Wednesday, December 17, 2014


It's been a month since we kissed our sweet boy goodbye. My memories are still so fresh and I fear them ever getting farther away. As I held him for the last time, I couldn't stop saying how perfect he was. I wanted to hold him forever. I thanked Jesus over and over for giving him to us. I told Matt a few days later I used to stare at him and wonder how long I would have him. I had no idea at the time that it was Jesus gently preparing my heart.  It sounds so strange, but I never remember having those thoughts with my other babies. His life was so perfect. He was loved and snuggled for four and half months and then whisked off to heaven...heaven, FOREVER.

I recently listened to a podcast of a pastor who had lost his five year old daughter. He made an analogy of having four arrows (four daughters) and said that he'd already gotten one in the target. My heart can totally relate. As much as I miss my sweet baby, I also long to know my other kids are safe in the arms of Jesus. It hurts to think about the earthly pains that Madi and Emmitt will face. I want them to know Jesus' love for them. I want them to be held tightly in His arms. I rejoice knowing my Zekey bug is there.

Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Thank you, Jesus for holding my baby for me.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

5 Months...

Today you would have been five months old, FIVE months! Madi had been anticipating for weeks that your next "birthday" was the day after Thanksgiving and she woke up this morning and said, "If Zekey were here he'd be five today!"

It was harder than I thought it was going to be. Maybe I just didn't prepare myself well enough, maybe I shouldn't have sat and pictured your sweet cheeks for as long as I did, or maybe it's just going to get harder before it ever gets easier. But I couldn't help but wonder if you were still here if you'd be sitting up and balancing on your little belly at all, or if you would be pushing up on all fours like your brother was at this age. I couldn't help but try and listen really hard for your sweet cooing and giggles you mostly gave out to your big brother and sister.

I know in my heart of hearts that you were never created to be here with us at five months old.  You were never going to be here to celebrate your first Thanksgiving with us and you were never even going to spend 142 days on this earth. I know God's plan was to snatch you back to heaven, but I can't help but wonder what today would have been like with you in my arms.

I love you my sweet angel baby!

Monday, November 24, 2014

From Your Mama

To my sweet Ezekiel James,

         From the day you were born we’ve called you our angel baby. I had plans of celebrating your first birthday with you, listening to you say your first words and teaching you how to ride a bike, but our God had a much different plan.  We spent 141 days slathering you with kisses, hugs, and more snuggles than most babies get in an entire year, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world! There were mornings we would hustle your big sister off to school with tears in her eyes because she hadn’t gotten to hold you long enough before we had to leave.  If Madi held you, then Emmitt had to hold you for the same amount of time. You were loved.

         I never thought I’d be the mommy writing this letter. My arms ache to hold you again, to feed you, to rock you to sleep on my chest just one more time.  Nothing comforts me more than imagining you curled up in the arms of our Savior, the one who created you, who gave you your daddy’s ears and the sweetest little butt-chin; the only one who loves you more than I do. I long to be reunited with you again in heaven. Each morning I wake up, I remind myself that I’m one night closer to spending eternity with our angel baby. One night closer to watching you laugh and play with a smile on your face. One night closer to hearing you say Mama.  I pray that your brother and sister will grow up with an eternal perspective far greater than I ever knew at their young age.
         My heart longs to know why, but I trust our God’s plan is bigger than my own.  I trust that perhaps your purpose here on earth wasn’t to fill my mommy arms, but to fill my mommy heart and bring glory to His name. Ezekiel James you have forever changed my life. A part of me has gone to heaven and I long to be whole again one day. Thank you for reminding me that my life on this earth is but a vapor. You, were the sweetest vapor I’ve ever smelled.  


Your Mama

November 16th, 2014

It was 2:30 in the morning and I awoke to the usual. I heard Zekey cry at the same time that Emmitt attempted to slip into our bed unnoticed. I asked Matt to take Em back to his bedroom and I told him I’d get the baby and feed him.

