Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Ella's Halo is now on Twitter. Follow our journey every step of the way at https://twitter.com/EllasHalo.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Starts with a Name

We received our paperwork from the Secretary of State's Office in Minnesota. Our name Ella's Halo has been filed with their office and it is now a registered name for our nonprofit as of September 22, 2009. We are slowly moving things forward and it all starts with a name!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One Year Ago

One year can definitely change a person. I am one year older today, last year I was only 28! My heart is bigger, I am more compassionate and want to help ALL sick and tiny babies, last year I just wanted a baby of my own. This year I am a mother, last year I was just a wife to my loving husband. This year I have a baby angel in heaven, last year I was trying to get pregnant. This year I am stronger…..stronger than I ever thought I was, last year I was weak and didn’t think I could take what life was going to give me. This year I have lots of wrinkles from a few months of stress, last year I was afraid of getting old and of getting one gray hair. This year I finally get what life is all about, last year I was just living and doing what I “thought” was important. This year I am wiser, both medically and spiritually, last year I pretended I knew it all.

Life doesn’t always go as planned. But maybe that is part of the wonder of it all… it is part of the ride that we are all on. I know that we have had a difficult year but I feel blessed that we got to have an angel enter our lives for a brief moment; she helped me grow into a better person and she challenged me to see that there is a bigger part to life. In the end, Ella helped to make me someone more than I thought I ever was or could be. She helped me to open my mind, my heart, my arms and my soul….I thank my lucky stars for my little angel and for another year to do what I should have been doing all along.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Ryan and I attended a Non-Profit Class through the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits today. We both learned so much and got so much information to help us get started in setting up Ella’s Halo. Things don’t seem as daunting or as hard now that we have taken the class…things seem to make a little more sense and the forms don’t seem as scary. It was hard trying to find all the correct forms and paperwork that needed to be done when we were just searching by ourselves. It is so nice to know that we have a reference of professionals who will help us, websites that give us up-to-date information, and a network of others who are in the same position as we are. Now I feel inspired to start working on the first few forms and making our ideas into a reality.

We were also so inspired by the 25 other people in the class today. They are all passionate about their ideas, determined to do whatever it takes to get something started, and genially concerned to help others. I feel that we were surrounded today by good people who are going to help make this place a little better by making their own ideas into realities, just like how we want to make the NICU a little more like home.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

We are surrounded by so many generous and caring people. Ryan and I keep getting asked how others can help...and we really aren't quite sure yet. We are still working out all of those details and trying to get Ella's HALO set up legally that we haven't figured out what others can help with yet.
However, a very sweet and thoughtful family in Chicago decided that they wanted to help. Anne contacted me and said that she was going to get in touch with the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago and see if they would like to have blankets donated. Her blog shares their story and tears came to my eyes as I read it and I saw the pictures of her beautiful little girl sitting by the stack of blankets they donated. It is such a wonderful story and I know that our little girl Ella is smiling with pride at what their family has done for other babies and families in the NICU in Chicago. Not only is our little girl smiling from heaven but I am sure there are a few mommies and daddies in Chicago smiling too because of their generous donation.
I never imagined that our little idea would spread to other cities. I can't even believe all of the support we are getting from our friends here in the Twin Cities. It is the sweetest thing that others see there is a need to help NICU babies have the feeling of home while they are in the hospital. That those sweet little comforts of home help to make life more bearable, a little more hopeful and definitely more special for those little babies while they are in the hospital here in Minneapolis...or Chicago!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Over the weekend Ryan and I, along with our families, buried our little girl at a small country cemetery. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. We celebrated her short little life and the love she brought to all of us. We know that it isn't goodbye forever and that someday we will all get to join her.

We picked a lovely spot for her to rest. She has a beautiful view of the countryside, among the big sky full of stars and under a big old shade tree. She is away from hospitals and noise, away from the busy life she lead. Her spot is a place that is peaceful, something Ella deserves after her long struggle.

We had a gorgeous day. We sang Twinkle Twinkle, she was surrounded by many loved ones, her daddy and I each wrote her a little note and we didn't forget to have lots of pink!

Goodbye for now little girl. We know we will see you again someday but for now just keep dancing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baby Steps

We are slowly moving Ella's Halo forward. In my previous post I said we are attending a non-profit class which Ryan and I are both really eager about taking. But in addition we recently were in touch with a person from the hospital who works with helping organizations get their donations and ideas to certain units within the hospital. I spoke with her on the phone yesterday and she will be such a wonderful reference for us to have. The three of us are going to meet at the end of the month to put our ideas together, have her give us suggestions about funds we can set up within the hospital, and to have lunch to get to know one another. I am so excited to meet with her and to talk about these ideas with someone who will be able to help us get our organization moving in the direction we want it to go.

Things are coming together so that we can get our dreams for Ella's organization rolling into a reality. Now Ryan and I have to sit down get our ideas, mission, and plans all down on paper so that we have something concrete. We usually just start pouring out ideas and plans while we are laying in bed, driving in the car, eating dinner, or missing our little girl. Our heads are full of possibilities but we just need to take it one idea at a time, one form at a time, one minute at a time, one baby step at a time.