My dearest Elizabeth Anne on her 26th Birthday………

My dearest Elizabeth……

Well, today is your birthday.  You are 26.  You are celebrating this milestone in heaven.  I can only imagine what that is like.  I hope it is more amazing than anything you have ever dreamed of!  Can’t wait to hear who comes to birthday parties in heaven!  Must be an amazing guest list for sure!

To help share your life with others, many of your friends and family have been sharing memories, pictures and thoughts on this day.  One recurring theme that rings through all of them, is your amazing joyous spirit, your infectious smile, the sparkle in your eye, and your ability to never meet a stranger and make everyone and anyone feel comfortable in your presence.

I too have decided to share some memories.  You were born February 27, 1987 at Seton Hospital in Austin Texas.  I went to the hospital THREE times in false labor…..and finally Dr. Wernecke was tired of seeing me and induced labor.   You weighed 8 lbs., 14.5 oz. and had so much hair!  The nurses loved fixing your hair after your bath, and many called you “little Elvis”.  I will never forget when Dr. Guerrero came in to tell me you were a healthy little girl and you had one dimple…..and said that one dimpled children were “very special”.  He also told me that you had been kissed by God, and had a birthmark on your upper leg that was in the shape of a heart.  Boy, was he right.  You were a very special child.  When you were born, I had a three year old (Jennifer) and a two year old (Lauren).   I definitely had my hands full and I think God knew that and he gave me you!  You were a perfect infant.  In fact, you slept through the night your first night home!  How did you know that I was an exhausted Mom?  You were such a content child until you reached the interesting “twos”.  Even as a young child, you would enter the room and within two minutes you had everyone’s attention.  That gift would continue throughout your life and make you the sales person and successful business proprietor that you became with your business Twentycoats.

Your dream when you were in high school was to own a spa.  That dream drove you to drive from Round Rock to South Austin every evening to attend massage school while you were in high school.  The massage school stated you were the youngest student they had ever had and were concerned whether you would be able to go to high school full time and massage school at nights.  Of course, you proved them wrong.  Once you decided you were going to accomplish something that was it!  You completed high school on time AND graduated from massage school!

You had dreams of going to the Aveda institute once Fischer and Benjamin started school.  I believe that heaven is a “real” place and allows us to fulfill those dreams that God has placed in our hearts and use the talents that He gave us.  So, I have no doubt that on July 30, 2012, God gave you the keys to your day spa and you are doing what you do best with all the other people that call heaven home.

So, Elizabeth, this is uncharted territory for me…….to have a child that lives in heaven.  In my attempt to honor your life and celebrate this day, I put a memorial in the Lexington Leader (thank you Cindy Terrell!), and the Salado newspaper (thank you Marilyn!).  I made a “birthday” wreath and will take a balloon bouquet to the cemetery and place them on the earthly place that is a witness and a testimony to your earthly life.  Randi Bingham and I placed a floral arrangement on the altar of your home church, Salado United Methodist Church that included your favorite flower……sunflowers!  Lastly, I created a video that I will also share on the blog.  My hope and prayer is that others will see through the pictures your joy, your spirit and your love.

Elizabeth wreath1

Your birthday wreath on the Diem front door

Elizabeth 2013 birthday memorial Lexington LeaderYour memorial in the Lexington Leader 2/28/2013

Lizz church flowers 02272013

Altar arrangement at Salado United Methodist on March 3, 2013

So, today I am celebrating your birthday with your two sisters.  I thought it was appropriate to spend it doing something that was a dream of yours…….a spa day with facials and massages!  We will have the spa to ourselves and I am bringing a special candle that Jennifer gave me that we will light to represent your light that still shines in and amongst each of us.  My thanks to Rebecca Cunningham, owner of Elite Aesthetics in Georgetown and her Mom for doing an amazing job in making this day special!

Lastly, God sent you to me at a time of difficulty and deep pain.  Just like I said at your home-going, you were sent to rescue me.  The two years that it was just the two of us living in my house in Round Rock are some of my most special memories.  I will store those in my heart until I meet you in an amazing embrace when God calls me home.  I hope you know how much I love you and how very proud of the daughter, woman and mother that you became.

