Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here are some highlights from our Christmas in Iowa, Evie's second. It was a great time!

New pajamas!

It was a more fun to use her feet to knock over her "pins" (milk bottles) then it was with the "bowling ball." She laughed and giggled the entire time.
Our family in our new pajamas.

Opening presents.

Auntie Laura on Evie's new "cell phone."

Talking on her new "phone."
Grandpa making Evie look silly in his Air Force hat.

Playing with her purse, which came with a coin purse, keys, mirror, and cell phone.


Silly Uncle Brandon won't share his hat.

Giving Grandma A. kisses.

Looking at the tree.

Playing with her first dollhouse.

We had a very Merry Christmas. Hope yours was too. We get to celebrate a 2nd one with the V. family this weekend and we are really looking forward to it. We miss our families immensely and wish we were closer to each. We love all the time we get to spend with them!! Miss you all!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day after Christmas Fill-in

1. I must accomplish what God wants me to before I die.

2. You can't stop aging.

3. I wish I never had to buy migraine medication again.

4. Having a daughter has helped me change my life.

5. I know the song When God Made You by New Song (Shawn & I's song) by heart.

6. If I weren't so afraid, I would public speak.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to more pie, tomorrow my plans include alone time with Shawn--more business planning and Sunday, I want to drive home safe!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It has been a good Christmas. I'm pretty sure Evie doesn't get that we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, or why she has to pull paper off of her new toys before she can play with them. It definitely feels like I've left being a kid behind. Santa no longer leaves toys for me... BUT I had a lot of fun being Santa. Giving is definitely much more exciting and leaves a special joy in your heart. I made gifts this year for our family and its so special to watch them open them and enjoy all the love I put into them.

What traditions have you started for your families or have you been doing for years? What special things do you do to remember the gift of Jesus and his miraculous and special birth? This year we started a tradition of watching The Nativity on Christmas Eve. I got shivers witnessing the wonder of His birth. I think it is so important to reconnect to that moment and make it the center of our Christmas celebrations. We also get new Christmas pajamas every year. Then we take a family picture in front of the Christmas tree. It will be fun to see our family grow and change over the years. I plan to display them every year.

Do you have any special traditions to share? What way do you keep Jesus the "reason for the season?" I'd love to hear from you! Love from our family to yours!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill-in

1. I love Christmas.
2. White is my favorite color(s) for the Christmas tree lights.
3. The candles in the window have no bulbs.
4. The Nativity is one of my most favorite Christmas movies. Even though I've only seen it once. I love to watch my Christmas movies which are: Santa Clause(s), Elf, White Christmas, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Miracle on 34th Street.
5. My favorite Christmas lyric(s) are from the song Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the lamb

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is lord of all creation?
Did you know
That your baby boy will one day rules the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy is heavens perfect lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding
Is the great I am.

6. I'm dreaming of summer.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner w/ Shawn, tomorrow my plans include trying to finish Christmas gifts and Sunday, I want to relax and relax some more!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day!

Today has not been a good day. It has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day! First, today would have been Candii's 33rd birthday. I miss calling her and hearing her laugh and "crow." She loved her birthday. Even though we know she is having the best birthday ever, it's hard to celebrate because we miss her so much! Happy Birthday, Candii Cane! I miss you!

If that weren't bad enough, I've had to change my clothes 3 times today. Why? Because that's how many times Evie threw up on me today. Ick, ick, ick, ick, ICK! And she threw up 3 other times but I managed to get it in a bucket and she threw up in her crib once. Ick, ick, ick, ick, ICK! For those that don't know it, I have a fear of vomiting. I just can't be around it without a racing heart and major anxious nerves. Being a mom must inspire courage where there has been none before because I've been able to comfort her and hold her even covered with ick, ick, ick, ick, ICK! She had three spells between 5 and 6:10 then we had a 3 hour reprieve where she played and acted very happy. Then at 9 we started a second set of spells. She is in her crib now sleeping and I am praying that we are done for the night. Please, please, please let us be done for the night!!!! Shawn and I are hoping that tomorrow, our 4th anniversary, is not full of buckets, clothes changes and ick, ick, ick, ick, ICK!