As I picked up Zekey, I immediately went straight to change his diaper because I knew he’d either peed through or would shortly. I started to lay him down on the changing table and noticed his posture didn’t seem right. I picked him up under his armpits and rushed straight into the kids’ room and asked Matt if he was having a seizure. Matt grabbed him from my arms and ran to the living room to have a better look. He started yelling at me to call 911 and that he wasn’t breathing.  I was on the phone with 911 within 30 seconds while Matt laid Ezekiel flat on his back on the couch. It looked like he was holding his breath and then would gasp for air every 15 seconds. We were crying and praying and crying and praying, “Lord, please give him breaths. Jesus give him breaths.”

The paramedics were at our house within 5 minutes. Meanwhile, we had called my parents with Matt’s phone and ironically they were there within minutes as well. The paramedics immediately started helping him breathe with a bag valve mask and asking a million questions. He was in the ambulance within minutes and we were whisked into the back of a cop car to follow. I didn’t even realize my parents were at the house, but when Matt got into the police car with me I asked if the other police officers (there were SO many people at our house within minutes) were staying with the kids and he told me my parents were already there. We prayed constantly the entire time, begging God to keep his heart pumping, begging God to give him breaths.  Matt called our pastor and good friend, Sam, and left him a message on our way to the hospital.

When we got there I remember the receptionist met us in the doorway and asked us if we could give her some registration information. She asked for simple stuff that I could answer if I concentrated really hard, name, birthday, address, pediatrician, etc.  It felt like years, but it was probably 10 minutes at the most and we headed straight back to find him. The rest is a blur as we rotated between singing/whispering/praying in his ear to asking questions and answering questions.  Sam was there within minutes of us being there and family started to trickle in as quickly as possible.  The PANDA (OHSU Pediatric transport team) team was dispatched and arrived what felt like hours later, although in reality it was probably 45 minutes or so. We prayed. We cried. We prayed some more. I promised God I trusted him, but I begged him for Zekey’s life. I promised I’d do anything.

The doctor seemed at a loss and kept asking if he’d been sick.  I felt like I gave a one minute recap about 15 times, but I probably only did it for the paramedics and the doctor. “He was sick with a virus. I took him to the doctor three times last week. He had a 104* + temp for 5-6 days, a rash and red eyes. The doctor diagnosed him with adenovirus. The virus can last up to 10 days. He was still fussy until Wednesday. Thursday and Friday he was totally normal, happy, smiley, angelic. Saturday he seemed maybe constipated or like his tummy was bugging him. I could tell he hadn’t eaten as much, but thought he was maybe constipated. I went in to feed him and picked him up and his head tipped back like he was having a seizure (so I thought). We immediately called 911.”

They were doing x-rays of his head, and x-rays of his tummy. The PANDA team got there and started taking over while the doctor came in and explained that when he tried to put a tube down his throat the very first time to intubate him his jaw was stiff like rigor mortis had already started to set in. He said essentially he wasn’t breathing at all and his heart was being paced by a machine. I didn’t want to believe anything yet. I went back in and knelt next to him singing and praying and singing and praying. The PANDA team continued to work and essentially checked to see if he was breathing or if his heart was functioning at all. They started to explain what transporting him meant and I knew in my heart what they were saying. He was gone. He had been gone. Everything humanly possible had been attempted and he was still being called home. 

We spent the next hour holding him. Praying. Crying. Praying, and holding him some more.  We examined every inch of his perfect body and I put him on my chest as they unhooked the breathing machines.  I thanked Jesus for every day we had with him and that he chose me to be his Mama.

