A Tribute to Cecilia, Carson and Scotty

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later. Romans 8:18

Within the past few weeks, there have been several tragedies in the lives of people that I know. Each of these tragedies have struck me to my core not only because people that I know are suffering tremendously, but also because all 3 tragedies somehow involve a baby. Having a 7 month old daughter myself, I have had extra empathy. I haven’t quite figured out the best way to grieve or show my condolences for these families, but this blog post is a start…

Jennifer (Swihart) Trapuzzano was a classmate of mine at Avon High School. While we were not real close ourselves, we had many mutual friends and every time I came in contact with Jennifer, she was nothing but kind and genuine. As many of you have seen or heard on the news, Jennifer’s husband, Nathan, was out for a walk on the morning of April 1 when he was viciously mugged, shot and killed. It’s a tragic loss of not only a husband, but also a soon-to-be father, as Jennifer is 8 months pregnant with their first child, a daughter to be named Cecilia. Nathan’s death was completely senseless and left a wife without her husband and an unborn baby without her daddy. The news of this tragedy has spread like wildfire, and thousands of friends, family and strangers have sent donations to Jennifer to provide for baby Cecilia, totaling over $170,000. Nathan had a very close relationship with Christ that he shared every chance he got, and his story has caused many people to turn to Christ themselves. Learn more about their story here.

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Jessica (Wager) Broady was also someone who attending high school with me. She was a year older than me, but we had many mutual friends. Jessica was always very upbeat and friendly to anyone she surrounded herself with. On the evening of April 12, Jessica was in a deadly car accident, leaving behind a husband and an 8-month old son named Carson. This sudden tragedy shocked everyone who knew her, and left us all heartbroken. It was very obvious that Jessica absolutely adored her sweet boy, and now the poor baby won’t get to grow up in his mommy’s arms. However, Carson is surrounded with many wonderful family members who are embracing him and loving on him in every possible way.

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Jess (Hoffman) Kim is someone I met in college at Indiana University through mutual friends. I only hung out with her a few times, but each time she was extremely pleasant to me. Jess gave birth to twins, Scott and Logan just a few days after I had Kinsie. I always enjoyed seeing pictures and videos of her precious boys on Facebook. At only 6 months old, Scott passed away for unknown reasons. When I heard of this news, I was completely torn apart. I never even met the twins, but the thought of an innocent child losing his life before even a year old is more than I can bare. Jess has set up a website for people to share their thoughts and to honor this sweet boy’s memory.

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As a new mother myself, each of these stories has hit close to home. I just can’t even begin to imagine what these families are going through. Not only do I mourn for these families, but I especially pray for each and every one of these children. The main reason I wanted to become a teacher was to make a difference in the lives of children. In my school, there are many students whom were born into broken, unstable homes, or have been placed in unfortunate circumstances through no fault of their own. I just want to take these kids home with me to protect them from their unfair situations. Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing a child suffer, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. If I could save every child in the world from any harm or suffering, I would do it in a heartbeat. Life can be so unfair, and we will never understand any of it until we join Jesus in heaven. When I have gone through a tragedy myself, I really struggled with why God would let something like this happen. After many prayers and countless hours with my Bible, I came to the conclusion that God isn’t responsible for bad things happening in our lives. He is incapable of doing evil. Not only is Satan causing corruption in our every day lives and blaming God for it, but we also have been given free will, which in turn causes many terrible things to happen. When God’s children are weeping, He is weeping right along side of us and carrying us the entire way. We just have to let Him.

 

Cecilia, Carson, and Scotty…

Each of you, being so young, have already suffered a great tragedy. Your lives have not started out, or ended,  very fairly. However, you have many people around you that love you so much and would do anything to protect you from harm. Cecilia, your mother is unbelievably strong and has a wonderful faith in God that I’m sure she will instill in you. Even though you never got to meet your daddy, he loved you with all of his heart, and he will always be watching over you along with your Heavenly Father. Carson, you may not remember your mommy someday, but she absolutely adored you. It was obvious in the way that she talked about you and looked at you. Even though she may no longer be here in a physical sense, she will always be with you wherever you go. Scotty, I never got the chance to meet you myself, but I could see through pictures how cheerful and rambunctious you were. Even though you were only here for a short time, you made an impression on so many lives, and you will never be forgotten. Even in the wake of disaster in all three of your lives, you have been blessed by the outpouring of love that people have shown you and your families. You are all so loved, and not only by those here on Earth, but especially by your Heavenly Father. Take comfort in that forever.

7 Month Smiles

Our beautiful baby girl is 7 months old! How is that even possible?! Watching her grow has been the greatest experience of my life. I feel so blessed that I get to be her mom and hang out with her every day. She is honestly so much fun to be around, and her smile and laugh are contagious! Here is the update on our little bug:

  • She can finally sit up on her own.
  • She loves to be held all the time, but has to be walking around.
  • She loves going to church every Sunday.
  • She sometimes rolls over in her sleep, which makes her mom nervous.
  • She isn’t crawling yet, but rolls, pivots, and scoots backwards.
  • Her eyes are starting to change from blue to hazel.
  • She often gets nervous and cries when she meets new people.
  • She has liked all solids that she’s tried except for bananas. Her favorites are pears and apples.
  • She likes to throw her toys around and bang them against things.
  • She LOVES hanging out with her cousins.
  • She laughs all the time.
  • She is becoming more and more of a cuddler.

