Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thank you

I wanted to take some time and let you know how thankful I am for the gift the readers of MCK Mama's blog gave to String of Pearls.  For those of you who don't know Jennifer set up a raffle on her blog....the money that was given went to 3 different organizations.  Over $19,000 dollars was raised and String of Pearls will receive almost $4,000 from the raffle.  Each day as I watched the numbers climb...I knew this was not just people wanting to win a great camera.  This money was from people who were wanting to make a difference in others lives.  These were people who wanted to help families in crisis and to make this heart wrenching journey more bearable, somehow.  

The vision for String of Pearls was created out of a need to reach families with another alternative instead of termination when faced with a fatal prenatal diagnosis.  This dream to walk with families has been growing in our hearts and is quickly becoming a reality.  I can't help but to think of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She knew God had created something amazing for her...but maybe it didn't feel like a reality until she felt the first kicks in her womb.  I feel like we are feeling the first kicks of the dream God planted in our hearts.  Yes, there is fruit already and families are being reached, but I know there are still big plans in store for String of Pearls.  Each of you who donated are part of the quickening I am feeling in my heart as I sit and write this.  Thank you so much for giving so willingly.   Know each dollar we receive will be used in the best possible way.  

This money will be used to provide families with baskets full of items to make memories with their baby for the short amount of time they have them in their arms.  The money will be used to print brochures about String of Pearls to leave in Dr's hands who counsel patients following a fatal prenatal diagnosis.  Money will allow us to educate staff in hospitals about the concept of perinatal hospice.  I want all of you to know what a gift your donation is to these families....we will be able to let them know they are not alone on this journey. 

I cannot begin to tell you how this touches my heart.  To know that myself and these families are not forgotten is an incredible feeling.  I am so thankful and honored I have the opportunity to walk alongside families who have found themselves on the journey of a lifetime.  I know I will never forget the generosity of so many.  

I also want to thank Jennifer for her precious heart and desire to be a part of what String of Pearls is doing for families.  I had the honor of talking with her when they were not sure if Stellan would live or die.  Even though our stories ended differently she did not forget those of us who belong to the club, the club of families who have had a baby die.  She could have moved on and never spoken to me again.  She did not forget and I know I will never forget her either.  I am so thankful she has Stellan in her arms today.  Both Jennifer and I are the owners of a miracle....hers is in her arms and mine is in heaven.   I am honored she has chosen to remember the families who are walking this journey.  

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The ache

This month is flying by. School projects, cookies, Christmas trees, lights, Advent activities, Oodle, sick kids, budgets, meetings, shopping, Christmas music, going to bed way to late! We have much to be thankful for this season but I cannot help to feel the ache that is just below the surface of my heart. The ache sneaks up on me and catches me by surprise sometimes and other days the ache is just right there. I know this time of year will always be ornament on the tree put there by our hands not hers, a missing stocking and placing flowers at her grave instead of presents under the tree. I can't help but to think of the ache Mary must have felt too. She was like so many of us...was giving birth to a son who she knew would die. She treasured every moment...just like I did and she too missed him before he was even gone. I know someday the ache will be gone....when we see Him face to face. For now, the ache is still there...some days I can walk with the ache and other days I just need to lay down and feel the pain in my heart and remember what my sweet baby felt like in my arms.

I read the first 2 books of the Twilight series.....I know, maybe not deepest book to read! I have a sweet friend who loved the books and I always like to see what moves her heart. I was moved by one section of this book. The main character, Bella, is missing Edward...her soul mate. She has been missing him for several months and is slowly coming out of the fog. This is one part of the book that made me cry and spoke to where I am at this moment.

"I lay in my bed a few minutes later, resigned as the pain finally made it's appearance.

It was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been punched through my chest, excising my most vital organs and leaving ragged, unleashed gashes around the edges that continued to throb and bleed despite the passage of time. Rationally, I knew my lungs must still be intact, yet I gasped for air and my head spun like my efforts yielded me nothing. My heart must have been beating, too, but I couldn't hear the sound of my pulse in my ears; my hands felt blue with cold. I curled inward, hugging my ribs to hold myself together. I scrambled for my numbness, my denial, but it evaded me.

And yet, I found I could survive. I was alert, I felt the pain- the aching loss that radiated out from my chest, sending wracking waves of hurt through my limbs and head- but it was manageable. I could live through it. It didn't feel like the pain had weakened over time, rather that I'd grown strong enough to bear it.

Whatever it was that had happened tonight- and whether it was the zombies, the adrenaline, or the hallucinations that were responsible- it had woken me up.

For the first time in a long time, I didn't know what to expect in the morning." New Moon Stephanie Myers p. 118-119

Knowing you can survive through the pain.....a gift only God can give us. He has already given this gift, we just need to receive it. My hope for so many familieswho are hurting this season is that they will see the gift that has come...the gift that we cannot fully understand, the gift that will not take away all the questions, the gift gives us hope that we will survive the pain and can have hope in our hearts.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I am thankful for so much....I don't think I can begin to make my list right now, but I am going to do it this week. The list is long and each one of you who read my blog and pray for us and String of Pearls is a part of that list too. Thank you so much.

I wanted to follow up on my post about Mck Mama and her plan to have businesses donate a portion of their proceeds to String of Pearls on her baby Stellan's behalf. Here they are!

Heidi at Candles For Causes sells Mia Bella Gourmet Natural Wax Candles and other fine products and will donate a minimum of 50% of profits from now until ?.

Pamper yourself with fabulous Mary Kay skin-care products from Melissa, an independent beauty consultant. Visit today and 30% of net sales will be donated!

Jessica at Jekuthiel Gifts does websites, calendars, labels, bumper stickers, knitted potholders & baby items. For every $5 spent on her website through Dec 20th, $1 will be donated to String of Pearls.

Katy, an independent Tastefully Simple Consult, sells easy to prepare gourmet foods and will donate 10% of proceeds from sales beginning NOW until January 1, 2009! (Please email her at after you order so that she knows that 10% of that order goes to String of Pearls.)

Christine sells Tastefully Simple and will donate 20% of all sales from now through December 31, 2008.

Robyn at Brace Yourself Designs makes keepsake jewelry, mommybracelets and more, and will donate 10% of all proceeds, anytime you mention this endeavor (through Christmas and beyond!!)

Darla, Independent Consultant with Arbonne International which offers pure, safe, and beneficial botancial baby care products, will donate 35% of proceeds from sales of the Arbonne Baby Care line through December 2009 and can be reached at

Emily at Apple of My Eye Gifts makes unique children's clothing and baby items, and she will be donating 15% of her proceeds through the month of December.

Conquer eczema, wrinkles, fatigue and weight-gain with Julie. Arbonne’s premium skin-care and wellness products are vegan, with no parabens, no mineral oil, no chemical dyes or fragrances. Ask how you can save 35% and String of Pearls can get 14%.

Shawna at Firefly Photo Jewelry handcrafts custom soldered photo jewelry as well as handstamped jewels and would be honored to donate 10% of all proceeds from sales from now until New Years Eve.

Abigail with Missy Prissy Bow Boutique, which sells Prissy Bows for Your Little Princess's Crown, will donate 10% of every Stellan's String of Pearls order, from January 1, 2009 - January 15, 2009.

Lisa and Aleacia at Memorystones create customized lifebooks for foster and adopted children, and scrapbook scripture frames. They will be donating 20% of all profits to String of Pearls from now until February 15, 2009. Please email them at for more information!