There were lots of confusing results and pieces of information that I will spare you the details. Our pediatrician, Dr. Wilson, heard the news early Sunday afternoon and he came out to spend the afternoon with us trying to piece the puzzle together. The autopsy was performed Monday and the preliminary results showed that he indeed was a perfect baby. His brain was totally normal (lots of inaccurate info about bleeding in the brain) and the cause of death was myocarditis, which was more than likely caused from the virus he had.  Myocarditis causes the heart muscle to become thick and swollen. It has little to no warning signs, and treatment in infants is nearly impossible baring a heart transplant. Essentially, Ezekiel’s heart slowly slowed down until it stopped pumping and he died. Most likely, he was taking his last breaths as I picked him up from his bassinet and was in our Savior’s arms within seconds.  The long, gasping breaths he was taking while we were on the phone with 911 were probably just triggered by his brain stem that hadn’t completely stopped working when his heart had stopped (there’s a name for this, I’m just drawing a blank as to what it is).

Our sweet angel baby was gone. Our hearts were broken into a million tiny little pieces. Time stood still.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Little V-Day Love!

Happy Valentine's Day from our little loves!!!

May you be blessed with lots of sloppy, wet kisses and sticky, sweet hugs today!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Blast From the Past...

I'm still working my way through super old pictures, and these ones didn't dare go unshared! They date way back to September, but Em's little buns sticking out of his jersey are just a little too much to keep hidden. This kid is serious about workin', which is great cause I have a whole list he can get started on as soon as he is capable.  

I'll even admit Winston looks fairly cute (and miserable) in these pictures... I'm officially the worst dog owner E-V-E-R, and quite possibly the worst wife when it comes to any conversation about our dog. There may or may not be a profanity before his name if no small children are in the room, but our kids (and Matt) sure do love him. Emmitt rolls around on the floor with his arms wrapped around Winston's neck on a daily basis.  He talks about him by saying, "My dog" in a very serious (and possessive) tone and they both love to tie something to his collar and drag him around the house, which he usually does with the same look you'll find plastered on his face in the following pics. He's completely docile until he hears something/someone coming to the front door in which case he decides to act like a thousand baby squirrels have just been drug in front of his face 2 inches too far for him to reach... and that's not even an exaggeration! 


Now you know why his name has two words somedays...

Anyway, I digress... he does make for a cute photo shoot, so I'll give him that!

The pout probably has to do with not being able to use the hose all by himself. How dare someone else attempt to get something done!

I'm sure Madelyn was probably done "helping" by about now.  The potential of getting wet/dirty probably became too much of a threat and she bowed out.  

Not this kid though... the fun was just beginning!

Alright, and for the grand finale...

I told ya. 

Too much cuteness. 


Maybe, but I'm okay with it. :)

Summer can't come fast enough...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Friday Night Lights...

These pictures are hardly the greatest (as they were all taken on my phone), but they do represent just a fragment of the excitement our kids had towards attending high school football games this year!!! Our oldest nephews are a freshman and junior this year (***gasp***tear***etc., etc.). I don't know how that happened, but it did. We had lots of fun getting bundled up on Friday nights and heading out under the lights.  Unfortunately, Cameron, who's a freshman, broke his arm the day after his first game (which we missed) so sadly he spent the season on the sidelines. :( Thankfully it's healed and there's always next year, Cam!

...and no, it wasn't from flying out of a bounce house.

Sorry, Matt.

I couldn't resist. 

The amount of Central gear in this house might be rivaling the amount of Eagle t-shirts left laying around; I know it might be hard to believe. The kids loved their personalized sweatshirts from Aunt Stacy and the boys; and I'll admit, they just might be the cutest little Panther fans around!

Emmitt became quite accustomed to spending time on the field after the game.  He honestly started to believe we were headed to the game JUST so he could play.  After the first game, he spent the rest of the evenings whining into our ears (usually beginning in the 2nd quarter), "Mooooom, I wannna pway foootball!" It was cute at first, but got super annoying by about, oh say, the fourth quarter! 

I can hardly believe how alike these two look! Love it!!

Some seriously handsome boys!!! 

These kiddos sure love their big cousins, and football, among other sports, has become an ultimate passion of Emmitt's. Throwing a spiral and punting a football come remarkably easy for this two year old and Madelyn is proud to boast entire Panther cheers...from head to toe! **sigh**

It was a sad day when football season came to an end, but we're already looking forward to next year!!!
Or, I guess that would be THIS year! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Another October Day...

