Saturday, March 26

:: One more day until surgery! ::


Meaning: Peace-The Olive Branch

Spiritual connotation: Walks with God


But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s love forever and ever.

Psalm 52:8

Today CC and my sweet friend Mandy hosted a garage sale benefiting Olivia's foundation. They worked hard all week pricing items, soliciting donations from other people in Mt Laurel, pricing and organizing. The sale started bright and early, too. 7 a.m. with people arriving at 6:30! As CC said, "it was like the loaves and fishes!" They didn't have a single item over $20 but managed to raise $900 in one morning!! Thank you so much Mandy, CC and everyone in the hood who donated their treasures to be sold on Olivia's behalf. I know our precious girl is smiling in heaven already knowing which children and parents this money will bless.

Cannon gets the husband-of-the-year award for rising early to sell our reclaimed items outside of his office with the help of Parrish, who brought his cash register and collected payment and provided change. Grandaddy Jack worked hard as well and sold 2 items the day before while at the office working. A photographer was taking pictures of children in one of the chairs and wanted to buy one so he struck a deal!

I have a source who makes WONDERFUL adirondak chairs, benches, long planters, and bird houses out of reclaimed antique wood. I am buying two chairs for my back yard. The frame is 100 year old cypress wood! I'm going to include a price list in this post in cast any one is interested in purchasing. My source can do custom orders as well if you have something in mind or would like something you see in a different color. CC will be selling them at our booth at the Mt Laurel Spring Festival on April 9th. We have lots more colors not pictured here, so please come out and check them out in person. I saw some reclaimed wooden planters and bird houses smaller than we offer for $120-$220 each! Our prices are very fair and the items themselves are so bright and cheery-perfect for Spring and Summer! Best of all, they are so unique. No two are exactly alike.

Reclaimed Furniture Prices:

Bird House $65

Small Bench $65

Medium Bench $85

Large Bench $110

Flower Box $85

Yellow Table $95

Green Table $155

Adirondak Chairs $155/ea

:: 20% of sales will be donated to the Olivia Charles Prickett Memorial Fund ::

Parrish and I are working on a Easter experiment. I wanted to grow easter grass inside a plastic egg with the idea that if it worked Parrish would have fun cutting the "hair." Then I thought it would make a cute and fun Easter gift for his Silly Seahorse classmates. I thought I could include everything the parents need to grow the grass in the egg in the bag with printed instructions.
So, my little helper and I set out to test my idea and ended up trying a few different ways. One in a plastic egg with grass seed sprinkled over wet cotton balls, one in a real brown egg shell done with cotton balls, and finally a plastic egg with the seeds worked into the soil. Parrish helped me wet the seeds with a spray bottle of water and then we replaced the egg lid to keep the moisture level high while we wait for them to sprout.

The look on Parrish's face says it all. We had a great time doing this project. I'll post instructions and a picture of the final project later (if it actually works!)
As most of you already know, Parrish's surgery is this Monday-March 28th. We have to arrive at the hospital by 8 a.m. so I'm doubting his surgery will begin until 10 or 11 at the earliest. Please keep him in your prayers. Some specifics from my prayer list:

-That Parrish's anxiety level would be low and that he will continue to view this whole thing as a big adventure, even when we have to say goodbye and he's wheeled into the operating room
-Our patience during the surgery as well as our anxiety level remaining low
-Our ability to be strong for Parrish. I pray we can laugh and joke and smile and encourage him, even when we are scared to death. I pray I won't cry in front of him or show him any of my anxiety.
-The doctors and nurses-that they will be well rested, clear headed and accommodating during his surgery and hospital stay.
-That he bounces back quickly from the surgery and tolerates the casts and pain as well as can be expected.
-That we are all able to sleep in the hospital and that Parrish will be able to rest comfortably at night when we get home from the hospital.
-That Parrish will not have any complications or adverse reactions to the anesthesia
-That the nurse anesthetist will be able to call and update us that everything is going well from the opertaing room
-That he will be able to return to school in 2-3 weeks to finish out the year and get some normalcy back in his routine before he's out for summer break.

-The peace we feel about this now verses the terror we felt 2 months ago is a gift from God.
-For Roxanna, the child life specialist Parrish knows that will stay with him in the operating room before surgery
-For the nurse anesthetist Eric recommended to us
-For the gifts of friends and family that will keep Parrish entertained in the coming weeks
-For family and friends to love on us all and to help us with meals, chores, and errands so we can be 100% focused on our little man
-For all of the Olivia Foundation fundraisers and donations of time, money and goods.

Here is the antique day bed I mentioned in an earlier post. We set up his recovery pad in our bedroom with the tv at the foot of the bed on my chest of drawers. He LOVES his new bed and has been sleeping there almost every night since we set it up. It's the perfect little cozy nest for him while he's healing and I'm so thankful we'll have him close without him being in our bed. I was terrified that he would insist on sleeping with us and we would bump his cast and mess up the pins used to reshape his foot. So this is a great solution. It's a bonus that we know he already loves it.

