Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Ava Maelee Linn Lippert
Born Thursday, September 23rd at 6:49pm
7lbs, 5.6ozs and 19 inches of little girl.

Our adorable new niece.

This one was sent via cell phone shortly after birth.

A very proud big sister holding her little sister for the first time.

More photos to come! Baby and mom were able to go home on Saturday and they are doing well. Thanks for praying for Ava's safe arrival. We all breathed a big sigh of relief and thanksgiving when we heard the news. And of course, we are humbled by our new niece's beautiful middle name. We wish more than anything that Maelee was here to grow up with her cousin... but we are thankful she'll always be remembered in Ava's name.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Taste of the South.

As a couple of midwesterners living in the South, we have experienced our fair share of culture shock. I could go on and on about the not-so-lovely aspects of living here but I'm trying to be more positive, dangnabbit, so here are some things I like:

  1. How everyone young and old adds "Miss" or "Mr." to people's first names when addressing them. Example: "Go tell Mr. Greg his sweet tea is ready." It is pretty adorable especially with little kids who can barely talk. I think this may be manners, but I'm not sure.
  2. You can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime for any reason. You feel like talkin' to a complete stranger while fillin' your buggy? Go ahead. No one is a stranger here.
  3. They call carts buggies. Not a big fan of that, honestly, but I figured you should know.
  4. While working out this morning, the weather map was on TV. Bismarck high today is 53. Columbia 93. Now, this could be a negative point for the South (hello, today is supposed to be the last day of summer!) but at least for today I'm glad I don't have to wear a coat.
  5. My porch looks like a greenhouse. And I did not inherit a green thumb. Most plants just love this heat and humidity. My mom planted a ton of things in April and they are still growing (and sort of taking over our porch). Long growing cycles = ample flowers and plants. Take that.
  6. I love Publix. Best Grocery Store Ever. They don't have Publix in the midwest.
  7. I can take walks year round. Granted sometimes the walk is only to my car.
  8. We can travel 2 hours and be in the mountains. We can travel 2 hours (the other way) and be at the beach. Drive a short ways in the South and you can be someplace very different and exciting. Every family goes to the beach for vacation. This makes driving two hours to Minot to the mall seem quite lame.
  9. I never knew mac-n-cheese was a staple side item... didn't know there are more ways to make it than just opening the blue and yellow box. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a vegetable... but I would say I've had some tasty mac-n-cheese down here.
  10. Ya'll is a good word. "You guys" doesn't flow as nicely. It encompasses a lot for just one word. It's a keeper.
-Miss Heather

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Well Deserved Thank You.

Grief is selfish. We've mentioned that before. I guess that's why it's taken me too long to tell everyone that has ever read our blog, prayed for us, talked about us, loved us... a much overdue thank you.

Thank you for caring. Please know your love and concern has helped us immensely. Thank you for all the love, the comments, the photos, the prayers.

If I was into song writing, I would probably write you a song. A monster thank-you ballad.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

In Honor of Grandma Doris Mae Zander.

If you were to go to Dickinson, ND and stop by Country House, you would find my Grandma there, probably cuddling a baby doll. She's there but she's not. She has had Alzheimer's for many years now and has gotten to the stage where she doesn't remember anyone. It's sad for those of us that remember her life, to see her a shell of her former self. It's hardest most on my Grandpa Ray and on my mom and my aunts. It's like they have had to grieve her even though she is still here. Frankly, it really sucks.
With her great-granddaughter, Ali, this summer.

Our daughter was named using her middle name (Mae). I miss you Maelee and I miss you, too, Grandma Zander. One thing I miss most about my Grandma is her homemade buns. I LOVED them. She would bring me a bag full and I would hide under my bed to eat them (I guess I had a thing with sharing). She was a great cook. I remember one of the first times I realized she just wasn't herself was when I realized she couldn't remember recipes anymore.

Wedding Photo of Doris and Raymond Zander

Losing her mom to Alzheimer's has been especially tough on my mom. That's why I am so proud of her for taking initiative to start the Memory Walk in her hometown to help raise money for Alzheimer's research. Go mom! The walk in Williston, ND is happening on October 2nd. If you live there, feel free to join them that Saturday at the WSC campus (9am registration, 10am walk) or click here for more info.

If you would like to donate to helping end Alzheimer's, you can do so through my Memory Walk donation site by clicking here (or go to http://memorywalk10.kintera.org/williston/mae). I am a part of my mom's team: Tysse's Troupe! You can donate in honor or in memory of someone (PS: Maelee would be happy to have her memory honored in hopes to help out cute old ladies with this horrible disease).

And so you know: All Memory Walk donations benefit the Alzheimer's Association, the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

With my dad and I at my wedding... where my grandparents danced together probably for the last time - a polka of course!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sail Away.

Our friend Tammie invited us to go sailing yesterday. It was a perfect thing to do. Neither of us had ever been sailing before and it was a treat. I never realized how peaceful sailing is and how relaxing it can be. It was a gorgeous day on the lake for us to think about Maelee and reflect on how much we miss her. And it's good to be around people that are okay with us talking about her.

And for us North Dakotans, being on Lake Murray felt a little like being on the lakes of ND or MN. It was fun to jump off the boat and swim around (no salt water!). I'll take a lake over the ocean any day!

Boat terms we learned: mansil (main sail, but said funny), jig, knot, keel, wench, boom, cleat, come about... and we also learned the difference between an engine and a motor! How 'bout that, mate?


PS - Happy 3rd Birthday to our niece, Lilliana, our favorite red-headed three-year-old! And Happy Birthday H1!

Monday, September 6, 2010

That Was Before.

I hope you don't have one. I wish beyond anything we didn't. But we do. We have this event, this tragedy, that marks our lives. All things are measured based on this event.

As a result, we find ourselves saying or thinking statements like "well that was before" or "since then" or just "before...". Our whole lives are marked by Maelee's death five months ago. We don't mean to, but we measure life based on that day. I don't know if it will always be so, but for now, I am deeply aware how much this has changed us.

We miss you, M.