Bennett David Kahl

Bennett David Kahl
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers Ephesians 1:16

Friday, July 31, 2009

Flashback Friday

My baby!!

Soup smile :)

Yummy soup mommy!

Ching Ching...Ellie's version of a cheers!


Gigantic Ellie and mini Isabella

Round and round we go!!!

The family


Our family with Donny (youth pastor that left our church) He was a true blessing to our family and we will miss him!

Give me 5...wait I mean 10!

Ummm, I'll just help myself.

Chill-axin in her baby doll crib!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A little bit of good news!

It’s the little things in life that bring me great joy these days.

Today, I got an email from Genesis Genetics to schedule our phone consult with the doctor. It is set for September 1st. At first, I was a little disappointed that it is still a month away. The reason for the call is to give us information about the PGD and the results…and so on. So, I decided I would email the FANTASTIC genetic counselor from Genesis Genetics that is handling our case (Sarah) and ask what stage of the process we were in.

I was so HAPPY to hear that she considers there to be only two “stages” to the process before they are ready to do the actual PGD…and the scientist working on our case was already done with the first and working on the second!!! YEAH!!! So, theoretically when the doctor calls on September 1st they MIGHT actually be done with our DNA probes and we will be ready to harvest in September…meaning that we would be doing IVF in October! Light at the end of this tunnel!

I realize that this is BEST case, but seriously, I rarely get good news and that was GREAT news for me! We are getting somewhere finally! Now, I have to order our meds and get my body ready to make some good quality eggs. This low calorie diet and wogging daily better be doing the trick! Really though, I know that prayers and faith in His plan are the only things that will get us through the next few months.

On another note: I have been busy trying to get a lot of work done. Today my precious little 2 ½ year old came in the living room with what she considered her lunch. A bowl of blueberries and a bag of frosted animal cookies! I thought it was hilarious that she actually got in the pantry and fridge to get the food, but I was terrified of what else she might be able to get into now! Also, I was angry at myself for giving her enough time to actually do both of those things without me knowing! Mother of the year!!!

I am happy to report that she ended up having homemade veggie soup, croutons with dip and macaroni salad for lunch!!! All of which I prepared for her.


Monday, July 27, 2009


Marathon: any long and arduous undertaking

My life has become a marathon…a long and arduous undertaking!!! (please don’t mistake my humor for ungratefulness ~ we know how truly blessed we are!)

Our marathon this past week was moving B’s mom into her new home. Moving, shopping, setting up, cleaning, shopping again, setting up more, cleaning again…all with a toddler in tow!

The week started with dinner and fun at The Aquarium with our cousins visiting from California. Ellie had a total blast hanging out with Bella!! They had a chance to share Mac-n-cheese, drink Shirley Temples (and pretend Shirley Temples), take a spin on the carousel and ride a train through the shark tunnel. It is such a blessing to watch our girls (who are only a year a part) play together…such beauties!

Tuesday started early and was just a bizarre day. Ridiculously busy and full of “full moon” type disasters! We rushed out the door to pick up Biddy in order to take her shopping for her new place. On the way, Ellie spilled an entire Sprite in her car sear. Do I carry an extra change of clothes for my toddler…NO! So, I figured with our Texas heat her pants would dry in no time and they did! By the time we got to the furniture store, Biddy had spilled her Coke on her white pants ~ good thing I carry a Tide pen! Side note: who carried a Tide pen, but not a change of clothes for their toddler? An hour later after Biddy purchased her new couch we were on our way to MD Anderson to visit Heather and Cody. I was running short on time, and of course our visiting time flew! Heather is an inspiration to me. Just when I feel like complaining about my crazy life I think about all that she goes through on a daily basis…amazing! Straight from the hospital we went to lunch with Bella, Melissa and Aunt Mary. I went to retrieve my daughter from the back seat and her dress was completely torn about 5 inches across the front….AAAHHHHH! To add insult to injury her pants were soaking wet…peepee or Sprite ~ no clue! Thank goodness we were in Rice Village and I could just pop into a boutique and pick up another outfit…we eventually made it to lunch! After our amazing lunch we were back to shopping for Biddy’s new house. IKEA, here we come! Turns out IKEA was a total bust for the style we were going for. Oh, and Biddy had to get to the pharmacy before 7pm. We had 40 minutes to get across town in rush hour traffic and believe it or not we made it! From the pharmacy we went to Target for odds and ends. Nearly 2 hours later we were checking out when suddenly all of the lights went out in the ENTIRE store! Fun times! We got to Biddy’s house 9 hours after I picked her up and that was just the beginning!!!

