Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baby Maddox

Our family will be blessed with baby Maddox in about 10 days. Heather and Jason are going to be such great parents. Although it was insignificant to Heather, her stress test for her heart showed that the baby turned. Keep her in your prayers. Her heart and the baby seem to be doing great.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Organ Donations

Growing up I never gave much thought to organ donation. It's not a general topic talked about. I checked the organ donation box on my driver's liscense from merely thinking, "why not?" Tyler's heart journey, his need for an eventual transplant and following the stories of people saved by organ donation makes me want to plead to the world to become an organ donor. So if you are considering it here are a few reasons to do so.....

Owen has HLHS and is a little younger than Tyler. He is awaiting his new heart.

Gracie is getting her new heart right now. The left ventricle is having a hard time so please pray for her.

I just found this family's blog. Paul Cardall is awaiting his heart. He is the proud dad and husband to an amazing family. He received his Fontan as a child.

Kaidence. This miracle received her new heart and is doing great!

And last but not least our sweet Tyler.

There are countless, hundreds others awaiting their hearts. All with mothers and fathers who love them, children who need them and family and friends who are inspired by them.

Baby Maddox

I need to write about people in my life more. One of my heros is my only sister, Heather. She is expecting a little boy in about 1 month. I can't describe how excited I am for them. After two miscarriages and in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, Heather and Jason discovered they were pregnant again. They have been full of patience, love, kindness and gratitude throughout this long and difficult journey. The baby is transverse right now so we will see if he turns. While other often complain about the possibility of a c-section, countless trips to UCSF due to her heart condition or prengnacy woes, Heather has always remained so positive, filled with happiness and joy that the baby is doing well and the opportunity to become a mother. She is such an example to me and many others of gratitude and counting blessings! It is evident why everyone who knows her loves her. I love you Heather!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Carl's Grave Marker

I love Carl's gravestone!!  It is so simple and so perfect for what he represents.  I love that he shares Christ's birthday.  What a blessing Carl was and continues to be in our lives.  I love the constant reminder he gives me of hope in Christ.  He is one of my miracles!!   

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Prayers for Gracie

Please keep this precious Gracie girl in your valentines prayers. This week a cath showed elevated pressures not allowing her to receive the Glenn, her 2nd open heart surgery. She went home to await placement for a transplant and had 'watershed ischemia, an insult to her brain due to low blood pressure due to heart failure. Her little heart is having a really hard time right now, she is intubated and will be in the PICU until receiving a new heart. She has been such a miracle thus far.  Please pray for the family during this difficult time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Erik and Charlie invited me and Scott to motocross in San Francisco.  They brought the dirt to the Giant's baseball stadium and it was a good time.  I brought my earplugs, and Scott got so rattled by the fireworks that he wore some too.  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Housing, Housing, Housing

When we bought our condo, I didn't do much research, but it felt right. Initially, we worried about the economic dowturn, but now can see great blessings. It is so interesting how things come to light years later. We love where we live, are able to have a rental without overextending on a house purchase, and led to a different community than first thought. It is amazing how things come together for your good in unexpected ways.

If you have been watching the news this week, you may have noticed that the debate in Washington has finally turned toward real stimulus for the housing industry. This has been expected and finally in the forefront. The Lieberman/Isakson Amendment was included in the senate version of the Economic Stimulus Bill by a unanimous voice vote. This amendment would provide a Tax Credit to all home buyers at the rate of 10% of the sales price up to a limit of $15,000. The credit would be available for a one year period to all purchasers of primary residences.  

This gives a credit to ALL homebuyers, not just first time buyers.  It exceeds the previous 7,500 limit.  It is available to anyone buying from 1/09-12/09.  It doesn't need to be rapaid.  The income restrictions are still unkown.  Who knows if we would qualify, but it is a step in the right direction in my opinion.   

Today, the senate expects to debate Amendment 353, a proposal by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) that would provide 30 year fixed financing at a rate of about 4%, for anyone purchasing a primary residence.

If these two provisions survive in the final passage of a stimulus bill they could have a tremendous impact on the ability to purchase a home. If they are coupled together with provisions to ease the flow of credit and reduce foreclosures.

I feel that these provisions represent real economic stimulus. If the senate approves the package Obama would want to sign this into legislation on President's Day, Feb. 16th.

We thought we refinanced at a great interest rate, but are excited to buy at an even better interest rate. Can you believe people are getting homes at 4.75% and it looks like it might go down. That is crazy! Forecasts predict housing to continue downward, but I was always concerned about an eventual increase in mortgage rates. If this bill passes, we knwo that it won't go up right away. Eventually with all this money congress is throwing into the mix inflation and interest rates will rise, right? Anyway, some food for thought. My blog has been very random latley. Things on my mind. Give me some advice on your thoughts. I am no expert.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Geneticist, Autopsy & Anger

I met with the geneticist and genetic councilor today to discuss Carl and Tyler. It was interesting. I wanted to be a therapist of some form growing up and have always been interested in figuring out the "whys" of life. This profession is basically a mix of the two. They council people and try to make sense of medical puzzles. (Side-not: A friend of mine is a Marriage, Family, Therapist and I realize I wouldn't be a very good therapist because I am not a very good listener. She can sit and listen and not interrupt. I talk to much. I give suggestions or try to find answers too much. Bad Heidi. I am going to try to work on that skill. Add that to my New Years Resolutions).

