Saturday, June 19, 2010

A fabulous party and with a few surprises.......

I just have to say that last Saturday was indeed and emotional and happy day for our family. Friday was spent getting ready for the big event by going and picking up all the supplies that were needed. Saturday morning, well, let's just say, I got up MUCH earlier than I normally do! I went to my dad's to help unload tables and chairs and to unload the keg of beer (which my husband was very happy about having!) and to visualize where we needed to put everything. Thank you to my dad and uncle Robb for all of their help with getting stuff together. They drove the day prior from Florida to be here for the party and I'm sure they were exhausted! Thanks also to Sue for everything she did. Cleaning out that barn was no easy task! At the beginning of the party, Kyle was showing Lindsay one of her "operation" books. I think Lindsay thought she was reading to Kyle and Ashley. Too cute!
Anyone recognize this beautiful family? Well, I skipped a whole section of my morning with you. After helping (with what I could anyway) at my dad's, I had to call the pediatrician because the princess was just not herself still. She slept her whole birthday and prior to that, she had been up ALL NIGHT LONG!!!! She seemed to perk up a little the evening of her birthday but was still not the same on Saturday. So, off we go to get her checked out. I left to go get her at Cole's baseball game (JR had the kids there) , breathe......., and as I approached the field that they were playing on, I saw her. I saw Rebecca standing there and I just was in total disbelief (for about 2 seconds) and then here comes the "crying like a baby" moment!! Hands over mouth, warm feeling of "I don't know what to do and I don't care how many people are watching me" moment. It was unreal to even grasp that they came all this way just for our family! AMAZING!! Scott was right behind her with Luke and hugs were given all around. I didn't see Wyatt because the southern social butterfly that he is, he had already made some friends and had an intense game of soccer going on down the way. So, we then walked down to where everyone was standing and come to find out, my mom was the ONLY one who knew that they were coming! She had flown them here just for the party! That surprise couldn't have been better! Not to mention to find out that they were here until Monday so we were going to have some extra time to spend together! Well, we could only talk for a few minutes because after all, i was on the clock to get the princess to her appointment! ;-0 She ended up needing the steroid for her inflation again along with an antibiotic for an ear infection. Poor baby. However, as soon as I got the first dose of meds in her, she was like a new girl! YAY! After visiting with the doctor, getting scripts filled, and running a few more errands, we met the Butcher's at our house and then headed to the party. A pit stop was made, of course to see the new Luke. Mom and Rebecca headed to the Winter household to be able to meet them and their new addition. I met them there too. They had just arrived home with Luke so we didn't stay long. Another awesome surprise was my brother! Dan flew in, for one day only, just for the party! Thanks for coming, Dan!

Once at the party, Rebecca and Elaine FINALLY meet!!! I saw Elaine and Bill walking up the drive, asked Scott where Rebecca went, and then I turned around, and they found each other! Simply awesome for most of our blogging community and Lindsay Prayer Worriers to finally meet face to face. Amazing day!

Carlee and her family were in on the fun as well. Not to mention the biggest helpers EVER!!! A huge thank you to Ashley and Amanda for all of your help! We couldn't have done it without you and all your supplies! ha ha

Another special guest arrived. I know she looks familiar to you all because I spoke of her often while Lindsay was in the hospital. This is Mindy. One of Lindsay's personal nursing favs! So special to see her and her husband Michael show up to the party on their way to St. Joseph for their anniversary getaway. Mindy will always have a special place in our hearts for loving our daughter so much. A bond that will never be broken!

Meet Brittney! She is a U Of M heart transplant recipient and didn't want to miss out on all of the birthday fun! She, along with her dad and brother, came to the party. Jen (her mom), we missed you!!!!!! Brittney received her gift of life 6 months prior to Lindsay. You are looking at another miracle my friends.

Now if these aren't the cutest little bloomers! This is part of the present that Rebecca sent in the mail to Lindsay for her birthday. I think that was to throw me off! ha ha The onesie that she was wearing was just s simple Carter's onesie and I ironed on an applique that I found at Hobby Lobby. It reads "Miss June" in sparkles. PERFECT!!! Less was more that day because it was so stinkin' hot!!!

