Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Good Reminder

I found a good reminder on B'Twixt and B'Tween this A.M. here. Get some morning encouragement and start your week off on a good note!


Monday, August 22, 2011

"Sample Sale"

lia sophia Open House @ my place

Thursday, August 25th, 7-9pm

 *Come, bring a friend, and shop my retired Sample pieces from 

the Spring/Summer Collection,@ 67% off regular retail price! 

This only happens twice a year!

*Also check out the brand new beautiful Fall/Winter 2011 

Collection & lia sophia's new look!

-If you book your own lia sophia party @ my open house, you'll 

get your choice of one retired piece on me!

All pieces are brand new, or have been gently "tried on" at my 

parties. So in perfect condition!

Hope to see you all there,


*Message me for directions!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Goodbye For Now, Sweet Kaia...

A letter from Kaia's daddy, Ryan...

Dear Dear Friends,

Tonight Kaia went to be with Jesus around 5:10 PM. Her last moments on this earth were in my arms, and from my arms, she went directly into the arms of her loving Heavenly Father. She died peacefully, after suffering the last several days and nights with intense seizures, in addition to her an inability to swallow or breathe on her own. Neither Leanne nor I have felt such deep sadness and sorrow in our lives. Though we felt this day was likely coming, we could have never fully been prepared for the ache and the lostness that we feel. I write all this as I sit in the rocking chair where we expected that Leanne would get up late at night to nurse Kaia. We are together sleeping on the floor in Kaia’s room tonight. We have had such wonderful, painful, open, real conversations throughout Kaia’s entire life, and today and tonight have been filled with many more. Please pray for our wounded, fragile hearts.

As Kaia’s life drew to a close, Leanne and I had the chance to spend some special time alone with her. I held her, then Leanne held her, then I held her again so tight. I can’t get the image out of my mind of her in my left arm, outstretched so I could see her clearly. She is so beautiful. She is my absolute delight. This image in my mind isn’t a haunting image, but a mesmerizing image. From the first day when she was born, and shortly thereafter entered the NICU, she had my whole heart. I remember realizing that no one in the whole world could ever possibly love her as much as Leanne and I love her, because we are her mommy and daddy. What made her “our little girl” wasn’t simply that she came as a result of our union, but what made her “our little girl” was our deep, intense love for her.

This evening, as I held my dying little girl in my arms, and as we paced her hospital room, I asked Leanne to turn on the ipod. A dear friend of ours had called a week or so ago and left Kaia a voicemail. It was a voicemail of her singing a beautiful song to Kaia, and we played it for Kaia with tears streaming down our faces. It was a song Leanne and I both already love, too. It was the song Wildflowers by Tom Petty. I asked Leanne to turn on Wildflowers, and as Kaia’s heartbeat became fainter and fainter, I danced with Kaia to Wildflowers. It was an unbelievably special moment for me as her daddy. From even before she was conceived, I have dreamed of having a little girl. I’ve dreamed of her growing up and knowing her daddy’s love. I’ve dreamed of taking her on little daddy dates, and I’ve dreamed of taking her to dances. I’ve dreamed of her getting all dressed up in a new dress I bought her, and I’ve dreamed of telling her over and over again how beautiful she is. I’ve dreamed of helping her to understand the love of God by doing all I could to resemble that love to her. And so Kaia and I danced to the song. We played it three times. Somewhere during our dance together, Kaia’s heart stopped beating and she went from my arms into God’s arms.

Last night Leanne and I stayed the night with Kaia in the NICU. Our wonderful nurse brought in a cot for us, and we laid Kaia down on the bed beside us. And Leanne and I each took turns laying for hours next to little Kaia. As she seized, we kissed her forehead. We fell asleep for brief moments as we laid there throughout the night, but never for long, as her struggles kept us rushing to kiss her and comfort her. We enjoyed snuggling so close to our little girl. We memorized the feel of kissing her forehead and her hands, and we memorized her scent. Since we’ve been home tonight, we have caught her scent on one another, on blankets, on her stuffed animals. And we know it is unmistakably the scent of our little Kaia. She is truly our delight.

