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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another Reason to Love Taylor Swift...

I have always loved Taylor Swift. After all, she's one of the few singers that I feel comfortable letting my daughters listen to. My girls love her!

Now, I love her even more!

This week, she signed a Yamaha dreadnought acoustic guitar, donated by AB Stephens of Huntsville, aboard her plane enroute to Philadelphia for the next stop on her Triple-Platinum-Plus Speak Now album tour. We will auction it off tomorrow night at Miracle Bash!!

To see pictures, click here.

Thank you, Taylor Swift!! And our NICU babies thank you too! One day, I'm sure they'll be fans :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Wee Dress to help Wee Ones!

One of the coolest things about planning Miracle Bash is coming up with fun items for our silent auction. Click here to visit the "Southern Matriarch" blog and see what she created for Miracle Bash.

Adorable!! I know one little girl who would LOVE it for her doll!!

To see some of our other awesome live and silent auction items, visit our Miracle Bash blog or find us on Facebook.

By the way, we are trying to get a head count for this year's Miracle Bash. If you are planning to come, we need to know by tomorrow!! You can RSVP by visiting our Swim for Melissa website and clicking on "Miracle Bash" or call Huntsville Hospital Foundation at 256-265-8077.

We hope to see you there!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rainbow to the Rescue

Milestones are hard for parents who have lost children.

Ann Catherine's first day of kindergarten last year was incredibly hard for me. I was fine in front of Ann Catherine, but I broke down when I left the school. I wasn't crying because Ann Catherine was going to kindergarten. I was crying because Melissa wasn't.

My parents watched Lily Baker that morning so Chris and I could walk AC into school and spend that time one-on-one with her. But as soon as we were finished, I could not wait to get to Lily Baker. Having her with me is what got me through the day.

This year, Ann Catherine asked if Lily Baker could accompany us on that first day of school. I said yes. After all, since AC attended full-time kindergarten last year it wasn't such a transition for all of us this year.

There was also another reason.

Lily Baker just always makes things better.

As most of you know, we call her our rainbow. Just as God sent the rainbow after that horrible storm to promise he'd never flood the Earth again, he sent Lily Baker to us with our own promise.

A promise that we would be okay. A promise that even after such a devastating less, we would survive. A promise that we would laugh again. A promise that Ann Catherine would finally have the sister we so desperately desired for her.

Lily Baker isn't a replacement for Melissa. Any parent who has lost a child knows that notion is just absurd. No one can replace your child. Melissa was her own person. She was uniquely created by God. She was my oldest, beating Ann Catherine into this world by one minute because her life was in danger and she needed to be rescued first.

Her short life changed me profoundly, in ways that I still can't fully explain. She made me a better person, a better wife, a better mother. She taught me that life isn't about how long you are here. It's about what you do with the time you are given.

No, Lily Baker isn't a replacement for Melissa.

She is a beautiful completion.

She completed a family who needed her more than she'll ever know. She brought laughter back into our lives. More importantly, she brought hope into our lives.

Lily Baker opened our eyes to the immense blessings that God wants to bestow on us. She reminded us that we have to be patient and trust that God has a plan for our lives, even when it makes no sense to us. She reminded us that sometimes you have to brave a torrential downpour before you can see your rainbow.

So as we walked Ann Catherine into school on her first day of first grade today, I was okay. Because Lily Baker was there.

It doesn't mean I missed Melissa any less. I would have loved to have watched my twin daughters walk into their first grade classroom hand in hand. But I know that wasn't to be.

But on this special day, Ann Catherine wasn't alone. Her sister was there. The sister God sent us to heal our broken hearts.

She did that today, just as she has countless times before.

How did Ann Catherine do? Oh, she did great. She is pumped to be in first grade!

I was grateful that this year was easier than last. And as we left school, I squeezed Lily Baker a little tighter - so grateful to have her with me. So grateful that on those hard milestone days, where the pain of losing Melissa threatens to engulf us, she is here with us.

So grateful for the rainbow. And so grateful for our promise.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Double Whammy!

It's my "double whammy" part of the year - but in a good way!!

We're four days away from the start of school and nine days away from Miracle Bash and Swim for Melissa.

I may need to be committed soon.

To say it's crazy at our house is an understatement. However, please don't confuse that with complaining. I am beyond humbled to be able to celebrate both of these milestones.

The start of school = celebration of Ann Catherine's life.

Swim for Melissa = celebration of Melissa's life.

If you haven't visited our website, please do! Just click here.

Here's some exciting news about this year's Swim for Melissa. Lily Baker is old enough to have a team. She named it, very appropriately, "Melissa's Rainbows." Ann Catherine is again team captain of "Melissa's Miracles." They are both so pumped to have their own teams.

To visit Ann Catherine's page, please click here. To visit Lily Baker's page, click here.

My friend and former WHNT co-anchor, Jerry Hayes, was in our NICU last week. He and photographer Gregg Stone are doing a story that will air sometime next week. I don't want to give it away yet, but it will be amazing. It was so good to see my friend!

Hope you can join us for this year's event! For more information on this year's Swim for Melissa and Miracle Bash, visit our Swim for Melissa website. You can also find the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund on Facebook!