Monday, September 29, 2014

We're Back!

Cue the music! Play whatever welcome back song that you want (for me, it's Back in Black). It's been awhile since I have posted anything. I could go into the whys, but I'd rather focus on what we have been up to and where we are headed.

Even though we have not been active online here or on Facebook, that doesn't mean that we have not been helping our families. We have still been providing gift cards for food and gas as well as baby clothes these past couple of years.

But here's the best news...Because of the generosity of the members of The Rock church located on Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, we are now able to do more. More of what? Here's what we plan to do in the next year:

1. Provide $8,000 in gas gift cards. The amount that we plan on giving in the next year is double what we were able to give in the past. How amazing is that?

2. Provide toiletry items. We have done this in the past a couple of times, but our main focus was on providing gift cards. Now that we are receiving more financial support, we are able to commit to this every quarter! What will we provide? Boxes of basic toiletry items containing shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, and hand sanitizer for families who need them.

3. Sponsor more families. Our goal is to provide $500 every quarter to sponsor families with going home bags. These will include baby items (diapers, wipes, baby clothes) that families will need when they bring their baby (or babies) home! 

We are so very excited and thankful for the next year. How can you help?

1. Prayer. Please pray for our board members. Pray for direction - We want to be good stewards of the money we receive in ways that honor and glorify God.

2. Tell a Friend. Our purpose in this is to help others. Letting others know about our organization can do this. Find us on Facebook or Twitter. If you have a moment, please share our website!

3. Donate. We are a 501(c)(3) organization. Any donations are tax-deductible and are used to help our families. All board members (to include me) are volunteers, and no one receives payment for their hard work. We strive to minimize expenses and use our money wisely, so that the majority of our donations go directly to our families.

Please visit our website at for more information. You can reach me at We welcome your feedback and encouragement!

Friday, August 17, 2012


Three years ago, my life changed. Not in a little way, but a big life-altering way. If I was still in school and I had to do a timeline project, this event would be on there. Not only is 2009 the year that I gave birth to my first daughter, Alyssa, but it was the year that I changed.

I am a Christian. I have been since 2000. But before 2009, I was unfortunately a Christian that didn't act like Christ. I was wordly, hypocritical and lukewarm. I was the Christian who went to church on Sundays (sometimes) and then left, forgetting everything once again. I wanted to know Christ, but I was too lazy to do anything about it. I wanted the benefits of being a Christian without losing anything. I was unwilling to compromise or give up anything I deemed more important than living a life that I should.

And then everything changed.

I found I was pregnant with Alyssa in early 2009. It was perfection at first - no morning sickness, great appointments. Then I found out that Alyssa had Down Syndrome. I remember falling apart and feeling hopeless when I got the confirmation. I blogged about it and then all these wonderful ladies reached out to me. Assuring me, encouraging me. I was reminded that everything was possible with God and I made a decision to rely on Him.

Then we found out that Alyssa was not doing well and had a 10% chance of survival. I can still remember that day and the long drive home. I remember how my husband, a man who I never saw cry, sobbed. I remember crying together. I also remember praying together, for the first time. I remember feeling strength. I knew that God was with us and that with Him, a 10% chance was 100%.

Many of you know our story. Alyssa was born at 29 weeks and lived for 11 days. Yes, we lost Alyssa but we gained so much more. Because of everything we went through, I am not the Christian I was. I am not saying I am perfect. I mess up daily, hourly. But I know now that I desire a life with Christ rather than a life without. Instead of living life on my demands and my timetable, I want to live the life He has planned for me. Instead of wanting to be blessed, I want to be a blessing to others.

Jesus said that the peace he gives is not as the world gives. And I firmly believe it 100%.  Because I chose to have a relationship with Him, I have peace, even though my heart still grieves for my baby girl. I have joy because I know she is home and one day I will be there as well. Even in my moments of sadness (especially around this time of year) there is always joy.

People always tell me that I am strong. But I am not strong on my own accord. I have strength because I rely on Christ. People say that they don't think they could ever go through what we went through. But I say if you have a relationship with Christ, you can. I don't have peace or joy because of myself. I have it because of Him.

I don't think I would be the person I am today without our trials with Alyssa. I learned to rely on Him for strength and peace. I learned to make my relationship with Him a priority and to stop worrying about my own wants or needs (which is something I still struggle with). But most of all I learned that my God is truly everything.

August 30 will be Alyssa's third birthday. I praise God and thank Him for blessing us with her. I thank Him for being everything that I need in every moment. I thank Him for being my savior, counselor, and friend. I thank Him for changing my life and making it so much more than I thought it could ever be.

For those of you who are not Christians, I just have to say this. God loves you and desires a relationship with you. Following Christ is not easy and I say this not to discourage you. There will be trials and rough patches. But having God on your side is infinitely better than not.

