Happy Birhtday Mema!

Last weekend we celebrated Mema's birthday!!! Happy Happy Birthday Mema!!!
Kennedy and Elijah rocked out on the boys' drum set and Kennedy's Barbie guitar! It was just adorable!!!! It was a very nice party! Thanks Kate!

I think Spring may finally be here (knock on wood)!! Kennedy and I planted LOTS of flowers Thursday! Hooray! I am very ready for all the flowers in the yard to bloom and I am LOVING seeing GREEN grass again! :)

Just sharing some quick cards I made.....

I have had a lucky week, scrapbook wise. I had a card picked up by CARDS, a card picked up by Paper Crafts, and Scrapbook Trends just picked up a card and an altered planner! I had quite the dry spell but things are looking up again!
Hope you all are doing well!!!! Happy Spring!


Kennedy is famous!

Ok, well not really! But she is darn cute and COULD be famous!!! LOL!
A few months back we were out shopping at Pottery Barn Kids with Grandma Lori and Papa Randy. I was on the phone with my bro and I saw this woman talking to them and pointing at Kennedy. Then she handed them a paper, looked at me and left. Turns out she is a photographer in town and Kennedy spotted her eye! (insert proud mommy smile here) She was looking for cute kids to photograph for free to build up her image gallery!
So we went in for a session and she got some awesome shots! I was quite pregnant here, but I was happily surprised with the photos I was in! She put quite a few on her website!! I would love for you to check her out! See my lil beauty queen on the web somewhere other than here!!!
Go to this website:
Click on Portfolio/Classic Studio. The first image is my darling Kennedy! Under the photos are numbers. Click on #6 (still in Classic Studio). Those are Jeff, Kennedy and my toes!!!
Then click on #9 (still in Classic Studio). This our cute family!
Finally, at the top again, click on Custom Designs. Click on #4! This is our cutie patootie!! (and the photographer changed her name for security - in case you were wondering!)
Thanks for taking a peek and indulging me!!!
In scrappy news I have had quite a few things out in the magazine stands recently! A card in April CARDS, April/May Paper Trends, and a layout in the Scrapbook Trends Embellish It Idea Book. And this week I had a card picked up by Paper Crafts! This was my first time submitting to them so I am over the moon excited!
Have a wonderful Spring Weekend everyone!


Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...

Since I have no new photos to post for my family, I wanted to take a moment to post about a phenomenal group. So pardon the interruption of normal blog activities!!

Just weeks before Sam was born, I learned about an organization called "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep." You can read all about their wonderful program here, but I want to share with you a little about them and what they did for my family and me.

This organization is a group of professional photographers who photograph babies and their families when they are dying or have died. These photographers offer their services on a volunteer basis. All families receive a CD/DVD that houses all the photos taken during the session along with copyright to reproduce them. What NILMDTS provide is truly a blessing for these families. It has truly been a blessing for ours.

When we made the decision to take Sam off of life support, I was nowhere near my normal self or right mind. I had completely forgotten about this program - I never imagined I would need their services. Thankfully, a nurse at The Children's Hospital called a photographer on our behalf.

Our photographer, Cathy, arrived soon after Sam passed away. We were given a private room where we could spend time with Sam and the room was filled with our family members. Cathy photographed Sam with everyone who wished. I was so numb at the time, I didn't realize how very special this was.

I look at these photos of Sam daily. Daily. Some are framed; others will be framed later. We were with him for such a short time and we were in such shock and pain....these photos let us remember all his tiny, perfect little features. The pain on our faces and tears on our cheeks in the photos remind us of the horrific realization of what we had lost. But I appreciate them just the same.

Our photographer went above and beyond what is expected of NILMTDS photographers. She provided us with a video of Sam, set to music that we chose. The movie is truly heart breaking, but it is the most beloved tribute to my dear boy. I treasure it so much. Cathy also gave us 7 copies of the DVD - enough for grandparents and aunts/uncles. We will truly never be able to repay her or show her how deep our gratitude is. She was amazing.

So, most of the photos you will see of Sam were taken by her - when he was free of wires, bandages and machines - a perfect little angel.

If you are EVER looking for a charity/non profit group to support, I strongly urge you to support the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation. All parents of dying children should have access to them and information about them. Please support them and help spread the word. If you yourself are a photographer, I urge you to look into becoming a photographer with them. You will give families the greatest gift you can imagine. You can visit their website for information on volunteering and supporting them by clicking HERE.

