Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 is coming to a close...

It's hard to believe 2008 is almost over.  The year went by so quickly.  It's ironic how we started the year with the birth of our precious baby and ended it with the passing of Rob.  I truly pray that 2009 will bring us much happiness.  I also pray that it brings all of you much happiness and the rest of Rob's unit home safely.  There is not a day goes by that I don't think of his men and all the other military men and women.  Even though I knew something like this could happen to Rob, I never truly thought it would.  The chances of this happening to HIM was almost like the chances of winning the lottery.  So, this opens my eyes to all the danger our men and women put themselves in for our freedom.  About a month before Rob was injured, my friend Ali was really worried about her husband who was with Rob.  I remember telling her "Ali, of all the soldiers in Afghanistan, what are the chances something will happen to OUR husbands?"  Wow.  No longer can I be nieve.  My friends are in the same situation I was and I pray that they NEVER have to go through what I'm going through.  All I can say now is that they now have one of God's Warriors watching over them.  I've enclosed some pictures of the girls from Christmas.  Eva was so worn out she fell asleep in her exersaucer and Julia was able to make her very first snowman.  So many people were so generous with them on Christmas.  The girls were able to have a really nice Christmas.  So, thank you again for everything you've all done.  The comments left really pick me up when I need it the most and the girls can feel the love from even people they've never met.  May God continue to bless you in 2009.  I'll write again "next year"!!


nacotaco said...

Hi Dena, just stopped to see how you 5 yr old daughter prays that your girls are comforted by God....and my prayers that you are able to rest in God. I'm so sorry that your journey with Jesus is so full of trials...take care Dena....nancy

Household6 said...

Hey girl!

So glad you check in with all of us every once in awhile. I check the site a couple of times a day. I hope the girls had a wonderful Christmas. Thinking of you every single day.

The Spencers

Anonymous said...

I hope you continue to find the strength, courage and faith to overcome this great challenge...we are constantly thinking about you all and you and your girls are in our prayers. Please, please do not hesitate to ask should you need anything...Rob was a very good friend of mine, and despite the distance and time between us, our friendship will always remain strong.

Jodee Leader said...

I am glad the girls had a great Christmas, although I am sure it was a very difficult one at the same time.

I am wishing you and the girls much peace and love in 2009. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dena, I'm glad the girls had a nice Christmas but I am sure you are glad it's over. Our family prays for you all everyday. It brings tears to my eyes every night when our little girl prays for Rob to heal in Heaven. I want you to know that NOBODY has or will forget Rob. He will forever be etched in our brains. He really was a true hero.
I pray for healthy and happy 2009 for you and the girls. In time, this will get easier.
We love you.

Jackie Fjell said...

Dena--thanks for sharing the darling pictures-I'm glad the girls had a nice Christmas. I'm sure it was bittersweet for you, but remember that tiny Child came to save and comfort us and He will always be there for us. Lean on Him for the love and support you'll need in the coming year(s)--it's yours for the asking.
I check your blog many times a day and am always glad to see the next posting to see how you're doing. I so appreciate your candor in sharing what you're feeling--I hope it's as helpful to you as it is to the rest of us! Be sure to take care of YOU and let us all help you whenever and wherever we can. Love and prayers.......Jackie and Joe.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and yours. We think about you daily, and wish you all the very best.
The Soutters

Kati from southwest nebraska said...

Dena, thank you for the update, have been thinking of you. I check the site every day to see if you have updated. I am glad you had a "good" christmas, As good as it can be. I pray that with time it gets easier. Those were some really cute pictures. I pray that you and your girls have a good 2009. try and take care and may god be there to comfort you in the times of need.

mike from topeka, ks said...

I'm glad to hear that you and the girls had a Merry Christmas. That is an answer to one of my prayers for you.
The new pictures are great. That is the first time I've seen one of Eva close up; she looks so much like her Daddy. What a great reminder of Rob for you.
I'm praying for 2009 to contain a multitude of God's blessings for you, Julia and Eva.
I've been praying for Rob's men since before I knew you and Rob. Ryan Soldan, Artillery Forward Observer, who served with Rob, is from our church. I'll keep it up as long as we have troops deployed.
Happy New Year and God Blesss You.
Mike form Topeka, KS

The Bender Bunch said...