After all the pulled pork (super yummy!!!) and all the sides to go along with it (including the replicated salad that I made to resemble the salad that I liked so much from the U of M cafeteria. Sad, maybe. But, oh so good!!), it was time to sing to the princess! Tommy, Cruz, and daddy helped in the process. She didn't like the singing so much, but the cards that sang, BIG HIT!!!!

Sharon made another beautiful cake to honor all of those who prayed for and supported our family. It came out just perfect and was oh, so good!!!!

Perfect for a princess!!

Yes, Tommy and Colleen didn't miss out on the fun either! Tommy was a HUGE hit with the "Lindsay" community and we couldn't have been happier that they were able to come! Am I looking into the future? Seriously? Helping to feed her? Where did this kid come from? ha ha WE better not loose his number!!!

Another blogging meet and greet! Elaine, her husband Bill, and Brett Butcher finally meet as well. Just awesome!

Well, Sharon, the cake was a huge hit! Tommy, Cruz, and Michael (Brittney's brother) sure thought so!

Time to open presents! (even though the invitation said not too bring them! ha ha What was I thinking?!!) Like I said before, she loved the musical cards along with her new baby doll and her new Kai Lan night light ;-)

Since the Butcher's were here, why not take a few photos of their sweet babies?!!!

I especially like this one. The title should be, "Please, sweet Jesus, let my teeth come in soon."

The next day after the party, we headed out to Gun Lake for some fun in the ....shade! No sun, but that made for better fishing for the boys. And right off the dock for that matter! They had so much fun and fished for almost the entire time we were there. they came in to eat and took a break for a boat ride, but that was it! Fun stuff with awesome memories to boot!

Cole and Wyatt have become great friends. The leaving part for them was tough. They both cried and were wondering when they would see each other again. Is it because they have something in common with their sisters? Or is it because they share the name "Cole". (Wyatt's middle name and Rebecca's maiden name) Trust me, it gets creepier than that my friends! We were definitely destined to have our paths cross! Who knows because these two are connected!

We were special enough to witness and take Luke on his very first boat ride! Sorry about the pink life jacket buddy. If I only knew that you were coming! ha ha

Look at that cute little tooshie? Lindsay loves boat rides. She says,"weeeee" almost the entire time!

All in all, last weekend was one for the record books as being the most incredible, ever. Thank you to all that came and enjoyed it with us! Love from Lindsay Baskets has a HUGE start with all of your donations and can't wait to make my first delivery in July. All of your support continues to amaze us!
We love you all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday to our princess......

Thank you Meeker family for the most adorable birthday dress for Lindsay!! C.U.T.E.!!!!

To our daughter~
Daddy and I couldn't be happier to have you HOME for your birthday this year! We have quite the celebration planned for you and I just cannot wait to show you off to all of those who have prayed for our family and who have prayed for you to receive the greatest gift of all, your gift of life! This time last year, we were celebrating with you in your crib and you were still recovering from getting your new heart. You looked absolutely fabulous that day! When we arrived to your room, Megan had decorated your room with streamers and a very special sign to ask before you enter the princess' castle. ;-) You were so spoiled there! Throughout the day, you had lots of visitors that would just look at you with complete amazement in their eyes of how well you looked! God gave you the chance to live and He did it well with the most perfect gift for your 1st Birthday. Early presents are always the best! Sharon had baked two large cakes to share with the nurses and doctors on the floor and in POD A. She even baked a small one just for you! That evening was even sweeter. For the very first time since you had been admitted in September of '08, Bethany FINALLY got the chance to take care of you. What a day to get her! We were all thrilled and decided to let you dig into your cake! You did so well and then after a while, it got to be a little much since you had never tasted such a thing. I think you got a sugar headache! We cleaned you up and then you took a well deserved nap. But, NOT before you got a special visit from Tommy! He was still a little week but his mommy and Margaret came down to see you. He was determined to see you that day. Well, he did it and was so proud! Love you, Tommy! I will always remember these sweet memories and look forward to sharing with you every detail in the future when you start to ask questions.
Happy 2nd Birthday Princess!
We love you forever!
Love, Mommy and Daddy

Monday, June 7, 2010

Definitely a day to remember!