Since I'm still stuck in October (and longing for sunshine...), I thought I'd continue with the pumpkin patch theme. We had LOTS of beautiful days in October and thankfully we spent most of them soaking up the last of the rays. Autumn is SO beautiful in the Willamette Valley! 

I'm not sure what farm this was we went to. We just followed the Konrads until they pulled into the parking lot. It was small and cute and had all the necessary pumpkin patch amenities (pumpkins, barnyard animals, hay rides, etc.). 

We love these friends and have so many wonderful memories together... So here's to another picture overload!

Jude is almost exactly a month older than Emmitt. 

They love to play together...and stir the pot together! ;)

He's kind of serious about this thing called a football...

She's kind of a natural big sister... no matter how much "smaller" than her they are...

Auntie Sharon even came by for a little bit!

This boy and his tractors...

Classic! "Yup, we're having fun!"

The Konrad family!

The Olson family!

And last, but not least, the Konolsonrad family! Can't wait to see who the next two babies will be... probably two more out world! ;)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

And...We're Back!!

I know, I know. It's been For eeeeeeevvvvvveeeeerrrrr! I'm sorry, mostly for myself. I love looking back at old blogposts and reliving memories (most of them ;) and I'm sad I've missed documenting a chunk of time. A HUGE chunk of time, obviously, as I look back through pictures.  I had already sorted through these pics (back in October) and evidently never finished blogging about them, so here they are. 

I'm currently longing for sun-filled days and popsicles, but pictures of a cool, crisp morning with apples and donuts will have to do instead. This is definitely the time of year Matt and I always start having conversations about all the sunny places we could move to... not that we know any different, but warmth sure sounds nice! ;)

Evidently Madi's grown another 2 inches since October (that's probably not even an exaggeration) and Emmitt has just plain gotten BIG! He talks like a big kid; he acts like a big kid and he's grown like a weed, which means he's pretty much a big kid... with the exception of crapping his pants.  Hopefully some things will change...

My Grandma came and spent the month of October at my parents'. We were able to spend lots of time with her, which we all loved. One morning we met Grandma and my mom (Nana), Haley & the boys, and later Ramie and her two kiddos at Bauman's Farm. This is definitely one of the best pumpkin patches in the valley, and thankfully this wasn't our only trip there for the season! 

Here's just a few pics of the kiddos:

Emmitt (2), Crosby (3), Madi (4), Michael (6) and Seven (8)! Believe it or not, this makes up only 5/8ths of the grandkids, soon to be 5/9ths!

This kid might be one of the funniest people alive... never lacking in expressions, that's for sure!

Although someone must give him a run for his money...

Haley and the baby that made her a mommy. :) How'd he get so big?!?! :(

Preparing to jump... this is my LIFE!!!

Coming out as a zombie was a super big hit (in case you couldn't tell). 

Also, random quote from Madi this fall, "Hey Mom, I think when I grow up I'm going to be a zombie cause Seven and Michael REALLY like zombies!!" 

Good, Mads, way to aim high! (I assured Matt not to worry. When we were little my sister used to pick 'working at McDonald's' for her dream job when we'd play MASH and she's proven to be much more successful thus far... ;)

Such a diva among all the boys... *sigh*

Haley insisted on a picture of her milking the cow. I think it suits her well. :)

Judson and Cooper met us towards the end. They now have a new baby brother too!!! 

Cooper and Em are only 2 weeks apart, such good little friends, although we are starting to see more of the boys choosing to play together and the girls choosing to play together as they are getting older... I have no idea why?!? ;)

Proof Weston was with us. :)

And since I apparently never got a picture of my Grandma or mom with us. I added this one of her reading the kids bedtime stories one night at our house. Emmitt was quite accustomed to Grandma staying here and asked several times when we'd go to Nana's house after she left, "Hey, where's Grandma?!?" :) She loved spending time with all the kiddos too, which was so special to watch!

So, hopefully this won't be the last post for the month, but I dare not jinx myself and promise that!!!