Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hearts for the Holidays 2012

Let me just start off by saying that November might be death of me, what with all it's fun travels and events and craziness. Tonight, we are having 40+ people (mostly neighborhood kiddos and neighbor families) over for Thanksgiving dinner, because we leave on Saturday and wont be here for actual Thanksgiving. Adam is substituting teaching (for P.E) at the neighborhood elementary school all week, leaving me in charge of the turkey. Lord help us all.

ALL that to say that I have been meaning to post this for the last three weeks or so, and time keeps somehow getting away from me (apparently I didn't learn my margins lessons very well). We want to put together baskets for babies/kids in the CICU at CHOA again this year. But I dont have time to pour out my heart and tell y'all just how deeply I feel about this. SO I am literally copying and pasting this from last year. I hope you guys will be just as excited to help out again this year . . . We heard from nurses and doctors last year that the patients and their families were really able to enjoy the baskets we put together (I'm including a list of what we put in the baskets last year, so you can have an idea of what you might want to help contribute).

It's almost Thanksgiving. I know, I can't believe how fast time is flying either. But this year especially I am so aware of just how much we have to be thankful for. Caden is home with us. That sweet little face is getting chubbier by the day, and the feeding tube is out of his poor little nose. I am beyond thankful for both my little sweethearts. And for our new home, our ministry, and our family and friends. . . But I also recognize that even while Caden was in the hospital, even while his heart was fighting to beat, we still had so much to be thankful for. The amount of support, love, encouragement and prayers we had while we were in the hospital . . . it literally brought us to tears of gratitude on a daily basis.

We've realized, however, that not everyone with little ones in the hospital has people sending them itunes gift cards, money for parking, making them food, cleaning their houses . . . Beyond that, I can scarcely begin to imagine spending the holidays at my baby's bedside in the CICU.

Because we are thankful, and because we want to pass along some of the encouragement and love y'all showered us with during Caden's hospital stay . . . we are planning something fun for families in the CICU this holiday season. We want to put together gift baskets/bags/what-have-you for each child (and their family) in the CICU. We spoke with CHOA and they said they are staffed for 14 beds, can hold up to 27 children, but at their busiest usually have 18-20 kids . . . So we want to put together 20 bags.

What we want is your help. We would love for y'all to be a part of what we're doing. Whether it's by contributing ideas for what to include (especially from my fellow heart-parents - what would you have wanted when you were in the hospital?), money contributions, or if you have something specific you'd like to donate for us for the bags (maybe you make something like baby hats or dolls etc).

I'm always kind of nervous about doing stuff like this, because I'm afraid that no one will respond. But we feel led to love these families, who are undoubtedly facing some of the hardest moments you can imagine. And if a simple act of love and kindness can point them to Jesus, then I feel like it's something we desperately want to be a part of. So please humor me by at least contributing some ideas for us!

We are so excited to give back, to honor Caden's days in the CICU, and to thank you for all you have done for us and our family. And also to show those who loved and cared for Caden how thankful we are for the work they do day in and day out.  I really think this will mean a lot to the families who have to spend the holidays in the hospital, I know that we couldn't have been more grateful for every single note, prayer, gift, and encouraging word. Seriously, they completely carried us through each day, and I dont think we would have made it without them.

If you'd rather email me ideas, or want an address for sending donations, you can reach me at Becca1612 at hotmail dot com. 

We are going to get $5 Starbucks gift cards for ALL the nurses working on Christmas (both day and night shift).

I thought I'd include a list of everything we're planning on putting in the baskets because several people had offered to put together a basket. We are going to deliver these on December 23rd, so if you want to put together a basket, just let us know before then sometime!

- Nice journals and pens (so parents can write, journal how they're feeling, write down medical details, questions for the doctors etc).
 - Gum, mints (you dont always want to leave your baby's bedside to go brush your teeth, but also want to talk to the drs and nurses without scaring them) . . .
- Small packets of tissue
- Water bottles
- Packaged snacks (granola bars, crackers etc) or homemade goodies
- Gift cards (there are several restaurants etc nearby: starbucks, chickfila, panera bread, doc chey's, chipotle, and domino's are neaby chains, and there are also some local places right near the hospital - Rise n' Dine, Bad dog taqueria . . .)
- Gas cards (you drive back and forth a lot!)
- Travel-sized things of shampoo, body wash, lotion, etc.
- Hand lotion (you wash your hands constantly so they get super-dry)
- Small things of laundry detergent (if you stay overnight at the hospital, it's nice to be able to do your laundry)
-Antibacterial gel (have to be extra careful about germs!)
-Parking passes for CHOA


  1. Replies
    1. I think last year we put two water bottles in each basket, so like 40 bottles?

  2. Can I mail a check or PayPal you a donation for the baskets? I know you're busy, so whenever you want to let me know, that's fine.

    Have a good Thanksgiving!

    1. Either one works fine - do you have my address still? I can also give you paypal info if you'd prefer . . .

  3. Becca,
    We were at CHOA this fall with my 6 month old. Two weeks after our stay, my oldest child had his birthday and we asked for toiletries as gifts to donate to the hospital. I still haven't gotten around to taking them. I would be more than happy to add those to all of your baskets - just let me know if that ends up being a need. :-)

    1. That would be great! :-) thanks for being willing!

    2. When/How should I get it to you.....I can drop it off at your house if you'll email me your address and tell me a good day/time. My email is

  4. We were just talking tonight about how much the families (and nurses) appreciated your gifts last year! Being in the hospital on Christmas is so difficult for our families here, and knowing that so many people are praying for them and thinking of them really makes a difference. Becca, you and Adam are such blessings! (And as always, your children are absolutely precious.)

    1. Aw this totally made my day! :-) love you Katie!!!

  5. Hey Becca,
    Have any of your suggestions been completely filled yet?? I'm going out this week to stock up on some things for your baskets and didn't want to get something you already have.

    1. I dont think so! I'll double check my emails, but as far as I can tell right now, we would be absolutely thrilled with anything you could send! :-)



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