School Girl charm

Monday, November 29, 2010

From Karinne's Daddy

Today's post is a special message that Karinne's Daddy - and my amazing husband Curtis - wrote this weekend to share for a communion message at our church.  When he finished writing it, he asked me to read over it.  I cried - of course - and we both wondered if he would be able to get through reading it for the congregation.  Then he said - "I thought maybe you could put it on the blog."  I responded "I was thinking the same thing."  So  today I'm sharing his words here and I pray that their meaning will touch the hurting places in each of your hearts:

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and that you were able to spend some time with family, reflect on the last year, and think about the blessings God has given.  In reflecting on this past year it has been a bit of a mixed bag for my family.  But, something I heard while listening to KGCR last week helped me tremendously.  A sermon was being given on growing in your faith and being thankful to God no matter the circumstances you find yourself in.  In that sermon he said:

“When all you have is sunshine - all you have is desert.” 

That simple statement touched me and helped me to look back on the last year with a different perspective.  God has supplied my family with many blessings this last year.  And, although there are things about the last year I would change for myself, I can also look back and be thankful for how God has touched and blessed and grown within my family over the past year.

I know and have faith that all the events of this last year, although some were difficult, were a blessing from God.   I am thankful that God has blessed me with my wife and my children.  I know that God will continue to bless me through them and I have faith that God will use my family, particularly my youngest daughter to bless others for years to come.  I know this because through Karinne, God has brought me closer to Him.

As we come to the table this Sunday, let us be thankful for the sacrifice Jesus made so that we may be forgiven for our sins.  Let us also be thankful not only for the sunshine, but also for the rain, the storms, and on occasion the fire used to burn away the unnecessary so that our faith and trust in God may grow.

Will you pray with me?  Heavenly father - as we come before you this morning we thank you for the sacrifice of your son.  We thank you Father for the blessings you give us.  Help us to have faith and to trust in you through sunshine, storm and all types of weather, knowing that you use all things to nurture and grow us.  In Jesus name Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bible Study Memorial Video

Last night was the final night of the bible study I have been doing with other baby loss moms.  For the closing session, we had each sent photos and memorial items to our wonderful leader Kristie and she made beautiful memorial videos to honor each of our sweet babies.  I was so pleased with how Karinne's video turned out and I wanted to share it here.  Be sure to pause the music on the playlist at the bottom of the blog before you push play on the video.

This bible study has been such an AMAZING blessing to me!  Being able to "meet with" and talk with these other moms who truly understand has been extremely helpful to me in this grief journey.  And the book we used - Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy - provided such amazing scriptures and reflection questions that helped me work through the various emotions related to mourning Karinne.  I still have a long ways to go, but this study has truly taken me to a new and better place!  When I think back to that particularly difficult night in August when I was looking through various baby loss blogs and came across the "Anchored by Hope" website and read about the study - I'm just so awestruck at God's amazing ways!  Thank you Lord for leading me to this group and for carrying me through the study.

I'm going to miss all of these women so much who stuck with the study since September.  I know that we will keep in touch through email and our blogs, but it just won't be the same as the Sunday evening conference calls filled with words of understanding, tears and laughter.  I sincerely pray God's blessing and healing upon the hearts of each of these beautiful mothers and their families:  Kristie, Jamie, Kim, Michelle, Shandrea, and Susie - Love You All!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Designing Karinne's Monument

We have been in the process of designing the monument for Karinne's grave for the last few months.  Little by little - here and there.  Today I got the latest designs in the mail and I thought I would show you all what we have so far.  I'm still doing a little tweaking here and there - but I think we are very close to the final design.  Now that we have it almost decided, I'm getting anxious to have it there.  Although I know it could be as long as memorial day before it is finished and installed.  

This will be the front of the stone - on the slanted side

This will be on the back of the stone - on the vertical. The footprints will be from a tracing on her actual prints.

This is a closeup photo of the stone we have chosen called Rushmore Mahogany

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Half Birthday to Our Precious Karinne

Our dear sweet girl was born 6 months ago today.  In some ways it seems like far more time has passed since I last held her in my arms.  And yet - to think that we are halfway around to her first birthday - just seems crazy.  Time has flown by in so many ways.

Sweet Karinne - I miss your energetic kicks and wiggles, your precious long fingers and toes, your cute little lips, soft cheeks and nose, and your funny little curled ears.  How I long to hold you again and to be able watch you grow up.  So many times I have imagined how you would have fit into our family - a fourth little blond headed sweetie toddling around after your sister and brothers. And how much I look forward to spending eternity with you in heaven.  Mmmmm - that's a sweet picture!

