The Blaines

The Blaines
For more information about current fundraisers and walks, please click on the picture!

Buggin' For a Cure

Buggin' For a Cure
Learn more about Noah's fundraising goals for 2017

Sunday, June 22, 2014


I like even numbers!  I'm not superstitious or anything, I just like even numbers.  Today I don't like them.  Often the 22nd of each month passes and I don't realize what day it is, I'm grateful for that. For some reason though this 22nd is staring me right in the face, saying "its been 6 months".  Possibly because I don't have the crazy busy schedule of work and school to keep my brain busy.  Six months seems like a long time, but it also seems like just yesterday she was here snuggled up on the couch beside me with a blanket tucked all around her keeping her socks warm!  Kinda hard to believe that the days can just keep going by without her in them.  They feel much emptier, but they surely pass by.    I find myself watching a lot more videos these days because I miss her voice, I hate that I can't remember what she sounds like whenever I want to.  I hate that I don't get to have silly conversations with her anymore and I don't get to hear her say "Noah" a million times or listen to them argue about how she can do it "by all myself!"  Now that we are on summer vacation, the days feel even more empty.  Don't get me wrong there are two loud and rambunctious kids here that keep me busy, but there's that Ellie gap that just can't be filled.  For me there's just been sadness and I miss her.  Songs lately bring every memory flooding back and the tears roll.  
So I love how on this 6 month day some God things happen.  First there is a dress in SG's closet that I breeze by every Sunday.  Its a dress that my mom made for the girls, there were two of them.  Ellie never got to wear her's and it got put away.  SG's has just been hanging there.  I haven't been able to bring myself to put it on her, not only because SG doesn't like puffy dresses, but it just made me sad that the girls never got to match, which Ellie loved to do.  Today, that dress stared me in the face and said "you can do it".  So I prepared myself for the dress battle...SG didn't fight me at all when I put in the dress.  She happily took off down the hall in her sparkly shoes.

Her sister would have been proud.

My heart still felt a little empty, I was really having a hard time getting that happy in.  I stopped to get the mail on my way home...I know its Sunday, but I don't go to the mail box a lot lately...since its at the end of the road.  In the mail is a package from St. Jude.  I smiled.  I knew exactly what it would be and it couldn't have been a more appropriate day for me to open it.

Because of the awesome amount of money raised at the St. Jude Give Thanks Walk we were able to donate that money in Ellie's name and get a engraved brick on the walls of St. Jude.  We started this process a while ago, and you know how life just moves too fast and you can't keep up, well I kept pushing the paper work aside and forgetting about it. So now on the six month anniversary of Ellie's homecoming with the Lord, this comes to remind me of the love the Lord puts around us!  I started to say it helps me know she will alway be remembered and live on in the halls of St. Jude...but she won't be in the halls.  Her name will be there.  And her name on that brick reminds me of all the people that came together to show support for our family.  More people than I will ever know donated to that walk, to create an amazing amount of money.  This brick reminds me of how we were allowed to share our daughter with the world, that she touched hearts and brought a face to cancer, death, and an amazing God.  Fingers crossed that in the beginning of October we will be able to make the trip to Memphis for the St. Jude family remembrance weekend.  I may have to bribe a few airline people to let me fly since I will be rather far along in my pregnancy, but the Doctor says I should be fine to go!  When we visit I can't wait to see that brick in person and remember all the amazing people that helped make that dream a reality!  
The sun has come out today, which makes things a little brighter today...literally.  But it has helped my mood some.  Pretty sure the rest of today will be spent snuggling with my chatterboxes and watching Disney Movies...because it makes Noah happy...and me two.  
Please continue to pray for my family.  Six months is a long time to be without a family member, especially one who could bring a smile to your face no matter what the circumstances.  Pray to help us through the sad days and to never hold back sharing when we feel sad and alone.  Thank you for allowing us to be part of your family.  You mean the world to us.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35

Prayers, Praise and Pink


Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's Summer!

I couldn't resist the song, it's one of Noah's favorites!