Oh my your girls are so precious! The picture of Eva sleeping away in her toy is just priceless! And that must be Julia's doing with the stylish hat on the snowman! And of course she gets that from her Momma and you get it from your's no doubt! Too cute...
Girl, 2009 will bring your family more healing with lots of love, and in time much happiness for your family. We love you and know your future will unfold many blessings.
Thank you for once again sharing with all of us and thinking of more than your family, as you right so passionately about others and your prayers for everyone's safety. You are a wonderful woman, Dena. Your girls, your families, your friends, this World is so blessed to have you in our lives.
Remember as always...anything, anytime, anywhere.
Love to all,

Nancy said...

Your Birthday, Christmas, New Years... I know how tough these 'big, mile stone' days must be for you guys and I'm thinking about you all the time.

I'm hoping that 2009 will be a year of transition, healing, and comfort for you and your family.... it's so unfair that you guys dealing with this Dena, I'm sorry.

You know, one thing you Mom said after the funeral really has stuck in my mind- "The only way that we would not be feeling this pain is if we had never known Rob, and that's not something I would ever change, so we will deal with all this as it comes and be thankful for the time we had." Such true words... I'm so glad you have your family there to help you through all this- I miss you guys.

Now- on to the rest of your adorable post- I love the snowman, and I love Eva sleeping in her saucer... Really adorable! Glad the girls were spoiled (almost) rotten.


Nate Schott said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. It is great to see Julia and Eva's smiles. It is in their smiles that I can see Rob the most. Glad you had a fun birthday.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to share your journey and your beautiful family with us. May the Lord, Who is with you always, comfort you, and may the new year bring you peace and continued joy in your children.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dena,

Still thinking of you and the girls and sending prayers and hugs your way. Thanks for the continued updates - I'm sure Christmas was hard, but with your continued faith, 2009 will be much better. Have a great time on New Years with your brothers!!

Julie McGahey

Bonnie Lacy said...

Dena, it's hard to know what to say. Others have said it so well.

We love you. We want to encourage you. This a.m. I prayed for strength, courage to go where you need to go in healing. And I pray for much laughter. That is a natural with little ones. Try to listen to them laugh and giggle. You'll find yourself laughing with them and healing too.

Let yourself go thru all of the stuff. Don't skip a step. I'm praying that you heal well and healthy.

Thanks for continuing to update. We love you Dena!

Rich and Bonnie

Anonymous said...

Seeing the smiles on those two little girls is one the loveliest sights I've ever seen! Thank you for sharing. I continue to keep Rob's family, friends, and soldiers in my prayers.

Jenifer F, Ruthton, MN

Julie. Soldiers Angels said...

Dearest Dena, What precious little girls you have. Its good to see their smiles and know they are surrounded with such love to get them through this time. The smiling snowman is awesome. A great 'normal' in such a surreal time.
One step in front of the other .. I'm glad you are blessed with such a strong and loving family so you all can love each other through this pain.

I wish you healing and happiness in the new year. I keep those who continue to serve in my prayers each and everyday as I do you and your family. God Bless Dena.

Julie Morelli
Soldiers' Angels

Anonymous said...

Even though I do not know you and your girls, you were in my thought on Christmas day. Your girls look like they had a good Christmas. I hope that you New Year can be a year a healing. You strenght and faith is just amazing. I hope you know that so many are praying for your family. said...

Happy New Year to you and your girls. May the New Year bring you happiness in some way and know that so many good wishes are coming your way from people you don't know and were touched by Rob and your family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update. It's really nice for you to share with all of us. 2009 is a new year, and a new beginning. I'm sure you'll find your way. God is with us always. Take care, and looking forward to hearing from you again.
With much love and prayers.
lacey c

Eve in California said...

