I was just telling Owen how incredible our heart family is and even though he lives in heaven he still has so many people who think of him everyday! I told him that his heart family loves him and all the other kiddos that are still here fighting for their lives so much they have purchased 2,000 books in his name!!!! Can you believe it? TWO THOUSAND?!?!?! We have a few more days to reach our goal of 5,000. Think we can do it?!?! Owen does!
We had so much fun last night shopping for the LionHeart Owen holiday book drive. Literally, Healing Library contacted us yesterday and told us it was time to cash in on all the gift cards they received through the drive and make our numbers grow! I’m a strong believer in retail therapy so I jumped at the opportunity. We had a great time and put some serious thought into putting all those generous gift cards to use. We had $920 to spend and purchased 101 new books for the kiddos at CHLA!!! Thank you for all of your generous book donations and gift cards. We have raised 1,710 books. If each books averages $6.00 we have raised $10,260 for the library!!!!! Wow! That is incredible! I am PROUD of our heart family and I KNOW Owen is proud of all of us too! He’s doing the happy dance in heaven as I type this!
today marks 15 weeks without Owen. Hard to believe that next week will be 16 weeks since we held him in our arms. At 5:06pm on Christmas Day our precious Owen will be gone from this earth longer than he was here. My heart breaks at this realization. I am thankful for all of you that continue to walk this journey with us and continue to tell his story and carry on his legacy. I am thankful that our tiny son, who never said a word, was and IS heard round the world. He was so small but his roar and his legacy are moving mountains from his new home in heaven.
This is what it looks like every day at The Literally Healing Library at CHLA because of your incredibly generous donations. Help us reach our goal of 5,000 books and lets keep the mailman busy!
This morning I woke up and was so excited to count the book donations and see if we hit 500… Well, Heart Family you did it again! We hit 550 as of 5am! I think this is a sign from Owen telling us to keep up the great work! He LOVES his 5’s!
I apologize it’s taken me so long to actually write. The truth is life has been hard and it has been even harder to be raw and real with everyone because now we are forced to live in “real” life. When we lived in the hospital we were all protected. I was too busy with Owen and doctors and could rarely answer the phone. We also rarely had visitors because we were so afraid of Owen getting sick causing us to stay there a little longer and causing him any additional pain. I could hide in the hospital, behind my writing and could read everyone’s comments and nightly get encouragement without having to speak to anyone. No one had to see the tears or the occasional laughter. I didn’t have to worry about making anyone uncomfortable or hurting any feelings. I could just be and that was ok.
Hi Heart Family,
My Mommy is way too excited to wait till Turkey day… So, I had to come down to say “Hi” and let you know how you can help all of my friends at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles this holiday season. My Mommy and Daddy loved visiting my “Aunties” and “Uncles” at the Literally Healing Library every weekday while I was living in the hospital. The library is on the 6th floor of the hospital and they say it is so cool. There are tons of books! Every weekday Mommy and Daddy would visit the really nice book people and they would give them a book for free for me to keep for my very own library. My Mommy and Daddy would get so excited to read the stories to me. I loved it when they read to me. It was our favorite time of the day! They still look at those books a lot now and sometimes Mommy and Daddy sit at my room at the “H” word and read to me. My friends and I will snuggle up in the clouds in Heaven and listen to them. It’s still my favor…ite thing to do with them.
Owen’s heart sister is a serious heart warrior! She has lived at CHLA since she was born. She has survived 6 surgical procedures, months on a Berlin heart, a heart transplant, a trach surgery and today conquered a Gtube surgery! She is the definition of a heart hero and we feel so blessed to be part of their journey!
Day fifteen of the LionHeart Owen Grateful Hearts Project. Paying it forward for Owen and CHDs.
Today I am thankful for different perspectives, celebrations and the power to say yes!
We are humbled and beyond blessed by the support we received last night at the First Annual LionHeart Owen Bunco Night. Over 75 women came and supported our warriors and played Bunco! The energy and joy in the room filled my soul. We could …feel Owen smiling from Heaven and so proud of his heart family for raising awareness and standing up to CHDs.
grateful – Appreciative of benefits received; thankful.
