Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Fundraiser Reminder!

Just to keep it 'fresh' on the blogosphere; I'll do little mini posts every Friday with reminders, info and updates on the ongoing fundraiser!

Also, if you sent in your donation for your card and seed paper (and you're not my Mom): THANK YOU! and ..... your card went out in the mail today!  So please be on the lookout for it. 

Also, if you:
a.) would rather not go through PayPal or
b.) have a church group or any group really, and you'd like to order several cards at once on behalf of your group; or
c.) you want to purchase several and don't want the hassle of going through the PayPal click-dance several times over, then;
please either email me at: MegGehring (at) Gmail (dot) com or leave me a comment here and I will gladly contact you regarding that.

And ........... I'm super excited to let everyone know that the company that supplies the seed paper has graciously offered to donate 50 ...  that's 5-0 ....... seed paper sheets .................. FOR FREE!! 

Since I get a good 10 or so butterflies out of every sheet - that's pretty incredible.  
So now in addition to the Pink, Cranberry, Violet and Lavender colors I've been working with, I will soon have: Forest and Sage green, Light and Royal Blue, Burgundy, and Yellow!

The company is Bloomin.  And they have some awesome products ..... this is one of my favorite ideas for an awesome holiday gift.  It's a 12 page seed paper calendar - so rather than having nothing at the end of the month other than a piece of paper to throw out - you have a seed card you can plant!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book News

No .... not the book I'm writing on Leah.  That is still a work very much in progress!  I'd say I'm about 20% done .... with another 60% more writing to do, then 10% editing and 10% publishing.  But I am super duper blessed to have a very good friend I have known since high school who has done editing work before and she has offered to edit for me.  : )

But a few months ago I was approached by someone involved in getting a book together written by bereaved parents for bereaved parents.  You see, the hospital or funeral home will give you these cheesy brochures and booklets with stock photos of distraught people on the cover.  And these pieces of literature are supposed to get you through your grief.  These posed photographs and 'rules of grief' written by a psychologist somewhere are supposed to make you feel like you're going to be OK - but they don't ever attempt to say they understand what you're going through when you lose a young child.  

That's where the idea for this book comes in.  The creator of the book wanted to make a collection of stories from bereaved parents on how they dealt with their grief and what the whole process meant for them.  

So I wrote up a little 2,000 word piece and submitted it.  Then I waited, and waited, and waited ............ and eventually thought maybe my piece had been left on the cutting room floor.  
But then last week I got my final draft for approval and the word that our story will be included!

A website for the book is being created right now, as is a cover design, and the eBook may be available very soon, as in: 2 weeks or so.  I will be sure to post links to everything as soon as I have them.  

But I'm very happy to contribute to the project: to share our story and a little piece of Leah's life.  We are the only EB family represented - but for such a rare disease to be included in a book like this is a big step in raising awareness on EB.  
And on EB Awareness Week - I thought it'd be a fitting time to share the news.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fundraiser Announcement

Those who have been following the blog with regularity know that we didn't do much in the way of celebrating Leah's birthday last year.  

Sure, I made her a cake, and at the exact moment she had been born I kissed her teddy bear urn; but we didn't do anything that everyone could participate in to help celebrate Leah's short life, while continuing to support the EB cause.

So for Leah's next birthday (2-10-11), I'm planning big and planning early.  Tomorrow (the 25th) begins Epidermolysis Bullosa Awareness Week, and with the holidays just around the corner, full acknowledgment that December is going to be really hard for us - I'm announcing it now to give everyone ample time to participate and (hopefully) spread the word.  

From now until Leah's birthday I am selling these little puppies in exchange for a $6 donation (just click on the PayPal 'Donate' button on the sidebar):

What you're seeing is a piece of paper with flower seeds embedded into it that I have cut out into the shape of a butterfly.  They come on a cute little keepsake card with instructions for the paper.  

The idea is to have everyone plant these (per your regions seed planting schedule) and have little patches of flowers for Leah all over the country (dare I say: world?).

The color of the seed paper will vary, as I have a couple different shades of pink and purple that I'm working with. 

And with the sales - I will donate the money to dEBra to commemorate Leah's 2nd Birthday.

I hope to continue with these birthday fundraisers in the future; with more creative and innovative ideas, so I'm really hoping this first one goes well!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One Long Week

Well, I'm very glad last week is over.  I think I've cried more in the past 5 days than I have in the past 5 months............

I woke up on Tuesday to the news that Bella had flown home to heaven, and then I checked Facebook and saw that Tripp was in the hospital.   It was the first time I ever had to email my boss and say 'I might not make it through the day today so if I gotta go I'll let you know'. 

With Bella, everything just hit too close to home.  The events as told by Bella's Daddy Tim were so similar to what happened with us on the morning that Leah passed.  Just like us, Daddy and Baby were together when the Baby's heart first stopped.  Then Baby came back - as Mommy was on her way to the hospital.  Mommy came and everybody got to be together for one last time.  Mommy and Baby sat together as Baby took her last breaths.  And the picture of Ang holding Bella ..... we didn't take any photos of Leah after she passed as we both held her .... but that photo says it all.  Very few of us have been 'in' that moment; so they way you cry for her is different from the way I do when I see that picture.  