Dear Dena,

Thank you for your continued blog. I think of you and your family every day. You are so fortunate in so many ways. Your spirit is an inspiration.
Keep on keeping on.

Love and Hugs for the New Year!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dena

thinking of you today....and how strong you are. The wives here say the same thing...there are so many, how could it happen to our husbands?

They say you can not have great grief without having first had great love. We love these men and all that makes them soldiers and then bear so much pain. Know you and your girls are loved and prayed over daily.


Michael & Hanna Crowder said...

Thank you for continuing to share everything in your life with all of us! You and the girls are in our prayers daily. Hopefully 2009 will bring with it comfort, peace, and joy.

Lori Mills said...

Dear Dena,
I've had the privilege of following your blog and am always in awe of how God is holding you up and allowing you to stand firm in Him at this difficult time. It's a joy to see that he blesses you, even as you hurt deeply, with his love and peace. I found this video and immediately thought of you. The truth in it is this : "that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held" What truth there is in His word! May yu be comforted by this song and reminded once again of how he will bring you through this stage, so that at the end of it all, he will be glorified!
In Christ,
Lori Mills,
American living in Canada

Lori in Canada said...

Oops Dena,
Here's the link to that video...;_ylt=Ai4c50bi7_7EnI8qsrJO1G6xvyUv

Lori in Canada

Liz said...

May God bless you and the girls this coming year. Always thinking of you.

Heather said...

Happy New Year to you as well! I love the pictures of your girls - what precious little bundles of joy. Looks and sounds like they had a great Christmas and hopefully the joy they felt warmed your heart. Getting through the holidays is the hardest. Having your angels with you will help and knowing your biggest angel is watching over you will always help. May 2009 bring many more smiles and great memories. Thanks for your strong words and your updates. Praying for you and your family.

Heather in Helena, MT

Carol said...

Hi Dena, what joy it was to see those beautiful pictures. As I set here reading what you are going thur makes my troubles seem so small. Your faith,courage and strenght is very heroic. I know that you and your daughters will find some happiness in the new year. I look forward to reading your updates. You have fun with your brothers and tell Bev Hi. You all are always in my prayers. Love Carol

Kuhlman's said...

I think of you often and am glad to see that your girls were spoiled for Christmas. I hope the rest of you all had a Merry Christmas, too! Happy 'late' Birthday. . . and yes, 30 is the new 20's :)!! I hope you continue to find the strength to overcome this acheing tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I hope you have a wonderful 2009.
Love, Kasey

Mitch and Vicki Coffin said...

Hi Dena!
Love the pictures of the girls (and the snowman)! I was looking for a picture of you sacked out from trying to keep up with them! Glad there are some lighter moments in the midst of your sadness.
We wish you comfort and blessings to help with your healing as 2008 closes and 2009 awaits.
God's peace,
Mitch and Vicki :-)

Jackie Fjell said...

Dena-love the "new" blog--what cuties! Hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and I know 2009 will be a good one for you. It's so true--without the awesome love you and Rob shared, there would not be the grief you are suffering now. Know you are not alone--we're all here for you, as is our Loving Lord. My prayers continue for you, the girls, and especially the soldiers and their families who give so much for all of us! Love and prayers.....Jackie & Joe

Hanson's Family Journey said...

Just checked in to see how things are going. (I'm Eric & Cris Knapp's cousin). I'm so happy to hear that you had a nice Christmas and that you are once again showing all of us how to be strong! YOU TRUELY AMAZE ME...may GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL GIRLS!!!

Household6 said...

love, love, love the new blog! It's just perfect! Miss you guys!


gemmak said...

You are so amazingly positive even through this difficult time, I wish you and your family happiness, healing and peace for the forthcoming year. Hang in there, you are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

dena, thanks for posting pictures of the girls. without knowing you, they look so much like Rob! everytime they smile and look at you, is Rob smiling and looking at you as well. we keep praying for you and your girls for the strength necessary to deal with Rob's loss. i can't imagine the pain but be certain that Rob is with GOD and looking after you and comforting you. I'm sure. many blessings in the new year. we'll keep checking your website and keeping you in our prayers.

astaiza family
fort lauderdale, FL

Kendra said...

