Friday, January 28, 2011

Sponsor Sponsor, who wants to Sponsor???!!!???

So I have been super busy this past week working on all things related to the race. There have been meetings, a sponsorship letter written, some sponsors solicited and engaged and some not. There is still so much that needs to be done and the fund raising part is what I am focusing on right now. I am getting a little nervous because we have recieved several in-kind donations, which we desperatly need, but no actual money at this point. We need funds to cover the expenses related to the race itself, to make sure all things go off without a hitch, and of course funds to go towards Kate Cares. All proceeds from this race will be given directly to Kate Cares.

Things are starting to really come together and I can see the results of that which make me more than happy! So much more still needs to be done. If anyone reading this blog is interested or thinks that a company you work for might be interested in sponsoring our race, please feel free to contact me at stephralich@sbcglobal.net! Sponsors will receive recognition of their contribution with their names and logos on all websites, blogs, and T-shirts associtated with the race. Those sponsors who wish to contribute to the organization will receive a tax donation receipt.

Thanks!

~Steph

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Kate!

Dave, Lilli, and I would like to wish a happy birthday to amazing angel Kate Carmichael, the namesake of Kate Cares, who would have been eight years old today. If it had not been for this beautiful little girl, someone that so many people love, there would not have been a Kate Cares organization helping so many families throughout the state of Indiana!

This remarkable organization's mission is to support families experiencing a stillbirth by; "helping to understand why their baby was stillborn, the chance of stillbirth happening again and what can be done to help future pregnancies; Connecting families to medical and social support resources; Educating the general public and professionals about the needs of families experiencing stillbirth and creating opportunities for their involvement; Increasing the understanding of stillbirth and its effects to help other families; and Providing a framework to search for ways to prevent stillbirth."

Kate Cares is guided by core values that "every baby is valued and treated with respect and dignity; all families deserve the opportunity to explore why their baby was stillborn; The grieving process is unique for each family and every person; and Achieving their vision requires the collaboration of professionals, families, and others who have been touched by stillbirth. Any stillbirth is one to many for those who experience such a loss".

To learn more about this great organization, the beneficiary of Run 4 Everett, who is doing such important work for so many families around the state please visit the Kate Cares link on the side of this page.

Safe travels in the winter weather today!

~Steph

Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Logo

Recently, we (Steph) have been busy trying to get coordinated with the non profit so we can make sure all proceeds from race will get to Kate Cares.  And we (Dave) have been getting ahead of the more important details and focusing on what the race logo might look like. Since it is basically an exercise in choosing the right font it was narrowed down to 2 dozen or so fonts, then we started playing with upper and lowercase, etc. But the entire time, the number "4" with the star remained (I'll explain more about that in a minute). After the initial 2 dozen options, it was narrowed down again to about a dozen, then we weeded through those and got down to 3.  Finally, we landed on what was the first one created. We chose it because it was playful, yet readable and had some similarities to where I originally started a few months ago. So without further ado, here is the new logo for the Inaugural Run 4 Everett:

Now, a little insight into the design... as I mentioned, we wanted something a little more playful and the up and down lettering reminds us of a child running and playing. The "4" with the star is a little more personal to Everett for a couple of reasons: In the nursery we prepared for him, we stenciled sail boats with a star on the sail on the walls all around the room (see photo below). So the "4", is a little like the shape of a sail.  The Star is very special to us. After Everett's death we told our daughter, Lilli, that her brother Everett was up in heaven and that she could see his star  in the sky every night. It was something that provided comfort to us all. And to make it even more special still, Lilli's school had a star named after Everett. We received a certificate with the star name and location in the celestial sky.
The final element is the "waves" which again ties back to the sail boat, but also represents the rolling hills at Fort Harrison State Park that Everett would have played on (and one of the reasons we chose it for the race location). We now feel we have a logo that symbolizes our little angel a little better. I'll get the header to the blog updated shortly, but first things first. Now back to the important stuff of trying to get connected to a non profit so we can start approaching businesses to be event sponsors - without either, there won't be a race.

--Dave

Monday, January 10, 2011

5 months has gone by so fast



Everett passed away exactly five months ago today. In some ways it has taken forever to get to this point and in others the time has flown by. I miss him and love him so much that it sometimes hurts. I attached a picture of Lilli at 5 months old since I don't have one of Everett. There's not a day that passes that I don't think about what he may be doing now. Lilli was into giving herself baby food facials at five months, pushing up to prepare to crawl, babbling, and smiling all the time.

Lilli still misses her baby brother too. She doesn't talk as much about him as she did when he first passed. I think time is healing her as well. She did look through the pictures we have of him today and said "aw", when she sees his cute little face, hand and foot prints that we have of his. Lilli seemed to have such a connection to Everett when he first passed away. She would talk to him and act as though she could see him still. She even would "play" with him at times. A couple of weeks after he passed we were having dinner at the kitchen table, Lilli looked off in the distance and started talking to someone and laughing. I asked her who she was talking to and she stated Everett. She was giggling and I asked her where he was, she pointed to an open spot on the floor. I asked her what he was doing and she said he was being really silly and started laughing again. I have heard that sometimes children can have a connection with loved ones who are no longer here, but had never seen that in action. It was a little eerie at first and then comforting to think that maybe she still got to have a relationship with her brother. She still talks about how sad mommy and daddy were at the hospital and sometimes draws his heartbeat, as she got to see it many of times on the monitors I was hooked up to before he passed.