Summer in our house is a time of relaxation, that's one of the reasons I love working in a school, the time at home with the kids is amazing! Summer is usually full of pool time, family time and trips to the beach! Last year our family didn't get the summer most families do. When you have cancer, you don't get vacations or holidays off, in fact last year on July 4th Ellie was getting chemo. You don't get to schedule chemo or blood transfusions around vacations or holidays, it's just like any other day. I wanted to find a way to to honor of the kids and their families who will be in the hospital this summer and who don't get to enjoy that summer vacation where they can forget about it all.

So to kick off the summer Team Princess Strong is hosting an online summer auction. I choose today, the first official day of summer to kick it off!  We will be using the proceeds of this auction towards
our St. Jude Give Thanks Walk team. No better way to support the place that did it's best to keep us entertained last summer and forget about the beach (although that's pretty hard to do!). So many people came together to donate some pretty awesome items to this auction...quite a few I have my eye on!  Take a look, you just might see something you like!
Please make sure you read each item carefully, some items I cannot ship due to the size and the fragility of the item. Our goal is to raise $1000 with this auction, which doesn't even come close to the money it takes to run St. Jude for a day, but I feel it's an easily attainable goal! Please share!

I miss last summer, even though it was no where close to what used to be my "ideal summer". What I wouldn't give to have summer back with her in it. Ellie screaming that she didn't want to get in the pool, but ended up having a blast, sun screening that bald head. Trips back and forth to UVA seemed like a big pain then, but I'd do it all over again if it meant she were here.  However that's not the way The Lord intended the summer of 2014 to be for the Blaine's.

"Shattered dreams are never random. They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story.  The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream. They are ordained opportunities for the Spirit to awaken, then to satisfy our highest dream." Larry Crabb

Prayers, Praise and Pink

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Some more Pink!

We just wanted to quickly let you know that today we got to see our perfect sized healthy baby girl!  We brought Noah along with us, he was so well behaved and happy!  Then came the moment where the ultrasound technician showed us the baby's hiney and all I could do was giggle because I knew I saw nothing between those legs!  As she said "its a healthy girl!", Noah kinda acted like he didn't hear her.  He just shock his head no.  We repeated the girl words, and he just continued to shake his head no.  So we dropped it!  Then when we saw her legs up over her head like she was going to karate kick someone, we called her a "ninja sister" and he was okay.  Only once did he get a little upset, but it was short lived and he's told every one now "its a girl!"  I have to say, I'm excited for SG and this new little girl to have a close sisterly bond.  I am blessed to know how much fun it is to have a sister, even if it took me a few years to figure it out.  These girls will be close enough in age that they will probably drive each other crazy, but I foresee best buddies!  I also can't think of a better boy to have sisters.  He is so tender and caring, he is made to take care of girls!

So here's our attempt at a "reveal picture".  In the afternoon, in the 90 plus degrees, with a cranky 15 month old!  When will we learn?!?!  Thank you all for the prayers and the love!

Psalm 139:13-16  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Prayers, Praise, and a little more Pink


Monday, June 16, 2014

Molding...and not the yucky kind

Probably about a month ago, Richard shared something that had been weighing on his heart. Ever since a night during our church jubilee he felt The Lord leading him to the ministry in some way. He wasn't sure doing what or when, but he knew the direction he was to take.  Richard has talked before about going back to school, he just wasn't sure what for, now he had direction. I smiled. After Ellie's funeral and listening to Richard speak, I asked him "are you sure you don't want to preach for a living?" I was just so impressed with him, so touched by him, so proud of him. He said no and that was the end of the conversation. I couldn't help but think though, that God had something bigger planned for this man.

Within a week Richard applied to Liberty and was accepted. I was excited, but very nervous. I will support him in everything he wants to do, but the thought of full time schooling, two full time jobs and soon to be three children was a tad bit overwhelming. As we were rolling out for church that next Sunday, he threw in that he was going to announce it to our church family that day...I guess there's no turning back now!  The sermon was about the potter and the clay.

