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 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 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


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 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



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,

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


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


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


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


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


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 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