He makes all things new

Today is a very tender day. Hazel is six weeks and one day old. The exact same age that Owen was when he went to heaven. I find myself reliving Owen's last moments and remembering what it was like to hold his lifeless body. The final days and hours of his life were traumatic. I wish I could erase the memories from my mind. I have been anticipating this day from the day Hazel was born. Part of me is still in disbelief that his body went through so much and at the young age of six weeks and one day, his life on earth ended. 

I miss my boy. I miss him for Hazel. I hate that she doesn't have an older brother here to grow up with. I imagine all of the big brother, little sister pictures I would be taking and how fun it would be to watch them interact. I wanted that for her.  As I sit here and type, I have my sweet little girl on my chest asleep. I feel the warmth of her body and hear the little whistle in her breath. She is showered in my tears, but she doesn't seem to mind. It feels good to let myself grieve.

In the last days of my pregnancy with Hazel, my emotions were all over the place. I felt so anxious about her birth. I felt anxiety about all of the triggers I would experience from being back in a delivery room again. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy Hazel's newborn days because they would remind me of what I never had with Owen. The opposite happened, and I am so thankful.

Hazel is the biggest comfort and brings me so much joy. Already this morning she has brought so many smiles to my face. She woke up this morning with an enormous poopy diaper that required a complete wardrobe change. While changing her, she gave us the biggest and sweetest smiles. I heard her laugh out loud for the first time today. She was half asleep while it happened, but it still gave me a glimpse of the real laughs that are to come. On her 43rd day, I am going to hold her a little longer, let her nap in my arms, take even more pictures of her than I do on a typical day, and read all of Owen's favorite books to her in his memory.

A dear friend recently gave me a necklace with these words written on it: "He makes all things new." This is true for both of my children. Hazel is a new little life on earth an Owen was given a new life in heaven. I love these verses in Isaiah about the new heaven and the new earth.

"And there will no longer be heard in her days the voice of weeping and the sound of crying. No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days; or an old man who does not live out his days." (Isaiah 65: 19b-20a). 

Welcome to the family, sweet Hazel!

Almost six weeks ago, we welcomed the sweetest little girl into our family. Hazel Kathryn Parker was born on November 9th, 2015 at 7:51 pm. She weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces (the same as Owen!), and was 21.5 inches long. We fell in love with her instantly.
Before her birth, Brian and I were looking forward to new firsts and "normal" newborn experiences we didn't have with Owen. We certainly got them with Hazel. She has brought more joy into our lives than I knew was possible after such a loss. What a gift.
I have my baby in my arms. I can't even describe the feeling. 
Proud daddy and his little Hazel nut, as he lovingly calls her. He hadn't held another baby since he held Owen. The most precious moment. 
She wore these little pink and white stripe kissy kissy pajamas for her going home outfit. It was the pink version of what we had picked out for Owen to wear going home. There are so many little touches of him in her. 

The most exciting moment for us after she was born was taking her HOME! It almost felt like we were doing something wrong, leaving the hospital with a baby in our arms... I look exhausted in this picture, but I love it. It was the most amazing feeling even just standing outside of the hospital with our healthy little girl in our arms!
Even though Owen isn't here with us, I hope she will always feel a bond with him as her brother. We will continue to incorporate little bits of him into her life. She will always know he is her big brother. Heaven will be a very real place for her from a young age because he is there. My prayer for her is that she will always know how much Jesus loves her and that she will grow to love him with her whole heart. I can't wait to tell her one day how God has used her in my life to provide healing and redemption. My heart is fuller than it was before she was here. It won't be completely full until heaven, but I am so thankful for these moments of joy. We love you little Hazel and are loving the adventure of being your parents! 

Team Owen Shirts

Hi everyone! It's been a while! We have had a busy fall, but we're not complaining because time seems to be flying by, and in just a few more weeks Baby Girl Parker will be here! We can hardly wait for her arrival. 

Several of you have mentioned that you would like more Team Owen shirts and onesies in different sizes, so we re-launched the shirt campaign for a couple of weeks! Owen's little sister will need onesies and shirts as well, so we are excited to buy one in every size. :) The shirts are $20 and the onesies are $15. Half of the cost of the shirt will go toward the 2016 Book & Blanket Drive for babies in the CICU at Egleston. I'll post more about that later, but for now, if you'd like to order a shirt or onesie, you have until October 18th to do so. 

