Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Little Blessing!

Grayden Parker Tidball
4:44 a.m.
7 pounds 13 ounces
21 1/2 inches

We are so blessed to be Grayden's mommy and daddy!

Dan and I have so much more to share...but our time is consumed with being in awe of the precious gift that has been given to us. Eventually, we will be better about updating our blog and sharing more pics. After all, we are VERY proud of our little man and could talk about him all day long!

All the fabulous pictures were taken by Jennifer Ketchum Photography.
I highly recommend her! With her gentle patience she captures the greatest pictures...
even when our little guy was incredibly fussy and not understanding why all the bright lights kept flashing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

32 Week Ultrasound

Today we had an ultrasound. This was a follow-up from before, just to double check the bambino's kidney size. Things all look great and there are no concerns. The baby is measuring at 4 lbs. 10 oz., which is in the 70th percentile.

It is so hard to believe that we have 6-8 weeks before the big revealing. We are proud of ourselves for staying strong (despite the pressures of those around us) and not finding out if we are having a boy or a girl. We praise the Lord for guiding us through this pregnancy and providing support to us when we need it most. Just when I'm close to panicking from lack of movement, I'm given a good boot that jars my stomach around. God is good!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November 4th

Today's date is pretty sentimental to us. A date that was so anticipated, yet now causes so much heartbreak. Today we pray for strength and peace that passes all understanding. We know Noah is having a party in heaven each day and we praise the Lord for that, but today we miss our little fellow and wish we were able to celebrate what would have been his 1st birthday here on earth.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Weeks!!!

The little wonder above came into this world a little earlier than anticipated. At 30 weeks my niece Izzy joined us weighing only 3lbs. So teeny tiny, but so full of fight. Although her parents are frequently frustrated with her determination and strong will, it is what has gotten her to where she is today. Every full blown tantrum is a reminder of the strength she has been blessed with.

I'm baffled when I think of the little bumpkin in my belly being 30 weeks. Although we pray for 10 more weeks safe and sound in my belly, it is comforting to know that medically speaking our little one will be okay if they make their debut a little earlier than anticipated. 10 more short weeks for Dan and I to get everything in order and a name decided. 10 more short weeks for Dan and I to get our rest before we are happily waking up every couple of hours. 10 more short weeks and our hearts will be less anxious about the safety of our little one. 10 more short weeks and a whole new world of worrying will begin. We pray that the next 10 weeks go by quickly and our little one is with us soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

She's 9!!!

How can it be that 9 years ago my 1st niece came into this world? Where did the time go? I remember anxiously awaiting her arrival as I was student teaching. Although I am no longer to spoil her like I always use to, she still holds a very special spot in my heart as my first niece. I use to be able to be the aunt that could (and would) buy her the cute sweater at baby gap that was ridiculously priced (along with the must have hat that matched). Now, oodles of wonderful nieces and nephews later, I can no longer buy every irresistibly cute outfit I see for each of them. Now, 9 years later, a very emotional expectant mother, I'm reminded how quickly time passes and hold tight to each wonderful moment.

Happy 9th Birthday Kori!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

20 Week Ultrasound

Last week we had our 20 week ultrasound and everything looks perfect! Praise the Lord for this great news!!! Though there is still some anxiety, we are comforted knowing things are okay. We will still have another ultrasound with the specialist to affirm that things are good.

As for the blog background...it vanished!!! I guess the free background patterns only last so long. I need to do some updating, but I'm not sure how to revamp things. So, for now, it is just the way it is and the decorative side of me will have to relax until I can make it the way I want it.

Thanks again for all your prayers with the ultrasound! We are SO thankful for the blessings that lie ahead and glad that some of our anxieties are have subsided.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Today we celebrate the 1/2 way point in our pregnancy. It is hard to believe our little New Year's Eve baby will be joining us in just another 20 weeks (or so).

Tuesday we have an ultrasound. We are so anxious to get a little peek at our little one. I will be honest, we (more specifically me) are also terrified. We are trusting the Lord and praying for a healthy little one.

Will we find out boy or girl? Who knows yet. We were set in stone that we wouldn't find out. However, if you know Dan... you know he can't wait for surprises. He is the kind of guy who when he buys a present, he'll give it to you right away, even if your birthday isn't for another month. If we don't find out this ultrasound, we will be able to find out in future ultrasounds. I think Dan wants to know because he is watching me slowly fill the closet with little pink and blue clothes. His thinking is... if we know, then we will only be spending 1/2 as much. Little does he know, there will be a whole lot more shopping and planning happening if we know the gender. I SO need the school year to begin so I can't find anymore cute things.