We've got 2011 off to a decent start and I am hopeful that will continue throughout the year. I received an iron infusion this past Friday, I have iron deficiency anemia, that will hopefully help with my energy levels, as long as I can hold onto those iron stores! I still managed to get myself to the gym and work out regularly even with my iron saturation at a crazy low level! No excuses, even though I have about a million legitimate ones I could use! I have to keep functioning and pushing forward, and yes, I still have some days where I don't want to. Moving backwards in the process is not an option and it's not going to help me or anyone else who depends on me. I feel like I need to get back into some form of work and have some ideas I'm working on now. I'm really hoping that things are going to work out with that!

I will close with a beautiful poem that I came across and brings both tears and a smile to my face when I read it:

I thought of you and closed my eyes and prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a mother and I know I heard Him say
A mother has a baby. This we know is true.
But God can you be a mother when your baby is not with you?
"Yes, you can" He replied with confidence in His voice.
"I give many women babies, when they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime, and others for a day
And some I send to feel your womb, but there's no need to stay".
I just don't understand this God, I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared His throat and then I saw a tear.
"I wish I could show you what your child is doing today.
If you could see your child smile with other children and say...
"We go to earth to learn our lessons of life, love and fear
My mommy loved me oh so much I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a mom who had so much love for me,
I learned my lessons very quickly, my Mommy set me free.
I miss my Mommy oh so much but I visit her each day
When she goes to sleep, on her pillow is where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek and whisper in her ear.
"Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm here."
"So you see my dear sweet one your child is OK.
Your baby is here in My home and this is where he'll stay.
He'll wait for you with Me until your lessons through.
And on the day that you come home, he'll be at the gates for you".
So now you see what makes a mother, it's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of right from the very start
Though some on earth may not realize that you're a mother until their time is done,
Remember all the love you have
And know you are a special mom!

By: Jennifer Wasik

We love you Everett!
Mommy, Daddy, and Lilli

~Steph




Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year: A new "Us"

So far 2011 has started out uneventful (I hope I didn't just jinx myself and yes I know we are only two days in) and I'm loving that! We finished 2009 off with many uncertainties with my dad's health, he was diagnosed with colon cancer two days before Christmas (is now cancer free), and you all know how the rest of the year turned out with us. As with the beginning of most New Year's I am looking at this one as a fresh slate. Not one that will wipe our son away from our lives, but one that will allow us to learn more from him and what it truly means to be a better person and parent. What happened with Everett changed us as people, friends, and parents. We will never be the same people we were before he died and we will never be able to change that. If someone out in public asks me how many children I have (usually because they see Lilli with me), I always tell them two, one here on earth and one in Heaven. Sometimes this response freaks people out and I really don't care. He is our son, a whole, beautiful, real person who spent a brief period of time on earth inside me and he counts. He truly counts. Just because he didn't take a breath of air doesn't make him any less human or make the loss any more bearable. And sometimes this response connects you to a total stranger who experienced something similar and you find yourself swapping stories about the children you are missing. Loosing a baby happens so much more often than most people realize or talk about.

I have been working so hard at trying to figure out a way to channel my grief into something good and positive because for anyone who knows and has experienced deep grief, it can very easily turn the other direction into something destructive, something that eats away at you and who you used to be. That is the ugly side of it. That is the side people don't like to talk about. I have had my moments of ugliness through this process and I'm sure they are not the last of those moments (and I would like to thank those of you who sat by me through those periods even if it was just on the phone). I have had so much anger over what happened to our little boy and how avoidable the whole situation should have been, especially in the age of technology. I have been angered over feeling helpless and victimized by what happened, and those who know me are well aware these are not feelings I will ever be comfortable with. I am the person who has spent my entire career empowering and educating others (mainly women) so I often ask myself, how could this have happened? Why is there no accountability for what happened? Those are the things that have eaten at me the most during this process and also the things for which I am learning to let go.

I am tired of being angry, it's really quite exhausting carrying all of that around even just part of the time. I am focusing my year on changing for the better. The grief will still be there, it will never go away completely but hopefully will dull with time. I plan to focus my time this year on continuing to be a better mom to our darling Lilli, obtaining new fitness goals (we just joined the Y :)), and of course pulling the run 4 Everett together in time for its debut in August, with a lot of help from some friends along the way. I am truly very excited about this race as it's such a great way for us to memorialize our son, raise money for an awesome organization, and get the information out there that will help other families in our position. This is how I plan to channel my grief into something positive. It's going to take a lot of hard work, but I know I can do it. If an employment opportunity happens to come up during the year, I'm open to that as well! Lets go 2011, show me what an awesome year you are going to be!!!

~Steph