Thursday, February 24, 2011

So it goes.......

Wow what a couple of months.  Etihn's Heart Still Beats keeps me very busy.  On top of that though I have my kids, my job, and dare I say it a boyfriend that I am completely in love with.....So many of you are pry wondering what has been going on in my life as I have completely eluded the blog world on a personal level.  So here it goes....
The kids are all doing well.  They are growing like weeds and I love my time with them.  They always bring up their brother which is nice as I still NEED and LOVE to hear Ethin's name and talk about him.  The kids are doing much better with not having Ethin here.  The holidays were overwhelmingly hard on all of us, but as a family we did it.  Jayde however is constantly telling me she wishes she could be a big sister.  That at times is so hard for me, because it does make her sad that she does not get to experience that.  She wants me to have another baby all the time, but she also understands that I will not be doing that.  She really was a great big sister and so many times I also wish that I was able to watch her be a big sister.  So it goes that some things are not the way we want them.  So it also goes that there is some pain that I can not take away from my kids no matter how bad I wish I could.  As a family though we are strong and we continue to get stronger as we go through this together.
So it goes also that as I have said many times that this pain does not ever get any better.  I would still stand very firm on that statement and say that it does not get better.  However it does continue to get different and that different is really becoming a new normal in our home.  Life also has continued to move on in a forward direction.  A year ago I was still on my year off from work.  Now I have been at my job 10 months and in a week and half I will be in management.  A year ago I was roommating with a friend and I have now been in my own apartment for 7 months.  So life does go on.  I think that I could say that it has mostly gone on in a positive uphill motion.  I am truly happy and feel so very blessed.
So it goes that I am happy I am still sad.  So it goes that my life is so very full yet so very empty.  The total opposite feelings are still there and most days I am sure that life will always be that way.  I have been so blessed in life yet as I have started going back to church and I sit there and listen to the sermons I can not help but just let the tears roll down my cheeks as I question God's authority in my life.  So it goes that I am far from perfect and am thankful that God loves me just the way He made me. 
When I talk about the blessings in my life I guess that the one area in my life that I have kept from my blog is my "love" life.  It was easy to hide this area of my life when I started my blog, because it did not exist.  So my confession is that once it did I still never really let on that there was something huge and important going on in my life.  I have now been dating my best friend for almost 8 months.  It has been amazing.  He helped me get through that first angelversary.  He was just there for me when I needed him and before either of us knew it there were a ton of feelings that had developed.  July came and we both finally fessed up our feelings and have been together since.  It has had its ups and downs, but has been pretty darn amazing to me.  I have never in my life felt so much for one person that was not one of my children. He is truly the best part of everyday and he is the one person I can not imagine my life without.  And so it goes dare I say it, but I have fallen head over heels in love.  I posted pictures of him on my last update.
Life is moving forward and so it goes that there is and always will be a part of me missing, but I know that I can do this.  I know that I am needed here and that even though Ethn is not physically here he is everywhere.  The last year and a half as hard as it has been God has put everything in place for my children and I to continue living a happy and meaningful life.  Ethin changed everything that my life was or ever would be.  There is nothing in my life at this very moment that Ethin was not a part of in some way.  My children and I look for Ethin in everything we do and we make sure that he is a part of our life.  I am positive that if Ethin were here life would be different for us than it is now, but I am also very positive that Ethin changed everything.  God has been working in my life and showing me countless blessings through the loss of a child.  This blog since Ethin passed away ahas been just that a way for me to express my feelings and share my life as I walked through it after the loss of a child.  This has been and always will be my journey through grief, hope, and faith.  However I am starting to see that this is not just about my grief anymore, but the happiness that is overflowing in my life.  So in the next weeks I am going to be changing the blog a little bit.  This is my journey through grief, hope, faith, and learning to live happy again!  My journey through life with part of me in Heaven, but having happiness here.  My journey through life as it goes from extreme to extremely wonderful!......Needless to say I am in need of some titles for the blog and what to use on the title sequence at the top.  Please share with me your ideas! 
Thank You from the bottom of my heart for being such a huge support for my kids and I,  God Bless,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm Late!!

