The Blaines

The Blaines
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Monday, June 8, 2015


I'm not sure when I ever started calling him Noahman, but its now affectionately the hashtag he goes by.
This past year has been such a year of growth for our little man.  This year Noah conquered going back to his old school, and leaving behind a school that he truly enjoyed and that walked right beside our family during a very difficult time.  He experienced yet another little sister entering the world, and survived a very spirited year with SG.  He has dealt with temper tantrums and hair bows and diapers all with a smile (most of the time).  His prayer life has grown from "God is Great" to thanking God for the teachers that teach him and the house he lives in.

He has stood on stage in a new place, in front of people he doesn't know, to accept an award for his service to others.
We have really tried to work on his anxiety around others. So although he looks terrified, this was a huge victory for him and honestly for me as well!  We worked for months to get to this point!
I cried listening to them talk about all the money he has raised. Realizing that 3 years ago, we wouldn't have cared about any of these organizations.  Cancer was a word that didn't cross our radar, and surely raising lots of money to support these places was not on our to do list.  Thinking without cancer, we may still be living with our blinders on.

Noah also took on soccer this year.

Talk about watching a kid come out of his shell!  There were no nerves, no what ifs!  He took to soccer like a fish to water.  He's by no means the fastest little guy, and surely not aggressive, but he felt confident and I think this is the first time I've watched that emerge from him.  I even watched him get hollered at for goofing off during practice...which is a big deal for my straight laced kid!

We watched him perform a "solo" in his school music program...It was just a line, but for him this was huge!
Yes that's our guy up there in the pink shirt!

He continues to look forward to our next cancer walks, and has finally graduated from riding in the stroller to helping push!
Although I think if we let him, he'd ride in the stroller!

He continues to grieve with the rest of us, and amazes me at his ability to recognize a bad day for me and quickly comes to hug me, and those hugs make the world alright again!  I'm so thankful for his memories of Ellie and that he never hesitates to share them with us.

Noah's newest endeavor involves St. Jude, some hair dye and scrapbooking!  As most know our family has participated in the St. Jude Give Thanks walk for the past two years.  Through that walk, I have met some really great people, one of whom, Lisa, invited me to participate and speak at Crop for A Cure last August.  Crop for a Cure is put on by the Tri Delta Sorority, a huge sponsor of St. Jude, in fact the short term housing facility on the St. Jude campus is named "Tri Delta Place".  After last year's crop, I struck up a wonderful friendship with Lisa.  Her love for St. Jude is just inspiring and her dedication to helping others motivates me.  Lisa and I just seem to keep meeting each other at events and she always brings a great hug and a big smile!  This year our local St. Jude walk is moving to a different location and we will not be able to participate in it, to say I was bummed is an understatement.  I really wanted to find a way for our family to still raise money for St. Jude, even if its not at their walk.  After numerous emails with my buddy Lisa, I talked to Noah about the walk, and how we couldn't do it this year, and how I was still doing this event with Miss Lisa to help raise money, and he wanted in.  I knew he wouldn't want to sit and scrapbook all day, but he sure loves getting people to donate money, he has quickly learned the ins and outs of fundraising, via facebook!  
We talked about how some people shave their heads for money, which he quickly protested.  I brought up the idea of a mohawk...again no go (for as messy as his hair is, I can't believe he'd flip out over a mohawk!)  Then I suggested dying his hair...well that caught his attention.  He asked if he could dye it green.  In the name of cancer research, I said yes, but told him he had to meet a goal.  So he picked $3000.  Miss Lisa set him up a fundraising page and he is happily on his way to $3000 by August.  The best part of this all is him asking me daily, "do I have any thank yous to write?"  He has started making personalized thank yous on his iPad to those who donate :)

He got a little down when his donations slowed up, so I told him he had to encourage people, do something for them exciting if they donate.  So he's now currently telling jokes for every $10 donated.  Watching him come up with them is pretty funny.  He and Richard were on a roll tonight...I've heard enough knock knock jokes to last me a year!  