I love you to the moon and back,

Mom (Julie)

Lord, you promise to hear my prayers, and I know that my daughter is with you.  Please hug her for me, wish her a happy birthday for me, tell her I love her and to save a place for me…..I’ll be there soon……



Dearest Elizabeth……Wazzup?!?!?!?

This is my first blog posting, so it is appropriate that I am writing it in remembrance of Liz’s birthday.  I’ve wanted to do this for some time now – but as is so often the case with anything involving me and writing, it takes me a while to get started.  So between my procrastination-derived writer’s block and my frequent challenge with doing “out of the box” kind of things, this has been a long time coming. Hopefully, better late than ever.  I’m going to write this as a letter to Liz – you’re welcome to read it, but I figured this was the best way to say the things that have been on my heart and in my mind, the things that I wish I had said before the 30th of July but always assumed that there was going to be more time, that tomorrow would follow after today.  Wow, how wrong I was.  So here goes.


Liz – tomorrow’s your birthday.  I’d give anything to be able to call you tomorrow and hear you answer “wazzup?!?!?!?!” – I can’t tell you how much I miss hearing that.  I love that was our code word and reminder of the time you tricked me when I called your Mom’s phone and you answered instead – and had me going for a while that it was her, not you (I’m glad I didn’t say anything to mushy or inappropriate!).  I made you promise that you’d always answer with “wazzup……” after that.  And you did (although I was always a little bit worried you’d try and trick me sometime when I least expected it).

I am so glad that part of the package deal of marrying your Mom was getting 3 more daughters in the deal.  From the very first, you welcomed me and my family into your family.  No hesitation, no questions, no walls.  But that was pretty much how you approached life in general – full speed ahead, eyes wide open, jump right in.  Whether it was a marathon, making book mobiles for the boys, starting a business, learning a new craft – I was in awe of your energy and your persistence.  Sometimes I was tired after just talking to you on the phone – you squeezed more out of each day than most people got out of a month.    But that’s also why I so enjoyed being around you – and loved when you and the wild men would come by the house.  It was amazing how quickly you all could drive the calm away and fill our home with joyous chaos!

I always wanted you, Jennifer and Lauren to know how much I loved your Mom – and that she was safe, would be cared for and adored, and that you 3 Apples were also loved and cherished.  You 3 Apples – I never ceased being amazed at how each of you girls reflected different aspects of your Mom.  None of you fell very far from the tree – and I am so thankful for that.

We had way too little time together – at least on this Earth.  Too little time to do things and make memories – but I am so thankful for the ones I do have.  One of my favorite starts with “I am so sorry I hit you at the Jeremy Camp and Francesca Battistelli concert at Shoreline”.  Okay, let me explain for the rest of you: Julie, Jennifer, Liz and I had a great night worshipping out loud to the music of Jeremy and Francesca.  I accidentally bopped Liz in the mouth with my Aggie ring as I was reaching over to hug her – I was afraid I’d knocked one of her teeth out!  We had a pretty good laugh about that – after we made sure you were okay.  But the really special part of that night was you telling your Mom how great it was to worship loudly, joyously, openly – exuberantly – with us.   It was a very special night – and it was both awesome and comforting to know how much you loved our Lord.

Jeremy Camp concert 11182011

Lizz and Jennifer with John and Julie at the Jeremy/Francesca concert!


Lizz’s book mobiles!

I’m sorry I gave you so much grief about turning those books into mobiles for the boy’s play area.  They really turned out awesome – but you know how much I hate seeing good books folded, spindled and mutilated!   But you know what – that was a really cool idea.  And like all your ideas, you pursued it with energy and enthusiasm.

I wish I had the chance to thank you now – and will just have to do that on the next leg of this journey – for loving your Mom the way you did.  For taking the time to call her and tell her how much you loved her and for keeping her up to date on all the comings and goings with you and Sam and the boys.   It was always fun at the end of the day to see your Mom light up as she was telling about the latest adventure or project.  You proved over and over again how important the little things are – a phone call, a text message, a voice mail.

Back to the welcoming me to the family topic.  You didn’t have to – but I am so glad you did.  I’ll always cherish the note you wrote me and your Mom when we did a little “on the down low” loan to you.   You didn’t have to pay us back – helping our kids out is what parents are for.  But you were so darned intense about making sure you paid us back and that we had cashed the check – and then wrote such an amazingly gracious note.

