Bennett David Kahl

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

Friday, December 16, 2011

A birthday letter to my princess on her 5th birthday

(this was supposed to post…oh, FIVE months ago, but better late than never!)


Dear Ellie Grace,

WOW!!  My little 2 pound princess is FIVE years old…I absolutely can not believe it!


Ellie, you are every single thing that is beautiful and wonderful about life! 

You are the answer to my prayers.

You are true beauty.

You are smart, funny and so compassionate.

You are absolute perfection to me.


I love waking up next to you every morning. 

I love that you ask me to look at your big muscles and your “big” legs every single day.  You tell me they look like they are five now!

I love that you help me cook dinner almost every night.  You love to get your stool and use a butter knife to cut veggies for me!

I love that you have so much patience with Cullen!  He NEVER leaves you alone or lets you play alone and you roll with it every single time!  You are a wonderful big sister.

I love that you cheer Cullen on when he uses the potty.  You care so much about every single person in our family.  Your level of compassion for people and animals and life should be inspiring to others.

I think that it is adorable that you care so much about what you look like before you leave the house!  You told daddy not long ago that you wouldn’t wear a certain outfit because it just didn’t match!  Hilarious…but, I can say you definitely get that from me!

You are boarder line OCD about brushing your teeth!  You ask us ALL.THE.TIME if what you are eating has sugar and if it does you simply won’t touch it!  If you do eat it we have to be at home and you run to brush your teeth immediately.  I hate to admit this, but I lie to you sometimes just so you can enjoy a sugar treat every now and then! 

We decided to clean out some of your old toys and give them to kiddos that were in need and you came downstairs with an entire bag full of baby dolls.  You refused to get rid of one stuffed animal, but you could care less about the baby dolls!  Dr. Doolittle in the future maybe??

You are in the 75% percentile for height and weight!  42 inches tall and 43 pounds!

Your favorite color changes daily, but your favorite food is pizza and macaroni and cheese

At 5 years old you told mommy you wanted to be a “chef girl” when you grow up! 

You love family movie night and sharing popcorn!

You still say: kangarooF, nacteria (bacteria), perpume and a few other words that make us laugh!  I don’t have the heart to correct you b/c I think it is so cute!

You LOVE homeschool!  When people ask you if you are in kindergarten you say “YES and I go to homeschool”

You played soccer on a co-ed team this season and HATED it!  You told daddy that you would only play on a girl team from now on! 

I am so madly in love with you…my little miracle girl!  You bring me joy on a daily basis and I am forever grateful to God for blessing us with you.  The last five years have been filled with so much joy because of you. 

I love you with all of my heart forever and ever!

Love, Mommy

























Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy 5th birthday to our little miracles

I honestly can not believe this day is here already. 

FIVE years ago (yesterday) I gave birth to two of the most amazing miracles ever created. 

I did not prepare myself well enough for this day to come…or maybe, the truth is, no mom really can.  Five is a huge milestone and to me it’s been one that arrived too soon!

December 14th is always a struggle for me.  I am so thrilled to see Ellie grow and each year her excitement for her birthday grows.  But, on the inside I grieve for Bennett.  I always wonder more on this day than any other…what would he look like, would he be as rambunctious as Cullen or as sweet and calm as he was as a baby.  What would his favorite color be and what food would he request on his special day. 

I know all of those things about Ellie.  I knew what color outfit she would love.  I knew where she would want to go for dinner.  I knew the smile that would creep up on her face when she saw the birthday donuts that Freddy the Elf brought her. 

Half of my heart is full on this day and the other half is full of wonder. 

As soon as my feet touched the ground we were busy.  Busy prepping the birthday girls breakfast and wrapping a gift (nothing like last minute).  Tears found their way to my eyes for the brief minute that I sat alone in the kitchen.  Only one plate…when there should be two.  Only one chocolate milk and one chair for one birthday girl…when there should be two.  I doubt this day will ever be an easy one for us.


After a morning of celebrating for our little girl that is so full of life we were off to celebrate the little boy that lived such a short life. 

Balloons, flowers and a grave site are what came next.  Every parents nightmare. 


Now that we moved clear across the city we are over an hour away from the cemetery.  I HATE this about where we live.  I have actually asked Brandon to look into having Bennett moved closer to us because I have always (and I fear always will) feel close to him when we are at the cemetery.  I know people always say, “that’s just his body…his spirit is in Heaven” and I totally get that!  But, I know that when I am at the cemetery I am only a few feet away from the little boy’s body I carried for seven months, held as often as I could in my arms for six months and that I love more than life itself. 

Daddy did a great job with the flowers and my heart felt a little better when we raced out of there on our way to Texas Children’s for the kiddos CF clinic.