Update: Shortly after finishing my blog post last night Evie threw up again. That was the last time and now at 10 am she has had several small sips of water without problem. I had a very bad night of sleeping because for the first hour and half every time she would cry I would rush to her room. Then she woke up twice more and required rocking for 45 minutes. I am hoping to get back to when she was sleeping till 9:30 and only woke up once. We are going to try a little toast this morning and I pray it goes well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brrr...

Is it just me or does everyone else miss summer really, really badly?? It is so windy that it is making this winter absolutely miserable. I love all the snow, it makes winter so beautiful. How can you enjoy it when it's blowing all around?? We are definitely staying a little closer to home. Who wants to bring a 15 month old out in a blizzard?? What are you doing to make the best of a cold, windy, snowy situation??

Me: I'm scrapbooking and enjoying plenty of hot chocolate (don't forget the mini marshmallows), hot soup and wearing my comfy wear-only-in-private sweater. I also cuddle close to Shawn at night wearing my pajama pants and count-them 2 long-sleeve shirts. My favorite: Shawn lets me put my cold feet on him to warm up. I love it! Now that is true love! I also sleep better when I am touching Shawn's arm or leg. We'd never need a king-size bed because I'd still be plastered to his side.

Stay warm!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fill-in

1. Snow white and the seven dwarfs.
2. I'm looking forward to Christmas movie marathon.
3. Scrapbooking is the best hobby ever!
4. One of my favorite old tv shows is Little House in the Prairie.
5. I'm done with winter.
6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is family, Christmas movies, and opening stockings. When I was a kid we couldn't wake up our parents so early in the morning BUT we could open our stockings. We'd go through them over and over, eat candy and play in our pajamas. It was the best! I hope to pass the tradition onto our children.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to scrapbooking, tomorrow my plans include a strategic planning session for our office w/ Shawn and Sunday, I want to enjoy our church's Christmas Singing Tree program and relax.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's official...

Evie is officially teeny-tiny. I don't know the definition but I guarantee that there is probably a picture of her besides the word. At 15 months she is 31 inches long/tall which is in the 69%. And she is 19 lbs 9 oz in the whopping 7 percentile. Itty-bitty doesn't begin to describe how small she is.

In other news she is very healthy. A blessing we praise God for!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pictures

We had our Christmas pictures taken today. They went GREAT!! Evelyn couldn't have been more perfect. Sitting pretty and smiling. Woo-hoo! Here they are:









Thursday, December 4, 2008

Has this ever happened to you?

Have you ever had this problem??



It happens to her all the time! No matter what pants we put on her, sooner or later she has a "plumber's crack" or this happens. The poor thing can't walk, she just hobbles around with her pants around her ankles. Many people would think, "does she get enough to eat?" The answer is yes. She eats like a horse, and then snitches food from us when she's done. Yet none of her pants fit. It is certainly a problem I wish I could have. Eat plenty but still be too thin for your pants!

Winter has finally "arrived." I use the quotations because for me winter doesn't start until there is snow on the ground that stays around longer then a day. I hate cold weather without snow. Of course, I hate winter period. Everyone figures that because I'm originally from Northern MN I should love winter and not feel the cold at all. I hear comments about it all the time. "You're from Northern MN..." they say. Well, the way my system adapts to the cold I should've been born in Texas. In the winter I am cold ALL the time. I wear three layers most of the time. I have to warn patients because my hands are freezing. I even had my thyroid checked because I was hoping that that was what was wrong with me. Turns out I'm just not suited for cold weather. When I was pregnant during the summer I would get all sorts of pitying looks and comments about how "uncomfortable" and "miserable" it must be for me. But do you know what? I loved it! It was the first time I could wear short sleeves in the summer inside. Normally, I would wear sweaters, sweatshirts and long-sleeves even in the summer. I was freezing in the air conditioning. Being pregnant made me comfortable. I'm odd that way. What can I say I have a VERY warm heart;o)

