We originally created this blog to keep family and friends updated about our little man Jacob, who was diagnosed in the summer of 2011 with a rare, life-limiting genetic disease called Niemann-Pick (type A/B). Jacob earned his angel wings on November 15, 2012, but remains our daily inspiration and constant reminder that we must live in the moment and fill each day with JOY, LAUGHTER and an abundance of LOVE.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Birthday Fit For An Angel

Sweet Jakey Boy, we miss you so very much! Three years ago today we were dressing you up in your 'coming home' outfit, which was covered in cute little monkeys and strapping you into your car seat for your first ever car ride home. As brand new parents we were so nervous, but yet, we were so excited to bring you home and show you all of your cuddly baby things. Your Daddy and I were still in disbelief that the perfect little boy [you] that we held in our arms was ours to keep.

It still doesn't seem fair that we only had such a short time with you -- not even 26 months. We miss you every single day and will never get over the fact that we don't get to watch you grow up. Our lives will never be the same without you, but we know without a shadow of a doubt that our lives are far better for having had you in it. The day you were born was the best day of our lives and we have relived those happy moments all week. We never imagined that a tiny little boy could bring such love and joy into our hearts.

This has been a very difficult week for your Daddy and I, but I don't really have to tell you this because we have felt your love surrounding us all week. We anticipated that this week would be very emotional for us, but we didn't want to focus on the sad reality of not being able to celebrate your birthday with you. Instead, we decided to celebrate you by seeking out kind and loving gestures for others and by living in the moment; just doing something that brings us and those you love, JOY. All of our family, friends and blog followers joined in on the fun!!

We spent all the time and money that we would have otherwise spent planning a super fun, three-year-old themed birthday party and used it to spread JOY to others! It turns out that it was the absolute most perfect way to celebrate you and we know that you enJOYed every minute of it!

We received little notes and pictures all week long via texts, e-mails, Facebook messages, and Instagram pics. There were so, so many random acts of kindness and 'pay it forwards' in your honor -- meals purchased; clothes donated; park clean-ups; bridge tolls paid; special surprises for elderly people; blood donations; a birthday party thrown in your honor at a local pre-school; goodies baked for NICU nurses; shoes donated to recycle into playgrounds for kiddos; supplies donated to animal shelters...this list goes on and on.

Your Daddy and I completed quite a list of joy-filled acts in your honor. I'll have to admit, I found myself looking for even more things to do because it brought us so much joy to share about your life, while doing kind things for others. I just have to share a few of my favorites...

A night out to a random mom, which was left on her car while she picked her child up from school
Live lady bug release for you on your birthday

A donation to Children's Hospital Oakland, which came with this sweet picture that a child drew of a ladybug. I think this was a true sign that you were enJOYing all the love being given in your honor.

Special thanks to whoever left this thoughtful birthday package on our front doorstep, which amongst other goodies included a birthday hat for you and a donation of books to the local library. It was a great surprise!

This e-mail made my entire week! I had bought several strangers some coffee one morning and added a wrist band to each coffee. One of the recipients went to your blog and took the time to write the most touching e-mail. It validated that even the littlest gesture of kindness can bring such joy. You continue to amaze me little man...just look at the impact you continue to have.

On your actual birthday Daddy, Kelly and I went to Toys R' Us and filled a cart with toys and books to be donated to Children's Hospital. We picked toys we think you would have liked and ones we know will help bring joy to other special kiddos like you

No birthday would be complete without decorations, cake and a little ice cream, so we made sure to pick all the best for you! 
Daddy had a custom arrangement made to wrap around your headstone. We even went down to the florist with a detailed plan and picked every flower specially for you.
We tied blue ribbons to the trees, which blew perfectly with the breeze
Kelly loved your birthday balloons so much and was waving to them as we set everything up perfectly for your special day. I think her favorite part was singing 'happy birthday' to you...

We decorated your bench with balloons and birthday goodies for all passerby's to see. We even left wrist bands to share with others the joy that you brought into our lives. Grandpa Dennis planted some flowers around your tree too.

A birthday lunch and a little crème brulee {your favorite} to kick off your day. I think your sister likes it almost as much as you did!

Our immediate family came over to our house on the night of your birthday. We wanted to be with those who loved you most and share the gift of time. Our hearts are all still so broken and I think being together helps to take away some of the pain. It helped Daddy and I immensely just to have everyone by our sides.
No party is complete without a theme, so we went with SpongeBob since you used to love watching the cartoon with your Daddy. I was never a big fan, but you loved it! Who lives in a pineapple under the sea anyway?
Well, my angel...we really hope you had a very special heavenly birthday. Your Daddy and I would give anything to hold you in our arms again. We miss snuggling you and looking into your big brown eyes, which truly were windows to your gentle soul. You could tell us with a simple glance what you were thinking and how you were feeling. You didn't need words or sounds to deliver your messages...you still don't. We're so proud to be your Momma and Daddy. Love you forever and sweet dreams little man.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Birthday Wish...

We're just a few days away from what should be Jacob's 3rd birthday, but instead we will be celebrating his 1st heavenly birthday. Heaven or Earth, September 20th is a day to celebrate Jake!

