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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pacers Game











In case you didn't know I changed my hair...again!






The foam finger always goes
over well with a 6 year old!















I swear we were really there for the game:)


Gracie finally got to go to her first NBA game on last night. It was a really good game, the Pacers played the Pistons, unfortunately they lost in the last minute, but we were already gone, so not a big deal for us. They had some pretty good entertainment, check out the video, watch close though, Jason recorded and he didn't know how long it would record, so really pay attention or you will miss it!
video

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Balloons for Gabi...

We are quickly approaching Gabi's first birthday and I wanted to do something special in her memory. Seems like that has been my life mission lately doing things in her memory. Janurary 12, wow has it really been a year??? Well I came across my lastest idea but I need your help in order for it to be a success. Best thing is you can do this with your own family and it requires the small purchase of a balloon for each to participate. I want to do a balloon release. I would like to organize so that even though many of you who are near and far, we all release at the same time. First off I am definitely thinking hot pink balloons, afterall that was the best color on her, and I would assume if she could talk she'd tell me it was her favorite color. And here is the best part, Gracie wants to write sissy a message and put it in the balloon...afterall the balloons will make it to Gabbers in heaven:) Anyways I would love for each of you who participate to write a message, but be sure to include our blog address so then if anyone finds the message they can learn about our special angel and the joy she has brought into so many lives.

Unfortunately Jason and I will be in Indianapolis on her birthday, but I know that our family will be releasing with us! The best part is the 12th is on a saturday, so that should be a perfect day for all who want to participate without having to worry about work or our other daily tasks.

CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF GABRIELE SHERIDAN ACKER,
JANURARY 12, 2008...her first birthday
(hot pink) Balloon Release
12 pm central standard time!!!


Please pass this along to anyone you know who has been following our story. The most important request for us besides your participation, please take pictures and email them to me. I would love to make a special scrap page or 2 for our first annual balloon release. You know this will be our tradition, maybe it could be part of your families too. Afterall what better way to start a new year than remembering just how blessed we are for getting to be together. Gabi taught so many of us to love inconditionally and we want to continue to spread her story all over the nation!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas...

to all and to all a good night! Stayed tuned for photos, I will post tomorrow!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Sweet Bella!!!


Today is a huge day for our little friend Bella, she turned 1. Many of you have heard me talk about her and her family. We became very close to them when Gabi and Bella were both in the PICU this past year. Her Mommy, Megan, and I have become very sepcial friends, she has really helped me through so much pain. We laugh, we cry, our girls have similar PICU stories, but their outcome obviously had a much better turn than ours. Well yesterday they threw Bella a party fit for a princess, she looked absolutely beautiful in her party dress, butterfly tiara, and Gabi's favorite, PIGGIES:) Please stop by her blog today and send her a special birthday wish, this is a day to rejoice and praise the good Lord. The doctors said she would not make it to her first birthday, well she is out to prove those doctors wrong...Keep reaching for the stars Bella, and remember Miracles DO Happen!!!

Check out her party pics

http://isabellagudde.blogspot.com/


Happy Birthday Princess, we love you:)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bragging about Daddy!!!

I have to tell you just amazing Jason is. Once again his beautiful story about Gabi was pushlished for Families Together, in Topeka. We have worked very closely with a wonderful woman there named Lesli. She actually is the reason Gifts of Gabi's Grace has reached a non profit status. We are under their umbrella, which allows us to use their tax number. We are so lucky to have come in contact with her. She is truly an incredible person. She was lucky enough to have been blessed with meeting Gabi. Families Together had a retreat in Lawrence that we attended earlier this year and everytime I would check on Gabi, Lesli was holding her. How could you not fall in love with our little angel???
Jason has worked very closely with Lesli to get our status and I could not be happier. So now all you people who need to make dontaions for tax write off's...remember Gifts of Gabi's Grace. You saw the wonderfult things we did with Santa's Little Helpers. Your donations are greatly appreciated! Please feel free to email me with any interest in doing so! micah@giftsofgabisgrace.org

So back to my incredible husband! Not only did the story go out again, he asked Lesli if he could speak at any upcoming conferences. He secretly would love to be a professional motivational speaker. Anyone who has ever met him or listen to him speak about things he believes in you can understand why this would be the perfect dream job! Well Lesli did have an opportunity for him. He will be speaking in February, I don't remember when or where, but I will post that at a later date. He will be speaking to other dad's giving his Perspective of a Dad. He may even be a key speaker on the last day, but we are waiting to hear back on that. He is just such a passionate individual. I definitely believe it all has to do with his life experiences. He has been through and survived so much in his short time here. And with our most recent tragedy, he has become even more passionate about his beliefs. So daddy I just want you to know just how proud of you we are, we can't wait to hear you speak in Feb. and who knows what can come from that!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Looks can be deceiving!!!

