Friday, January 30, 2009

Pictures as promised!

Atlanta Aquarium
I love Emma's face in this picture! There is a HUGE whale
shark swimming over our head!

Emma and Mommy in front of the Wall of Fish! They just
swim around and's hilarious!

My sweet baby girl! Justin said..."say cheese",,,and this is
what we got!! TOO CUTE!!!

Daddy and Emma in front of the Jelly Fish
Wall. I love the bright colors !

Absolutely exhausted after the big day in Atlanta!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I promise it's a short post~!

I realized that my last couple of posts have been quite long, and I apologize for that, but some things need to be said and I am not arguing with GOD!!! :-) I just wanted to give a quick update...we went for Emma's 18 month check up....yes I can't believe she's 18 months old either...and she is absolutely perfect!! Her hemangioma (?spelling?) looks great and you can't even tell it's there any more. She def. doesn't like the visit to the doctors office, but she did great with her shots considering! I am hoping to get some new pics up soon, but I am swamped with school work, yearbook stuff, and of course my 18 month old wild child!!! I do want to recommend a REALLY GOOD READ... o.k. I am a little obsessed with it....the Twilight series is amazing!! I must admit I saw a hilarious t-shirt the other day and I must share it with you!

Yes I'm a MOM....
Yes I read Twilight....
and Yes I am In LOVE with Edward!!
(Just don't tell my husband)

HAHAHA Too funny!!!
Hope you are all doing wonderful and may God Bless you all!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And now....the rest of the story!!!

I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to conclude my story, but school has been insane and afternoons with happens!!! Plus I am reading an amazing series of books that I just can not seem to put down and if you know me you know I do not read so they must be good right!!! O.K. anyway, but to Emma's story. I left off with the blog telling her story and asking for prayer.

The Sunday after her surgery mom came into our room where Justin Emma and I were sleeping and said they were going to church and that they were going to have a prayer service for Emma. She asked if we wanted to go. Of course I jumped up immediately and got ready and Justin followed right behind me. We drove the hour and a half to Ider and when we walked into the church the singing had already started. All eyes immediately turned to us and you could tell most everyone had already heard the story. Bro. Luke stood in front of the church and explained to everyone what had conspired over the last few days and asked us to come to the front and pray...he then asked everyone to follow. Nearly everyone in the church got out of their seats and went to the alter. It was an outpouring of love and tears and prayers to God like I have NEVER felt before. We then went to our seats and I continued to hold my baby girl like she was the only thing in the world while Bro. Luke spoke of healing and God's love and how important prayer was. I was truly blessed throughout the entire service.

We then returned home and I started to check my e-mails. I can not tell you the number of comments and e-mails I had received. They were from all over the world. Ireland, England, California, Canada, Florida, Texas.....More and more continued to poor in. Bro. Luke's wife had posted my blog on her blog ( ) and she had so many comments on her blog that truly touched my heart and I still don't think I thanked everyone for the sweet comments although I tried my best to do that and if I didn't thank you then, I am thanking you know!!! THANK YOU!!! Anyway...the love and prayers were not just in that country church that day, but they were posted all over the place in hundreds of different churches and Emma's story started it's journey. Emma's name was lifted in prayer morning noon and night and through that I started to feel a comfort in my chest. Like things...though they looked sad and grim, will be o.k. with God there!

I knew I had to return to work simply because I was the only one who had insurance at the time and I knew we were about to need it more than ever with treatment in our future so Monday morning, although I did not want to leave my child, I left for work and my mother stayed with Emma. That was also the first day that our amazing babysitter, Candi, started. She was gracious enough to come to our house because my mom wasn't really comfortable with Emma being to far away from her. (I couldn't blame her ) Everyone at work was wonderful and exactly what I needed....hugs when I needed, tears when I needed and laughs when I needed them too. The day was long, but it was good. I got home and loved on my baby and shed a few tears with several prayers as well.

The next day, mom went back to Ider and I took Emma to Candi's house. It was September 11th and everyone was still walking on pins and needles with me, but still very supportive. My principal was extremely kind and said he would work out what ever needed to be done in order to get Emma to her appointments and everything else and for that to not be a worry for me that I needed to be there for Emma. I had been concerned about that because I had used all of my sick and personal days while on maternity leave and I only had 1 or 2 days left...if that! Somehow Tuesday seemed to fly by and I rushed up the hill to get my baby girl and go home. I got home and I was on the couch with Emma talking on the phone to a friend that I had not told the story too when I received a "beep" which is call waiting. I looked at the number and it was a 1-800 number and I was in no mood to talk to a telemarketer. So I ignored the call and continued talking. Then my cell phone started ringing and I looked at the number...the same 1-800 number so obviously someone was trying to get in touch with me, so I told my friend to hold on just a second and I answered my cell is the conversation.....

