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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanks again!

My kids are all in bed, my bags are still laying all over the house, there's dirty dishes in the sink and I'm exhausted...physically and now emotionally. 
Today was beautiful.
Today was special.
Today was full of love.

Since posting last night, so many people had reached out and shared Ellie stories with me, so my heart was feeling good this morning.  When we arrived I saw a few pink shirts, and as time passed, more and more pink started rolling in. My team is so good at looking after my children, to make sure I don't loose them. And so good at making sure I remain calm...which I must say I did an excellent job at today.  It was so nice to see just how many people turn out to support St. Jude. So nice to see familiar faces and friends from years gone by that make such an effort to be there to support us. 

When I was asked to speak, I jokingly asked my boys if they'd like to talk instead of me, they both looked at me like I was crazy.  Then one night Noah starting telling me how people should know that St. Jude isn't a sad place, it's really happy. We were working on his fundraising page, and as he was telling me what to type, I again asked him if he wanted to share that with all the people at the walk. He said well maybe I could. He started to get more excited, and last night we wrote down exactly what he wanted to say. We went over how there was going to be lots of people, and a microphone. He was siked! Even told me if I messed up, I could just start over. And bless his heart. When it was his turn, he got out his first line, and fell apart in tears. But I have to tell you just how proud I was of him. This super shy boy, who hid behind me at Relay for Life when I spoke...was now trying to be brave and tell people about St. Jude.  It's funny and exciting to,see how God has changed us and is using us.  I never in my craziest dreams would have imagined myself getting up and speaking at these events in front of hundreds of people.  And after I speak I always hear "I'm not finished with you yet" (it's a song), which makes me even more curios of the plan for my life! I finished Noah's speech for him and then a million people hugged him (thank you all) and we rolled on to the starting line!

I had a flashback to last year and getting to hold Ellie's hand and start that walk...I missed that this year. I missed watching her with all the little girls that wanted to talk to her.  And the little presents they gave her. 

Thank you all who supported our team.  Our grand total is $14,544! That's amazing to me, amazing that God choose our pink team to help spread his love and raise money for St. Jude. 

Thank you again to every one who came out today and I'm sorry that I didn't get to hug you all or talk for more than a minute. And I also apologize if I didn't answer your text or emails or messages today, I put my phone away and tried to enjoy the moment...and go figure there was so much less stress today, with out my phone! In fact I didn't take any pictures, till after the walk was over...good thing I have some awesome friends who take pics! 

So again thank you, I can't say it enough!

Prayers, Praise and Pink
Carly

Friday, November 21, 2014

Let's be honest

To be honest when your child dies, you just want them to be remembered...by someone besides you.  You crave someone to speak their name.  Someone to share a picture or a story about them. In my case, I look for Princess Strong shirts every where I go. I want someone else to remember "that was one of Ellie's favorite songs" and think of her as they sing it....and then tell me about it. I want to hear about your pink dryer lint that makes you think of Ellie! You just don't want your child to be forgotten. And even though people tell me she's changed their lives, they will never forget her, I still worry.  It's probably a selfish thing...but my daughters gone...this is all I have till heaven!

To be honest when it came time to register our team for the St. Jude walk again, I was excited. We had so much fun last year and we had a ton of support and we raised over $25,000! Why in the world would we not do it again? So months ago I signed us up. We sold shirts even had an auction to raise money for this walk.

To be honest, all along I had this lingering thought in my head....what it no one joins our team, what if no one donates? I mean I knew my family would walk...and that makes at least 40 or 50 people...but what about every one else?  Last year our team was filled with family, strangers and old friends. Our team was filled with love, and of course pink, but our team also had Ellie on it. Last year the amount of money we raised was more than I could have ever dreamed of! Ellie's story went viral, and sadly I guess a little girl with terminal cancer raises a ton of money. She pulled at people's heart strings and our story probably made many people think, "what if that was us?"

To be honest, here we are, the day before the walk and I'm not ready.  I've been wandering around the house all day trying to get everything ready, putting together last minute things, making lists (that I will probably lose before tomorrow morning). Oh and a pedicure (priorities!) 

To be honest, every time my phone or ipad dings with an email, I check it. I have watched this team grow from just a few Blaine's to currently 127 team members. I have watched my $10,000 goal for the team come and go, right now we have passed $13,000! 

To be honest I feel very blessed...and a little embarrassed that I doubted. I really wasn't sure anyone would care to help any more since out girl wasn't here. I wasn't sure they'd want to come walk in the cold with out the driving force behind our team.  But the answer is, people do care. Ellie is the reason for our team and the reason we care so much about St. Jude and childhood cancer, but God is the driving force behind it all.  He put this "want to" in my heart...even when I have doubts.

