Tuesday, August 31, 2010

30 Years Ago...

Happy 30th Birthday to another wonderful man in my life... my hubby of 5+ years, the one and only Mr. Gregory Joseph Kasowski.

I have this photo on my night stand. A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.

Always a Bears fan! Go Bears! Doesn't he look like the sweetest little boy ever?

With the late Charles Christian "Chris" Welle, Greg's Grandpa. I didn't get to meet him but I know that Grandpa Welle was one of the first to meet Maelee in heaven and I'm sure they spend much time together there.

Mr. Senior 1999. Greg is good at most all sports (sometimes I find that annoying) and he is definitely a rock star on the basketball court.

Greg started dating Heather in college (when Grether first began). Much time was spent doing this (Greg learning guitar, Heather watching, somewhat amused... somewhat bored... wondering when the heck we would just get married).

Greg in Thailand in 2003... pivotal point in his life.

Greg, Jaysen and Bill. Greg has great friends. Greg also spent a lot of time with his band, Crimson. I posted a video about Crimson on my facebook so check that if you are able!

Marital bliss! 2005 was a good year for Greg (okay, definitely for me too). We had some great memories starting out in Grand Forks, ND.

Early years of marriage were surprisingly easy (we kept hearing it was going to be soo hard). One perk of marrying Greg is getting all his family, too! We had lots of fun going to family outings like this one at the Bemidji cabin... we love all our Kasowski/Welle gatherings.

To my wonderful, sweet, hilarious husband. I count you my greatest blessing from God. I love you!

-Heather

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad Tysse.

My dad, little Lloydie, and Aunt Ilene... looks like they are up to no good.

My dad is full-blooded Norwegian. My Grandpa John Tysse grew up in Norway (sailed with the Norwegian navy when he was 14 and ended up homesteading in ND). All his family was still there so I believe this photo was taken on a trip they took to visit.

I have a great daddy. He's loved me like crazy since I was born. I find it easy sometimes to learn certain characteristics about my heavenly father because my earthly father is so amazing.

Apparently building this snowman caused our hearts to swell with feelings of victory! One of my favorite things about my dad is his sense of humor... I think I got mine from him. Notice the curling broom used for one of the snowman's arms - nice!

Dad served in the army stationed in Germany. He worked hard, still does in fact, and we would always celebrate him on Veteran's Day... the one day he got to sleep in and get breakfast in bed! What a beard, eh?

"We are the three amigos! Harry, Sven, and Svegos. We always wash between our big toes." I think that's how it went, right? In the background is the playhouse my dad built us, a replica of our big house... he's pretty handy like that.

Thanks for being there for me. You are lookin' good for 67, Dad.
I love you.

-Heather

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our Niece.

My sister, Amber, is around 33 weeks with our niece. She was put on home/bed rest last week. Please pray for her, for the baby (still waiting on a name for this little one). If Am doesn't go into labor and there are no problems, they are going to deliver at 37 weeks. We are hoping and praying she makes it without issues until then. Amber has a high heart rate and many of the same issues I had. Thankfully, her doctor is watching her like a hawk.

It's not easy to be on bed rest and it's not easy going through losing Maelee and not worrying about the unknowns.

We just want our niece to be here, healthy and alive and loved. We want her big sister to finally get to hold her.

Sorry, Am, this is the only photo that shows your baby belly from my trip in July. Pretty adorable still!

It's a bittersweet time for us. We get to have another niece, another little one to love on and shop for and spoil. We get to reign supreme as Auntie Heather and Uncle Greg. Yet, it won't be without some hard times. Knowing my parents get to have another grandchild around but it's not Maelee is hard. Knowing that I'm not going to fly up to MN to see her right away saddeneds me. I'll have to explain to her later in life "the reason we didn't go see you right when you were born was because we were still too sad over losing Maelee." It just sucks that our grief is clouding our niece's arrival.

Christmas isn't going to be easy. I bought entirely way too many "baby's first christmas" outfits for Maelee and her cousin... pretty sure they would have had a new outfit for everyday in December! We were going to have the most adorable family Christmas photos. And even as our niece experiences milestones in the years to come, there will probably always be a ache in my heart for Maelee to be going through those too. Joy yet sorrow.

Pray for us, too, through this. That the Lord would give us peace, understanding, hope. That we will know Maelee will never be forgotten no matter who comes along. That jealousy won't rear it's ugly head. That the joy will far outweigh our grief. That, mostly, our newest niece would know she is loved by us, that she is special, that she is a gift.

-Heather

PS - Happy 3rd Birthday Dearest Marian! We love you, our favorite overseas niece!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vacuum!

I need a new vacuum.

The Dirt Devil my parents gave me in college (and probably bought for 50 bucks) is just not cutting it anymore. Especially since I'm shedding ridiculous amounts of hair (apparently after pregnancy you shed a lot; I've had two months of crazy bad shedding... good thing I have mounds of hair or I'd be bald by now). I'm too proud to post a photo of my carpet. Besides, who wants to see a photo of dirty carpet?