I'm proud of him.  I'm grateful for him.  The whole reason we started going back to church was because we were pregnant with Noah and we wanted to raise him in a church (little did we know it wasn't just about a building, its about raising him with a a relationship with God).  Noah helped lead us to the Lord...or should I say the Lord used Noah to help lead us back to him.  God uses Noah often to teach me a lesson or remind me of things that I forget when I get too caught up in life.  I can't take credit for the kid he is, God has completely led us in raising him, to which I am so thankful, because I'm sure on our own, we would have made a mess. Its hard to put into words just what he does for my heart, he's my son.  I look back over these past few years, and I'm amazed.  Amazed that at 7 years old (even if you just turned 7) he can have such a grasp on life with these basic principals.

1.  Its okay to not smile all the time
2.  Wear your heart on your sleeve, people will love it
3.  Mean what you say
4.  You are never alone, because Jesus lives in your heart
5.  Hugs are the best medicine

I think that if we could all remember these, we'd be a much happier people!
Happy Birthday sweet Noahman.  You sir, are bound for amazing things because you have a big heart, a brilliant mind, and you know that Jesus will always take care of you!

If you'd like to learn more about Noah's goal of $3000 and see his jokes on video, his Facebook page is Noah Goes Green
If you'd like to donate towards his goal, Noah's Fundraising Page

Thank you for letting me brag on my boy tonight!
Prayers Praise and Pink,

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Birthday Prayers and Praises

Thank you Lord for creating me. Thank you for forming me in the image of your son, Jesus. Thank you for creating a plan for my life, a plan so much bigger than I will ever understand. Thank you for each one of the beautiful children you have entrusted to me, and thank you for loving them even more than I do, which is still so hard for me to fathom. Thank you for bringing a soul mate into my life, to share joy and pain with, but who is always here for me. Thank you for all the many people you have brought into my life.  I can't help but look at all the people who sent me birthday wishes today, and think how many of them I would have never known, had you not taken me down this path. Thank you for helping me to see blind faith. For giving me that confidence that I don't know what the outcome is, but I trust in you for it. I just feel very grateful today for my life. A life that hasn't been what most would call happy, that has traveled hundreds of miles down some really tough roads, but is completely beautiful because it's mine, and I'm traveling it in God's will.  This birthday brings some tears, but of joy, because I know that this life I'm living, the one God gave me, and planned out before the world was created, is being lived to glorify Him, and I'm pretty happy doing just that! Lord I pray I can continue down this road, shining for you (and maybe sparkling a little too!)

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Prayer, Praise and Pink

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


We are on Spring Break. And it's been my first real "down time" day. With the warmer weather and SG growing I knew it was time to tackle clothes once again.  The beauty of having all these girls is a ton of hand-me-downs and not having to get new clothes every season! The tough part now is that SG is growing into the clothes that Ellie wore while she was sick. After Ellie passed I put all her clothes in totes nicely sorted downstairs, like we do with all the kids clothes.  Those 3 totes (Ellie sure had a ton of clothes) pretty much sat untouched for quite some time, SG was no where near that size yet. Everyonce in a while I'd go looking for something in particular and see those totes, and all the memories packed away in them.  I got brave before Christmas and went looking for pajamas for SG, I found Ellie's Santa Jammie's she had on the morning of our early Christmas and I fell apart. I wasn't preparred to find those in that box.  I wanted them to smell like her, and they didn't and I just couldn't bring myself to let SG wear them, so I quickly shoved them back in the box and bought her new ones. Clothes seem so insignificant in the moment, but when that person is gone, clothes just hold a lot of thoughts.

I started out just looking for some shoes I knew I had bought Ellie when we were at St. Jude, she never had a chance to wear them, the cutest little fake Toms, all pink and sparkly. SG is a huge shoe fan so I knew she'd like them, and once I found them and showed them to her she was in love...for a few minutes at least. I figured since I had already pulled out one tote, I might as well keep going (and Richard's at work, so he can't holler at me for making a mess!). This time was a much better experience than last! I smiled a lot, remembering places we had been in those clothes, or the people who gave them to her. 