Tuesday was a long day, to say the least - but I made it through.  I was happy to think that Leah has a new playmate in heaven.  Two little gorgeous girls, with their beautiful big blue eyes, and sweet smiles; playing, laughing, running and jumping - hugging each other without worrying about trachs, blood, blisters and boo-boos.  And I'm sure that on the day that I get to see Leah again, she'll pull on my hand and say, "You have to meet Bella! She's the best".  

Then on Wednesday I got my flu shot and I think I had a bad reaction to it.  I got a flu shot last year (because of Leah), and the year before (because I was pregnant) and I never had so much as a sore arm.  This time, I had an itchy 3 inches in diameter red, hot, hard, painful bump on my arm.  On Friday I woke up and was so tired I felt like I had gotten no sleep at all, instead of the 7 hours or so that I did get.  As the day wore on it just got worse: I developed a headache, was feeling nauseous, and got more and more tired.  I literally couldn't hold my head up by 1 in the afternoon and just had to go home early.  

Then yesterday Jeff and I took another step in our goal of becoming debt-free.  We traded in our new '08 Ford Escape for a used '02 Mitsubishi Montero.  My Mommy prayed for us that everything would work out on Saturday when we went to the dealership and it did!
We basically went with the goal of trading our car for another one so we could get out of our $330 a month car payment (which we did, and can afford - it's just going to push us further along on our debt-free goal).   We didn't really have anything in mind - just as long as it was a fair trade and we didn't have to pay 1 red cent.  As luck (prayers) would have it - the dealership (Ford) reallllly wanted our car.  They had just gotten in a ton of repo'd cars and needed to make room on their lot.  They had this super nice Monty (what us Montero owners say) that someone had recently wanted to buy, but their finances just didn't work out in the end so as of Saturday, it was officially for sale again.  So they didn't have space for the Monty, they wanted our car; bad, and once we drove the Monty, we wanted to trade.  
After a bit of negotiating and Jeff repeatedly saying 'I'm not opening my wallet today' - they conceded to our deal.  Even the title/tag stuff they paid for .... AND the salesman threw $20 worth of gas into it before we left.

So that monthly savings, along with Jeff and I STILL being smoke free - we are saving quite a big chunk of money.  : )  
But also, that car held too many memories that I'd rather not have every time I climbed into it.  The Escape had been our Leah-mobile.   It drove her to and from more doctor's appointments, ER's and hospitals than I can count.  I drove it, while still pregnant, to the hospital the day they told me something wasn't quite right, and they had to deliver her.  We drove it home with Leah in her car seat for the first time, scared poop-less at what the doctors were telling us.  I drove it the morning of December the 31st, speeding in a sleet storm at 5 AM to get to her at the hospital - and I climbed back into it hours later knowing she was gone.  It took me weeks before I could even pull the car seat base out of it. 
I don't want to say I hate that car, but I can certainly do without seeing it in our driveway every day.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

People are Awesome

So, first of all; I have been getting comments from some new folks to the blog here - so I wanted to say 'Welcome!'.  I don't know what's causing the sudden surge in new readers, commenter's and blog traffic but I'll take it!  I mean, I'm clearly no Pioneer Woman by any stretch of the imagination but even so; I love to have new readers.

Then, on to the awesomeness of some people, in order of occurrence, not necessarily awesomeness:

Over the weekend a long-time family friend sent me this photo she took at a butterfly memorial garden:

She said it reminded her of Leah, and of our family so she wanted to pass it along.
I love that the little butterflies wings have hearts on them ..........

Then on Tuesday, one of my readers and Facebook buddies did a balloon release for Leah!  Diane was celebrating her own little girls birthday, and had Leah on her heart.
Here is Leah's beautiful balloon:

And here is adorable Jordan with the balloon:

And then there it goes!

Then ..... and this is the crazy one .......

So yesterday morning I'm walking to work with my iPod on.  I came across some Celtic music that I have on there and it reminded me of a little anecdote I wanted to include in the book I'm working on about Leah.  (Yes, I'm still working on it).  The anecdote involves the life of my Irish born great-great grandmother and her life.
(When the book comes out and you read it -- you will read it won't you??? -- it'll all make sense).
So I write a few little paragraphs in my head during my walk - and after getting to work and having some time to type it out; I do.  I saved my work, closed the window, went to check my email and found something Jonah's Mommy had forwarded to me.  It was a lovely email someone had sent to her, asking her to forward it along to me; it told of a super nice couple from Arkansas who took a trip to Ireland back at the beginning of the year.  One day they decided to stop and take some photos of some prayers they had for Jonah, Leah and some other very special little ones.  This is what the prayer said:

So just as I was feeling a need to write about Leah's Irish ancestor, someone who had a picture sitting unsent for months found it put in their hearts to forward it along just hours before.  And just as I was finished writing about that Irish ancestor, I find a photo of a prayer written for my daughter right at the edge of the Emerald Isle.

People. Are. Awesome.
And God is Awesome-er.
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