As soon as Colleen told me about the party a few months ago, I put it on my calendar and was for sure not going to miss this HUGE event! Man, am I glad that we didn't miss it! We had an incredible time with everyone at the party and met so many wonderful people that were praying for our beautiful princess too! We mingled for a little while after we arrived. Colleen had kept our arrival a secret and the look on Tommy's face when he saw his princess.....priceless!! Man that kid just loves her so! Meg (transplant NP) was also there with her husband and later on, a few of Tommy and Lindsay's special nurses, Margaret and Megan, from the floor and moderate care at U of M. After we ate a little and socialized, Colleen wanted to sing to Tommy so that people could start digging into the cake! Yummy! So, we did! Happy Heart Birthday Tommy! Then we sang again, FOR LINDSAY! So special coming from people that we barely know but felt as if they have known us forever. Yes, I cried! I could because JR was taking the photos! ha ha That beautiful pink cupcake was just for her. So special! Now looking at this picture....what does this resemble?
hmmmmm, maybe she will see this again someday? Just picture him holding a pretty, light blue box! ha ha Will she say "yes"? Time will tell how this one will play out, folks! So cute!

The happy couple ;-) Later on, Tommy referred himself as Lindsay's "mini-daddy". I about peed myself when he said that!

Precious. Both here because of selfless decisions. God is good! I'm thinking the photo on the next cover of U of M's magazine. Whatcha think?

I just loved this one! Right after we arrived, we went into the house to set our belongings down and Tommy just couldn't keep his hands off! Too cute! You can see behind Tommy, a picture frame that he made with Lindsay's picture in it when he was in the hospital over Valentine's Day. Oh, pure love I tell you!
She just loved the swing. First time ever getting to swing. She kept saying...."weeee". Again, tears!
Tom just loved making her laugh! This is Tommy, Lindsay, and nurse Margaret. So special to Tommy that she was able to come to the party. She is so special to him and to us!
Thank you for such and incredible day, Schomaker's! It was so very special to celebrate our 1 Heart Birthday's together! Thank you, Jesus, for making this possible. Your plan has been a remarkable journey so far! Through the trials and tribulations, we wouldn't change a thing!
Heart Blessings~

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Happy 1st Heart Birthday Princess!!!

Last year before transplant............
And Now. What a HUGE year it has been!

We thank God and her donor everyday for making it possible to keep her with us for a while longer. We love you precious girl!
Now, off to party with her boyfriend! See you in a few hours Tommy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

On this day, one year ago.........