I can only hope that someday my photography will improve enough so that I may offer this service to others.

Taken from their website:

"Maddux Achilles Haggard was born on Feb. 4, 2005, with a condition called myotubular myopathy that prevented him from breathing, swallowing or moving on his own. On the sixth day of his young life, his parents had to make the excruciating decision to take him off life support. But before they did, they called Littleton, Colorado photographer Sandy Puc' to take black and white portraits of them cradling their son. Puc' photographed the couple with Maddux at the hospital before he was removed from life support and after — when he was free from the tubes and the wires that had sustained him.
“That night was the worst night of my life. But when I look at the images, that’s not what I’m reminded of. I’m reminded of the beauty and blessings he brought,” Cheryl Haggard (Maddux's mom) said.
Those tender photographs documenting Maddux’s eternal connection with his parents inspired Cheryl Haggard and Sandy Puc' to found a nonprofit organization that has provided thousands of families of babies who are stillborn or are at risk of dying as newborns with free professional portraits with their baby.
Sandy and Cheryl founded the organization in April 2005 and called it Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep after the children’s bedtime prayer. To date, The Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation has nearly 3,200 affiliated photographers in 12 countries worldwide."

God Bless.

Papa Randy holding Sam.

Mema holding Sam.


A week ago....

Needing to go back in time for a moment....just a week! We had such a great time with Uncle Ryan, Aunt Lindsay and Aunt Kay in for a visit! And Aunt Kay stayed extra long - a total treat for both Kennedy and I!

We went to the park, as you can see above. It was a bit cold...but Kay thought it was WARM! She is used to the freezing Minnesota weather! :)

We had to make a Starbucks run of course! Kennedy now thinks it is tradition to line up our drinks and take a photo of them! So - I guess I better make a scrapbook page about this, huh?!

And we were just being our silly selves here....well, they were being silly at least!!!

We grown ups went out for a night on the town! This is quite foreign to Jeff and I! We rarely go out and if we do it is usually dinner or a movie! We went to The Legends and tried to get appetizers - but all the restaurants had waits until 10pm! So we ate at Chipotle - YUM! Then we hit Dave and Busters! Totally fun! I loved seeing all of them try out the Dance Dancy Revolution! The looks of concentration on their faces were hilarious! I had a good excuse to not have to make a fool out of myself...recovering from a C-secion here!! No dancing for me! (huge sigh of relief!) I loved the motorcycle game and of course enjoyed the trivia game! It was a VERY fun night! And no, my brother did NOT wear Kennedy's hat all night...all though he probably would have for the right amount of money!
And one night Kay and Kennedy painted birdhouses while I made a tutu for Kennedy. Earlier in the week Kenna and I were at Hobby Lobby and she grabbed a wooden birdhouse. She asked if she could paint it and of course I said yes! Hooray! My crafty ways are getting to her I think!!! She had a blast making an all pink house! Then she made another that was pink and green with tons of stickers on it! Kennedy loved sharing the time with Kay!

And finally - I have scrapped a little bit! I am really happy with how this layout turned out. I have been loving all the Making Memories lines lately - that is all I have used for about the past 6 projects!!!!!

I know many of you are waiting for Kennedy's 3rd birthday photos! Sorry - you have to wait a bit longer! Maybe in my next post!!!!!

And Kay - I miss you tons!!!!!


One Month

It is really hard for me to believe that our little boy was born one month ago today. When I look at his photo I know it was real, but sometimes it feels like a dream. Well, really more like a nightmare. I was wondering today what he would be like if he were with us; a month old. He would likely recognize my voice. He might be intrigued by the mobile we had for him. He would be cooing, gurgling and maybe laughing. He might be noticing his hands or feet. Who knows. I wonder.
I just wanted to share this poem with everyone. My SIL Kate gave us a beautiful frame with the poem on it.
'Little I knew that morning, God was going to call your name, in live we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone, for part of me went with you, the day God called you home. You left us beautiful memories, your love is still our guide, and though we cannot see you, you are always by our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.'
I know Sam made a great impression on all those he met that day. Just yesterday we got a letter from his neonatalogist about how much Sam touched her and how she thinks of us often.
Happy one month my dear boy.