Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter




The little lady has been really sick the past few days but Easter brought smiles. I can honestly say that Quinn and I have yet to take her smiles for granted. We still yell for each other to come see her smiles. Every moment we have a connection with Lila is treasured.

We celebrated easter at the Kimballs. Here is Grandpa going over a few ground rules.




I may have overestimated how good Lila was feeling we ended up snuggling on Grandma and Grandpas bed most of the night.


Quinn with his beloved sweethearts candies.





Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sweetheart

I know I always post about how much Lila is a trooper its just that I am always in awe of how patient she is. As Lila gets older her little body is breaking and twisting. Her hip is out of place, tendons are shorting and making it difficult to bend and open her legs. The muscles in her back are knotted and no amount of massage can make them relax. I know as she gets older these types of things will start to happen more. And through it all Lila is such a patient an smiley little girl. She is always surprising me by her ready smiles and laughter. I am grateful that she is able to enjoy life and interact with us in such a positive way.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter celebration

We had our annual Easter egg hunt and dinner at my parents. Love this fam of mine. (I forgot my camera and my phone not sure why these didn't turn out so well)



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stake conference talk

I had to speak in stake conference tonight, about adversity. Seriously? Thats just kinda asking me to stand and bawl my eyes out. But it actually went pretty well, I somehow managed to keep it together and I was surprised how many people asked for a copy. Since my parents couldn't be there and a few neighbors asked for a copy I am posting it on my blog. I usually don't share really spiritual thoughts on here but this is my scrapbook and this is pretty much my testimony these days so I might as well save it:



Good evening brothers and sisters. It is a pleasure to be here this evening. My name is Kristi Kimball I am in the hillcrest ward, who I hope is silently praying for me. They all know that I have been extremely blessed in crying quite easily when it comes to matters of the spirit, especially this topic, making it through adversity with the gospel, and since I am expecting, I can only say I am a bit worse than normal, if that is possible.  I only wish my husband could be the one to give this talk; he is definitely my example in how to keep faith while facing large and daunting mountains.
Adversity and I were not very well acquainted in my childhood.  I grew up in a loving home, in the gospel, surrounded by friends who shared my same values and beliefs.  Lessons in Young women’s about adversity were met with a na├»ve resolve that I would be able to handle what the world was about to throw at me.
  A few years later after a failed marriage I quickly learned how fragile I really was and that my foundation of the gospel, of its basic principles and of, not only an existing Heavenly Father, but of a loving one, needed to be strengthened.  I felt like my life, and all the plans I had made for it were over. I prayed to Heavenly Father to at least let me be happy in my new and single role. A year and a half later a strong, true and good man, took me to the temple and promised to honor and love me for eternity. I was blessed beyond measure and in the back of my mind I thought that Heavenly Father would always watch out for me and in the end he would make my dreams and my hopes become a reality.
Five years after our wedding my husband and I welcomed the most beautiful baby girl into the world. I was stunned by the amount of love that consumed me at seeing her face for the first time. She looked like an angel with white blonde hair and big blue eyes framed by dark lashes. She was perfect and I never could imagine being so happy. My heart was so full I felt like I had received my happy ending from my Heavenly Father and I would thank Him several times a day that I had this wonderful little family.
But as the weeks went on Lila didn’t start to hit milestones I feared that something might be wrong. As we saw specialists at the children’s hospital we were told that she had some abnormalities, such as cataracts in her eyes, a missing part of her brain, the inability to hold her head up, to support herself and more. We were told something might be seriously and irreparably wrong with her.  I remember sitting in the hospital room as a nurse told me that Lila could still have a fulfilling life as a disabled individual, silently screaming “No” in my head. This is not my life. I follow the commandments, I accept callings, I attend the temple, and Heavenly Father looks out for me. I struggled as the weeks and months went on to find a loving Heavenly Father. I never doubted he existed but I could not see how he could ever have loved me or how he could put such an incredible little girl in this broken body.
 As the months ticked on I knew a miracle was not going to happen for my little girl.  When the diagnosis finally came almost a year and a half after her birth I had already prepared myself that my beautiful angel would never see adolescence.  My daughter has a terminal and genetic condition called Vici syndrome. She will never progress past where she is, which mentally is a few months old, she will never walk, talk, call my name or see very well. Her little and broken body struggles just to exist. Breathing, regulating temperature and slightly sitting are all work.  Watching her struggle has been the biggest trial of my life. I have never felt more hopeless. We will lover her fiercely, work with her daily, suction, tube feed, attend therapies, control seizures and try to make her as comfortable as possible and after all of this will see her into an early grave.
But as I struggled with my anger, self-pity, and feelings of unfairness I could never imagine what this little girl would teach me. As she patiently deals with her struggles she is quick to smile and laugh. In tune with those around her she is even quicker with her smiles on the days that are a struggle.  Who could ever have foreseen that in my life it would be my two year old that would teach me more about patience, long suffering and enduring your trials with a good attitude more than anyone I would meet in my life.  I would not learn these attributes by dealing with her tantrums but by following her example. Her sweet spirit is felt by most and comments on the peace that she brings into a room are common. Strangers will hold her and tell me that they feel closer to Heaven in that moment than they have in a long time.
And then a funny thing started to happen, this dreadful and heartbreaking trial, this tragedy that had happened to me, started to become one of the biggest blessings of my life. Believe me, I kicked, screamed and tantrumed the whole way through. Resolute that I would never accept being a special needs mom. But as time went on and Lila patiently showed me what an incredible daughter of our Heavenly Father she was I knew that not only was she a blessing in our home, we were the incredibly lucky ones that she had chosen to see her through her short and difficult mortal journey.  I now wore my “special needs mom” badge as an honor and a humble calling.
Lila has taught us about our Savior and for a Fathers desperation to see his children home. Watching Lila suffer I have come to have a deeper love for a Father in Heaven who would sacrifice his son for me, for I would gladly give my own life to see her healthy.  I can not imagine a greater struggle for our dear Father than watching his beloved son suffer unimaginably, to hear him call out “abba” (or an intimate term for Father) remove this cup from me, and for our Father to stay the course, knowing it would be the only way to see the rest of us home.
We have come to have a greater understanding of the plan of salvation. No longer is the idea of a Heaven a far away ideal. We dream and talk often of how it will be to have our dear and sweet daughter waiting for us when we depart this world. I imagine her untried legs strong and true running to greet me. She will finally look into my eyes and tell me she loves me. And in that one and sweet moment I know that all of this will be worth it. Every doctors visit, ICU stay and sleepless night will be a long ago and forgotten memory and I will never again have to say goodbye to my Lila.
I have learned that following the commandments and fulfilling callings do not make you exempt from trials. In the early months of my suffering I would often think of Emma Smith. Desperate for a family of her own she must have wondered why she was not being blessed with her righteous desire. Here she was supporting her controversial husband, trusting that he had seen an angel of the Lord and following him into a trying life. I wonder if she ever cried to Joseph and begged him to talk to the Lord and ask to send them children.  If she ever thought of giving up as she buried the ones that were sent to her.  But she stayed the course, stood by the man that she loved and had faith to continue.
I see now that there is a plan for me, that my failed marriage only made me more grateful for a partner who has an incredible testimony and the strength to be a strong father to a special baby.  I see how the struggles of the everyday prepared me to be a mother and especially a mother to a terminally ill one. I know I was given that strong family to help support me along this journey. I know that I have learned lessons about life, the gospel and myself that only this experience could give me. As one of my favorite authors Emily Rapp writes, “Parents with dying kids have insights into life and they are hard won, forged through the prism of grief and helplessness and deeply committed love.” I feel that could be said for all of us, through any hard trial. We only learn about life, our Savior, the plans for us through hard won struggles.  Through helplessness and grief, we will finally be forced to our knees and discover that there is a loving Heavenly Father.
In the book of John, chapter eleven, Mary meets Christ on the road to see Lazarus. Christ already told his disciples that Lazarus sleepeth, knowing he had died, he already knew that he would raise him from the dead but as Christ saw Mary weeping and how distraught she was, he was overcome and in verse thirty five it states: Jesus wept.  He wept, knowing full well that all would be fine. He didn’t confidently take Mary by the arm and brush off her suffering. He was saddened that she had to go through the pain in order to show the glory of God.
I know that Heavenly Fathers weeps with us. He is saddened by our struggles. I have learned that he is not a far away, non-involved deity but an aware and loving Father. He knows that through our suffering we will become more polished, more patient, loving and kind. We will have more sympathy for our brothers and sisters, be better parents and spouses, better children, our best selves. And in that one sweet moment when we can run to him and he can look us in the eyes and tell us he loves us it will all be worth it, the trials of this world a long ago and forgotten memory. 