What I do like about winter:
1. Warm sweaters
2. Hot cocoa
3. Thick blankets
4. Hot soup
5. Christmas
6. My anniversary
7. New episodes of shows
8. Christmas movies/music
9. An excuse to stay indoors
10. Cuddling
11. Christmas cards/letters/pictures
12. An excuse to shop
13. Candy canes except mint
14. The Nativity and
15. Scrapbooking especially warm topics

Do you love or hate winter?? Me, a bit of a hater. Thankfully its not the longest season of the year which is actually summer...despite how it feels.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The List

I found this list on another blog. You’re supposed to highlight those that you’ve done or accomplished. Some things I will never do and some should be added to my list of “things to do before I die” if I had one. Here it is:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band ....at school
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland /world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day


I finished Evie's birthday pages today, besides adding a few pages to hold extra photos. I think my favorite is the one I posted previously and her cake one. Now I'm onto Christmas gifts. Lots to do...not a lot of time!



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Race Day

Things being so crazy around here I never got a chance to post about Shawn's first 5K. He did AWESOME! He came in 42nd out of 99, and ran through freezing rain/snow. Evie and I missed the start but we were there to cheer him on at the end.


Here he comes!!!

Recovery!


In case I haven't said it before: Baby, I'm SO proud of you!!! I love you, now and forever!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday fill-ins

Found a new blog called Friday Fill-ins. So fun...

1. The things I give thanks for this Thanksgiving are having the opportunity to know & love Candii, my baby girl, the love of my life, a great family and the Lord's love.
2. My Thanksgiving traditions include I don't have any. Now is the time to start.
3. The best part about Thanksgiving is dessert, family, and black Friday.
4. My favorite Thanksgiving food is dessert, especially pumpkin pie.
5. Never was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me on Thanksgiving.
6. After the meal, I feel guilty about everything I ate, veg out and then go back for more dessert.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to shopping , tomorrow my plans include cuddling w/ Shawn and Sunday, I want to do something creative!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm Thankful For...

THE TAXES I PAY: Because it means I am employed

THE THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY: Because it means I have been surrounded by friends

FOR THE CALLING I HAVE BEEN GIVEN IN CHURCH: Because it means I am trusted, cared for and taught

FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG:Because it means I have enough to eat

FOR MY SHADOW: Because it means i am out in the sunshine

FOR THE CARPETS THAT NEED VACUUMED, WIDOWS THAT NEED CLEANED & COUNTERS THAT NEED WHIPPED DOWN: Because it means I have a home

FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT: Because it means we have freedom of speech

FOR OUR HEATING BILL: Because it means we are warm

FOR THE LADY IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY: Because it means I can hear

FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY: Because it means we have clothes to wear

FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF EARLY MORNING: Because it means I am alive

FOR THE DINNERS I COOK FOR THREE: Because it means I am not alone

FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT: Because it means I am capable of walking and have transportation

There are many things I am thankful for but the top three are:
1. The Ultimate Sacrifice
2. Shawn and Evie
3. Love of family


P.S I hijacked those words from another blogger, but isn't it an awesome reminder of all that God has given us. I am thankful for you too! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Love Remains

These very touching and poignant words from Mary Chandler Huff were received in a recent correspondence. They've touched us deeply.

"Those we love remain with us...
In the whisper of the wind
In a soft rain that falls from Heaven
In each Sunrise
In every single star that lights the night sky and
In every single memory we hold within our hearts."

Thanks, Keesha!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Threes

Somebody once told me that bad things happen in 3's. I'm starting to believe that may be true. My sister-in-law was in a car accident today. Luckily, she was not seriously injured nor was the person she hit. We are ALL very ready for the month of November to be over. It has been a very ugly month!!

I am looking forward to December. Shawn and I will be celebrating our 4th anniversary on the 18th. I think I want to go somewhere for the whole day (on the weekend), just him and I. Maybe we can leave Evie with one of the grandparents. Christmas is going to come to soon, especially since we are really trying to do homemade gifts. And by we, I mean I am making them and signing the families name to it. So far I have all the craft supplies bought but nothing put together. There might be some late nights in my future! Oddly enough I can't wait!! We did a handprint ornament last year, here is this years project. Isn't it cute?

