Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Dear Readers,
Wow, wow, wow! I am really blown away by all the wonderful support, from friends and strangers alike, of Stevie's 30 Days of Doing Good project. I've been checking my email like a mad woman, and each time I have a new message from someone who has done something "good" in honor of my girl, I just tear up and smile.

Here are some more of the special things people have done in Stevie's name.

From Angie, California:
Over the weekend I planted a bunch of flowers in our yard. My next door neighbor, who I don't know all that well, likes to plant flowers and garden too. So, I thought I would take the opportunity to do something good in honor of your baby girl! As I was finishing up I left about half a dozen snapdragons and marigolds out and brought them over to my neighbor so she could use them for her yard. She was so surprised! :)

From Lisa:

 This afternoon I went wandering around the mall. Just wandering. Killing time. I was feeling restless and just didn't want to go home yet. I walked past a display of TOMS shoes. They are behind the One for One movement. For every pair of shoes purchased, they donate a pair of new shoes to a child in need. I saw the shoes, and I thought of Stevie. I bought a black pair. For Stevie. Thank you for the inspiration to do this small act of good for the world. Your 30 Days project is such an incredible way to keep Stevie's memory alive. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.

I just have to mention here, I am a total "shoe girl" (I actually sold shoes at Nordstrom all through college!), which makes this story and picture all the more special to me!

From Tracey and Fellan from www.theeddybearcompany.com:

We would love to participate in your 30 days of kindness project in honor of your baby daughters 1st birthday.  We think that our first act should include such a beautiful soul like yours.

We would love to make you a "Stevie Bear" so that you can cuddle in your arms. We will embroider Stevies name, and/or a message on both paws of the bear for you and send it to you. (anywhere in the world)   The bear comes with a red heart that you can place something special inside and then is secured inside the bears chest.

Please accept this act of kindness from us to you. Love and healing to you sweet girl.

Another cool thing: we called Stevie our Little Bear Cub while I was pregnant with her :)

From Deanna, California:
Today for my random act of good, I surprised my friend with a bunch of books as she is expecting her first baby in just a couple of weeks. She was thrilled! My favorite part of this project has been being able to share Stevie's(and your) story with others. 

From Tiffany, California:

Hey Kristin, I wanted to pass along my random act of kindness. Its not huge or anything but I wanted to share none the less. I totally thought of Stevie when I did it ♥

I know as women how hard we can be on ourselves... being self conscience about our bodies, so self critical. There is a lot of pressure to look a certain way. People are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and work that they rarely do anything nice for anyone else. So today in the bathroom at work I put a little note for all the ladies that go in there and see themselves in the mirror. I hope it brings a smile to someone's face.

From Jamie:
My son Kallen and I packed up 10 of his smaller baby outfits that don't fit him anymore and then went and bought 3 baby girl outfits. I put 'From Stevie' tags on all of them and took them to the local Woman and Children's shelter. I think what you're doing is beautiful and plan to do a few more things before Stevie's month is over - I will let you know :)

Thanks again everyone! Keep 'em coming! :)


Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 2

Dear Stevie,
Hi baby girl. Here's a little recap of day 2 of my 30 days of doing good, in honor of your first birthday coming up on May 8th.

Day 2: Saturday, April 9th, 2011
Dad was working his part-time job at the bike shop all day, so after waking up early and watching all three hours and 47 minutes of Gone with the Wind (I had never seen the whole thing before, so good!), I decided to spend the rest of the day in the kitchen. That's right--this strange and totally unfamiliar urge to bake just won't seem to go away! I dug around our cupboards and paged through our stack of cookbooks until I found a few recipes that worked with the random ingredients we had around the house: sour cream and pineapple muffins, banana bread with cranberries and cashews, and regular old brownies.

