Welcome to Flannelgraphs!
We love hearing your stories and are excited for you to join us in ours, and that’s where Flannelgraphs (the name) comes from. Flannelgraphs are synonymous with flannel boards, flannelgrams, felt boards; these canvases are a medium for storytelling and play. We love to do both here.
We each have a story to tell filled with pains, joys, and everything in between. This began as a place for us to tell our story, but we’ve come to realize that our ultimate goal is to encourage and inspire you in yours.
This is a space for you to be safe to feel and grow and become. We want you to find healing and hope, restoration and renewed vigor for life. And we want to have fun while we do it. No matter what life throws at you, we firmly believe there’s always an option to overcome and thrive.
Things you can expect to find here are musings about babies and family, possible house projects we’re working on, and spiritual edification and challenges. Our primary purpose here, however, is to encourage you to live fully as you heal from miscarriage and infant loss.
Ethan and Caitlin Schwanke
(Schwanke like donkey, we like to say) The adults in the story
We’ve been married since August 10, 2013, and each day gets better.
Firstborn son; strong-willed, sweet, intelligent, incredible toddler turning boy
This boy brings us so much joy. We love watching him grow and very much enjoy talking about him and his wild, little boy antics.
Precious daughter; smiley, light-filled soul of a baby; determined and tenacious
This girl is our darling. We love each minute we get to spend with her and can’t wait to see the little person she grows into.
Children of Promise
Theodore (Theo) is our second son who was born prematurely at 22 weeks—his early arrival resulted in a stillbirth and a massive hemorrhage in our hearts and lives. We miss him every day.
Soon after we lost Theo, we had a miscarriage at seven weeks. We also experienced another seven-week miscarriage almost a year after having Ona. We don’t yet fully understand the reasons why God allowed this pain, but we do know that our lives are incredibly rich and we’re closer as a family and as a couple than ever before. Here’s our story about losing Theo, and we share extensively about the lessons we’ve learned through our losses on the blog.
We have an amazing family and support system: Our parents, siblings, and friends support and encourage us regularly. They are an amazing group of people and we’re lucky to have them alongside us in our adventure.
We love to laugh, have fun, and make light of life. Family walks, camping trips, morning hangs in bed, and working together are what make us tick. We rely fully on Jesus and heavily on java with a plethora of chocolate chip cookies and ice cream sprinkled in. Adventure is what we’re after, and simplicity is how we’re chasing it. Join us!