Monday, February 28, 2011

so sad

as the show was nearing it's end...
(exasperated sigh)  Mama, I don't like when it's over...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

blog customization

I uploaded a pdf to GoogleDocs explaining how I utilized Blogger to customize our family sites.  It's really not as complicated as it seems--I promise.  I also included each and every step I think, at least I tried to.

Safety precautions

Emma likes to pretend that she's going on grand adventures a la Dora. She gets all her necessities already to go, place them in her backpack, and comes to say her goodbyes...

Bye, Mama. I'll see ya later! (waving) I will miss you! See you soon! (waiting for a response)

Me: okay, Emma... Have fun. DRIVE safe!

No, WALK safe. Because I'm not old to drive yet!

25: when you love them the most

I love watching John in his role as daddy... as I type this, he is snuggling a sick, snoring baby girl in a very uncomfortable position on the couch.  poor girl doesn't realize how lucky she is to have a daddy like my husband.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

9 months

Well, little man, yesterday marked nine months since I've seen your precious face. Your mama also turned 25 and would have given so much to have you here and healthy celebrating with us.  As hard as it is to find our new normal with the four of us left here on earth,  I'm trying.  Your sister still talks about you most days; that makes me happy.  It's humbling to be reminded through my tears by my three-year-old that God healed you.  I know there are no more tubes, monitors, or medication.  None of that is needed where you are.  I'm so thankful that I can know by God's Word that you are safe with Him.  Even though you might not be in any pain, your mama sure hurts.  I ache to be where you are.  Until you died, I never really thought too much or too seriously about heaven.  But now things are different.  I hate the thought of loved ones not being able to see you again someday.  I'll keep telling them about God's goodness--hoping they can see His strength during these trying days.  I agree with your daddy when he tells people that our strength went out the door the moment after you were born and whisked out of the delivery room because you couldn't breath on your own. From that point on, only by God's grace have we been able to carry on.  The days we try to do it by ourselves are always the least successful.  Because of you, I have learned my dependence on God.  There is no greater crutch--my God, my Rock.

I read recently, "Gratitude never comes from avoiding difficulty, but from finding yourself sustained through it. The degree of joy rises to the degree of gratitude, and the level of gratitude corresponds to the level of God’s grace experienced in our suffering. God’s sustaining providence brings relief, even when life becomes unspeakably difficult."

I'm choosing gratitude. 

I love you, little man.
Longing to be with you soon,

Manly things

I walked in the front door carrying John's keys and messenger bag. Emma saw me and was curious as to what was going on.  I said daddy accidentally locked his keys in the car to which she replied, "oh, and his purse...(pause)...ha,ha, I mean bag..."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fairy tales

Mommy, I will play beauty and the beast. Like you are a beauty and daddy is your beast!

24: where

where we go to remember our second baby

went into labor with Jordan at 13 weeks.  this picture is on the year anniversary of her birth/death day.  here is big sister emma at 17 months old placing flowers on her sister's grave. 

so thankful that the hospital I delivered at recognizes that even babies still in mama's tummy are valuable LIFE.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

23: facebook

I don't know if I had actually ever seen this picture until I looked at "photos of you" by others on FB.  It was taken at the Hubble Family Reunion this summer and I was pregnant with Jackson.  Seeing pictures of us smiling as a couple at this time are purely a testimony to God's goodness through the trials surrounding Malachi's life, death, and our battle after the battle.

22: face

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

V-day in pics

The card Emma handed out to people at church... she had a blast!
I love seeing that little girl make people smile ;)

My monkey with his monkey!

Ready for our family date!

My present (yay shutterfly credits!)

The view from my side of the table...

How Jackson spent dinner: 

Emma got the hang of the peanuts!

So this one's not from valentines day, but couldn't resist sharing it!!

Did you do anything special for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 21, 2011

21: hands

the original malachi bracelets... here i am holding the hand of the only person who knows EXACTLY what i'm going through...

schooltime woes...

doing school with emma...

instead of just coloring her "d" words (dog, etc) she tried to spell can't "because i can't do all of it". (she wrote the letters L, O, and 'scribble' and said, "L-O-'che'....that's how you spell can't"...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

19: when they're gone

It's amazing how even though Malachi isn't physically present with us here, he is so intricately woven into our family to the very core.  Love you, Chi!

18: going out

I posted this picture not too long ago... anniversary date to Wicked.  The assignment including having someone else snap the picture of the two of you, and that's exactly what we did for this picture.  Thanks, random stranger ;)

17: staying in

We got this Marvel Matching Game for our ring bearer, David.  At that time (four years ago) we got an extra for our future kiddos.  Emma loves playing "superheroes" with Daddy and is continually reteaching me the names of all them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Help families get to the 2011 CHARGE conference

John and I haven't quite figured out what "works" best for our family yet when it comes to fundraising for CHARGE families. Until we find our niche, we will continue to support others efforts in this process...

