughter, talks and “I love you Mom”s. But I hold on tight to his memories and have faith in our future in Heaven. It is only by Your grace, mercy & love that I am able to move forward in my life with any peace or joy. Thank you, Father God. Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice and example. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for guiding me along my path with those gentle whispers of encouragement & redirection. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.”

Jesse new born Jesse birthday Birthday dinner

April 14, 2015 / Ingrid

Jesse’s Journey Site reActivated


It has been quite awhile since I’ve posted on our Jesse’s Journey blog but I am now feeling the need to share.

As time moves on, things continue to change and memories fade.  My goal is to safeguard some of our memories in this blog, acknowledge those that have provided support in so many ways and suggest resources that may help others during challenging times.  I am in the process of revising the site a bit, adding pictures and some video clips.

If at anytime you feel led to offer suggestions or comments, please feel free to email me.

~ Ingrid <333

April 1, 2015 / Ingrid

2nd Anniversary in Heaven

It is so hard to believe that our Jesse has been in Heaven for 2 years now.  It seems like yesterday that we were fighting the fight of Leukemia & physically rehabilitating him from his chemo brain damage.  I am so proud of his warrior spirit, personal transformation and promise to “Never Give Up.”  As I live my different life without Jesse, I am often reminded of how amazingly strong & courageous he was.  He rarely complained, willingly took on the next challenge & practically always had a smile for the camera.

Jesse’s journey has effected my outlook on life… He inspires me when I struggle, my occasional physical pain never compares to what he endured and when I see Jesse’s photo, I always smile with a heart full of love.
On March 6, 2015, he celebrated his 2nd Anniversary in Heaven.

I miss you and love you so much Jesse!  Forever & Always ~ Mom

July 31, 2013 / Ingrid

The Great Escape Update

The Great Escape DVD movie library has been delivered to the pediatric cancer patients at U of M, Mott’s Children’s Hospital. Yesterday, Savannah, Grandpa Gary and I returned to the hospital for the first time since leaving Jesse on March 6, 2013. We met Molly, Jenni and Dr. Harris in the Child Life Department on the 7th floor. It was bittersweet… exciting to get the movies to the kids, great to see our wonderful friends but still emotional to pass Jesse’s picture in the hallway and remember the many, many experiences there. But of course, before leaving there were many laughs by all as everyone shared their Jesse stories.

This project would not have been this successful without the many, many donations from people all over the country! Thank you all so much for joining together with us to provide such an awesome movie selection for these kids. Your kindness and their ability to escape from their reality for 90 minutes is such a blessing and warms my heart. <333




July 28, 2013 / Ingrid

45 in Florida

The Roxboro Little League All Stars ~ the girls senior team ~ won the NC state tournament. They are now in Ft Myers, Florida, playing regionals.

The Carvers were reminded of Jesse by the miles on their vehicle & sent this picture to us:

“45 is Alive in Our Hearts”

July 24, 2013 / Ingrid

6th stop ~ Seattle, Washington


Back where it all started, Pier 91.  Our Princess Cruise Ship, the Star Princess, safely returned us to Seattle.  What a wonderful adventure this trip was for us as a couple!  So many new memories were made, though throughout the trip certain things would remind us of both Jesse and Savannah.  Knowing how much Jesse wanted to explore Alaska made us sad.  He would have absolutely loved the state, probably wouldn’t have ever come home because of the abundance of hunting, fishing and outdoor activity.  But we are trusting in our Lord’s promise of eternal life and the Glory of Heaven.

Upon disembarking, I was thinking “Seattle…Coffee…Starbucks!”


It wasn’t long before we noticed a Starbucks on every, I mean every, corner.  A local told us that there are over 80…yes, eight zero, Starbucks in Seattle!  How crazy is that?  Needless to say, my goal was to seek out the original Starbucks coffee shop.  It seems it was everyone else’s idea, too!  The customer line was out the door and down the road with a twenty-five minute wait…no biggie!  It was just interesting to see the various people willing to make the sacrifice…true coffee junkies.

Seattle has it all!  Many bodies of water, mountains, lush forests, amazing skyline, art and music scenes and so much culture! We backpacked the city for over eight hours and I could not stop taking pictures.  The Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Chihuly Garden and Glass were just a few of our highlights.  This was a wonderful way to wrap up our vacation.  Seattle will be another future vacation destination for sure!




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“45 is Alive in Our Hearts!”