Are you going out on Black Friday? There are some amazing deals out there. We are looking at getting a LCD t.v. for the office and they are having some good sales at Walmart. The only downside is that it's marked "while supplies last." I'll have to get there at 5 am. Yuck! Still I am willing to go for the deals. I wish my mom were here to go with me. Shawn just made a face when I mentioned it to him. Lyn was supposed to go, but even if she is out of the hospital she won't be allowed out for shopping. There are toy deals, movie deals, picture frame deals...love it! I am even going to get a few things for Evie's 2nd birthday. Can't beat the savings. I am looking forward to the Thanksgiving paper when even more deals will be seen. If you could see me I'm rubbing my hands together in delight!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New "normal"

Though it seems that life should stop when a loved one dies, it doesn't. Life continues to move on. Days, then weeks and then finally months will pass. All without our loved ones presence. It has been hard to do some of the normal everydays without Candii. We drove to Mason yesterday in the van and for the first time in almost six years there was an extra seat instead of a special spot for Candii in her chair. I had to pause before getting in. I had to break through the lump in my throat and the sadness that she was no longer here for this trip. This is the start of the new "normal."

In other news, Lyn is in the hospital being treated for stress cardiomyopathy. The symptoms are the same as a heart attack except it is caused by adreniline instead of a blood clot. It started on Thursday evening after she started getting sick. Verlynn took her to the hospital and then they transferred her Friday night to the Mason hospital where her cardiologist. The doctors are worried about it and that she continues to be nauseous and sick. Please continute to keep her in your prayers.

It is my intention to move onto lighter subjects in the next days and weeks, but also continue to update you on our family. Laughter and fun are healing and I intend for our family to move in that direction. Evelyn has been a darling these last few weeks. One can only imagine what it must be like for an energetic and curious 14 month old to be surround by this stress and be kept in closed spaces for long periods. She has done amazingly well. She has been a respite for all of us.

She has moved into a new phase that I term temper tantrums. If not getting her way, which is quite often, she will squat or sit, cry and then put her head between her legs. It's adorable albeit a little annoying. Hopefully, like all phases it will be short-lived. She continues to love to talk but for the most part it is gibberish. I await the days when she can tell me what she wants or even what she is thinking. I wish in many ways I could interpret her words. Especially those proceeding and following this little laugh she has. What is she saying or thinking that is so funny? I wish I knew.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Goodbye

Candii,

Through the hand of God, I met you almost six years ago. It has been one of my greatest blessings and most precious gifts to know you, to laugh with you, to share with you and to love you. Sometimes life doesn't seem fair and this is one of those moments. How I wish you were here to watch Evie grow up, to see Brandon & Laura marry, to meet your future nieces and nephews, to share a special joke or tease Shawn once more. It is great comfort we have that someday we will walk with you and talk with you in ways we were never able. That "In Christ, there are no goodbyes, And in Christ, there is no end, So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have to see you again." While you wait for us, know that the lessons we've learned and the joy you have spread are far reaching. Our children will know you and our children's children. Though you've hardly uttered a word, your testimony and witness of Christ have been loud. I know that you have heard the words that we have all longed to hear "well done, good and faithful servant." I miss you, Candii Cane. I will continue to miss you. My heart and our lives will forever ache for you. Goodbye.

Love you forever,
Tawnda

P.S. The words in quotations above are from lyrics from the MercyMe song: Homesick. We played it at Candii's funeral today, and it encompasses many of the emotions we are going through right now.


You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Visitation

Candii's visitation is Friday, November 21st from 5-7 pm. We are holding a private funeral on Saturday with only immediate family in friends. We want to keep it small so that our family can feel free to grieve as we need to. We appreciate your prayers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

At 11:55 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18th Candii took her last breaths and passed from this life. She is now walking hand and hand with her Father in heaven. No more pain, no more sorrow. She is already missed to the point of pain. We grieve our loss but celebrate her victory and life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Iowa

We went home Sunday night and had a "normal" Monday. Today, the doctor's told Lyn & Verlynn that it would only be a matter of hours. So we packed up and drove to the hospital. Her breathing is irregular at 7 breaths/minute with 15 seconds between any breaths. Her extremities are getting colder. She didn't open her eyes when we talked to her as she had on Sunday. She is fading. She did, however, make it longer then a few hours and is still hanging in there. Verlynn says she's tough and it may still take a few days. For her sake, I pray that she will not suffer any longer. It is so hard to watch her breathing and to not be able to talk to her as we usually do. I miss her laugh and the way she would gag if she caught Shawn and I kissing. I miss her presence. I miss her joyful spirit.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Waiting

We all feel very torn. On one hand we want to hold on to Candii for longer...on the other we want her to find peace. It feels a bit like a waiting game. We never know when our last goodbye will be or when it will be the last "I love you."