Well I owe the blog world a huge apology.  My life has been so busy and hectic with Ethin's Heart Still Beats, my job that I still love, my kids, and my personal life as a whole.  So I am so sorry but that also means that this update will be lengthy and fun with lots of pictures and so much to share!!!!

So I guess I looked and the last time I wrote was the day after the Heart Ball on Ethin's birthday.  So let's start with the Heart Ball.  We hosted the 2nd Annual Ethin's Heart Still Beats Heart Ball on January 8, 2011 here in Newaygo.  What an amazing night!!!  We started setting up the night before so we were ready on Saturday when everyone would be arriving. 

The Welcome table

A table dedicated to Ethin and EHSB

A trifold board of everything EHSB has done since Ethin passed away
 The hall before it was full

And boy did it pay off.  The night started with an amazing dinner prepared by our chefs Scottie and Tony!!! 

Throught dinner we had fun with the auction and after dinner we presented the managers from Wendy's of Newaygo with a plaque for helping collect blankets for the Cuddles From the Heart blanket drive.
This is a pic of the Wendy's crew that were there.  Me, April, Kandi, and Terri
From there we introduced the Guest speaker Dr. Mark Russell one of Ethin's cardiologists from U of M Mott Children's Hospital.
After he gave his tear jerking speech we took a picture.  Dr. Russell is very near and dear to my heart and I am so glad that he was able to come down and speek.
The night included a memory waltz again.  I was able to dance with an amazing partner this year Fred Hoffman.  And we rocked it!  However I was very afraid I was going to fall on my face!  LOL

Yeppers I was scared he would drop me just cuz it would have been funny!  LOL
Then his girlfriend Brenda and him gave waltzing lessons to everyone.  It was fun, but clearly not for everyone!  LOL

After the Waltzing lessons there was some time to just dance and have fun!

So just so we are clear yes this would Phil my Best friend and clearly this was my favorite dance of the night!
Yeah he is pretty awesome and good looking and charming, and well I kinda dig him!

So here are just some more pics from the night enjoy!!!
All the Heart Families that were there L-R Goodfellows parents of Heart Angel Faith, Myself Mommy to Heart Angel Ethin, LaPres' parents to Warrior Sofi, & Amador's parents to Warrior Krysten

 The Heideman's they were 2nd year attendance

 The Amazing Board of EHSB
 Fun with the local business owners of Newaygo, Wisner Rents Canoes, Sportman's Bar, Elizabeth Haulsey Botique, and A-Waste
The Amador family had their own table!

Rai Wisner and I

The Wendy's crew having way to much fun! 
The board sharing a group hug

Tammi and I she took all our pics for us again this year

I love our caterers and they clearly love me!

This was the head table

 Me with the all the Heart dads there Matt Goodfellow,  Mike LaPres, & Leonard Amador                                                 

Jen Menken and her business donated all our printing

Love the DJ Jim Bowman too!

There really were so many pictures and you can see them all on the Ethin's Heart Still Beats Facebook album!!
And the Grand Net Total of the ball this year was just over $1300 so it was clearly a great success!!  Thank you to all of the auction donors, the local support, friends, family, and of course the inspiration Ethin!
The theme of the ball this year was the difference of a heart and all I can say is these warriors and Angels there hearts make a difference!

Alright onto the next big thing we did! 
The 2nd Annual Newaygo Lions Have Heart Basketball Game!

Announcing your Newaygo Lions and Fremont Packers!!!

The Newaygo Lions Line-Up
#1 Zenn Timmer playing in Honor of CHD Warrior Brycen Halas
#2 Zach Franks playing in Honor of CHD Warrior Tommy Schomaker
#3 Eric VanDam playing in Memory of CHD Angel Lindsay Groen
#5 Steve Lisee playing in Honor of CHD Warrior Sofi LaPres
# 10 Tyler Arends playing in Honor of CHD Warior Logan Jacks Sponsored by Newaygo Printing & Copy Center, LLC.
#12 Nathan Brown playing in Honor of CHD Warior Brittney Butcher Sponsored by Short Stop Motorcycle Parts & Accessories
#20 Brad Wright playing in Honor of CHD Warior Jayden Valasek
#21 Conor Bradley playing in Memory of CHD Angel Ethin Twigg sponsored by Postma Monument INC.
#23 Alex Roberts playing in Honor of CHD Warior Andrew Huegel sponsored by Blue Heart Trading company
#25 Christian Crotser playing in Honor of CHD Warior Derrick Carter sponsored by Ken Page, Jr.
#32 Damien Longoria playing in Honor of CHD Warior Jordan Snyder sponsored by DanMark Graphics
#33 Jakob Mazur playing in Memory of CHD Angel Ethan Bilpo