The rest of the week was spent running errands and helping Biddy get her house made into a home. I am pretty sure we logged about 40 hours over there in a matter of days, but it was all worth it at 9:30 pm Saturday when we left her in her beautiful new home.

The week was busy, but the thoughts and worries about DNA testing and babies were not far from my mind. We are still waiting. We got all of our tests in to the genetics clinic last week, so it should take 4-10 weeks to get the DNA polls made and then we have to reharvest embryos. The whole process makes my stomach do flips. We have a million mountains to climb in the next few months.
o Keep my body healthy to prepare for egg retrieval
o Pray for a good number of eggs to work with
o Pray that our eggs will fertilize
o After fertilization they will send one cell from each embryo on day 3 to the genetics clinic in order to determine which embryos are affected with CF. All embryos with a double mutation will not be transferred.
o On day 5 we will transfer 2 (if we have 2) remaining embryos.
Then we wait…and pray.

Our first IVF round we had several eggs, but our numbers ended up like this:
o About 20 follicles
o About 16 eggs were retrieved
o I believe 10 fertilized
o 8 made it to day 5 blastocysts
o 2 were transferred
o 5 were frozen (1 died before cryopreservation)
I was 28 at the time of egg retrieval and now I am (gasp) 31!!! My “advanced maternal age” is not ideal for sure, but we just have to put our fears into the hands of God and pray that this is all a part of His plan for us. To say we are fighting an uphill battle is an understatement. Approximately 50% of our embryos will have a double CF mutation, so if you look at the numbers above and cut them in half we don’t really have great odds.

Thoughts, fears, and various scenarios are flooding my mind right now…all of which I have NO CONTROL over.

On top of my regular life, I am trying to prepare a fall line to market and fill orders from stores and generous friends that are helping out with our “bow baby” fund. The good news is: keeping busy will help the time pass quickly!

With all of this moving forward it’s easIER to not spend so much time grieving over the past. Then all of a sudden you’re sitting in the carwash line and you hear sirens…

I had Ellie in the car on Saturday and I decided to stop for gas and a carwash. As we were waiting for our turn in the carwash (and Ellie was having a nervous breakdown in the backseat) I heard “emergency sirens” as Ellie calls them. I looked up to point out what I thought would be an ambulance. What I saw was a tearful reminder of our past. The sirens were motorcycle patrol officers stopping traffic at an intersection for the hearse, family limo and a long stream of cars. In an instant, tears stung my eyes and then started to stream down my face. In an instant my heart felt totally broken again and the grief felt so fresh. I just sat in my car crying and praying for the family and friends of the loved person whose life was being honored.

I remember the day Brandon and I sat in the funeral home making plans for Bennett. It was surreal. All of the decisions you have to make in the wake of sadness and grief. A plot, flowers, casket, motorcade, clothes…millions of decisions when your body can barely function. The one decision that Brandon was very clear about was that Bennett would have police escort from the church to the cemetery. It was a sight I will never forget. They completely stopped traffic on highway 59 at the entrance ramp of our church and cleared the freeway for us all the way to the cemetery. It was such an honor for us to have so much respect for our precious little hero. I will never forget one single second of that ride…wonderful memories.

Now, it’s back to the marathon of daily life: work and house cleaning and dinner preparing! Happy Monday!


Thursday, July 23, 2009


We’re still here…just busy!!!

I have wanted to blog for the last few weeks about my precious little baby girl…whom seems to have become somewhat of a comedian these days! I want to write a few quotes that have come from my little angel in the last few weeks.

