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Remembering Kierra Fundraiser

 It’s nearing the end of January. That means it will soon be a year since Kierra joined the angels in heaven. Last year we had spent lots of time in the hospital.

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One of Kierra and I’s favorite things to do was to get her all prettied up. I would give her a bed bath, brush out her beautiful silky hair, working through the impossible tangles in the back until they hung lovely and smooth.

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She would have her favorite blanket to hang onto and her cutest outfits to make the room feel more cozy.

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And when I had some extra time,  I would paint our toenails with matching polish.

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Remember pampering her this day, Sadie?

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She was a little princess with those pretty nails. Sierra gave her lovely pastel lavender and pink polish for her birthday and she looked so girly girl with it on her tiny toes! I miss pampering her. I miss her tiny hands and feet. I miss matching with my little girl.

I’m sure there are better things in heaven then pretty nails, but since I’m still a human Mommy, I wanted to do a little fundraiser in Remembrance of Our Wildflower Child.

If you have never heard of Jamberry  nail wraps, you are missing out :) I am having a party at my house on

Friday afternoon at 3:00 P.M.

January 23.

There will be lots of nail wraps here. This is a special party for Mommy’s and their little girls. Delightful little nail wraps and big mommy ones will both be available. Stefanie will be here to answer any questions and show you how to apply them and tell you good stories of how long these cute wraps last :) There are styles for everyone, whether you like French tips, Chevron, or something with Bling or Bold.

(hint: the Valentines one are darling!)

So you are all officially invited to my house for some Mommy/daughter time…and while many of you are from out of state or it won’t work for you to come but you’d still like to check them out…I’ve included a link for you to order from.

This fundraiser is for The Clinic For Special Children in Pennsylvannia.  This is the clinic that diagnosed and is still currently researching NCS. {nephro cerebellum syndrome}

There is still no known cure for this rare genetic disorder, but some of the most intelligent, world renowned physicians are researching it. Although Kierra snuggled into Jesus’ arms before there was a cure, we are hoping and praying that a breakthrough would come. We are praying that other children wouldn’t have to suffer from NCS

So feel free to click on the Jamberry link and pick out some lovely nail wraps for yourself and your girly girls or friends!

Someday I’ll hold this little girl’s hand again…until then, I’ll hold the memories!

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6

And Then It Was 2015

The New Year is technically over.
The goals made.
The holiday cheer still a lingering pleasantness.
Some tears cried.
And laughs shared.
Some good intentions broken.
Some plans penciled in the planner.

Our New Year was quiet. Relaxing. Reflective.
Oddly, though, I didn’t make any goals. Just the simple choosing of facing another year with courage. A smile. A thankful heart. And my God.

Last year, I dreaded 2014.
Something ominous seemed to hang over my head.
Something very sad DID Happen.
We lost Kierra.
But something even greater happened.
She is more alive then ever before.

And we are the ones still living the dream.

This year, a bit of the ‘dread spirit’ still hovers over me. May be I will struggle with it every New Year. Maybe I will need to make a conscience choice to choose Trust and Thankfulness.

But the joy will come. As sure as the sunrise.

We are working on a 2,000 piece puzzle right now.

It’s spread out over our little kitchen table.

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It’s a great example of life. It’s all about not seeing the big picture. Noticing shades of dark and light. Watching patterns emerge. Conversing slowly. Finding patience. Persistence.

Nothing about rushing. Or a quick fix. A snap…or a click…with results.

It’s about perspective. Hope for a beautiful finish. Faith that the pieces will all be here. And fit together.

I must admit my husband is twice as good and devoted to the whole puzzle thing as I am. I bought it. He puts it together. I love watching him work his magic on the pieces :) But it DOES make me feel accomplished to know that I helped…even if he is the actual brains to the complicated:)

Kobe is all into His alphabet puzzle train right now. What could be better then waffles and Thomas pjs and puzzles and being with the ones you love on New Year’s Day? :)

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One of the biggest events for us in January is starting tomorrow. I plan to take CNA classes. I am so excited, and of course a good bit apprehensive.
Steve and I have had lots of discussions about this subject over the last months.
There are so many pros and cons. ‘What ifs.’ ‘Should I?’
We just couldn’t quite let it drop. It persisted in our thoughts and kept coming up in our conversations until we finally faced it square on, talked it out once again, asked The Lord for direction, and made a decision.

I would take the classes and start working (hopefully) ( if I pass:) part time. Steve and I would adjust our schedules (if/when I begin working) to cover Kobe’s care since it is very important to us that he and Steve and I are our top priorities. (in writing this I want to make it clear that this is not a reflection ,by any means, on those who put their children to the babysitter! :)

I don’t expect to fill the ‘Kierra hole’ in my heart by caring for others. I only hope to pass on a bit of the care that has been graciously given to us over the past years. Perhaps the knowledge and experience I gained in caring for my daughter can turn into a blessing to others as well.