We recently did The Greater Charlotte Heart Walk and were so proud to wear Owen's shirts among the thousands of people at the walk that day. A few people asked us who Owen was, and we were so proud to tell them. We plan on doing the congenital heart walk in Atlanta this spring and will create a team, make new shirts, and try to raise money for the foundation. We didn't get a chance to do any of that for the walk in Charlotte, but it was still really fun to be a part of it! I loved having his baby sister in my belly walking with us. 

If you have any questions about the shirts or onesies, feel free to leave a comment, and I'll do my best to answer! Thanks to Ginna for relaunching the shirt and onesie campaign. 

joyful news

We are so happy to announce that our family is growing even more. We are going to have another baby, and that baby just so happens to be a little girl! We found out her gender on June 12th, which is the same day two years ago that I found out I was pregnant with Owen. The timing of finding out I was pregnant was also perfect. It was just a few days after Owen's birthday and was such a gift to discover a new little life during the anniversary of Owen's six weeks. It felt like a birthday present. 

We had a trip planned to the mountains the day after our anatomy scan. We decided to bring up pink balloons to release to her big brother in heaven. The walk up the mountain that day was redeeming in a way. Eleven months prior, we carried Owen's ashes up the mountain. This day, we had a new little life growing and pink balloons. I dream of the day we will be able to carry this little girl up to visit her big brother. He will always be a part of her life.

Oh, how I wish Owen had been strapped to his daddy's back looking around at everything that day. He would have loved it. How is it possible to feel so much joy and sorrow at the same time? My mind is boggled by this. I've never experienced anything like it before. 

Owen's meadow was beautiful. It couldn't have been any more perfect unless he had been there too. Releasing the balloons was symbolic and so special. Our babies are connected and always will be. 

I love looking at the smiles on our faces in these pictures. They show genuine joy. I never thought it would be possible to feel such joy again. This can only come from the Lord. He continues to work in our grief and reveal promises to us again and again. My heart may never be completely full until heaven because part of me is already there. Owen has given me an eternal perspective that I didn't have before. He continues to teach me things and be present in my life in such powerful ways. 
We appreciate your prayers during this pregnancy. It would be so easy to let fear take over and spend every hour worrying that we will have another sick baby or worse, lose another child. We are thankful that so far, all of our scans and tests have come back great and she looks healthy. We will have a fetal echocardiogram in a couple weeks where they will take a closer look at her heart. I love my team of doctors and know that we are in the best hands. It just so happens that one of the pediatric cardiologists in my practice here in Charlotte was a fellow at Egleston when Owen was there. He knows all about Owen and his heart defects which is such a comfort. He also did his residency with my cousin in Atlanta, so we had a personal connection before he even worked with Owen. I remember him coming up to us on our second or third day in the hospital and told us that my cousin told him we were there. I can't tell you how many times things like that happen with different people It feels like such a small world sometimes! I love how the people we encounter are never by accident.

Baby girl Parker is due in November. I have to share one last thing. My Paper Source calendar had arrows on it in the month of February which was so appropriate for Owen's birthday. A few months ago, I got a call from my friend Carrie telling me that the mini Paper Source calendar has arrows on it in the month of November this year! I went straight to the store and bought it. I really do believe that this is God's way of showing up again and again in the small things, just like he did over and over again during Owen's life at Egleston. It gives me so much peace and calms my anxious heart.

Baby girl, we love you and can't wait to meet you! xoxo

when the hard gets harder

I've been missing Owen so much more than usual lately. I always miss him, but lately it's been more intensified. Maybe it's because Mother's Day was recently here and Father's Day is approaching. Maybe it's because one of my very best friends just had her first child, and Owen isn't here to grow up with her. It just isn't fair. I keep searching through my phone and computer for new pictures of Owen. Ones I didn't know I had or haven't seen before. But there aren't any, and that makes me sad and angry.

I did find this one though. When I look at this picture I see a body weary from childbirth, a face swollen from tears, eyes gazing at the precious child that was knit in her womb for nine months. I see so much love. I love how Owen's little hand wrapped around my finger. I miss this so much. I wish I could have dreams about him and remember them. I haven't had a single one. It would be like a little piece of heaven if I did.
I've been missing Egleston a lot lately and all of the people there. It's probably a strange thing to miss, but those are the people that knew Owen with us, and that was the place that he lived. If we still lived in Atlanta, I can promise you I would be a frequent visitor in the CICU to drop off goodies for the staff and gifts for the families. 

