A journal entry dated 11/17/07–3 days after her birth

My blog has been neglected the past week, but I am back tonight and am going to share with you something very special I stumbled across a few days ago. The day Sadie was born my mom brought a journal to the hospital for me. She thought it would be a good time for me to write down my thoughts, emotions and to keep track of Sadie’s progress. Well, I wrote once— November 17th, 2007–three days after she was born.

It has been an absolute whirlwind the past few days, but Dan and I are the proud parents of a baby girl:

Sadie Ilene Cinnamon.
Born November 14th, 2007 at 4:00pm.
Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
1 pound, 9 ounces. 13 inches long.

She is a tiny miracle, nothing short of perfect and she amazes us every day with her determination to grow and get stronger so we can take her home with us.

Sadie is breathing on her own today, is off photo therapy, and just started breast milk–getting very small amounts four times a day. We are hoping the milk will help her grow quickly and safely. In the past few days she has gained weight and is now almost 1 pound, 13 ounces. She went off the ventilator and CPaP and looks so content breathing on her own. Everyone in the NICU can’t say enough how beautiful she is… and we couldn’t agree more.

Sadie has had several visitors today. Today her Uncle Phil and Aunt Kayla came. Augusto and Manne Morrone stopped by for a while, too. Doug came to visit Mom and Dad.

Each day Sadie is looking healthier and stronger. We pray this continues and hope for a speedy road home with Mommy and Daddy.

I can’t even begin to truly explain the emotions I have been going through. Although I could not be happier for this gift from God that we have been blessed with, I am overcome with a grief, a longing, a desire to be with my baby girl, Sadie. I have only held her twice and that is not fair. I wish I could bring her home with us tomorrow, but it will be weeks or months until that is possible.

I went on a little walk this evening and looked into the nursery on the floor. The room was busy–full of crying babies and nurses taking care of their every need. A nurse saw me standing there and motioned for me to come in. I am sure she thought one of the babies belonged to me. I shook my head “no” and continued walking with tears filling my eyes. No–my baby is NOT in that room. My baby is hooked up to monitors and will not be going home with me tomorrow.

I know those babies are in the nursery to allow their moms time to rest and recover, but I would give anything to have Sadie in this hospital room with me. I wouldn’t care if she cried all night long. Right now–that would be the sweetest sound in the world.

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Don’t have a ton of time to write tonight, but thought I’d share with you some of my favorite moments from this week:

  • Sadie telling Dan, “I want a kiss, too!” after seeing him give me a kiss.
  • Receiving a bunch of wonderful comments on my passion post from Monday.
  • Getting flowers at work from Dan for our 4 year anniversary.
  • Going out to lunch and enjoying wonderful conversation with a co-worker/friend.
  • Watching Sadie play with sidewalk chalk and pretending to write her letters. I overheard her say “M-O-M.” Seriously. (Genius, right?)
  • Enjoying Dan’s famous burgers on our deck last night. Delicious food, perfect weather, and family are always a winning combination.
  • Going for a walk around Normandale Lake with a dear friend.
  • Bottomless chips and salsa. Need I say more? Well, sharing them with a BFF made it even better.
  • Listening to Sadie say almost all of the words of her prayers with me. To top it off–she shouted “Amen!” at the end.
  • Walking with Dan and Sadie to the nearby ice cream shop. She pushed her stuffed puppies in her stroller all the way there and would stop to say hello and chat with all of the neighbors.
  • Cuddling on our bed and reading books together as a family.

I cherish these moments.

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Missy from The Marketing Mama is having a blog carnival today on the topic: “What are you passionate about?” Head on over to her site to see what other bloggers have to say about passion.

I felt like joining in, but my creativity is lacking right now. I’m pretty sure God gives me a cup full of creativity each morning. But today, I am pretty sure I have about two drops of creativity left in my cup. For some reason, I seem to be drawn to acronyms when my creativity is lacking. So here we go… What am I passionate about?

Profession. My profession–both as a Mom and as a Training Manager (Human Resources). First of all, I love being a mom. Best job in the world. Secondly, I feel incredibly blessed to do make money doing something I enjoy. I love to teach. I am energized when I can actually watch someone learn. That priceless look on their face that says, “I get it now.” Or, as I like to think they are thinking, “Ah-ha! So this is the missing key of what I have been missing all my life! Thank you, Jana–you a life-saver!”

