We’re excited to introduce you to superhero mom Casey Arendt, the winner of a comic-inspired Honestly Ultimate Baby Shower at Chicago’s Land of Nod. When we read the nomination essay that Casey’s friend submitted, we were moved by her strength, courage, and commitment to her family—especially her son Sullivan. Her friend Sarah also shared, “She exposed the many toxins in baby products to me and encouraged homemade options, guiding me with recipes and techniques. She started a local moms group for mommyhood support and learning to become greener for our children.” We feel honored to know Casey and her family, and hope you enjoy meeting them too.
Get to know a little bit more about Casey in her own words…
Honest: What surprised you most about winning the Honestly Ultimate Baby Shower?
Casey: I have never been particularly lucky with contests, the lottery, etc. I really could not believe I had won…and such amazing prizes from companies doing good in the world.
Honest: Would you share your favorite quote or excerpt from your nomination essay?
Casey: This excerpt from my friend’s nomination for me was especially touching as my son, my friends, and my family are the reason I have been able to move forward…
“Casey is amazing. She shows strength in her commitment to her surviving twin son. She has gone out of her way to help me with my boys, listen to my ‘struggles’ and coach me through the difficult transition back to my research. I have tried to return favors, but she gives more than I offer. She smiles, every day. There are moments of tears and pain, but her light is difficult to extinguish. She creates wonder and excitement for her son and mine.”
Honest: Please share with us a little about your story and what it means to your family to win the shower.
Casey: Cliché warning. I married my best friend in 2011 and soon after we were expecting. We found out we were having twins at the end of first trimester and, after an initial shock, we were thrilled. After a complication-free twin pregnancy and birth, we met our boys in March 2012 and for 5 months we watched them grow and thrive. The day they turned 5 months our world changed. Our son Emmitt had stopped breathing during his nap—his death was ruled as SIDs. Moving forward from any loss is incredibly personal and painful. Our surviving son Sullivan (Sully) became, more than ever, our light and he lead us out of the darkness along with our friends and family. About 5 months after Emmitt’s death we were at a place where the days brought more laughter than tears and we began to really feel like we were healing. We felt the great loss of Emmitt as a unique individual, but also the loss of a sibling and a brother. We decided to speed up our plans for a larger family and in January we learned I was pregnant— at 10 weeks we confirmed I was carrying twins again. We are overjoyed to be able to welcome a bigger family than expected and to get another chance at experiencing the unique twin journey. We try to talk about our son Emmitt as often as we can and will continue to keep his candle burning through his siblings and our memories of him.
Winning the Honestly Ultimate Baby Shower means we can bring our new babies home to the most honest and natural environment and products available; that we can provide them and their brother with natural and wholesome options in this world of questionable chemicals/ingredients and corporate profits. Winning this shower means the world to us and we are so very thankful.
Honest: What are you looking forward to most once your babies arrives?
Casey: I can’t wait to see my son Sully meet his siblings for the first time; he’ll be about 18 months when they arrive. We’ve been playing with some of my old dolls for practice and he has taken to kissing and snuggling with them whenever he sees them, leaving them toys in their play-cradle—it melts my heart.
Honest: What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other parents about creating a safe, healthy, and nurturing home?
Casey: I am always telling friends to trust their instincts—they’ll serve you better than any product, book or class. After Emmitt died we had to run everything through a filter to avoid the irrational fears in an effort to continue to raise our son in the free-range and responsible way we wanted, absent of “worst first” thinking. Trust yourself and trust your baby. That and be ready to adapt—parenthood is like trying to hit a moving target, you’ll have to stay on your toes and get creative as each development and phase hits.