Melissa at Little Peanut Designs sells fun and trendy products for kids and mommies and will donate 10% of the proceeds from sales between now and Christmas. (Upon ordering, please e-mail melissa@littlepeanutdesigns and mention Stellan Supports String of Pearls, so they can be assured String of Pearls receives their donations.)

The girls at Tamz have a product to tame those flyaways & unruly brows! At $8.95 a bottle, this is a great stocking stuffer and for purchases made throughout the holiday season, 10% of their proceeds will be donated!

Kerry at Shiloh Photography will donate 15% of any shoot booked in 2008 to String of Pearls. Mention String of Pearls or the MckFamily when you contact them.

Elizabeth Engelhardt Creations sells handmade cards...invitations, announcements, thank yous, Christmas cards, and more. Please stop by to place your order and to see what all she has to offer.

Leslee of will be donating 20% of all proceeds starting December 1st through December 10th and we will throw in FREE shipping! Kiki & Lele specialize in "hand-stamped personalized sterling silver jewelry" and also make hair clips.

Melissa at sells personalized and custom photo cards and scrappy blog designs and will donate 10% of proceeds from any orders placed before the end of 2008.

Nikki at custom makes ring slings so that you can keep your baby close to your heart while having your hands free. Now through December 31st, $5 from each purchase over $20 will be donated to String of Pearls.

Jennifer at custom mommy necklaces and will donate 25% of proceeds from sales to String of Pearls. This will be an ongoing donation; however, all purchases needed for Christmas will need to be made by December 10th in order to guarantee delivery by the 25th.

A sweet gal who wished to remain anonymous let me know of her intention to donate some of the profits of her custom invitation business to String of Pearls!

LoraAnn with will donate 50% from every $100. Family/Holiday Portrait Session booked between NOW and 1/31/2009.(mention String of Pearls)Also, any wedding booked EVER (when mentioning String of Pearls) , String of Pearls will receive $50 upon 100% payment.

Please visit Kay at website at and mention String of Pearls in the comment section when an order is placed for one of her fabulous engraved tiles.

Alicia at Lavender's Blue sells custom baby gifts and will send 25% of the proceeds for the next 3 months to Stellan Supports String of Pearls.

This is a great way to get some Christmas shopping done without getting out of your bathrobe. I know I am planning on shopping this way!

This money is so needed right now...I have several meetings set up with the individual Perinatologist offices in the next several weeks and the referrals for more clients continue to come in. This is much bigger than I am and I am so honored God has allowed us to use our time with Pearl in a way to help other families. The families I have spoken with are all such amazing people who love their babies with an amazing passion. I am looking forward to the day our babies will introduce us to each other after we have fallen at the feet of Jesus.

My sweet friend Corie, Larson's mama, is having a party this week to help me put together baskets to send to the families we are working with. This time together will be such a gift to so many people...I am so thankful for Corie and her willingness to lighten the workload for me! I will have 20 baskets in my basement ready to be given to these families. This is another example of what I have to be thankful for.

Josie's mama, a family we have helped through String Of Pearls, just started a blog. I asked her permission to post her blog here and she agreed! She has an amazing story and just said goodbye to her sweet baby 1 month ago. You can ready her story at Josie is a beautiful baby and I know she is so missed.

I'm missing Pearl too....but so thankful she came.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

MCK Mama

MCK Mama is at it again! She has another idea up her sleeve to raise some money for String of Pearls. She is a treasure and has an amazing story about here sweet baby Stellan. I am so thankful she is not a part of this "club" and also so thankful she has not forgotten about those of us who still a part of the "club".

She is also in a contest for the Divine Caroline blogger award....she has said she will donate all of her winnings to String of Pearls. Go here, down on the left side of the blog and click on the link to the Divine Caroline Button to vote for her blog! The contest ends November 30th.

I have more to blog about, first I better go be sure there are no open bottles of nail polish and no wrestling going on!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our day

Thanks so much for praying! O's surgery went well....waking up from anesthesia was very difficult and so hard to watch my sweet boy scream for an hour. None of my mommy tricks worked so I just sat there and rubbed his curls. Not much sleep for us last night...I was so worried he was going to rub his nose and undo the surgeons hard work. Would it be mean if I had him in a hockey goalie helmet 24 hours a day for the nest 6 weeks?

Today was a bit crazy...a 7 year old who had surgery yesterday, a 4 year old who needed some serious attention and an adventurous 17 month old with a bottle of OPI "Tiptoe through the tulips" nail polish and a travertine tile floor! Hmmm quite a mess..I wonder if my husband will notice the pink hue to the tile?

Tomorrow is another day and hopefully tonight will be filled with a bit more sleep.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My curly haired boy!

Doesn't this face make you smile? Makes me smile too! At 8 am tomorrow he will be having surgery to repair his deviated septum and have his adenoids removed....for the 2nd time in 2 years!!! All of us are nervous and I just want the day to be over with. This sweet boy has never been able to fully breathe out of his nose, has sleep apnea, and snores louder than most grown men! Will you pray for skilled hands for the surgeon, a smooth surgery and a peaceful recovery? Someday I will tell you about the recovery last time...let's just say it was not one of my best mommy moments one afternoon when I couldn't get him to drink liquids or take his pain medication! Pray that we will have peace and fear will not invade our hearts and minds. We are putting our faith in God and not faith in faith! Thank you so much for praying...I know He hears us.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm still here!

The last 4 weeks have gone by way to fast! A great trip to Disney, the beach, sick kids, sick mom and dad, sick kids, 3rd grade science projects, String of Pearls meetings and trying to sleep, eat, play, give kisses and do laundry!
The last month several of the families I have been working with for String of Pearls have had their babies and Pearl has a few new friends in heaven. Please pray for Josie's mom and dad, Savannah's mom and dad and Isaac's mom and dad. The grief is so raw for these families....takes me back to the raw times for us and then I remember it doesn't take much for me to go back to that place. I am thankful for time and thankful for the reminders of my sweet baby. She is making a difference to so many families...I am proud to be her mama!
So many thoughts swirling around in my head now...the words won't come out though! I know the words will come eventually!
PS- L was not so happy with all the big furry characters at Disney! R was a good protector!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Today I am remembering and praying for families I know who have had to say goodbye to their sweet baby much to soon. Today is Infant Loss Awareness Day....what an awful sentence. I know I don't need one day to remember the baby I no longer have in my arms! It is comforting to know there are many who are thinking of the babies who have gone to heaven to soon!

I'm thankful it's sunny here today and we can look up at the beautiful blue sky and know our babies are safe and loved in the arms of Jesus. I'm asking Him to give Pearl an extra squeeze for me today and a kiss on her sweet cheeks. I'm alsoasking Him to kiss: Larson, Sophie, Noah, Jack, Maddox, Miller Grace, Asher, Isaac, David, Ethan, Maxwell, Christian, Charlotte, Micah, Morgen, Audrey, Jack, Brodie and Caden....we will be with all of you again in just a moment. We love you....

Monday, October 06, 2008

Lance in Aspen

Some of you may not know this about me but I love true athletes...cyclists, triathletes, runners and swimmers. I have so many sweet memories of watching the Tour de France growing up and going to the Coors Classic. We were so excited when we caught one of the water bottles the cyclists would throw off their bikes. I still have an autographed hat from one of the bike races a long time ago.