I thought I would share this sweet quote that I've seen on other baby loss blogs:

"They say that time in heaven
is compared to 'the blink of an eye'
for us on this earth.

Sometimes it helps me
to think of my child running ahead of me
through a beautiful field
of wildflowers and butterflies;
so happy and completely caught up
in what she is doing
that when she looks behind her,
I'll already be there."

~Author Unknown
Such a sweet way to imagine Karinne's time in heaven before we get to join her.  
Happy Half Birthday to My Precious Karinne!
Love Mommy
P.S. - The making of "lasting impressions" last night went really well.  They turned out AMAZING!  And thankfully, I was not overcome with emotions and was able to accomplish the special task at hand.  I feel so blessed to be able to share my gifts with other families in their time of unimaginable loss.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
 who comforts us in all our troubles,
 so that we can comfort those in any trouble
 with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
2 Corinthians 1:3&4


Monday, November 8, 2010

Updates on Previous Posts

I wanted to post a few updates today about posts from a few weeks ago. 

I mentioned on October 25th a prayer request for Anastasha's family:   

"Please say a little prayer for baby Anastasha's family - Craig and Tonya DeLisi and their 8 older children.  I've gotten to know this family through the Anencephaly Blessings From Above web forum.  Anastasha was diagnosed with anencephaly and Tonya is being induced tomorrow - October 26th.  Please pray that they would be blessed with precious time, beautiful memories, and a heavenly peace on the birth day of their sweet little girl!"

As it turns out, Anastasha was born on October 26th, on her mommy's birthday, and their family was deeply blessed to spend nearly an hour with their little princess before she went to heaven.  I wanted to update you by giving a link to the lovely blog created in Anastasha's memory.  I had the honor of helping her family "beautify" the blog and tweak things here and there.  It is an amazing testament to her life, to our Savior, and to her sweet family.  You can see for yourself by clicking the following link: Precious in His Sight  

I also wanted to give an update about the "Lasting Impressions" ministry I have started in honor of Karinne.  You can read my previous post about this by clicking here.

Last week on Wednesday, I had the opportunity to meet the parents of the sweet little boy whose hand and feet impressions I made.  It was a special time getting to meet them and present them with the precious mementos of their son.  They seemed very pleased to receive these gifts and I continue to pray that the impressions will bring them some measure of comfort and healing on their grief journey.   

Sadly, I found out this morning that I have the opportunity to make "lasting impressions" for another family.  I am in the process of making arrangements to go to the same town and funeral home as last time - believe it or not. This time, the sweet baby is a girl and her life was taken by anencephaly.  I know that this time will likely be much more difficult emotionally, with the similarities to Karinne.  With a heavy heart, I ask for your prayers as I prepare to make these precious gifts.  And more importantly, I ask that you would pray for this sweet little girl's family as they mourn the loss of their beloved daughter.

Monday, November 1, 2010


My parents visited this weekend and my mom and I went out to the cemetery to plant some bulbs at Karinne's grave.  We planted pink and white daffodils, pink tulips, lavender iris, and purple grape hyacinths.  It is my hope that these bulbs will survive the winter and the rabbits (who love to leave droppings) and that they will be blooming around Karinne's birthday in May.  

We also removed some of the faded summer flowers and added new fall ones, pumpkins, and a little scarecrow.  The boys had drawn faces on 2 of the pumpkins.  I love this little scarecrow with its cute ruffle and little smile.  It makes me smile to look at it - but also a little melancholy too.  Kinda reminds me of my expression a lot of times.  Smiling lips, but somber eyes.

Halloween last year, we were just starting to tell people that we were pregnant.  I called my sister Jessica to tell her I was pregnant too.  We were so excited that our babies would be born close together.  I remember thinking as I was taking photos of the 3 kids in their costumes last year about what our new little one would wear this year.  (Sigh)  And also thinking about how excited the kids would be in a few weeks when we would tell them the big news. (Sigh again)

In spite of the bittersweet memories - it was a lovely Halloween yesterday.  We spent the day with my folks and my sister Valerie's family at our house.  We dressed up the kids and took them trick-or-treating.  They all looked so cute!  And the weather was fabulous too.  Here are a few photos of DaNae, Noah and Ian in their costumes:

Ready for Trick or Treating - The boys would only pose if I let them make "Dragon Faces"

The Boys as Night Fury and Zippleback Dragons from "How to Train Your Dragon"

The Back View

DaNae as a Cowgirl