Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Swing For Sophia

This past year we have made friends with other parents who have lost a child.  One thing we all share is wanting to have our child's memory live on even after they are gone. 

Dan and Alli Lenmark and their families are hosting Swing For Sophia in memory of their daughter Sophia Rebecca Lenmark.  All proceeds will benefit Faith's Lodge.  This memorial golf tournament will celebrate Sophia's short life and also raise money and awareness for Faith's Lodge.  Ryan and I are looking forward to this event and giving back to another cause we believe in and doing it all in memory of Ella's angel friend Sophia.

Please go to to register and learn more about their golf event or go to Faith's Lodge at

If you would like to learn more about Dan and Alli and their sweet angel Sophia you can go to their family blog at

Monday, July 26, 2010

Small Bird Studio

As you can see we have a new blog design.  Thank you to Franchesca at Small Bird Studio for designing our new blog.  Check out her amazing work at

Keep checking back for updates, upcoming events, and new Ella's Halo ideas.  Lots going on in August!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Helping Hands

One thing that is really important to the board of Ella's Halo is being able to help out, especially making connections with other nonprofits that help children. While Ryan and I spent time in the hospital with Ella, we were very lucky to live so close, being only a few minutes away from the hospital when things happened. However, many families aren't as lucky to have their own beds to sleep in at night when their child is very sick or living in the hospital. Many of the people that we met during Ella's time in the NICU stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.

The Ronald McDonald House offers a way for families to be together and stay close to the hospitals, and at the same time offer comfort and care during their stays. Their mission is to find and support programs that provide a caring community for families with seriously ill children while increasing children's access to health care services.

Ella's Halo will be helping The Ronald McDonald House by serving dinner to their guests on September 7th. It is a way for us to give a little something back to the community and to help bring some comfort food to families who have sick children in the hospital or babies in the NICU.

One of the core values of the Ronald McDonald House is to keep families together and strong during health care crises, and Ella's Halo believes in that value too.

Check out their website to learn more about other volunteer opportunities and ways to help at,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Journey of Grief

Over the last year I have learned that grief is a journey.  We end up traveling down this  path we never thought we would.  Sometimes we wonder down the path with heavy hearts and alone with our deep thoughts.  We look up knowing that we have a long road ahead of us.  A lifetime of missing our sweet baby while carrying a heavy load of grief within our hearts.

We meet friends along our journey that provide comfort and understanding that only babylost parents can.  We walk together offering support and love until we find a fork in the road that may lead us down other trails but always knowing we have the path in common.  The path of grief.

There are times on our journey that we will need to stop and let our grief grab us.  It is times like this that we can truly see the beauty of grief by feeling the depths of our love.  We can look back and see how far we have come and how much we have grown.

During this journey we will hit rough patches.  Sometimes grief will take us to valleys, mountains, curves, bends and bridges.  We must still keep going and continuing down the path.  Knowing that these are all part of the journey and helping us grow.

The journey will keep going whether there is blue skies, a snow storm, a down pour or a beautiful sunset.  The good times and bad times will continue as we walk on our trail but know that it is all part of the story.  All part of the reason why this path was chosen for us.

The journey will never end and the scenery will constantly change.  It will constantly make us stronger so that we can enjoy those times when we come to a clearing and enjoy the view.  Enjoy the memories of our babies.

All photos were taken at Faith's Lodge

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This past weekend we enjoyed the 4th of July at the lake.   It seems like with every holiday a little spark of pain comes back.  As we enjoyed the weekend with friends and family I was constantly thinking about what I would be doing if Ella was here with us.  Would she be walking now, would she be splashing in the lake or eating watermelon?  Would we be cuddling as a family under a blanket watching the fireworks?

Our grief reminds me sometimes of fireworks.  It makes a loud noise with a big flash of light but in an instant it is gone and you are left with a beautiful memory.  That is sort of how our grief comes and goes now.  Hits you when you least expect it, surprising you, but in an instant is gone and you are left with sweet memories of a little baby girl.  That spark of grief reminds me of how beautiful our love was for her.

Even though it has been a year since Ella left us; holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and celebrations still bring a sting of pain that settles in your heart for the day.  Reminding us what we are missing and who is not here with us.  It is funny how the days that should be full of fun, family and friends can sometimes have fireworks of grief in the background. 

We are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends in our life that we got to spend the 4th of July with.  They still let us talk about a little girl that we miss, let us be part of their families watching their own children grow up, and supporting us with their love and friendship as we sit around a bonfire enjoying a summer evening.  The 4th of July isn't all about BBQ, food and fireworks, it is also about friends, family and community.  We are so lucky that this July we have them all in our lives reminding us what is important.

So as we enter into the month of July we are looking forward to moving Ella's Halo forward. With the love and support of our friends and family, we can help a NICU community find comfort.  Just thinking about all that  we are going to do in the next couple of months puts fireworks of love in my heart.