Shawn and I feel that we have said our last words to Candii. We headed back home today to keep the office open until we get word of her passing. It was very hard to leave. Knowing it was our last moments with her, that it was the last time we would be able to stroke her hair or hold her warm hand. It honestly is a little easier being home. As I said last night, in Iowa everything is imprinted with Candii's spirit and reminds you constantly that a giant loss is about to occur. Here there isn't so much of that. On the other hand, every phone call sends my heart racing and the tears welling into my eyes. Will this be it?

Her breathing became more shallow and frequent early this afternoon. Somewhat more labored tonight. It was much like when someone panics. It became so distressing that I went to talk to a nurse and they gave her morphine to slow it down some. Her temperature continues to be high and they are giving her Tylenol to bring it down some. Shawn and I both felt that she was further from us today as if she is drifting away.

Evelyn sat up by her head and stroked her hair. She was able to rest her head on Candii's and have a special moment. I had to leave the room because of the emotions this causes. Them together is so precious and heartbreaking. I said goodbye with Evie but when I went to put Evie down she got upset. She wanted more time with her Auntie Candii. It seems as if she also senses that we are losing something so precious.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another day

We were given another day with Candii. She continues to hang onto this life. It makes one wonder who she is waiting to say goodbye to or what task is yet to be finished. Sometimes her breathing is so good and her temperature is down that we have false hope. It is quickly shattered when she becomes easily agitated and upset. We had many blessed moments with her today where we could once again converse with her. She had her eyes open and was looking at us so we knew that she heard us when we told her we love her and that we would always love her. We continue to tell her that though we will miss her and our hearts are breaking, we will be ok and she can walk into her Father's awaiting arms. I can't say the words out loud to her, I have to whisper them in her ear as to say them any louder is impossible. I can't get the words past the lump in my throat. There is a large part of all of us screaming, "Candii don't go!" I feel like there is so much I never got to say or memories that were never made. For short moments we laughed today as we reminisced about how much she loves to tease Shawn and how one weekend we forced her to watch the Lord of the Rings movies even though she hates them. We said goodbye to her tonight not knowing what tonight will bring.

Brenda, one of Candii's home health aide, visited. Candii enjoyed her visit immensely. Her Uncle Craig also made it in from Colorado in a 12 hour drive. These joyous reunions are bittersweet. The hardest part of the day for me was watching Evie interact with the auntie she doesn't know is dying. Auntie Candii's hand was hanging partially off the hospital bed and Evie walked up to hold her hand and then laid her little head in her hand.

I sit in the family home tonight as I did last night to write this. Reminders of Candii scream at us from every corner. Her air mattress that she spent so much time in. Where Shawn would "wrestle" with her and where I learned to be careful hugging her. She trapped me good that time. Her favorite Nancy Drew mysteries are in the bookshelf. Her bib is on the counter. Her body pillow waits on the rocking chair. There is pudding on the counter that she will never eat and medication that will never be taken. I am seated at the kitchen table where she will never eat again. There is an emptiness here without her. A quiet that I never new existed because it was always filled with her love of life and family. How does one cope with this daily if not minute reminders of one who is loved so much? How do we ease the pain? I cling to God's word, which reminds us that God is control. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

We love you, Candii Cane! We will always love you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update

Candii was brought by ambulance today for hospice care to the same hospital she was born in. It was a tough ride, but she calmed once inside. It is hard to say, write, or believe but...Candii is dying. We drove down today to be with our family, to hold Candii's hand, to tell her we love her, and to say goodbye. It is the hardest thing we will ever do. I miss her already. I promised her that I would tell Evelyn all about her wonderful Auntie. How much she was loved by her, how she loved to tease Shawn, see Mount Rushmore, and that her favorite color was purple. I also promised that each of our future babies would know what an awesome Auntie they had and the light that shone from her. It is my greatest sorrow that Candii will miss watching Evie grow. I know that she was one of her greatest joys. They have such a special bond.