So the last time I shared my prego pics people were shocked at how big my tummy was. That was almost 4 weeks ago, wow doesn't seem like it has been that long. Anyways I wanted to share more photos and I must say my tummy looks about the same, although I know it is getting bigger.












See shirt down is not so big!

Many of you know I do not work, well recently I started substitute teaching. I have really enjoyed it! Monday and Tuesday I will sub for a special ed. class, I am really looking forward to that. In college I had taken a few special ed. classes, I was an ed. major...then I changed to psych...I have no idea why. Anyways now I am rambling about nothing so next topic!


Also I wanted to share a little something from our little friend Chelsea. She will be 2 in January, she is the little girl in the button on the top of our blog page. Click on her picture or go to http://cbranam.blogspot.com/ Her treatment has been going very well. Last night they had a Bald is Beautiful party. With all the chemo. Chels was loosing hair quickly so they had a head shaving party. She is just the sweetest little thing. Her daddy and big brother even shaved their heads! Jason always shaves his head but when I told him about Chels party he wanted in on the action. He wasn't really due for a shave, but he is a huge Chelsea fan so he was all about shaving, he even shaved the scruf on his face:) Here's a pic of his support!!! Lots of hugs, loves, and prayers for Chelsea and her family!!!



The picture is something Gracie made especially for Chelsea. It is going in her stocking, we just haven't seen her yet to give it to her, so here's a sneak peak Carey!



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And so Baby Girl has a name...

We finally decided on the most adorable name tonight! Thanks for all who offered there opinion. There is no reason behind the name, it just sounds good and we agreed...that's what it all comes down to right!!!


Kinsley Addyson Acker

The Name Game

I cannot believe how difficult this has become. We have completely decided against Amelia Claire. Although I adore the name, I have a friend whos daughter is named exactly that...what are the odds? As I told her though, great minds think alike:) And I think Cameron Miley is out as well. We have just debated so much that sometimes the more you debate the further you get from a decision. We have found a few other names that are now our top contenders, stay posted for details. I am not going to post any more possibilities, but once we have made a decision I will share it!

Thanks to all who have given us your opinion. Believe it or not it definitely has helped. We know that when we here her name it will be perfect for her, but we just haven't heard it yet! Although I will tell you we are getting very close:)

Still no pics of baby girl, but I am working on it. We got some really cool shots yesterday, I can't wait to share!

Monday, December 10, 2007

WE HAVE A THUMB SUCKER!!!

The first thing we saw was a thumb in the mouth, just like both big sissies:)
Baby GIRL Acker is weighing in at a healthy 5 oz. Her measurements are right on target. And her heart...it has 4 chambers...a complete heart is all we wanted. Looks like things are finally heading in the right direction Jason seemed a little bummed that we won't be naming her Brody Jaxon, maybe next time, although I am starting to wonder if he is capable of producing boys? We may just have to leave that task to Freddie:)
So we thought we had a name picked out, but we are still on the debate. Right now the top contenders are Amelia Claire and Cameron Miley??? Anyone have an opinion?

There are no major concerns. Nothing to indicate down syndrome or a heart defect. I got the reasults from my AFP this morning too...NORMAL! Wow, I am overwhelmed with excitement. A normal pregnancy...what's that? Guess I am about to find out. We are going back for a repeat level 2 in 3 weeks. The doctor did not get a clear shot of the kidneys so he would like to repeat the growth screening. Nothing to worry about he said this is very common so early in the pregnancy. But we had to go back within the next 3 weeks in order to be able to determine any issues on the charts for ds. After 21 weeks and they can not see if abnormalities are ds or not.
Sorry this sounds so mumble jumbled, but it really does make sense when the doctor says it...lost in translation right:)

I will try really hard to get the 3D pics up soon, but I don't have my scanner...so it may take some time.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers...it is working!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

PROJECT SUCCESS...












1st Annual:

Santa's Little Helpers

Yesterday when we woke up and saw the weather report, I cried! There was a horrible ice storm coming and we feared the worst. After much discussion we decided Gracie would stay home with Mimi and Papi and Jason and I would try to make it to the hopsital. Afterall I had already spoke to Matt and Megan several times and they were well on there way. There were only a couple of disappointments, we could not pick up the Santa costume. With the weather so up in the air we did not want to drive any further than we had to. We will definitely try for it again next year though.
When arrived at the hospital with no problems, I was so thankful that Jason and I decided to chance it. We had so much stuff for the stockings not everything would fit in them. We stuffed 21 stockings and had 3 extras. They were filled with wonderful toys, pretty princess makeup, games, slinkys, silly putty, dinosaurs, hot wheel cars, barbies, jewelry, candy, books, coloring books and crayons, hair bows, beanies, McDonalds gift cards, movie tickets, picture frames, ornaments, and magnets. Megan's mom made 12 blankets, which was perfect for the 12 infants that were in. Megan had made little tags with Bella and Gabi's picture on it, oh they were perfect!
As I mentioned earlier the only other disappointment we had is that we couldn't personally delivery the stockings. The nurses made sure they were properly distributed. And the nurses we sooooooooo excited to see both of our families. They were amazed at how well things turned out. We had so many wonderful donations, money, toys, food...we cannot thank everyone enough for all that they did to make this such a successful project.
I must say everyone was quite impressed with my memory box. She was our pride and joy, so it made it so special to deliver. I will be so excited the next time we go that I will see my angel hanging to watch over the other little ones.
Spending the day with Matt and Megan was exactly what we needed. They brought Abby and Madison, they were such good helpers. I wish Gracie would have gone with us, but we made her a deal. In 2 weeks when we are back for Christmas we will take her to deliver the pictures her classmates made and the reindeer food. She agreed that would work for her. So soon we will go back for the second half of our delivery.












