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8

About how the Lord shapes and molds our lives.  He puts us on the wheel and creates every detail.  And there are times that he smashes that lump of clay and decides to "reshape it"  I giggled at the thought of our clay being smashed, only because I felt it described our lives pretty well.   Once we lost Ellie our life that we had previously known had been smashed, we've been that pile of clay waiting to be reshaped and rebuilt.  The thing about God is though, he works at His own pace, so as much as I'd like him to hurry up, its not up to me!

So Richard announced his new plan and what the Lord had called him to do.  I don't think many were very surprised, there really was something we all saw in Richard that day at Ellie's funeral.  They were excited for us, I smiled, but inside I was still panicking.  Here we were about to truly live out allowing God to shape your lives and following His calling, and I was having a hard time really getting excited about it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy Richard has submitted to God's plan for his life, but there was some resentment as well.  Anyone who has around our family with in the past 6 months, knows Richard and I have been discussing me wanting to stay home this next school year.  Being able to stay home while Ellie was home, and then after she passed and getting to be the "glue" that held my family together, was a job I really loved.  I loved being able to go to Noah's school and volunteer, I loved being able to get everyone ready for work and school, without the stress of me having to get ready to.  I felt assured that God was giving us this new gift of life as a sign that it was a good time for me to stay home.  Richard didn't quite get the same vibe from God.  For 6 months we have talked, discussed and believe it or not argued some about this decision.  I thought I knew for sure what God was trying to remold me into and I wanted to help along the process...not that God ever asked me to.  As we entered the month of June, we still didn't have contracts for the next school year, nor had Richard and I come to a decision.  I thought I had put this all in God's hand numerous times, and even felt a couple times that maybe this wasn't the right decision, but it just kept coming back into my head, and I continued to try to discuss it and to be honest, change Richard's mind.  I was forcing the issue, trying to make God reshape my lump of clay faster than He had planned.  One evening, after a particularly, we'll say louder conversation, I opened our mail to find a graduation announcement from a student I worked with my very first year as a counselor.  The two of us spent a lot of time together that year.  As a counselor I have the pleasure of working with many different kids...the whole school in fact, but I don't get that same closeness bond that a teacher may get with their class.  However this student and I formed a bond. We haven't spoken in years, but there was the graduation announcement  and a letter, thanking me for everything I had done, and supporting them and always believing in them.  The night I read it, I pushed it aside, that letter was a reassurance that I was in the right place with my job, but I didn't want to see it that way, since I was positive I knew the plan and that I was going to stay home.  
The night of our last conversation, I was prepared for battle, with all the reasons as to why I just knew I should stay home.  I had prayed all week God would change Richard's mind, and I just new it was going to happen.  We started to talk, and I literally felt Holy Spirit come into my heart, soften it, and completely change my mind....hold up!  That wasn't supposed to happen, apparently God didn't get my memo that I was just trying to help him shape my clay.  I still don't quite understand what the past 6 months was about.  I'm not sure what was going on, or why I thought for sure I'd heard the Lord tell me what to do...guess that's just one more question to ask when I get to heaven.  Now on the other side of this decision I'm happy with my choice, I happy I finally listened to what Richard was saying, and I'm glad God sent Holy Spirit to help me.  I showed Richard the letter from the student, which I had put aside, he just looked at smiled, asked me how long I cried when I read that and said "if anything Carly this confirms our choice for you to stay at work!"  The very next day our contracts showed up at work...go figure! I took that as God's way of saying, "thank you for finally listening to me Carly!"    So in August, Noah and I will head back up the road to Culpeper every day, with a new outlook on my job.  
So all this brings me to today, well yesterday at this point.  Richard was asked by Preacher if he would like to speak on Sunday, Father's day since Preacher would be out of town.  I wasn't sure if he would do it, I knew he could, but if you know Richard he's not typically the "speaker" of the family.  If you had known the Richard I met 12 years ago, you never would have imagined he would be doing that.  In fact if you had told me even 6 years ago that Richard would be in front of a church of more than 100 people delivering a sermon, I would have laughed.  When I first met Richard he was very quiet and shy, I'm amazed he ever asked me out on a date...this is where Richard would jump in and tell you that he asked me out 3 times before we ever went out, yes that's true, but its a long story!  It took Richard years to have a full conversation with my family.  My best friend jokes that he only said two words to her the whole first year she knew him.  Even just a few years ago when he wanted to share a prayer request at church, I watched his nerves get the best of him as he tried to speak.  I don't share this to embarrass him, I share this to just show what God can do when you allow Him to shape your life.  I sat through his sermon with my "lifetime movie grin" on (that's what we call that cheesy grin).  Of course I cried a few times, but I was filled with so much pride.  I haven't been allowed to tell him how he did, he's not one for praise, but I will tell you all!  He amazed me.  I couldn't have been more proud of that shy little boy who has overcome all his fears and is now allowing God to mold him into this man who is now moving forward with school and following through with what the Lord has put upon his heart.  
2005 - Old Navy, where we met
2013 - Memphis, TN - Stronger than ever