There’s so much more.  Lots of great memories in 5 years.  They’ll just have to last for a lifetime.

So, yeah.  I’ve missed you.  Missed hearing “wazzupp…..”.  Missed wondering what the next big “thing” was going to be – what new project, adventure, or activity you were going to tackle.  You’ve left a big hole in our life. But I know that this was all part of God’s plan – and God’s plan is perfect.  And that life goes on – seasons change, years go by, we bid old friends good-bye and welcome new loved ones into the world.  We’re a few weeks away from welcoming Nate into the world and a few months away from welcoming Keith into the family (oh yeah, another great memory was watching you 3 Apples dancing in a circle at your wedding – wow, pure joy!).

Wedding 462

Your Mom and Lisa, Jennifer and Lauren are going to have a Spa Day tomorrow – I have to work. BUT – we’re going to have dinner at the Hyde Park Bar and Grill.  Sorry you can’t be there – I know, those are awesome fries.  I’ll eat some for you.

This was interesting.  I think I’ll have to do it again.  I’ll try not to wait until your next birthday.

Love ya.  Mean it.


Lizz and John at Chris wedding

Lizz, John, Julie and Jennifer at Chris and Jessica Diem’s wedding!

Birthday Thoughts from her close friend in Salado……Randi Bingham

This post is from her close friend Randi Bingham who lived around the corner from Lizz in Salado and spent the last weekend with her and the boys before her home going.  Randi, I want you to know that in one phone conversation, Lizz shared with me that she was so thrilled to have you as a friend.   Even though she was close to her sisters, Lizz longed for someone in her neighborhood, that had children close in age to hers and someone that loved Salado as much as she did.  I want to thank you that in those last weeks, and months before she went home, she experienced what it meant to have a best friend. – Julie

As I’m pondering on my favorite moment with Liz I just can’t seem to think of anytime that I didn’t enjoy her company. Although we only knew each other for around a year we both felt like we had known each other our whole lives! That is what I loved about Liz! She was a true friend. Being her friend was effortless! It just flowed! She made you feel like you were the only person in her life when you were with her. She loved BIG! Our friendship started when my mom introduced us. We clicked instantly, but as many of you know that wasn’t hard with Liz! Luke and Fischer are around the same age and they clicked as well! Those boys became best buds! We always talked about when they got older how Fischer would be the guy that said “Luke lets go do this!” and Luke would agree knowing that they would be getting in trouble! (ha-ha!)

I loved all the times we would just head over there and sit on the back porch and gab about our lives while the boys played in the backyard. We talked about EVERYTHING! The good, the bad, the past, the future, the funnies, the I can’t believe my son did this! She was always asking me about people in Salado that she came to know since I have lived here since I was in kindergarten. She would get a kick out of all the people I knew. We came to know so much about each other in such a little time frame.

The last weekend we spent with her, Sam and the boys was the most precious, fun filled & unforgettable moment in our lives. We traveled to Schlitterbahn and Sea World in the Dowdy RV and let me tell you, I think that RV really had it out for us. Between us staying the night in the middle of a rodeo parking lot while the boys went to find a belt to fix the engine on the RV and then the RV completely dying on us when were almost to Sea World as we proceeded to load up in our suburban (all 8 of us) it was quite the weekend! But amazingly we all stayed calm and REALLY enjoyed the trip! I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my life.

I feel truly blessed to have been able to spend the last weekend that she had on earth with her!   I recently attended a conference that Liz was going to come with me to in Dallas. On the last day of the conference Michael W. Smith was leading worship and that whole weekend Liz was on my mind (as always). I prayed that God would just give me comfort along with her family as well. As I was praying he started to sing a song and it was as if he was singing it to me from Liz! As I started to well up with tears, I just knew that Liz was there with me. I don’t know if you believe in God, and that he died on the cross for our sins, but what I do know is that he is REAL and without Him we don’t have HOPE. With Him I find comfort and I know that he sent Liz’s spirit to me that day.

I want to give you those lyrics and I hope that they provide you comfort and life as they did me.

