Monday, January 31, 2011

Baby Fever

January has been the month of babies.  We have had so many sweet friends have their first or second little tike.  We also have had some deserving babyloss mommas find out they are having another baby.  It just seems like babies are everywhere right now.  I am starting to get baby fever.

Ryan and I decided to take a little road trip and go visit two of our friends who both just had their second baby.  It was so fun and just what the doctor ordered to be with our friends and their sweet little families.

Our North Dakota road trip started out to visit my friend Leslie and her hubby Dustin.  They used to live in Minneapolis by us but moved back to ND this past summer.  They have a little girl who we have gotten the pleasure of watching grow up and now they just added a handsome little boy to their family at the beginning of January.  It was fun to spend the weekend with them, holding their new baby boy, playing with their little girl and hanging out after the kids went to bed.  Leslie is such a good mommy and I hope when I have another baby that I am as much of a pro as she is! 

On our way back to Minnesota, we made a pit stop in ND at another friend's who just had a sweet baby girl.  She is such a little peanut and it was fun seeing her big brother too.  Autum and Nick just had their little girl at the beginning of January and I am sure she will be a little girlie girl just like her momma! 

It is so fun to see our friends and watch how their families grow. I can't wait until our kids will all be playing together.  We had such a fun weekend. Lots of catching up with friends, puzzle playing and baby holding.  It is hard not to catch the baby fever!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Angels on Earth

Losing a child can strengthen relationships. It never seizes to amaze me how wonderful and supportive our friends have been over the last two years. I know it is so hard for them to know how to help us, how to comfort us and how to be the friends I need sometimes. However, this experience has helped me realize the true friends that have been there for me when I really did need them the most. I only hope that I am half of the friend to them as they have been to me. My friends are my angels here on earth that give me strength every day.

As time passes on, I can see in the eyes of others that bringing up Ella is starting to be a strange topic for discussion. This was at first hard for me to take. I wanted to talk about her, I do have memories of her, she is part of us and always will be, and she changed me to my very core. Why wouldn't I talk about her? I have found comfort in knowing that I might not be able to tell every Ella story to some people but I am very lucky to have such good friends who will listen and listen with interest even now two years later. And even sometimes it is those friends who will bring Ella up in the middle of our conversation or say simple things like when you have another little baby. Those things mean the world to me and always makes my heart so full with love not only for Ella but for those sweet friends that truly understand how I have changed. It is the friend that knew I needed a girls weekend, a card just because it was Tuesday, a hug when I see a daddy with his little girl, a glass of wine to help unwind, a call on the phone to just chat and a friend who just knows I need a good cry. I can't even describe how these friends have touched my heart and mean so much to me, to us. These friends are our angels.

Losing a child can hurt relationships too. Some people just don't understand the depths of our grief or they themselves are too scared. I know that there are friends who simply can't reach out to us because it is something unknown to them. They don't know what to say, how to act or what to do so they instead do nothing. And I may have been selfish focusing on me and Ryan and trying to get through the first year without Ella that I didn't put time or effort into these relationships either. I guess it is just what happens in life.

Losing a child can also build new relationships. I never thought we would be part of the babyloss community or even the NICU community. They are friends I am so thankful for but really wish I never met because meeting them means they have had to go through the same journey of losing a child or having a baby in the hospital like we have. These friends are like no other. Sometimes they can see a look in your eye or a smile on your face and know exactly what you are thinking or what you are feeling. They understand our grief without having to explain. I know that no matter how life changes in the next few years, we will always have this network of friends and support, this network of angels here on earth.

As I continue to heal, I am even more thankful for the friendships that have grown during my time of need. I really do have some of the best people that care about me, my future and my baby Ella. You know who you thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship it means the world to me. Every day the angels here on earth are helping me to heal and lifting me back to my feet. We are so blessed with such wonderful friends.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Blues

Maybe I am getting a case of the winter blues. The last two weeks I have sort of felt out of it and not wanting to do much. I always have so many ideas running through my head especially about Ella's Halo but I just can't seem to work up the motivation to do them. I was so excited to start the new year, but now with the cold temps and endless snow storms, I sort of feel like blahhhh.

I looked at my calendar today and I have decided it is time to start planning and get moving again. Over the next few months we have lots to do and now is the best time to get started and get rid of these winter blues.

