Layton's Legacy - Card Drive & Fundraiser Blog Hop

**Thank you to Ashten Bryant Designs for creating all the logos & branding for Layton's Legacy!! If you ever need help with re-branding, be sure to check her out!**

Today a dream of mine is coming true, as this Card Drive & Fundraiser goes live in honor of my sweet little bear, Layton Caleb. Hi friends! In case you don't know me, my name is Lea Lawson & I've been part of this wonderful papercrafting industry since 2002. Today is extremely special to me, so why don't I introduce the baby behind the blog hop!

Meet Layton - our little fighter and hero for 5 months & 7 days. Layton came into this world 11 weeks early on June 9th, 2016 with 2 serious health conditions. He endured more medically on a daily basis than most adults face in an entire lifetime. And on November 17, 2016 he joined his big sister in Heaven.

We were given those 5 months with Layton thanks to the level 4 NICU & amazing medical staff at The University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. There are 50 beds in that NICU, and it is ALWAYS full. In honor of Layton's birthday, I am raising money to purchase substantial Starbucks gift cards that can be given to these parents as they find themselves thrust into NICU life.

Why Starbucks? There is one just across the street from the hospital, and I can attest that some days you just need to step out of the hospital for a moment. Get a breath of fresh air, see some natural light & regroup. I was given a $20 Starbucks card that had been donated to the NICU during the time Layton was a patient, and I cried when I opened it. My son was getting million dollar care, and I was there day in & day out doing everything I could for him. It was stressful, scary, and one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. Getting that gift card felt like someone was also thinking about us, and trying to help take care of us too.

I can only do so much as just one person, but together we can accomplish SO much more! Plus - we are making it fun! We have a huge Card Drive blog hop going on in Layton's honor, with tons of amazing inspiration! We also have a fundraising effort, where every $5 donated gets you an entry into the prize drawing. There are over $2000 in prizes, sponsored by some of the most amazing stamping & papercrafting companies in the industry! {You can also see all the prizes HERE.}
PRIZES


WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
1. DONATE! - directly to Layton's Legacy YouCaring Fundraiser. For every $5 donated, you will be entered into the drawing for one of the prizes above!! All winners will be drawn from donations made thru the YouCaring Site. **Prizes will be drawn and announced here on my blog on Saturday, May 19th.**

2. SHARE! - I know that not everyone is able to donate, but sharing about the fundraiser gives it more visibility! Please feel free to share the YouCaring Link or this post on all your social media outlets!

3. SHOP!
-Pinkfresh Studio will be donating 10% of TODAY'S sales. PLUS - they are sweetening the deal by giving you 15% off STOREWIDE for TODAY ONLY. Use the code below:
-CAS-ual Fridays Stamps will be donating 15% of their sales thru May 19th.
-My affiliate linking dollars will be donated thru May 19th.

4. CREATE! - this is also a card drive, and if you'd like to create a card using the theme/moodboard below, I would love that! I will be including these handmade treasures with the giftcards when I hand them over to the NICU social worker, and my dream is that the NICU will be covered in beautiful creations inspired by Layton!! Link them up HERE, and then please email me (lea@lealawsoncreates.com) to get the address for sending - and note that I will need them to arrive by May 31st.


HOW TO STAY UPDATED:
There are two ways to stay updated on the fundraising progress, and to see photos as I drop items off at the NICU.
1. Subscribe to the Lea Lawson Creates blog via email using the prompt in the upper right corner - then you will get email notifications when I add a new post.
2. Follow Lea Lawson Creates on Instagram. I will add photos & videos to my IG Stories, and likely go LIVE a few times throughout the fundraising effort and as we drop everything off at the NICU!
Anything you can do can help a mom or dad thrust into NICU life feel like someone out there cares about them as they go through a time that is very scary and very hard. THANK YOU from the very bottom of my heart for helping me do this!

BLOG HOP
Not only is this a fundraiser, but also a super inspiring blog hop with MANY stops along the way! As you hop along, you will see amazing cards created with a very special theme. I created this moodboard when we started planning Layton's nursery, and it is my very heart poured into a graphic. We have also chosen to go with encouraging sentiments, in hopes that the NICU parents that receive these cards will feel uplifted, even if only for a moment.