The summer Pearl died I spent many nights watching the Tour de France. Just hearing the voices of Al and Bob do the commentating for the race was so soothing to me. I knew they were going to be there all night and in between the moments the tears stopped I watched and cheered so loud for Floyd Landis. "Come on Floyd, you can do it!" His coach said that to him over and over again as he climbed the Alpe de Huez. Now, I know that it was discovered that Floyd used a performance enhancing drug as was disqualified and Oscar Pereiro received the title of winner. Anyway...Floyd had an incredible ride and it helped my heart so much to cheer the amazing athletes on.
Each summer the Tour is on I am glued to the TV at night catching up on the is a connection to me with the summer Pearl was here with us. Makes me feel so warm inside to be doing the same thing over again...lets me relive some of the feelings without the profound sadness. A tradition...J always laughs at me when I say that!
J had a conference in Aspen a few weeks ago, L and I went along for some great room service, extra time with J and a great afternoon at the Bliss Spa! It was a perfect weekend. The night before we left we heard Lance Armstrong (I know all of you know who he is!) was going to be racing in Snowmass the next morning. The race was in a relay form...each lap was 7 miles long with 1500 ft of climbing! Lance was part of a team and I was going to be there to watch one of my heroes race! I forfeited one more morning of room service, made J get up early, pack the car and drive the 15 min to Snowmass. I was like a little girl at the circus...I walked so fast just to see if we would get a peek. When we arrived the race had already started and we did not know what leg Lance was racing. The closer we got to the start I realized....there was Lance!! We slowly walked took a few pics and watched him start. I was giddy...we walked around, checked out the booths and decided to wait a few more min before we headed home. Suddenly, Lance starts coming down the hill to the hand off zone and then walks his bike over to the tent we are standing at. I smiled at him and squeezed L a little too tight because I was excited!

Ok, so this may not be a big deal to some...but for me it was God's little gift for me. The timing of being there when Lance was there was something only God could have done for us. Lance left to go to a private room as soon as he cooled down and was not seen again until his next lap 2 hours later. I so love it when little gifts land in our laps. I have learned to look for the little gifts more...sometimes we get so busy we forget to see the small treasures and get so upset when everything else seems so hard and confusing. I want to challenge you to look for the little gifts...the handfuls on purpose. They are just may take a more time,patience or creativity to find them.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My heart

My heart has been so heavy...I know it is the combination of so many things. Seasons changing always throws me to the edge of the hole many memories for me that come with the change of seasons. Every time I hope it will be different and it isn't. I'm learning to just go with it and let myself be sad if I need to be. Sad for what I'm missing, sad for what so many others are missing right now. I know on this side of heaven something will always be missing...there are just moments that is feels more obvious than others.

I so want to go to the cemetery to visit Pearl and just haven't been brave enough to go there lately. I think I am afraid of what I will's been a while since I have been and even typing that out feels so wrong. I use to go every week and now....I just miss her so much. Sweet baby girl all snuggled up in my arms...I can take a deep breath and still feel her little behind in the crook of my arm. I am so thankful I can still feel it...even 2 years later. I don't think the longing to hold her again will ever go away, I think it just gets easier to walk the road with an intense longing in your heart.

The presentations for String of Pearls have been made at 2 local OB offices and I will be going to a large Perinatologist practice in 2 weeks. I am amazed at how God uses the longing in my heart to hold my Pearl, to show the Dr's how real this journey really is. I feel so passionate about providing each family the privilege of holding their baby in their arms and never forgetting the weight of their sweet behind.

I know the longing and sadness in my heart is for these families who are at the beginning of this journey. I think of these women all the time...praying for a blanket of peace to be around them. Just like the blanket covering me. The peace is real...we just need to crawl to it. Will you pray for: Christina, Nicole, Shannon, Jennifer, Sadie, Jessie and Stacy. Amazing brave families who are going to meet their babies soon or have already said hello and goodbye.

I am so thankful for the moments with Pearl....thankful for the reminder of the season changes. Thankful He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Focus on the Family

The interview Josh and I did for Focus on the Family in November of last year is out today. This will be perfect for me to take to the office on Friday...this give a quick glimpse of why we did what we did with Pearl.

We are praying many families are touched by this story and many babies will get the chance to be held in the arms of their mama and daddy before they are held in the arms of Jesus.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My button!

MCK mama made me my own button for String of Pearls and her sweet friend Jennisa at helped me get the button posted so you can add the button to your blog too!! Just copy the text in the small box and add it as a gadget to your sidebar on your blog. I am so thankful for all of the help they gave me.

So many have contacted us looking for information about String of Pearls. Please keep praying for these families..they are hurting and scared. We are so thankful we are able to let others know there is hope as they walk this journey.

Will you pray for me on Friday this week? I am going to present String of Pearls to the office where I went when I was pregnant with Pearl...and the other 4 kids too! This could be an emotional morning, but once again I am so honored to be able to present to the medical professionals that we want to work with them as a team to be able to offer women a choice! I continue to stand amazed at God's faithfulness to us on this journey.

I am continuing to ask Him for strength and courage to walk on this road...there are moments I am very tired, but then I hear the still small voice gently leading me forward and I can almost hear my Pearl saying, "I love you mama, I am proud of you." Then I can keep going...I am praying many of you will hear the sweet, gentle voice of Jesus as well and continue to walk the path you have so bravely chosen. You are not alone...we are cheering you on and I know your babies are too.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I am amazed

The conference this weekend was great...I talked for over an hour and we had some time to answer questions. J and I were able to talk with some people after the meeting and I know many were touched by Pearl's story. People gained a better understanding of grief and if only one person walked away knowing better how to talk to a grieving person then it was all worth it. I could tell so many were praying...I wasn't really nervous and my voice didn't even shake! I am looking forward to the next time we are able to tell our story.

I received an email this week from MCK Mama...some of you may know her! She is now 30 weeks pregnant with Stellan....he is a miracle baby! Check out her blog for the full story by clicking on the button to the right...yes up there! She asked me if people wanting to donate in Stellan's honor could donate to String of Pearls! I was so honored as well as surprised...then I was reminded that nothing takes God by surprise so I should say yes...I did say yes with a lump in my throat and a tears in my eyes. This really isn't about the money..although money is something we do need to keep String of Pearls running. We do need money for brochures and gift packets etc....this is really about reaching families who feel so alone. This is about giving people a different option and a hand to hold. I am honored God would use us this way. Thank you so much MCK Mama for allowing Stellan to be a part of our story.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Settling in

Thanks so much for praying for me....I do feel as if I am settling into the fall routine and feeling better about getting String of Pearls launched. I am speaking at a conference this weekend about our time with Pearl as well as the basics of Perinatal Hospice. I do have most of my talk figured out...just need to do some more fine tuning. Keep praying for me when you think about it! I know this is going to be an incredible opportunity to tell our story and make others aware of resources available to families who are walking this difficult road.