Me: Hello

Other: Hello, is this Kelli Hayes?

Me: Yes it is.

Other: This is Dr. Saito at Children's Hospital


Dr. Saito: How are you doing?

Me: As well as can be expected....

Dr. Saito: Well your going to be doing a lot better...It's not cancer!

Me: Excuse me??? What???

Dr. Saito: It's not cancer. ( I'm screaming and crying at this point) The tests results came back and it is showing that it is a hemangioma.

Me: Thank you Jesus...Thank you Jesus.....Thank you Jesus!!!!!

Dr. Saito: Mrs. Hayes...I want to tell you that Friday when I looked at it in the operating room, it was cancer and it's not! Someone had their hand on that baby! Mrs. Hayes... is your husband home...I would like to tell him myself if it's o.k. since I am the one who told him I thought it was cancer.

Me: No, actually he is still at is his number, you can tell him.... I need to call a lot of people any way.

Dr. Saito: Yea, you call your parents and when you get through make sure you call and set up an appointment for me to look at it again. Again, I am sorry for all the worry and you take care of that sweet baby girl.

Me: Thank you so much, I will. Thank you...thank you....thank you!!!

I then called my dad with tears still streaming down my face and he didn't answer, I couldn't believe it. So I called mom...NO I called dad back and he finally answered. I told him through my tears and all I heard was shouting and praising Jesus!! It was such a sweet moment and I will never forget the feeling I felt when I heard his tears of joy and his screams of praise, then I heard mom in the background doing the same. Then the chain started and it was one call after another...Justin called me and we just laughed and words....just sweet praise. It was amazing. I immediately got on the computer and started typing and thanking everyone. It was so powerful and so wonderful. The entire time I held on to Emma and kissed and loved her. I called mom and dad back and they were already heading down to Jacksonville to see the miracle baby. It was such a sweet night. You could feel God's presence. It was powerful. Just powerful. The next day was back to work, but it was a different day. I walked with smiles and tears, but happy tears. I received hugs and smiles, but they were different. They were thankful.

The next Sunday we were back in that country church in Ider and this time it was a praise service like you have never seen. We stood in front of the church and we told ALL of Emma's story. We sang, we shouted, we prayed, we praised, we cried and we smiled. It was God's amazing Grace...powerful and pure.

The days that followed were wonderful as well. I received e-mails saying that they didn't know me but Emma story had changed their life and others said that they knew us and that they were on the wrong path until Emma's story and they had turned back to God. It was amazing. Others said that they had prayer services at their church for Emma and that they had all joined together to celebrate God's miracle. It was amazing how quickly God worked in so many lives. Absolutely amazing!!!

We have had the amazing opportunity to personally thank a few of the churches that had prayers services and WOW what a blessing it brought to our lives. We have also been blessed with an amazing church that we joined and where Justin accepted the Lord and was baptized here in Jacksonville and it has been a blessing every service ever since.

I feel as though God put a lot of us through this trial, some to remind that we need to be working for him, others that we need to turn to or back to him. God said in 1 Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. He also said in Psalms 71:8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
I now know that I need to spread his word and I need to praise him daily.

I have a daily reminder of God's blessing and God's love. He is so great and wonderful. He has blessed me abundantly and He is worthy to be praised!!!

I hope you have received a blessing from Emma's story as much as I have. My sweet baby girl has a story to tell, but until she can tell it... I AM GOING TO!!!!!

God bless all of you!!!
With his love,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Emma's Story Part 1

As promised I am going to tell you Emma's story! I have been praying about how to present this and what words to use and it's so funny because God has kept reminding me that I don't need special or fancy words....I just need God! My words are good enough as long as God is guiding the way! He's already given me the words....he's given me her story......I just need to make sure I continue to tell it! SO HERE IT IS....... Emma's Story!

Emma was a blessing to us right from the beginning! We had to go through a lot just to get Emma here and then when she finally did arrive....she was quite a bit early! 5 weeks early to be exact, but we knew from that day that she was going to be special...she was born on her PaPa Hammonds birthday! Can anyone say SPOILED!!! Anyway...My mom stayed with me for the 6 weeks I got at home and it was scary for all of us just because of how small she was when she came home. She was 3 pounds 13 ounces when she came home from the hospital and we had to give her formula along with breast milk just because she needed more than I could give her at the time. When my 6 weeks were up, I thought my heart was going to rip out of my chest. I didn't want to leave her, but I had to go back to work. I went back to work on Sept. 6 and my mom stayed home with her and I called a few times to check on her...of course she was great. I rushed home when 3:30 rolled around and rushed in the door to hold my baby girl!