I am so excited to hop along, and see all the creations inspired by my beautiful boy! There are going to be so many happy tears shed this month on my part.

Of course, I have created a card for the blog hop! All of the bog hop details will be at the end of my post after my card, so let's get right to it! Here is my card inspired by my cute Layton bear!

I did create a process video for my card today! I will also still include the how to tutorial below for those that prefer to not watch a video!


 
 
First I cut an A2 card from white cardstock and set aside. Then I cut a block of white cardstock slightly smaller, and blended Salty Ocean distress oxide ink to it in  an ombre gradient. Then I spritzed water on it & pulled it up with a paper towel, spritzed it with shimmer spray & finally added gold paint splatters to finish it. Then I set it aside to dry.

Next I diecut the Escape the Ordinary scene from white cardstock & proceeded to stamp all the elements to it in onyx black Versafine ink. This takes a little bit of work to make sure everything is lined up, and I didn't get them all perfect...but isn't that what handmade items are all about? I'm learning to embrace my imperfections.

Next I colored in the trees, grass & moon with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers. I used the following colors: yellow, lemon yellow, pale green & light green - all will be linked below! Then I added some shimmer to the it with my Zig Wink of Stella clear glitter pen.

Then I stamped the mountains to a scrap of white cardstock in smoky gray Versafine ink & fussy cut them out. At this point, it was time to start layering the card together! 

I adhered each layer to the card front with foam adhesive, because I adore dimension! Plus, this amazing mountain scene just called for it. I just white fun foam & wide Scor-Tape to cover my background almost completely in foam so I won't get any weird warping or bubbling. I have found this to be the most cost effective avenue for all the dimension I add to my cards.

To finish the sentiment, I diecut the word Shine four times: once from gold glitter paper and three times from white cardstock. I layered them together, then adhered the word to the middle of my card front using mixed media glue.

The final step, as is with all of my cards, was to accent here & there with my signature jewels. I just love the little bit of shine they add to my cards...seems fitting for this one, don't you think? ;)

I know that Wink of Stella shimmer is often hard to see in photographs, so I took this shot in direct sunlight so you could see it better! 

Well, that is my sweet mountain themed card inspired by my adorable son, Layton. I hope that you liked my card today!

Now on to the blog hop info - here is a link list with all of the stops along the hop! Please be sure to leave some love for the thoughtfulness & generosity that these companies, stores & designers have shown for this Card Drive & Fundraising effort. This wouldn't have been possible without them, and I am so grateful & thankful.




 Thank you SO much for being part of Layton's Legacy Card Drive & Fundraiser! I can't wait to see the impact we can make on the lives of NICU parents.

Have an amazing rest of your day!

Comments

  1. This is such a wonderful thing you are doing for the NICU Parents! I think it is awesome that you celebrate Layton by doing this Card Drive and Fundraiser! Your card is beautiful and I can see all the love that you put into it! God Bless You!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lori. I really appreciate that!

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  2. Thinking of you and your special boy. My son has cystic fibrosis so I know all too well the time spent in hospital. I'll be donating something and creating something for you.

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    1. Thank you, Gab - I truly mean that. Keeping your boy close to my heart & in my prayers...hospital life is HARD. Sending hugs!! {And I can't wait to see what you create!! Be sure to link it up!!} ♥♥

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  3. 💗💗💗 I'm so honored to be a part of such a beautiful initiative, you are amazing! Thank you so much for this! Love your card Lea 💗💗💗

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  4. Lea, this is an AMAZING idea!!!! I am a medical student actually interested into pursuing pediatric critical care and this honestly brought tears to my eyes. You are the picture of strength, and I am beyond fortunate that I can take part of this great big initiative. What a beautiful way to honor Layton <3

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  5. What a beautiful card for a beautiful purpose. You are such a blessing to the NICU and what an amazing way to celebrate your sweet baby boy. Thank you.

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  6. Lea... this is wonderful. I am thrilled to help!

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  7. Your card is absolutely wonderful and will certainly help lift the heart of someone experiencing something similar to what you went through with your precious son. Thank you for being able to reach beyond your own pain and create this blog hop to help others. That says so much about your own beautiful soul. :) I will try to get something made and mailed to you.

