Monday, June 30, 2008

Family resemblance????

Here are pictures of all three girls at about 9 months old. Any takers for the comment section on who is who???

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We are far too easily pleased....

Eliana: I want a Popsicle
Eliana: I want a Popsicle
Eliana: I want a Popsicle

Meanwhile, Darren and I have been planning on taking the kids out for ice cream all day (one of Ellie's favorite things to do)....

Eliana: I really want a Popsicle!

This little scenario reminded me of a quote (I believe it is from C.S. Lewis but I read it in Desiring God by John Piper).... we are far too easily pleased - we are content with making mud pies in the city because we don't know (or understand) about making sandcastles by the sea (paraphrased version).

How many times have we asked for something only to discover later that something so much better was on the way? As a young adult, I remember praying for a certain boy to ask me out. I am so thankful that God didn't "answer" that prayer as God granted me a much better husband in Darren.

Oh, and Eliana still would like her Popsicle and we are off for some ice cream - I hope she is not too disappointed :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stop to smell the roses....

One year ago today we were told that Abbie's leukemia was back (just 2 months after her bone marrow transplant). I remember feeling like my heart had dropped into my stomach and was being burned up by the acid. I remember calling Darren at work and telling him to come meet me in Ann Arbor because I just didn't want to be alone, yet the only person I wanted around me was Darren. I remember the pain of telling him knowing that his heart would also feel the same acute, all-consuming, pain. I also remember thanking God for giving me such an amazing husband. He drove all the way to Ann Arbor by himself to be with his baby girl and his wife. He snuggled us, cried with us, and was my rock. He was my strength when I had none left.

After Abbie finished getting the blood cells she needed, Darren and I took her to the arboretum at U of MI to take some pictures. It was such a sweet time... we set Abbie in front of some roses and she picked them, smelled them, and even tried to eat them! Darren snuggled with her on a bench and we just enjoyed being together on a lovely sunny day. It was a moment where I just stopped to smell and enjoy the roses because I wasn't sure Abbie was ever going to see them again. I focused on enjoying the moment and not worrying about what was to come. I am so thankful for that precious memory of my wonderful husband snuggling with my beautiful daughter on a gorgeous day in God's glorious creation.

As a side note - Darren's birthday is tomorrow... so, if you would like, leave a comment to wish him a happy birthday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Sweetest Thing!

Raelyn greatly enjoyed being in the swing at Henry's transplant celebration. Maddie Thelen was pushing her and I was taking pictures... as you can tell, she was loving it!

A mother's hope

Mother's day 2005... my first mother's day as a mom. What a blessing it was to have Eliana!

Mother's day 2006... the baptism of one-month old Abigail. We gathered together as a family and were blessed by the sacrament of baptism. We celebrated the blessing of Abigail and had a beautiful lunch prepared by Abbie's Uncle Rod. It was a day celebrating the blessing of children and family.

Mother's day 2007... a day filled with hope. Abbie was out of the pediatric ICU at Mott Children's hospital and was visibly getting better everyday. It seemed as if our 4 months of hospital living were drawing to an end. Eliana was in Ann Arbor with us and I got to spend part of the day with both of my beloved girls.

Mother's day 2008... a day filled with grief, but not without hope. It was one of those days that takes you by surprise. Who knew that mother's day would be a day in which I missed Abbie so much I felt the physical pain of empty arms. I was caught unprepared and, though I tried to hold it together, the tears flowed the first time someone asked the typical Sunday greeting of "how are you?" I spent a good portion of the afternoon in bed with the sheets over my head... sometimes sobbing and sometimes sleeping (thankfully both of Abbie's sisters took great afternoon naps!). That evening, God blessed me with His word while I was at Bible Study (which was on Romans 8). I was struck by Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us". The suffering of watching a precious daughter fight and succumb to leukemia and the suffering of missing her so very much it hurts are not even worthy to be compared to the glory that is to come. The pain I feel is going to pale in comparison to the glory to come (and by 'pale in comparison', I mean it isn't even able to be compared!). The suffering I have gone through (and am going through) makes heaven so much more real, so much more alive, and it gives me a greater understanding of how amazing heaven will be. Little Abbie is there in heaven experiencing the whole thing and someday I will get to be there experiencing it with her. So, this mother's hope is a secure hope that I don't suffer in vain - that God causes all things to work for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). It is a hope that someday I will sit in the presence of Christ and all the hard times won't even compare to how amazing it is to be in heaven.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Henry's Transplant Celebration!!!!

Above is a picture of Henry Moore (, Madeline Thelen (, and Russ Baxter at Henry's transplant celebration. Henry and Maddie both received bone marrow transplants about the same time as Abbie (and both are doing really well). Russ is the man who saved Henry's life by donating his bone marrow not just once... but twice (Henry's first transplant failed to engraft). It was so great to meet Russ and to thank him for donating his marrow. It is through people like him, and others who donate their baby's cord blood (like the cord blood transplants that Maddie and Abbie received), that the battle against pediatric cancer and immune disorders is being won... one little Henry and Maddie at a time! If you are not already on the bone marrow registry, go to to register (it is a painless cheek swab and depending on where you live, might even be free!!!). You could be a perfect match for someone and give them the best gift... the gift of hope and life.

This is the Thelen family... Emma, Eric, Renee, and Maddie. It was great to see them and to watch the girls play with each other. Maddie will be 4 years old in July and has been leukemia free for over a year (way to go Maddie!). It was so great to see her run, play on slides, and enjoy being a kid. It is also a little hard because every time I see her (and the other 7 Mott kiddos) it makes me think of what Abbie would be doing now if she was still here. She would have loved her "transplant celebration" and I am sure she would have greeted everyone with her trademark queen wave! Of course, she is having the ultimate celebration as she sings and dances praises to God in heaven. I just miss seeing her smiling face.

P.S. Stay tuned for more post from the Morgan Family Vacation!