November is a month to be grateful (we should have hearts of gratitude all year long but that’s not what this post is about). So, in November we celebrate gratitude! I have said it many many times, it was a miracle we got spend 16 weeks with Owen and we believe that Owen was put here for a short time to teach us something. He taught us love, joy, strength, and gratitude, among many other things.
At 57 days our courageous lil’ lion was extubated! He took his first unassisted breath and let out the greatest roar! It was the biggest treat for us!!!
Today I find myself face to face with Wednesday, AGAIN! I petitioned God for a lifetime without Wednesdays but he clearly has shown me that all the Hump Day lovers out there overruled me! And since I can’t get rid of them I have tried something new and I think I may be on to something. I was praying the last few days for God to show me he is here and show me that he is taking care of our sweet baby boy. Sometimes in the midst of all of the chaos and “life” we have been living I find myself caught somewhere between faith and doubt. When I am on Team Doubt Wednesdays flat out stink! God apparently was not too thrilled with the amount of time I have been spending on Team Doubt and has been shouting from the rooftops “I AM HERE AND I GOT HIM!!! STOP WORRYING!!! CHECK OUT JEREMIAH 29:11, AGAIN! SHEESH!” Ok, maybe he hasn’t been that loud but short of sending carrier pigeons, I can say THANK YOU God for answering this prayer exactly the way I needed it. The incredible angels disguised as friends, fellow heart moms and clients have boldly told us that you are here. This Wednesday, I woke up on Team Faith!
Oh Stinky Cheese Man… How we miss you!!
Something exciting is happening over at LionHeart Owen… On November 8th it’s Ladie’s Night at the 1st Annual LionHeart Owen Bunco Night! Join us and enjoy Raffles, Prizes, Snacks, and of course BUNCO!!! But wait…. Ladie’s Night would not be complete with out SHOPPING!!! We have some great vendors like Mary Kay, Stampin’ Up, Three Peas Creations Stamped Jewelry, Thirty-One, Scentsy, Velata, and many more showcasing their holiday lines! Proceeds from the event will benefit LionHeart Owen. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address to be added to this great event!
Today as I was leaving work, I started to reflect on my new normal. The routine is settling in and I am slowly learning how to balance missing Owen and living life. Work feels as if I never left and it is glaringly obvious that while our lives stood still at CHLA everyone else moved on. We spent every day with Owen, as members of the heart family club learning the choreography to the “heart dance”. While the world outside was spinning, we sat by his side and learned to be content in the two steps forward one step back. We saw beauty and found hope in each move. Every step forward was a huge victory. Every step back we held his hand and savored every second.
Today I experienced another first in life without Owen… I went back to work. Technically it wasn’t a first since I have worked since as far back as I can remember. –I know I am only 31 years old but when you start babysitting when you are like 10 years old and have had what feels like 4 careers since then it feels like a lifetime – On April 4, 2013 I was taken out of work and put on disability/bed rest. I had to drop everything, hand over all of my transactions, and walk out the door. It was sudden and unexpected. I freaked out and felt like everything I knew was being taken from me and all I could do was just go home and sit and grow a baby!
We are incredibly honored and blessed by Dr. Jay Pruetz, Dr. Ing, and the rest of the Heart Institute at CHLA. They helped save Owen’s life and gave us 16 beautiful weeks with our precious son! Here is just a glimpse at the incredible things they are doing and the lives they are saving. The possibilities are endless if we just continue to draw awareness and support congenital heart defect research. The Vatter family loves you CTICU!!!
Most people don’t like Mondays… As the weeks go by I realize Mondays are fine… I hate Wednesdays. If you are working or in school you celebrate Wednesday. It’s hump day. Half of the week is over and the weekend is in your horizon. There is now even a commercial with a hysterical camel reminding you that its hump day and the week is almost over (if you have never seen the commercial click here. It’s good for a chuckle). For us, Wednesday is a day that signifies our highest highs and the day of our lowest low. It’s a day I can’t avoid and a day that weekly creeps up on me and weekly brings with it a plethora of emotions that I am unable to box up and spread out among other days.
There are many adventures and “plans” we had for our lil’ family. We know the holidays will be very hard as we have many “firsts” in our life without Owen. We do not want to miss an opportunity to celebrate him though and will continue to do those things for Owen. We decided to take his best buddy Leo for the adventures that he won’t take here on earth! Enjoy!!!