Full term

Today I am 37 weeks along with our third pregnancy. I am full term. This entire pregnancy there has been a shadow of anxiety lurking in the corner. Being pregnant after having a miscarriage is exciting and terrifying at the same time. I thought once I saw the baby via ultrasound, I would feel so much better. And I did but no ignorant bliss like my pregnancy with Ainsley. After the first ultrasound, it was getting through my first trimester, then it was making it to the 21 week ultrasound, next I just needed to make it to when the baby could survive outside the womb and lastly, full term.

 We made it. My baby is still here. And I will feel better when I see and hold her. And when we make it through the first year. Then I just have to help her make it to adulthood. And from there I will watch her (and Ainsley) grow and flourish until I die at an old age, with Hunter, “The Notebook” style. I just have to get through one step at a time. 

I’ve said many times that I am not scared of having this baby, I am scared of not having her. 

Two days before my miscarriage I had a very vivid dream, which isn’t unusual for me. In the dream I went to the hospital for an ultrasound. When they did the scan, they said you’re having the baby today. I did and after, I could see myself crying out to God. I woke up and assumed it was a dream about delivering a healthy baby and then crying out of joy and gratitude.

 But two days later I had an ultrasound and began to miscarry that day. I realized my body and perhaps my subconscious knew before I did, that this pregnancy had ended way too soon. This dream has been on my mind a lot lately. 

And so I spent a large amount of this pregnancy with a little cloud of fear hanging behind my shoulder. The cloud has gotten smaller with each little milestone we have hit. And I can see the light. 

I’ve recently had a lot of dreams of labor, delivery and seeing my sweet baby girl. Ainsley even had a dream of playing with the baby and when she described Natalie (the baby) she described the same color hair and eyes that I saw when I dreamt of her. I can’t wait to see if we were right. 

I’ve seen a lot of articles about miscarriage recently as October is miscarriage and infant loss awareness month. I’ve read some. But mostly I’m just trying to keep my faith bigger than my fear. Miscarriage does a lot to its victims (moms and dads). But one of the worst, in my opinion, is that it robs you of some of the joy pregnancy should bring. One thing I’ve learned though, is storms pass and joy comes in the morning!



December 7

Excitement and nerves filled us. My sister, Emily, showed up with snacks and smiles to distract Ainsley. Hunter and I got in the truck and headed on our way. The interstate was surprisingly clear. The weather was beautiful. I teased him “what if it is twins?”My dad had been offering name suggestions that complimented each other, just in case it was. Hunter was not amused. 

We parked and walked into the hospital, hand in hand, anxious and full of joy. They called us back into the ultrasound room where there were two techs waiting. One, I assume, was training the other. She sat at her computer and resumed her Christmas shopping. The seemingly inexperienced tech began by trying to get the ultrasound from outside of my belly. She didn’t see anything. I wasn’t surprised, as I had a transvaginal ultrasound for the first one with Ainsley. 

They started again, this time transvaginal. What seemed like a few minutes passed, when the “trainer” looked up from her screen. She asked from across the room, “Are you sure of the date of your last menstrual cycle?” “Yes.” I replied and panic consumed me. “Is something wrong” I asked trying to hold back the tears. She got up from her chair and walked over. I can still see her name tag in my head. Her name was Hope. Ironic, I thought. She explained to me how the gestational sac was measuring 5 wks 3 days. 2 weeks less than it should have been. It was attached to my uterus. But it looked empty. She suggested that maybe I ovulated late. And if that were the case, it was normal for them to not see anything. I began to try and calculate days and weeks  trying to come up with a scenario that confirmed her suggestion. It didn’t make sense. Something was wrong. They left the room for me to get dressed so that I could go meet with the midwife. The last one (there were three in there at this point) winked at me and told me to take my time. Another sign something was wrong.

I sobbed as the door closed behind them. Hunter, unsure of what just happened, held me. In between tears, I tried to tell him what I already knew. He told me to wait and see what the midwife said before jumping to conclusions. 

We went back to the waiting room. Pregnant women sitting all around us. A few minutes later, they called us back. They didn’t weigh me. They didn’t take my blood pressure. They put me in the room and closed the door for us to wait for the midwife. And once again, when the door shut, I wept. 

The midwife came in and explained it was most likely a blighted ovum. I should miscarry naturally but if I didn’t, interventions would be necessary. By the time we got home I was already bleeding. 


