Monday, September 27, 2010

Walk to Remember 2009

The West Michigan "Walk to Remember" is an annual event located at Fallasburg Park in Lowell Michigan to honor the memory of beloved babies who died due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death. Rob and I look forward to this day each year not only to honor Elise, but to also surround ourselves with other parents who know the depths of our pain. I firmly believe the loss of your child is the greatest emotional suffering known to mankind. This event runs from 9am until 12p and there are refreshments, tables set up for donations, a memorial service, time to decorate a balloon to send to your baby(s), a walk over a bridge in the park, a balloon release, and fellowship. Although this turns out to be a very emotionally charged day for us we would never dream of missing this opportunity to celebrate Elise's life. Hand in hand we walk for the steps she will never take.

Walk to Remember October 7, 2009

This is the building in the park used for registration and fellowship pre-ceremony. Last year there was even a fire going to keep everyone toasty warm before the kick off. There are tons of picnic tables set up and refreshments available for families. This is a great place to meet people who share your journey through grief, talk about your baby, and share your story.

Last year I was asked to bring Elise's name blanket that was given to us by fellow bereaved parents. Rob and I donate a blanket each year to this program to give back to this cause in memory of Elise.

Memorial Tent set and ready. 

Rob and I pre-ceremony...

We are truly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends supporting us through our grief and taking time out from their own lives to remember Elise... They love and miss her too!

Rob and I holding our pink Elise balloons.

The walk over the bridge is so symbolic and emotional.

Each year I am reminded that I am not alone. It's inspiring to see so many faces of loss and hope!

Keep Holding On

"Together we stand
I'll be by your side, you know I'll take your hand
When it gets cold
And it feels like the end
There's no place to go
You know I won't give in
No I won't give in
Keep holding on
'Cause you know we'll make it through, we'll make it through
Just stay strong"

Avril Lavigne

Elise, together we stand in your memory... We love and miss you more than words sweet baby!

Alison and I... Her friendship and understanding is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.
Love and Tears for Annika & Elise!

Get ready to catch our balloons precious angel!

Posted in Loving Memory of Elise Renee Kolkman

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall 2009 Snippets

I am a firm believer that it's better late than never. Aren't you? It's hard to believe that Fall 2009 was already a year ago. So it's about time I caught you up with some Home Sweet Kolkman Fall 2009 pictures. The fall is always a busy season for us with Halloween, Walk to Remember, Elise's memorial, and Thanksgiving, along with other random fall happenings. So for the purpose of not attaching one hundred photos to this post I will break our Fall Snippets into a few different posts. It's been a fun walk down memory lane as I look back twelve months ago. I hope you will have some fun looking back at our memories too!

Fall 2009 @ Home Sweet Kolkman

September 5, 2009: Labor Day Weekend with Jack & Emma.

Emma & Ava hanging out.

September 8, 2009: Ava Dolled Up!

September 9, 2009: Gearing up for my first night in Grad School at Western. Three weeks later I decided to put school on hold for another time in my life after a lot of personal angst.

September 10, 2009: Grandpa & Ava getting ready for a stroller ride.

Grandpa takes Ava on "The Turkey Trail!"

September 11, 2009: Ava goes to her first organized play group.

Ava playing with Momma!

Ava & Emmie making music!

Ava learns how to get up on all 4's!

Ava crawls under Giggle Bear!

I loved Ava in these Sweet Pea Jammies...

Momma & Ava-Lantern...

Gigi & Ava... One of my favorites!

Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch...

Pumpkin Head!

Grumpy Gus...

November 6, 2009: Ava & Emmie at their second Play-Day.

Momma & Ava Playing in the Oats!

Ava made a great noodle necklace...

November 9, 2009: Ava playing with her toys & enjoying a "ba-bah."

November 10, 2009: Grandpa shows Ava the gate he made.
"Strong work Gramps!"

Grandpa & Ava (He sure loved her to pieces!)

November 11, 2009: Ava brushing her teeth & holding her turtle in the tub... Multi-taksing!

November 15, 2009... Pretty Little Lady!

November 22, 2009... Cousin time with Sylvia.

Ava's eyeing Sylvia's Beads... Sylvia gave Ava a string of red beads to take home. Thanks!

I could go on and on with my saved fall photos but I think you have the idea... Simply Good Times! I'm not sure where all of Rob's hunting photos are... I will have to do some looking in the archives. I know they exist because he went and had great success. I hope everyone had as great of a fall as ours!

Summer 2009 Snippets

In order to catch my hopefully not forever delinquent blog site up, I am sharing this blast from the past. I hope you will enjoy some of our pictures from Summer 2009. I think a blurb of photos will be the easiest way to catch you up on our past events. There is just no way possible for me to really journal all of our past events due to lack of time on my part. I am sure you understand. This blog takes up enough time and energy!  So here's hoping a picture really is worth a thousand words!

Summer 2009 @ Home Sweet Kolkman

Ava wears my old baby dress.

Upsie Daisy

July 17, 2009: Ava goes to AppleTree for the 1st time!

I wasn't sure I was going to make it... SMOOCH!

A trip to the cabin...

Ava started to roll over this weekend!

Ava loved to hang out with Giggle Bear.

Ava slept in our bassinet for her first 3 months... Here's Ava getting acquainted with her crib.

Ava started to eat Rice & Oatmeal this summer...

I caught Ava sucking her thumb and dozing off... Sweet Little Sister!

Ava loved her Excersauser...

Ava & Momma...

Ava & Grandma...

My Diva & Her Accessories!

Ava's 1st Bike Ride...

Ready Set... GO!

A trip to Wedgewood Park with Alison & Levi...

Rainbow Baby... Summer 2009 is over!