If you want to know more information or talk about anything that I have posted please contact me at

Monday, October 10, 2011

Getting Back

It has been too long. I guess I didn't realize how difficult it would be to move and try to plan an event. The 2nd annual walk was supposed to be this month. Unfortunately, I let things fall through. I guess I just felt overwhelmed with everything. But! I have had a chance to think things through and get back to where I need to be. I guess you could say that I lost focus and I just needed a moment. I hate that this may hurt the foundation but I am going to do everything I can to promote our cause and help our families.

We will do the walk in March. This gives me plenty of time to do everything and not feel overwhelmed! I am sorry to the people I let down. However, look in the next few weeks for great things!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


For many of you this may be the first time that you have visited our blog or website. We are grateful that you took the time to learn more about our foundation. God has blessed us in many ways. The opportunity to be on Sarah's Stories is one of the many blessings since our journey started.

It is coming up on what would be Alyssa's 2nd birthday. While my heart is heavy thinking about this, it is also joyful. Joyful because we are able to share our faith and our story with those who may also have heavy hearts. It would have been impossible to go through everything that we did without God. Our faith is what drives this foundation. Our main goal is to share that faith with others and provide them with the comfort and love He gives us.

We know that there are lots of organizations you can donate to. We encourage you to help others - whether it is through our foundation or other worthy organizations. We trust that God will provide for this foundation. If you feel led to donate, please visit our website. If you are not able to make a monetary donation, we can also use new baby items (diapers, clothing, diaper bags, etc) and gift cards (gas, food). We would greatly appreciate any help you can give and all donations are tax-deductible. Prayers are also greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your support! We will be updating the blog and website a lot in July because we are getting ready for our 2nd annual 5k/10k Fun Run/Walk!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Here to Help

Our foundation is here to help families. Our focus is on families who have a child in the NICU but we can also help others in need. My heart goes out to those affected by the deadly tornado in Joplin. Joplin is not far away from where we live. I can't imagine what it feels like to have everything taken from you in the blink of an eye.

I feel led to help and we will be making a donation to those in need. In addition to providing gift cards to help these families we will also collect things that are needed. If you would like to help, please contact me at or visit our website at Every little bit counts!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Project

We went to Columbia last Wednesday to meet our third family and to deliver more cards. The exciting thing? Sarah Hill from KOMU was there to interview our sponsored family and Jamie and me. I have pictures but have not downloaded them. Our story will most likely air in May. I will post more information when I have it! I am so excited to see how it turns out. I cried during the interview and I was super nervous. But I hope that it will inspire others to help these families - whether it is through Hold My Heart or on their own initiative.

Another exciting part of this trip was that my dad was able to go. He wasn't able to come out to see Alyssa when we were in the NICU. It was really nice to see everyone. My dad was able to see Alyssa's room and meet some of the doctors and nurses that took care of her. We took Addy and she was also able to meet them. So it was a very special day in a lot of ways.

As for the new project...Dasi (the social worker) was talking about some of the new improvements coming to the NICU waiting room. I asked how the foundation can help and she suggested making care bags. So now my mission is to ask hotels in the area to donate personal care items. I will put these in a nice gift bag with our information. Dasi will hand them out to families that need it. I am super excited about this. Why didn't I think of this before? Our trip wasn't planned and we were not prepared. In fact, I think when Jamie packed (in a hurry) he didn't include personal care items. So we were in the same boat a lot of the families end up in. Another project that I would like to do eventually is to also provide disposable cameras that Dasi can hand out. Luckily Jamie had his phone or we would not have had those first precious pictures of Alyssa when she was born. But baby steps first. Maybe we can get a really great response from hotels in the area and maybe they will include cameras as well!

I will post pictures and information about our third family this week. Things have slowed down foundation wise for me but with a newborn I guess that is to be expected! Please continue to pray for the families and for our foundation to grow and touch as many families as we can.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Slowing Down

I am trying not to slow down but I am. I'm hoping that I can get more done when I am on maternity leave. The exciting thing is that people are ordering T-Shirts and Hoodies! Every time I see someone wearing one I get super excited! It's kind of surreal too.

Please pass on the word - if you have a picture of you in a Hold My Heart shirt email to us and we will put it on the website! Email any picture to

Upcoming events will be the annual walk in October. We'd like to do more before then and we have options. It is just a matter of deciding where to put our focus and what to do. I am wanting to do more in Columbia. After all, we support the NICU there.

I haven't been able to head up there to sponsor a family for this quarter. But I am hoping to do so in late April with our daughter! I am going to get a little onesie made with the logo on it. I'm looking forward to having a family outing to the NICU where her older sister was born.

Until then...I will take it easy. I am trying to figure out how to run everything and be a new mommy. Hopefully it won't take long!