The gestational sac was empty and empty is how I often feel. Not my soul or my heart, really. Although there are spaces there I already made for the child I won’t get. I am constantly remindeded of my empty womb. It’s like when you get a new car and suddenly you notice every car similar to yours. I notice every pregnant woman. I see their growing bellies and remember that mine is empty. I hear tiny babies cooing and an reminded that the baby I was supposed to have July 22, 2016 never formed or stopped forming too soon.

 I have one heart beating inside of me when I had already made room in it to love another. 

I had names picked out. 

We had already told our family and friends that we see often. We barely made it a week, keeping it a secret. We planned on telling the rest of our family at Christmas. And then telling the world (Facebook) once we finished the first trimester. 

I looked at our Christmas stockings hanging and joyfully anticipated getting a fourth one. 

I worried about how I would love two children enough. Would my sweet Ainsley be ok sharing her parents? 

I never imagined my pregnancy would end before it should have. But it did. And I felt empty. 


Grief is weird. We all deal with it differently. I cried a lot. Hunter held it together mostly, for me. I felt better talking about it. This experience isn’t something I just wanted to sweep under the rug. For Hunter and I, it was life changing and something we won’t forget. Some of our family called, some sent texts daily, some visited often. Some avoided the subject all together. I know that it was an uncomfortable one. When people don’t know what to say, they don’t say anything. But I have to recommend taking a different approach, should you have a loved one go through such a tragedy, or any tragedy.

Because it is a tragedy. One that deserves grieving. It deserves compassion and love. It deserves a hug. It deserves a “thinking of you” text. There were many nights I couldn’t sleep because I was so mad and hurt. People I expected more from, didn’t show up. We had to find ways to cope and grieve but also felt pressure to keep it quiet, so we didn’t make others uncomfortable. And it is uncomfortable, I know that. But none of that compares to what Hunter and I were feeling. 

Every cramp or sight of blood was a reminder of what we lost. I had pregnancy symptoms for weeks after the miscarriage, as my hcg levels were dropping. That, I found to be especially cruel. 

Hunter not only lost the hope and excitement we shared over this pregnancy but he had to see me doubled over in pain. He knew I felt broken and he couldn’t fix it. He couldn’t take my pain away and for him, that is torture. Few people asked him how he was.

Ainsley knew we were expecting. One day she saw me crying and asked what was wrong. So I told her I wasn’t going to be having a baby anymore. She dropped her head and said “aw man I really wanted a brother or sister.” I replied with a lump in my throat “I know. We can just keep practicing with your baby dolls until the time is right.” “But I want a real baby” she responded. I cried more tears. Her eyes welled up with tears and she told me she didn’t want me to be sad anymore. So I sucked it up for my beautiful, amazing daughter. For a few weeks she would randomly tell me she was sorry I wasn’t having a baby. I thought “me too”, as I hugged her tightly. 

Miscarriage is not fun. It is many things. Fortunately, many people don’t know much about it. 

I’m not writing all of this to shame anyone. I am usually pretty good at recognizing what someone’s intentions are. I know everyone meant well. It’s just hard to be reasonable when you feel you are drowning in so many extreme emotions.  I cannot express in words how much I love our family. I am no longer angry. I’ve forgiven those that don’t know they hurt us. I just hope our experience can help someone support a loved one, should they ever find themselves in a nightmare. 

You don’t need to give your theories on why it happened.

I wouldn’t share details I think would make you uncomfotable. 

You don’t need to try to fix it, or us. You can’t. 

Just be there. Whether it’s a text or a meal. Let them (both of them) know you love them.

Simplicity is perfectly acceptable. Avoiding them is not. 

We are at a much better place now. 

I still notice every pregnant belly. I saw a lot at Disney. It could have been because we were planning on doing a cute announcement from there. I would have been just finishing my first trimester.

I had a wonderful time on that trip, enjoying what I do have. But every once in a while, when my heart feels like it’s just about to overflow, I remember my womb is empty. 


I choose a word every year to try and incorporate into my life. 2014 was joy. 2015 was peace. And this year it’s courage. I hold myself back a lot because I am afraid of failing. But it’s amazing how something so deep can change so many things about you. Things that used to bother me, are nothing compared to what I felt on December 7.  

I want to be brave. 

I want to have courage, if and when, we get pregnant again.