You and your family continue to touch my life every day. I will be forever changed by Rob's story and your amazing strength through all of this. I aspire to be as strong as you and hope that you continue to heal and your life gets better and better. I had a friend lose her husband in Iraq, and I was astounded by her strength as well. Women are some amazing creatures. I continue to pray for you and your family each day, and thank you for sharing your story.

Kendra said...

Whoops, meant to put- Those are some beautiful girls!

Jodi Lilly said...


Your girls are beautiful. I see so much of you in Julia. Thanks for sharing the photos. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. We'll be thinking of you and the girls.

Jodi (Seifert) Lilly

Anonymous said...

Hi Dena,
The girls are beautiful. I hope you are able to find peace in 2009. I think of you often. My dear friend is in Afghanistan. I am in the Army myself. I can only imagine how hard this has been. Thank you for sharing your story. Continued prayers for you and your girls.

Anonymous said...

I continue to check your blog. It is good to see your smiling daughters. Thank you for shaing your life with us. We continue to pray for you and your family and for all of our men and women still serving in the armed forces. May the peace of the Lord comfort you in this new year.
God Bless.
The Kruse Family
Lincoln, NE

Stephanie from Fisher House said...

Hi Dena,

Wishing you a new year filled with peace and healing. You are still in my prayers!

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/31/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Long-time RN said...

Hi Dena,

Stopping by to say hello and say folks out here are keeping you in thoughts and prayers. The new site layout is delightful, the girls are just precious!

Hope and pray you're finding comfort and healing in this journey. Can only imagine the waves of emotions that surface. May God's love bring strength and renewal. May friends and family provide support when needed.

Blessings to you in the New Year.

Anonymous said...

May the peace that passes understanding, be with you all...

Anonymous said...

It is so good to see your children
smile. I hope 2009 brigs peace and
healing to you and your girls
God Bless you
Tina Corley

Nancy said...

Happy New Year Dena & Family! We love you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dena,
I too am just another stranger stepping into your life for a few moments each time I read your blog. I feel blessed to have found this blog and gotten to know you and your precious family from afar. Thank you for continuing to post. I truely enjoy reading your posts and seeing how you guys are coming along. I am happy that the girls had a nice Christmas. I can imagine at the same time it was very difficult though. I am amazed at your strength and courage. I pray that you and your family have blessed new year and that it brings you some much deserved joy. Again Thank You for sharing and I think of you and your family on a daily basis.

Rosie said...

Happy New Year Dena: As so many have already said, may the New Year bring you some peace and ALOT of happiness. The girls are darling, and I see alot of both of you and Rob in the girls. I treasure all of you and keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
You take care of Dena, things are hard on everyone, but mostly YOU, so continue to find peace, love and support in all that you do. Thanks for the updates.

Michelle Nelson said...

Dear Dena,

The new pictures you have added to the top of the blog are a ray of sunshine. The girls, as you know, will get you through each and every day. Please know that you have other friends that are here for you as well. I hope that on New Year's Eve you were able to relax and have fun, even if only for a short time. You definitely deserve this!


Anonymous said...

Hey Dena, just wanted to let you know that you and the girls are still on my mind and in my prayers. God bless you!

Aunt Nancy said...

Dena, Just dropping a note to let you know...Your mom and I had a ton of fun with all the kids for new years eve!! (who would of ever thought that I would think spending my new years eve with 8 little ones would be my kind of
Anyway, as much fun as it was...we will keep you "parents" posted if we decide to make it a "tradition." LOL
xoxox Love you, Aunt Nancy

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dena...

I have been following your love story and am amazed at your strength. I would love to meet you.

I am an Army wife, with a 6 year old daughter that lives in Lincoln. Please call me, 430.5518, if you want a friend in Lincoln!

Keep the Faith...things will get better!


Stacy said...

I am glad that you continue to be strong and have faith. I think of you and the girls often and continue my prayers for your family.
Just wanted to let you know I was here for you if you need anything- please ask.