I am bringing everyone to the conference this a beautiful city in the mountains! It will be good for us to be away all together with no distractions. My talk is early Saturday morning, so we will have time to play too. R is a little nervous about me telling our story....he wanted to know if I was going to cry. I told him I probably would but I would be ok. He is having a hard time adjusting to school....I was praying for him last week and felt like I needed to let his teacher know some of the history at our house. I am not using our history as an excuse for attitude but I felt like he was afraid to leave the girls and I at home. I had a good talk with his teacher and a good talk with R as well. I know he is worried bout leaving L all day...most mornings he says to me, "Mom, make sure L doesn't walk today without me and make sure the basement door is closed." Today I left the girls with a baby sitter and he couldn't believe I was going to let "L crawl around all day while I wasn't home with her. Will you make sure she is safe with the babysitter?" Poor boy is so worried about L. We have been praying for the fear to not take root in his heart and for him to be peaceful and content. I know grieving is a process and sometimes I forget how deeply my kids have been affected by the loss of Pearl too. They don't even know why they are feeling those anxious, fearful thoughts....this is a good reminder for us to be praying for their hearts to be covered as well as wisdom to know how to talk with them and help them to be able to articulate how they are feeling. I guess this is the prayer we need to have for our own hearts too....this is all part of the journey.

Friday, August 29, 2008


What a day for our country...I need to get to the after school rush but I wanted to say GO SARAH PALIN!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Please pray

The boys are both back in school and the need for a good routine is pressing in on all sides! I think all of us are fighting it too. Hard to let them be gone all day. I have been sad the last few days missing the boys. Even Z and L are missing their brothers.

I now have a little more quiet around here and have been hard at work with the pressing issues for String of Pearls. Setting up meetings, getting our reciepts put together, designing brochures, sending reciepts, and writing. This is all very exciting but I have to admit I am a bit discouraged too. I can't put my finger on exactly why, just feeling down. I was talking with my sweet friend Corie today and she reminded me this is a spiritual battle we are in and Satan does not want us to be putting this organization together. He wants me to be tired and discouraged. I cannot do this on my own. We need people to be praying for us. Will you pray for us? Will you pray for me as I prepare to speak at a conference in 2 weeks and meet with several of the larger physican groups in Denver next month. I am asking God for a clear mind and a heart that hears what He is wanting me to say. I do not want to be weary....preparing to speak about all of the emotions we went through with Pearl takes a lot out of me...I re-live each moment we spent with her and begin to feel the dark depths of my pain again. I still feel the pain, but I don't want the pain to paralyze me. I know He will equip me to do what He has called me to do.

I know this post is all over the place! Thank you for praying for me as well as our family. I know this effects our kids too and I want them to be protected and for much grace to be present in our home.

I will keep you updated on how the conference goes as well as the meetings here with the Dr.s.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Much to say

What a month we have had! I have so much to write about and just not enough time. The boys are going back to school next week and I will have some quiet afternoons to sit and write while the girls are napping.

I do have some exciting news I can finally share....String of Pearls is now official! Our website is up, we have meetings set up with Doctors in the Denver area and our 501c3 paperwork is being approved! I feel like this has taken so long to get to this point and I am so thankful for all the people that have been a part of making this become a reality. I'm continually amazed at how God continues to use one tiny baby girl to reach out to so many others. We are standing in awe of how God is working and daily living out the "insteads" of Isaiah 61:2-3
To proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

The hard days continue to come in waves, but the depths are not as deep. I miss Pearl more than ever at this moment, and would give anything to have my dark haired baby in my arms again. I was thinking last night how I would have loved to hear her make a sound...then was reminded that the first sound she made was when she was sitting at the throne of God! Wow, what a picture I can hardly wait to be a part of. I am thankful for the ability we have to honor her life and help so many others on this journey.

Will you pray for me and for those that are involved in String of Pearls? We are choosing to help others honor life and we need to cover these precious families in prayer as well as the people that are involved in caring for the families. Will you also consider financially helping String of Pearls? The website gives a detailed account of the services we will provide and our goal is to do this at no charge to the families. There is a place on the website to donate online as well as a mailing address. Our desire is to reach as many families as possible and give them hope and peace as they walk the most difficult journey of their lives. Thank you for praying and supporting us each step of the way.

Go see our beautiful website at

I'll be back soon with some good stories of our last month!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Celebrating Lyda

For those of you who found the information about my grandma by google, here are the details about the services.

July 8- 5pm-7pm Visitation with Rosary following at 7pm- Horan and McConaty 1091 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver

July 9- 9am Funeral Mass St Francis De Sales Church 300 S. Sherman St Denver

Our family has requested in lieu of flowers donations can be made in Lyda's name to Alternatives Pregnancy Center 1440 Blake Street, Suite 200Denver, Colorado 80202

Thank you so much for praying for our family during these next several days. We are looking forward to celebrating her life, and missing her strong presence so much as well.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Lyda Julia Conway August 9, 1914 - July 5, 2008

My sweet grandma is holding my sweet Pearl in her arms today. Yesterday afternoon my grandma was ushered into the very presence of God...say that again...the presence of GOD....she was met with a loud, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." We are so happy for my grandma but we will miss her so much. I know I will have much more to write later...for now we are remembering what it means to be held.....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mima- No matter how long...its still to short!

We found out 5 days ago that my sweet grandma, my kids call her mima, has Stage 4 cancer in her abdomen. It isn't going to be very long until she gets to go meet Jesus! I can't even believe my sweet 93 year old grandma has cancer. Just doesn't seem right....lately nothing has seemed right. I just want the spinning to stop....for just a bit so I can catch my breath. My grandma is the sweetest woman you have ever met. She is also one of the spunkiest ladies I know. I have so many incredible memories of her and know there are more to come...even if the time here is short. I know she is ready to meet Jesus and to be with her sweet husband again. She loves so well and is so courageous.

As I spend time with my grandma I feel like I am walking back into the days when Pearl was alive and moving in my belly. Each moment I felt her move I was reminded it could be the last time I felt her and I held onto each gentle little kick. I knew I needed to stay in the moment and not let my mind go to the day we were going to have to say goodbye. I drank in each sunrise with Pearl as well as each sunset. All without going to the scary place of goodbye...I knew it was only God's grace carrying me through those precious moments. I didn't want her to be born because it meant goodbye and long wait to say hello again....but I knew the moment would come that we had to say goodbye. The goodbye was a holy moment and I know it is going to be the same way when we say goodbye to my grandma. We are drinking in each second we are able to caress her head, rub her leg and just look at her wrinkled hands. I am savoring this time like a hot cup of tea....I just don't want the tea to get cold and the goodbyes to be said. I know it will end...just like our time with Pearl did...but I am so longing for the day we are all together more "stinkin goodbyes", as Zoe would say!

Here are the lyrics, just for you mom :) to the song we have been playing over and over....Selah and Christy Nockels "Faithful One"

I find no hope within to call my own
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone
But deep within my soul is rising up a song
Here in the comfort of the faithful one

I walk a narrow road through valleys deep
In search of higher ground, on mountains steep
And though with feet unsure, I still keep pressing on.
For I am guided by the faithful one.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious friend,
You have been faithful, Faithful, so faithful to me

I see your wounded hands, I touch your side
With thorns upon your brow you bled and died
But there’s an empty tomb, a love for all who come
And give their hearts to you, the faithful one.

Faithful, faithful to the end, My true and precious friend,
You have been faithful, Faithful, so faithful to me

And when the day is dawned and when the race is run I will bow down before God’s only Son And I will lift my hands in praise for all you’ve done And I will worship you, my faithful one.