That thought is very scary. Because I know what it’s like to lose one. It is an indescribable pain. 

And if you have ever experienced it, know that I hurt for you. I know there are families that lost their babies after they heard their little heart beat. They saw their sweet face. Some even held them for a short amount of time. You are so strong and I have hope for you. 

May we all have the courage to carry on.


I read a quote about how arrows can only shoot forward after they have been pulled completely back. We chose to use an arrow to symbolize this moment in our lives. It has helped me grieve. 

Just like noticing pregnant women, I now notice arrows too. And I am reminded we will be ok.

We feel like we have been pulled back and have faith that we will shoot forward. 

With love -Callie

Waiting on 30

For years I have felt thirty was going to be my year. By then, I would know “my purpose”. I would have my life all figured out. Thirty just sounds good to me; not too young, not too old. Not a girl, not yet a woman… Or something like that.

But the problem is, I feel something stirring now, at twenty seven and a quarter.

It all started with a little soul searching.

I started to think about what people would use to describe me if they had to come up with my best qualities. I hit a wall. I’ve always considered myself average. I’m “kind of this” and “sort of that”.  Yet, I could easily give you a list of my flaws.

So I looked at that list of traits. The bad ones. I looked at it, studied it, figured out how I could change. But in those moments of criticizing myself, I found them! There, in between the lines of my list of coal, were my diamonds. Because it turns out, they are the same list.

The things I labeled negative could actually be positive, if you looked at them in a different light.

The biggest one being, I am sensitive. I’ve always hated it. I can cry over anything. I get hurt easily. My heart breaks daily for so many people. People I don’t even know, at times.

One time I watched this viral video of some cocoa farmers trying chocolate for the first time. Here they were spending day after day, busting their butts to harvest the beans and they didn’t even know what they were for. I know this may sound silly but think about all the things we take for granted. You probably wouldn’t even think of chocolate. There are people who have never even tasted it. I often tease Hunter when he is complaining about something (which we all do) saying “There are people who haven’t even tasted chocolate.” Search for the video and watch it. I can’t ever explain it well enough to give the full impact of it. You have to see their faces and reactions to get it.

Surrounded by Ainsley’s toys on Christmas morning, I felt sad. I thought of all of the children without any toys to play with, as we were trying to figure out where we could put all of hers. And there went another piece of my heart. 

I start to think, what can I do? It’s so overwhelming. It is much easier to just shut it all out and return to my circle of comfort. How can I make a difference? I don’t have any gifts or talents. Oh, but I do. I am sensitive. Or to rephrase it, I care deeply. I love fiercely.

And maybe that is my purpose. To show as many people as I can, a little love. There are so many people in this world, better yet, in our towns who don’t feel loved. If we could each spread love and show kindness to just a few people, think of how far it could go. Because they could take it, add their talent and gifts to it, and pass it along.

Because goodness is contagious, when you allow it to be. Maybe for you that’s buying someone coffee. Maybe you can buy just a little bit more at the grocery store to donate to the food pantry. Find a credible charity to help out. Or it can be as simple as smiling at a stranger as you pass them by. Touching the hand of the cashier as she hands you your change. Calling someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, just to let them know you’re thinking of them. Complimenting someone. Etc.

Spread goodness. Share laughter. Search for joy. Be the light.

I feel the flicker of a flame in my heart. My light is getting brighter. I don’t know exactly how I will change the world. But I can start with sharing love and kindness with as many people as possible.

So, if you’re having trouble finding your best qualities, look at what you have already labeled as your worst. Maybe your purpose is hidden in your “faults”.

I think there are big plans for this average girl, yet. And I’m not waiting on 30.


Building a stronger tribe

We have all heard of the mythical mom tribes. A group of  women that would join together and build each other up so that together, they could achieve so much more than they ever could alone. Instead of competing, they embraced each other’s talents and accepted each other’s weakness. Together they covered each other’s gaps and in return had theirs covered as well. 

Sounds nice doesn’t it? But to me, relationships seem so difficult at times. Of course, they all have hurdles but typically relationships are founded on all of the good stuff with a little difficulty sprinkled in. We need to magnify that good stuff. We should be laughing with family and friends around a table. Sharing a meal that was made with love and effort. We should be listening to those who are hurting. Encouraging those who have fallen. We should be searching for ways to serve one another. We should love and be loved in return. Yet it’s not happening in so many of our relationships. We are losing deep, personal relationships that we truly need with so many people.