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  8. I was a NICU mom with my babies, and while we were not there as long, nor had as many serious issues as your sweet baby, we still appreciated all of the wonderful support from the nurses and doctors and even other patients families. This is a wonderful idea.

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  9. What a beautiful card! As a fellow NICU mom I can completely understand how much any little thing given to the parents who are so stressed is so greatly appreciated. You are doing such a beautiful thing for these parents! <3

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  10. My heart goes out to you. May God ease your pain as you try and help ease other's pain in your wonderful and thoughtfulness of others. Layton's room is wonderful. And the cards along this blog hop are inspirational.

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  11. Oh my goodness, my heart goes out to you - but what a wonderful legacy you have created for your son. And how very sweet and unselfish to pay it forward. I will get busy right now making some cards for the drive. My thoughts are with you.....

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  12. So sad you had to give your cutie back to God. I pray that his time here warmed your heart until you see him again..also love the card and the idea board.

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  13. Your card is just so beautiful Lea .Your journey with little Layton' is so precious and my heart goes out to you and all those Mom's and families who have ever gone through the pain of losing an infant.Always praying for You and your little angels❤

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  14. Beautiful cause and beautiful card.

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  15. I love this idea. Sometimes as a caregiver, you feel helpless. Something as little as a gift card can make a difference. Sometimes just getting a little something to give you a break makes all the difference in the world for that day. I love your idea of fundraising for the gift cards and Starbucks is my favorite place. I will find time to make a few cards and send. I've already shared and donated.

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  16. I did also make a card for this hop on my bmig and will send it this week (I hope it get's there in time). It's really a nice initiative. Really wish you good luck and a lot of money collecting for it! I will spend some money on this soon 😃

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  17. This is a wonderful cause and I love your initiative! Hugs and prayers to you and your family Lea <3

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  18. You've just officially become my hero.

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  19. What a great idea! I spent a couple days in NICU after my 15month old had surgery for a non-life threatening but rather serious condition. It was not as serious as many others there, but it was still really difficult being there and seeing all the discomfort she was going through. Your gifts will help brighten the lives of many families! So sorry for your loss. It must have been so hard to go through all that, and it is awesome that you are using your experience to help others.

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  20. Lea you are amazing!! Your strength and bravery are astounding and inspire me. You have a truly beautiful, kind and genuine heart. I was deeply touched by your story and it motivated me so much!!! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your amazing dream!! Big Hugs!!

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  21. Lea, this is a great cause and I'm so sorry for the loss of your two babies. The U of M is near and dear to my heart, I am an alumni of the physical therapy program and continue to work as a PT. I haven't been on campus for years, I spent my academic time in the Children's Rehab building, which was where the PT and OT programs were located. There was no Starbucks when I was there, but that's almost 40 years ago! I currently live in AZ and am also addicted to card making. I plan to make some cards using your great inspiration board and contribute to your cause. Many blessing to you and your family and for doing this great thing for other parents.

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  22. I will remember you and your loved ones in my prayers. You have the spirit of gold that you want to bless others even when you are in such a great loss. May God bless you and your family with peace and love.

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  23. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for inspiring all of us to donate to this wonderful cause, Lea! I will be keeping all NICU babies and their brave parents in my prayers!

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  24. This is a really amazing thing that you're doing! So many parents will be inspired and encouraged by this wonderful idea! I love your pretty card, and all the sweet emotions that accompany it. Take care! You and your family will be in my prayers!
    Take Care!
    Michele

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  25. Lea, I am so impressed by your strength and I am so sorry for the loss of both of your children.
    After experiencing the birth of a preemie myself, I realize there are no words. All I can say is, I will pray for you and your family as I know God has a plan...♥ HUGS & prayers

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  26. Lea thank you for sharing your story about your son and hosting this blog hop. Your card is also amazing. I love the details. Your work is amazing. I know how it feels to be inside a hospital day in and day out. My niece was a born a few months ago and she was just release a few weeks ago. My brother and his wife would never leave her unless someone in the family was there. Its a tough situation to be in. I am sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family. God bless you.

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  27. Awesome card and awesome reason for a fundraiser and card drive.