 I could picture her in my head in her cute outfits and here her excitement over Princess nighties. There were a few tough moments, especially on a certain pair of striped pants from my sister. 

And her beloved flip flops that she wasn't allowed to wear on physical therapy days. And this dress...
SG wore it to her 2 year check up...with her boots, her own flair to the outfit! 

As I loaded up a bag to transfer to SG's room, I was excited to start seeing her wear some of these things, and get to have those memories all over again. It kinda feels like I'm moving a little bit of Ellie back into her room.  The sweetest moment was SG discovering this new bag of clothes...I've told her not to I really believed she wouldn't...and she keeps running to me wanting to put something else on...who knows what she will look like by the time we get to church, but that's why I love her!

SG will never be her sister, she has her own way of doing a lot of things...and as much as she drives me nuts some days, I love her determination and independence! So some of the poofy skirts and dresses I just left in the's not SG's style!

I'm so grateful for something so small today. The past couple of weeks have been lonely, something is just missing, and I needed this to happen today...isn't God just awesome like that! 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Prayers, Praise and a whole lot of Pink clothes!
~ Carly

Sunday, April 5, 2015

An Easter Prayer

Thank you Lord for Jesus! Thank you for his journey and the plan for his life. Thank you for the promise of Heaven. Without Jesus and without his crucifixion and resurrection I would not have that promise. Easter has never meant more to me then it does now. I never truely understood the power of Jesus' death and the joy of our everlasting life because of it, until now. Lord thank you for a beautiful girl who taught me just how much God loves me and will supply all I need. Thank you for changing my family's life, for making us stronger through you. And even though I'm a sinner and I mess us time and time again, thank you for always picking me back up when it gets tough. For showing me I can get through it with your guidance.  And for never letting me be alone.
In Jesus name I pray

 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes n me, though he may die, he shall live."
 John 11:25

Prayer, Praise and Pink

Friday, March 27, 2015

Turning Two

We have celebrated another birthday in the Blaine house! Little miss SG has turned 2! 

We celebrated before her actual birthday (which always confuses Noah) with family and friends and some lovely sunshine! We used SG's love of Elsa, Olaf and Let it Go to create a not too over board Frozen party for her!  We dawned our Olaf hats and Princess crowns and enjoyed our snowmen and ice cream!  

A friend had shared with me how they use their kids birthdays as opportunities to donate money to different charities.  I thought this was a wonderful idea, so instead of presents (although there were some rule breakers...and SG really appreciated that I'm sure) everyone brought a card and cash.  SG easily earned $300 to donate to our CureSearch team!  The kids had so much fun...and slept very well that night!

As SG's real birth "day" crept closer, those crazy nervous thoughts kept running on repeat in my head.  She's gonna be two, Ellie was two when she got sick. In fact it was the day of her birthday party she started really showing signs of illness.  I can still remember where she was in the basement the first time she threw up.  I know that was Ellie, I know how rare her cancer is, I know its not hereditary, but I was struggling keeping my logical brain in check.  As SG turned two, I couldn't help but think that she should already have a big sister who is "showing her the ropes", instead she's the big sister role model (which is just scary if you know her!).  I really didn't expect to have such a tough reaction to this celebration, but I guess that's the funny thing about grief...there's no rules.  There's no warning, you can prep all you want, but you just can't possibly prepare yourself for all of it.  I really missed her this week, and thought a lot about what her role in our family should have been.  And that's where God meets me, and says "let me help you".  Ellie's life was not meant to go past 1061 days.  His work through her and us continues, but her days on earth were numbered, just like all of ours.   

"You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer". Job 14:5

Remembering that has really helped me when I start to think about what she would be like.  I don't find myself wondering often about milestones down the road, because frankly they weren't meant for my child.  And God really had to remind me of that this week as I struggled with Ellie not being here for this celebration, and after He reminded me once, I had to be reminded again.  

"Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." 2 Cor 12:9

I'm happy to say, we have made it through the birthday week without any major incidences.  I think the only real meltdowns came from Mommy!  SG is still as rotten as before, and continues to practice her independence daily.  She's beautiful and full of life.  She can warm my heart with her little pat on the back she gives when she hugs you, and send my blood boiling 2 seconds later when she tell me no.  And one day her sense of adventure and dramatic flair will serve her well!  
I can only imagine when Lulah turns two, I will probably go through this all over again.  Maybe this time I'll be a little more prepared...or not, this grief is one crazy roller coaster!
  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2

 Prayers, Praise and Pink

*You probably noticed the shirt picture at the top.  These are shirts we are selling until April 4th.  The proceeds go towards Team Princess Strong's goal of raising $10,000 for CureSearch for Childhood Cancer Research.  If you click on the picture it will take you to the website to order. Thank You!*

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time in the land of Old Navy, a young man laid eyes on a young lady. He gathered up the courage to ask her on a date, and after three tries she finally said yes! However the young lady had to return to Old Dominion to continue her education.  The two quickly fell in love even though there was much distance between them.  Over the next few years they had many adventures together and the time finally came where the young man felt he wanted to ask the young lady to be his wife.  So on a magical night, next to a sparkling tree in the kingdom of Central Park, he got down on one knee and proposed.  The young lady cried and said Yes!

Over the next year they planned a wonderful celebration full of family and friends, and enjoyed dancing the night away!

After their marriage the happy couple left the land of the beach, and moved to the land of Orange to conquer new kingdoms.

Soon the couple was blessed with their first son, Sir Noah.

They enjoyed their son so much and loved bringing him to church and playing outside with him.  He began to help them understand unconditional love so much better.

As time went by, the family of 3 learned they were going to have a little princess joining their family.  Princess Ellie came into the world during some snow, and brought with her joy! Sir Noah fell in love with his new baby sister, as did his daddy.

The lady of the house was so happy to finally have a girl to share all things girly with.  In fact Princess Ellie inspired her mommy to take on a new craft of crocheting, to ensure that the Princess had a hair bow for every outfit!

The children grew and the house was full of chaos and love.  Soon they learned their family would again be growing and another princess would soon be making her arrival.

However right before Princess Ellie's 2nd birthday an evil villain attacked the Princess.  She began to get sick and nothing her parents did made her any better.  The kingdom's doctors did their best to figure out what this villain was, however it was sneaky and hid itself well inside the Princess' beautiful head. Finally after weeks of illness, the villain was discovered and the best surgeon in the land flew in to try to get the villain out.  It was a stubborn villain, much like the princess herself, and the surgeon could only remove part of him.  The husband and wife soon learned the name of this evil villain, Pineoblastoma.  Together they vowed to continue to worship their King Jesus, and fight this villain one day at a time.  The kingdom turned pink in honor of the young Princess, and the members of the kingdom blessed the family continually.  The newest princess, Sarah-Grace was born and Sir Noah and Princess Ellie both adored their new sister.

Soon Princess Ellie and her Daddy headed to a far away kingdom of St. Jude that was better suited to battle this villain. Though they were far apart and there were days that they were scared, they continued to honor their King, knowing that the King had chosen this special family to fight this fight.

This royal family joined forces again and once together they were unstoppable, with the super power to make anyone laugh with just one glance.

Princess Ellie endured many different medicines, lost her hair, and some weight, but never once complained about her situation.  She loved the new royal doctors who were helping her battle, and although silent, she would show her love through stickers and smiles.  The family finally won the battle!  The villain had been destroyed! Praise to the King!

However this villain, did not like being defeated, in fact it quickly gathered an army of other villains and re invaded the young Princess' head.  Their hearts ached, but they knew their King was continuing to escort them on this journey and although they could not always see Him, He knew what was happening.  The royal doctors did all they could to defeat the villain and his armies, but they were too powerful and plentiful.  The husband and wife told each other how much they loved one another and then they turned the battle over to the King.  
The King took over and gave them peace in their hearts and allowed them time to enjoy one another in their own kingdom.  Princess Ellie spent much time with her royal family, especially the youngest princess, teaching her all the royal ways.