Life has become very social, but only through screens. If we want to know what someone is up to we check their Facebook. We often ask each other “how are you?” But don’t truly listen to their response. We just read hashtags and try to decipher what the meaning of their post is.

We have lost touch with each other. We have lost living, breathing, warm relationships. We have substituted care with likes. I am guilty. It seems easier to just say happy birthday on Facebook vs calling or going to see them and really connecting. It’s  easier to just say “get well soon” or “let me know if you need anything” rather than really showing up for somebody. When is the last time we knocked on somebody’s door with some soup and Kleenex when they weren’t feeling well. And if they have something contagious, drop that stuff off, ring the bell and give them a call. (Obviously this isn’t appropriate for every person you’re friends with on Facebook.) But many times we don’t know our family or our friend is really sick, unless they post it online. Being virtual friends is easier than truly listening to people and seeking out their companionship. 

But what have we traded for ease and comfort zones?
Where are our hearts? Our cup runneth over, how can I love you better, hearts. Not the ones we leave on a picture with a “double tap”.

Where are our hands? The ones capable of comforting, reaching out and lifting up. Not the emoji ones we use to 🙏🏻 or 👍🏻.

Where are we? We need each other. We need people to check on us. We need to check on people. We need people to reach out. We need to reach out. We need arms to hug us, mouths to encourage us, ears to hear us. And to show that same love and attention right back.

We need more love and less likes.

I think many of us are looking for our tribe or trying to strengthen the one we have. The more we lift each other up and help other people, the stronger we will be. I saw a quote earlier by Ralph Waldo Emerson that said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

If you need a friend or someone to listen to you, reach out to me. Email me, call me, come see me. I truly mean it. I can be a great listener.

If you need someone to care, I am your girl. I am in a season of learning to love and accept myself. One of my strongest traits is how deeply  I care. And I have decided to stop seeing it as a negative one and to accept it as a gift of mine.

Maybe I’m not your cup of tea, find somebody who is. Let down your guard and look around. Who can you reach out to? Who can you love better? 

And even if you don’t think you need somebody, maybe someone needs you. You may not have to look far.


…Now don’t get me wrong, I think social media is a great way to enhance relationships, just as long as we aren’t replacing them.

Raising Ruth (girls) 

Recently, I have seen several articles/posts made about raising girls in a World that teaches them to hate themselves. Crap. One day Ainsley is going to be told she is ugly. Crap. Ughhh. What am I going to do when she is crying because somebody made fun of her red hair? Who am I going to have to hurt for teasing her because of her fair skin? (Kidding, kinda). What can I do now, to possibly help us later? These are just a couple of questions floating around now that I realized I have a little girl who will one day feel like she isn’t good enough. Break my heart, future Ainsley. 

So what do I do? Hell if I know. 

I think back on my younger self and I remember all the things I wanted to change about myself. The red hair had to go. I wanted to be blonde. I used a cream to try to fade my freckles. I have tried about every drugstore sunless tanner you can find. I have dieted and seriously restricted calories. 

Now, I love my red hair. I am starting to accept my pale skin. I learned to eat foods that made me healthier and when health was my goal I became happier. I had to learn to love myself. And I honestly do. Of course there are times when I feel like I am not trendy enough and have a brief relapse of self doubt. But lately, I have been focusing on who I want to be and how I want people to see me. 

I want to be that person people are comfortable around. You know that woman that just loves you. She acts like she doesn’t notice a bad haircut or a few pounds of holiday bloat. I mean really,  those things don’t make you who you are. You aren’t a better/worse person because of how you look. When people see me I want them to see a happy woman full of love. 

That’s the woman I want to be. That’s the mom I want to be.

I want to teach my little girl to love herself. When other people are pointing out her “flaws” I want her to punch them in the face. Wait, I meant I want her to know how loved she is for who she is. 

We all feel down on ourselves every now and then. But we are so much more than our looks. I don’t know how to embed this in Ainsley’s head. I hope to learn as we go. I hope to show her that I love myself. I want her to see that with red hair and fair skin, I am a good person. I am beautiful. (<that was harder to type than it should be.) I want her to know that beauty shines past your skin, from inside. I haven’t always been the kindest person or the least judgemental. But these are the things I want her to see as beautiful. These are the attributes I want to portray. 

