Seeing the Gift

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Wow, it's hard to believe that Mari's book is done. I entered the last of the edits to part 2 and sent it off to my editor (my dear sweet friend Deirdre). This day has been almost six years in the making. A week from tonight I will be on a plane heading toward Chicago as I go visit family. But even bigger than this is the reason I'm heading out that way to begin with. ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) is having their annual writing conference September 25-27 in St. Louis, MO. I'm … [Continue reading...]

Was or Is?

Blank white Hearts on Snow Background. Small Depth of Field. Blue tinted

I sit here thinking of Mari today. Time is moving one step at a time closer to the six year mark for Mari being gone. Can you believe it’s been six years already? I think back on all the times I wrote about time after she passed, especially that first year or so. The fact is that time continued its ever present trek forward no matter how much we’d rather have had it go backward for either more time with our little girl or for us to somehow change the outcome. Yet, we all know that’s not … [Continue reading...]

Reflecting back over the A to Z Challenge #AtoZchallenge

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I’ve now done the A to Z Challenge two years in a row. However, this year I took on an added challenge of my own by not only doing it on this site but also my author site (kristenatunstall.com). I may not have always got my post up on time, which only happened a couple […]

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Z is for Zoom Zoom #AtoZchallenge #acfw

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Zoom zoom. When I think of Mari and her constant energy, I think of her zoom zooming all over the place. She was constantly on the go doing something. Mari would be in her room playing. She lined up whatever it is she’s playing with. Then she would flap her little arms and go, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” […]

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Y is for Young #AtoZchallenge #acfw

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When people hear that I’ve had a child who passed away when she was 8 1/2 years old, they almost always say something like, “She was so young.” And she was, but I’m always amazed at just how much someone so young has touched so many people’s lives. This morning I called Todd Hochberg to […]

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X is for eXceptional #AtoZchallenge

Daddy lovingly saying goodbye

When I think of exceptional I think of Mari, and I could talk about everything I think that is exceptional about Mari but I think I’ve done that already this month. However, as many of you know I’ve been writing a memoir about what happened with our daughter and how we lost her. In the […]

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W is for Water #atozchallenge

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Mari and water, a dynamic combination. Mari loved being in, playing in, basically anything to do with in the water. From the time Mari was a baby, she loved to go swimming. My husband‘s family was always amazed that I could put her in the swimming pool and she had the time of her life. […]

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V is for Vibrant #atozchallenge

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The word ‘vibrant’. When I think of this word immediately Mari’s sweet angelic face pops in my head. I can see her vivid blue eyes. Her bright shining smile. She had a zest for life I think most people wish they could have. I sit here thinking back on Mari’s life, and while there are […]

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U is for Unique #atozchallenge

Mari's last Chistmas, only four days before her eights birthday as well as the move we made from DeKalb to Burbank, Illinois.

A uniquely different kind of girl. Mari had one of those personality that sticks with you. If you’d met her, you remember her for the spunky little thing that she was. She rarely got upset but when she did you heard about it. She’d be playing with a toy and every seemed to be going […]

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T is for Time #atozchallenge

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Time, is there really ever enough of it? No, not really. How many times have you heard someone say they wish they just had two or three more hours in a day to do something? I’ve heard it many times throughout my lifetime. It’s probably been like this since the beginning. However, no matter how […]

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S is for Special Education #atozchallenge #specialeducation

Mari's Last School Picture

One of the most impactual things to happen in Mari’s life was her schooling. From the time she was only two-years-old, Mari started attending the Early Intervention Program that was part of the Chicago Heights School District. She was apart of this program until we moved in September 2004 to DeKalb. She started in an […]

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R is for Remember #atozchallenge

It’s hard not to remember such a remarkable little girl as Mari. I know that I might be a tad bit biased, but I also know how this one little girl touched so many people’s lives in ways I never could have imagined. In the two weeks prior to Mari contracting E. coli, she was […]

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Q is for Quilt #atozchallenge

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Mari and her quilts. She was a little girl who loved her blankets and especially those that were quilts. When she was small, maybe two or three, she fell in love with this quilt that had been handmade by her great-grandmother. She love this quilt so much it was literally falling apart. I felt so […]

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P is for Potty Time

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It brings a smile to my face when I think of Mari and potty time. I know that may sound weird but it’s because of what the words ‘potty time‘ actually signified for my little girl. Mari used the words ‘potty time‘ more as a way of getting what she wanted or getting out of […]

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O is for opens a door, window or gate

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It seemed like there was never a door, window or gate that’d get in Mari’s way. She’d simply open it and go where ever it is that interested her at the time. In her last six months we had moved to a new house in Burbank, Illinois. I think it was in this house where […]

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