Life isn't all sadness. We have so much to be thankful for. We love, love, love living in Charlotte and our home here. This is the most "at home" I've felt in years. I have enjoyed planning and hosting a baby shower here in my home last month and using my creative energy again, I especially love decorating my home little by little and making it our own. We have enjoyed exploring Charlotte, trying new restaurants, and establishing roots here. We both love the people we work with and are so thankful for our jobs. 

It's nice having life come back to normal. We're adjusting to what this new normal is with our baby boy in heaven. I think one of the the hardest things for me is figuring out how to balance joy and sorrow. From the outside people might think that things have gotten easier for us as time has passed. That's certainly what I used to think about people before I experienced this form of loss. But it hasn't gotten easier, we've just better adjusted to the pain in our hearts and have learned (and continue to learn) how to carry it through each day. We know we don't carry it alone. 

I recently started reading Kara Tippetts' book The Hardest Peace, and I have already learned so much from it. If you're not familiar with Kara, she recently lost her battle to cancer and knows what it truly is to suffer. In the introduction of the book she writes, "This is not a book about trying to win at having the hardest story. This book is about a broken woman on a journey to know the hardest peace. Peace in the midst of hard. I speak both generally and specifically of hard, because hard is often the vehicle Jesus uses to meet us, point us to that peace, and teach us grace." 

I feel that I am in the middle of this journey of hard. Instead of rushing the hard away, my prayer is that my heart and mind will be open and that I will grow and minister to others who are also experiencing hard. That I will draw closer to Jesus in this journey and keep a soft heart in the process. And on the days when the hard gets harder, that I will find comfort in the great comforter who can provide peace like no other.

a year ago today

A year ago today we had to say goodbye. We didn't want to. We selfishly wanted him here with us. How can a new little life end so soon? It was too soon in our minds. I hate replaying the events of this day a year go in mind. It was a day we were told to prepare for, but how can parents prepare for the death of their child? It's impossible... We tried so hard to live in the moment. To enjoy every little bit of life we shared with Owen. How can you prepare for holding your lifeless child in your arms? How can you prepare for leaving his body in the hospital, knowing you will never see him again in this life? You can't. But God gives you the grace to handle each moment.

Yesterday, I went into a children's store for the first time since having Owen, to shop for a friend's baby. I went to this store countless times before Owen was born, preparing for him and buying the cutest little outfits. When I made it in and out of the store without tears and a smile on my face almost exactly a year after his death, I knew it was only by God's grace. I can honestly say that nothing I do is by my own power. If it were up to me, I would spend lots of days crawled up in bed in tears. The ache is so deep a year later. People say it will get better with time. I feel like the people who say this have never lost a child. What I find to be true is that your heart gets used to bearing so much pain and sorrow that you learn to live with it. I loved the sermon on Easter Sunday. It was about deep sorrow turning into pure joy. I love the hope of that. In this past year, I have experienced some moments of joy that I am truly thankful for. A year ago today, I didn't think that would be possible. I am hopeful for more of these moments. It's such a strange balance of emotions. I'm still learning how to feel happiness, excitement, and sorrow all at the same time. It's really hard!

I was talking with a friend a few months ago, sharing some of our story with her for the first time. One of the things she said really struck me. She reminded me that God the same God on the day that I found out I was pregnant with Owen, the day that he was born, the day we found out about his diagnosis, and the day that he died. I love thinking about that. Instead of being angry at him for allowing Owen to die, I think of him rejoicing with us when we found out I was pregnant and when he was born, comforting us when we found out his diagnosis, and mourning with us on the day that he died.

After Owen died, I told my counselor that I just wanted ten years to pass quickly so I could escape the intense pain I felt. Now, I want the opposite. I hate that it's been a year since I held Owen in my arms. I don't want anymore time to pass. I don't want to forget things about him- what he smelled like, the noises he made, the softness of his skin... He will always be my baby and the one who made me a mommy. He is irreplaceable.

A year ago today, heaven became a very real place for me. A part of me is already there, and I can't wait to scoop him in my arms, hold him tight, and never let him go. When I was little and trying to understand what heaven will be like, my parents told me to imagine my happiest day, only better. My happiest day was the day I met Owen and held him in my arms. I can't wait for an eternity of those days.