“Oh, mommy, thank you I love Ellie’s bedroom.” (upon entering her room, so I could hang up clothes)

”You love me don’t you mommy…thank you.” (I had been gone from home for most of the day and I came home to change clothes and leave again…she wasn’t happy!)

“I’m so proud of you, thank you.” (As Brandon and I are lying in bed with her she said this to him)

“Dear God, thank you my blessings. Thank you my doggies, thank you my mommy, thank you my daddy, thank you my baby….in His name, Amen.” (Simply put…Ellie’s prayers)

“Eeewww, I have to go poo poo.” (Usually this is said out loud in public places…nice!)

“Yummy, I love soup mommy!” (As she gulps down the cup of soup that I have just ordered…every time I order soup!)

“You’re Ellie’s best friend!!” (Daily…makes my heart smile)

“You want to cuddle Ellie?” (Every night…makes my heart smile)

“It’s okay mommy, it’s just an accident…accidents happen.” (hahahaha)

“I want a popsicle (it was 9am)…PLEASE, MOMMY I love popsicles, they are d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s!” (Daily battle…this child LOVES popsicles!)

Ellie has recently learned our “real” names and will yell them from various spots in the house to get our attention. She knows how old she is and can tell you what city and state she lives in. She can also clearly tell you our phone number…AMAZING!!! She loves to write, draw, dance, cook and serve play food, play softball, play piano, play school and read. She is such a miracle!

There are a million more little things that Ellie says on a daily basis that just melt my heart. She is funny, beautiful, independent and very intelligent. She is my greatest gift and the absolute love of my life.

If any of my Sugarland friends out there can recommend a dance studio for Ellie to start PLEASE email me. I have done tons of research, but I would rather go with a “tried and true” good dance studio. Thanks in advance for the suggestions!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So, here it is…

So, here it is…I’m angry about the whole “having to take my blog to readers only.” This is MY blog where I share MY thoughts and MY feelings and the things going on in MY family’s life that we need prayer for. This was started to raise awareness for Team Chunky Monkey and to chronicle the lives of our precious little miracles. This is not a place I ever intended to become a stalking ground or a place for others to gather gossip about our lives. This blog contains some of the most personal feelings from the bottom of my heart and it is MY place to come and get them out. I am not one to sit and talk to you about everything, but for some reason I can write about it. I felt robbed of that when I had to make this blog more of a job rather than a form of therapy for me. Not to mention my poor husband couldn’t even log on!

I am well aware that this is the world wide web and anyone is capable of popping in for a personal view of our life. We encourage visitors that are moved by our story to stop and read. I have met some wonderful, lifelong friends through this blog. All I ask is if we don’t know each other and our story has touched you, please leave me a comment…chances are your story will touch my heart too.

It sounds strange…I know. I love the feeling I get when I have cleared my heart after a post. However, I hate feeling like the “intruders” of the world will somehow have access to our life at the same time.

With that said, I am going to open our blog back up. Our family is going through some very tough times and the power of prayer is amazing and uplifting at times like this. Also, I hate feeling as though friends and family members that don’t live near by can’t be a part of our lives. So, here it goes…

Our life is as crazy as ever! After creating a chart of our options and carefully considering the pros, cons and financial burdens of each…we have made a commitment to a decision. We are going to try IVF one more time using Pre-Genetic Diagnosis. As of today we are waiting to hear from the Doctor at the genetic institute that we will have a phone consult with. From there Genesis Genetics will build personal DNA polls for Brandon and me using cheek swabs from us and our families. In a matter of weeks they will take a single cell from (hopefully, our embryos we have left…we need major prayers for this to happen) each embryo and compare it to the DNA polls they created for us. Every embryo that contains 2 CF mutations will be out of the running…so to speak. If we can’t use our remaining embryos we will have to harvest a fresh bunch and to try PGD with. This will be the end of medical intervention for us. Financially and emotionally I just don’t think we could do it anymore.

So, being the proactive person that I am…we have started researching adoption agencies. There is one front runner…but, we will cross that bridge IF we get there.

