Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Our Life Lately...In List Form

I cannot express the outpouring of love our family has received since Piper passed in June.
We have been keeping our heads down, wrapped up in Grace Blanket busyness, and have tried so very hard to soak up every bit of the support you all have sent. Thank you, for your words, your prayers, and most of all - for keeping your memory of Piper Grace in your hearts always!

I have too many updates to tell you about, and don't want to wait to blog them one at a time, so today, I will throw at you LISTS! Kind of like the David Letterman of blog posts, if you will. Please take the time to scroll through, and check out how YOUR love and giving has impacted our family and this community as of late.

Grace Blanket Drive Grand Totals

* 2, 512 blankets were donated to Children's Mercy Hospital this August!
* From 172 donors
* From 80 cities
* From 17 states

TOP DONORS: (based on boxes received)
  1. Kansas City Metro - 61 boxes
  2. DFW Metro - 36 boxes
  3. Tx Panhandle - 23 boxes

I have gotten message after message from our NICU nurses about the blanket craziness that is going on at the hospital right now! Every baby with a brand new blanketed bed...every night. It's like Christmas for them, and we cannot thank YOU enough for your giving! As a result of all the new blankies, the hospital was able to donate their old worn out linens to our Great Plains SPCA!

PLEASE keep Grace Blanket Drive on your mind for this event EVERY year in Piper's memory. We will make this drive bigger, better, and share more love each and every year!

T Shirt Orders & Donation Opportunities

We have officially begun "Pipes" t shirt sales for the Grace Blanket Drive fund! Sport your Piper pride and help us fund further philanthropy with your purchase.

* $12 per shirt (sizes Youth Small through Adult 2X)
* Call Tara @ 817.319.8116 to run a credit card over the phone / or to plan local meet up!
* Email Tara ( for address to mail checks for shirt payment
* Payment Due: 9/19/2015 - no late wiggle room at all!
* Shirts are expected to be completed / shipped by first week of October.

Grace Blanket Drive is excited to be providing a NICU parent meal and creating a nursing school scholarship this year with the help of your giving. We have a TON of ideas coming down the pipe (pun intended) for future philanthropy. Stay tuned!

With our new Grace Blanket Drive Fund: we are able to accept monetary donations year round, and even set up monthly commitment donations! Email Tara for more info! The Lord is working through Piper Grace's tiny life, and we are in awe!

Shirt Graphic!

A Piece of My Momma Heart

As many who have grieved the loss of a loved one know, many days you have your guard up. A "wake up - buck up buttercup" mentality that gets you through the day. I admit that most days, to function with this crazy 3 year old I have, I have my guard up. The blanket drive, tshirt sales, and Tallan have kept me busy and moving...but like I learned with Piper, some days just call for being still. Some days call for the lump in your throat to be released. Some days call for counting the minutes till bedtime, so you can cry with your spouse. Some days call for allowing memories to flood, while you be still.

As a fairly sentimental person, I can feel when "Piper" days are upon me, and am good about acknowledging the emotion I feel. Fighting this emotion does not honor Piper's I've chosen to open my arms to it. It allows me to be a better mom, and be grateful for every single Tallan quirk. It allows me to be a better spouse, as these days remind me to check in with Matty to see how he's coping. It allows me to be a better person, because I understand the silent strife and struggle the stranger next to me might be dealing with.

My "Piper Days" are often purposely triggered by a quiet drive, and a playlist that will forever be linked to this past year of our lives. My soul is so touched by music, and I've found that Piper's Playlist helps me reset, remember, and love this journey with my whole heart. I'd love to share this playlist with you. It was played at her memorial service, and each song touches my heart for a different reason. Songs you may have heard before, but may take on a different meaning now.

   * A Thousand Years (Christina Perry) - I think of a mother's love being infinite.
   * I Won't Let Go (Rascal Flatts) - unwavering support. I think of this as my song to Matt, or God's song for our family.