I rented his wheelchair earlier this week and he has already been cruising in it! He has the best hand eye coordination of any child I've ever seen. He figured out how to make full turns and go forward and backward in under 2 minutes. He's incredible! I hope this doesn't mean wheelchair stunts in his near future.

Keep praying, friends! He is listening. I will try to do a quick blog entry sometime next week to update everyone on Parrish's status. He'll be in the hospital for 1 night and possibly 2, so we should be home by Wednesday at the latest.

Monday, March 21

:: The big apple & a big day ::

We spent a long weekend on a trip to New York City with Karl and Nancy. It's become a tradition to go on St. Patrick's Day weekend since all four of us went that weekend 3 years ago for Southern Beauty Magazine's launch party. The trip was planned before trauma took over our lives, but we decided to go anyway as a pre-anniversary trip so we could have some down time together before facing the long surgery and recovery road with Parrish.
This picture was taken right after we went to see The Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway. It was very good-those guys can sing! We loved that the theatre was small and that there was no intermission. It was only about 1.5 hours long, so we were able to beat the post-theatre rush to dinner.
Cannon and I spent $30 on a cab ride trying to catch the last ferry of the day to the Statue of Liberty only to find out when we got there that I had looked up the summer hours and in the spring they close at 3:30, not 4:30. Oops! We took this token picture with Lady Liberty in the background so it wasn't a total bust and then hopped on the subway back uptown to do the Union Square Market and go to ABC Home. Earlier that day I dragged the whole crew to several flea markets looking for smalls for my Olivia Charles booth. I found a few things at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, but struck out majorly at the other two stops. Let's just say it was more BAD junk than GOOD. Nancy, Karl and Cannon were super good sports, but they did laugh about my wild goose chase the rest of the trip.

Nanc and I in Times Square. We got both got the cute sweatshirt jacket Nancy's wearing at Billy Reid earlier that day-it was on MAJOR sale. Brit told me about BR bc Gentry likes to shop there and I was so impressed to find out that it was started in Florence, AL! The men's shirts are so cool-contrast stitching, nice light weight fabric, details, etc. with a unique Southern flair. Cannon got two shirts on sale for the price of one regular priced shirt, so be prepared for some sticker shock, but in my opinion it is well worth it considering Cannon only buys clothes once or twice a year! I am seriously considering bribing him to drive to Florence to shop there every time he needs something.

Every year we go to Da Nico Restaurant in Little Italy. Cannon and I ate there the first year we were married and loved it and then happened upon it with Karl and Nancy 3 years ago only to find out that they had eaten there before, too. I dare say the potato gnocchi may be worth the price of a roundtrip plane ticket in and of itself.
The heaping plate of free beignettes for dessert doesn't hurt either. They were all making fun of me because while everyone else has one or two I ate about 10. Seriously-I'm not exaggerating! Also while there we caught the St Patrick's Day parade and hit two of my favorite spots for all things sugary-Magnolia Bakery and Bisous Ciao Macaroons. The caramel salt flavor is the best. I have emailed and begged them to start an online store and ship throughout the country because I would probably place an order weekly, but so far no luck.

Now that we're back in town I've hit the ground running preparing for Parrish's surgery next week. I've set up Parrish's little bed in our room (complete with batman sheets and a mattress treated and protected from bed bugs) and Cannon has rearranged the furniture so P can watch DVD's while recovering. Sometime this week I am going to attempt to cut the side seams of the left leg of some of Parrish's athletic shorts and sew in velcro so I can get them over his cast easily without inflicting any additional pain. I am hoping he will agree to go sans shorts after the surgery but I am not counting on it.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is our pre-op appointment for Parrish's surgery. In the morning we'll go to Dr. Killian's office to have Parrish's foot casted then take him to Children's for an MRI. He will have to be sedated for this part, so please pray that all goes smoothly with that. I am a little worried that this pre-cast will make him dread the 10 weeks of a cast after the surgery, so I pray also that he will love the casting process and think it is cool and not scary. I've promised him he can play the rock em sock em robot game we bought him for entertainment after his surgery early if he is brave and well behaved. We'll see how that works. Other prayer requests:

-Wisdom for Cannon and I as we need to ask the right questions of the doctors
-The doctors and nurses he will be interacting with tomorrow-may both their skill and bedside manor be just what we all need
-Patience, calmness and happiness for Parrish as we take this first step toward his surgery
-Peaceful rest for us as we prepare for the surgery
-An anxiety-free appointment
-That they will agree to do an EKG test on Parrish as a precaution
-That no one will refer to Parrish being "put to sleep" for the surgery since he now associates that with death
-That the hospital will agree to let us be there in recovery when Parrish wakes up
-That Parrish would view the MRI as an adventure and that he won't be scared
-An extra measure of patience for Cannon and I as we take care of Parrish amidst our own grief and longing for our baby girl

Answered prayers:
-Peace about anesthesiologist working with Parrish
-A good hospital tour with Parrish last week. He loved Roxanna and picking out his skittles flavor for his oxygen mask and we are so thankful she agreed to sit with Parrish during surgery so he has a familiar face.