Friends are friends Forever by Michael W. Smith:

Packing up the dreams God Planted
In the Fertile Soil of you
Can’t believe the hope’s he’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a Friend will not say never
Cause the welcome will not end
Though its hard to let you go
In the fathers hand we know
That a lifetime’s not to long to live as friends
With the Faith and Love God’s Given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the Strength that now you show
But well keep close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

Liz was so special to me and my family. I miss driving by her house on our way to work and Luke yelling at me from the back seat saying “Mommy! Fischer, Ben and Liz are outside, can we PLEASEEEEE stop and play?” She always had the boys outside playing! She was a GREAT mother and I only hope to be half the mom that she was. SO, heres to you on your Birthday Sweet Girl!

May the Lord bless and keep you, May he shine his light upon you FOREVER!

Till we meet again in the presence of Jesus,

Love you forever my sweet Friend,

Randi Bingham
Gone but NOT forgotten!  <><

Randi, Lizz, Benjamin, Luke, Ava and Fischer piled in the Suburban!

Lizz Randi and kids  Lizz and Randi

Lizz and Randi her last weekend before going home…….

Luke, Fischer and Benjamin

Luke Fisch and Ben 07252012Luke Fischer and Bevo

Fischer and Luke

Birthday wishes from Lizz’s family!

The following are birthday wishes and memories that friends and family have sent to honor Elizabeth on her birthday!  My thanks to those that contributed!  I love you all! – Julie

The first message comes from her cousin Paul Ratliff and his family:

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

One of my most enjoyable moments is when I always picked up you and your sisters in Blue, Texas.

You would always show how tough you were by arm-wrestling me and David Franklin.  Then we would watch MTV spring break edition and you and I would imitate the dancing.  I loved playing truth or dare.  You always choose the dare. (Imagine that).

The best memory I have of all time is watching you grow from birth to adult hood.  Our families became so close and we still are.


Paul, Christi, and Meagan Ratliff    

Paul:  Here are some pictures of you and Elizabeth dancing at her wedding!  I guess all that MTV spring break edition watching paid off!

Wedding 418Wedding 413Wedding 411Wedding 410Wedding 407

This message is from her cousin Katie Warren Gould:


Often times you enter my thoughts at the most unexpected moments. Other times something triggers a thought of you, whether it be a scripture I read, a song I hear, or an infectious laughter I hear that reminds me of the happiness you exuded. I have so many memories of you, of all of us, as children, as cousins, always up to something. As I reflect on the time that we had together, I can’t believe now how imaginative we were. It seems like only yesterday, you, Jennifer, Lauren and I were somewhere planning on how we could convince our parents to let me stay a weekend or longer with all of you. Those times were some of the happiest memories of my childhood. Now looking back, I don’t really think that much convincing was needed, it just seemed necessary at the time. I cherished those times, and now I cherish those memories even more. They were always filled with adventures, fun, and love. Being around you was always a joy, and certainly never dull.

I thought of you today in church. We sang a hymn that’s verse ended with, “Seek justice, love, mercy. Walk humbly with your God.” As you grew into a young woman I know this was your mantra, but even as a child you were living these words without even knowing it. You were never quick to judge, you loved without inhibition, and you always had a compassionate heart. I could have written about a particular memory I have of you, but the one thing all my memories of you have in common is that you had an amazing ability to be joyful in all circumstances, and spread that joy to others. How fortunate I was to be affected by your joy. Thank you for the memories and for the example that you set for us, walking humbly with God. I love you. Happy birthday!

Katie Gould

Katie:  I am so excited and honored that you would chose to name your daughter Elizabeth Anne.  My prayer is that she too will be full of life and joy and love of God!  I love you!  Aunt Julie

This birthday message is from Elizabeth’s aunt Debbie Warren:

