{In Loving Memory} Precious Katie

Each new life, no matter how brief, forever changes the world.

On Friday, April 11, 2014, our sweet cousin Katherine passed from this life and on to the next. She was born 10 months ago with a congenital heart defect called Ebstein’s anomaly. Katie put up a strong fight at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and had several quality months with her family. Her father, Jack, was fantastic at providing detailed updates on her surgeries and progress (you can see the update history here). It is fair to say that even though it was an uphill battle, we all maintained our faith that she would endure. For 10 months she did so with a valiancy we all admired. Yet with a cruel twist of fate, an infection swept in and wreaked havoc on her tiny body. The last few updates were heartbreaking and difficult for us to read. As the one who received the briefings, I often read them aloud to Husband. A few weeks ago, as the tide drastically turned, I broke down and could not update Husband any further. His eyes were suspiciously bright and he did not ask me to continue. In silent companionship, I finished the email and forwarded it to Husband so he could do the same.

With her journey having such a strong effect on us, we cannot begin to fathom the suffering of Katie’s parents. Words of intended comfort from our lips seem inadequate.  Flowers seem trite.  We want to help, but we also acknowledge that there is little we can do. There is no way to make this situation “better” or easier. So we pray and we send our words of intended comfort. Then we pray some more.

Out of respect for Katie and her parents, I kept this off DB for the duration. Some things are not meant as blog fodder; certainly not someone else’s private and very difficult battle. In most circumstances, this very post would not be here. This exception has been made, however, in an attempt to help the family in the one way we can.

Jack and Krista (Mom) are asking for assistance in dedicating a room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in honor of their precious daughter (see Fundraiser Details). Katie touched so many lives, both within the hospital and without, in such a short time. She received excellent and compassionate treatment from the staff during her stay. During the months of surgeries and recovery, Katie, Jack, and Krista formed strong bonds with those who assisted in the fight. They also bonded with other patients and patient families. A room dedicated in her honor allows beautiful Katie to live on and continue touching the lives of other sick children. So, in lieu of flowers, Jack and Krista are asking that contributions be made to this endeavor.

Please consider helping Jack and Krista honor their daughter’s all too brief life and assist in their desire to help others. Asking people for money is not something I do comfortably, easily, or often. Soliciting for donations on this blog is something that will probably never happen again. We wholeheartedly support this mission, though, and cannot not ask for your help in making a dream reality. Any amount helps, whether it be $1, $5, or $100. Supporters can contribute anonymously or with recognition.

Whether or not you choose to contribute, thank you for taking the time to read about Katie. She lives on through her incredible story and the very lives she touched.

 

Please send positive, supportive thoughts to her family during this difficult time.

All my love,

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{Fabulous Finds Friday}

Another Friday is in the books. Hello, weekend! I am going to spend part of mine painting this end table white:

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A jar of fresh French air could have been yours for a measly $860.

This asparagus egg and bacon salad from Skinnytaste looks so delicious I am drooling.

A great article regarding how to effectively start a meeting. Any meeting.

Young House Love gave us a tour of their showhouse this week. Their blog, which I have followed for several years now, is one my favorite daily must-reads.

Well, what do you know? Women set the pace.
Let’s have a wonderful weekend, lovelies. Come ooooon, 5:00!

 

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{Downpour}

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I close my eyes and feel.

Feel a cool mist dancing across my body and teasing my lips.  Wind whirling and whipping around me, my hair suddenly its own, in a beautifully refreshing chaos.  The wind chime above my head singing its sweetly pure melody.  Rain creating a bass as it pounds and swirls across the pavement.  A rumbling thunder does not intrude, but caresses the melody instead.

The sound of the downpour drew me to my front porch, captive by the feels and sounds of it.  Not a furious storm; rather, a heavy rain accompanied by the occasional low roll of thunder – no startling crack to be found.  I am the only one outside.  The neighborhood is drawn tight as people eat their supper or try to wait out the rain.  In this moment, it’s as if the neighborhood is my own little world.  The seclusion frees my worries and stress, sending them soaring through the rain. Sweet, blessed freedom and relief.

I go back inside the house and hear a twinkling of rain on glass.  A new layer in the melody.  The dogs beg to be let into the backyard.  With a mischievous smirk, I open the sliding door.  The smirk blossoms into a quiet laughter as one nose, then two, test the elements and quickly dart backwards.  Play time, their suspicious eyes seem to tell me, will have to wait.

The melody pulls me up the stairs and into my bedroom where the sound of rain, filtered by screened windows, greets me.  Crisp white curtains billow beautifully with every gust of wind, melding themselves to the dance.  Their lightness reflects the center I have rediscovered.

The melody is my lullaby, of this I am sure.  Each rumble a reassurance.  A force which soothingly guides me to bed.  A melody so much a part of me that as I close my eyes to feel, it lulls me to sleep.

A sleep filled with dreams of cools mists and refreshing chaos.

Sleep.

 

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{The Kitchen}

The kitchen is the heart of a home. It is perhaps the most romanticized room in my day dreams. Chipmunk does his homework at the island while I chop vegetables for an already simmering stew. The dogs, somehow well-behaved in my vision, rest at Chipmunk’s feet while he labors over mathematics. Freshly baked cookies waft through the house and Jamie Cullum plays softly in the background. The kitchen is what sold me on this house. As soon as I walked in I could see my dream. It does not hurt that it is large and has gourmet appliances. The icing on the cake is the butler’s pantry.

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It needs a bit of a face lift, though. The colors just aren’t right and it needs a back splash. I am also contemplating a change in cabinet color. You should have seen the color drain out of Husband’s face when I told him I want to paint or stain the cabinets.

As much as I love stainless steel appliances, the black is staying. We are not interested in investing in new ones until we have to do so.

I do still want to expand the island. Husband did not panic as much over that idea, but he still isn’t thrilled. He wishes I would leave well enough alone. Fair enough. 

Pinterest has taken up quite a bit of my energy as I search for inspiration and pin everything pretty to the Kitchen board. Do I go light? White? Dark cabinets? Gray walls like the old house? This room has not come together in my head yet.

But isn’t that half the fun?

 

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