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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saying goodbye to 2009...

is something I am looking forward to doing tonight even though it pains me to think about starting a new year and a new life without my precious daughter.

We started this year with subtle changes that turned into drastic ones, so many hours in question and pain, so many days away from our family and friends, so many months with health concerns for multiple members of our family, the loss of Granny and then Megan and also Granny's doggie, Gus Gus, in November.

It is with great emphasis that I say, "Good riddance, 2009! I don't think my heart can stand any more of your time!"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


and cleaned and cleaned today! The three of us worked really hard in every room on the main floor of our home. We found some things we thought we had lost and remembered things that we haven't used for a while because the person who used them is no longer with us. We haven't thrown anything out or gotten rid of anything yet.

I didn't have the energy to do everything when we got home from the hospital, so I just threw all the stuff from the hospital in Megan's room and on her bed. Then, my business took ALL of my time from the day I opened the website back up until the Saturday before Christmas. Today, we waded through all the clothes, supplies, and other stuff from the hospital and funeral home.

We went through all of Monica's stuff from the hospital and her art area in the kitchen.

We are so close to having everything put back where it goes, except for the fact that it can never be the way it was.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My First Christmas In Heaven

My First Christmas In Heaven

I am having my first Christmas in Heaven
A glorious, wonderful day!
I am standing with saints of all ages,
Who found Christ, the truth and the way

I am singing with the heavenly choir
I- who so loved to sing!
And, oh what celestial music
We bring to our Savior and King

I am singing the glad song of redemption,
How Jesus to Bethlehem came,
And why they called His name Jesus,
That all may be saved through His Name!

Oh, loved one, I wish you could be here!
No Christmas on earth can compare,
With all of the rapture in glory,
I witness in Heaven so fair!

You know how I always loved Christmas,
It seemed such a wonderful day,
With all of my loved ones around me,
We were so happy in every way.

Yes, now I can see why I loved it,
And, oh what a joy it will be,
When all of my loved ones are with me,
To share all the glories I see!

So, dear ones on earth, I send greetings,
Look up! Til dawning appears,
And, oh what a Christmas awaits us,
Beyond all our partings and tears!

Thank you, Amy, for sending me this poem.

Our family has two members celebrating their First Christmas in Heaven this year. Merry Christmas to you, Granny and Megan! We miss you so much. We can't wait to see you again!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

The list for a "no alarm" day...

1. Feed my sister's doggies!

2. Ship order!

3. Mail cards - all of them! Today is the last day to get there by Christmas, you know!

4. Clean bathroom - no, I am still not done yet!

5. Get family ready for the day!

6. Stay ahead of my friend in Cafe World throughout the day - I'm currently behind.

7. Go pack boxes for the Feed The Children event tonight - what a privilege!

8. Publish this post after a few things are already done to make it look like I am ahead of schedule!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2009 Christmas Card

This is the last formal picture of our family of four outside of the hospital setting. I wanted to use if for our Christmas card this year when it was taken, and I still love it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I want to win...

...this giveaway on MckMama's blog. So, here I am blogging about the giveaway. It's for an extra entry. I have over 4,000 other entries to compete with. I probably won't win but it gives me something new to blog about today. Or, maybe you will enter the contest and win it yourself and you never would have known about it if you hadn't read my blog today. That would be great too!

The fabulous giveaway is to win Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom 2 picture editing software.

There's also a link to someone else's blog from MckMama who is giving away Adobe's Photoshop Elements 8. I already have elements, so if you enter that one you won't be any competition to me. Go ahead see if you can win that one too! Have a great day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Light a Candle for Megan

Tomorrow night, remember Megan with us, and any other child you know of who has died by joining in the Worldwide Candle Lighting sponsored by The Compassionate Friends, a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child. They have sponsored this Worldwide Candle Lighting during the holidays to honor the memory of all children -- no matter their age -- for the last 13 years.