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Easter Blessings

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live ever after dying. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

Our first Easter as a family of 3 was a wonderful one! Not only did we get to spend the entire day together and with family and good friends, but it was also a beautiful day! Kinsie is getting more of a glimpse into the Spring season and so far, she is loving it! We started the day by attending the Easter service at Traders Point. Our pastor had an amazing message about the true meaning of Easter and how monumental it really is. If you weren’t able to attend an Easter service on Sunday, or you just want to hear a powerful sermon, I would highly recommend listening to ours here. We absolutely LOVE our church and are so grateful for the Spiritual growth we have made since we became members a little over a year ago. Every year on Easter, they have a “spontaneous baptism,” where people who are feeling moved by the Holy Spirit can get baptized right then and there during worship. It is unbelievable and such a powerful way to respond to the Gospel! It was on Easter last year that Ryan officially gave his life to Christ and got baptized. It was a moment I will cherish in my heart forever.

After church, we went to my parents’ house for brunch and an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Now I know our crew only consists of a 2-year-old and 2 babies under the age of 1, but we wanted to live it up for our first Easter with the girls. They loved it! Briggs ran around and collected eggs for himself, Kinsie and Kerigan. Ryan and I took turns walking Kinsie around to collect eggs that she could reach, and to be honest, she really seemed uninterested. In fact, she was much more interested in the grass, mulch and tree bark. She is definitely her father’s daughter!

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Kinsie enjoying the gifts that the Easter Bunny brought her!

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Easter Egg Hunt with the kiddos!

We spent the rest of the day with the family relaxing in the beautiful weather. Days like this where we can all be together are such a blessing, especially since Ryan, Kinsie, and I don’t get as much time together as we’d like. Whenever we do though, we embrace every second!

 

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As many of you know, I’ve been really into photography lately, and like to practice my new hobby any chance I get. It just so happens that I have a beautiful little model who is usually willing and happy to help her mommy out. We had a fun little Easter photo shoot, with the help of daddy making our sweet girl grin from ear to ear!

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Happy Easter from the Matthews family!

Spring Break Shenanigans

From the name of this post, you probably thought you were going to see pictures of a tropical Spring Break vacation. Unfortunately, you won’t be seeing pictures like that until the end of May. However, Kinsie is lucky enough to have a med student dad and a teacher mom with a common denominator…a spring break! Ryan had one week off from classes, and I had two weeks off from work (the beauty of the balanced calendar). For Kinsie, this meant that she got extra special mommy and daddy time. While many med students probably spend their spring break traveling and blowing off steam, my husband chose to spend his at home as a full-time dad. Since Kinsie is used to only seeing her daddy on weekends, she was thrilled to have him home for a whole week. And yes, she really was thrilled…our sweet girl ADORES her dad! She shows off her award-winning smile for a lot of people, but she has a distinct smile that she reserves only for daddy. Not only was Kinsie excited to have Ryan home, but I was too! It was so nice to be able to come home from work to my two favorites every single day and spend quality family time together. There is nothing that I love and appreciate more!

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Kinsie and Daddy enjoying some quality time together

Right after Ryan’s break ended, mine started. We took my time off work as an opportunity to spend even more time with Ryan and went with him to Muncie. It is always nice for us to have a change of scenery every once in a while, because both Kinsie and I get a little stir crazy sometimes in our own house. While Ryan was in class, Kinsie and I enjoyed sleeping in a little, going to the mall, and just relaxing in his apartment. We also ate lunch at Ryan’s school a few times and got to visit with all of his friends from class. When Ryan was out of class, we would try to venture out a little more and take Kinsie on some “adventures.” We strolled around Rural King and looked at the fishing equipment and baby chicks, we walked to the nearby frozen yogurt place, and we took a walk at the park and let Kinsie look at the creek. It is very obvious that this girl is just as amazed by nature as her dad! Once she saw the creek, it was nearly impossible to get her to look away. Ryan and I always talk about how we want to raise her to appreciate the simple things in God’s creation, and not need to be constantly entertained with technology. So far, success! I know it will get a little tougher as she gets older though!

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Enjoying sleeping in a little during our time off!

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Hanging out at Rural King

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Strolling through the park on one of the rare nice days!

Finally, to wrap up our break, we went fishing at Heritage Lake. It still wasn’t very warm so Kinsie stayed inside most of the day, but she is always excited to be in a new environment with different people to entertain her! I can’t wait to take her to the lake throughout the summer. She will love riding the boat and watching the fish flop around as we reel them in. For now, we are still getting very rare nice days so she hasn’t gotten to fully enjoy the beauty of warm weather just yet. I know that everyone around here is anxiously waiting for that to happen! For now, back to work. I am in the home stretch….about 9 weeks left until summer vacation!

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