Go listen to this one now....close your eyes and see His hand gently leading us so faithfully. I'm doing that now with a longing in my heart to run and bow down at his feet with Pearl right at my side.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


On Thursday it will be 2 years since I have held Pearl in my arms.....I can't even believe how that sentence looks in print. So strange to hear how final that sounds. This isn't a dream...we really did say hello and goodbye all in one breath to our baby. We really did sit under a green tent sitting on fuzzy chairs on a hot summer day and listen as our Pastor prayed over our sweet babys casket. I can't believe I had to say goodbye to a baby that I actually held in my arms. Almost to much for me to take in right now. I do know that He is carrying me and I am thankful for each step I have taken. He has already walked this road and is in each step I take. I can say He is good and I do trust Him...even in the midst of the heartache.

This has been a hard few days here and I know the days that follow are going to be hard too. Tonight as I looked at the pink clouds in the sky I could feel my sweet Pearl snuggled on my chest and my chin resting on the top of her head. I wept as I drove, thanking God for the memory that has not faded away. I miss her so much.....

We will be together as a family remembering our baby and celebrating her life....remember with me how she has changed your life. I know she has changed mine and for that I will be forever grateful.

God, will you please be sure to video her Birthday party? I know she has made so many new friends in the past few months. Give her Birthday kisses for me and please dance with her too. Maybe there is even a pretty pink Birthday Princess dress she could wear. Whisper in her ear how much I love her and how much I miss her too. Thank her for being so brave and for the gift of her baby sister too. Tell her we are going to pierce L's ears with little Pearl earrings on her Birthday. L needs a way to remember too.....One more thing, give her three little kisses because that is how we always kiss everyone here too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Now what?

Been a bit crazy here....sick mom, sick kids, and some serious Spring fever!

Sorting through so much again....not asking Why, but asking now what?

Will you pray I know the answer to that question?

Friday, May 09, 2008

The secret!

I got a text at 3pm that said, "We will be there in 30 min."

The we that was coming over at the craziest time of the day was Josh and his boss who is from California, who I have never met! The house was in the midst of a laundry crisis, I had 5 hair bows in my hair compliments of my 4 year old hair stylist and frizzy hair from all the rain! I would have loved to see a video of all of us getting ready for our visitors. I put the laundry in the laundry room, quick cleaned the kitchen, changed my clothes, put some lipstick on, and tried to make the house smell sweet! We were all ready when J walked in the door with J and were so happy to meet him. Sweet L was making eyes at the dark haired stranger! The kids did their tricks...R shot some hoops, O played the piano, Z talked sweet and L waved bye-bye! Then they were back on the road! Phew.

The next day O and I had this conversation:

O: Mom, what did you do last night to make the house smell so good?

M: I can't tell you, it's a secret!

O: Well, when I get married will you tell my wife the secret so my house will smell good when I bring my boss home?

M: Sure O, I would do anything for you!

Oh my sweet O makes me smile and cry all at the same time!

PS- The secret is a little bit of vanilla on a piece of aluminum foil placed in the oven at 200! I'm sure J wondered why I didn't offer cookies!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I will always remember

I saw a little brown dove sitting on our fence yesterday, it was the first time I have seen the dove this year. I am seeing all kinds of things this Spring that I have not seen in 2 years. I was able to look at the pink flowers in our tree without being mad that it was pink and pretty. Spring means something new this year.

When I saw the dove I was reminded of the dove I tried to help 2 years ago. We had a huge cottonwood tree in our back yard and these 2 doves worked so hard to make the perfect nest for their babies. We had just found out about Pearl's condition and I was so aware of all the flittering preparations that were going on for new life outside, while I sat inside and was preparing for my baby to die. These 2 doves did not make their nest very high up in the tree....we have 2 very smart squirrels who live in our backyard. They are afternoon after lunch the back door was open and a squirrel came inside to eat some of Z's crumbs! One afternoon, as I sat on the back porch I watched these squirrels looking at the nest. The doves were getting nervous...cooing back and forth to eachother. The squirrel started to climb up the tree....I sat and watched horrified. The doves were flying around trying to get the squirrel to go away. He kept climbing up the tree...all of the sudden something in me snapped! I jumped out of the chair and started screaming at the squirrels. I was jumping around, waving my arms trying to protect the nest full of eggs. I grabbed the hose and tried to scare them away by spraying the tree trunk. I wassobbing uncontrollably by this time and the kids couldn't figure out what I was so upset about! In the end I was not able to save the nest full of eggs. I was heartbroken...that I couldn't even help a nest full of eggs or the baby that was still safe inside of me. The doves sat in the tree and on the fence for days...cooing, making sounds that sounded like crying. I was so sad as I listened to the mama dove on my fence. Every once and while the daddy dove would come back, "cry" with her and then fly away again. Finally after a week the mama left too.

Now, 2 years later I saw the dove again. I don't remember if she was back last year or not, but I saw her again last week. She sat on the same spot on the fence and made the same was almost haunting to hear that sound again. All of my feelings came back and I wanted to just cry. I don't know if birds have memories, or if she even remembers the nest full the squirrel got to. For me, I felt like she did remember and she came back for just a day to make sure she never forgot those baby birds.

I will never forget those moments of pure, raw emotion....I also know I cannot expect everyone to remember those moments. I do know that I will always take the time to remember those precious memories....and those that are walking with me closely will never forget either. Just like I have never forgotten about the doves.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The wall

We spent the weekend with one of J's younger brothers. My kids had so much fun with their Uncle....always an adventure. On Saturday afternoon we went to a climbing wall with the boys. My 8 and 6 year old climbed and so did their uncle. I sat at the bottom of the wall with L and J and Z went up another level to cheer them on! It was so cute to watch the boy's little legs carry them to the top. They struggled at times and when we encouraged them they moved ahead to the next peg. The course was well worn where they climbed, there was a man holding the rope for them at the bottom and they knew that even if they fell back a little they would not fall. We even had to cheer their Uncle on...all 3 of them finished and got down safely too.

When the climb was over and we were getting into the car, one of the boys said, "It wasn't hard if you didn't look up or down. You just had to keep your eyes straight ahead!" I had to catch my breath after I heard was just what I needed to hear. There is so much for me to look at ahead of me and get so overwhelmed! There is also a lot to see behind me...both sad and good things too. If I can keep my eyes focused on the path in front of me and trust who is holding the rope I will be safe. Step by step...following the path that He has laid out for me. I want others to be able to follow behind us as we trust Him each step of the step at a time.

Maybe next time we go to the climbing wall I'll climb boys would love to beat me!

Monday, April 07, 2008

All That I Can Say

Much to be thinking about tonight...J is out of town and I should go to bed. I am sitting here weeping for another family who had to say hello and then goodbye to their baby tonight. A precious family who will see their baby again someday...the someday just feels to far away. I am remembering our hours with Pearl as well as the days, weeks and months that followed. My heart is breaking for another mom who has empty arms and an ache in her heart that will never go away. I wish I really knew this mom...instead of just from a blog. I would just sit and cry with about our girls together and dream of the day when we are all reunited.

I am weary tonight....I need Him to fill me again...fill me with hope and peace instead of the fear that I continue to battle.

I know He is there....He has promised that.