Anyone, whether or not you have been personally touched by such a tragedy, is invited to remember all children who have died by joining in the Worldwide Candle Lighting on Dec. 13. Although officially held for one hour at 7 p.m. local time, this has become an event where hundreds of services in memory of children are held throughout the day around the world.

Everyone is encouraged to light candles in their home, whether alone or with friends and family. -- Patricia Loder, Executive Director, The Compassionate Friends

Visit their website for more information or to find a formal service in your area.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fingerprint Friday

OK, so I am copying an idea I saw on another person's blog. I found this while going through my mail boxes (and by that I mean boxes of mail). I hadn't figured a way to post it yet. But, this is my gift this week.

I hope everyone has had fun. I may have more giveaways again someday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who wants a free lunch?

Updated Post:
Guess what? Favors With Love, YOU were comment number...

I sooo want to go to Pizza Hut with you. Tell me when you order and I'll order at the same time. Do you skype?

Original Post:
I know. I know. All of us do!

Although we live in America, I hear there is no such thing.

However, the closest we have is... treating someone to lunch.

Please tell me your favorite "giftcardable" lunch spot.

That's all I got today.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Who wants some jewelry?

Updated Post:
"I would go with the key chain...bradley travis on one, alexander jacob on another, gary lee, and alice ann." Well, Amy, you get your wish.

The widget at random.org has chosen your comment as the jewelry winner. I ordered this item for you. It will be here soon!

Original Post:
My friend at Cap Creations has this wonderful personalized sterling silver jewelry.

These key chains come with up to four charms with the personalization space of 19 characters each.

Teacher Gifts.

Initial Necklaces.

And, her new "Name It" Necklaces.

These are my fave...

...probably because they have great meaning to me and my girl.

(My pics aren't as nice as hers though - sorry).

Anyway, the winner of this giveaway is going to receive either a "Personalized Key Chain" or "Name It Necklace." All you have to do is visit Cap Creations and decide what your favorite item is. Then, come back and tell me which item is your favorite and what message you would use to personalize your jewelry. The last rule is... you cannot order it for someone else. It has to be for YOU!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who wants some chocolate?

Updated Post:
I was standing in front of the chocolate last night trying to pick between the small box and the large box. So, I decided on two small boxes!

That's right, Val - You get one!

And, Renee - You get the other one!

E-mail me your info ladies so I can get you your chocolate. Congratulations!

Everyone else, keep checking the blog for another wonderful prize up for grabs after 12pm today!

Original Post:
If you missed the coffee giveaway yesterday, here's another chance today for something sweet. Today's gift is a box of...

This treat with rich milk chocolate, roasted peanuts, and fluffy marshmallow is sure to please.

In order to win this prize just leave a comment saying whether you would hide this for yourself or share it with others.

Also, remember to identify yourself if you are commenting anonymously. If you entered yesterday you'd better check to see if you're a winner! I've updated the original post.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Who wants some coffee?

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is comment number......

.....2. Yes, Kristi, YOU get to enjoy your mocha frappaccino while watching a Christmas movie with your kids, wrapped up in a warm snuggie and sitting next to the Christmas tree. E-mail me your address and I'll get your coffee card to you right away!

Original Post:

I've had a few days like this lately.

But some of you might be having the cozy feeling.

Or maybe you'd like some quiet reading time.

Just leave a comment on this post telling me what type of coffee mood you are in or what you would order if I could buy you some coffee or any other beverage from this store. Make sure you leave your name in your comment if you are anonymously commenting.

Someone is going to get their wish very soon! Check back so that you can see if it is YOU! Then, you will have 24 hours to e-mail me with your contact information.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Tis the season...


As our way of saying "Thank You" to all of you who have faithfully read our thoughts and joined us on our journey through the toughest time in our lives, we have some gifts that we would like to share with you.

Keep coming back this week to join us for the fun! Everyone will have a chance to win a few fabulous prizes just in time for the Christmas holiday - when we received the greatest gift ever given to mankind - the birth of our Saviour.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Friday afternoon...