Owen, your mommy and daddy miss you so much, especially today. Our sadness is deep because our love for you is deep. You continue to be a part of our every day. On our way to church on Sunday, we talked about what we would have put in your Easter basket this year and how cute your little outfit would have been. We fantasized about a family Easter picture after church. We still call our small bedroom that has some of your furniture in it "Owen's room." I still have your same pair of socks in my purse that I had a year ago when you were in the hospital. I smile every time I see them there. Every day we miss you. You have changed our lives for the better, and have taught us so much. A couple days before you died, I told a team of doctors that I didn't want to be the one to share your story. I wanted you to live to share it. God had other plans, and I feel honored to not only be a part of your story, but to continue to share it with others. Your life continues to be used in big ways. I'm so glad I'm a part of it



Owen's First Birthday

Dear Owen,

Today would have been your first birthday. I can hardly believe a whole year has past since you were born. I never knew my heart could feel as much love as it did when I met you. The day you were born was such an exciting day. We had waited so long for your arrival. You were in no rush to get here, but it was the perfect timing. I'll never forget looking into your eyes for the first time. You were here, you were perfect, and you were mine. How could I love someone so instantaneously and so passionately? I didn't want to put you down. You made the cutest noises and had the sweetest smell. Daddy and I would touch our faces to your skin just to feel how soft you were. We had such great dreams of what your life would be. 

God had different plans for your life than we did. We didn't want you to be sick. We didn't want to learn about heart defects and ventilator settings and blood gases and surgical procedures. We didn't want you to live in the hospital. We didn't want you to be hooked up to a dozen medications or be intubated or go through heart surgeries. We didn't want to not be able to hold you for weeks at a time. We didn't want you to live your life in the CICU and be poked and prodded all day every day. We didn't want you to die. Our plans were not God's plans, and that is hard.

Even though your life was not what we dreamed of, it was beautiful. You made an impact, sweet boy, and you touched so many. You lived a full life and filled my heart in a way I never could have imagined. I loved our days together looking into each others' eyes and holding hands. You had such an old soul. It was like you knew exactly what was happening and were telling me it would all be okay. I loved our time reading together and listening to music. I love that you were known as the cute baby on the floor. I loved that nurses fought over you and wanted to take care of you. I loved whispering to you and talking to you. I told you how popular you were and that you had so many friends who couldn't wait to meet you. I told you about the things we would do together when we would bring you home. I told you all about your nursery that was at home waiting for you. I told you that I would never put you down. I never would have put you down. 

Oh, how I wish you were here and that we were throwing a big birthday party! Today was still a celebration! Your friends and family donated hundreds of blankets and books and in your honor. We were able to give them to the families in the CICU, hoping they would bring them some joy. We collected more than we ever dreamed we would, and it was all for you. We made cupcakes and passed them out to some of your biggest fans. You have brought so many people together. Everyone was celebrating you today! Your life is huge, and it is powerful. It is a story of hope and a reminder that we are not made for this world. We are made to live in heaven for eternity at the feet of Jesus. You are already there, and I can't wait to join you. Thank you for giving me that gift! A perspective I may never have had if I had not had you as my son. I loved celebrating you today. My heart is filled with so much love for you. I just love you, Owen. I miss you so, so very much. Happy first birthday, baby boy! 



For two months we collected, sorted through, and packaged all of the beautiful blankets and books we received for the book and blanket drive! It was so nice for me to be able to devote energy to this project since I couldn't plan a first birthday party for Owen. I loved putting blankets together, matching them with books, and packaging them beautifully.

 This is the note that was included in each package.

To everyone who was a part of this project, thank you!! We were blown away with all of the support we received with this project It wouldn't have been successful without you. We collected over 600 blankets and over 400 books. It was the perfect way to celebrate Owen today, and as much of a gift to us as it will be to the CICU families. With the help of family and friends, we delivered these bags to Egleston today on Owen's birthday.

The hospital staff was overwhelmed with joy and so touched with these gifts. They estimate that we have around a six month supply. Amazing

 We dropped off cupcakes too!