So if you have a vacuum that you love, let me know about it. I'd rather buy a good one I know works versus just buying one on sale that I know nothing about.

It's Greg's birthday next week, maybe I can surprise him with a vacuum.

Okay, I would never do that. I'm not that lame.

-Heather

Friday, August 20, 2010

Maelee's Name in Florida

Maelee's seashell (a pretty white one). The pink seashell represents our first baby (lost to ectopic pregnancy in April 2008). The seashell holding both the seashells up (in the background) represents the hope we have in the possible blessing of future baby/babies.

Sunrise on the beach...

I heart Maelee Linn.

Emily (gorgeous dear cousin) creating M's name.

The end result... her beautiful name in seashells.

Even in the fun, joyous times we had in Florida, I'm still grieving, still thinking of her, still missing her deeply. Sometimes when I see beauty (like beaches and oceans and pretty boats), I think of her more. Not sure why... maybe it's because beauty reminds me of heaven which reminds me of Maelee... maybe it's because she was beautiful... maybe it's just that I can't experience beauty fully these days... regardless, she was on my mind a lot... along with a few other babies that are in heaven playing with Maelee. Heaven is way better than even these Indiatlantic, Florida island beaches.

-Heather

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yacht.

Dale, Mary and I just got back from sunny Florida. It was wonderful - more photos to follow of all our excursions and family fun. We sure did enjoy our yachting last night... I think Greg and I need to get one of those! We are tired and tan/freckled and peopled-out and full/stuffed ... and boy am I glad to be back home to my hubby!

-Heather

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Adventure.

I am officially a consultant for Norwex now... it's been a good experience so far (as I'm learning about it) but I am still a little apprehensive about actually selling. I started a blog just for my Norwex info (so I don't take over our family blog). You can check it out at http://heathersnorwex.blogspot.com. I just posted there about a random but very bad jalapeno pepper burn experience I had last night.

Since I want our blog to help people, my advice for the day is: ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES WHEN HANDLING SEEMINGLY INNOCENT RED PEPPERS FROM YOUR GARDEN.

I hope I have prevented someone from a unpleasant experience!

My in-laws just flew into Columbia and we are heading down to Florida for a few days to celebrate Father Tony's new head priest job (Father Tony is Greg's uncle). Greg has to work so he'll be staying in SC. If you want to stop by and keep him company, please do! And if you drive by Broad River and hear some very loud music, it is probably coming from the amp in our living room. Sorry.

-Heather

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maelee's Day Photos.



It's taken awhile, but I've finally got all the photos Kimberly took during Maelee's Day edited and up on Picasa. I couldn't figure out how to just have a slideshow of some of the photos... so instead you have to see all 425! Sorry! Click the photo above of my dad and I to link to the Picasa site.

The album contains photos of the burial service, her gravestone, the beautiful Buffalo, ND cemetery as well as many of our friends and family that gathered together that day (including the dear ones that set a rock in front of her gravestone to spell out Maelee Linn Kasowski). If you want to read more about Maelee's Day service, you can read the blog post about it here: http://gretherfamily.blogspot.com/2010/06/for-those-of-you-not-able-to-join-us.html.

Thanks for reading, for caring, for your continued love and prayers and support... we can't say thanks enough!

We had a pleasant evening on Friday night at Dianne's on Devine and we thoroughly enjoyed our four course meal! Thanks to all the dear ladies from the Monday/Wednesday studies... you blessed us with a wonderful evening on a very hard day. We are grateful indeed.

-Heather

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dear Maelee,

I wish you were here today in my arms for your four month milestone. I would have put you in a new, cute outfit, probably one with brown in it. We would have taken so many photos of you today, recorded all the little quirks about you, the victories you've made. We would have been blissfully exhausted. We would have loved to watch you grow and change and become your own girl with your own personality and likes and dislikes.

I am feeling sorrowful as I think about all we are missing with you. It's hard, so hard, without you here. Since you were our firstborn, we don't know exactly what a four month old should be doing and I can't bring myself to read the emails I'm sent telling me about what my baby should be doing. I just know that we are missing something indescribably precious with you Maelee.

Tonight your mommy and daddy are going to dress up and go to a fancy restaurant that some friends decided we should go to. We want to stay home and pout and mourn... but instead we are going to try to celebrate you somehow, like we would have done if you were here. But just know, dear daughter, that inside we are aching for you. We will try to celebrate you and the short time we had with you... without being too overwhelmed with our unfulfilled hopes and dreams with you.

I don't know why we never got to hear you cry four months ago, why we never got to hold you in our arms while you were breathing, why you had to go. Someday we will go to you, in heaven, and we will be at peace. Until then, Maelee, we will always remember you and love you and yearn to be with you.

Love, your mommy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Last Call.

Here's your chance to add something to Maelee's name book! I'm going to order the book by the end of August so if you have wanted to create/add something for it, go ahead. Send us an email (heatherkasowski at yahoo.com) or send it in the mail. And thanks to those that have given us an image for her book... we treasure each of them.

-Heather