At first I had this great idea that I was going to bring over these baked goods to our neighbors. However, I decided that our neighbors, who we don't really know, like at all, would actually probably find that really creepy and kind of weird. So instead, I wrapped them up and dropped them off at a couple of my friends' houses. It was really fun. Not to mention MUCH better for your dad and I not to have all those deserts tempting us at the house! :)

Here are a few pics:

Dad helping wrap everything up. I included this picture because I wanted to show off this ridiculously gigantic roll of saran wrap we have. We've literally this same roll for over 3 years!

From my BFF Jersa, Minnesota:
My amazing friend Jersa, who I have been friends with since middle school, has been making these adorable flower hair clips for her friends in honor of your birthday. She calls her project "random/spontaneous acts of kindness flowers!" :)

From Michele, Pennsylvania:
I did my 2nd thing for Stevie! (I'd only planned on doing one, but then this one fell in my lap, and I thought she'd smile.) A fellow cantor came down ill and asked me to sub for her, last minute. Even though I had other plans (to go to church at the Shrine instead of our parish), I said okay. This meant that I was too busy to do my long run... But I didnt care! I thought, "this is for Stevie" and I said yes. So, there you go! 2 nice things in 2 days! :)

From Deanna, California:
I have been so touched by your 30 Days of Doing Good in Stevie's honor! I don't think I had time on the 8th...I read your post too late so I knew I wanted to make up for it the next day ;) On the 9th, I tried to do as many things as possible while out running errands. ;) Nothing huge, things like waving the person on next to me as we both go to pull out of our parking spots at the same time, picked up someone's trash that blew away while eating outside at Panera Bread (do you have those there...AMAZING!), holding the door for a bunch of people (and with the stroller too...I got a lot of "wow, thanks!") I really hope that last one catches on. ;)
On the 10th, I had to run into to grab a gallon of milk...was the only thing I needed and wondered how I was going to get away with my plan (to let someone with fewer groceries go ahead of me) hehe. So I grabbed some skittles (S for Stevie ...of course) ;) and some starbursts (another S...thanks Stevie for justifying my sugary candy fast!) ;) and got into the 10 items or less in hopes someone would come behind me with only 1 item. And just for good measure I grabbed a packet of gum (Stride) ;) and (this is where I broke the "S" rule...but I think Stevie understood) grabbed a People magazine. A young teenaged girl came behind me and grabbed the same People magazine. SCORE! I kindly told her she should go ahead of me, I have a lot (hehe). Her whole face lit up...which says a lot for the typical teenage grimace, I'm used to seeing. ;) I am excited to continue to do things in Stevie's honor. You are a huge, huge inspiration to me. I absolutely adore you and Stevie!

Thank you SO much to everyone who has done something "good" in Stevie's name so far! You have no idea how much your support means to me. 


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 1

Dear Stevie,
I'm only two days in to my little '30 days of doing good' challenge, in honor of your first birthday next month, and I'm already having so much fun! Here's a little recap of day one.

Day 1: Friday, April 8th
I had planned on doing something big and exciting to kick-off the month, but life got in the way and it ended up being pretty low-key.

There were a couple movies Dad and I really wanted to see that weren't streaming on Netflix yet, so we decided to head over to the grocery store and see if Redbox had them. Side note that has nothing to do with the rest of this post: I HATE Redbox with a passion. For responsible people who are able to remember things like returning movies, I'm sure it's a great system. But for us, the seemingly cheap $1 per night rental fee always turns into about $70. Literally. I don't even want to take a guess at how much money we've given to Redbox over the last few years. Once you pass a certain lateness, it's pointless to return the movie at all, so we now have a crapload of Redbox movies in our home DVD collection. And of course, they are all the super horrible movies we've rented, never ones we'd actually want to own. 'Grizzly Park,' '17 Again,' 'New In Town,' and 'Doll Graveyard' are some of the titles we can watch now over and over again to our hearts' content whenever we please. Awesome.

Anyway, before leaving for the dreaded Redbox, I decided to google some promo codes for free rentals. I figured even if we ended up never returning the movies we got, at least it would only cost us $69 per movie instead of the usual $70. I found some codes and off we went.