Celebrate!  I think this is just one of the words that describes how Liz lived.  She didn’t need a special day designated by Hallmark or an event.  Every day was a celebration for Liz.  She celebrated her God, her life with her husband and children, family and friends.  Even as a young child it was plain to see that she had that joy that is just innate in some people.  
When Liz and the girls were very young, we got to spend quite a bit of time with them and oh, it was so much fun.  You never knew what might be said or done.  I remember one time when Liz was quite young, I walked past the bathroom and there was Liz, sittiing on the potty, swinging her legs and her hands on top of her head just pushing down.  Funny sight!  I asked her what she was doing and she said she was pushing the poop out!  I think she was serious – she was too cute.  She was too cute her whole short life.
As short as it was – and it was far too short – our Liz got it!  She knew how to live a life full of joy and it was clear that she and Sam were teaching their children to celebrate life as well.  Those big blue eyes of Liz twinkled with that joy and love and those dimples….you could get lost in those big craters!
So, I guess my message would be one that maybe Liz would have for everyone…..celebrate….be joyful….not just today, but everyday.  Don’t take things for granted.  Live every day to its fullest, just as this young, beautiful woman did.

From a friend at Stony Point High School…..Carrie Lamia

When I was asked to write about Elizabeth and my high school time together, it immediately sent a wave of memories, emotions and uncertainty of what memory was best to share and honor her with from those years. Lizz and I met our junior year of high school, in Mr. Christians chemistry class. I’m certain that from the moment we all saw her, her infectious smile and laughter captured each of us all. She was the girl who was beautiful, but not intimidatingly. You wanted to know her, we all did.

In looking back over those years, I quickly realized that I could not choose one single memory to share, because Elizabeth simply cannot be summed up into one story ( don’t worry, I won’t rehash all of our teenage high school years together! ) It would not do her justice or truly show the Elizabeth I became so close with. She was the small town girl who came to a school with a graduating class in the upper 600’s, and yet she never met a stranger.  Where most would become overwhelmed or just simply blend into the sea of students, she effortlessly maintained who she was. She had a confidence and self-awareness that teenage girls could only dream to possess but few actually do. Of course we had our moments of crying over teenage angst, but for Elizabeth those were just moments. She quickly bounced back from whatever trial life delivered to her. She made life and all of its struggles and trials seem so effortless and always full of hope and enthusiasm. Later on as mothers of two boys, we laughed when I confided in her how happy I was to hear that she had all of the normal mom struggles of exhaustion when Fischer was born.

She was a small town girl that I truly saw when she took me to Lexington and to her childhood home in Blue. And yet her love of Austin was just as strong. She even convinced me to skip a day our senior year, so that we could take a tour of the UT campus and surrounding Austin neighborhoods. I owe much of my love for Austin, our Longhorns and Kirby Lane Cafe off of the drag to her. Her enthusiasm for that which she loved was so great, it was hard to not want to love it as well.

It seems as though we drove to the Sephora at the Arboretum every other week! I knew the bare minimum about makeup, so she was my own personal guru. We laughed about how she even went in on one of her days off just to have her makeup done for a date. We of course took turns venting over family, school and life frustrations, but the pride she had when speaking of her father, sisters ( Lauren was getting married in Hawaii at the time so it was all she talked about for so long!) and of course her mother, was so powerful. It didn’t surprise me at all to see the love and dedication she put into her own family and business later on, but I can’t help but smile when I think of the endless hours we spent goofing off and not working at our grocery store job. She was always there for me, day or night. When I needed someone to laugh with, cry with, be a frustrated teenager with, and certainly when I learned what the hurt of my first heartbreak felt like, Elizabeth was there with the wisdom of an old soul and the understanding of a teenage girl who had felt, at some point, what I felt just then.  I have so many treasured memories with her. Some I shall honor our teenage selves with and keep just between she and I, while others I could simply flood the pages of this blog with.

But the thing I will remember her most for is her smile, her effortless elegance and her enthusiasm for life. The way she would pull up to my house in her white ford, usually jamming out to some music, that smile always on her face no matter what she was feeling.  It was exactly the way she greeted me the last time I saw her, as if no time had passed, with two little guys by her side. And I know it is exactly how she will greet me when we meet again, but with three little guys by her side.

Happy Birthday Elizabeth. Not a day passes by that you are not thought of and missed. I will proudly be the keeper of the memories we shared, and I greatly look forward to the day when we can once again laugh over them together 🙂

Birthday thoughts from her favorite teacher!