Meet Dominic!

You are invited to attend a very special fundraising event to help support Dominic and his friends.
Tickets are $30 for Adults, $10 for Kids age 6-12 and Kids 5 and under are free

All proceeds from the fundraising event will be used to finance ongoing medical support for Dominic Steinhauser, a 2½ year old boy who suffers from CHARGE Syndrome. Dominic is the son of Bill and Deanna (Rossi) Steinhauser. Proceeds will also be used to fund trips for other children who suffer from CHARGE -- and their families -- to attend the 2011 International CHARGE Syndrome Conference in Orlando.

CHARGE Syndrome is a genetic pattern of birth defects which occurs in about one in every 9-10,000 births worldwide. The medical and physical difficulties differ from child to child, but Dominic suffers from vision and hearing impairment, inability to swallow (24-hour a day feeding tube) and he wears a monitoring device to check his oxygen and heart rate. Dominic and his family rely on over 10 specialists at Children’s Memorial to manage his care, as well as make regular trips to the hospital for ongoing treatment and other illnesses.

If you are unable to attend the event and would like to donate please visit his website at
For further contact information, click here.

16: together

The assignment for today was self-portrait. For whatever reason, this is my favorite pic of John and I.

Some wedding pics... taken by our photographer, edited by me.

oh yeah, and he surprised everyone (including me) by singing at the wedding--lyrics below.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

15: kiss

Both of these pictures were taken when emma was three months old--the same age Jackson is now.  I loved my haircut at that point...

Monday, February 14, 2011

14: jewelry

A while back my sis-in-law and I hosted an online trunk show with Bel Kai Designs and this was the piece Whitney worked so very patiently with me until it was just how I had imagined:

This necklace was designed in memory of the two babies John and I lost between Emma and Jackson.  I went into labor with our second daughter Jordan at 13 weeks into the pregnancy and our first son, Malachi--our little man of steel, went to be with our Lord two days prior to his seven month birthday.  The dates listed are those in which each child became PERFECT in Christ. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chi's Crossing: Laundry Surprise


I miss you.  Your brother is getting bigger and closer to the size you were when I held you in my arms as you took your last breath--a moment I long to forget, but cling to so often. I was folding laundry tonight when I noticed something on one of your old bed pads.  A piece of tape.  I don't know how many times we've washed that pad and I've never noticed.  It's most definitely from a time when we changed your g-tube or trach dressings or one of those frustrating occasions when you would keep kicking off your pulse oximeter and the alarm would NOT stop!! It's still hard for me to go back and look at pictures and videos of you, little man, but it will get better.  I want to remember everything about you, at least the good stuff.  I want to remember everything God taught us through you, and I know that means remembering the hard stuff, too--I'll get there.  Even though something as little as a piece of tape can still bring me to tears and heartache, I know with all my heart that you are healthy and whole and I can't wait to see you again.  Soon enough, my son... soon enough.


13: routine

Much of Jackson's (and there for mine) day revolves around his sleeping patterns. One thing I learned with emerson was that the more I try to force MY routine on my kids, the more they resist it. It's much less frustrating to follow a baby's cues and go from there. Not by my doing, he very quickly transitioned to getting up only once in the early morning to eat (and going right back to sleep when finished) to now he's beginning to sleep for a good 7 to 8-hour stretch and once again going right back to sleep. Praise God for a good eater and a good sleeper... Oh, and it also helps that I found him like this this morning: if only we could get his sister to stop sucking hers!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Goodness of God (review)

An absolutely wonderful book which I would recommend to believers and nonbelievers alike.  Randy Alcorn very clearly works through the problem of evil and suffering in his other books and THIS "The Goodness of God" touches on those key points with an emphasis in explaining the higher purpose for it all. The subtitle says it all: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering.

I wish someone would have given me this book when we realized the severity of Malachi's illness and soon-to-follow death.  The content of this book is exactly what a parent in that position (or anyone dealing with suffering or tragedy) needs to keep their eyes fixed upon.  In the hospital I would remind myself that God is good, God is faithful, and God is true, but I didn't take the time to expound on those truths and dig deeper into His Word to back those things up specifically.  What a great resource this book would have been and I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to allow Randy Alcorn to minister to me personally through his book.

I definitely see myself giving this book as a gift to those in dire circumstances.  It is a much less intimidating book then Alcorn's volumes Heaven and If God is Good...only 118 pages long.  I would also recommend this book as priority reading to any of you who have been following our story with Malachi and questioning why such suffering exists.  It's well worth the time and energy... believe me!

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

09: hobbies and passions

i think it's safe to say that technology is john's hobby. whether it be introducing me to the world of apple's infamous iPod (which was a LIFESAVER while in the hospital every day with Malachi) to the iPad to building his own computer--he's a techy geek... and i love him for it.