So we are taking it a day at a time….a step at a time…..and praying God can use us all for His glory and to be the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus.

So 2015…. Ready or not….here we come!

Wishing you all the grace and power of our Loving Father and God in the coming year….no matter what happens, heartbreak or amazing happiness…know that You are LOVED! And Heaven is waiting and will be so much more wonderful then anything we can hope or dream of!

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My Christmas Prayer For You

I just wanted to share this verse with you….a few days before Christmas.
This is intended to give you HOPE. This is my prayer for you. You who are facing life and it’s uncompromising hurts and HARD things.

Listen to this….

I pray that your Hearts
Would be flooded with LIGHT
So that you can UNDERSTAND
The CONFIDENT HOPE
He has given to those He called.

I pray also that you will understand
The incredible greatness
Of God’s POWER for us,
Who BELIEVE Him!

This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…who fills all things everywhere with Himself.

Taken from Eph. 1.

Firmly embrace this day of light! And if today you are walking in the darkness of pain….know without a shadow of a doubt…as sure as the dawning sun…THE light WILL COME!!!

Our daughter is not with us for this Christmas, but her happiness is unparalleled, I know. I just had to share this lovely gesture of kindness and care that wonderful friends gave us.

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Since we can’t visit Kierra’s grave this year, they did it for us. I cried when I got this photo texted to me. The lovely wreath matches the one that was delivered to our front door last year. The shiny pink ornaments are SO Kierra! And that darling white K. I don’t know if they have any idea the good this did to my heart.

There aren’t really words to describe how much it means when my sister stops in on a trip to PA to visit Kierra’s grave and leaves a poinsettia. When friends celebrate her life with this wonderful wreath. I ask God to bless them in a special way! A REALLY special way!!

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BELIEVE and a Giveaway!

It’s cold. It’s winter.

IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!

And in just a few days, it will be another thing.

our seventh wedding anniversary.

I think this is the perfect time for a little give away to my lovely friends on this blog! So here it is…

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A Christmas Light Canvas.

Read a bit farther to understand why I chose the word BELIEVE and to see how to enter the drawing to win.

I hope that this winter finds a glow in your heart. The privilege to BELIEVE. even when it’s hard.

A bit over 8 years ago, my Big Guy and I met for the very first time.

I from the East.

He from the West.

Just in case you didn’t know, I LOVE a happy, fuzzy romantic love story. One of our first ‘run ins’ was at the bottom of a Rocky Mountain foothill under a gorgeously lovely moon that was edging the frigid clear night with it’s impossibly soft warmth…..

a perfect set up for some heart sparks to fly.

Instead, I was bleeding red all over the front of Steve’s grey jacket and was convinced that every breath would be my last. That’s what happens when the most lovely innocent toboggan ride with girlfriends ends abruptly.That’s what happens when barbed wire meets face.

Cruel cold steel wired across flesh. And scars were created. It was ugly. And scary. And not at all what I planned.

I don’t believe in omens but do I believe in God’s omnipotent plan for our lives. Sometimes, in my wandering moments, I wonder if God was trying to tell us something way back then. That He makes beauty out of bloodshed. He keeps us breathing when we have no strength left to keep going.That life doesn’t always make rational sense.

Exactly a year after that accident, my heart had come a long way. I was learning trust and love and commitment and laying down silly notions and ideas. (yeah. i’m still working on that stuff:)

One thing was bigger then ever…those lovely heart sparks were flaming higher and hotter then ever! We were getting married!

December 7, 2006

The day I thought I would die.

December 7, 2007

The day I promised my life to the best Big Guy in the world.

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(i laugh to think of all the near disasters that surrounded even that day)

The ironic thing was, the year before, I had gone west to teach a tiny school and carve out time with my Heavenly Father and try to figure out some hard questions of life. I wasn’t interested in guys.

But girls will be girls.

And when that true Love steals into your heart no matter how much you try to deny it….well, lets just say I was honored and thrilled!

It’s been seven years. There’s been bloodshed in our hearts. But there’s also been warm hugs that take in all the pain. So much love that pain morphs into beauty.

So many wonderful moments and happiness.

But we still live in a fallen world. As long as we are here, we face it.

Sometimes its hard to BELIEVE.

When I want my way and I don’t want to play fair and I am sure we are heading for disaster. When I let ridiculously small unimportant everyday things turn into a monstrous block wall. When I bang my head against it and wonder why it doesn’t budge. When I misunderstand.

It’s hard to believe.

When life hands me things I never asked for and warps my confidence that God is good. All the time.

It’s hard to believe.

When I don’t know what will happen next in life and it feels like your stuck in the waiting room. And you don’t want to be there.