So to be honest...I was afraid to give our team a big goal because I was afraid we wouldn't reach it (I don't like failure), but I also wanted to push myself and our team. So I took a deep breath and went for $10,000, we did it, even without her here on earth. She's not forgotten. God allowed my family to open peoples' eyes to the needs of others...especially my sweet Noah. When I asked him what he wanted his goal to be, he told me "$1000", very sure of himself.  Of course mommy doubted, but went with it. Now he's past $1400...and so excited by it. I keep having to re-write this line...he has passed $1500 now!

To be honest, tomorrow isn't going to be easy.  Last year I had my little celebrity with me...this year I have her in my heart. But she will also be in the hearts of so many others, and her pink will be shining brightly for everyone to see.

To be honest this isn't all about me, or even Ellie, this is about letting others see God in us. Letting other people see and experience what life can be when you let God in. It's about God using my family to help St. Jude. And to be honest, I probably need that reminder more than anyone.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16


If you would like to donate to team Princess Strong, for St. Jude please visit http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Walk/Walk?pg=team&fr_id=20997&team_id=56688

Thank you all who have made this possible, my heart is full of joy and peace right now...honestly.

Prayers, Praise and Pink,
Carly

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What's Wrong?

A question we seem to ask a lot lately, unfortunately I've been struggling to find the answer to that. I don't really know, I will be fine and happy and snuggling my new baby girl, and then it hits me, and the only way I can describe it is empty. That's probably the last word someone would think I would use to describe life right now. My house is busy, we are constantly feeding, washing, driving, changing diapers and sleeping (well some of us). My house is far from empty, and I like it that way. But my insides, those are a whole other story, those feel empty. I'm sure the crazy hormones don't help, but the hole in my heart these past few days, feels bigger than ever. It's unrepairable too it seems. I keep trying to fill it with something and every time I do, it feels even more empty. I've tried crocheting, jewlery, working on auction stuff, even cleaning (I know...I'm desperate) but nothing seems to fill that void. It's still there taunting me, reminding me, she's gone. She's everywhere in this house, in all the pictures, in her sisters, her clothes that SG wears, but she's no where. The empty seat in the van just screams...missing kid!!!  I just want to hold her, or even just her hand, that would make me happy. The feeling of being lost overwhelms me at times. Not like I don't know where I am lost, just without purpose lost. I sit here just hoping it will come to me, I will figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing, hoping it will fill up the hole just a little bit, so it won't feel so empty, but so far it hasn't come to me.
Please don't get me wrong, I don't spend my days crying all day. In fact our house is full of new life and new love. Lulah is such a blessing. She's sweet and calm. She likes to snuggle and really isn't all that demanding.  Some nights she sleeps lots and some not so much. So tolerates SG's continual kisses, and attempts to pick her up....no worries, SG has not succesfully picked Lulah up, but you gotta watch her!  In fact, for the "non baby" person I am, I feel super attached to her. There's just all these other crazy jumbled feelings.

There's a lot I've learned about grief and a lot I'm still learning. One important thing I've learned is crying is necessary. There are days when a memory creeps in and I can turn it off because I know it's going to cause too many tears for that moment. And then there are times, I don't turn the memory off, I know it's going to hurt to allow it in, but sometimes the hurt feels good....that sounds so weird. 
This was our last trip to chic fila after what would be her last clinic appointment. This was the first time she threw up, and I knew why. I wanted to be in denial, pretend it didn't happen, but when I look back on this picture, I can see how tired she was, how hard she was trying. This is one of those memories that I can only allow through at certain times, because it hurts, a lot.

There's been lots of tears, and often all I can say to Richard is "I don't know what's wrong". It's closing in on a year since Ellie left us. I can't believe it's been that long.  Who knew the further out it got, the worse it would hurt.  I'm just over it. The reality is, it's not going to end, there's always going to be a hole that hurts.  Everything sparks a memory, songs, movies, sounds, clothes, car rides. Even Noah has been more weepy lately, maybe I'm contagious! 

What is my purpose in telling you all this? A release for me, sharing in case someone else is going through the same roller coaster ride and feels alone, or maybe just a big old self reminder that I will never be able to satisfy my needs with things go this world....that one literally just came to me like a huge light bulb! (That's why I blog!) I'm never going to fill my Ellie hole with crocheted hats or a clean house. The pain will never be eased by a shopping trip, even a Target one! Then pain will be eased through prayer, I will find direction through asking for it. This is just another valley I'm traveling through, I'm sure there will be more, but also many more mountains! 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV)

Prayers, Praise and Pink
Carly