CF clinic is not exactly what Ellie had in mind when she pictured her perfect birthday.  And the throat swab to get a sputum sample was definitely NOT what she signed up for!  She hates that part of clinic and I am so proud that we didn’t have to call in reinforcements to hold her down in order to collect the sample.  A little bribery worked like a charm!  Clinic was pretty normal minus the alarming news that Cullen cultured pseudomonas AGAIN. 


A number of short, un-lady like words flew through my brain when we got that news. 

I love TOBI for the wonderful drug that it is, but I D.R.E.A.D administering it to Cullen twice a day for the next 28 days.  I fear we will be making TOBI a regular part of our neb treatment for poor Cullen which is a total bummer. 

We were done with clinic at 4 and off to eat an early dinner with Mimi.  The birthday girl chose mexican food, so Pappasito’s was the destination!  It was the best ending to a milestone day in our baby girls world. 



Saturday, November 19, 2011


WOW. Where does the time go?  This post has been a long time coming and it feels like the right time to start blogging again so my kiddos actually have proof of their childhood!

With Thanksgiving 2011 quickly approaching, I feel like I will start with all (or at least some of) the things I am thankful for right now.

I am thankful for my (almost) 5 year old princess and my 1 1/2 year old terror!  I am so blessed to be the mommy to such amazing kiddos.

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I am super thankful for our new home!  I LOVE everything about this house, neighborhood, and surrounding area.  It really was a huge blessing to our family to take such a risk!

I am thankful that we live so close to my parents now!  I love spending time with my mom and now I only have to drive 15 minutes to do it!

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I am thankful that we have turned this house into a home.  I have worked countless hours to get this house decorated and “homey” feeling and I think we are almost there!

I am thankful that Ellie is spelling and reading!!!  Now, she isn’t going to whip out her own blog post or read a chapter in Little Women, but she can spell most simple vowel pattern words you give her and she can read them as well!  So proud of her and how hard she works every day we are in school!!!

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On that note, I am thankful to be a mommy that has had so much success this first “real” year at homeschooling!  I truly love it because it is all my favorite parts of being a teacher without all of the junk!

I am thankful that Cullen is already potty training.  I’m not sure it’s entirely normal for a 17 month old to WANT to use the potty, but he does and he actually goes, so we are going to roll with it!

I’m thankful for cold days even though they are few and far between.  Hey, mother nature: I would love to wear my UGGS on a daily basis!

I am thankful for weight watchers.  I have lost 23 pounds in the last 9 weeks and I really feel so much better about myself.  I am not one of those people that has self control when it comes to food, so WW is the perfect program for me because it holds me accountable each week for the food I eat on a daily basis.

I am thankful that Blakely drives home from college to watch our kiddos when we want to go out!  I don’t think I am ready to trust a total stranger with my kids and it is such a blessing that Blake loves them enough to come back when we need her to.

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I am thankful that the holidays are here!  I love this time of year and I am ready to get our home turned into a whimsical winter wonderland!

I am thankful for my hubby!!!  He works so very hard for our family and we are so grateful for that!  

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I am thankful for free time which is few and far between!  Today the boys are running errands together and I blessed myself with the time to write this blog!  Hopefully, this is the beginning of something good and I will continue to have a few minutes each week to record our family’s memories!



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SOLD and homeless

Why has it been almost two months since my last post???

We sold our house...
Had 13 days to move out...
We found a new house with 4 days to spare...
Moved into a sweet friends house for 10 days while they were on vacation...
Left there and moved into my parents house...which is where we can be found today!
We finally closed on our old home yesterday...

And we are now homeless and waiting to close on our new one!

We aren't truly without a roof over our heads though. My parents were generous enough to offer us a place to stay while we are waiting. Its like a vacation for the kiddos. Yummy food and snacks all the time with a pool in the backyard! The adults are totally ready to get back to normal though.

A ton has happened in the meantime...including another CF clinic visit. More on that later.

In the meantime we are praying our extended vaca ends very soon with our little family in our new home.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Melts and Stretches

So, I mentioned Cullen’s dairy allergy.  In the time since we discovered this I have spent countless hours…okay, more like minutes, browsing the alternatives at the grocery stores. 


I found soy yogurt and for a while he was loving it.  He has since grown to love it less, but it is still a part of his weekly meal plan.

We also recently tried soy milk.  He is still breastfed, but I did want to try to transition him to at least one sippy cup of milk per day.  NOT going to happen anytime soon!  If he were parched and stranded in the desert he MIGHT drink a cup of soy milk, but not otherwise!

So, onto my most recent discovery…hence the title. 


Grated “cheese” to be exact.

Written on the front of the zip top bag: Melts and stretches.