Candii has been a gift in my life, a most precious gift. Our hearts are hurting so much sometimes I can't breathe. I hold Evie in my lap and she rubs her Auntie's head and pats her hand as if to say, "I love you, Auntie Candii." Here is Evie and Candii the last time they were together on October 25th. I love this picture.

They are keeping her heavily medicated to ease the pain, anxiety and agitation that she is feeling. This has been a comfort to us as it was hard to watch her struggle. We pray for her peace and for her to walk into her Savior's arms.

I spent time tonight reading her some Psalms and John Chapter 14. She seemed to be comforted by my voice. Though I could barely get through all of it, Psalm 23 brings us great comfort:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Candii's breathing is slowing and her oxygen levels are dropping. Currently they are at 86%. We are still praying that she will pull through. If she makes it through the night and is stable then she will be taken by ambulance back to her hometown hospital. She is in much pain. Pray that this eases for her.

This is all very devastating and shocking. Candii is a light for many and loved by all that meet her. Pray for Candii and our family.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Candii

My sister-in-law Candii is one of the sweetest people I've ever met. There is something about her that makes you smile whenever she's around. Though she has cerebral palsy she is able to joke, laugh, answer questions and boss you around. I love her so much!! She has changed my life in immeasurable ways. Two weeks ago she came down ill and right now is in intensive care at the hospital in IA. Though a gamut of extensive and sometimes painful tests have been done the doctors have found nothing to explain the cause of her agitation and high fever. She is heavily sedated to control pain and she is receiving prophylactic antibiotics and antivirals. We are praying that she comes through all of this. This afternoon she appeared to be improving somewhat however she still requires morphine to help with pain that is causing her lots of agitation. Please keep her and our family in your prayers.

This picture of Evie and her Auntie Candii was taken in late June. Evie's grown up so much since then but their mutual adoration and love for each other is as apperant now as it was then. Candii loves babies. She gets very excited whenever Evie is around. During the pregnancy I asked Candii if she wanted a niece or nephew. She said niece. I then asked if she would love the baby if it was a boy and she said no! Luckily, she got her wish...but I think she would have loved the baby no matter what. Evie loves to play with Candii. On this day a VERY patient Auntie Candii was letting Evie explore her mouth. Shawn did the same when he was Evelyn's age.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Random Thoughts

Though the outcome of Tuesdays election was not as I hoped and prayed it would be, television is much easier to watch without the angry, smear campaigns running during every commercial break. I would almost vote for the candidate that ran a clean campaign then for the one that wants to tell me how horrible their opponent is. The next presidency comes with some exciting changes which I look forward to seeing, however, at the heart of the matter is the life of thousands of innocents. Those who cannot speak for themselves but whose lives are just as precious and important. They matter, their lives matter and they were created with a purpose. I continue to pray that hearts will change and that those who are pro-abortion (also called pro-choice) will realize that life begins at creation NOT at the first breath. Life is evident in the tiny heartbeats that can be seen and heard even at 5 weeks. This is the first time we heard Evelyn's heartbeat. The next ultrasound we saw little arms and legs. She was only 8 weeks old. Evie's was a life to us in those moments just as much as she was when we held her in our arms. It's something to think about...

It seems like I rarely talk about Shawn and I. We are sharing parenting duties now that I am working 12 hours a week. I can tell that he loves it. How lucky are we that we can stay home with our sweetheart? Shawn has taken up running and is running his first 5k tomorrow. I am going to document it in pictures so I am sure I will have some to share with you tomorrow. He loves it. I hate running/exercising. I was working out for quite some time and then my arthritis flared up and I chose to cut back. Now my symptoms are gone and I should really jump back on the treadmill but ugh, I hate it. I need to just force myself to do it. We just became members of our church and love it there. I work in the nursery and he is an usher. It is another thing that keeps us busy. The only thing that is missing from our lives is some friends. Having family closer would also be great. It gets pretty lonely here sometimes. It's just me, Shawn and Evie. We would love visitors...hint, hint...but what we really need is to develop some relationships with others our age and with similar interests/family situations.