All That I Can Say

Lord I'm tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I'm so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I'll stop
Rest here a while

And didn't You see me cry'n?
And didn't You hear me call Your name?
Wasn't it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You'd remember
Where you sat it down

Chorus:And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give

I didn't notice You were standing here
I didn't know that
That was You holding me
I didn't notice You were cry'n too
I didn't know that
That was You washing my feet

Edited....This is an incredible song by David Crowder from his very first album released in 1998.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I have been thinking a lot lately about fear...what are you afraid of? I have already faced one of my biggest fears...I have a name of a child I gave birth to written on a granite rectangle. I thought once I faced that fear that the rest of them would seem insignificant. Not true lately...I am struggling with not making decisions based on fear. I want to let the peace of God guard my heart and mind. I want to rest in knowing He is sovereign, but fact is I still struggle with fear. Fear of failure, fear of goodbyes, the list goes on.

I don't want the fears to hold me back from what God is calling me to do. I want to be like the servant in the Bible who multiplies the talent the master gave him....not the one who buries it because he was afraid. I want to know the master so well that I am not afraid of what he is asking of me...but knowing he will equip me to do the job he has asked me to do. I don't want fear to control me.

I want there to be peace in my heart and to not make decisions just because I am afraid. I want to step into a place that seems dark and shadowy and meet Him there....the light is always just a few steps away.

Will you press into the pain with me and meet Him on the other side of the pain? He is enough....that I do know.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Need a laugh today?

I needed to laugh today.....hope this makes you laugh too. J even laughed and he is the one who is sick right now!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The finish line....

We made it through the weekend.....there were some tears, some laughs, a bit of relaxing and a lot of remembering. I was so surprised at the details both J and I remembered about March 22nd. It amazes me how quickly the memories can come up and surprise you when you least expect it. Kind of like a melting icee...all the thick syrup at the bottom and it only takes a little jolt to get it all mixed together again. I feel like everything is all mixed together again after the weekend. Sometimes I have all the emotions in little compartments and just when I think I have everything where it needs to be...I get bumped into and it is all mixed up again. Then the crying starts again, the fear and the profound feelings of emptiness. I am not sure any of these feelings are ever gone...just always sitting right below the surface. I do not think there is really ever an on these feelings. There is not a finish line waiting for me when the journey of grief is over. I am moving forward...but the only finish line on this journey will be the one when I get to heaven...and hopefully hear, "Well done!" I want to hear that at the finish line as I look into the eyes of Jesus and then peak behind His robe and look into the eyes of my sweet Pearl...then the journey of grief will be over! Death will no longer sting and there will be no more tears. I want the vision of that moment to burn in my keep me ruined for the ordinary!

As I took time to remember on Saturday I began thinking about all the things I will never do with Pearl. I will not get to snuggle in bed with her, I will not take her for a walk, I will not wipe her nose, I will not kiss her sweet cheeks, I will not swing with her, I will not fight over hairbow or no hairbow, I will not teach her to read....the list could go on forever. I do know one thing that I will ALWAYS be able to do WITH her...worship! She is in the actual presence of God spending her time worshipping....all the time!! When I chose to sing and worship I am doing the exact thing Pearl is doing at that very moment. When I can press in and chose to worship I am doing something with my sweet baby! So...if the music is extra loud around here these will know what I am doing!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Oh my head

I am sitting here wondering why my head still hurts so bad! I have taken 8 Advil today and still have a pounding headache. Am I making this up? Is it possible to have my head hurt from just thinking too much? I'm sure it is possible....I have been holding my breath as then end of the month approaches....almost wishing to just skip to April. I know the 22nd will be just another day full of chatter, laughing, dishes, laundry, kisses and maybe even a nap for me. I also know it will not be just another day...I will remember how this day changed our lives as well as the lives of those around us. A lifetime has come and gone in 2 short's no wonder I have a headache!

I also know that if I skipped to April I would be missing the reason that we do have hope. Jesus died for ME, for us....he took all the suffering, sin and pain so we can have a life with Him forever. The hugeness (is that even a word?) of the gift overwhelms me...I am so thankful for the gift He gave. I think of His precious mother, Mary, she watched her son suffer and how she was helpless as she stood there and just watched. Did she have any idea when she told the angel Gabriel that she agreed to this too....this heartache and suffering? I think she must have known deep in her heart that it would be this way. He was the Messiah....she knew what that meant. Yet she willingly entered into the pain and God was there on the other side of the pain to meet her. Pressing into the pain....right? I want to press into that....knowing He is there. There is purpose in the pain.

Then we have the hope that comes on Sunday...the hope that I will see my baby again someday. The hope we have that this is not all there much more awaits us. I long for those around me to take hold of the hope that is there. There is hope in the midst of the pain....I know it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A reminder....

Oh..I love this picture! I have been working so hard today on String of Pearls....thinking about so many things that changed in our lives just 2 years ago. I want to post part of a talk I gave this past July. This will be a good introduction for people who are just learning of our story.

When our journey here on earth with Pearl was over my Dr, who is also a personal friend said to us, “Now I see why you did this the way you did.” A precious friend, who is also a Labor and Delivery nurse and couldn’t understand at the beginning why we continued with the pregnancy, said to me, “I understand why you did this and now I see why you love her so much. I would never tell anyone to terminate after a fatal diagnosis again.”
Let me start at the beginning of our journey…..

On the morning of March 22, 2006 our lives were changed forever. At our routine 20 week ultrasound we are informed that our precious baby girl, Pearl, has Alobar Holoprocencephaly with severe facial anomalies. We are so devastated by the news. We have 3 beautiful children and are so excited to be having our 4th. We do not know how are going to navigate our way through these uncharted waters.

Just few minutes later, as I lay on the table in the Perinatologist’s office, he tells us her condition is fatal and he coldly asks us, “So, what are you going to do?” I ask him if he means that we should terminate and he says, yes. I feel like he is presenting termination as the only option for us and there is nothing else presented to us. I proceed to tell him that we have been given this life and we will cherish each moment we have with her and we will not terminate. He informs me of the risks and steps out of the room for a few minuets to let us “think about our decision”.

There is no more decision to be made, we are going to honor Pearl’s life by carrying her for as long as my body will allow and let God be in control of a seemingly out of control situation. The Perinatologist then wants to make sure we know that time is not going to change the diagnosis and that there is nothing to do to make this better. I remind him that I am a labor and delivery nurse and that we are fully aware of the outcome, as hard as all that is going to be to face. Leaving that office I begin to see how people can so easily get caught up in the vortex of emotions and choose to get out of a hopeless situation and terminate.

There is no hope offered for our hearts and no encouragement to continue on the path we have chosen to take. I realize that obstetrically there is nothing they can do for this baby, but there is so much they could do for our broken hearts. At this moment, we feel so alone as nothing is offered for our broken hearts except a pat on the shoulder.

I pour over all I can find on the Internet and at the beginning none of it is good. There are some great sites for grieving parents who have lost children, but I find no place for parents who are carrying a baby to term in spite of a fatal diagnosis. We find one good book, on the waiting process, but we are hungry for so much more. At the beginning I throw myself into making plans for the end, a care plan for Pearl when she is born and how to hand her into the arms of Jesus.

I think society pressures you into making arrangements for what is to come, because that is what we know how to do, that we forget that we still have so much living to do with Pearl. Carrying a baby with a fatal diagnosis is not a common occurrence, so there is not much support there to help you live with the baby, instead of making plans for how to die. I choose to wear Pearl proudly and she is such a part of our family. Yes, we are profoundly sad. As we teach our 6 year-old son how to ride a bike we cry not only because our heart is now riding around on a two-wheeler, but also because know we will never have the chance to teach Pearl how to ride a bike. So many things we are missing out on with her. We miss her so much, even though she is still with us in my womb, growing and moving. Our 3 children are incredible, so sensitive to when we need a hug and when we just need some downtime. We are not enjoying each day, like you would enjoy a glass of wine, but we are treasuring each moment we have with our precious Pearl.