Really???  Ugh!  Somehow, I don’t think that would taste anything like “real” cheese and I’m not going to be testing it out anytime soon!

So, folks, our dairy allergy having son WILL NOT be a cheese eater, unless:

1. He outgrows this as he gets older

2. He begs me to buy him a bag of “cheese” that reads: melts and stretches on the front!!

And this is what Cullen has to say about that:


Friday, June 17, 2011

Ellie’s first ballet recital

Our precious prima ballerina had her first ballet recital at the Cullen theatre (really!) in Houston at The Worthem Center.

It was…like something I have never experienced!

Those moms are serious about their dance!!!  And to say I was a little unprepared for the “seriousness” is a gross understatement!

I’m not going to get into the gory details, but I will say that I had to put together a ballet recital notebook just to feel like I was as “up to par” as the other mommy’s in the class! 

I signed up to be a room mom basically, because I felt like I needed to keep a close eye on Ellie and what germs she was exposed to.  Cullen was still being treated with TOBI and I didn’t want Ellie to accidently be paired up with or in a confined space with anyone that sounded like they may be hosting a respiratory infection. 

So, when I say this ballet thing is serious, I mean so serious that we had dress rehearsal on Friday until 9pm, we stayed in a hotel and then we had to be back at the theatre on Saturday morning at 10:30.

I thought it was all NUTS, but then when I saw my little girl’s face light up on that big stage (the same one the Houston ballet dances on) I knew it was all worth it.

I had to step back and remind myself that even though I thought it was all a little overkill, it was not about me.  Ellie had the time of her life!!!

A condensed version of the fun filled two days:

Hair professionally done on the way to dress rehearsal


Dinner at the aquarium on Friday


Check-in at the hotel

Make-up on and off to DR


Play with friends in the dressing room and wait to step onto the big stage.

Dance on stage at the Cullen theatre


Back to the hotel with one of her BFF’s Gracie


Room service after DR

Woke up on Saturday and got our hair and makeup done with Gracie

Off to The Worthem Center to dance!!

Daddy met us in the Lobby with flowers for our little ballerina!

Ellie had a magical day and I think I am now ready to embrace the ballet world with our little miracle!

I have to write this down because it is a moment I never want to forget.  When Ellie was born all of the stereotypical dreams flew out of the window and the only prayer I had was that she would live.  When they discharged her after only 6 weeks in the hospital I was grateful because I never expected that to happen.  When Ellie began to walk, talk, eat, play, laugh, dream, display affection, show interest in activities, it made my heart swell with gratitude.  I have never EXPECTED Ellie to do anything, but for every single milestone that she reaches I am thankful to our God.  When Ellie stepped onto that stage and danced in front of hundreds of people I was proud.  I cried.  A LOT.  I think every tear that came out of my eyes was out of thanks…it was the first time I ever watched my little girl do something that I dreamed about her being able to do one day.  There were days I didn’t think I would ever be in the position to watch my baby girl dance.  That dance was a beautiful moment in our lives.  

I am so proud of you Ellie Grace!  You were a true ballerina on June 4th and I can’t wait to watch you dance every day for the rest of my life.

With all of my heart forever and ever,


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

He is still gone…

Today is June 15, 2011.

Today is the day our world stopped turning 4 years ago.

Today is the day we gathered as a family, bathed, prayed, and held our perfect little hero, Bennett, in our arms as he took his last breath.

Today can never come…or go…without anxiety and tears.

The timeline is forever in my mind.  The outfit I wore still hangs in my closet.  The music that we played in the car…Lamb of God…still plays in my head.  The matching outfits that Ellie and Bennett wore that day are still neatly packed together.  The grief, four years later, is still as painful as it was that day.


Our son died.

Those three words still shatter my heart into a million pieces.


But, I haven’t spent these last four years feeling pity or constantly asking God, “Why us”?

I have had a lot of moments where I did wonder why…but, I am thankful that one of many blessings that came out of Bennett’s life and death would be my walk with God. (and knowing that I married the absolute right man to go through this life with!)

It is so easy to find yourself clinging to faith when times are tough or in times of need. 

Around the time of Bennett’s death, when the “needing God to perform a miracle” was over is actually the time I found myself hearing and feeling Him more. 

The tears and grief are just human. 

Time passing doesn’t mean we should feel less grief or more healing.  The growing and believing that none of this was a mistake is what matters the most to me.

So, today even when tears fall and we might find it hard to breathe, our world won’t stop.  The grocery store will happen.  Ballet will happen.  And placing the casket spray above our little boy’s body will happen.  The balloons will go up and we will all go to dinner.  And tomorrow this will all be our yesterday…again.




We love you and we miss you, Bennett David, and we can’t wait to hold you again one day.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

Ephesians 1:16