#3 Tyler Krim playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD Warior Taya Delperdang sponsored by vanderzaden Farms
#4 Tyler Krim playing in Honor of CHD Warior Lily Hansen
#10 Ryan Ansorage playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD Warior Lindsay Dean
#11 Zach Montoya playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD Warior Mason Strickland
#13 Tyler Silvernail playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD Warior Westen Bouwkamp Sponsored by All About You Salon
#22 Cody McCombs playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD Warior Peighton Bonk Sponsored by Cronk's Oakridge Restaurant
#23 Robbie McPherson playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD WariorEmillo Ruellas Sponsored by Steve & Deanna Traxler and Family
#24 Josh Nelson playing in Memory of CHD Angel Faith Goodfellow
#33 Mike Seigel playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD Warior Krysten Amador Sponsored by Newaygo Printing & Copy Center LLC
#34 Chase Curtis playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD Warior Ethan Sidlauskas Sponsored by Wisner Rents Canoes
#55 Lucas McKain playing in Honor of playing in Honor of CHD Warior Hailie Miller Sponsored by A-Waste
All the players from Fremont & Newaygo, all the families that were there, the sponsors, and the EHSB Board

Krysten Amador and her player Mike Siegel #33 Fremont

Sponsor Ken Page with #25 Christian Croster of Newaygo playing in honor of CHD Warrior Derrick Carter 

Zenn Timmer #1 playing for the 2nd year in honor of CHD Warrior Brycen Halas with Brycen and his family

The Newaygo Boys!  Love these guys!

My back and Conor Bradley's back

The backs of Jakob, Tyler, and Zenn

Christian's back

Heart families at halftime center court

Krysten Amador's family, sponsor and player

The Bonk family with their warrior Peighton and their player #22 Cody McCombs of Fremont sponsored by Cronk's Oakridge of Newaygo

This was so funny when we took the picture of the boys from the front our photographer said Turn around and all the boys laughed.

Steve Lissee #5 from Newaygo with his Heart Warrior Sofi Lapres and her mom this was his second year playing in honor of Sofi

Heart transplant patients Brittney and Sofi

Me with Krysten I love this lil warrior

Conor Bradley #21 with all of Ethin's family that was there, God mother Mandy, God sister Heather, Aunt Krista and cousin Taylor, Mom, His sisters Jessa & Jayde, brother Jonathin, cousin Landon and Aunt Alivia

The boys from Fremont

After the game the Amador's and the autographed ball from the game they won it!

Me with the autographed ball during the meet and greet with all the players from both teams.  I am so proud of these boys!

In the last year since the last game I have gotten to know some of the players that played last year.  This years game was much more emotional for me, because of this.  Zach Franks played for the second year for Tommy Schomaker and I have gotten to know Zach so knowing this was his last year to play was hard.  Next year for the game he won't be there.  Eric VanDam also was a second year player for Lindsay Groen.  For me the boys of the Newaygo Lions Varsity basketball game have so much heart and they are truly hereos to me.
The next part of this is about the game and the player that played for Ethin.  Ethin was represented by #21 and the jersey was wore by sophmore Conor Bradley.  There was no rhyme or reason to choosing Conor to play in memory of Ethin except the fact that he was a sophmore and I thought it would be really neat to have the same young man play for Ethin a few years in a row.  Conor and I met a month ago briefly when I talked to the whole team.  Since that time Conor's twin sister and I have also met and I have met his parents too.  Conor gives me a hug when he sees me now like many of the other boys that played last year and this year and he completely embraced the oppurtunity to play for Ethin.  He said he was honored to do so.  I look forward to sowing him support in his varsity endeavors.  He is an amazing young man.  Thank You Conor!!  It was honor to watch you play so hard for Ethin!!

Conor was great with my kiddos and he held Jayde for this picture!  Thank you!!

What a full update!!!  Love you all and have missed you all so much!!