There are going to be some exciting changes happening at our office. Though I can not yet talk/blog about them, know that we are very excited and scared at the direction God is leading us. We would appreciate everyone's prayers for wisdom, growth, and protection for what we are embarking on. We will share more details later.

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love to scrapbook. In the last year I have gotten more into it, especially when it comes to working on Evelyn's scrapbook. Obviously, I love ALL things Evie. I have even been working on some of my old pictures. It is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I have no one to look at my completed pages because we live so far from family and friends. Hence, I have decided that I am going to start posting my pages so that everyone can enjoy them as much as I do. Currently I am working on Evelyn's 1st birthday pages. This is page has my favorite picture of Evelyn from that day. I also used the wrapping paper from her gifts to make the #1. Maybe you recognize yours in there? My mom did the same for me as I was growing up and I wanted to keep the tradition alive. She did this for every birthday and Christmas. It's something really special.


I hate colds. Evelyn is struggling right now with one and while I don't feel the affects of the cold, I DO get to be kept up every hour throughout the VERY long nights. In fact, I have to go get her now...whew, that went really well. Poor thing! She ran a high fever on Wednesday, up to 102.1 degrees which lasted till this morning. Then she had congestion last night. It seems that her sleep is the most disturbed during illnesses which means that I miss out on lots of sleep. Hopefully, I will not pay for the lost hours of sleep with a cold of my own. The last time I went to the doctor, for my last cold, I asked her why I was getting sick more frequently AND for longer periods. She told me that it was because of my chronic sleep deprivation. Yikes, words I never thought I'd hear...me sleep deprived. I admit that I haven't had a full, uninterrupted nights sleep since probably early 2007. Up during the night to go to the bathroom or being uncomfortable when I was pregnant, and after Evie it's all about nursing and comforting. I am unsure when I will ever be able to sleep through the night again. Most likely, by the time she is sleeping through the night we will be on baby #2. Then there are the other things that keep mamas up at night: worrying about the kids.

Love this picture of Evie. She is smiling so big because she was on her way to the kitchen to throw this little pumpkin. I ended up having to take it from her or risk pumpkin guts all over the floor. Hence, the meltdown picture in the previous post.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Favorite Things

Evie's growing, of that there is no doubt. Today as she walked from our bedroom to me in the living room she looked like a toddler and no longer like a baby learning to walk. It's so exciting to be entering this new phase in her life but bittersweet as well. She has had a tough day. She has been running a fever in the 100.8-102.0 degrees. We've been doing a lot of cuddling. Hopefully she will sleep well so that she feels better tomorrow.

This is a list of her favorites during the month of October, her 14th month:

1. Books. It doesn't matter if they are her books or our books. Anything with pages will do. She loves to flip the pages and sometimes reads aloud. It is one of the only thing that can distract her when we go on a car trip.

2. Music. She loves to "dance" which for her is this quite adorable bouncing knee-bends. She especially loves the song "hello, the phone is ringing so I say hello. bye, bye when I'm done talking then I say bye, bye."

3. Phones. She will usually pull both of our cordless phones off the recievers and then "talk" while walking up and down the length of the house. It is so cute to watch. She doesn't yet understand what a phone is but copies our use of them.

4. Clothes. Again hers, ours it really doesn't matter. She loves to drag all clothing, blankets, towels etc around the house. She will flip them over her head and wear them like a shawl. Sometimes if she has a sweatshirt of hers then she will "try" to put them on, getting them over her head. If I undress her and then don't let her play with the clothes she will sometimes throw a fit.

5. Pacifiers. She doesn't "need" them during the day but if she sees it she wants it. And she wants it now. She throws little tantrums if she doesn't get her way. It usually involves sitting, crying, and putting her head on the floor. Very adorable.