To all of the CICU staff, thank you for celebrating Owen with us today. Thank you for being so excited about he books and blankets and cupcakes. It was good for my heart. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to talk to us and ask how we're doing. Thank you for remembering Owen with us. Not many people had the privilege of meeting him, but you did. Because of that, you are so dear to us, and we feel a connection with you that we don't feel with anyone else. Thank you for loving Owen and for taking such great care of him. Thank you for supporting us as parents and loving us so well. You may not think of Owen's story as a success story, but we do. You are all angels for doing what you do. 

I love this picture. It was talking with some of the staff in the lobby, and one of the nurses pointed and said, "Look at them celebrating Owen!" Brings tears to my eyes.

We ended the night releasing balloons to heaven with some close friends. It was the perfect ending to a special day.

Today we felt so much love, support, and peace. It was the best way we could have possibly spent Owen's birthday. Thank you so much to everyone who continues to shower us in prayers. It means so much.

spreading awareness

This is congenital heart disease. Looking at your four-week-old baby with such joy and relief after a 10 hour open heart surgery. Spending the whole day in the surgical waiting room on edge, waiting for the receptionist to call your name with an update every hour. Wondering when they don't call on the hour if something horribly wrong has happened. Saying goodbye to your baby that morning in the triage room surrounded by people in scrubs and masks, knowing very well it could be your last time. Looking at your son's open chest, and watching his heart beat. Thanking God for every beat of that heart. Wondering if he will remember this later in life. Wondering if he will get to experience life outside the hospital... Living for this moment alone. Locking eyes with your sweet baby boy, and thanking God for these minutes spent together.
Worrying about the future... and what life will be like for him with such a sick heart. Hoping for a cure and for healing. Wondering how many times you have left stroking his head and holding his hand. Wondering if you will ever be able to hold him again. Dreaming about hearing his voice and being woken up from his cry in the middle of the night. Fixating on monitors and waiting for blood gas results. Celebrating any ounce of pee in his catheter. Praying he doesn't have to go on ECMO. Praying he makes it through the night. Cherishing every single moment together. 

This is congenital heart disease. It is not pretty, but these babies and children are so strong. Their parents only strive to live up to their level of strength, fighting for them with all of their might. February is heart disease awareness month. Please spread Owen's story to others. Not many know that congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect. I certainly didn't know until Owen. It occurs in 1 out of every 100 births. Please spread Owen's story to raise awareness. Talking about it increases awareness which impacts research, increasing the chances for these children to live healthy, full lives. 

Respite Retreat

Right after we lost Owen, I read Holding Onto Hope, by Nancy Guthrie. Her words spoke to my aching soul in a way no other human could. In the book, she wrote about losing her daughter Hope and the grief that follows such a loss, but a grief filled with hope in the Lord. My cousin and his wife also lost their son Joseph six years ago. They know Nancy and her husband David and told us about the retreats they host every year for couples who have lost children. They attended one themselves, and said it was the best thing they did. After hearing that, I knew Brian and I needed to go. In January, we had the privilege of doing just that.

As the weekend approached, I became quite anxious about everything. The weeks prior to going had been another "dark patch" in my grieving process that didn't seem to be fading. I knew the weekend would stir up lots of really difficult memories and emotions. I was nervous about hearing others' stories and sharing our pain, not knowing what that would look like. The moment we walked into the door, my anxiety went away. Nancy Guthrie was there, greeted us by name and welcomed us in. We spent the weekend with eleven other couples, all who had lost children. I can't tell you how comforting it was to be surrounded by people who truly understand every single thought, worry, ache and pain that we feel. We were able to share Owen's story and listen to the stories of all the other beautiful children. You can imagine how emotional and difficult that was, but it really was good to listen, share, and be heard. When you meet others who have experienced this same loss, there is an instant connection. Those eleven other couples felt like family that weekend. There was lots of time for conversations and getting to know them better. Every thought they shared, I have also felt. We were able to encourage each other through dark moments we have faced or will be facing.

One thing Nancy said really stuck with me. She said, "Nurturing our grief is how we mother our child." I love that. It's so true. As a mother, when you're faced with life without your child to care for, you have to nurture something, and the closest thing to our child is the grief we are left with. The way she said it made me feel more like a mom than I have felt since April when Owen died. In that setting with eleven other moms without their babies, I felt like a normal mom. Something I long to feel every day. It was so comforting.