A healthy baby is all we pray for, boy or girl we will love them equally. However, I (and many others) have a STRONG feeling it is a little girl. Oh how Dan's heart will melt. He will try to be so tough, but I know he will melt like butter.

The past 20 weeks have been filled with fear and excitement. I never thought I would be so happy to be throwing up all the time. To me it was just a reminder that all was well in the womb, and I took comfort in all the symptoms I had...even when they weren't the most enjoyable. During the 1st trimester, I was blessed to be barfing. I was dysfunctionally drowsy and having insane intervals of insomnia. Through it all, I graciously grazed on several sleeves of saltines to soften a sour stomach, and I always knew where the nearest trash bin or toilet was. During this time, Dan became VERY strong and faced his worst fears...someone else's puke. As we entered the 2nd trimester, these symptoms subsided which left me fearful and anxious. I held tight to the hellacious heartburn and prayed we would begin feeling movement soon. Around 17 weeks, I started noticing little bubbles in my stomach. Thinking it was just a little flatulence, I didn't think too much of it...until it continued. Now at 20 weeks, I have regular 5 AM dance parties going on in my tummy. It is so good to know the baby is already developing an early morning routine. Last night the little Kung Fu Fighter was going crazy and Dan actually got to feel a little kick. It is so great to see the overwhelming joy on Dan's face when he gets to experience this. The sparkle in his eyes and the awe struck smile on his face are priceless.

Dan is more than excited for the new year to come. He is hoping to have the first baby on 1/1/11. I on the other hand have a feeling it will be much later than that and think our little one will be sharing a birthday on the 6th with my nephew Eli (no worries E, we won't forget to still spoil you).

As we move forward with excitement and fear, we trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understandings. Though our year has been filled with many emotions, we know that soon we will be holding our precious little gift from above. Our hearts will not replace our precious little Noah, but grow larger and full of more love than we could ever imagine.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One year later

A year ago today our precious little angel was called by name and taken home. Though our hearts shattered in a million pieces, we trust that Noah is safe in the arms of OUR Father.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Noah's Park

Last week, I was taking care of my 3 year old niece when we decided that Tucker needed a walk. So, out we went into the heat and roasting sun. A few steps into our walk, Izzy started asking to go to "Noah's Park". At first I was unsure if I had heard her correctly, and to be quite frank I was surprised she knew we were not far from the cemetery. My heart was warmed when I realized she frequently goes to the park next to where Noah is buried and has named it "Noah's Park".

Our hot and humid walk was a little longer than a 3 year old can handle, so it led to me carrying her. Not smart, but how can you say no to a sweet little thing asking you to go to the park? Our travels continued and once we arrived, it was like routine for her to help water Noah's flowers and then go over to play on the swing set. It means so much that my nieces and nephews are familiar with Noah and all know that he is in heaven. We feel so blessed to be so loved and cared for by those around us.

On a funny side note, I was also very excited she knew the direction to Noah's Park. No offense to her directionally challenged father, but he still gets lost at the cottage after 12+ years of going up there. I'm comforted to know she doesn't have his sense of direction.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In Memory of Noah Daniel

This weekend we planted a tree in memory of Noah. My parents have a cottage up north, that we know will always be a homestead in our lives. It is a place that holds so many memories of good times and laughter. It is a place we go to getaway from our hectic daily life. It is a place we knew we wanted to plant a tree.

Noah's tree is planted in the perfect spot. It sits peacefully in the retaining wall in a place that can be seen during all the daytime activities. As the retaining wall is finished, there will be beautiful landscaping and small deck.

We often dreamed of raising Noah and the fun times we would share at the cottage. Skiing, tubing, paddle boat rides, catching turtles, campfires...all the things that make it being up north. Having a tree there to remind us of him seems only fitting.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beautifully Made

Today I found out an old friend of mine is heading into a similar journey we had with Noah. My heart breaks for them. Knowing the fears and anxieties they are having all to well, I pray for her and her family as they face the scary road ahead. I pray their faith stays strong at their darkest times and that miracles can happen.

"Beautifully Made" is how she describes her child. Such a true and touching statement that brings me to tears every time I read it . Please pray for her and her family as they meet with the specialist and find out more about their child.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Miss Malorie

A year ago, Dan and I met a little girl named Malorie. She melts your heart in an instant with her sweetness, but makes you chuckle with her sassy comments. Her spunk and zest for life are contagious. She can light up a room with her engaging personality and great sense of humor. As we've had our dark times, Malorie has always put a smile on our face. She makes us laugh and is such a joy to be around.

