Friday, August 29, 2008

The Latest on Catherine

Thank you to those of you who have asked about Catherine and Katie. Here is another update via Katie's friend, Shelly:

Greetings from UVA hospital!

So sorry it's been a while, yet again =) but the days have been long, and we all appreciate wonderfully long days =)

Okay, so where to even begin with all the goodies....

First, just to let everyone know, Miss Catherine will be having her diaphramatic surgery on Tuesday, around 1-ish. The wonderful news about the surgery is that she won't need to have the heart surgery anymore!! Hooray! One of the main reasons she came to UVA hospital was because of the heart issue and now the dr's are saying her heart is doing fine (thank You Lord, we really appreciate that one!). So the surgery she is now going to have is to move all of her organs in their proper place, seal up the hole in her diaphram, and see if her lungs will then be able to grow with more room (as the dr's anticipate). Yes, this is still a difficult procedure and she will be on a respirator during the surgery. It'll take about 2 weeks or more for her to heal from the surgery.

---I have to interject this though, because it was so wonderful. Last night, Katie was in the NICU for at least 4 hours on her own and we were all wondering if everything was ok, because she had been having problems with her blood pressure stabilizing. Well, being a good Auntie, I snuck into the NICU only to find Katie being Mommy and Nurse-she told me that she was lotioning her, taking her temp, and was even able to hold her so that they could weigh her. =*) She really does spend as much time in the NICU as possible--it's really beautiful.

Ok, more info...Catherine, today, was taken off the nitric oxide which is awesome news. The nitric oxide was given to her to help keep her blood vessels open in her lungs. The fact that she doesn't need that help anymore is huge, because her blood vessels are strengthening.

Also, just more good news, while she was on ECMO, her respirator was pushing 100%. Now it's pushing 31% and at 21% is when they usually take patients off because they don't need it anymore (again, I'm explaining all this not with medical terms, but with "how Shelly understood it" terms, so I hope it makes sense). Every step is huge!
So, really, we are all just amazed at how God has been moving and the family is grateful for every moment with her, even if she is still sedated. We hope and pray that the surgery will only bring even greater news. I actually will be heading back to Chicago on Monday, so I will be like ya'll waiting for any news until after the surgery.

The update on Katie and Donnie: They just miss her terribly at night. We usually don't leave the hospital till late and they're exhausted from the 3 hours of traveling roundtrip. They are looking into places to stay around UVA, but it's a bit of a challenge for them financially. Katie won't be back at work until November and Donnie was given time with his schooling as well. Everyone around them are so understanding and very supportive, which has really blessed them. Katie does get the blues from time to time, because she just wants to hold her little one, and have it be for good. It's been amazing to see what a support Donnie is for Katie and vice versa. God is really pulling them together during this difficult time and it's awesome to see.

Again, everyone has been so wonderful in praying for this family and i don't even feel like I need to encourage every one to keep pressing in--ya'll are already at work, fighting in the spirit for sweet Catherine, Katie and Donnie. May God bless you richly, and I will definitely update again as soon as there is more news. Pin It

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One Week

Happy One Week Birthday, Catherine Marie! You are truly a miracle! Keep fighting! Pin It

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monograms & Mimosas

This past weekend four of my bridesmaids through me a "monograms and mimosas" bridal shower. It was so much fun to get things with my new monogram on them. I can't believe that in little over a month I'll be a Mrs.!

The way creative table scape!

Again...decorations compliments of Kelley and her crafy self!

Opening gifts

Me with the hostesses

From Z to D!
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Catherine Marie

I just wanted to let everyone know to check out Katie's blog. She has been updating with letters and even an amazing video of Miss Catherine opening her eyes! Thank you again to everyone who has prayed for Katie and her family. The power of prayer is doing wonders! Pin It

Friday, August 22, 2008

Update #3

Another email:

As of today, Catherine is still on the machines which are oxygenating her blood. They have decreased the amount of gases the machines are adding to her blood, which means her little heart and lungs are doing some of the work on their own. Matthew said they took her off the machines to clean them and she was fine on her own for 6 minutes. If she remains stable, they will begin the surgeries late next week. We think they will attempt to repair the diaphram and return the stomach and liver to their appropriate places in an initial surgery. They will then try a second surgery to repair the aortic (sp?) arch in her heart.

So, we continue to wait and pray...thank you all for the prayers I know you are sending up - I truly believe they have been sustaining Katie and Donnie through these past few days.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Update #2

I just received the following email from Carol. Please pray, not only for Catherine, but for Katie and Donnie as well.

I just received a call from Peggy(10:00p.m. Thursday).
I'll try to inform you the best I can.

Catherine had a rough night Wednesday did
Katie(exhausted). The echocardiogram showed the aortic
arch was weak and no blood was reaching one side of
the heart. Her oxygen levels were low. They have, as
of tonight, moved Catherine to Charlottesville, VA.,
about 1 1/2 hours from Richmond(where she was born).
They have her "paralyzed" right now so she won't move
at all, to give her heart a rest. It was
overcompensating due to her small lungs. But, she was
on 100% bypass machine and now is on 50%. It will be
an hour by hour, day by day thing.

Peggy and Terry are staying back at Katie's in
Richmond and Donnie and Katie have a hotel room across
the street from the hospital.

