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Long Days, Short Years

Callie Sanders, Age 1, Oil on canvas

Callie Sanders, Age 1, Oil on canvas

One of the things I hear most consistently from the moms I work with is how quickly their kids grow up. In fact, it’s the number one reason these moms commission me to paint a portrait of their child.

As one mom Kristen says, “The days seem long, but the years are short. Enjoy the fleeting moments while you can!”

These moms tell me how amazed they are to see their kids’ faces and bodies change in such a short period of time. As an artist, it’s fascinating for me to watch these kids grow up on social media, or when I re-visit a client to take pictures for their next child’s portrait.

It’s amazing how much their facial features have changed since I did their portrait.

Moms tell me it’s such a small window of time while their child still has that baby cuteness. You know what I mean; the soft skin, full cheeks, and that beautiful glow. Often times only a few years can dramatically change the appearance of a child!

Many tell me how relieved they are to have captured this special time in a portrait, and how they will always treasure it. It feels great knowing I can help these moms celebrate these fleeting years and help put their minds (and hearts!) at ease.

Moms, how have you noticed your children growing up? How have you seen their faces and bodies change?

 

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A Daughter is Remembered Through the Gift of Time

Emily and her daughter, Helen James

Emily and her daughter, Helen James

Emily lost her newborn daughter, Helen James, when she was 38 weeks pregnant. Although Emily’s pregnancy was normal, she noticed one night when Helen James wasn’t kicking like usual. She tried eating chocolate and drinking juice, but still nothing happened. Her husband Joel took her to the hospital where the doctors gave her an ultrasound, confirming the worst: Helen’s heart had stopped beating.

Emily delivered Helen through a c-section and was able to spend several days with her in the hospital through a Cuddle Cot, a device that cools and preserves the body for up to five days. A family donated it the previous year to the hospital.

 

Although Emily and her family had never heard of a Cuddle Cot, the device became a lifeline between her and her daughter by providing precious time they would not have had otherwise. Because of the Cuddle Cot, friends and family traveled from across the country to visit, hold, and meet Helen James.

Because of the gift the Cuddle Cot provided, Emily and Joel and thier friends started a fundraiser to purchase additional devices and replacement kits. In just two weeks time, they raised over $20,000 and have been able to donate six Cuddle Cots to hospitals in Memphis and Nashville.

“Our goal is to help build awareness around Cuddle Cots and the importance of them. Most grieving parents only get a few hours with their babies when they are born not living which is incredibly difficult,” says Emily.

 

Saint Thomas Midtown in Nashville, where Helen James was born, is receiving two Cuddle Cots. They hold a ceremony for each new piece of equipment they receive, and Emily and Joel have been invited to attend.

 

Each Cuddle Cot has an inscription dedicated to Helen.

 

Helen James, named after Emily’s vivacious, sports-loving grandmother, is cherished and missed every day by her parents. A verse that sums up Emily’s journey, found in Corinthians 13, describes love as unending. “Although Helen is not physically here with us,” Emily says, “the love we have for her has no end. It feels as strong as it did from the moment the Lord chose us to be her parents.”

 

If you’d like to make a contribution to a Cuddle Cot in Helen James’ honor, you can go to https://stthomas.ejoinme.org/cuddlecot

 

 

 

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How Do You Tell Your Child You Love Them?

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How Do You Tell Your Child You Love Them?

Every parent wants their children to know they are loved unconditionally.

It can be hard, though, to express that in a meaningful, lasting way. Because of the values of the world we live in, it’s so easy for kids to grow up believing that their worth comes from their achievements, looks, and the opinions of others.

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The Best Way to Lead is to Serve

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The Best Way to Lead is to Serve

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ahmad Tutio started attending Streets Ministries several years ago when a staff member invited him to join the Thursday night get-togethers.

Since then he's been coming almost every day.

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