...and my pink continuous zipper chain is not here yet.

...and my new fabric order is not here yet.

...and my girl is at school.

...and my husband is at work.

...and it's below freezing outside (I hate winter!).

...and my dog wants to lay on the couch with me.

...and I am going to take a nap with him.

I just can't fight it today!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday decorations

Sunday we decorated for the holidays at two special places.
Granny and Grandpa Brown's place.

And, Megan's place.

We wanted them to know that we were still thinking about them every single day. They are part of all our holiday memories and will be forever.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Please take the hand of your small child

Holding an infant's hand is a miracle. Their hands are so soft. Their fingers are so tiny around one of ours. I loved it when my girls would hold my finger while I held them in my arms. I never wanted to move or put them down.

When my girls got older they would grab our fingers less and wanted to be more mobile. Megan was content to ride in a stroller when we went places. Monica, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. She liked to go, go, go - the energizer bunny that girl is. She wanted to get out and run all over. She didn't want to hold hands either. She wanted to be free to roam wherever she wanted. This made me nervous when we were in public places (parking lots, shopping centers, and the like). She would wiggle out and break away at the slightest chance - she made her own chances too with that fiery attitude of hers.

Finally, I got it through to Monica that she needed to hold someone's hand and stay nearby. Monica would hold Megan's hand alongside the stroller and later the wheelchair. This would help us know she was as close as possible to us at least. Monica knew that Megan couldn't hold her hand too tight and force her to stay. But, Monica also loved Megan and wanted to be near her anyway.

Every time we got out of the van when we arrived somewhere I would say to Monica, "Get a hand." She would always say, "OK, Megan's!" Ken and I would push Megan and watch as Monica held her hand and talked about what we were going to do at the store or wherever.

This October, after Megan went to Heaven, Ken and I took Monica to Disney World. We talked to her about what it was going to be like, that there would be many, many people there, and that she needed to stay close to us and hold one of our hands because we didn't want her to get lost.

Monica was a little more cuddly in October anyway and said she would try to help us out. When we got to Disney World we said, "Ok, take a hand." At first she made a game of it and said, "Both hands." Then she wanted us to swing her back and forth as we walked across the parking lots.

Eventually, Monica saw all the people and would either hold a hand or lean into one of us so we could put our arms around her.

Every place we went inside Disney World - whether it was a show, a ride, a train, a ferry, or a monorail - the voice from the loud speaker would always say, "And please take the hand of your small child while you exit." The first day, I repeated those words to Monica over and over and she would reluctantly take my hand because she heard it and she was starting to understand why. (It wasn't just me telling her this time).

Toward the end of our visit, Monica would hear the voice on the speaker and say to me, "Please take the hand of your small child."

When we got home from our trip, the first few times we went out in public I said to Monica, "Please take the hand of your small child" and extend my hand for her to take. It only took one or two times for her to realize what I was talking about.

Now, she says to me, "Please take the hand of your small child" when we go places. My answer to her? "Gladly, you don't have to tell me twice."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Hospitalizations

The following list is of all the times our family has spent in the hospital on holidays. Illnesses do not follow the calendar and come whenever its convenient or causes the least stress. Our family celebrated the holidays no matter where we were. We brought meals to the hospital and did our best to have the best holiday we could just knowing that our family was together. These holiday hospitalizations show the year and the reason why Megan was hospitalized. We joyously celebrated the fact that we were together.

Halloween 2000 = Feeding Difficulties
Christmas 2000 = Dysphagia and swallowing
New Year's 2001 = G-tube placement
Spring Break and Easter 2003 - G-J tube placement, nissen, muscle biopsy
Memorial Day, Monica's Birthday, My sister's birthday- 2003 = Parainfluenza
Spring Break and My sister's wedding 2005 = Pneumonia
Thanksgiving 2006 = Pneumonia with pleural effusion
Spring Break and Easter 2009 = Suspected neuroleptic malignant syndrome and parainfluenza
Mother's Day 2009 = MRSA infection
Father's Day 2009 = Central line bacterial infection
Labor Day and Ken's birthday 2009 = Respiratory failure

Today, we celebrated Thanksgiving as a family changed. We also took a trip to the cemetery and thanked God for giving Megan to us for nearly 10 years.