08: giftS from the heart

i couldn't decide which one i liked better, so i'm including both...

the first is the gift of selflessness... for whatever reason, it's been a hard week for me emotionally. my husband is amazing. truly amazing. for instance, today he worked a full day, came home (stopped to get me coffee--my machine is busted), let me nap to try and rid myself of this three-day headache, made dinner, played with the kids, AND then "ordered" me to take it easy while he:

this was my original idea for today's assignment... there is no greater gift from the heart than that of love.  my husband loves me unconditionally--through the good and the bad.  we've been through a lot of hard stuff  that most relationships don't survive.  ours has.  i think we're stronger for it.  we've witnessed God in ways that most never do.  i took this picture of my wedding/engagement rings (which i love) while jackson (our latest blessing) was laying on my lap wearing one of malachi's outfits.  my boys...

on days like today, i am even more thankful for John.  God has given him as a gift to me to be my strength here on earth when life seems overwhelming. i can't express my appreciation enough.  love you, babe.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cooking lesson

Freezin pizza??!? That's yucky.
Well, we'll cook it first.
Oh. Yeah. That's better.

Monday, February 7, 2011

in a weird spot

so if I've learned anything in the last nine months, it's been that grief is utterly unpredictable.  we were warned from the beginning that life with Malachi would be a rollercoaster--one that we would never want to be on.  as true as that was, I'm learning that life AFTER Malachi is even more of a rollercoaster.. with steeper hills and sharper turns.

once again, it's like i'm back on the frontlines.  my memory is absolutely awful right now.  tears come and go unexpectedly--sometimes weeping.  pastor talked on sunday how God first gives the gift of affliction to prepare us for more grace in order to give the gift of exaltation.  praying for growth during this time of affliction. 

interview with emma (3 yrs)

1.What is something mom always says to you?
"What are we eating?"

2.What makes mom happy?
having a party with my friends.

3.What makes mom sad?
when i do bad things i make my mama sad.  when i do GOOD stuff, I make mama happy!

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
making silly questions..hahahaha (fake laughter)

5.What was your mom like as a child?
a monkey.

6.How old is your mom?
25.. on your birthday are you going to be 25? are you going to be old?

7. How tall is your mom?
way tall!

8.What is her favorite thing to do?
play music (emma, i dont play music) i can help you play music!

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
do stuff on your own (like what?) shower..yes, yes, yes shower.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
play? (play what?) music!

11.What is your mom really good at?
nothing (thanks punkin')..mama is good at doing nothing.

12.What is your mom not very good at?
i don't know.

13.What does your mom do for a job?
to take care of babies.

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
umm... cake!  what do you want for lunch?

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
proud things.

16.If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
i want you to be diego. when i grow up i want to be a dora.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
they play.

18.How are you and your mom the same?
we're good at doing basketball.. that's to make us happy.

19. How are you and your mom different?
like our hair? cuz yours is black and mine is yellow
(mine is wet and looks darker right now)

20.How do you know your mom loves you?
cuz she is good to me.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
loving him.

22.Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
to emmas house.

07: generations

john and his grandpa john

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011


emma: hey daddy, you can be the handsome prince!
john: but, punkin', i'm not really that handsome.
emma: i know, but you can still be the prince.

05: love to hate

chewing milk jug plastic ring things...

not to late to join here.

04: what they wear

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

01: what they do

I've decided to follow along with my sis-in-law Laura this month in "The Joy of Love" free e-course.  There is a rolling enrollment, so feel free to join along with us!  If you do decide to get in on the action, feel free to let me know in the comments or via e-mail so I can check in and see what pictures you come up with for the month!

So... Day 01: What They Do

He doesn't get to DO this as much as he would like, but John's typical "guy's night out" consists of skyping with a few friends and playing a game online. He wears the headset (thankfully), so I can hear only one end of the conversation. "Stab kill...oh i just got stabbed... can i repeat: i do not like being stabbed" and "being shot in the back--no fun" and "that's right.  don't mess with me and my knife" are not uncommon phrases during these times. 

Oh, husband, I love you.  Keep doing what you do.

Visiting Grandparents

Emma absolutely adores spending time with her grandparents.  Thanks to the holidays and a year-end birthday to boot, Emma gets flooded with all kinds of presents this time of year making those visits even sweeter ;)... Jackson, I'm sure, will share her sentiments in the very near future.  Here are a couple snapshots from recent visits...
Grandma Kathy made it out to Indy a few times this holiday season.  Emma taught her a thing or two regarding my iPod.  (tracing letters with grandma)
Jackson loved having Grandma Kathy out to visit too...
actually, this is more like it... (quizzical looks and big smiles)

We also met Papa Russ and Grandma Karla halfway.  Jackson is a little less intimidating than Malachi, and he got LOTS of snuggle time.
Jackson with Papa Russ and Grandma Karla...
Hope to see everyone soon!