Baby girl

Baby Girl!!!
 I had the official ultrasound. Just a few weeks shy of the customary twenty weeks. I made a stupid decision. You see a co worker overheard me saying they couldn't see  the sex of the baby during the last ultrasound, she told me her husband knew a tech who could do a quick peek. I assured her it was fine that I would go in a few weeks to check the sex anyway but she was insistant  and I was pretty curious.  I went in last week while Quinn was away at Spring training and wish I never had. The tech looked at the baby and casually mentioned that the ventricles in the brain looked enlarged. Lila's ventricles are enlarged. Obviously I was pretty upset. I debated whether or not to tell my doctor and finally made the call a few days later. He decided just to try to put my fears at ease and ordered the ultrasound a few weeks early.  Turns out the tech was just seeing things. Everything was in the normal range. Everything looked wonderfully perfect. The doc told me she was looking at everything with a paranoid eye and could not see anything that looked like it should cause concern. We have been feeling very blessed and euphoric. So excited to see this little girl come into the world.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hi peanut

You are just over 16 weeks along. I think I have felt a few little jabs from you but they are still so slight that maybe it's you maybe it's not.
I asked my friend who is an OB/GYN to take a little peek at you to see what you are. You were being very stingy and he couldn't get a good look at you. Although the kids I was tending at the time were hoping you were a boy so we could name you governor top hat.
Yesterday at the doctors they ended up doing and ultrasound and they are pretty sure you are a little girl but we will have to wait for the "official" ultrasound to really be sure.
They thought that there might be some abnormalities so if course your mommy has been a crazy woman this week. After going through all the ups and downs of your big sister the thought of you not being absolutely healthy is a little more than your mama can take. Dad has been awesome at trying to see the big picture (as he always is) and trusting that you will be born healthy. I am trying my best to keep calm and focus on being the best mommy to you and your sister.
Your big sister is awesome. She has been laughing and smiling to keep me happy and sane. I think she knows I am a bit stressed out so she is doing her best to cheer me up. She does this all the while she is struggling to breathe, winter is very hard for her and easy breaths are not as often as we would like. She is so incredible. She truly is an old patient soul trapped in this broken body. There are so many times i feel like she was sent just to teach me and i am doing nothing for her in return. I hope that you get the chance to really get to know her. I hope you two get enough time with each other to love each other.
Love you peanut. Wish you were safe in my arms healthy as can be but as for now we have to trust in a loving Heavenly Father and trust that he knows what is best.