This is a scary time for me. I am a nervous wreck about if this is the right decision for us to make. If I listen to my heart I know we are doing the right thing. However, if I listen to my head…I wonder. Our odds are like taking a lump sum of money and betting it all at the roulette wheel…on one number! At least in Vegas we would be getting complimentary drinks as we handed the money over! All I can do after today is pray that this huge financial risk will be worth it in the end when we are a complete family of 4…or 5… I have started a “bow baby” fund and all of the income my company brings in goes straight to our baby fund! So, let me know if you have any special orders!!!

Just as all of this is happening in our lives our church is making some changes too. B and I have been members of our church for about three years. We rarely miss church on Sunday’s, but we haven’t been as active in extra activities as we would like. B has led Sunday school a few times and LOVED it, but I can’t do MOPS b/c of the health risks to Ellie. Anyway, there were two VERY, VERY special pastors at our church that really made it feel like home to us…and they are leaving. I’m told that this happens a lot in churches, but this is our first time to experience this “loss.” Donnie and Dave were such an important part of our lives because they were there for us in the last days of Bennett’s life. Dave dedicated Bennett and Ellie together in Bennett’s hospital room…and that was a day B and I had dreamed of. Donny was there to read the last prayer the day we took Bennett off of life support and they were both there the day we laid our little boy to rest. It is heartbreaking to me that the links to our past that gave us so much faith and strength and prayer are gone now. I think this is taking such a toll on me because I have had such a hard time lately dealing with B’s diagnosis as a CF carrier.

After all that we have been through in the last few years I have held it together surprisingly well…I think at least! It wasn’t until B’s diagnosis that I really started to unravel.
Questioning why I had felt so “led” by my faith for so long only to have it lead me into this…
Questioning if it was really my faith that was leading me…or if it was really my head telling me what it wanted to do.
Questioning everything we have done in the last few years.

Through everything…infertility, premature babies, infant death, and CF diagnosis I had never questioned God before. I just knew we would keep traveling the path He created for us and it would lead us to where we should be. In my heart I knew that was with more children. However, with B’s diagnosis that all changed. For the first time after all of that I questioned God. I’m not proud of that…but, I am honest about it. For the first time my heart felt completely broken and “unled.” It scared me to death to think that He wasn’t the one guiding me, but I was alone. I had a long talk with B about this and about how it was the fear of questioning God that I was so broken about. The next morning at church I realized that my moment of weakness and questioning was just that…a moment. I have been near tears twice in church due to a sermon. The first time was a few weeks after Bennett’s death and everything from the music to the message felt as if they were sent from God to me. Three weeks ago I had the same feeling. A few hours after my confessions to my husband, God made it clear I wasn’t alone. Not in a “sign,” but in a message from our pastor. While wrapping up a sermon he offered a personal story. It was about his decision to come to Texas to start our church and how he struggled with what was right. After going back and forth with what he was “supposed” to do and what was right for his family and for him he knew. There was no sign from God that fell out of the sky and nothing was written on a billboard as he drove down the road…but, it was simply a conviction he felt in his heart. As the words came out of his mouth I got chills. I actually sat straight up in my chair and looked at Brandon and said, “Oh, thank God!” OUTLOUD! God placed a conviction in his heart that led him to Texas to start this wonderful church…that is huge now!

A conviction. I knew right then and there that my heart was being led by my Lord and that all along I had been doing exactly what He wanted me to do. It was a beautiful, relieving moment for me. I knew that from there I was going to let my heart along with my faith lead us and I think it was that day that our decision became clear to us.

So, here we are. Not without fear and question about our future, but with a little peace in our hearts as we take this leap of faith.

Thank you for understanding our fears and concerns about our blog and thank you for all of your continued support and prayers. We are excited to FINALLY be starting on our journey to add to our family and we can’t wait to have you along for the ride!


I'm ready to go Mom! (she didn't go in public like this!!!)

Happy Father's Day Daddy!

Hop...hop...hopping at Ayden's 1st birthday party.

Playing waterguns with Nurse Kaitlin.

I love my horse purse Great Aunt Jackie!!!

Thanks for my "Happy Summer 2009" gift box Great Aunt Jackie!

Ellie LOVED opening her surprise that came in the mail just for her!