We go to the Doctor every two weeks and are so thankful for each peek we are able to take into her world. To be offered an ultrasound is a gift for our aching hearts to get to see her one more time. We are not wishing the days away, the day of her birth will come soon enough and that brings a whole new dimension to our lives. We try to keep an eternal perspective on our current situation.

Seeing friends is hard because people appear to be so uncomfortable around us. People do not know what to say to someone who is carrying a baby that is going to die. Death is such a taboo subject, it makes people think about their own mortality.

I want to scream to my friends, “Just ask me how I am doing, and stop making excuses about why you haven’t called me. Don’t be afraid to cry with me. My precious Pearl is not dead right now, she is very much alive and don’t treat me like I am walking around with a corpse in my womb. Celebrate her life with us, honor her, smile at my ever-expanding waistline, and don’t run away from me. Don’t ignore what is going on with us, but don’t give me your spiritual platitudes. Just say you are thinking of me and ask what you can do for us.” We just need emotional support for our hearts and minds.

Our whole family is shaped into something different because of this journey; our hearts’ cry is that this “new” family will be more refined than ever before and more precious than ever. Our children are amazing through this process.

Our oldest son, 6 years old, says some profound things. As I sit with him one day and talk about Pearl he wants to know what she was going to look like. I think about it for a moment and realize that only the truth will suffice for this curious mind. I tell him all about her facial malformations and that even mommy and daddy are afraid of what is going to happen. I ask him how he feels about the problem with her eyes and nose. He looks at me with those beautiful green eyes and says, “It’s ok mom, I’m not afraid. She is my baby sister and I love her. I want to see her.” I hold him as I weep. We should all have that same kind of unconditional love for those around us that appear to be so different.

Then a few weeks later he tells me that he wishes that there were two of him, he says, “I wish there could be one of me in heaven so I could be with my baby sister and one of me here so I could be with my family.” How is he able to articulate so well exactly what I am thinking?

Our four-year-old son is so precious too. He is constantly rubbing my belly talking to “Baby Pearl”. He just wants to know when she is moving and wants to make sure she knows he loves her….and then comes the shower of kisses for my belly. Our two-year-old daughter is such a light to us too.

When I am crying, which seems to be a lot lately, she looks at me and says, “You want daddy? You want lovie?” The two things that she knows always make her feel better! Even when I am crying and talking to my mom she says to me, “Stop talkin’ to mimo!” She just wants me to feel better. What precious children we have that are so in tune to all that is going on in our house. Could there be any greater gift?

We know the time with Pearl in our arms is going to be short so we do everything we can to prepare for her birth. I create a very detailed birth plan so there can be no questions as to what we want during my labor and delivery. I think for a long time about the different keepsakes I want to have at home with me. Our bag for the hospital begins to look like an aisle in Hobby Lobby! I know how precious each item will be. Each of my children have a Christmas ornament with their handprint on it and Pearl will be no different. We have plaster for hand molds, clay for hand and foot-prints, scissors for a lock of hair, cameras, and my favorite oil I use after each of my children’s first bath. There is an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep that donates their time and services for bereavement photography. The pictures we have are priceless treasures. There is not a detail overlooked.

As I approach 32 weeks the amniotic fluid begins to increase rapidly and my Dr begins to become concerned for my health. We have one therapeutic amnio to release the excessive amount of fluid in my uterus, and just 5 days later all the fluid is back and more. It is time to listen to my body and prepare to meet Pearl.

On June 5th, after a long and emotional labor, Pearl Jean Huene is born at 7:12am. She weighs 4lbs 1 oz and is 17 ½ inches long. Our time with her is unforgettable. We are able to lovingly launch her into the arms of Jesus. Not an easy thing to do, but a decision without regrets.

We have a beautiful memorial service for Pearl and are surrounded by so many who love us. The outpouring of love and support from our community is incredible. We give those around us the opportunity to be a part of her life as well as her death.

We know we need professionals around us to navigate our way through the post partum period as well as the intense period of grieving that follow Pearl’s death. I wish there was one place to go that would cover all that we thought we needed and the things that we don’t even know we need.

There are no words adequate enough to describe what a rock my husband is for me. From the moment we found out in that dim, warm ultrasound room, he has just held me close and promised me that he would walk with me each step of the way. Not even for a second did he waver in the decision to take hold of all the time we have been given with Pearl, even though he knew how painful it would be to walk this path.

He continued to get up each day, love me and love our children of so well. He assured me he is not afraid of all that is to come because he knew we are not on this road alone, God walks with us. That is where his strength comes from and I am drawing from that when I am feeling weak.

I loved the way he talked to his “princess” and so lovingly caressed my growing belly. He assures me I am beautiful even when I am feeling anything but that.

Without this brave man at my side I would not be able to walk this journey. He loves me so well and I can only hope I am loving him well too.

We are so thankful for the gift of time with our precious Pearl and look back on this with no regrets. Hopefully someday we will be able to help someone else as they walk the painful journey of saying goodbye to their child….much too soon. In the past year our lives have been filled with such a wide range of emotions. Grief is a process that never really comes to a close….the pages continue to turn in the book of our lives.
We have recently turned to a new page in the life of our family. Lucy Jean Huene was born on June 28th, 2007 and is the picture of hope and God’s redemptive plan for our lives. The sweet baby puffs of air that blow into my face in the wee hours of the morning serve as a gentle reminder of how precious and sacred life is. There is no greater honor than being a part of God’s art studio as he crafts his masterpiece. Whether it is a piece of art to be displayed here on earth or in heaven….it is still sacred.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Our story!

Here is our story....this is the beginning of String of Pearls

I am so amazed at how God has used my sweet Pearl!

Go down to the bottom of posts to pause music so you can hear the news story.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I think I have been dreading this month and not really even knowing it. I just changed the calendar in my kitchen to March and my eye was drawn right to the 22nd. A day that I don't wish never happened....but I do wish sometimes we were always on the 21st of 2006. March 22nd is the day we learned of Pearl's diagnosis at our 20 week ultrasound. A day that will forever be etched in our minds. The details of the weeks leading up to that day still pop into my mind. Amazing how much you can remember.....

I do know that March 22 is a day that was created in order to fashion us into who God has called us to be...from the beginning of time. He knew that day would change our lives and now I am beginning to see how many other lives that day changed and will continue to change. Without March 22 I would not have known how to start a perinatal resource for families, there would be sweet friends I would never have known, my kids would not have the perspective on life they have, J and I would not have known what it really means to let God hold you "steady as a post" through the fierce storms of life. Do I miss who we were before that day? Yes, but I would not trade who we have become and I would do it again just to hold my sweet baby Pearl in my arms once again.

Maybe tonight I will have another dream about my sweet baby....she has been all I have thought about the past few days as I spent time with precious friends this weekend. I have only ever had one dream about Pearl......

It was the morning of the 22 of January, the day Larson was born. I remember waking up at 3am feeling so nervous about the day, yet excited in a strange way to meet Larson and whisper in his ear all I wanted him to tell Pearl. I went back to sleep thinking of those two meeting in heaven in just a matter of hours. I fell back to sleep....which is a miracle for me! In my dream I heard the door bell ring....I was getting ready for something and was in a hurry to get going. I ran down our stairs and opened the door. All I saw was the back of a little girl's head as she skipped away....a head full of black curly hair. I immediately knew it was Pearl....I couldn't say anything. Then, I heard the sweetest little voice say, "I love you mama!" Then off she went skipping......I can still hear the sweet voice in my head.