I will update everyone on the appointment when I can. Thank you for your prayers.
Love, Kristin

Sunday, March 13

:: Sharp Top Cove ::

I'm back and refreshed after an adults-only weekend for Cannon and I. Parrish went on a last minute trip to spend the weekend riding the tractor on his great-grandparents farm in south Alabama. Isn't it funny how much more you appreciate your free time now that we have kids? Pre-kids I had no idea to be thankful for how easy it was to just decide to do something on a whim. A last minute movie, trip to the store, or dinner out?! Not so much when you have kiddos. So, it makes it all the more precious when you do have those rare times again. But, I have to admit that for the last two nights I have been so sad without Parrish to cuddle with in bed. Evenings are hard for me without Olivia, I guess because that is when I would rock her for long stretches of time while she slept, but having Parrish to get in bed with always makes me feel like I will survive. Without that little monkey hogging the bed I don't do very well. (Never thought I'd say that!) Quality of sleep with 3 people in a queen bed is not so good, but emotionally-speaking-it's GREAT!

Last weekend we spent time with our friends The Coles at a Young Life Camp in north Georgia called Sharp Top Cove. Jeff heads up the Shelby County Young Life efforts and invited us as adult guests so we could experience what camp is like. To say it was impressive is an understatement. I mean, check out this picture:

It doesn't look like any Christian camp I ever visited while growing up! I wish I had done a better job taking pictures because you wouldn't believe the grounds and buildings and activities. Middle schoolers were there that weekend and despite the cool weather they were riding the zip line into the lake, climbing the rock wall, riding the 3-person sling shot swing and soaking in the hot tub. All weekend Jeff kept telling us we'd witness organized chaos and that was the perfect description. I was not familiar with Young Life before I met Mary and Jeff. But after experiencing it for myself, I am hooked. I hope Parrish will be a part of it one day and look forward to continuing to volunteer in whatever ways Jeff and Mary need us to. Young Life's mission is so refreshing. They don't expect kids to "get fixed" and then come to church or young life. They minister to the un-churched and the disinterested churched (which there are more of than we'd like to admit). They want the kids to come and bring their baggage. Their trials, their addictions, their hurt, their anger and the hope is that the experience will not only be fun, but life-changing. Young Life has had a positive impact on so many people and Mary gave me a devotional book called Moments With The Savior soon after Olivia passed. It was written by Ken Gire, who worked for Young Life. Seriously. I read one devotional every night before bed and am transported to the streets of Jerusalem with Jesus. I have never read a devotional written from our savior's perspective before, and I HIGHLY recommend this one. It will change your heart. I'm not kidding. You can order it here:


Here are a few more pictures I snapped while at Sharp Top Cove:

These are the kids in "club." They sing, dance, have skits and games and have a message from a Young Life speaker during this time.
Yes, that is a man dressed up and zip lining to the stage. The skits were hilarious.

They played "censored" hip hop songs at meals while the kids get seated. Parrish and Crews were standing by our table dancing in this picture.

Parrish and Crews spent a lot of time hunting lady bugs while we were there. They were everywhere and great entertainment.

Parrish showing off his new lady bug friend.

Parrish had so much fun at camp that when we got home that night he actually fell asleep in his dinner!
Remember these from my last post?
Ta-da! With CC and Cannon's help we turned those awesome mercury glass bottles into boudoir lamps. One pair is for sale at the OC Booth at Hanna's. And I've decided to get a little enjoyment out of the third at home on my kitchen breakfast bar. You would not believe how easy it was to turn these into lamps for all of $17! The bottle lamp kit was $7 at Wal-Mart and the shade was $10 at Lowes. Considering it would have cost $80-90 to have someone do this at a lamp shop, I'd say we got a good deal and are excited to pass the deal along to the person who takes those home from my booth!
I need some help deciding on a bible verse for the back of this painting. My friend Rorie first taught us how to paint these angels at a church MOMS get together. After Olivia died I decided I needed some painting therapy and reworked it giving it some texture and a few tweaks to make it mine. I want to put a bible verse on the back that is relevant to our angel and heaven. Any suggestions? I am also looking for a verse to go on her wall plaque at The Amelia Center. I want it to be just right, so while I've come up with a few options I just can't put my finger on "the one." Suggestions, please!