Thursday, December 6, 2007

2 days till Delivery

Things are really getting hectic with all the last minute details to the stocking delivery. First off I want to give a HUGE thank you to all that have contributed. It is because of you all and your gracious support that this is going to be a huge success. We have tons of toys and trinkets, not to mention some McDonalds gift cards, movie tickets, ornaments, magnets:), picture frames, and don't forget about the finger puppets that myself, my mom, and Nurse Zabrina and her family helped make. And Jason will be treating the kids to something very special...SANTA!!! We found a costume for a reasonable price to rent. Oh and I can't forget to mention that the nurses and doctors were not left out, I had a crew of ladies who baked lots of goodies. I better make sure the camera is fully charged, cause I am sure we will have a ton of kodak moments:)

I did forget one thing, anyone who is interested in helping with the stuffing of the stocking we are meeting at 11am in the hospital cafeteria, please let me know if you are interested...I have to give you directions as to how to get past security!


Now comes for the hardest part of my week...I finally made the memory box we are going to have hung in the PICU. A while back I had asked the nurses if it would be possible to make something to hang in Gabi's memory. They gave me the green light and I have been pondering the thought for about 2 months. It has been really hard to find the motivation to make something such as this. But I decided this would be the perfect time to make it and then delivery it with the stockings. That is just one less trip to the PICU, I am not really a fan of the place. So, I put the finishing touches on my little box tonight. I love how it turned out! I just hope there are no issues with the hospital. They tried to find some guidelines, but they were unsuccessful and told me that I should make it how I want and if they have to make changes they will. I used so much glue that it would be impossible to rearrange things. So if it doesn't work, I will just keep it for home, then make another according to the hospital standards.


The frame is a black shadow box, above her name (at the top) it says Angel, below it says, Straight From Heaven Up Above. And then above, You Will Never Be Forgotten, says ANGEL. I think you can read the rest, let me know if you can't.

Let me know what you think...I think it is a perfect expression of her charm and personality. My spunky little punky!!!

By the way I love when people comment, makes me feel like you are still a part of our journey!

Thanks again and Love to all!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

16 weeks, only 24 to go

Today was my 16 week check up. I picked up Daddy and off to the office we went! Everything sounded good. We were a little worried at first, because Dr. Meltzer couldn't find the baby's heart beat. It ended up being a bad machine, so she grabbed another, she heard the heart and some movement, but it wasn't very clear...and then we heard a LOUD STRONG beat! I also had the AFP test done today as well. The AFP is a very typical blood test, the only thing is it has very false/positive results, so we are not really looking to deep into that. If things were to come back like they did with Gabi then they would have us go in for a level 2 ultra sound. Given our history, we decided last time we were in the office to skip the waiting on the results of the AFP and go ahead and schedule the level 2. Monday is a big day for us. That is also the day we will find out the baby's sex...maybe we will reveal the baby's name at that time as well...you just never know:) So this next week we will be a little high strung, we are really anticipating the level 2. We are leaving it in God's hands, obviously the only thing we can do, but as many times before it is very hard to wait! So please say an extra prayer for the baby and our sanity this week!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Awakening

My best friend sent this to me and it really hit home, so I figured I'd share. Thanks Laurie!!!

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!
Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on and, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening. You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect, and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are and it's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself, and in the process a sense of newly found confidence is born of self-approval.
You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that not everyone will always be there for you, and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers, and you begin to accept people as they are and to over look their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.
You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you shouldn't weigh, what you should wear, where you should shop, what you should drive, how and where you should live, what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry, what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing, and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with, and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.
Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable, or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.
You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms. Just to make you happy. And, you learn that 'alone' does not mean lonely.
And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up." You also stop working so hard at putting feelings aside, smoothing things over, and ignoring your needs.
You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK. . . and that it is your right to want things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect and you will not settle for less. And you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you, to glorify you with his or her touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.
And you learn that your body really is your temple. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water, and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear, so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul, so you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn that, for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success, you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.
You also learn that no one can do it all alone and its OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears, because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms.
You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve, and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego.
You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy, and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.
You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself. by yourself, and you try to make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
~Virginia Swift~