   * Never Grow Up (Taylor Swift) - Piper's sweet innocence.

   * You Decorated My Life (Kenny Rogers) - An oldie! This one has special meaning, as it was the song my Dad sang me to sleep with when I was little. How a love for someone can change everything.

   * I Will Carry You (Selah) - 100% the theme song for our journey. My favorite. Brutal!

   * See You Again (Wiz Khalifa)  - what I will say to Pipes when me meet again!

   * To Make You Feel My Love (Garth Brooks)  - the undying love Matt and I had for Piper, and how we wanted her to know so badly, how much she was loved.

   * I Can Only Imagine (MercyMe) - duh!

   * Though You Slay Me (Shane & Shane) - praising God through the hard times.

   * Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Katharine McPhee)  - uh...duh!

   * Word of God Speak (MercyMe) - my daily reminder.

  I'd LOVE to hear how one of these songs speaks to you. They will forever be my Piper songs.

A Thank You

Since last Christmas, I have planned on blogging a HUGE thank you to the staff at Children's Mercy. This was when I thought I'd blog Piper's home coming. This thank you now carries a different meaning for me. Not a thank you for getting us healthy, for sending us home....but a thank you for loving our daughter when home was no longer an option.

NICU doctors and staff face miracles, struggles, and heartache every single day. They all could choose to protect their hearts, and distance themselves from patient journeys. Our family at CMH did no such thing. They fought for Piper and celebrated as she succeeded. They fought for Piper when she backslid and struggled. They loved her when she wasn't supposed to live a day. They found fun in the good days of Piper's 10 months of life, and made our NICU journey bearable.
They continued to love her when we realized her fight was ending. They chose to love her even when heartache was eminent, and for that, we will always love them. I miss them every day, and cherish their friendships. I'm grateful for what they taught me, and I'm so proud of their choice to love each baby, every day, regardless of circumstance.

I'd love for you to jot down a couple names, and add them to your prayers, or happy thoughts list. These people have all laid their healing hands on Piper Grace. Hands that I believe are blessed by God to do his work here on Earth.  (If I miss anyone, it is unintentional! Just going from my scatter brain's shotty memory and scribbled notes!)

Fetal Health Gals: Cristy, Kristen, Andrea, Amy, Karen, Valerie

Primary Nurses: Ashley O., Allison, Marcela, Katy, Ally, Jenn, Claire, Michelle, Sarah

Day & Night Nurses: Julie, Kara, Hilary, Coleen, Stacie, Tina, Lindsay, Christina, Michelle J., Ashley S., Jen S., Kayla, Becca, Dot, Robyn, Annie, Brittney, Jenny, Lauren, Stephanie, Jayna, Greta, Katelyn, Shayna, Sam, Jessica, Tess, Christie, Elaine, Susan, Amanda Ab., Kristyn, Rachel, Sarah W., Melissa, Sara C., Amanda Ar., Linda, Jen K., Stacia, Annie O., Amy S., Julie T., Carla., Alicia., Mary, Carrie, Brenda, Jenny H., Patti, Amy Sl., Maureen, Sheena

Respiratory Therapists: Callie, Maggie, Matthew, Brian, Caree, Theresa

PT / OT / Music Therapy: Stephanie, Mich, Liesel

Nurse Practitioners: DELO, Lisa, Jill, Sara J., Kerry, Daphne

Doctors/ Surgeons / Fellows: Dr. Cooper, Dr. Olsen, Craig, Dr. Petrikin, Dr. Iqbal, Tim, Dr. Palatto, Dr. Kilbride, Dr. Nyp, Dr. Troug, Dr. Weiner, Dr. Sharma, Dr. Lachica, Dr. Oshode, Dr, Bernbaum

PaCT Team: Dr. Linebarger & Nurse Tonja

THANK YOU all for loving so hard, for caring so fiercely, and for being the biggest badasses ever to grace a NICU!