I woke up sobbing.....goodnight sweet baby girl!

Monday, March 03, 2008

What happens when daddy is gone!

What am I still doing awake? Once it gets to double digits on the clock again it is to late for me....however once again I can't turn my mind off! I am getting some work done but wanted to take a break!

Let me paint the picture here....Friday afternoon 4pm. I have not taken a shower in 2 days....R is home from school, L is sleeping, O and Z are playing nicely in the backyard. I decide to go in and take a fast! I am just about to rinse the conditioner out of my hair and I hear Z screaming! I dash out of the shower and see the neighbor carrying Z up the stairs with her chin bleeding all over!! I start to cry...Oh have I mentioned that J has been out of town since Sunday?! I grab Z and sure enough she has a big gash in her chin. Someone tripped her on the tramp and she fell on the one spot that does not have the padding on it! I try to clean her up....while O is outside crying that we are going to have to take Z to the hospital. In the meantime L wakes up and I plop her in the "circle of neglect" where she is so happy just to watch the commotion! R is a smart little man and stayed outside the whole time! Thankfully my cousin who is an ER nurse has some skin glue....we wash the wound, glue it back together and then I plop on the couch and try to breathe!

Always and adventure around here.....

Friday, February 29, 2008

Praying instead of making this another complicated post full of questions, I am going to write what the kids and I read at breakfast this morning. I bought them the Jesus Storybook Bible last year and we so enjoy this version. So easy to understand and it always touches my heart too. This is how The Lord's Prayer appears.....

Hello Daddy!
We want to know you.
And be close you you.
Please show us how.
Make everything in the world right again.
And in our hearts, too.
Do what is best-just like you do in heaven,
And please do it down here too.
Please give us everything we need today.
Forgive us for doing wrong, for hurting you.
Forgive us just as we forgive other people
when they hurt us.
Rescue us! We need you.
We don't want to keep running away
and hiding from you.
Keep us safe from our enemies.
You're strong, God.
You can do whatever you want.
You are in charge.
Now and forever and always!
We think you're great!
Yes we do!
So thankful for His never ending love. I'm going to go run right into His big, strong arms now....hopefully I'll see you there.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Oh...I think I may be manic! I have been sick for a few days...and now I am not tired and have 1,000 things running through my head. Where to begin? I had a great talk with someone about getting the PH (Perinatal Hospice) started and have some great ideas. I feel like God gave me a name, logo idea and even colors. I have a few people I want to ask to be on the board. My brochure for parents is nearly all written as well as the mission statement. Problem's all in my head and not written down anywhere! I will be writing down some tonight.

I am feeling an urge to get this started....all the while wrestling with God on some big questions. Like...Why do we even need a PH in the first place? Hmmm big question! I know the answer is because the world in not perfect, there is sin here and the tears and suffering will not be gone until Jesus comes back for us. Just hard to know that in your head as well as your heart...suffering is hard, it is all around us and it does happen to people who you would never expect it to happen to. I want to trust in His goodness and know that when we do pray and ask for something His word says He will do it....SO what does it mean when what we pray for does not happen? I am not talking about winning the lottery, losing 20 pounds or a donation for plastic surgery! I am talking about creating a brain for your child, healing your child from a disease so he can live, straightening a septum for a sweet boy who does not want to have surgery again! These are not gumball machine requests....I have prayed all of these with my whole heart and the prayers were not answered here! So, I guess that the answer to prayer happened when some of these children died and went to heaven and are healed now, and the answer for the crooked septum is ear plugs for the boy that shares a room with the snorer! When Jesus was talking to his disciples was there more faith 2,000 years ago and they really could tell a mtn to jump into the lake and it would do it? Is our world so full of sin now that the answer to prayer is that God's love sustains us through the suffering and he heals our wounded hearts? Maybe.....

I do know that he is a good God who does love me...the sun does shine and I want to sit in the warmth of the sun and let him heal these painful areas in my heart. I want to be able to sit and ask the hard questions and stop pushing them away for fear that I may scream and not be able to stop. Don't tell me he is big enough to handle the questions and the anger. I know that....I guess it's just me that isn't strong enough to handle all of it. Hmmm that is probably right where he wants my weakest so he can be strong. Guess I'm right where I need to be because I am feeling pretty weak.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I need to write....anybody have a spare 12 hours?!

I need to be sitting here everyday writing...I have compsed so many blogs in my head the past few months they just never make it to the computer. My little Lucy is full of so much kids are so good for my heart! Lucy is a drooling machine with cheeks I could eat and a laugh that makes my heart leap! Anytime she makes a peep there are 5 people at her side wanting to know what they can do to make it better. What a gift!

So many things swirling around my little daylight to get it all out. Guess that is why I am not sleeping well because the night is the quietest time of the day. It has been a very intense past few months....full of so many emotions. Good emotions.
I have a new friend who feels like I have known her my whole life...I love that God had this friendship planned from the beginning. Our lives are so much the same and the people we know are so many of the same too. She knows someone my mom went to grade school with! Corie and I also have something else very difficult in common.....we both have babies waiting for us in heaven. Not only that but our babies both had Alobar HPE....we were both given the same diagnosis at 20 week ultrasounds. I feel in love with this family as soon as we met and was so honored that they allowed me to be a part of their journey. On the morning of Larson's delivery I was getting ready and read a quick devotional as I cried out to God to help me walk through this delivery. I didn't know how I would be as I watched a family I loved so much hand their sweet baby into the arms of Jesus. I was crying already....I knew this was not about me...I wanted to give them hope...the same kind of hope I had. I read the scripture, "He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it,he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 I wept as I read this and knew that God was not surprised at the timing of this...before I thought I was ready to be a part of this again He brought someone else into my life and allowed me to comfort the way I was comforted. I love how he works! I am always so amazed when He uses me.... I was able to be at Larson's delivery and watch as their family held him in their arms for 23 hours before he went to be with Jesus. Such a tender time....I was able to hold him too and ask him to please kiss Pearl for me and tell her how much I love her. I know she was waiting to welcome Larson and I'm sure he did just what I asked him to do. The moments were almost overwhelming at times because it seems like yesterday that we were doing the same thing....but at the same time it feels like so long ago we were holding her in our arms. I am so proud of this family and how they are walking this journey....I am honored to be a part of their path and thank God daily for what they mean to me. There is another family in another state too who had a baby just like Pearl....even had a sweet nose like Pearl....we are all talking and stand in awe of what a big God we serve who can make this world seem so small.
In the midst of all this, things have been coming together, slowly, to get a Perinatal Hospice set up here. We have been interviewed by some people and word is out that we want to get this started! I so want to get this started so families can know there is hope and help on this journey. I want them to know they are not alone....if only I had unlimited money and time it would happen much faster. I know this is all in God's timing...He is working in this. I am going to get to write my book someday and have many baskets available for families with resources to help them.
I am thankful I am able to be walking in a valley that is not always so dark and it is filled with sounds of laughter on the sunny days. The tears are still there too....but it is not a hopeless kind of crying. Tears and laughter are good things....I need to let myself do more of both.