Another side note: The other thing that really sucks about Redbox is that there is always a huge line. People like to casually peruse the Redbox like they would a Blockbuster store, clicking on every single title available to read the synopsis, adding and deleting choices from their cart, calling their boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate/mom to get their opinion on each movie choice, and just generally taking FOREVER to make up their freaking minds. Then finally, when you've made it to the front of the line and it's your turn at the Box, the stress and panic sets in as you feel the impatient looks and long exasperated breaths of the crowd behind you, slowly closing in on you as you desperately click 'next screen' over and over again, looking for that one film that calls your name.

Friday night was no exception, and there were about a million people in line when we arrived at the Redbox. So here's where we finally get to the part of about my good deed! After waiting for at least a half an hour for my turn, I let the person behind me cut in line. I said, "do you know what movie you want? I have no idea what I'm looking for (which was a lie!), so you can go first if you want." Then, after I took my turn and saw that those promo codes I found online actually worked, I told the rest of the people still waiting their turns about the codes. They were all really happy and thankful. I even saw a couple smiles, which I think is pretty huge considering they had been standing in that god-awful line for a very long time. One lady and her daughter even found me later, in the ice cream aisle, to tell me that the codes had worked. "Thanks for the free movies!" She said. And she looked very responsible, so her movie night probably will in fact, cost her zero dollars. :)

From Jo, Southern Australia:

Hi Kristin,
My name is Jo, Im from a tiny town is South Australia.
I have been reading your blog for sometime and just wanted to say im so so sorry for the loss of your precious Stevie. My heart goes out to you as her first birthday approaches. I have been through the first birthday and due dates. I have lost 3 babies. My son Hayden, an angel and baby Sienna.

So anyways i love the idea of a good act... and i wanted to donate some things to a newly started group for miscarriage, pregnancy and infant loss...so after reading you blog i thought that is what i will do and i will think of my own babies and your little Stevie while i do it... so today me and my living child went on a little girls day and decided to buy somethings to donate.

Just wanted to let you know that even though i dont really even know you personally your little Stevie has touch my life and her life is def worth celebrating.
I did a big fundraiser for my sons 1st birthday and celebrated in style, it was hard but it was such an achievment. we raised over $530 dolaars and around 70 teddy bears for the teddy love club here in australia. knowing i had done that for him, made his birthday seem so special, instead of me in a teary mess...(i still did this later..haha)
So i included a little photo of some things we brought today (below). 
Thank you for your blog, its lovely to read. xx

Thank you SO much, Jo, for doing something so lovely and for thinking of my Stevie as you did it!

Remember, if you decide to join me in doing something good or kind in honor of Stevie's first birthday, please please please let me know about it! I'll be forever grateful.

Thanks again!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stevie's 30 Days of Doing Good

Dear Readers,
Tomorrow is April 8th, which means just one month until Stevie's first birthday. I seriously can't believe it. Time is a very strange thing. I can vividly remember last July/August, feeling like a million years had passed since she was born, and now last summer feels like it was just yesterday. Time, you are both my best friend and my worst enemy. Making life easier and easier, while pulling my little girl further and further away from me as you move along.

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about how I want to celebrate Stevie's first birthday. I know it's kind of  weird to"celebrate" a birthday for a baby who isn't around to open presents and smash her first piece of cake all over her face. But she was my daughter, and I believe her life is worth remembering, and the amazing impact she's had, worthy of celebration!

The next 30 days, leading up to Stevie's birthday are going to be really hard. To be completely honest, I've been dreading this month for awhile now. So I've decided that rather than spend the next four weeks lying around feeling sorry for myself (okay, who am I kidding, we all know there will definitely be some of that too!), I'm going to spend them doing lots of little things to honor my daughter's memory. Every day, up until May 8th, I am committing to doing one simple act of "good" in her name. I don't know exactly what these things will be just yet, but they'll probably include things like paying for a strangers' coffee order at Starbucks, or picking up some of the nasty post-winter garbage the snow has left behind along the streets, or donating to a couple of my favorite charities.

