Friday, August 19, 2011

This is how I'm kind of like Oprah

I got 9 comments on my giveaway offer of this album, and since that's not a lot, I'm just going to send it to all of you!

YOU! AND YOU! AND YOU!  (If you left a comment on my last entry.)

And if you didn't, that's too bad for you. 

I really just want to spread the Mat Kearney love. So, if you get it and you don't like it as much as I do, don't tell me. That would ruin my fun. 

I have most of your e-mail addresses, but if I don't, I will be hunting you down to deliver your awesome prize. I hope you like it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On a lighter note - FREE Mat Kearney album for winner

Everyone should have this album.

It just came out a couple weeks ago, and I am obsessed. Dave has been a fan for a while (and I've been a more casual fan), so he bought this the day it came out. He was playing it in our room while we were folding laundry, and I was instantly hooked. He has a unique and very appealing style. I was surprised when he started rapping (he calls it "spoken word," apparently), but as soon as I just got over that I don't usually listen to "rap," I was all on board.
The songs are catchy, but meaningful. And I love the rhythms. I'm a sucker for a good beat. This is full of that kind of sound and I absolutely love it. He's kind of progressive folk rock mixed with hip hop, and I can't get enough of it. Seriously... it hurts my feelings to ever have to turn it off. 

This is not a giveaway blog and never will be... but I love this album so much, that I want to buy it for all of you. But then Dave would be mad, so I'll just buy it for one of you. So leave a comment if you want this album for free, and this Friday I will use to pick one of you. I will send it as a gift through Amazon's MP3 store.

Daniel's balloons

(Also cross-posted. I don't know if there are many who read both of my blogs, but if so, please excuse the identical postings right now. My family blog is still the place to go for regular family stuff - I just want to be able to share what I can about Daniel with whomever wants to read.)

About two weeks before we found out about Daniel's condition, I was shopping for a Christmas present for Dave when I found some hot air balloon wall hangings that I loved. I thought they would be perfect for the baby's room. Although I thought they would be great for either a boy or a girl, I decided to hold off until we found out the gender, just because I wanted to have a plan before I started buying stuff.

We learned on January 6, 2011, that our baby boy probably had dwarfism. The next day, we learned that it looked like it might be more serious and that there was a good chance that he had a lethal form of skeletal dysplasia.

I thought about the hot air balloons again, and I decided that I wanted them. If he survived, I would love them for his room. If he didn't, I thought they would be a fitting tribute to my little boy.

A couple months later, after it had become more certain that Daniel's little body wouldn't last long in this world, I was looking for a locket that I could wear to keep a picture of my sweet boy with me always. When I found this locket with hot air balloons on it on Etsy, I stopped looking. It was perfect. I loved that it went along with the wall hangings that we already had, and it just seemed so right. So I bought it.

A close friend of mine took some family photos of us a week or two before Daniel was born. We used the locket and a special blanket that my mom knitted for Daniel as special symbols of him for the photos.

When Daniel was born on May 10, he was immediately wrapped in two hospital blankets. The one on the outside had baby footprints on it. The one on the inside, the one on his skin, was covered in hot air balloons. I couldn't believe it. I felt that it was a special message to us that there really is more to this than we can see.

I assumed the hospital had many of these hot air balloon blankets, but that didn't make it less special for me. However, I was amazed to learn from one of our special nurses (she was from Angel Watch and had helped us for months in preparing for Daniel's birth, and then was present at his birth, but didn't know about the hot air balloon "theme") that McKay-Dee had only a handful of the hot air balloon blankets. They were actually from another hospital and had been mixed in, in central laundry. So the chances that he would be given a hot air balloon blanket, at least at our hospital, were actually small.

I will never see a hot air balloon for the rest of my life without thinking of my sweet angel baby.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Cross-posted on my family blog, because I didn't know how else to do it this time. :)


It's about time for me to post something here. I haven't blogged for a while because I have felt like anything coming after the most recent posts needed to be thoughtful and not just an any-day kind of post. So bear with me.

I just realized that I haven't actually posted anything about Daniel's birth. I guess I wasn't up for it when it had just happened, and my brain is a little fuzzy lately, and I thought I had written something about it.