It’s HARD to believe.

When others hurt and you can’t take away their pain.

It’s hard to BELIEVE!

I never would have believed my life if you had laid it out orderly for me while I was packing my bags for Montana 8 years ago.

It has been so wonderfully GOOD and GRAND!

But it’s also been brutally hard.

(Don’t we all have our own hard battle to face!?)

It is my life. And I embrace it.

Because I believe!

And that’s all because of God, my loving Father, who has PROMISED

(FOREVER AND ALWAYS NO MATTER WHAT)

to keep me and never leave me.

My husband. My amazing wonderful Big Guy that has taught me to trust and love and given me a safe place for my heart to come home.

My angel cchildren in heaven

the Wee One we never met,

Kierra Raine.

who’s name is music to my ear

longing in my heart,

hope in my future.

Kobe Xander

who amazes me

challenges me

calls me Mom.

and I love like crazy.

I believe

because God has put so much love and peace and hope in the midst of the blood and tears.

I BELIEVE!

So here’s my wish for you this Christmas.

The chance to experience God.

And believe.

It’s something we must each do for ourselves.

Let me assure you. He will meet you and love you and forgive you.

He delights in you.

Just believe.

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So here’s the deal.

This is a white canvas done in Silver script and snowflakes with 50 lights. It measures 16×20 in. and has easy access to the Christmas light’s plug.

Leave your name in the comments below to enter this giveaway. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 8. 

I will contact the winner for their shipping address and you should receive it in no time at all :)

1

Easy Christmas Light Canvas

To my friends who wanted step by step directions on making this super simple Christmas canvas…

Here are the supplies you will need.

16×20 in. white canvas

(available at Michael’s and other craft stores)

string of Christmas lights

( I used a 50 mini light string. you could try 100 count but it may be ALOT of lights! :)

Xacto pen, utility knife, skewer, or sharp knife

(to poke a small hole)

Silver Sharpie

Hot glue gun and glue

Lettering

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The first step is to decide on a word you love. You can put it anywhere on the canvas. Center, off center, top, bottom, left, right..you get the idea :)

I have seen this done by using a lovely scripted word sticker. If you don’t feel steady in the hand today or have a lovely word on a sticker, you can always pop it on.

If you are free handing your letters, it may work best to start in the middle of the canvas with the middle letter(s) so it is spaced evenly. Be sure to use a pencil for the first script so you can make adjustments.

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Finish out the word until you have it like you like it.

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Now comes the fun with your silver sharpie.

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be creative and add your own personal flair. There are so many fonts you can choose from!

Now flip the canvas around, hold it up to the light, and do a light, rough trace of the letters so you know where NOT to place your lights.

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Now you are ready for your light placement. Try to stay away from ruining the script.

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This part is a bit awkward so do it how you like, but this is the best way I found. Start up in the corner with your string of lights. Make sure your ‘plug in’ end will be at the bottom of the canvas. (Unless you want it elsewhere:) Make a small dot with your pencil in the upper corner where you will place your first light. Take your next light and place it a comfy distance from your first. Do not stretch the string of lights, or it will not fit nicely in the canvas. Jot a number at each hole so you can easily place your lights in the same hole later without trying to remember which order they fit best in.

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Stagger the lights instead of going in straight rows to get a more creative look. I put some of mine in the middle of the lettering and also as close to the edge as possible to give it more ‘light coverage’.

After you have worked your way to the bottom,, take your SHARP and poke a little hole in each pencil dot.

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You should have 50 holes. Now flip the canvas around  and draw a snowflake over each hole with your silver Sharpie.

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No two snow flakes are alike, you know :)

Now you are ready to poke a light through each hole. If you numbered your dots this part will go much faster :) Push each light through it’s hole. It should look something like this when you are done.

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I like to use my hot glue gun and glue each light into place so it doesn’t pull on the canvas, and it STAYS where it should. I had no problem with my glue melting later when I turned the lights on, just in case you wondered…like me :)

And here you’ve got the front…

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and lit up…

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and up close :)

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Happy crafting!

This was one of my favorite projects. EVER!!! :)

I’d love to see a photo of yours!

2

Focus on LIFE

So maybe I’m repeating myself.
But when your husband brings you flowers on a cold wintery day…(he is THE BEST!)

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And a friend stops by to give you a hug and make sure you are ok…
And you had just minutes before been sitting,watching a “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” music clip and tears were stealing down your face as you felt the loss this world has portioned out into your plate.

Well, I just had to share a tiny bit of heart here. Because right now I feel like I’m eating a big bite of unsalted undercooked Lima beans.
Gritty. Tough. Just yuck.
It’s rather awful because I have so much good going for me-gifted from my Father.
I seem to forget that big fat steaming fresh doughnut waiting at my elbow with the equally tantalizing coffee.
The cold Limas consume me.

