welcome home

Well hello there.. It feels like forever since I have written… Like a lifetime ago.. Which happily I guess it was. Our dandelion wish arrived. A baby girl we named Bridgette Avari Kranz. Her middle name means gift from the heavens.. and we know she is simply just that.

We didn’t know gender or when the baby would come.. but we knew the baby would be blonde.. She wasn’t brown hair just like Jennifers and the same long fingers. .. Like her older siblings she will always carry a piece of her biggest sister with her.Β IMG_8677

Then we had Nicholas’ 4th birthday and just yesterday we had Jonathan’s, his 6th birthday.

They are both such great big brothers.
They are both such great big brothers.

Six. Unbelievable. We measured him on the wall we have marked with all their heights. He is the same height Jennifer was. I have found myself touching his head a lot today. Trying to remember what it felt like when it was hers.. I think I can. I think I remember the smoothness of her hair. I know I remember the smell. I still buy and use the gluten free shampoo I used for her.. and the lotion I massaged her with nightly for all those nights we spent away from home during her treatment.

He requested pudding pie for his birthday dessert.
He requested pudding pie for his birthday dessert.

But none of the rest of him turning 6 has sunk into me. That scares me. It shows me my brain is refusing to let my heart feel the impact that it has. Its just surreal.. but I know the time will come when the reality strikes me. I just hope I am somewhat prepared for it.. And I hope I can find time to blog about it.

I planned on taking time off.. try to get me to have a real maternity leave. I have had somethings to do.. but its slow going. Baby #5 is quite the handful!

Yes our Bridgette. She is finally here.. Her birth. Something that I both looked forward to and was terrified of. Could I love this child? Would I feel like I was trying to replace Jennifer?

Yes and no. Immediately. Immediately I knew that once she was in my arms. And while I labored I knew my first born was present.

She sent me so many signs. So many. And I knew she was there. .. here.. So much about this labor was wildly different than the others. I had time to think.. to connect between contractions.

I held her keepsake in my hand. I sang to her.. maybe even with her and I stared at her picture. I looked in the eyes and felt like we communicated without words. Just like we did the days leading up to her final breath.

And Bridgette came.. a girl. Another daughter. A living sister for Charlotte. And immediately I loved her. I thanked Jennifer and I loved Bridgette.Β IMG_8621

Before she was born I was certain I didn’t want the new baby to share Jennifer’s room.. But once she was here I knew that was actually the right choice. And for the first time since we had talked about changing that room all the kids were in full agreement. It just seemed to settle in and feel right to all of us.

Here is a video slideshow of her birthday if you are into that sort of thing.

We had a crossfit fundraiser this weekend and getting the chance to get back in the gym.. to grieve the unique way that place allows me too.. it made me have a need to carve out time to write. Not so much today to get into the nitty gritty.. but just to connect. .. to talk to me again the way I seem to be able to sitting in front of a computer screen.

But for me now this is enough.. to just get started because I know so much is lurking below the surface. Too much to touch tonight..

thank you jennifer

for bridgette.

this gift you have given us..

for them because of you.

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…until there is a cure..

24 Responses to “welcome home”

  1. The photo of Bridgette with Jennifer in the background is stunning! Congratulations. Jennifer had her hand all over her newest little sister. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

  2. Oh my goodness. . .what a joy it is to hear this wonderfully, happy news about the arrival of Bridgette! She is truly a gift from above, more specifically, sent with so much love from Jennifer! Loved the pictures of all of you. . .much love and congratulations on this incredibly wonderful blessing!

  3. Absolutely amazing! She is gorgeous. Hand picked for sure by Jennifer, such happy news! Congratulations again πŸ’– p.s beautiful slide show.

  4. beautiful, beautiful pictures! love every one, the kids are so cute the way they each differently greeted Bridgette! Happy baby you guys!