I have written about it on a secret blog that I don't plan to keep secret for very long. I have a plan, and I just need to get myself completely on board before I let everybody else in. But I will share the link soon, I hope.

We are doing pretty well. Some days are great, and then I'll have a string of really hard days. I really miss my boy. I am glad we have all the keepsakes that we do. We were able to keep his hospital blankets, and we have perfect prints of his hands and feet and molds of his right hand and his right foot. Daniel was given two little rings in the hospital that he wore while we had him, and I keep one of those on my locket with his picture inside.

In some ways I feel like I still have him. Like I have a different kind of baby. And I know that I do. It's sad that I don't get to have him here with me, but his life has had a profound impact on mine, and hopefully others' as well. And I know that I will have him again someday. I've always known it, but I have also had some special experiences to reassure me of that. Things that have verified to me that there is more to life than we can see.

Daniel's funeral was wonderful. It was a beautiful, peaceful day. My dad gave a beautiful talk. Someday I will type it up and share it (or if anyone wants a copy of the audio from the funeral, let me know and send me your address). My dad is wonderful, and I was so grateful for the words he shared that day and the love he has for me and my family. No one in this whole world has a better dad.

We were so thankful that David's maternal grandfather and grandmother were also there with us on that day. They were on a cross-country trip that they had been planning for months (years?), and they just happened to be in our area at the time of Daniel's funeral. What a real blessing! It was so wonderful to see them, and Pap Pap (Dave's grandpa) was good enough to speak at Daniel's funeral, too. He is an amazing man with the most tangible testimony of the gospel that I have ever known. He and his wife also lost a baby, and he shared some of that experience and what he learned from it.

If you know my little brother, Joel, you probably know that he is a beautiful musician. He has such a beautiful touch on the piano, so we asked him if he could prepare a hymn medley for the service. We asked him to include "Come, Come Ye Saints" and "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." It was perfect. I wish I had it on paper so I could play it every day. His beautiful, peaceful music really carried the Spirit through the meeting.

After Joel's music, Dave spoke. I shared his talk in a previous post, but it was even more amazing in person, hearing it right from his mouth. If you didn't know it already, Dave is an amazing person. I am a lucky girl to have him, and to have a husband with such a strong desire to please his Heavenly Father. There were many tender moments before Daniel's birth and during his short life when I got to see what a truly wonderful husband I have been blessed with.

This may seem an odd time for an endorsement, but I just have to say how wonderful it was to work with Myers Mortuary in Ogden, and White's Mortuary in Twin Falls. Both groups were incredibly sensitive to us. They made it as easy as possible, and they were just so caring. I actually ran into Tracy from Myers at a funeral a few weeks ago. He was the one who came to take Daniel from the hospital. When I saw him, I had such a feeling of love for him and the way he took care of us and our baby. He wouldn't have recognized me (I was probably not at my cutest on the day we met in the hospital), but when I told him who I was, he gave me a hug and we just had a little moment. I told him how much I appreciated the way he took care of us that day. It really does take a special person to be able to do what he does. And Trent at White's was just as amazing in his role.

And while I'm on the topic, I have to say how blessed we were with amazing care providers during my pregnancy and at McKay-Dee during and after Daniel's birth. I met with a couple other TD moms yesterday, and for the first time I realized that my positive experience with my care providers was not just a given. We were truly blessed with amazing people. Our doctors and their staff didn't sugarcoat anything, but they were still somehow so gentle. I never knew I could love my doctor as much as I love both of the perinatologists we worked with at McKay-Dee for those months (and one of them delivered Daniel, too). I will certainly be writing them tear-soaked thank you cards when I get my act together and write thank you cards.

It has been three months since we said goodbye to our baby. I still can't believe that we just did this. Sometimes it is like an out-of-body experience, like I am just watching it happen. Sometimes I force myself into it, to really feel everything and really focus and realize how much has changed. Our family has changed and there are some pretty major personality traits of mine that have changed. Hopefully for the better.

There is more to share, but it will have to be another day. I really just needed to break the ice again. Thanks to everyone who has been so loving and supportive to us this year. We have needed it, and we have been really thankful for it. And thank you so much for all your prayers.