As Danny and I assumed, it was a difficult autopsy due to the fact that Carl was most likely dead for a couple of days. All body parts, with the exception of his brain looked normal. Doctors assume his brain had a large arachnoid cyst. Interestingly, they said his facial anatomy was normal. Although I believe their expertise, his pallet, orbit and profile didn't look normal to us on the ultrasound or when he was born.

The chance of having another heart baby due to my sister with a left sided defect and Tyler are elevated a couple percentages. There is no obvious link between Tyler and Carl. What are the chances that someone has two kids with severe defects? RARE, however, not impossible.

They asked about our emotions. I tried to explain some of the heartache and emotional roller-coaster as well as the peace we now feel. I feel blessed for the spiritual knowledge, marital stability and our amazing support system I have. I truly feel blessed for my three children. They have helped mold our family into who we are.

He said that although I explained many emotions, I didn't talk about anger, one of the most common responses. Someone once told us it was OK to be angry. I remember discussing that with Danny and realizing that although we knew it was OK to be angry, neither of us had ever felt anger.

We never doubted that a loving and omnipotent God was over all who would provide us with the love, strength and courage to make it through. Not that is was always easy, but we never felt angry. How could I be angry at the children the Lord blesses us with or experiences we have in this life. Those are many of the experiences that draw me closer to Him. I now love my spouse and my children more fully. I think the absence of anger has been one of the tender mercies of the Lord. He has always helped us feel and realize our incredible blessings.

Danny and I really do have a marvelous life. Not a perfect life by any means, not a life with everything we could imagine, but a marvelous, happy and blessed life. We have a solid marriage, faith, amazing support system, a perfect condo, location to live, wonderful jobs, and have always been provided with what is best for us, what brings us the most happiness.

There is very little to ever complain about or be angry about when you are filled with a perspective and constant reminder of the great life you have. I do feel blessed for this perspective. I realize that it makes life much easier, fulfilling and enjoyable. I think this perspective is something that we should constantly seek after. It is a recipe for happiness and fulfillment. Danny taught me to not wait for tomorrow, but enjoy today.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Book - Contribute Stories of Hope

 I started writing a book about "Children Of Hope". I am really excited about the idea and look forward to this endeavor. As inadequate as I am, I do feel the Lord's hand in my writing which gives me peace. This is a brief idea of the book:

People form hopes at different stages of life. Some dreams begin in adolescence, others when married and others during pregnancy or adoption. Although these dreams begin at different stages, it is certain we all want the best for our children, family members and friends. We want them to have a happy, healthy and successful life. At some point our hopes will collide with reality. Some dreams are lost during miscarriage, a health diagnosis, accident, bad decisions or misfortune.

My dreams collided with reality during my second and third pregnancies. I was blessed with a healthy child, than a child with a severe heart defect and recently a stillborn with neurological complications. Many of my initial hopes and dreams for Tyler and Carl, my second and third sons, were traded in for very different, yet marvelous hopes and dreams. At times I was given no hope for my children and told to terminate the pregnancies.

I want this book to show that all children of God are blessed with a special and unique mission and that there is never reason to give up hope. I know that countless stories can help strengthen, teach and uplift others. I would like to write chapters covering different stories and experiences of how someone impacted your family. If you or anyone you know would like to contribute to this book or have any ideas please let me know. I know that this book will only be possible with the help and insight of others. Feel free to pass this on via email or post it on your blog, web-page, etc.

The title, Children of Hope, comes from my third pregnancy. I would often hear in prayer and reflection that this baby was a baby of hope. For months, I interpreted this as having a healthy child. As testing indicated major neurological problems, I began to understand the true meaning of this as seen through spiritual eyes. Carl, my baby of hope, was born stillborn on Christmas morning, further testifying of what it means to have a child of hope. His short life gives me and many others hope of the atonement and eternal families only possible through Christ. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest hopes and blessings that a mother can receive in this life from her child.

If you have any ideas, suggestions or would like to share a story please email

Thank you to everyone who has showed interest in this book.  There are so many stories of faith and hope to share!  A couple people have questioned if their story is appropriate, if it should be written from a mother's standpoint or is just about illness.  The quick answer is no.  We all have very unique stories of faith and hope. I am looking for all different and inspiring experiences.  I know that there are countless people out there with a similar experience that you have gone through. If it has strengthened you, it is sure to strengthen others.  Many are in dire need of hope, growth and faith amidst the daily reminders of a struggle. It is my hope that a compilation of different stories will be able to uplift and help as many people as possible.  Some people have written poems, others have a specific event or day that has given them hope. Try to be as honest as possible in the writing.  It was always good for me to hear the reality of the heartache, journey of growth and ultimate hope found through the experience.  It is my prayer that the Lord will inspire others to share there stories.   Feel free to follow this outline or choose a style to best share your story:  

1. The family unit - hopes, dreams, etc. prior to the diagnosis
2. Diagnosis or Event - where, when, how, age, prognosis
3. Initial Feelings & Emotions for all involved
4. Treatment Plan  or Effects (behavioral, emotional, physical), duration, etc.
5. Journey of Hope - growth, changes, realizations, peace, faith, post feelings and emotions, a specific event or day
6. Current Day - achievements, family unit, etc.