Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Celebrating Every Week

I have meant to update our blog multiple times but just haven't done it yet.  I'm 32 weeks already and feel enormous!  I've had so many things on my mind lately, so many things I've wanted to say, I guess I just couldn't find the right time and way to do it.  Many weeks have gone by since our last post (which if you haven't read yet, this post will make a lot more sense if you read that one first) and we've had such an amazing response of love and care from so many good friends and family members it's been overwhelming, in a very good way!  As I was talking to one of my sisters today she said something that made me so happy.  She told me that she feels like she already knows Owen, more so that you typically feel about an unborn baby.  I feel the exact same way.  That's what we wanted so badly from this was to be able to bond with Owen as much as we can while he's here with us, even though I know the bonding in some sense will still continue even after he's passed away.

We've been overwhelmed by all of the seen and unseen help we've had from so many people.  We know all of the prayers have helped us in more ways than we even know.  It's amazing how much situations like this bring out the tremendous good in so many people that remind you of how great people really are.  I just love the unity that I've felt with so many acquaintances that have become friends and so many good friends that have become great friends.  I can't thank Owen enough for that alone, for feeling this kind of love from so many people!  I've wanted to say thank you to everyone in so many meaningful ways and I feel like no matter how I say it it won't express how overwhelmingly thankful I really am.

One of the things that Matt and I have been most grateful for are my coworkers.  Helping Hands is where I've worked for almost 5 years and I have made amazing friends that I miss seeing everyday.  I always knew I worked with wonderful people but Matt and I have been blown away by all that they've done for us during what could have been a very difficult pregnancy.  A couple of friends got together and decided that they wanted to help us celebrate Owen every week that he's with us so they did something that we never could have done for ourselves and we will be forever grateful for.  They made a list of themes for each week of my pregnancy, starting with week 20, and different groups of my coworkers each took a week and got together secretly to put together something special for us at the start of that week.  I was completely oblivious until the third or fourth week when I finally clued in!  So literally every week since then we've received some pretty generous and exciting gifts, some for the babies, but most for us to find ways to be happy during that week and feel the joy of this experience.  I can't tell you how much it has helped us feel excited and grateful and loved while teaching me the incredible goodness that is in my sweet coworkers and friends.

Here's a few of the fun gift baskets we received!

My amazing friend Rachel brought me a fruit "cake" to celebrate the twins 1/2 birthday at 20 weeks!

Week 23: A winter basket filled with fun wintry things, including tickets to see Zoo Lights.

Week 25: For Christmas week we got fun Christmas pajamas, a gingerbread
house making kit, and a sweet ornament with Owen's name on it.  

Week 26: The Music Therapists gave me all sorts of fun musical things.

Week 27: A cute picture frame with one of my favorite quotes and a Color Me Mine gift card!

Week 29: A "date night" basket.  We actually used the Build-A-Bear gift card to buy recorders and recorded Owen's and Baby Girl's heart beats to put inside of the bears, something I've wanted to do for a long time now!

Week 30: My birthday week!  My cute friend Sara actually contacted my sister and she sent birthday
memories of me from my sisters and parents that Sara recorded in a journal.

This isn't even half of the amazing gifts we received.  Others included a prenatal massage, awesome seats at the OSU basketball game, restaurant gift cards, a necklace with charms that will remind us of sweet Owen.  While the things were all wonderful in and of themselves, really it was the love we felt from all of my coworkers that made this experience so sweet.  It truly has helped us celebrate every week baby Owen's with us.


Lynnette said...

I love Owen and his sister! And I love your friends! It makes me cry when I think about how much they have loved you through this when your family is so far away. We love you, Nicole and Matt!

Carolyn said...

Oh, I also love Owen and baby girl (and I can't wait until she gets a name :)! I am not surprised at how much you are loved out there. I only wish we could be closer to participate in all this fun! We love you!!

Chase and Kortney Crowley said...

Wow! They truly are amazing friends! What special, thoughtful gifts for your family. That is such an amazing idea! Your friends are examples to all of us. So glad everyone loves you guys as much as we do!

Tiffany Tertipes said...

How wonderful!! You have some really great friends.

~j. said...

This is outstanding. What thoughtful friends you have. You are loved!

Taryn P said...

This post made me cry! You deserve every good deed done in your and Owen's honor. I think of you often, and I am not surprised in the least that you are handling this trial with such grace and strength. Love you, Nicole!

Rebekah Anderson said...

This is so beautiful. Such evidence of the tender mercies of the Lord. You are an inspiration of love and strength. Love you!

Jen said...

I'm so glad you have such good friends there- you know we love you!

Bunsies said...

What a wonderful, feel good post!! You guys and your precious little ones are so loved!!

Monica said...

I still can't believe how kind your coworkers are. And I can't wait to meet those babies! (although we technically already met when they did flips to tell me I am their favorite aunt)