I want to be who I want my daughter to be. Crazy, how a two year old girl can teach me so much about myself. 

Love yourself, love others. After all no one is more beautiful than a woman who loves and loves deeply. 



Finding beauty in flaws is much easier said than done, especially when the flaws are our own. I think we all feel flawed at some point in our lives. Not in the everyday, simple mistakes way, but the deep down, not good enough way. It hurts. It especially hurts a people pleaser like me, to feel like there is always something that someone will find wrong with you. Your efforts aren’t good enough. Your life doesn’t look pristine. You aren’t changing the world. You are not enough.
I hate feeling judged. It is the absolute worst feeling. It hurts my feelings every time, but when I think about my flaws, they aren’t all that bad. I don’t look at people and see their flaws. I love deeply. I give my all to my family. I am a little girl’s world. I grew her. I am still growing her. I nurture her. I love her. I cherish my husband. He is my best friend. And I am so grateful that he is mine. I am not perfect. I never will be.
My life may not look magazine worthy. My grass is tall. My sink is full. There is some strange smell coming from the fridge. But in that grass, I race my wobbling baby. Those dishes held a nutritious meal I made with love. That dirty fridge is not as important as hanging out with my husband in between his long work hours.
  My life isn’t pristine but it is so amazing. I share it with two people that God made for me.  I am in love with their love and I am enough.

Whatta Man

Today makes three years that I have been married to my best friend. He is my person. I feel like being his wife is just a part of me. It is easy and natural.
I will try not to get too mushy but I sure do love the man. So much so that I will list the top ten reasons that I love him 🙂
1. He is kind. Hunter has never been mean to me or hurt my feelings intentionally.  He chooses his words carefully when he is upset or angry. He doesn’t say things out of malice or just to win a fight with me… or anyone he loves.
2. He is respectful. This goes with the first one. He treats the people he loves with kindness and respect. He is never rude or hurtful.
3. He is strong.  Both physically and mentally. If I ever break a leg or something it’s nice knowing he wouldn’t have to leave me to go get help.  He could carry me. And when I feel defeated mentally, he lifts me up.
4.  He is loyal. I know he will always be on my side. I think even if he knew I was wrong he would back me up.
5. He gets me. He laughs at my jokes. He knows sometimes I just like to be quiet.  And sometimes I sing out loud and dance around the house.  He loves all of my moods. Well, maybe not all…
6. He is funny. There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t laugh together.
7. He is a good dad. He and Ainsley are smitten with each other. And it melts my heart.
8. He is confident.  Most people that know him know there is no explanation needed here. Lol
9. He is protective.  I always feel safe with him. I know he will do whatever necessary to keep Ainsley and me safe.
10. He aint bad on the eyes 😉

I love so much about him. But more than anything, he is just a good person. He loves deeply. He isn’t petty. He is trustworthy, mature, responsible. He is my perfect match.

Three years may not be a long time. But they have been three beautiful, joyful years that I would not trade for anything.

“Whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty good man.” Salt N Pepa 😉

Village People

Let me first apologize if this is rambly, sappy or just plain bad. I am going to type this post straight from my thoughts.  I woke up this morning with a heavy heart and a lump in my throat. Not out of sadness but filled with love.
Last night some of us were able to get together for one of my four brothers’ birthdays. We ate and laughed and then went back on our own separate ways. But for a couple of hours I was surrounded by people who genuinely love one another. We may not always like each other but we never stop loving. It is really incredible if you think about it.
Most of us are truly fortunate to have a group of people, whether it’s a small group or large, that we know will always be there for us. We each have our own little village. We are all different individuals but when we are together we click and we are a united group.
I saw something this morning on Facebook about a young woman who passed away recently. She was not too much older than me. And it broke my heart when I read the posts on her wall. Somebody’s village lost a member.
We are all important to the group as a whole. Everyone has their place, their role. There are some you like more than others. But you can still appreciate everyone, or you should.
We should strive to be a valuable part of the group. We should be someone they can count on, someone they can trust. Someone to laugh with. Someone people are happy to be around. Love your people. Cherish them.
We don’t have to spend every moment together but we should cherish the moments we get. We may not have chosen these people but they are who we have.
I am so thankful for my village people.