6. Food. Her favorite is green beans, Crunchers, pasta pickups, soy yogurt and snack cookies. If she won't eat anything but she hasn't had enough to eat we can most likely to get her to eat yogurt and Crunchers. I have to admit that both are really good.

7. Hide & Seek. We hide, she seeks. Such fun. She smiles, giggles and gives big hugs when she finds you. It's one of her favorite games.

8. Walking. She doesn't crawl anymore. She is "running" even. I am sure that soon we will have a hard time catching her.

9. Brushing her teeth. Well, technically she loves sucking the toothpaste of the brush. Mmm...strawberry & banana. She has gotten one tooth in October and 2 more poked through on Sunday. She's been a champ besides some extra night waking.

10. Oliver. He has replaced Daisy in her list of loves. Daisy barely tolerates Evie, especially Evie's "loving". Oliver on the other hand lets her lay on him, thump him, pull his tail and grab his fur before finally seeking sanctuary in a hard-for-Evie-to-reach place. She runs after him giggling and then dissolves into even more giggles while throwing herself at/on him. I feel really bad for him...sometimes.

11. Sharing food. If your eating she wants it. My favorite thing to share is apple bits. She sticks the whole chunk in her mouth and looks like an adorable chipmunk with apple juice running down her chin. She can be quite grabby.


And finally...
12. Toys. Her favorites are her baby doll (which she rocks and cradles, it's also her preferred toy in the nursery at church), her new Noah toy pieces and shapes which she loves to put in bowls and containers and then out again, other dolls which she carries around and cuddles, buttons on anything (ie phones, radio, toys), and finally mom and dad. We are probably best for games, climbing on and finally lots of hugs and kisses.



Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Awwww....


I love my little family!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Missing...

This sweet, sweet, hugable, lovable little boy....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sisters


We are three sisters
Three sisters are we
I love each of you,
And I know you love me

We’re not always together,
Life sometimes keeps us apart.
But we're never separated
We’re in each other's heart.

Now I know we've had our troubles,
But we always get thru.
The real message is you love me,
And I also love you.

We have had lots of good times
That we'll never forget
Sometimes we worry
And sometimes we fret

But if God ever gave me
Something special you see,
It might have been the blessing of,
Three sisters are we.
The Lord above has gave me lots
Of happiness and glee
But the most special thing he did was
Make us sisters, all three.
Three Sister's by Francis I. Gillespie from Sister Poems


Missing my sisters...love you guys!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wish list

I have found THE cutest thing for Evie!! I am putting it on my "wish list" for Evie. It's a site called Hannah's Tutus. Take a look here. My favorites are all the pinks and purples but especially Sweet Pea, Moxy, Pink Lemonade, Chocolate Rose and Cotton Candy. They are delicious. This one is Cotton Candy--can't you just picture our little princess in it!!

Sunday Funnies

We have a tradition in our house of watching "Sunday funnies" on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. In honor of that I am hosting my own Sunday funny:




video

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Craving

I want, I want, I want....


It's called Sweet Baby Kit of the Month (KOTM) and it includes all (or a LOT of) the pages, stickers, embellishments etc. that you will need to scrapbook your child's first year of life. Since I have a couple THOUSAND photos of Evie from her first year alone AND she is not getting any younger...this kit would be awesome. Shawn says I can get it as a belated birthday gift BUT we have to make sure all the bills are paid first. I hate being a responsible adult!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Back

Because so much has happened in the last week I will be doing several posts sharing what we have been up too.



Loving him...


Laughing at her...
video

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gone visiting!


We'll be gone for 10 days visiting family including my sister, Keesha and nephew, Xander. We haven't seen them since Xander was 4 months old. Evie was only 1 month old at the time. Both have changed immensely!! I can't wait to see them both AND watch Evie and Xander interact. I am sure they will have great fun! I'll post pictures on our return. See ya later alligators!!

MN Zoo

My first trip to the zoo was great. Let me tell you about it.

I saw tigers...."Look dad there they are!"

I played on a statue of a wolf...

"weeee"

I saw bears...
"They are so cute and playful."

I saw monkeys...
"so silly"

"is this a real turtle mom?"

I really loved the tigers, camels, otters, and especially the birds. I had a great time and even walked around a little all by myself. It was great!!