Later that night I was sitting on the couch with my laptop (surprise) checking some e-mails and playing around while holding Emma and mom said, "I will hold her while you do that." I said sure and handed her off. When mom picked her up she felt something weird. What followed was about 5 days of chaos! I will leave you with a blog that I had posted on my myspace page that explains what happened in detail....

Sept. 8, 2007

O.k. everyone, I know you have read my blogs about my precious baby Emma, well now I need your prayers for her more than ever! Many of my dear friends have already posted a bulletin asking for prayers, but there are others of you who don't know what is going on. SO HERE IT IS....Late Wednesday night we were changing Emma's diaper and felt a bump on her hip. When we looked at it, it looked as if her hip was out of place. We immediately jumped into the car and went to the emergency room. They took x-rays and ruled out that it was anything to do with her hip. They then TRIED to take a CT scan of her, but little Emma just wasn't having it and the results came back inconclusive.So the doctor thought it was just fatty tissue that may have developed because of her growing and gaining weight so fast. He told us to just follow up with our pediatrician the next day.Well many of you know Dr. Caballero in Anniston is an amazing pediatrician, and when he saw her and felt her bump he looked at us and said this was not there when we were in for our last checkup. You could see it all over his face that he was worried. He decided to make a call to Children's Hospital in B-ham and wanted to just make sure of what was going on. So we took off to B-ham from the pediatricians office. Once we got to Children's, they immediately had us in a room and the Neonatologist was in looking at her within 10 minutes. She was really concerned when she started feeling of the lump and wanted to do some more tests. The first test she wanted to run was a simple sonogram to get some pictures of it to see if it was connected to anything, and if it had any blood running through it, and just simply to get an idea of what we were looking at. After looking at the sonogram the doctor was still not sure of exactly what it was so she decided it was time for an MRI. As a mother, that had to have been the most painful thing I have ever had to witness. To sit and watch your 6 week old baby wrapped up in blankets and taped down to a machine and see her go through the tests and there is nothing you can do!!! No one should have to go through it! EVER!When the MRI came back the doctor still couldn't tell exactly what it was so the next step was a biopsy. So we set up the surgery for Friday morning at 7:15. We left our house Friday at 4 a.m. with grandparents in tow. You know they were going to be there no matter what! She went in to surgery and had to have (excuse the spelling) anesthesia so we were going to have to stay the night to keep an eye on her. When they doctor came back in and talked to us, I knew she was holding back. She was beating around the bush about something, but I didn't want to know what it was anymore than she wanted to tell us. Justin couldn't take it any more and just asked what she thought it was. She unwillingly told us she thought it was a cancerous tumor and that we may have a long road ahead of us. As I sat there in a complete state of shock, I looked around the room at all of the distraught faces of my family. My mother was a complete basket case, my dad was trying to be strong but you could see it in his eyes he was crushed, my sister sitting in the corner in disbelief with tears running down her face, and my best friend.. with a blank stare on his face and tears welling in his eyes as if his life had been completely torn apart. All I could do was sit there. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I could see people talking, and the doctor beside me holding my hand, telling me we were going to fight this and get through this, all I wanted to do was hold my baby girl, the blessing that we had to fight for in the first place, the baby who had already come through so much and fought so hard to survive 5 weeks earlier than she should have. The doctor reassured us that there was still a chance that it was benign and that she had seen it happen before. She told us that pediatric cancer was not like adult cancer and that it was very treatable. She was so wonderful and understanding of the fact that we were all completely lost and confused and mad and sad. She offered for us to speak with the oncologist there at the hospital and Justin immediately said yes. So the nurse told us we were moving to another room and that Justin and I could peek in and see Emma in recovery before we went. We got in there and all I wanted to do was pick her up and tell her everything was going to be o.k., but I couldn't touch her, not even a kiss on her little chubby cheek. It absolutely killed me! About 15 minutes after we got into the room, they brought my precious fighter in and asked who wanted her!! There was no question who was getting her, and I didn't care who wanted her! She was mine. All the wires and IV's were hooked up to her and it was heart breaking.The oncologist came in a little later and told us that they did a freeze section of the biopsy during the surgery and that it came back malignant, but that didn't mean it was. She seemed convinced and talked to us about what was next. She said they were going to put a little tube right below Emma's collar bone and from that tube they would be able to take blood and give her chemo. As you prob did just as you read this, I said WHAT???? She said this would probably need to be treated with chemo, radiation, and then they would try to take the mass out. NEVER would I have thought I would be having this conversation about my precious 6 week old baby!!! She also mentioned that we are looking at about 1 to 2 years of treatment! We are still waiting on her labs to come back and we are praying for God's hand to be in this. We want benign results!!!! We want our baby to be o.k.!! We need your help! PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR BABY EMMA!!! She has fought so hard already! We know she is strong and we know she will come through this, but with your prayers and God's hand, we can get through this stronger and better! God has a plan for my baby girl, and it may be that through this we all become closer to him, but right now we are struggling to understand it! My family has been through a complete nightmare in the past 4 days! Please keep us in your prayers, and lift our baby girl up to the Lord, for through him ALL things are possible. Thank you to all of you who came to the hospital to visit. It was so nice to see a smiling and loving face and to even laugh every once in a while!! We love each and every one of you. Please pass this along so that we can have as many prayers as possible going out for Emma! We will keep you updated and we are supposed to find out the results of the tests late next week. Whenever you have a second, please just lift up her name!!!