Malorie is 7 years old and living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). SMA is the #1 genetic killer of children under the age of 2. 50% of those diagnosed will not live to see their 2nd birthday. Malorie is beating the odds! She is growing, thriving, and loving life!

She needs your prayers and your votes!

Chase is giving away $5,000,000 to US charities - and a SMA charity, The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, has a real shot of winning - they were already a $25,000 winner in the first round! This round could reward the SMA research community with $1,000,000!
Please, family and friends, take a minute to vote! A million dollars can go a long way in helping Malorie and so many other SMA kids/families. The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation has already accomplished so much--please vote and help them make more strides! After voting for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, who has earmarked the $1 million for SMA research, then please SHARE this with everyone however you can (FB, Twitter, blog, email, web site, phone call) and urge them to do the same. You can vote up to 5 times - between Jan 15-22. Please help - they are so close to the cure! http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/710566?src=wallpost&ref=mf

Below are some of the great moments we've been able to share with Mal. Times when she made us smile...

This is at Malorie's golf outing in July. She is an excellent putter.

New Year's Eve we played Wii Fit Plus! Malorie won the crown for skiing!
Here she's ready to race down the hill, screaming at me the entire way down... "FASTER slowpoke!!!"
Again, please remember Malorie in your prayers and don't forget to VOTE!!! If you want to learn more about Malorie feel free to visit her blog...http://maloriefox.com.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Letter to Noah

Dear Noah,

Yesterday, we celebrated Christmas. We celebrated the birth of Jesus. On earth we tried having parties that honored Him, but I'm sure we can't even fathom how great a party it was in heaven. We spent some family moments by your burial site, which we visit quite frequently. Our sadness was comforted when we reminded ourselves that you are in heaven. Though we missed you here on earth, we took great comfort in knowing you were being held by your true Father.

Daddy spoiled Mommy this year, but it just made us both realize that money can't buy happiness. We would have traded everything we have in order to spend the holiday with you. But, again we remind ourselves that we wouldn't want to take you from the wonderfulness of heaven.

You were remembered by so many people this Christmas. Several beautiful ornaments were sent for you. Keepsakes that mommy and daddy treasure so much. Ba and Papa donated money in your honor to organizations that mean a lot to us. Oma did too! It's great to know that you are making an impact and helping others in need, something that your daddy and I feel so strongly about doing. Your creative Aunt Erin (along with the rest of the Lowe clan) got you a stocking with your name on it, a sweet ornament with your footprints and a poem that made mommy cry, as well as, a donation to an organization. Boy are you loved. Even though you weren't here to celebrate with us, you were remembered by all.

Our day was also filled with laughter. Your cousins can really make us chuckle. Kori and Eli came dressed in their new christmas presents. Kori was dressed as a cheerleader. She looked so cute with her pigtails. I don't think we'll ever hear a cheer from her, but she sure looks cute in the outfit. Eli came dressed in his Lions uniform, helmet and all. Ever since Farve left Green Bay, his daddy went back to being a Lions fan. Though Eli's mom (your Aunt Shawn) is a HUGE Vikings fan, his dad (your Uncle Chad) holds onto hope for the Lions. Chad refuses to become a Vikings fan, even though Farve is the QB. Izzy did her usual strip tease act after getting water on her shirt, we're not sure where she got that from...nor do we want to know. Isaiah serenaded us with his new guitar, he will be talented just like his daddy.

We missed you at our festivities, but we know you are in a better place.

Forever in our hearts-

Mom and Dad

P.S. I included some of the pictures I took with the new camera Daddy bought me. Daddy was a goofball and wore Eli's helmet.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Sorry I've been so absent, in blogging and in life. Dan and I are both still so up and down with our daily emotions. One minute we are feeling strong...the next we are angry with God and the injustice that surrounds us. Just when we begin to find peace...something else around us smacks us in the face leaving us wondering...Where are you God?

As we approach Christmas, we find ourselves only to handle small doses at a time. To get through the holidays, Dan and I have avoided decorating. No tree, no lights, and no wreaths. We know we aren't being very festive, but we also know that our hearts can only handle so much. The only decoration we have put up is the beautiful wreath by Noah's marker.

As we are go through our ups and downs, we still know that God is wrapping His loving arms around us and carrying us through. Though we are angry and sorrowful, He is there. The days ahead we will cling to the true meaning of Christmas and remember Immanuel.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting Away

With our due date approaching, Dan and I know we need to get away for a little while. The anticipation of events seems to cause more stress than the actual events. Knowing this, Dan and I decided to plan a trip...something to look forward to. So, instead of focusing on what should be...we are packing our bags for a little sun and heading to Mexico.