I'm going to be documenting/photographing as many of these acts of goodness as I can and sharing them here over the next 30 days.

I'd also like to ask you to join me in doing at least one act of random goodness in Stevie's name before May 8th. It doesn't have to be big, and it doesn't even have to cost any money. Just do something extra nice for someone else, and think of her while you do it.

I know in my heart that had she lived, Stevie would have brought so much joy and goodness to this world. This project will help me remember that she still has, and still continues to do just that. My world, and the world as a whole, is a better and more beautiful place because she existed.

If you've been at all touched by Stevie's story, I would really appreciate your support of this project. Please send me a quick email with the act of good you did, and even better, include pictures! My email address is kristin.cook23@gmail.com. If we're friends on facebook, you can also just send me a message over there. I'll be sharing these here on my blog, so make sure to let me know if you don't want me to share your story publicly. :)

Thanks everyone, for your continued love and support.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend in Pictures

Dear Stevie,
Your dad and I had a really great, really relaxing weekend. We didn't really do much of anything, which is precisely what made it so wonderful!

We started Saturday off with an early morning ('early' being a relative term; I think it was about 10am!) walk with the dogs:

It's over 40 degrees in Minnesota, which means it's officially shorts and sandals season!

Now that I am completely and hopelessly addicted to coffee, no walk would be complete without a latte

After spending a few hours doing some spring cleaning around the house (sorry, I did not take any pictures of this exciting part of the day), I spent some time enjoying the sun and reading out on the deck...

...While Dad did some yoga:

Okay, funny story about the yoga: a few months ago, I was out getting my hair cut and returned home to find your dad sprawled out on the living room floor, with a bunch of super tan, super ripped, thong-wearing male models stretching and posing beside a tranquil mountain stream on our TV screen. I was like, "whoa, what the hell are you watching!?" to which he replied, "Oh, this is the best yoga DVD I could find streaming on Netflix. I didn't know it was going to be a bunch of half-naked dudes though." "What is it called?" I asked. "Hot male yoga," he answered. You'd think the title would have tipped him off, right? Anyway, he's been doing yoga to this video ever since, and it totally cracks me up every time.

But back to Saturday. We spent a big chunk of the afternoon watching the X-Files and playing with the dogs:

Then, I decided I felt like baking. Now this usually doesn't end well. When I bake, one or more of the following tends to happen: 
1) I mess up the batter by misreading the recipe and adding too much salt, or not enough butter, or the wrong kind of flour, or I use baking POWDER instead of baking SODA...or something along those lines.
2) I burn it.
3) I follow the recipe perfectly, and somehow it still ends up tasting and/or looking like crap.

So I totally cheated and used boxed cake mix and a tub of store-bought frosting.

And what do ya know, my cuocakes turned out wonderfully:

For dinner, we had tacos and an AMAZING summery melon salsa...

Diced watermelon, cantelope, and honeydew with fresh mint leaves, lime juice, sugar, and hot peppers...yum.

...And my all-time favorite beer:

Founders 'Cerise' cherry ale...you must try it!

Sunday was more of the same, minus the sun, and adding some rain and even more X-Files than the previous day. I baked some more, this time managing to do a pretty decent job at banana bread (from scratch, not a box!)--very exciting indeed!

Here are a couple recent shots of my Dad took this weekend. You'll notice my air-dried frizzy look has made a comeback now that the weather's warm enough where my hair won't freeze if I leave the house with it wet! :)

As my friends would probably say, "this is such a Kristin face"

Sometimes the weekends where you do a whole lot of nothing are the best weekends of all. I couldn't help but think about how great it would have been to have an eight-month-old around for all of it. 

I miss you, baby. Every day.

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