Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Eve Morning

On Christmas Eve, Ryan and I went to the hospital to drop off the donations we received throughout December. It was such a wonderful way to start off our holiday, remembering our little girl.  We got to see the nurses and staff that became our friends during our 83 day stay.  It felt like coming home.... to Ella's home. 

The donations we received brought tears to my eyes.  It was unbelievable!  We had people from all aspects of our life support us and were so willing to give.  We had co-worker friends, friends from college, friends from home, friends from support groups, friends of friends,  friends of family,  friends of the NICU and some friends we didn't even know drop off money, blankets, books and toys.  Our house was filled with donations that were given all with love from so many friends.  So many generous people with big hearts gave so much to our cause. We are forever grateful for the support.

We collected over 125 blankets, 95 books, 25 toys, and 40 clothing items.  Ryan and I couldn't stop smiling as we wheeled the cart in with all of the donations.  Our friends at the NICU were excited to see us and were so grateful. There are no words to describe the feelings of giving back, seeing old friends and knowing that your baby is smiling down on you.


An ornament I saw during the holiday said  “Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.”  Our little star brought light to her friends in the NICU on a snowy Christmas Eve morning. We know our donations helped bring joy to many babies and families in the NICU over the holiday season and we know that our little girl is so happy because of that.

Now as the New Year approaches we are back at getting new events for Ella's Halo started.  Big ideas, fun events and more love is in store for 2010!  It is amazing to think that all of this is because of a sweet little angel.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow Angels

On Christmas morning, Ryan and I went out to visit our little girl.  We made snow angels together as a family...Ryan and I making the angels and Ella making the snow.  It was a beautiful morning, snow flakes falling down around us as the snow was glistening in peaceful silence. 

This is not how we thought we were going to be spending our Christmas a year ago, but now I can't think of any other way than making snow angels with our little angel.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Warmest Wishes

2009 brought us a huge blessing, our daughter Ella.  And during this holiday season, we ask that you please remember her.  Though her time here was short her memory lives on through our non-profit organization, Ella's Halo. 

Ryan and I would like to thank all of our friends and family who have been following our journey this year.  We are so very blessed.  We hope that the New Year brings your family many blessings in 2010.

Happy Holidays from Ella's Halo, the Krumwiedes, and our little Angel!

photo from

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Gift of Giving

As we approach the holidays, Ryan and I start to think of how we can give back and help others. This year we are fortunate to have something so near and dear to our hearts, Ella’s Halo, in which we are giving back to our friends at the NICU.

Our second board meeting was held this week and we discussed the various options of giving. One board member had a holiday party with friends and had them bring blankets which they donated to Ella’s Halo and another board member bought bereavement clothing which will be donated to the NICU in Ella’s memory. And my company is just now finishing up its donation drive for Ella’s Halo. It is amazing the support we are getting from friends and family and the donations that are coming in through the door.

This holiday is going to be very difficult for us, however on December 24th Ryan and I have something very special to look forward to. We are going to the NICU on Christmas Eve morning and dropping off our donations to the unit. It will be a wonderful way to remember our little girl.

Just remember that the act of giving never fails to bring rewards. It is a true gift and is evidence that we feel blessed enough to be able to help others. Giving isn’t always about money or items, it can be donating one’s time and talents to a cause you believe in. Give to your family, give to friends, give to others in need, but always remember to give love! It is the season of giving.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

No Words

Over this past week, Ryan and I spent time at Faith's Lodge.  There are just no words to describe our experience, how beautiful the building and grounds are, and the wonderful friends we made. 

We were able to spend the last few days only as Ella's parents, talking about her short life, talking about the hard process of grief, talking about how our lives forever changed.  We learned about other's stories, listened to their challenges, listened to how they found strength and listening to how their sweet babies changed them forever too.  There are just no words to describe how comforting it is to be with others who understand and to form lasting friendships.