We look forward to being anywhere but home on November 4th. We are both very blessed to have jobs that are flexible to our needs. Personally, being at school wouldn't be good for me. I know that my heart and mind won't be there. Each day, I gladly give so much of myself to help my students out. However, I know I need to take care of me during this week. Spending time away with Dan is just what is needed.

As we continue to ask why, we continue to gain strength each day. Our emotions are always just under the surface and it doesn't take much for these emotions to reveal themselves. Our faith stays strong as our broken hearts heal. As we are learning from others that we meet who have had similar experiences, this journey of healing will continue for a lifetime.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Dan and I got our test results back. Everything looks to be normal. Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Aching Arms and Hurting Hearts

It has been two months since we held our little angel. We still long to hold him and share precious moments with him. As time goes on, we struggle with finding a normal in our lives. Peoples lives move forward, yet we still feel broken in the shadows of daily life. We walk the steps of life, put together on the outside, but still so broken and weak on the inside. We go to church on Sundays, sitting or standing in the back so we can escape when our emotions take over. Newborn babies are everywhere in the church we have been attending. We try to stay in the back, but each week we are challenged by the placement of young infants being directly in front of us. So, we attempt to stand in the narthex, but again babies are everywhere. There use to be so much joy we had when seeing a little one, but now we turn away to take deep breaths to prevent ourselves from breaking down. Then, the guilt sets in for our reactions. We want to be joyful for others and we are, but we are still so raw.

On October 3rd, we participated in "A Walk to Remember" at Fallasburg Park in Lowell. For 23 years, families who have suffered loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death gather to walk in memory of their lost ones. We walked for the footsteps Noah will never take on this earth. We also learned that October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, as decreed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 because of a loss he went through.

This month we will face many challenges ahead. First of all, we are a month away from our due date. We fear the days ahead and all the painful milestones we will have to get through. Dan and I will be going on vacation so we don't have to be home on November 4th. Secondly, my family will be having some medical procedures done at Holland Hospital...a place we wish we never had to go to again. On Wednesday, my niece will be having dental surgery. In her 2 1/2 years, I have been there through all her surgeries and hospital stays. We feel guilty not being able to stop in to even check on how things are going or to see her when she is coming out of the anesthetics. Then, in a couple of weeks my mom will be having hip replacement surgery. As much as Dan and I would like to avoid Holland Hospital forever, we know we have to set our pains aside to be strong for others. We have always been there for family and they have always been there for us. How do we support when we are paralyzed by the thought of even entering the dreaded hospital? Lastly, we continue to wait on our previous test results. We become anxious about the results and our future.

Please continue to pray for us. As we lean on God and ask for his guidance, we continue to face dark trials.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Noah's Marker

Noah's marker has been placed at his grave site. On it states Isaiah 43:1, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Each visit to Noah's site will remind us that the Lord called him by name. We will be reminded that Noah is celebrating in heaven with all those who have gone before us. Though we continue to mourn, we know our precious baby boy is in the arms of his Creator.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


School has been wonderful this year. I have a group of students that I would love to hold onto until they graduate. I've had so many moments of happy tears. The simplicity of my kids being prepared for class, having their homework finished, and participating in class leave me so excited about the progress they are making. Their smiles and excitement warm my heart continually.

Today one of my students touched my heart in a way she will never understand. She came in so proud and excited to give me a gift. With a large grin on her face she revealed to me the sun catcher she made for me, it was a butterfly. Being a teacher, you get some random gifts from kids that you kinda wonder what you should do with them. Not this time. This gift touched my heart and continues to make me smile every time I see the sun shining through it. As it hangs on my classroom window, I'm reminded of Noah and I'm reminded of my gift of teaching that God has blessed me with.

Needless to say, being back at school has been a blessing. The kids are such a bright spot in my day. I continue to pray for strength as the stress of everything piling up begins. Though Dan and I continue to mourn and have our weak moments, we are also having a little joy in our life too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Trisomy 21 Confirmed

Today we received confirmation from the Mayo Clinic that Noah had Trisomy 21, otherwise known as down's syndrome. In some cases, like Noah's, Trisomy is complicated by non-immune hydrops.

Dan and I are thankful to know the results about Noah. It doesn't place him back in our arms, but it closes some of the questions we had.

Dan and I will have to get blood work done to find out if we carry part of an extra chromosome, which is called balanced translocation. If we do, they tell us that our next child would have a 1 in 7 chance of having Trisomy 21 again.

We are still anxious about getting our blood work done and fear one of us may carry the extra part of a chromosome. We pray for the test results to be clear. We trust that God will lead us through.