They even took a trip to a magical kingdom, where Princess Ellie was surrounded by her fellow princesses who showed her lots of love and support.

As the Princess grew tired, her parents knew her time in the land of Orange was nearing an end.  They continued to ask their King for a miracle, but also asked Him to guard their hearts and not allow they to become angry.  Princess Ellie soon left this earthly land, only to take her place in the Kingdom of her Lord.  She left behind a family forever touched by the villain, but also forever strengthened by the King.  

Soon after Princess Ellie left Orange, the royal family was again blessed by the King with another beautiful girl, Princess Lulah.

And Sir Noah was given another Princess to protect.  Princess Ellie continues to reign in the hearts of many.  The sky often turns pink and the family's hearts flutter and they praise the King for allowing them those little blessings and reminders of a sweet girl who accomplished so much in such little time.  The family also is grateful to serve as a beacon of hope to other kingdoms and families who are battling the same villain.  They hope to continue to let their light shine for their King Jesus.

The mom and dad of this royal family have surely suffered heartache.  They have often looked at each other and cried without the right words to be said, but they are comforted in knowing there is a plan that the King has created, and all they have gone through is for the good.  

As the mom in this fairy tale, I can't thank my King enough for providing a husband to me who tries his best to understand and support me.  Who holds me when I cry and brings me back to reality when I'm going nuts.  Who lifts me up and always knows when I need a hug.
I love you Richard and I'm so thankful I get to spend my Happily Ever After with you.

Happy Anniversary!

Prayers, Praise and Pink

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hide and Seek

SG thought it might be fun to play hide and seek with me tonight...she just didn't tell me about it. I panicked going from room to room looking for her saying her name and hearing nothing. It was an eerie silence. Our house isn't that big and she can't open doors, but I think anyone who has experienced the death of a child has a little PTSD (my official diagnosis) so moments like this send my heart and mind racing. I finally located her behind the bathroom door trying to put toothpaste on her tooth brush. Once I could breathe again I tried to reason with her almost 2 year old self about why it's not okay to hide from Mommy, I'm sure she totally understood all I was saying!  So after our chat I realized a few things 
1. She's too smart for her own good.
2. I must have looked silly having this intense chat with a 2 year old 
3.  I take her granted...and I should know better
So I decided to let her help me with dinner, something I'm pretty sure I have not let her do before. As she pushed her chair over to the counter I smiled, she all of sudden looked way older. I realized once again time is moving so fast. SG is very talented at pushing all my buttons which sometimes makes it hard to enjoy the little moments with her. She was putting pepperonis on and I was reminded of a very similar day with Ellie. 

These sweet memories flooded me, but instead of tears, I felt happy and proud. So SG and I snapped a pic!

While we were taking our 20 pictures with all our silly faces....this happened...
And once I realized I captured this image...completely unplanned... I couldn't have been more happy because I knew there was a very similar picture of Ellie and I. 
 In moments like these Ellie shines through. SG is a very different kid then Ellie....than all my kids. But as she nears the age of two I see more and more of her sister in her, the dance moves, some of the smiles, the facial expressions, I like's like having little bits of Ellie in the house.  Nearing two, also has my senses totally heightened to everything she does. It was right after Ellie's 2nd birthday that she started getting sick. I keep watching SG smile, to make sure both sides are moving, or that her eyes aren't dilating funny. Then you have to remind yourself cancer doesn't happen to everyone. And that if for some crazy reason it did happen again, I know that God would see me through, just like he did before and will continue to do.

Moral of the story...happieness is always hiding out in the house, sometimes you just have to go seek it. (And your two year old in my case!)

Just wanted to share my happy little story. 

"In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him." Ecclesiastes 7:14

Prayers, Praise and Pink