  5. What an absolutely incredible video, Libby. Thank you for continuing to share your beautiful family with us.
    ❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️

  6. Beautiful child!!! An what is more obvious how much joy she already brought to your family, it is enough to look at the smiles on the kids face, but Tony’s smile has the biggest change, it is just full of happiness. I don’t think I’ve seen such a bright smile on his pictures since Jennifer left. Very happy for your little family and congrats again!

  7. I can’t stop looking at these photos!!! Bridgette is one of my favorite names and she is so beautiful. Sending a lot of love to you and your whole family. Congratulations.

  8. I cried reading this and seeing the last picture. I have “been” since the beginning. I think of you so often and have some of the same feelings. I am a mommy of four myself, I have not lost a child nor are they sick. But, their mommy is not so well in the mental since. I try to be a good mom but I’m not good enough. I get mad over things I should not, I take days for granted, I say no more than yes. At this point in my life I don’t see the beauty and that is so wrong. I wish and pray to be a better mom and wife, but I’m broken and tired and I don’t think I can get better and they deserve so much more. Your strength is amazing you are a wonderful mommy! I just hope to become half the mother you are before it’s too late. My heart breaks for you and I wish so bad you had your baby back. Sorry this post is so long. If at all possible delete it once you read it. πŸ’–

  9. Oh Libby! Congratulations. I wasnt sure if I was wishing for a boy or girl for you this time. I am so glad its a girl for you though. One with Jennifers hair:-) Praying she has parts of her heart as well. What a joy for your boys and a living sister for Charlotte. So much love for your family:-)

  10. So much to love here. Thanks for sharing and sharing the slide show. I am so happy Jennifer was with you…
    I love that Bridgette has darker hair.. God signs. They are all around us. Hugs and prayers…

  11. That slideshow is beautiful. It was so wonderful to see the smiles on yours and Tony’s faces…such smiles of genuine happiness. Bridgette is absolutely beautiful. I thought she would be blonde, too! Nope…Jennifer made sure to leave part of her on her new baby sister when she sent her down from Heaven. Love her dark hair. She will always know her big sister in Heaven, even though she may not realize it. Much love to you all!

  12. Oh, thank you for sharing this ever so miraculous event! I wasn’t prepared for the emotions, lol! You had an angel with you as you brought a new angel into this world. Jennifer was so blaringly present, as present as Jonathan, Nicholas and Charlotte in each picture. Much love and congratulations to you and your beautiful family. You are blessed. <3

  13. Libby and Tony,

    Congratulations on the birth of baby Bridgette Averi. Your precious baby, truly, is a gift from Heaven. The video was amazing and I loved the fact that Jennifer was always with you. So very beautiful. Thank you for sharing these blessed moments, your loving memories, and your “Forever Jennifer” photos. God Bless.

  14. Congratulations to the whole Kranz family. What a beautiful, wonderful miracle Bridgette is. It must have been amazing to have Jennifer with you during the process. So glad your whole family was present and for this present!

  15. So beautiful…. Thank you for sharing Libby! Somehow I just knew Jennifer wouldn’t let Charlotte grow up without a sister here on earth. <3

  16. What a beautiful dandelion wish. A gorgeous rainbow that comes after the rain. My heart is full of happiness for you all and yet sad. I am sure Jennifer was right there watching and kissing her gift she sent you as she came from heaven with her to you on earth. Congratulations. And love.

  17. Congrats to you all— she is beyond beautiful and 100% heaven sent from Jennifer. Thank you for sharing with us– we’ve missed your posts but understandably so. Enjoy your time with your new baby–she is just perfect! #JLK Forever. <3 <3

  18. Man, I really thought you’d said somewhere along the way that you were expecting a girl. It just seemed like a girl was coming and that you would have the two boys on one side of the age spectrum and two girls on the other (instead of your bookend girls). No psychic abilities here, no gut feeling, just a misunderstanding πŸ™‚ So glad you have good things happening in your life. Congratulations all. Love both names.

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