Our hearts ache and ache and ache. I know the days ahead are going to be brutally difficult. We have spent the last 20 days creating a lifestyle the consisted of very little, other than holding Kaia, caring for Kaia, and enjoying Kaia. I don’t know what tomorrow will be like, when we don’t drive to Legacy Emanuel, when we don’t see, hold, and kiss Kaia. I don’t know. We have cried big tears every day since she was born. We will certainly cry more tomorrow. And the next day, and the day after that. We love our little girl so very, very much.

Tonight Leanne wrote a message to some family members, and I asked to include part of it in what I wrote, as well. She said “A few days ago Kaia was seizing over and over again, and they had to re-intubate her and re-do her feeding tube, and she looked like she was in so much discomfort and had tears in her eyes... it was really, really hard on me to see her in pain and struggling. I felt so desperate for her to know comfort, and that we weren’t trying to hurt her but only wanted the best for her.  It grieved me so deeply that she couldn’t understand that.  And as I prayed through this, God showed me that he feels the same way.  It grieves Him so deeply to see our pain and know that we don’t understand what is really happening. He is doing something so much bigger, richer, deeper than we can comprehend.  Our greatest, most extravagant dreams for Kaia here on earth pale in comparison to God's plans for her.  Please trust Him with us. Please remind us to trust Him when we don’t.  I know He is good, to the core of my being I know it. And I believe that Kaia is in glory with Him now, and for the rest of eternity will get to see the unraveling of all that He did, is doing, and will do through her.  She is such a gift.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you who has read these updates, prayed for our little girl, and loved us. We are so thankful. You no longer need to pray for Kaia, except to tell God thank you for her 20 days of life. She is in the best hands possible now, and God will be a greater parent to her than we have the capacity to be. It’s less difficult to comprehend trusting Him with our little girl, and more difficult to comprehend that for 20 days, He trusted us with His little girl. Please do pray for Leanne and for me, and for our families. This is so hard. And pray for all who have been impacted by Kaia’s life. Pray that God would do things in the lives of people that would make Kaia’s short life worth it! Isn’t our little Kaia just beautiful?

Ryan and Leanne Donovan

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flowers and Prayers

  I have had an odd week this week. One of those that you have so much that you need to do, yet you feel like you just can't get any one done fully or right. I thought I'd share my week in pictures!

3D pic of our precious baby at 30 weeks!

Day 2 of 31 Day  Challenge...needed to be cleaned and organized


Took a bit, but it's sparkling now!
My beautiful Cockscomb is growing!

Our first Sunflower breaking through

Stage 2

Stage 3

Ta Da! A baby Sunflower
More Cockscomb

Cucumbers sprouting

I decided to give "Square Foot" Gardening a whirl.

All the lovely seeds that we planted straight in the ground...hopefully it works!
Katie and her beautiful niece Kaia

Ryan & Leanne with their precious daughter

Such a doll!
  I found that with so much prayer going on in my head over baby Kaia, that the most peaceful place is in our backyard, with my flowers. I head out once the sun is setting behind our house, and spend the warm summer evening in the shade, dead heading the flowers, planting new seeds, and spending time with the Lord. It's refreshing, peaceful, and therapeutic. The kids have even taken to getting in on it! Alexis usually is humming some song, the littlest kids are tending to their "cherry tree" they planted (Gabe finished a cherry and planted its seed in the garden to grow a BIG cherry tree..in his words). And Ty finds something to water with the hose and all of its many nozzle settings. :) It's surprisingly quiet in our yard, even though we are in a subdivision. It truly is a peaceful place...we you get on ground level...with the emerald green grass...smell of fresh flowers...and the sound of your children playing happily by your side.