Faith's Lodge is a beautiful building out in the woods of Wisconsin.  There are huge fireplaces that make for cozy and warm areas to sit with others to talk, laugh and cry.  There are beautiful hiking trails that have inspirational quotes, a little bridge of hope with heart stones and names of other babies and provides a peaceful walk to be together as a family. It is amazing that there are places for bereaved parents to go to share stories, remember the love of their child and the hope that they brought.  There are no words to describe how thankful we are to have been able to have the opportunity to stay at Faith's.

We got to spend time with others but we also got to enjoy some time together.  Ryan and I did craft projects, went for walks, sat by the fireplace playing cards, read books, and roasted marshmallows by a bonfire.  We were together as a family and remembering our little girl. We talked about what the future now holds for us, where we want Ella's Halo to go, and how lucky we were to have 83 days.  There are just no words to describe how special it was to spend time together.

For five days we were nothing but Ella's parents.  We had five days to sit and think about her, talk about her, cry about her, laugh about her, love her, remember her, and miss her.  There are just no words to describe how wonderful that was.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Angel of Hope Park

We had such an amazing night.  The sky was filled with twinkling little stars, the air was crisp and brisk and there was a glow of candles.  It was simply beautiful.  We were surrounded by our family and others who know the pain of losing a child.  It brought us comfort and peace. 

The park was filled with so many people who have lost children.  It is a bond that you never want to share with others but when you find out you do, friendships form.  It gives you comfort to be around others who know pain, sadness, anger, and the hole that is always in your heart.  Usually nothing is said between parents who have lost a child, just a nod of pain and brief smile to show you understand. 

They had a speaker after the outdoor candle vigil at the Angel of Hope park at a nearby church.  He talked about how you must love the people that are still here with us, to hug them, and tell them that you love them. He talked about how grief never goes away but it simply becomes a part of who you are.  And that those Angels that we miss are always showing us signs that they are with us.  We just have to watch for them.  His message was special and touching to all bereaved parents.

I love the new tradition that Ryan and I started last night on December 6th.  We will be there next year holding our candles, holding our white flowers and still holding on to each other.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Angels and Faith

On December 6th, Ryan and I are going up to Perham to attend a candlelight ceremony at the Angel of Hope Park.  It is a beautiful park dedicated to honor children who left us too soon and it is a way to remember their lives.  There are memorial bricks that are placed around the base of the Angel of Hope statue with each of their names and a little message.  There are walkways that go in a circle around the angel with beautiful quotes about children. The statue and surrounding area is intended to be a place of peace and healing for all bereaved parents.

Next week, we will be going to Faith's Lodge in Wisconsin.  We are looking forward to spending time with other families who have lost their little babies too, learn from their experiences and share our own. Faith's Lodge is a retreat for parents to reflect on the past, find renewed strength and helps to build hope.  There are various activities, group discussions and ways to share and remember our little girl's story.  We are planning to stay for four days to fully take in everything that Faith's Lodge has to offer. Faith's Lodge provides a peaceful escape for families to refresh spirits while spending time with others who understand what they are experiencing (  I think this place is going to be really special for Ryan and I, especially now as the holidays are approaching.

And finally, we are getting things together for our next board meeting that is scheduled for December 15th.  We have many exciting things that are happening that we can't wait to share with the board members.  It is amazing the faith that we are feeling from people who believe that we can really help other babies and families.  There really are angels all around us.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I love sunsets. I look at them differently now than I did before Ella was here. I think it is her way of saying goodnight to us from Heaven. I believe sunsets show us a little glimpse of what Heaven is really like.

This past weekend we were out at the cemetery visiting our little girl before Thanksgiving dinner and the sky was lit with bright pink streaks. It was beautiful, awe inspiring, loving, glorious, and peaceful. What a wonderful way for our little girl to tell us goodnight by showing us a beautiful sunset. She was secretly telling us that she missed us and that she can’t wait to meet us in Heaven someday. The sunset that night was showing us a little piece of Heaven here on earth…showing us what Ella is seeing up in Heaven.