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  28. So happy to participate. Know the NICU well, spent time there with 2 of my grandbabies.
    Prayers and blessings to you and the NICU families. Pat Holcomb (The Ink Tinkerer).

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  29. Big Hugs to you for turning your heartbreak into something wonderful for others!

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  30. Beautiful card! Thank you for your story. The NICU is an awful/wonderful place. My heart breaks for you and your husband. I know this is a few years late, but I'm sorry for your loss. You will see your precious angels again one day (but no time soon because we need you here).

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  31. Lea, you are amazing. What a wonderful tribute to Layton!!

    I am so sorry for your loss.

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  32. Great design - what a wonderful heart and tribute!

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  33. Your card is so fun and sweet! I imagine whoever receives it will smile, take a breath, and move forward a little stronger and much encouraged.

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  34. This is so wonderful! NICU nurses are amazing and so loving!

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  35. I think it's amazing what you're doing! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Hugs <3

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  36. What a beautiful thing you are doing in honor of Layton and the families who spend time in the NICU. May God bless you and this hop.

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  37. Kind, thoughtful and a Blessing ....<3

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  38. An amazing story and tribute. Lea, I'm all in with what you are doing for this cause. I pray you are blessed by those that share this crafting passion, and that you exceed what you've hope for. I spent 5 weeks in our NICU with my daughter and my granddaughter, born at 29 weeks. They (the nurses) are phenomenal at what they do. Hugs!

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  39. What a wonderful thing to do! Where do we send cards we want to donate? I may have missed it in the blog post. Thank you!

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  40. I read your story this morning and my heart just aches. I have been unsuccessfully searching for the word to express my sympathy to you and everyone Layton touched (and of course your daughter too). I hope that you find comfort, strength and support from this wonderful crafting community. It is also my wish that you find healing in your kind and generous support of other families in the NICU.

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  41. What a lovely tribute to your son. I was a volunteer cuddler in my local NICU until my health forced me out, so I have a special fondness for the patients, families, and staff there. There aren't many places in the world where people simultaneously experience their greatest joys and deepest sorrows, so it was a wonderful and humbling place to be once a week. For you to come out of this experience with a tender and kind heart is a tribute to you and the love you gave to and received from your son. I'm sure this is somewhat bittersweet for you, but I hope that the outpouring of support from the community will make it more sweet than bitter. I appreciate that you included a way for those of us without money to support you, and I will do my best to get you some cards. While I don't know you, I send you my love.

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  42. I am inspired by your strength and courage. I honestly couldn't come up with anything that hasn't already been written; I will keep you and yours in my heart and thoughts. You are a true warrior <3

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  43. This blog hop is amazing, Lea. I know you poured your heart into it and your card is so rich and full. Your strength inspires me. This is such a lovely tribute to your son.

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  44. I can't even... words seem so inadequate, and my heart just reaches out for you, your family and all families in NICU.
    I am so honored to be part of this wonderful initiative, & can't wait to see all those beautiful cards in the ward! Much love xx AJ

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  45. You, Lea are an inspiration!!!! Such a wonderful thing you are doing to honor your sweet Layton! Much love and prayers! xoxo

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  46. Lea you inspire me with your strength. Love and hugs to you!

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  47. AMAZING Blog Hop Lea and SO HAPPY to be a part of it and to be able to help Donate, to hopefully bring a SMILE to a Parent who NEEDS it!! THANKS for sharing your story and for being such a STRONG, INSPIRING person!! You're AMAZING!! <3 <3 <3

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  48. I'm sending you all my love and support from the north of Scotland. Thank you so much for this beautiful blog hop . I'm so happy to see your dream come true and to see how supportive and amazing is our stamping community :) I'm also very happy to found you as your blog and your cards are stunning. I'm in love with your work. A bear hug for you and your husband. x Bibi Cameron

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  49. you are so brave. i am happy that i could be a part of this. thank you for doing this!

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  50. I am a nurse who worked in a Boston NICU for 25 years and was privileged to care for these amazing babies, as well as get to know their families. Being a parent of a NICU baby is not for the faint of heart and I have the greatest respect for you. I also want to say how sorry I am for your loss of your beautiful children; it's an unimaginable pain to have to endure and I hope that sharing Layton's legacy with others help to ease your pain, even if only a little bit. Bless you.

