Sunday, December 25, 2011

Where there is love, there is life.

Content from our holiday update 12/15/11

2011 will forever be the year our adored and cherished daughter, Isabelle, was taken from us by a fatal virus.  Her absence eclipses much, but through the darkness there are glimmers of light - some days more than others – illuminating that we still have so very much to be grateful for: our treasured love and partnership, our incredible son Sebastian, the precious little one joining our world this spring, our valued health…and you, our very dear friends & family.

2012 we hope for continued strength in bearing the loss of Isabelle, health, and happiness with our growing family.

As we longed for anything to make our reality different those days in the hospital, when there was nothing more we could do to save our precious girl, she in turned saved 3 lives and gave the gift of sight to 2 others… 

Her heart went to a 1 year old in Texas, her liver went to a little girl in Missouri, her kidneys went to a man in Kansas and her eye corneas went to two different people in the Midwest.
Over $5,600 was donated in Isabelle’s memory to the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and because of the generosity of our friends who gave, a bench has been dedicated to Isabelle in the gardens of the hospital.

Bubbles for Isabelle was started as a way to do something special to honor our precious daughter’s 3rd birthday, which was July 24, 2011.  We asked friends to post pictures of bubbles – one of her favorite activities – on the Bubbles for Isabelle facebook page and in turn, we donated an Aden & Anais baby blanket to a child in need.  Over 500 bubbles pictures were posted and in turn that many baby blankets have gone to children in need.  The picture you see on the front is a mosaic of all of the bubble pictures from this project.  Through the haze of shock and sadness, these bubble pictures warm our hearts and remind us that we are not alone.  And for that we are grateful. 

The Bubbles for Isabelle book drive is our project for Isabelle’s 4th birthday, commencing in July 2012.  It is well underway to reach the goal of impacting 10 under-resourced childcare facilities through providing book collections made up of 25 of Isabelle’s favorite children’s books. Thanks to all of you who’ve participated and given.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Superhero Sebastian

Content from our holiday update 12/15/11

Superhero Sebastian is truly a shining star, bringing an abundance of smiles and joy to our lives even in our darkest days.  He is inquisitive and curious, cheerful and happy.  Currently his enjoyment is largely measured by how far he can throw (a toy, a rock, a book – anything!), how high he can climb (before being removed), how fast he can go (before we catch up to him), or how muddy he can get (before lunch).  He’s ALL BOY and there are simply no words for how much we love this child.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November day trip to Emst

We took a day trip to Emst to visit family and meet the newest member, Valerie.  Richard's cousin Hesje, mother to Valerie, took this lovely photo of Sebastian.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Isabelle's 3rd birthday

Post written 1/26/12

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Days are not enough...

Post written Jan 26, 2012

{April 17}

When in Rome...  The dutch kiddies strip to their
underthings and play in sand.  All part of the
fun spontaneity! 

Who needs a swim suit when you have sunshine
panties that say "I'm sweet" in sparkles that were a
gift from our housemaid in Qatar?
Very busy and seriously hard at work.

{April 28}

Playing "sink or float" with her brother
She loved this indoor activity - we would gather items from around the kitchen and she'd
guess whether they would sink or float, then give it a go.

{April 30}

An afternoon snooze with daddy on Koninginnedag 2011 (Queens Day in Holland)

{May 4}

The kids playing right outside the kitchen.  Isabelle and I made a little "house" for her in the back of the family car where she could be cozy and read her books

{May 14}
We arrived with smiles.  The kids were great on the flight and were happy to be greeted by
Grandma and Grandpa in Chicago.

{May 15}
Fun at Great-Grandma & Great-Grandpa's house.

The evening drive home to Missouri (in which we hoped the kids would sleep).  We had just picked up an iPad in Naperville and this was one of my first photos taken while playing around with it.

{May 16}

Headed out for a quick grocery shop...

Wrestling with Grandpa after dinner...

Grandma snagging hugs while I'm still figuring out how to
take a decent photo with the iPad...

{May 17}
After jetlagged, morning snoozes in the car, we settled outside for some playtime...

Isabelle loved "baking" so we gathered some of Grandma's
kitchen items and did some cooking outdoors...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hilversumse Heide

Post written 1/26/12

A day out in the fields and heath between Laren and Hilversum in Gooi.  We all enjoyed the new opportunity of rolling in the grass, look for "treasures" and breath the fresh spring air after our time in the desert.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Final days (& hours!) in Doha

1/22/11 - Our lovely babies being loving

1/23/11 - At the park and actually needing a jacket

1/23/11 - Concentration full on

1/23/11 - Hey mom!
1/24/11 - Pushing my boy while at Landmark running errands, and Isabelle...

1/24/11 - also pushing her baby (& camel!)
1/29/11 - A quick break from packing to snap photos from our bedroom window

{1/30/11 - MOVING DAY!}

We NO problem filling an entire 40' container

Good bye Doha, it was a great 2 years!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hi friends, just a quick post to break the radio silence. We've got all kinds of news to catch up on starting with Isabelle's 2nd birthday in July (yes, that long ago!), our summer in europe, a trip to Sri Lanka, our holidays in Tarporley and a move across the world (which happens in a couple of days!).  Just trying to figure out these privacy setting on the blog.

We've also got fun, new tricks that our little man has up his sleeve to share, like calling people on the telephone (and by telephone I mean anything from a DVD remote to a toy car put up to his ear), waving good-bye and saying "Cat"! (I do believe that was Isabelle's first word as well?)

And Isabelle is turning into the prima mama helper. I'm so grateful for her help...or "help." :) She's my little side kick and I love the warmth of her toddler body bouncing off of my legs all day as we make our rounds.

Stay tuned - more to come!

Love from all of us.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Making Valentines

Figuring it would be crazy and hectic during our first few weeks in Holland, we got an early start to our Valentine making. xx

Friday, January 14, 2011

Richard's HSBC going-away party

Richard's team threw him a special going-away party before we head off to Holland.  He wouldn't like it if bragged about all of the ways he grew and improved the business while he was there, but suffice it to say he will be missed!

Helping daddy unwrap one of many gifts he received!