I have thought about Jake's 3rd birthday for well-over a year, which seems odd because while planning his 2nd birthday, I had to push out the unthinkable thoughts in my mind that questioned whether or not he would be here to celebrate another year. Even though we are incredibly heartbroken that we can't have our Jakey boy here with us, we hope that Jacob's life serves as an inspiration and not as a tragedy. We are truly blessed to have had Jacob in our lives and we will continue to celebrate him.

Over the past several months I have happened across various different websites dedicated to celebrating children and random acts of kindness (RAK) days, events and ideas. Did you know they actually have a national RAK day in New Zealand, which happens to be in September!?! Now, I know it's not a coincidence that I 'happened' across these sites...I think I had a little guidance from a little angel who knew just how he wanted us to celebrate his birthday.

Jacob taught us to live in the moment and to find the joy in our lives. He showed us all such strength, love and perseverance. Through our journey with Jacob, we experienced such kindness, generosity and support from others -- we aspire to pay that forward.

OUR BIRTHDAY WISH for Jacob...is for all of our family, friends and blog readers to find a positive way to remember Jacob, by seeking out a kind or loving gesture for another person and/or live in the moment; do something that brings you and those you love, JOY.

Here's a few ideas to get your wheels spinning...
  • Leave work a little early and have a fun family night with your kiddos
  • Call or visit someone who is sick (meals are a plus)
  • Read to your child...let them pick the book and throw in an extra one for good measure. Jacob absolutely loved snuggling up and reading books with us.
  • Take a long walk, hike or bike ride somewhere beautiful and just enjoy the scenery
  • Donate food or clothing to a local shelter
  • Be spontaneous and do something you've always wanted to do
A day is not long enough, so I think we should all take this week to spread out the little joys.

There are so many possibilities! The coming days are going to be rough for us and it would mean so much to our family, to know that Jacob's life continues to touch others in a positive way; that he continues to bring joy and love into the hearts of many!! Let's celebrate the life of an incredible boy -- spread the JOY and share a little extra kindness in memory of Jacob!!!

We would love to see/hear about how you celebrated with us, so feel free to text, e-mail or send pics via Facebook and Instagram -- don't forget to hashtag #joyofjacob.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Josh and I just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary (12 years together)! We met when I was 19 years old and Josh was 22...awwwwe, young love. I was just a few months away from moving off to college and definitely wasn't looking for a serious relationship. In fact, I even gave him the wrong phone number when he first asked for it. He still teases me about that! Regardless, I think sometimes love finds a way of sneaking up on us.
Obviously, I have pics way older than this, but none digitally. 1st digital pic dating back to NYE 2006 - James Bond themed cruise around the SF Bay.
About a month after meeting Josh, he was very seriously injured and after undergoing surgery, he had a long road of recovery ahead of him. I barely knew Josh at the time, yet somehow I knew that I needed to be by his side. When I finally left for college we decided to have a long distance relationship, which was extended by a few extra years when I took my first 'career' job. We spent countless hours on late night phone calls (after Josh got off work) talking about our days and traveled thousands of miles over the years to spend our weekends together as often as possible. Fast forward 7 years (yep, it took a while) and Josh finally popped the question. I said "yes", of course! We bought our first home and one year later we got married.

One of my favorite action shots from our wedding, when we busted a move during our surprise 1st dance.

{Love} it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Corinthians 13:7-8

I find it somewhat ironic; partially insightful; overwhelming at times; and every bit grateful in knowing that we are truly living out the vows we shared on August 29th, 2009.

We may disagree on some things and he may be the reason that I have mastered "the look" (you ladies know what I'm talking about), but at the end of the day, there is no other person on earth who I'd rather spend my life with. Josh has supported me through a multitude of life challenges and decisions; just as I have supported him through his. I know every trigger word that leads into his many jokes, but yet, he still always knows how to make me laugh.

Josh has a wonderfully positive outlook on life and a contagious laugh, which is probably one of the things that I love most about him. He helps balance out my type-A, overly-planned and perfectionist personality. Josh is a hardworking man and an absolutely wonderful daddy or 'dada', as Kelly babbles at him. On the days where I had to spend hours managing doctor appointments, ordering tube feeding supplies, and battling out insurance bills, I could rest assured knowing that Josh was cuddling up with Jake watching SpongeBob and showing him the utmost love every minute of the day when I couldn't do it myself. Never in my worst nightmares could I have imagined losing a child to a terminal illness, but it happened...we live this reality daily and comfort each other the best that we can. Even despite the most challenging and tear-filled times, I know I can count on Josh to be right there when I need him most. We have worked hard to maintain our relationship, even when it felt like the world was falling apart around us.

I read recently that "the couples that are MEANT TO BE are the ones who go through everything that's designed to tear them apart and come out even STRONGER." Pretty fitting I think...

Looking forward to the future joys that life will bring us!
First snuggles with our little bundle of boy, Jakey.

Loving our little miss Kelly Joy

Thanks for letting me share the mushy stuff.