Now, I would like to invite everyone who reads this post to please pray for any families who may have a member that is struggling with their health. This holiday season I am going to try to remember to pray for those who are celebrating in unfamiliar and scary situations because I know what it feels like. These families need strength and comfort wherever they are.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for...


These people have walked with us for our entire journey. We couldn't have gotten through so many rough periods without them. We continue to lean on them for strength, prayers, and a shoulder to cry on. Hopefully, we haven't leaned too hard. We love them all so much!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Treasures in Heaven

Matthew 6:19-21
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We can have things to remind us of our treasures, but those things in and of themselves are not the treasure. Those we love and show love to are the real treasures.

Megan showed us how to love and to prepare for the future. While it may be a long journey before we see her and our other loved ones again, we know with our whole hearts that we will see them again.

A few weeks ago our pastor gave us a visual of the concepts of life and death here on earth and in heaven that has been helpful. Here on earth we endure the laws of subtraction. Everyone has a limited amount time on earth and our family members are taken from us one by one. In Heaven, our time is infinite and those we love just keep coming and coming and coming. What a Celebration that will be!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Picture Proof

I never really knew my great-grandparents. We have a picture of my younger sister being held by my great-grandfather (on my mother's side) as an infant. That picture was taken just months before he passed away. Although, I am not sure who has this picture now.

My Grandpa Brown was given a life-extending (30 years - a true miracle) kidney transplant just after my parents were married in 1972. Well, when my two daughters were born, I rushed them to see my Grandparents to get "proof" that they met in real life. We knew my Grandfather was getting frail when Megan was born.

So, as soon as Monica was born we rushed her over too. This was taken when she was only a week or two old.

This one was taken with Grandpa and Monica just a few weeks before he died.

We were fortunate enough to get a picture of my Dad's parents with both of our girls at a family reunion just over a year before my Grandma died. They lived across the country from us. Actually, this is a picture of all of their great-grandkids at the time. Megan (left of Grandpa) and Monica (right of Grandma) were the youngest.

Then, in 2008, when my sister got pregnant after being told it might not be possible for her to get pregnant, we encouraged my Granny to "keep on" so that she could meet little Livie. When Livie was born, we couldn't wait to get a picture of Granny and Livie. Here she is snoozing with Livie - Monica was watching and had to get into the picture too.

Granny loved babies and loved holding them. She loved being a Grandma and a Great-Grandma. She could hold our babies for hours and hours.

This spring we were lucky enough to find and purchase matching dresses for Megan, Monica, and Livie for Easter. As it turned out, Megan spent quite a bit of time in the hospital this spring (3 weeks in April). We didn't know if we would be able to bring Megan home, much less attend Easter Sunday at church. I shared with a friend that we had purchased matching dresses for Easter and were hoping to be able to get a picture of the girls wearing them and I hoped that God would allow us to keep Megan long enough to get that picture that we wanted. When Megan got better enough to come home we decided as a family to save the matching dresses and just take the girls to a portrait studio when Megan was feeling better.

Needless to say, Megan had a difficult time staying out of the hospital this summer too (1 week in May, 3 weeks in June, and 1 week in July). We never got a chance to take the girls to the portrait studio. However, on Tuesday, August 4, we got this picture.

It is of the three girls wearing their Easter dresses for the first time at Granny's funeral. Megan had a very sleepy day and we didn't really see much of her eyes. But we have this "proof" of the fact that she met Livie if we weren't able to get to the portrait studio.

Livie will know that she met Megan and that Meggie loved her too.