Tuesday, August 25, 2009


These little milestones.....they are moving us through this difficult first year. Yesterday was 5 months since the day our precious little girl came into this world. I will never forget that day... Ryan and I were both so scared, happy, sad and excited. All of those emotions were wrapped into one precious moment, the moment she came into this world and changed us forever. I just remember the pride beaming from her daddy, the love that filled our hospital room, and the moment she took my breath away. The beginning is where I am going to start our milestones...not the day she left us. This is not the end. She is waiting for us up in heaven playing, singing, watching and loving.

Our grief has also came in milestones. At first we were numb...the first day, week, month. We were both so numb to what happened and how our lives drastically changed. After the numbness wore off we were angry and asking why God did this, why he took our little baby. Now I am trying to understand what grief really means to me, to us. We have lost loved ones in the past but this grief was new...more painful. I now believe grief as an emptiness and a fullness within my heart. One moment grief can bring on an unbelievable emptiness. An emptiness from missing our sweet little baby every breath that I take, from feeling let down by life for not being able to watch our little princess grow up, and from the pain I now carry everywhere I go. But at the same time I have a fullness within my soul. A fullness knowing that my little baby is at peace in the most beautiful place, knowing that we were blessed to have been chosen to be this little angel's parents, and knowing that we will see her again and that this is not the end. I know we will forever have grief buried deep within our hearts but at least we are coming to understand what it means for us.

Another milestone is happening in our non-profit research as well. Ryan and I are taking a class to learn how to start a non-profit in September. We thought we would take a class and learn as much as we can so that we can be well educated and make informed decisions on how we want to go forward in making our organization right for us. We will be the main people involved with the organization and felt that it was best if we knew what we wanted, how to run it and how to maintain the business part of the organization. We wanted to know all aspects rather than let someone else work out the details for us. We will still need help with some of the paperwork that needs to be filed by attorneys but we want this organization to be all of our heart, soul, sweat, tears and love.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Sweet Poem

The day Ella died we received this wonderful poem from Ryan's cousin's wife, my dear friend and Ella's auntie Tracy. I love how it has everything we want to remember about our little girl all wrapped up into one sweet little poem. Thank you Tracy, it is a gift we will treasure forever.

The Tiniest Angel

The tiniest angel has sprouted her wings
She looks up at Jesus as Heaven’s choir sings
We know that she feels all our prayers and our love
As she’s cradled in the arms of our God up above.

Little baby Ella so precious and sweet
The most special little girl we could ever hope to meet
She came to us briefly and couldn’t stay long
But the love we all feel will remain to be strong.

A mother and father who miss her so much
And long for just one little kiss or a touch
Hold tight to each other, as grief will unfurl
And cling to the memory of their sweet baby girl

Ella we know that you miss Mom and Dad
And it’s hard for us all to see them be so sad
But we know you’re at peace and no pain you will know
And though they can’t see you their love will still grow.

We’ve all been so touched by your short precious life
And though this sad time will most surely bring strife
We celebrate the love that you brought us on Earth
From the happy news of pregnancy to your premature birth.

We couldn’t have known what a blessing you’d be
A sweet little angel sent for all of us to see
You’ve done so much good that you can’t possibly know
As you laid in your isolette struggling to grow

Your daddy and mommy were there by your side
So happy to have you and beaming with pride
They told us great stories of all you would do
From reading you books to your pink bow hairdo

They were there by your side keeping watch every day
And the rest of us all bowed our heads as we’d pray
For sweet Ella Jo to get bigger and stronger
But God missed you so much he couldn’t wait any longer

He brought you to heaven to live with him now
And as your family and friends we will all take a vow
To remember the love and the joy you brought here
And to think of you fondly each year after year

So as you now enter Heaven feeling peaceful and free
We know through your tiny eyes you’ll start to see
That though Mommy and Daddy may seem far apart
There’s no need to look further than your own little heart

For down deep inside there is where you will find
A love and affection of the most special kind
You’ll be with them always and forever you’ll be
Their sweet Ella Jo – their precious baby.

