Priceless gifts

First....I'd like for you all to see just how big Collen has gotten SO QUICKLY! I can't believe how much he's doing these days. He's associating words with things - like when we say "light" he looks up at the light. When we say, "yay!!" he claps his hands together. He will pull your hand to his mouth so you can make him go "ba, ba, ba, ba." I promise you he said "light" the other his own came out, "aaa-tt"....but he was clearly saying it while looking at the light. He still isn't crawling, but every day I can see that he's getting closer.

Aaahh....I just love him to pieces. He's such a sweet baby. Collen happens to have a cold at the moment. Please say a quick little prayer that he gets over it quickly. His stuffy nose is interfering with sleep, and he wakes up crying....not understanding why he can't sleep.

NOW...on to the point of my post. This post is actually WAY overdue, and I really have no other excuse other than I just haven't been able to get to it.

Around Christmas-time, one of my former students came to visit, and she had a gift with her (and she brought me breakfast!!! She spoils me). I figured it was for Collen. I certainly didn't expect anything for myself. She gave me the gift and asked me to open it. What I found took my breath away. There, together, were my two boys in the same frame. Tears flooded my eyes to see them side by they should be. She had had someone sketch both of them together from two pictures. It truly captures both of them so well....Ayden with his soft features - light hair, fair skin, sweet face and Collen with his bolder features - dark hair, darker complexion, and his sweet face as well. I will forever treasure this gift. I look at it often and take a moment to look at my boys side by side....something I'll never have in this lifetime, but I can have it this way at least.

A blog reader contacted me while I was pregnant with Collen saying she wanted to do something special for his room. She asked about his bedding/the theme for his nursery, so I sent her a link to the bedding we chose. We went with a sailboats theme with bold colors - navy blue, red, green, yellow. I had no idea what she was working on. She contacted me later in my pregnancy to tell me it was finished! It happened to be at the time when we were living with my parents while waiting for our house to close, so my sister went to pick it up. Megan (my sister) told me how beautiful it was and how it brought her to tears right there in the McAllister's parking lot. I couldn't wait to see it, but then again....knowing it would make me emotional...I was a little nervous.

When I opened the gift and found what was inside, I was blown away. It was so, so beautiful, and I couldn't believe how well the artist had captured the theme of Collen's room! She did such a great job, and it is now the main piece in the room. It's one of the first things people see when they walk in, and they always ask about it and walk over to look at it.

In the middle is a poem titled, "My Guardian Angel." The middle picture is a close-up of the poem; it should be readable. If it isn't, let me know, and I'll edit this post and type the poem out.

I LOVE this gift so much, and it is such a treasure. So many of you have been too kind. We've received baby gifts from many of you....some all the way from England! I have been humbled by your kindness, generosity, and love. You have walked this road with us through tragedy, hard days, good days, happy anticipation of a new life, and now our newfound joy in Collen as we continue grieve the loss of his big brother. We anxiously wait for the day when we'll all be together....when we'll never have to say goodbye again.

Thank you all for loving us so much! We love you right back!

Check out the pictures of the canvas below....



  1. What a beautiful and amazing post full of joyous gifts from those who love and support you through it all. I have so many of those kinds of gifts too. I have truly been touched by what people will do for you. I love that Collen will know the love of his older brother always.... ((hugs))

  2. Breathtakingly beautiful post!! I so love the picture of your boys together. I know it warms your heart. What a thoughtful gift!!:)

  3. Brought a large tear to my eye. Beautiful. x

  4. The gifts are absolutely beautiful, I can see why you will treasure them forever. Collen is growing and getting even more adorable everyday.

  5. The poem made me cry. Sigh. This is really hard some days!

  6. That was absolutely beautiful and I was fighting tears over the poem! Collen is adorable and growing so quickly! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!