Tuesday, March 8

::On a LIGHTER note (pun intended)::

Forgot to mention that I'm learning to re-wire lamps and how to create lamps from old treasures. I am going to attempt to make table lamps out of these antique mercury glass bottles that came from an old furniture factory in North Carolina:

Wish me luck! I'll post pictures of the completed project soon.

:: Just when I think God isn't listening... ::

Do you ever have those weeks where you just don't feel like God is listening? Where you want to shout and scream at the heavens? Well, I've been having a few weeks like that. I even went so far as to punch my mattress repeatedly while screaming my lungs out. If it wasn't so sad it would have been funny. I was so frustrated with the way my life is going-in addition to my obvious problem of longing for Olivia, I'm worried about Parrish's surgery. In trying to do everything I know in advance to be sure he will come out as untraumatized as possible I called Children's Hospital 10 times in 5 days trying to schedule a tour of the hospital. I was getting the major run-around. You know the, "oh, I'm not sure when she'll be working or back in the office but she's the only one who can schedule tours, etc, etc." I left my name and number several times, I tried different times of day to reach her, but to no avail. I had been praying and praying that this would work out and put my mind at ease. So I call back one last time and finally tell the receptionist that there has to be SOMEONE (anyone!) there who can schedule a tour. So she puts the head nurse on and I proceed to unload on this poor woman-not yelling-but telling her our whole story of loss and how I need to talk to whoever is going to give the tour to be sure they don't refer to the anesthesia as being "put to sleep" since Parrish now associates that with death. And I could almost hear God chuckling as the nurse stops me mid-sentence and says, "I think my sister is your next door neighbor. We've been praying for you since we heard and even if I have to give you the tour myself, we will make it happen." Tell me that's not an answer to prayer. They're even going to try to go along with my idea of casting Parrish's Curious George doll so when he wakes up he'll have a buddy who knows just how he feels! We are reading the book, "Curious George Goes to the Hospital" in preparation for his big day and so far I am thankful that he doesn't seem too terrified. There has only been one, "I don't want to go to the hospital. I don't like hospitals" comment. He is being very brave. Please pray that our tour goes well (it's scheduled for next Monday, March 14th) and that Parrish forms a friendly bond with Roxanna, the Child Life rep who is going to be both giving us the tour and will be with Parrish on the day of surgery when they take him to the operating room. I know that seeing a familiar face can only help and I am thankful for this.

While I have several praises for answered prayer, I would be being untruthful if I didn't tell you that it has been a really rough few weeks. For some reason I am really struggling with the, "Why Olivia?" question. Knowing this is a futile battle that rages in my head that will never have any answers only intensifies my need for those answers. I read these comforting books about heavenly experiences, but then find myself wondering why God chose to save those people and not my baby. It makes me so angry I feel like I am going crazy. A book about why bad things happen to good people was suggested by my counselor and instead of reassuring me, it upset me. It was written by a rabbi and suggested that God couldn't know every little thing that was going on on earth and that people like me who suffer tragedy, try to defend God by saying He must have a bigger plan and that our pain has a purpose when really these tragedies are just random. (really?) I was so filled with anxiety at the suggestion that God isn't in control and shut the book right there and prayed that God would have me take from the book only what He wants. I've got my bible scholar mother-in-law CC working on refuting some of the things he wrote that upset me and I know that will make me feel better. Plus, when I really pause to think about what he wrote after my anxiety and uneasiness wears off, I realize that what I really feel is sadness. Sadness that the author doesn't have the same hope that I do to live with his loved one in heaven for eternity one day.

Please pray for our hearts. It is hard trying to get back to life. By going out more we open ourselves up to the inevitable well intentioned people who always end up saying things that hurt my feelings because they don't know what else to say. They are only trying to be compassionate and I know that there are no words, but I get tired of having to give myself a pep talk just to make it through the day. Sometimes as I'm grocery shopping, working or thinking about making plans with friends I realize that I don't have the energy or desire to rejoin the rest of the world. I don't want life to be going on without Olivia.

Almost daily I have to stop myself from buying Livy a cute spring bubble or bonnet I know she would be so adorable in this Spring. I see all of the trees and flowers blooming and I think how much all this new life makes me wish that Olivia could come back to life, too. Sometimes I still don't really think this is my life. I still don't think she could possibly be gone and I desperately try to rework things in my mind so she is still here, but always to no avail. I share this honest despair with you to ask you to please bang on the gates of heaven on our behalf with your prayers for our peace and understanding. Pray that we will see God moving in our lives some way every day. Pray that we don't loose hope.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13
Sorry there are no pictures in this blog entry. If I was going to vent the least I could have done was to entertain you with those, right? Check back though because later this week I hope to post some fun pictures of our time at Young Life camp last weekend. It was such an amazing experience.

Love and thanks to you all.