a simple phone call changed our lives forever. I remember every single detail of that day as I am sure I always will. I'm shaking even as I type this out for you!
It was a beautiful June day and I woke up in my room at the Ronald McDonald House as I usually did every week day while Lindsay was in the hospital. It was around 9:30 am (really, about an hour earlier than I would normally wake up because I always stayed with her so darned late! But, my girl is a night owl just like her momma! I just like to blame her nurses instead! ha ha) and was getting ready to go see my princess. I went earlier because I had a "Suzie" afternoon planned in Kalamazoo to get a pedicure and to do some bookwork for the business. I spent about 1 hour with Lindsay before I left for home for a couple of nights to spend time with my boys. That time, for the first time, Lindsay saw me leave and as I walked down the hall, I could hear her crying. Oh, the heartbreak! I wanted to just grab her and leave.....even just for 2 days! So, walking the rest of the way to elevator, I was crying! The drive home was very normal. Grabbed my large McDonald's coke before hitting the highway, adjusted the cd changer to play my favorites, and sang all the home. Yes, I sing to myself and I don't care who sees me! ha ha Stopped home for a few minutes to drop some things off and then to the salon I went. At this point, it was around 2:30pm and getting ready for my "Suzie" time. Went upstairs, WITHOUT MY PURSE!!!!, and began to get my pedicure. Which was fabulous by the way! I needed to have "flip-flop" feet! Just about 3:45, Missie (who works for me and is a personal friend as well) came upstairs with my phone. She said it had been ringing and this time she decided to grab it for me. It was JR. I was thinking that maybe he wanted to discuss what I wanted to do with the boys tonight since I was home. Oh no! NEVER expected to hear what he had to say next!
JR: "Hi honey. Are you sitting down?"
Suzie: " Um, yeah (kind of like the smart ars that I am!), I'm getting a pedicure. What's up?"
JR: "She's getting her heart tonight!" His voice was shaking and I could tell he couldn't tell me fast enough! And the heart is a PERFECT MATCH!!"
Suzie: " What?!!!" Then the sobbing started and totally didn't stop for at LEAST 10 minutes! I have two witnesses on that one! After I calmed down and ended the phone call with JR, I started notifying everyone that I had on my list. I even had nurses from U of M calling me because they were so happy and they knew that I finally was aware of what was going to happen! I bet they were just dying to call me before Dr. G could! ha ha Meanwhile, Jessica is TRYING to paint my toes!
JR: " Yes, Dr. G just called me and said that he couldn't get a hold of you (because I left my purse DOWNSTAIRS!!!!) so then he told me. He asked me if I was driving, I said no. Then he asked if I was sitting down, then I said no....but I will! ha ha
Dr. G: " Lindsay is a getting a transplant. (DUH!!! ha ha)
JR: " Yeeeaaaaahhhhh........
Dr G: " And that will happen late tonight!"
JR: " OMG!!!" (well, he didn't say OMG, Oh My God! That would have been pretty funny though! ;-)
Dr. G finished by telling him the details and when we needed to be there and then they hung up.
Before I left the salon, my phone rang again. It was Dr. G. He wanted to make sure that my husband got ahold of me! ha ha I politely (because that smart ass in me almost came out again) said yes, he did. ;-) Then after he gave me the details too, Jen (Lindsay's primary nurse in the PCTU) got on the phone. Waterworks again people! I remember her telling me that it was ok to cry. So, I did. I don't think she understood a single word that I was trying to say I was so emotional! She was working that day and then said that she was the next day too so she would have her when she got out of surgery. How perfect was that plan!
I finally got home around 4:30 after running to the bank and post office (travel documents had to be mailed for clients!). JR was running around gathering things to take with. When I walked into the house, we just dropped everything to hug and cry AGAIN!!! SOBBING!!!! And when I say this, this time the cry was with the sense of relief that it is finally happening and with fear that we never see her again after this. It could easily go either way. The unknown is scary. After a few minutes of this and then trying to regain composure, we finally were on the road. It was now 5:00. I drove and made it to A2 in record time! ha ha 1 hr and 15 minutes! Normally this drive is 1 hr and 38 minutes from our driveway! Pretty good and not having to get pulled over and explain our situation of why I was in such a hurry. Trust me, I had plotted the whole speech in my head on the way if I were to get pulled over!
When we got to the hospital, we walked down the halls and there was a definite vibe in the air. Nurses and Doctors definitely were in a great mood because of the news and kept peeking in on the princess. She definitely has a fan club over there! The evening was filled with laughter and just plain starring. I caught myself a few times just soaking her in. I needed to remember what she looked like, every detail, every scar, every eye lash, just everything! That evening, Lindsay just happened to have one of her very special nurses.....Mindy. Mindy usually took care of her "2nd" shift and Lindsay just loved her to pieces! So excited that she was able to have her that evening. As midnight came upon us, I asked her if she was ready to leave. She said, "No way! We have been waiting for this day and I'm staying and taking her down with you!" I was so touched by that. Oh, everyone that took care of the princess just got so attached and if I were in Mindy's shoes, I wold have done the same thing! Megan came back after her shift was over too to spend some time with the princess before hand. Other visitors were Aunt Carole and Uncle Robb. They were working in Lansing at the time and left as soon as they could so that they could see Lindsay before surgery. In it for the LONG night with us were my mom, Sue, and Stephanie (Kalamazoo Gazette reporter). My dad was in Florida on a fishing trip at that time. It was tricky trying to get ahold of him in the middle of the ocean! But, we did and let me tell you something, I have never heard my dad cry before. EVER. At least not the way he did when I told him. Now I know where I got that from! ha ha What an incredible moment!
After being delayed for a while, signing consent forms, meeting with Dr. Ohye (he was just THRILLED by the way!) it was finally time to head down to the 3rd floor. I held her in the wheelchair on the way and my stomach was in knots the entire time. I felt my body getting sweaty and warm. Don't pass out, Don't pass out!!!!! I didn't but it certainly felt like it! Nurse Mindy and Lindsay were with us along with my mom, Sue, and Stephanie. As we arrived, we were greeted by 2 anesthesiologists. They asked a few questions and before we knew it, we handed our baby off to them. One magical thing happened before that though, As we passed her around for hugs and kisses, Lindsay, for the first time, said "HI". We all looked at each other and just got even more emotional, along with the shock! ha ha After she was down the hall and the doors completely closed behind her, JR and I just lost it again. We were so grateful that we had support around us because it was a very difficult thing to do. We have handed her off before, but the feeling was never like this. We regained composure and then headed up to the oh so familiar PCTU waiting room for the long night ahead. Jessica and Krissy showed up with some goodies for us because they couldn't sleep either! So nice of them. I walked the halls trying to hear the helicopter. I would keep looking down at the street to see if I saw the ambulance come in. I didn't hear or see either one. hmmmm. At around 3:30am (June 5th) we finally got an update from the OR. The heart arrived at about 3am and it is in and beating! Such an amazing feeling to hear that news. Words just can't describe! It was another 3 hours before we were able to go in and see her and when we did, she looked absolutely incredible! GOD IS GOOD!!!!!
As I write this out for you, the donor family is in my mind. My heart is broken for them. It is a weird thing to think about meeting them someday. I hope that happens. But, what would we say?? I can write all the letters that I want, but what would I say to them "for real". Maybe just a hug and silence works. Sometimes that is the best way to say something because there really are no words. We are completely blessed by this family that made this selfless decision to help another family and we couldn't be more grateful that that family was us. We probably wouldn't have Lindsay today without them. I look back to the pictures of her the night prior to transplant and she was really gray. She was probably running very thin on time here on earth. She now has special guardian angels watching over her and one very special one that she holds their heart for them. Thank you donor family. We will always cherish what you have given us. the gift of life for our daughter.
With much love on a very special day. Happy 1st HEARTiversary Princess! (tomorrow) ;-)
Heart Blessings~