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  51. I completely forgot to say how beautiful that pic of Layton is...these babies are just so strong and they impact everyone's lives that they touch, even if only for a short time on this earth.

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  52. Your card is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story; this is such a wonderful cause you created! I plan on making a card tonight :)

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  53. Oh, Lea... what a beautiful tribute to your precious little one! May God bless this cause and grant it to grow and bear fruit in ways only our Heavenly Father knows! Thank you for sharing your story, and in a way your darling Layton with us!

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  54. This is a heartbreaking story Lea. I can’t even imagine your pain. But this is a wonderful way to help others. I can’t wait to make some cards for this drive. I would also like to mention a very special person in my family, my aunt, Pat Moore. Today she was honored for her 41 years of caring and dedication as a NICU RN at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. she never had children of her own, but she has cared for thousands of children, mostly the sickest ones. She is truly a hero.

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  55. I will share on my FB. I have a charity group of cardmakers here in Italy, we give cards to hospitals. I would love to send some but I think they won't arrive in time by 31st May. Could I send them anyway? Maybe you can keep them for next year? Let me know Lea, thanks. I followed your story here on the blog and I am really sorry for your losses. You are making such a wonderful thing for others.

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  56. Such a fabulous card you made for this wonderful hop in tribute of your little darling. Hugs and best wishes.

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  57. Dear Lea, your story really touched me! I am really sorry for your losses.
    You are a beautiful person! This is a great cause and a beautiful way to help others!
    Love and hugs to you!
    Arianna

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  58. May you and yours be blessed as well as each parent you'll help with these cards and/or gifts. I'll do my best to support your fundraising and blog hop. By the way, your card is perfect, just as you are. Many kind thoughts from Switzerland.

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  59. Donated! I don't know if I can make a card that would be worthy of the awesome folks in the NICU, but I will try.

    Both of my kids had issues when they were born, but they managed to survive and thrive and now are in their 30s, thanks to the wonderful folks at the hospital where they were born.

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  60. You are an amazing lady! Thanks for bringing attention to an amazing place that puts our little ones first my thoughts are with you and your family

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  61. Our hearts are with you and your gorgeous angels, I can't believe after all you have been through you can still think of others first. This is an amazing idea for a fabulous unit , all the best xx

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  62. I am a substitute preschool teacher and someone who has babysat for kids from birth on up to about 10 or so. I love kids! This story is so sad and I have had tears in my eyes reading it again for the second time. Children are so precious and even if God only allows us to have them for a little while, we are all the better for having them. I don't know how people do it, what you had to do. I read a story by Karen Kingsbury that is like your story but the baby died a lot sooner. I sobbed reading that story. I am very sensitive.
    What if I don't have stamps like what you showed? I want to make some cards for sure, it's what I do, I'm just not sure I have those animal stamps or the mountains. I'm sure I have those colors though. Can I do something else but using those colors? I so want to do a bunch of cards! God blessed you with 2 children that he had to take from you much to soon and still you can do this. God bless you and all that you do.

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  63. Your card is amazing! This is a beautiful and generous tribute. I am so sorry for the loss of your babies.
    Hugs to you.

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  64. What a sweet and generous way to help other parents going through such an emotional time. My grandson was in the hospital for 5 1/2 months, so I understand the chaos and uncertainty each day brings. Every once in a while my daughter would get a gift card for food from the social worker at the hospital. She had to quit her job so the financial stress was there in addition to the emotional stress. It helped to know that people were thinking about and caring for them. I hope to make a card for you.

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  65. Such a beautiful tribute to your son, and such a wonderful way to bring a few moments of comfort to so many who need it. Thank you for letting me take part in this hop.

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  66. Beautiful card, Lea! What a wonderful way to honor your son and show support for other NICU parents. My mother spent her whole nursing career in the NICU. It was an extremely stressful job but she was passionate about the care she was giving to the babies. She rejoiced with parents and she cried with parents. My donation today is in her honor, as well as Layton's. You are a very strong and caring person. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  67. This is a beautiful, beautiful thing! Hugs & prayers!

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  68. Such a good cause, just made a post and entered

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