A couple of days ago, a 3-year-old little girl I know named Haven Grace started having complications with the heart transplant she received about a year ago. 

Yesterday afternoon, after fighting bravely for hours, she passed away.

Her earthly body just couldn’t withstand the ravages of the heart disease she was born with.

And my own healthy heart hurts for her family.

I didn’t even know Haven that well, but l get a knot in my chest every time I imagine the grief her sweet mama and daddy must be experiencing.

The story doesn’t end there, though.

When Haven was first admitted to the hospital a few days ago, her father, Brandon, who is the pastor of a local church, started a Facebook page called Praying for Haven Grace.

As of this moment, there are over 5,700 members on that page, and more are joining every hour.

People from all over the U.S. (and beyond, I’m sure) have flocked to Haven’s page to read her amazing story, wish her well, and assure her parents of their prayers and support

Most of them had never met or heard of Haven before this week.

As so often happens when God is present, I believe that triumph will rise out tragedy.

Haven is at home in the arms of Jesus.

She no longer struggles to breath or feels any pain or fear.

And yet her legacy—the soul of a beautiful little girl who was known for her sunny disposition, her concern for others, and her love for God—won’t pass away.

In fact, as evidenced by hundreds of comments on the page’s wall, many have already been touched just by witnessing Haven’s grace (yes, she was aptly named) and her family’s faith.

Joy from mourning.

Beauty from ashes.

Life from death.

That is the essence of Christianity.

But it doesn’t mean that the ache will go away or that hearts are not broken.

Please keep Haven’s family in your thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks.

They will need them.

I didn’t announce a theme for today’s 5 Things Thursday. But in light of the fact that Haven’s death makes me want sit on the couch all day, cuddling my children and inhaling their sweet (okay, sometimes sour) scent, I thought I’d share with you five things I love about my kids.

1.  They are creative.


Ezra was so proud of the T-Rex he made from Trio blocks. (You can read the “whole story” on our Facebook page).

And I’ll admit it. I was pretty proud too.

2. They’re silly (and funny).


This is what “lunch” often ends up looking like at our house (I love Mr. Tortilla’s chagrined expression).

Below is one of my favorite conversations I’ve ever overheard between Ezra and Simon.

I titled it: “You’re so…”

Ez: Simon, you’re so pretty.
Si: No I’m NOT!
E: You’re so handsome.
S: I know.
E: You’re so tiger.
S: Rawr!
E: You’re so lion.
S: Rawr!
E: You’re so dinosaur!
S: Rawr!
E: You’re so dragon! (voice of awe)
S: Rawr!
E: You’re so tree.
S: *long pause* Huh?

3. They’re cuddly.


My kids are still young (5 1/2, 4, and 1), and I know that the day may come when I try to kiss them, and they recoil and wail, “Maaaaammaaa, DOOOON’T!”

But for now, I’m convinced that I have the snuggliest children ever (you’re welcome to be equally convinced about your own offspring; it’s our prerogative as mothers to think our kids are the best and yet be fine with everyone else thinking the same thing).

All three of them love to be held, sat with, hugged, kissed, patted, or otherwise mussed.

Simon, the middle one, will regularly climb in bed with me in the early morning, tuck his little body up against mine and then go back to sleep…but only after my arms are wrapped tightly around him, and he has burrowed as far into my chest as he possibly can.

4. They love God’s Word.


(Shaun and I gave the boys these personalized Bibles for Christmas)

We read them Bible stories pretty much every night, but they’re always asking for more. Just this morning, Simon came down and sat in my lap while I read my Bible reading out loud. When I was done, he said, “Keep reading, please, Mama.” (Yes, he actually said, “please” : )).

5. They’re really great at saying, “I love you.”


Even Della.

Just this week, she started responding to my saying, “I love you,” by leaning forward and resting her forehead against mine.

(Pardon my sweaty, messy workout hair).

And the boys pretty much say, “Um… Mama?” (Me: “Yes?”) “I love you!” ALL.DAY.LONG. (It’s sweet, but after about #152, you starting feeling a bit too loved).

Disclaimer: My children are far from perfect, and there have definitely been seasons during which I enjoyed them considerably less than I do right now. They are, however, perfect for me, and I am so grateful for them!

Switching gears entirely, I wanted to let you guys know about something new I’ll be doing each Friday, starting tomorrow.

Up until now, I have mostly dabbled in linky parties, using them as opportunities to get to know you better (which I’ve enjoyed, by the way).

But starting tomorrow @ 7AM (actually, it will probably go live tonight, so be sure to check back), I’ll be hosting my first ever full-fledged linky party, which I’m calling the:

five days five ways | feature friday free for all

(Feel free to grab the code: https://www.fivedaysfiveways.com”  target=_blank” title=”five days five ways”>five days five ways | feature friday free for allhttps://www.capitalhcoder.com/fivedaysfiveways/5d5wfreeforall.png” style=”border-style: none” />

and post it in your sidebar…I won’t mind a bit ; )).

As the title implies, this linky will be a free-for-all!

Anything goes: projects, tutorials, funny anecdotes, crafts, home décor, fashion, and more!

In fact, starting out, I will have just two categories:

1) Fashion

2) Everything else

I’ll be posting my favorite entries on Twitter (which means I will actually have to start Tweeting…oh boy) and Facebook throughout the week and then doing a round-up of my top 5 or so each Friday on the blog.

I’m super-excited to see what genius creations, style, and thoughts you have to share and am so looking forward to meeting new friends!

See you soon!


  1. Wow, thank you so much for this post. My heart has been aching for a baby lately (only been married a few months) and this post is exactly why – children are amazing little miracles. I’ll be praying for Haven’s family. So sad . . .

    I can’t wait for the linky party! I’ll definitely join since there are no exact restrictions and my posts are always pretty random throughout the week.

    BTW – I’m hosting a Shabby Apple dress giveaway. Just stop by my blog if you are interested! 🙂

  2. I love your post and how you conveyed the beauty and blessings of children. I’m so sorry to hear about little Haven. She was a doll. My heart breaks for this family. I will keep them in prayer.

  3. Thank you for the reminder of how precious our children are!! (sniff) That ALMOST makes me want to go wake them up from their naps and hold them.

    …but that can wait until after naptime.

  4. This is SO Beautiful! My heart hurts for that poor family! Thank you SO much for this! We are now following you back!
    Brooke from babblingsandmore.blogspot.com

  5. I live very close to this town – just down 80. So sad. There is another mother I work with who lost her three year old in September. She is honoring her memory with the Pink Poodle Pillow Project (https://pinkpoodlepillowproject.wordpress.com). I feel for all families who have gone through this immeasurable loss. Thank you for sharing Haven’s story and allowing me to share Bailey’s as well.

  6. This is so beautiful. My heart breaks for Haven’s earthly family and I will hug my baby a little more today and say a prayer for her sweet family.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog~ We live in Oklahoma, but my husband is originally from Texas and all his family lives in Texas (Austin, Midland and Ft. Worth) so we are there a TON. He is dying to get back to “God’s country” so I have a feeling we will end up there one day. I will also be participating in your linkup tomorrow…I’m so glad to be a follower of your blog!

I love hearing from you guys!