Please keep them in your prayers...that God's plan
will be worked out. Katie needs a lot of rest now and
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Update on baby Catherine and Katie

For all of my sweet friends and total strangers who have been reading "Letters to Catherine" via my blog I wanted to give you an update. I am pasting an email I received. Please continue to pray for Katie and Catherine. Thank you ALL who have and will continue to do so. The power of prayer is amazing.

I apologize for the crazy font size on some of the email - the blogger was doing weird things!


Catherine was born at 10:18 last night Aug 19th.

She weighed 6lbs 15 oz. She has a little dark blond fuzz. Katie went into labor on her own. Catherine was pink and cried three times at birth. Yall this is a true miracle!!!! Katie got to hold her before they took her to the neonatal ICU. She is in very guarded condition and is being kept sedated so that they can stabilize her pulmonary function. Her lungs and heart are on one side of her chest with the intestines and liver on the other side. But she does have some lung tissue!! And if they can stabilize her, they will do surgery to put things back in place in one week. This is very good news, but she stands in line for several more miracles before she is stable and out of the woods and able to recover. Her lungs are very underdeveloped, and there is no way to know right now whether she can overcome that and whether the lungs will grow some. But we do know that God can overcome this.

Peggy and Terry were on the way there and missed the birth by an hour and a half. One of Katie
s friends was there with them. Today all of the Davises and Torrences are with them and I could hear them in the background of our call. It sounded like they were all enjoying being together.

The next few days are critical for this precious baby.

Please continue to pray:
1.that Catherine would become and remain stable and be able to undergo the surgery,
2.that she would be protected from complications like infection,
3.that her pulmonary function would continue improve in a miraculous way,
4.that her brain and other organs would get adequate oxygen and be protected from damage,
5.that Katie and Donnie would be able to rest well and know the tangible presence of God and that their story would continue to bless everyone who hears it.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I'm considering making my blog private. Thoughts? Pin It

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I am a very sentimental person. I still have "Orange Blossom" my baby I got for my 1st birthday. She is torn up, has band-aids all over her, and all her beans are falling out (she was a bean bag type baby). She still sits in my room and used to travel with me everywhere I went whether or not she came out of the suitcase. I guess she's like a security blanket.

I can't even drive by my childhood home that my Mom sold about 2 years ago. That was the only house I ever lived in. Now, I have a sketch of it hanging in my house. That is as close as it gets for me looking at it.


I have a Strawberry Shortcake table that I got when I was probably 2 years old. I have many memories of having tea parties at that table, playing school, and eating lunch there.

Last year I decided to use the table to put my student computer on in my classroom. It worked out perfectly because I laid a piece of fabric over it. The size was perfect for the little ones.

This year I decided I needed it for my writing center. I told Kelley (who has the exact same table) that I could not paint over it. Instead I bought some stickers that I figured I could lay on top of it and cover Strawberry Shortcake up, but not get rid of her. Well, this idea didn't work. As cute as it looked the stickers were still thin enough the see through. I thought I could get some of that cute wrapping paper that sticks, but decided I wanted to do something for free.

I decided I was going to have to bite the bullet and paint it. Why am I holding on to a childhood character that I enjoyed 25 years ago?? I'm just that sentimental. It's a bit ridiculous.

Anyway, after calling my mom (I felt like I couldn't proceed with the painting until I informed her of my decision) I painted over my childhood table.

The end result turned out great!

Goodbye, Strawberry Shortcake. Goodbye.

(oh and for the record -- I'm completely over it!)
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Saturday, August 09, 2008


I was tagged by my friend Kelli for this one.

3 Joys:
1. Dogs
2. Traveling
3. Napping

3 Fears:
1. Death
2. Snakes
3. The Unknown

3 Goals:
1. To have a family
2. Get National Boards
3. Start my own business

Current obsession:
Law and Order SVU

Random fact you may not know about me:
I love cleaning products!

That’s your daily dose of me.

I tag Holly, Ang, and Clay.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cruisin' to the Caribbean

For Dave's parent's 30th wedding anniversary they took all their children and their families/friends on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. It was my first time taking a cruise, but not my first trip to the Bahamas. We had a grand time!

Our ship - The Sensation
(it was a bit dated, but the people were so friendly and the service was great!)


Doing what I LOVE!

Our Jeep Adventure of Freeport

Sanctuary Bay where the dolphins are

Dave excited to be driving stick

Waters of Freeport


I love the crystal clear water

A bit of downtown Nassau

The rooftop restaurant where Dave and I had lunch and listened to live music

What is a cruise without the nightly towel animals!?

One of Dave's concoctions during his nightly pranks on his brother and his wife - don't ask

The LONG trip home - Jacob is worn out!

Dave's cruise rating

So there you have it. A small glimpse into our vacation. There were too many pictures for me to post them all!
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Friday, August 01, 2008

More Sugar Lump!

I am completely in love with Sugar Lump Stationary! As I posted a while back I had some cute cards made for Dave and I. They turned out so cute I couldn't stop there! I ordered note cards for Kelley's birthday and came up with a shower invitation for Mike and Kim's tailgate shower. Jessica is so sweet and easy to work with in coming up with your doodles! I cannot say enough good things about Sugar Lump. Do yourself a favor and get some doodles!

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