  Two weeks ago, I gave myself some of my own advice as I was correcting our children over not using the time they had wisely, with the friends they were playing with. They were so focused on getting to swim at their friends house, that when it was time to go after 4hrs, and they hadn't had the opportunity to swim, they cried and said, "We didn't get to swim and we didn't do anything because we were waiting to swim!" So they wasted 4 precious hours not fully enjoying their friends and the time they had with them, all because they were looking forward to something that wasn't ever going to happen. As I was explaining this to the kids, and the words were coming out of my mouth, I realized that this is how we as a family have been living. Always looking to the next thing. We never fully engage or enjoy what stage in life we are at because we are always looking for something different. After we got home from our little vacation back home, I realized that I have to start purposefully living my life. No more wandering, waiting, or being discontent with the things I have or don't have. Why not fully enjoy what it is that is here, in the now? Once we got home, we received the news on Kaia as well. Right there, it makes you realize that we don't have the time to waste just half living. This is a perfect spot to say, "We've got to start making that lemonade out of lemons!" But, the thing is we don't have lemons! We have a bountiful fruit basket waiting to be used to its full potential. So what are we whining about?

  Love God, your family, your friends, and those who are your enemies. Don't waste your time being angry, discontent, resentful, or being just plain stagnant. This is the only life on earth we have...make it count...

  And please, please, pray for sweet Kaia! Things are looking so much worse for this precious one. They think she might only have a week or so to live. Pray God's healing over her, and for Ryan and Leanne...they all need so much strength right now...


Friday, August 5, 2011

Pray for Kaia

  I come today with heart breaking news of my oldest and dearest friend Katie, sister's baby. Leanne was due with her and her husband Ryan's first precious baby, a little girl last week. Upon delivery of little Kaia Brielle, things didn't go as any hopeful new parents expected. It went from breathing problems, to serious findings of neurological issues. As of Tuesday the prognosis was that Kaia may never walk, talk, and possibly even breath, or eat on her own. Then the news that her life may not go past infancy, apart from major life support. I can't imagine the pain, anguish, and grief Ryan and Leanne are experiencing, along with their families! She is now at Legacy Emmanuel in Portland, Oregon. Or as Ryan named it, "Legacy Jesus" I am asking that you pray every single second that you can think of for this precious little one!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 "pray without ceasing"

  After 5 days of disappointing results and news, today they have received a slight glimmer of hope. Kaia's brain looks "wormy!" This is a good thing..."worminess" is a sign of brain development. There is so much more involved & complicated aspects to her little life, that I couldn't even begin to share, but God knows. So please pray on behalf of Kaia, Leanne, & Ryan! Pray that the healing power of the Lord would be upon Kaia. If you have FB, please search for the Pray for Kaia Donovan Facebook page.
Ryan, Leanne, & Kaia

Phillipians 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  I have to say that Ryan's writings have been so clearly written and it helps all of us on the outside to see inside the breaking heart of a father & mother faced with some of the worse situations anyone could ever be in. It absolutely rips your heart, yet you can see that they are so full of God's grace and have their eyes fixed upon Jesus. It reveals the faith deep inside a couple who live their lives to honor the Lord. It's so refreshing at a time that is so dark. Praise God for his strength that he has given them!

Exodus 15:2
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.  
1 Chronicles 16:11
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
Psalm 28:8
The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 105:4
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Ephesians 1:17-21
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come

    All these things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

Luke 18:27
And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Monday, August 1, 2011

31 Days to Clean Martha Challenge VIDEOS!

Hi All!

  So sorry I've been away for so long. Life has just been hectic and challenging lately. A new Bible study, a puking plague, and a 10 day vacation back "home",  just to name a few. Life just got really busy, really fast. Who said summer was laid back?! I guess they haven't been to our home. :)

  I have decided to participate in the 31 Days to Clean Video Challenge (haven't heard of it? I have been dying to buy this ebook since it came out a few months ago, but you know me, I always think I can get it on sale! Guess what I did!) Having a Martha House the Mary Way, by Sarah Mae. Here is the link to the Home page. Sarah Mae of Like A Warm Cup of Coffee is offering it at 50% off this week using code: BLOOM  Yes ladies, $2.50 for a helpful ebook. I can say, for $2.50 it is worth missing a coffee and having a clean home! :)

  I'm so excited, are you?! Today is day 1, so hop on over to the 31 Days to Clean website and get your ebook...grab your apron...'cause things are gonna get all tidy in here!