I wanted to be a sponge that weekend and absorb everything I could. The whole weekend was so good, but the last morning was my favorite. It was a time of praise and worship where we went through scripture together followed by songs. The focus was on hearing Jesus speak into our sorrow. That's really the goal in all of this, right?

Emptiness is what I feel  the most (other than deep sorrow) after losing Owen. My arms are empty. His crib is empty. Our house is empty. My heart often feels empty. Nancy spoke about that emptiness. We looked at 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness. She said God is saying "My grace is going to be enough in the form, timing, and quantity that you need it. I'm going to fill up the emptiness." She said that we see emptiness as our biggest problem, but God sees it as his biggest opportunity. God created the heavens and the earth out of emptiness. He filled it with light, life, and goodness. God spoke it into place. He is enough and he will fill our emptiness.

I also struggle with wondering about the "what if's" during Owen's life... I wonder if he would still be here if we made different decisions about his medical care. It's such a horrible and dangerous place to go in my mind. What if Owen stayed on ECMO one more day, or came off two days before when he was stronger? What if I ate something that caused his heart condition? What if I knew about his sickness before he was born? Would that have changed his treatment and given him a better chance? Those are just a few of the many what if's I think of. We looked at Revelation 1:17-18 that says, "Don't be afraid! ... I hold the keys of death and the grave."  Jesus holds the key to life and death. He's on the other side of the door to receive. Even though it feels way too soon to say goodbye, it was right on time. She went on to say, because Jesus holds the keys, we can surrender the "if only's." While I don't like that it was the right time for Owen to die, it's so incredibly freeing to be reminded that nothing I could have done would have changed the outcome.

Exhaustion is another struggle I've faced. Grieving takes so much energy. More energy than I even have most days. "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest" - Matthew 11:28. Jesus' invitation and command is to come to Him and He will give us rest. Often times when I come to God, I come with my own agenda. I have plans and dreams and long for them to be met more than I long to draw closer to Him. Nancy said that to rest in Him means surrendering all of our plans. This is the hardest thing for me. When Owen was alive, I remember coming to God, and asking for healing. There was one point though when I asked for healing, but also for His will to be done. It was the scariest thing for me. I knew that in doing that, I was surrendering to my plan for Owen to become healthy and live a full life. Instead, I was accepting the fact that God's will could be to take him home. During these past ten months without him, I still have plans and hopes. I struggle with where my hope lies. Does it lie in having more children and job security and health, or does it lie in the Lord? Letting God be enough even if my prayers aren't answered and coming to Him without an agenda is where true rest is found.

Everything I've felt. Emptiness, anger, regret, sorrow, weariness. It was all covered during this one Sunday morning at the Respite Retreat. As we said our goodbyes before heading home, I went up to Nancy and tearfully told her that I knew people say that healing can happen, but that I honestly didn't believe them. But during that weekend, I wasn't sure how, but my heart experienced some healing for the first time. I am so thankful to Nancy and David for continuing this ministry. As anxious as I was to come, I didn't want to leave. I'm thankful for new friendships and a deeper relationship with God because of it.

and if not...

And if not, He is still good. This has been the phrase I repeat to myself over and over again to remember God's goodness, because to be honest, I don't really feel it most of the time. Just saying those words brings me to tears because I feel such disappointment from God, yet I know that he loves me and cares about the state of my heart. To this day, I honestly can't believe Owen isn't here. I really can't. It takes my breath away. During his life, I was certain God would heal him, and that so many people would be drawn to the Lord because of it. But that wasn't the plan. We experienced the "and if not" to our biggest hope and prayer. Even if I don't feel that God is still good all the time, I know that he is. I'm thankful for his goodness.

I wanted a reminder of this truth displayed in my house, so I asked my friend Becca to make some sort of sketchy doodle so I could hang it on my wall. She had the idea to use a photo with words over it, and I loved that idea. I thought a picture of The Bald where Owen's ashes are spread would be the perfect photo to use. Originally, we thought we'd use a sunny picture with a view of the mountains, but Becca played around with this picture of The Bald that I took on Christmas day, and I think it's perfect.

There's something about the grey and coldness of this picture that speaks to me. It's powerful. It reminds me of the truth I long to feel in this cold, dark season. It gives me hope. I can't wait to hang it on my wall. 

Becca has these prints for sale in her shop *here*. She is donating all the profits to the Sibley Heart Center.