Aunt. Being an aunt. Okay, so I am not an aunt… yet. But in about 80 days (and hopefully not any sooner), I will be. I cannot wait will wait patiently for the day when I get to meet my little niece or nephew. Without a doubt, I was meant to be a mom. But I’m also pretty sure God meant for me to be an aunt.

Sadie. My daughter. The greatest gift from God that I could have ever imagined. She is so sweet and incredibly smart. I honestly am not sure how I ended up with the perfect child, but I did. I’m pretty much obsessed with her. (This is about the point where I start to freak out about choosing to go with an acronym. There’s no ‘D’ in passion. How am I going to mention Dan?!)

Spouse. Dan! I did it! *sigh of relief* I am passionately in love with Dan and am so grateful to have been his wife for four years. He is a perfect blend of looks, brains and personality. When I think of passion, how can I not think of him?

Interpersonal Relationships. Here’s where I go out on a limb because the word passion does not include an F for family and friends. I believe life is too short to not surround yourself with people and things of excellence. If you are someone I choose to be around, it means you are absolutely special in my book. Thanks for being you.

Out & About. Trying new things. I am not much of a homebody. Give me something new to do. Take me out. I don’t live by routine. I enjoy spontaneity.

Nothing compares to the passion I have for Jesus–the One who is passionate about me.


Please take a moment to enjoy more reflections on passion:

  1. Unveiling my Passions on Kate in the Kitchen
  2. What am I Passionate About? on Pink Vanilla Cupcakes
  3. Putting the P in Passion on Healthy Heart Journey
  4. Living with Passion on Nightlight Journeys
  5. Passionate About? on Challenge: 1 Year, No Restaurants
  6. On Passion on Girl Meets Geek
  7. What are you passionate about? on Dajon Design
  8. Passion? on Little Animation
  9. Passion for Personal History on Our Life Stories
  10. Living with Passion on A Fit and Spicy Life
  11. Passionately on I am cinnamom
  12. Passion on Five Dollars a Day Blog
  13. Who’s next?

If you’d like to join us, email Missy from the Marketing Mama with the link to your post: missy(at)themarketingmama(dot)com.

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As I walked into my friend’s graduation party eight years ago, I saw him right away. It had been a while since I had seen him, but glancing in that direction I quickly knew it was him. The dark brown, curly hair. Those eyes. His shoulders. And his smile… oh, his smile.

He was sitting talking to my parents; likely catching up on college, track meets and lumberjack competitions. I’m not positive, but I am pretty sure there was a glow around him… like a moonbeam directing my eyes right toward him. But my heart sank when I saw a girl was sitting next to him. His girlfriend I supposed. (Please ignore the fact that I had my own boyfriend at the time. And anyway, turns out she wasn’t his girlfriend.)

I went about my business at the graduation party–talking with friends and enjoying the food, but never without keeping him in the corner of my eye. Would he look at me? Would he talk to me? I would be attending the same college as him in the fall. Would he care?

As the party came to a close, we found each other as we each neared the exit. I remember trying to keep my cool as I said hello. My heart was racing. “My graduation party is on Sunday. You should come,” I blurted out. To my surprise, he said, “Sure. That’d be fun.” I wasn’t sure if he would really come. He lived 45 minutes away and probably had much better things to do on a Sunday afternoon than hang out at his friend’s sister’s graduation party. But he came. And not just for a little while. He was one of the first to arrive… and the last to leave.

I spent the party mingling with guests as any good graduate would do. I savored the moments when he would come talk to me–which happened to be quite frequently. Part way through the party, my mom came up to me and said, “Grandma and I think he’s into you.” I laughed and tried not to think about it. It wasn’t possible. I had my eye on him for the past two years. Whenever he was at my house, I would try to get him to look my way. I had practically written him off as the guy who would never be anything more than a crush.

He stayed after the party to hang out with my brother. I had gone up to my room and was lying on my bed talking on the phone to my boyfriend when I heard someone run up the stairs. I thought it was my brother so when there was a knock on my door I let out an irritated, “Yeah?!”