In February, Ryan and I, and our board members are getting a tour of the new University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital. We are excited to see this new hospital and will also be stopping by the NICU to get a quick tour, now that it has been remodeled. This hospital will always have a special place in our hearts, as we spent 83 days and nights with our little girl there.

We are also having a Borders Benefit Days at the Minnetonka Borders Bookstore. A percentage of net sales raised will be donated to Ella's Halo. February 19 - 20 will be Ella's Halo Benefit Days at Borders and we will be providing vouchers so you can use the coupon at the Minnetonka store or online to buy books. Buy books and help babies.

Also, mark your calendars for Ella's Halo Bowling for Babies! We have the 2nd annual event scheduled for May 14th at Park Tavern. We hope to raise even more money this year to continue helping NICUs. We are working on getting letters together for prizes and for sponsors. If you are interested in donating items or would like to be a sponsor for this year's event, email me at

So, goodbye winter blues and hello to a busy next couple of months!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Her Name

Over the holidays.......

just seeing her name.......

made me smile.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just Different

As we rang in the 2011 New Year, things just felt different. This year I am  more hopeful for the future, more at peace with grief and more certain in our journey. I am looking forward to the new year and to whatever life throws my way.

Letting go of 2009 seemed so hard. That was the year my life changed. It was the best and worst year. Looking ahead to 2010 seemed like an up hill battle and I was hopeful but gripped with grief and uncertainty. I didn't know how two people could create a nonprofit and be able to live out our promise to Ella through Ella's Halo. I didn't know the journey Ryan and I would decide to take to continue adding to our family. I didn't even know how I would make it a whole year without Ella.  2009 was Ella's year and it was hard to say goodbye.

Leaving 2010 behind, however, is different. I jumped into 2011 excited, not to leave 2010 behind but, to all of the promise that I know 2011 has in store. 2010 turned out to be an exciting year for Ella's Halo. Our nonprofit became more than I could have ever dreamed it would in just one short year. We held two  successful events for Ella's Halo in 2010 which I never imaged would have happened this time last year. And yes we are still always burdened with grief and it does still catch me off-guard but I have come to embrace that as a part of who we are. Grief is something I will always have and 2010 helped me be okay with that. 

So here is to 2011. We are looking forward to expanding our Ella's Halo efforts and making our nonprofit even more than what it already is. We hope to come up with even more ways to provide comforts to families in the NICU. We want to continue to give back to nonprofits that have touched our lives since Ella. We even want to think about maybe adding to our little family someday too. In the next year, we want to continue to honor our sweet little girl's life in the things we do every day. We want to keep 2011 wide open for all of the possibilities that we may not even have thought of. That is what gives me the hope for this new year.

It amazes me how different one year can be. One year I don't want to let go, and the next year I am ready to jump in feet first. Either way 2011 is here to stay...for at least the next 12 months!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Year in Review

2010 has been an exciting year for Ella's Halo.  I can't wait for 2011!  Here is the year of 2010 in review.

*January:       Opened a bank account for Ella's Halo and deposited our first donation

*February:     Officially became a 501(c) 3 Nonprofit

*March:          Ella's First Birthday

*April:            Taryn is interviewed by Fox 9 News about donating breast milk to families in the NICU

*May:              Ella's Halo 1st event: Bowling for Babies raised over $8,000

*June:             Ella stars in a music video by Rocket Club called One More Day

*July:              Ella's Halo sets up Ella Jo Krumwiede NICU Fund at Amplatz Children's Hospital

*August:         Ella's Halo is the charity for Reside's Cocktails for a Cause and raised over $1,000

*September:   Ella's Halo Board of Directors serves dinner at the Ronald McDonald House

*October:       Ella's Halo 2nd event: Strides for NICUs in Perham, MN raises $3,000 and Ryan
                       is on the radio station  WDAY 970 AM in Fargo talking about Ella's Halo

*November:    Ella's Halo is featured on a couple of websites including LaunchHER

*December:    Ella's Halo donates new welcome bags to Children's St. Paul for all new admits in 2011

It has been a busy year and I know 2011 will be even busier!  I sometimes forget all of the wonderful things we do to help others and it is nice to reflect on the past year but it is also exciting to look ahead too. 

Happy New Year from Ella's Halo.