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thank you to all that prayed for our family yesterday. All 3 surgeries (in 3 different hospitals!!!) went just great! Both Cole and Lindsay are still laying low for today and grandpa should be out of ICU today and back into his room at the hospital. He ended up having nearly 80% of his stint blocked so he ended up with an angioplasty along with some other vessels that the surgeon found that just can't be fixed. All to do for them is to take Plavix and aspirin from now on to try and prevent any clots.

I thought I would share with you what we were doing last year at this time with the princess as we approach the anniversary that we never thought would happen. We just HOPED that it would. Love to you all! Thank you again, Patti, for all of the priceless images that you were able to capture for us!
Happy HEARTiversary to Tommy today!!! Love you buddy and we will see you Saturday!
God is good!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Surgery (s)

What a day for prayers everywhere.....
A late afternoon call from the U of M has Lindsay in for surgery this morning to fix and close her feeding tube entrance in her tummy.
Cole is having surgery this morning to have tubes put in his ears.
Grandpa Lumbard is having surgery this afternoon to have a stint repaired.
Is that enough?
Yes once again Suzie and JR are having to split up while two kids have surgery. Please lift them up while they experience the agony alone having to give their children up to the competant medical staff and pray that the Drs. have steady hands.
Grandpa, well he's a legend in the Lumbard family and I'm sure that Suzie would like to be there also. The kids love him so much.