This song has been a new favorite, not sure if I've shared it before, I think I have.  I haven't fully grasped the lyrics till just recently and I'm not sure I can really explain what they mean to me now.

I say that I don't quite grasp why we struggled so much with my decision be go back to work, and I'm not to sure what part the devil may have had in that.  But I know this time two weeks ago, I was completely broken.  I couldn't understand why in the world the Lord was putting us through yet another struggle, haven't we been through enough in the past year?  But now that He completely broke me down, drained me of all my selfish thoughts, I feel so close to Him.  I feel so special that out of the billions of people in the world, He's still right there beside me, helping me through it all, sending the Holy Spirit to guide me through it all. And placing all the angels in my life he does.  Thank you Lord for continuing to Make Me!

Prayers, Praise and Pink

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dear Noah

Dear Sweet Noah,
You made me a mommy for the first time ever 6 years ago today.  You were my planned out pregnancy, that taught me, its not my plan.  Between getting gestational diabetes and finding out you were breech and I had to have a c-section, then going into labor before that planned c-section, you taught me that my best laid plans are for the birds.  I learned from you that being a mommy is one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs.

From the beginning your vocabulary never ended.  You talk so much, but can be so quiet.  Your sense of humor is definitely your own, but I find myself laughing because you think its so funny.  You ask a never ending string of questions that drive me insane but make me so proud of how your little mind explores and wanders.

You are my snuggler, and I love that.  You always know the best times to cuddle up, you usually don't sit still while cuddling, but at least you are there and you enjoy it!
You can watch more TV than anyone I know and your love and knowledge of TMNT is amazing.  I think I know most of their colors now, but I'm still working on their weapons. Your imagination is so wide, and we have to pull you out of your room at times to come join the rest of us in the "real world". Your sense of adventure is surprising and I'm amazed at the little dare devil we find at times in you.
You happily have welcomed two sisters into this world.  Although you weren't as excited about the second, you still loved her like big brothers do and have treated them both the way sisters deserved to be treated.  You give in to what they want and try your best to keep them safe!

You are strong. You have a huge heart, that one day will take you far. You have been through more in your 6 years than most people will in a lifetime, yet you still smile that super sweet grin.  You have experienced death at such a young age, yet you still love the Lord.  You question why God does things, when most grown ups would just give up.  You know exactly when to hug us and you are never afraid to show your grief. You have learned empathy, which in my mind is such an important value.  You have experienced a little part of the world, that we can't completely understand, yet you believe one day it will all make sense.  You dream about heaven.  Your heart and your curiosity will do amazing things for others one day I am sure. Never give up on the dreams you have. Never let others' doubt in you steer your path.  Never hate yourself, because God made you just the way your are, and everything God made is beautiful.  We love you more than anything, but God loves you more, never forget that.  
I know that today was "kinda hard being 6 for the first time" but I believe your 6 year old year will be filled with amazing adventures, lots of ninja turtles, and more love that you can imagine (and fingers crossed maybe a brother)!  I'm so glad God choose me to be your Mom!

Love Mommy!
P.S. I will always love you more because my arms are wider, and sorry kid, but I doubt you will ever be 6 ft. tall with long arms :)

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.