When I saw it was him walking into my room I quickly jumped out of my bed and shoved my phone under my pillow. He told me he was heading home now, but that he wanted to thank me for inviting him to the party. Playing it as cool as I possibly could, although I’m sure my face was bright red, I said we should try to arrange for a get together before the summer… “You know, for all the people heading to UMD this fall.”And since I tend to hug in situations where I’m uncomfortable, I gave him a hug. Best. Hug. Ever. (Just sayin’)

I remember calling my friend Carla later that night from my parent’s basement–keeping quiet so my parents would’t know I was still up. I told her about him. How enamored I was with him. How I thought there was a chance he could like me too. Should I break up with my boyfriend–a guy I knew was not “the one”? The next day I went on a date with my boyfriend and broke it off. I would be leaving for college in the fall and I said “it just won’t work.” The real reason though? My heart and my mind was set on him.

It didn’t take long for me to track him down. I bugged some of my brother’s friends in order to get his screenname. This was in the hey-day of AOL Instant Messenger. I contacted him under the guise of planning the summer party for UMD students. We started chatting in the evening and didn’t sign off until 6am. That’s when I knew my feelings weren’t unreturned.

I scheduled and eagerly anticipated the party for the UMD students. When the day finally arrived, it was clear that the two of us could have cared less who else was there. Everyone slept over at my parent’s house and the morning after the rest of the people left he kissed me. It sealed the deal.

He spent most of the rest of the summer in Japan for an internship. We stayed connected through emails, instant messaging and well-timed phone calls. We continued dating through college. Inseparable. Smitten. Best friends.

Four years ago today, we got married. I remember the day felt as though a dream had come true.

And it’s only getting better. I love him.

Posted in Celebration, Dan | Tagged | 4 Comments

Isn’t She Lovely

Isn’t she pretty

Truly the angel’s best

Boy, I’m so happy

We have been heaven blessed.

Posted in Sadie | Tagged | 3 Comments


My daughter is a “peanut.” I’ve also heard “She’s so tiny!” or “I could fit her in my pocket!” You see, at 27 months old, she’s just over twenty two pounds and isn’t on the charts. We have heard for over 2 years now that she’s in the negative fifth percentile for weight. Which statistically would mean–for every one hundred 2 year old girls, one hundred and five are heavier than her.

Well, I know she’s little compared to others her age. But if you ask me, she’s HUGE.

Sadie was born weighing one pound, nine ounces. Grab six sticks of butter and that was my girl. Today she weighs about 20 pounds more than that. You know what that means? She weighs more than FOURTEEN TIMES her birth weight. If she was a typical 7 pound newborn and had gained weight at the same rate, she would be an approximately 100 pound toddler.

When I look at her, I don’t see how small she is compared to others… I see how far she’s come.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

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Crazy About: Zumba!®

Well, I have already fallen behind on my goal of being a regular blog writer. Forgiven? Wonderful. Now on to the post.

Going forward, I will be blogging on a regular basis about things that I love. Activities, products, restaurants, services, etc., that make my heart go tick-tock.

So what get’s the honor of my first “Crazy About” post? ZUMBA®!

I had never heard about Zumba until our church’s new Worship & Music Director, Tawny, told me she was a certified Zumba® instructor and was leading classes in the area. I had an interest in joining fitness classes, but was always intimidated to actually sign up for one. Tawny said participants are often smiling while they are doing Zumba®. Smiling in the same sentence as  something about working out? That’s crazy talk.

Before I signed up, I checked out YouTube and saw this video. Well, I knew I sure as heck wouldn’t look like THAT… but it did look fun. I also checked out Zumba’s website and the slogan pulled me in: “Ditch the workout, Join the party!” I’m pretty sure that’s been my personal slogan for the past few years. I was pretty sure I had found the equivalent of a workout-soulmate.

I’ve been taking Tawny’s classes at least once or twice a week for the past six months. I am CRAZY ABOUT it.  

Want to know more? (from Zumba® website):

The Zumba® program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away.

The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. Add some Latin flavor and international zest into the mix and you’ve got a Zumba® class!

What workout/fitness activities are you crazy about?

Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post. I have paid for my own attendance to Zumba® events.

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