Love,Justin, Kelli, and our sweet baby Emma!

I will stop there for this post and continue hopefully tomorrow night! Sorry for the cliffhanger suspense...haha!!! Stay tuned!!

A verse that I lifted unto the Lord daily throughout this ordeal and still today....

Jeremiah 30:17
But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds....declares the Lord.

I'm here!!

I am so sorry I have bee away for so long, especially after my last post and telling you I was going to post Emma's story, but we have a quite the bug around here and we are still trying to recover!! I am planning on posting this afternoon! I was about to do it now and guess who I just heard crying in her crib??? You guessed it, our little "miss priss" herself. It's like she knew I was about to do something and decided I needed to spend some more time with her on my day off from school!!! I will post soon. Keep checking back!! :-)

With love,

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Work!

Well I had to go back to work today after being off for the Christmas Holiday's and WOW was it tough getting up this morning!! I must admit it was good getting back to the daily routine but it was really hard saying good-bye to "priss" this morning. She was so sweet this morning and she just loved and hugged on me while "we" got ready! She helped me with my make-up, helped dry my hair, and even helped pack her diaper bag. She smiled and laughed the entire time. She was precious. It was like she knew I was going to have a hard time so she was REALLY nice to me. I can not imagine my life with out that precious little girl! She amazes me every day with what she is learning. I absolutely love every thing about her!! God has blessed me with so much in my life, but I do believe that she takes the cake!! :-) I can not imagine one second with out her! I am going to post "Emma's Story" in the next few days, but I want to make sure I do it justice, so I want to dive into my bible and really search for God's words that may bless you as much as he has blessed us. I read a friends blog earlier and she has been posting some of her older blogs and one of them was about Emma and her story. I sat in tears. After reading her blog I realized I have been slacking on God! I haven't been sharing the precious story that he gave us to share. I haven't been doing MORE for him. I had fallen into my old ways! I shouldn't be sitting quietly but shouting from the mountain tops that GOD is STILL a HEALING GOD and HE LIVES IN ME!!!! I hope to become more like him daily and I hope that you see him in me and in my future posts! Yes, there will still be stories of Emma, but there will be more of GOD!!! Thank you Brooke for reminding me of God's grace and unending love! You and your family are so precious to me!

God Bless you all and I pray that when my students return on Wed. they will see more of God in me too!!!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

I've been tagged....let's play a game!!

My wonderful friend Angela tagged me to play a little game!! Let's see how I do!!!

SCATTERGORIES.. it's harder than it looks! Link to this post, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag 10 people including the one that sent this to you.Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things. Nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial.. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question. And you can not use the same word twice

Your name: Kelli
OCCUPATION: Kitchen Manager
A COLOR: Kelley Green
BEVERAGE: Kool-aid
FOOD: Kiwi
A PLACE : Kentucky
REASON FOR BEING LATE: Killed...I know it's awful, but I couldn't think of anything else!
Ok...Here are the 10 tags...

1. Brooke
2. Jenny
3. Deb
4. Holly C.
5. Holly B.
6. Hayli
7. Christina
8. Gwen
9. Shannon A.
10. Whitney

Have Fun!! Happy New Year!!