I forget the joy and blessings life has served me when I get so focused on the loss.

You have a loss too. I just know you do. A broken promise. A dysfunctional family. A traumatic childhood. A great heartache. A love that is so big and strong it aches for the hurt of those in your life.

For me, it’s the loss of my dreams of a perfectly healthy baby girl. Way back over three years ago. The trauma of a screaming infant. The ‘temporary’ of our lives and the expected unexpected in her life. Missing out on lots of Kobe’s baby days because our daughter needed us. Hurting when she hurt physically and grieving for the joys she could never experience in this life. Being her voice and advocate and cheerleader. Watching and holding our breath over her development and lack of coordination and strange movements. When we just wanted to enjoy her and have a happy carefree life. The last years have taken more out of me then I understand. I feel robbed. Cheated. And underneath that I feel selfish for feeling robbed when it was my daughter that had to suffer. But she was part of us. What hurt her hurt us, and I’m back to the age old wondering of what God is actually working to accomplish here in this mess that is called grief and disappointment.

But I cringe at my own words. Because while they are true on one awful level, they are also totally counteracted on the next. And the pain becomes tremendous gain. I have been given a priceless gift to be the Mommy of an angel daughter. Our little girl made me look at life through a totally different window. She brought so much beauty through the pain. So much peace through the tears. So much love to our Kobe. So much Kierra to our lives. So much courage in a messed up world. I am more certain of guardian angels that stand beside our children then I ever was in my life. I ache for her and her amazing beauty. Her radiant smile.

I sat and held Kobe as he tried to open his tired sleepy naptime eyes and I knew without a shadow what I needed to do.

Focus on the gain
Instead of the pain.

I have so very very many blessings. A wonderful husband. A darling three year old. Friends. And all the things that make me comfy in life. I choose to thank God for that.
Joy is a choice.
I choose it for my heart….and pray that it reaches my eyes.
So my friend….

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Life is all about perspective. Focus. What we choose to dwell on until it becomes our identity. While I never want to lose that ‘Kierra part of me’, I also need to let go of the hurt and let the beauty we were so extremely blessed with for three and a half years fill my days and change my perspective.

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Like the song writer I sing in my soul…
“And I said to myself ,’what a wonderful world’!”

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2

A Solo Date

I am sitting by myself in Barnes n Nobles for the first time in years, or maybe in all of my history :)
I brought this…

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And bought this…

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And looked at this…

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Something to eat
(Chocolate)

Something to talk to
(Sometimes my journal is my best therapist :))

Something to do
(Create cards from Michaels clearance rack :))

Something to hope for
(A gorgeous cookbook and a positive note from wheelchairs)

I helped Steve do a lawn job this morning and now I’m having some “quiet, do something relaxing, ” time while he mows another lawn.

Kobe is coming in to town later today with friends. Bless their kind hearts for watching him this chilly morning!

Sometimes when life hands you uncontrollable (or common everyday the same) events, the best thing to do is take some time out and rest awhile in your own space. Maybe that is a coffee shop, a book store, (ME!) a garden, a long hot bath, or an art museum.

Take a bit of time to be kind to yourself. Sit and honestly ask yourself how you are doing. You can even have a conversation with yourself in your journal. Just like you would for a friend.
What would you tell your friend if they were having a rough day?

“I believe in you.”
“You are loved.”
“It’s OK to hurt.”
“Here. Cry for awhile.”(as you hand her a box of tissue)
“Gods not going to let you go. ”
“He won’t love you more or less by your honesty.”
“You are doing a good job in life.”

How about telling yourself the same things?
If you are anything like me, you are your own best critic. (Yep, I’m sure someone else has the original to that quote :) ) but honestly. We are so harsh with ourselves at times. We forget that by being honest with ourselves we can be honest with others. That taking time to understand why we are hurting is more valuable then beating ourselves up because we snapped at our children (again!) for some minor bit of childishness.

Often the “straw that broke the camels back” is actually not the problem. It’s something else that carries much more weight at the root of the load we are carrying. While we can give our burdens to Jesus, and rest on Him, we are still faced with all the elements that make up life. Family. Work. Decisions. Friendships. Grocery shopping. The list goes on. It gets much more complex. Sickness. Wandering souls. Disappointments. Death.

We are so good at holding on to pieces of hurt and pain and fear. Until we break. Thankfully, that’s what our Saviour specializes in. Broken lives and hearts and people.

Today I am taking some time to sit and think about my own life. To do something I love. To get to know myself a bit better. To bring the broken to God. To have my hope renewed through Him.

Because. HE is understanding Loving Hope.
And He makes me new.
Ready to face life a bit more steadily…
Take some time off for yourself, my friend. It is one of the kindest things to can do to yourself and those you love.