From Elizabeth’s favorite teacher, Rebecca Shelley who was Elizabeth’s Social Studies teacher in Middle School and sparked her interest in running and joined the cross country team that Ms. Shelly was coaching:

When I was asked to write down some memories of Elizabeth I said , “Of course , I would be glad to share my memories.” Little did I know how hard this would be, I actually started five different times but none of them felt right. But on the sixth time as I began to write instead of memories, God chose a different path. I know God has truly blessed my life by the people he has put in my path.  I have no doubt Elizabeth and her boys are in their heavenly home looking down on all of us. She now has answers to all of her questions.  When Liz was in 6th grade she asked me how I knew God was real. My answer was “because without God there is no us.” From that point on we had many discussions about being a Christian. I know we can become better Christian people if we follow the examples Liz lived out in her life. Liz loved God with all her heart and soul. She loved her family and friends but more than that she loved her neighbor and tried to help others. You know she loved with all her heart by the smile that was always on her face. Her smile lit up the room, a true gift from God. Lastly, Liz lived. She lived life to the fullest with God as her anchor. She enjoyed her family, friends, and everyone she met. Liz was a loving and devoted child of God, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. Each of us is a better person for having known Liz.

I believe God has a plan for each of us. I believe part of His plan for Liz was to bring people to Christ and to set a standard for us. Are you willing to reach that standard?

Remember we walk by faith not by sight,
Rebecca Shelly, proud MS teacher of Elizabeth

Lexington Cross Country MS team, coached by Rebecca Shelly
Elizabeth Herro, front row, 2nd from left.

Elizabeth Herro attending the Huntsville cross country meet with her Coach Rebecca Shelly.  One of her fond memories!

PS:  Ms. Shelly….I hope you know how much Elizabeth loved you…long after her school years she spoke of you.  You gave her the vision that learning could be exciting and dynamic……you gave her the love of running and determination.  She was never the fastest on the cross country team, but she never gave up.  She told me how she hoped that Fischer and Benjamin would have great teachers like you.    And for that I thank you. 
And for all the teachers that happen to read this blog, do not think for one moment that what you do is insignificant.  You have a job that allows you to make a difference every day.  My advice is to not squander that opportunity………Julie

Princess Half-Marathon Weekend


I just recently noticed what Elizabeth captioned on her FB page:
I love you Mom, to the moon and back……

Today blog readers, I wanted to share one of my favorite memories as a Mom.    It actually occurred over Lizz’s 24th birthday in 2011.  My three daughter’s and I decided to go to Disneyworld to participate in the Princess Marathon weekend.  No children, no husbands, just us….like we had been as a family unit so many years ago.  We shared one room……cheered each other on…..spent two days in the most magical place on earth riding rides and enjoying the women we had become.  As I look back, who would have known that it would be that Princess Half-Marathon weekend that would become the last time that just the four of us would be together.  Jennifer and I were running in the 5K event.  It was our first race!  Lauren was running with Lizz in her first half-marathon.  We ran our races, walked all the parks, rode all the rides, laughed, shopped and built many memories that I cherish today.

Two years later, this Thursday, John and I will return to Disneyworld for the Princess Half Marathon weekend.  Jennifer and Lauren aren’t going with us this time, but I have a dear friend and her daughter that are also attending the event.  I will once again participate in the 5K.  This time I will be joined by my beloved John, my sister by another mother, Sherry Travis and her amazing daughter Tara.  We will again stay in the same hotel as we did in 2011 and frequent the same rides, shows and shops.

Princess Pirate

Lizz wanted something to wear in the race….and this is what she picked!

I also plan that with God willing,  I will return next year, in 2014, before my 55th birthday to run in my first half marathon……the Princess half-marathon…….the same 1st half-marathon that Lizz ran with Lauren.

I wish my daughters and I had more opportunities to do more mother/daughter events by ourselves as adults….but as many of you know, the fast pace of life, work, children, and commitments make that challenging.  To my friends with adult daughters, I challenge you to find the time and book that weekend with your daughter(s) and celebrate your relationship and the women you have become!

IMG_0082To my precious Elizabeth Anne…..this coming weekend will be a time of remembering some sweet, sweet times.  I will run with you in my heart, remembering your smile, laughter and spirit.

You were and are today a Princess of the KING!  You live in the ultimate princess castle in heaven today where you reside with your boys.  And you, my sweet baby girl are in the presence of a Prince……the Prince of PEACE…..and Lord of Lords.