When I have kids…

We have all said it at some point. “When I have kids I will never do that!” “I will only do this.” etc.
There are some things you will absolutely stick to your guns about. And then there are days when you decide to put the high horse in the stable and say “screw it.”
In the year I have been a mom, I have learned that everyday is new and different and comes with another lesson. Each day I evolve as a mother. I get better overall. But I have moments of weakness.
I think back on the grand plans I had; how I was going to do so much once I had kids and the things I would never do.
And then I had her. My beautiful little girl. The girl that has slept next to me every night of her life, even though I said I wouldn’t have her in the bed with us. The girl I play movies and cartoons for just so I can get things done. Which goes against my “no tv until she is older” plan. The child I planned to teach sign language… But I forgot to. The child I tried using chocolate chips as walking motivation for, even though bribing with food is a no-no.
Having things that you won’t compromise on is very important. But at the end of the day there are some things you decide aren’t as big of a deal. You get tired and overwhelmed at times. You cut yourself a little slack and move on. So instead of lists and lists of things I want to do or teach my children, I narrowed it down to the ones I will never compromise on and try not to stress over the rest.
I will (try to) teach them to be kind to others and to love themselves. To build people up, not tear them down. I will strive to love them in a way that leaves them with no doubt of my love (No name-calling or belittling). And through this I hope they learn the power of kindness and love.
There are days I will fall short of my second string goals. Days where I will get in the bed and think “Whew! I survived the day.” And that will be my major accomplishment of the day. And it is ok to have days like that.
So what if the only sign my 13 month old knows is to point to where she wants me to carry her. 😉 She is loved dearly.
Live, love and learn; no compromises there.

Smash cake!

Ainsley had her first birthday party a couple of weeks ago. I started thinking about it and gathering ideas for her party months in advance. One of the biggest things I was unsure if I would be able to pull off, was her cake. I knew I wanted it to be gluten free, at the very least. We are keeping her gluten free for at least two years.
The more I read though, the more ingredients I decided were unnecessary for her first cake. So her cake ended up being free of refined sugars, grains, gluten and food coloring. It started out dairy free as well but I added creamed grassfed butter to the frosting. Ainsley never made it past the frosting. She still is not really into eating solids, so there wasn’t a whole lot of smashing going on. Hunter and I tried the cake with the frosting and we both thought it all tasted great.
Below are the recipes I used and the modifications I made. It was really easy and I definitely think it was worth the effort.
I made the cake friday, wrapped the layers in saran wrap and put them in the fridge. My sister and I decorated it Saturday afternoon and then put it back in the fridge overnight. Her party was on Sunday. I took the cake out when the party started so that it had a little time to soften before she ate it.
The cake: For the cake I used The Urban Poser’s smash cake recipe.  I could not find a 4 inch cake pan so I made the recipe twice using a 6 inch pan. So where the recipe makes two four inch layers, it only made one layer using the 6″ pan. So I made the recipe, cooked one layer, then did it all over again. Also, I had to increase the cooking time to 35 mins because of the bigger layer. I definitely suggest getting two 4″ pans. Save money on ingredients, plus time. The only thing I changed to the ingredients was I used maple syrup instead of honey. This is a good option if you are concerned about giving honey to your baby right at one year old.  I did one layer with honey but ran out. So the next layer I just used pure grade b maple syrup. I actually liked the flavor of the syrup layer more.
For the filling: In between the layers I used the 365 brand raspberry spread , found at Whole Foods. It was the only one I saw that did not have added sugar.
The Frosting: I found I could not get the coconut butter smooth enough when using The Urban Poser‘s frosting recipe that she has with the cake. It tasted amazing but the coconut butter would clog the tip I was using to pipe on the cake. So I turned to Against all Grain. I doubled her vanilla frosting recipe that is in her cookbook. I don’t see the recipe on her website but trust me, the cookbook is worth buying! I did add about 3-4 tbsp of butter to the frosting. I needed the frosting to be thicker for the way I wanted it decorated. I put the butter in a bowl, beat it with the hand mixer and then added it to the frosting. You could probably use palm shortening and get the same results.
To get the pink color I put red beets in a small sauce pan with a small amount of water. I cooked it on the stove until the water was colored and then poured it into the frosting and mixed. (Probably why I had to add butter to the frosting.)
And lastly, my sister and I watched videos on youtube on how to decorate a ruffle cake with buttercream.

I made the cake twice. Once for her birthday pictures (without coloring the frosting) and then again for her party.
Photo credit: EllPhotography

Sharing with me at her party.