With love, "Auntie" Tracy

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ella's Blankets

People keep asking us why we have decided to start an organization. I guess it all started the week Ella passed away. I kept thinking how I needed to do something to help the other babies that were still in the hospital...they were Ella's friends and I needed to do something to make those long hours, days, weeks, months a little brighter for them. I am not sure if it was my way of grieving or if I just needed to keep moving. But I went to a fabric store and went crazy buying fleece. All different kinds that I knew Ella would have loved....or at least Ryan, I, and our nurses would have liked. I bought princesses, Twins, flowers and trucks.

The next day Ryan and I brought all of those blankets to the hospital and met up with the nurses. You should have seen their faces. They looked as if I brought everyone Christmas gifts. It was the best feeling in the world. One of the nurses said, "Every time I see these blankets, I will think of Ella Jo." I cannot even write into words what that made me feel like. I just melted and we knew we had to do something like this again...but something more.

So, later that night Ryan and I went home and started brainstorming. We had ideas one right after another for things we would love to provide to the NICUs here in the metro. I guess we didn't realize that what we wanted to do was a difficult process. If starting an organization was easy everyone would do it...right?

We are trying to figure out what the right path is for us so that we can keep giving back to the people who have touched our lives. It is the one way we can still feel close to our little girl, a way for us to find peace knowing that our family’s difficult path has lead us to help others, and that Ella's struggle won't be forgotten.

Providing cute, fun blankets is just one of the few things we want to do with Ella's HALO. I know it doesn't sound like much but sometimes it is the little things that mean so much. I can still remember walking in to see Ella after her nurse just got her a clean pink blanket and put a cute little matching pink bow in her hair. Ella knew she was all dolled up, you could just tell. When your baby is sick, in a hospital surrounded by machines, and the only thing you want to do is provide some normalcy for your baby...tucking your little princess in at night with a pink princess blanket just makes things seem a little more right, a little more hopeful, and a little more like home.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tiny Angel

Ella Jo Krumwiede was such an inspiration to Ryan and I. I still can't believe that she is gone....it still doesn't feel real. She was our whole life and I never knew how a tiny little baby could teach us so much about love, hope and faith in such a short amount of time.

She was born premature and was a very sick little baby, but she was such a fighter, a little feisty at times, and full of love. We want our little girl's memory to help other babies and families who have to spend many hours, days and weeks inside a hospital waiting, praying and hoping to bring their baby home someday. We want to help make their stay a little more like home. We were so blessed to have family and friends help us along our long scary journey but some babies aren't so lucky.

Ryan and I are full of ideas of things that we wished we had while in the hospital to help make things a little easier. We just hope that we can bring a smile to a mother's face after she has been up all night by her baby's bedside or make a dad laugh after he has cried all day long.

Ella was our little girl, her daddy's peanut, and her mommy's love. She liked to wiggle her toes, squeeze her daddy's finger, let her mommy kiss her feet, peek out at her nurses, dance to Twinkle Twinkle, cuddle sweetly with her mommy, gaze into her daddy's eyes, be spoiled by 4 uncles, keep the doctors guessing, and knew how loved she was by her grandmas and grandpas. Our little baby is now our little angel in heaven...and she probably is still dancing to Twinkle Twinkle.

If you want to bring smile to our face and joy to our hearts, ask us about our sweet little Ella Jo. Nothing brings more happiness to us then talking about our memories of her short little life. We know that starting an organization in her honor is going to be a slow process and not happen over night. But we still want to do what ever we can for other little babies who are in the NICU. That is what Ella would have wanted us to do.

She was only here for a short time (83 days to be exact) but we hope her memory will live forever in the help we provide to other little ones.


So we are finally making steps to create a foundation in memory of our little girl Ella. We are still working out the details of Ella's HALO but basically we want to help make hospital stays in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) for premature and sick babies a little easier for them and for their families. Make their long stays feel a little more like home!

Our blog will be the source of information until we get our website up and running. It will be a way for us to connect with you about our many ideas for Ella's HALO and a journal of two parents who miss their little girl.

If you just are learning of our story here is the link to our daughter's caringbridge site so you can catch up http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ellakrumwiede.

We will be meeting with an attorney from my office today who will give us some ideas about what paperwork we need to file to help us get started. There is a lot of work in getting something set up so we will keep you informed along the way.

Ella is surely smiling down on all of us and happy that we are helping her many friends in the NICU!