And Elizabeth…..I too love you to the moon and back.- Mom



Lauren and Lizz waiting me and Jennifer at the finish line of the 5K!

Lauren and Lizz waiting for me and Jennifer at the finish line of the 5K!


My INCREDIBLE daughters!


Me and my 3 amazing daughters!


Finish Line, Medals and SMILES!

Finish Line, Medals and SMILES!

Valentine’s Day!

ValentinesToday’s blog is authored by my oldest daughter and Lizz’s big sister…… Jennifer Herro.  I have attached a picture of the Valentine’s gift that Fischer and Ben hand-delivered to my house last year.  Even though my treat bag is somewhat different than Jennifer’s, I hope you enjoy it all the same! Lastly, thanks Jen for sharing your Valentine memory! – Julie

Valentine’s Day is upon us!  Cards and chocolate fill the aisles at the grocery store, and flower shops are taking orders.  I can’t help but think about one of the sweetest Valentine’s Day gifts I’ve ever received…and it wasn’t from a man.  It came in the bodies of two sweet little boys.

As most of you know, I work for a bank and attend college.  Sometimes my classes are in the middle of the workday.  Last year, I came back from class on Valentine’s Day only to find a small paper bag with a paper heart cut out sitting on my desk.  “Love, Fischer and Ben” was right on the front.  I called Liz immediately – elated with my gift.  She told me that Fischer decorated my treats that were inside the bag (with a little help from mom of course).  He was so excited to be able to deliver them in person.  He worked so hard on those treats!

Little did I know that Liz drove all over town, helping Fischer and Ben deliver their gifts to our family.  It was beyond heartfelt!

That memory will always be on my heart around Valentine’s Day.  It was one of the most genuine acts of unconditional love that I have ever experienced.

As an adult, we get into the routine of life, even on days such as Valentine’s Day.  We get busy, and settle for a card and a box of chocolates.  Looking back at my gift from Fischer, I am reminded what it means to give unconditional love without expectation of anything in return.  This Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to do just that.  Blow someone away and let them know that they are loved and appreciated.  It can be an act of service, an encouraging word, or a gift.  Chocolate doesn’t hurt either  🙂

John 15:13 – “Greater Love has no one than this, that He lay His life down for His friends.”

‘Til Next Time,


So what’s with the “Seek Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with your God”?

Many have asked about the history of “Seek Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with your God” that has become our banner lifted high for our family during this journey.    It is based on Micah 6:8 which says:  “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the  LORD require of you? But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with  your God?” (NKJV).  This was excerpted and is part of the song “Courageous” by Casting Crowns for the movie of the same name.  John and I went to see the movie “Courageous” and felt it was such a powerful message to men and fathers of this generation that we wanted our son and son-in-laws to see the movie.  I watched Fischer and Ben while Lizz and Sam had “date night” and went to the Courageous movie.  She would tell me later that she was convicted to raise courageous, fearless men of God.  As you listen to the song, you will hear the background lyrics:  “Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God”.  Nine words that anyone can remember to guide us on how we should conduct our lives.

Lizz loved this so much, she created a wall hanging for Hayes’ room:  “Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with your God”.  It was on display at the church during her home going service.  She never got to place that in Hayes’ earthly room.  However, I always think there is one in their mansion in heaven.  One of the moving moments for me in their home going service was to hear those in attendance of the service along with our family sing along with the song and repeat the lyrics:  “Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God”.

I have used this verse on the Memorial wreaths I have made for the boys for Halloween and Birthday’s.  Recently, I asked an artist in Wimberly, Texas who creates beautiful handmade pottery to create something that would bring that message into my home.  Every time I see it, I think of Lizz and the guidance that the verse provides.

Hayes Memorial wreath 2

Hayes Birthday Memorial wreath

Fischer Halloween1

Fischer’s Halloween wreath Oct 2012

Ben Halloween wreath

Ben’s Halloween wreath Oct 2012


My custom bowl by Cristi Clyburn with Seek Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with your God

Seek Justice

Art work in my home

So, enjoy the song “Courageous”, if you haven’t seen the movie it’s a MUST WATCH, meditate on the verse and now you know what it’s all about!