by gillian claire: October 2015

10.23.2015

Stem Cell Banking with LifeBankUSA.

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I'm here with my sponsor, the cord blood bank LifebankUSA today to talk a little bit about their advanced biobanking options for pregnant parents! The science and possibilities behind cord blood banking today is amazing and I'm happy to share a few facts with you all about LifebankUSA and what they offer today!
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++ LifebankUSA offers first class advanced biobanking services which banks stem cells using both cord blood banking and placental tissue banking. These stem cells are collected at birth to later be available to treat disease in both the child and family members.
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++ Ongoing medical research shows that stem cells from umbilical cord blood have been used to treat over 80 different diseases!
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++ Placental blood banking is a service that is currently only offered through LifebankUSA!
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++ By preserving stem cells from both the placenta and umbilical cord at birth, it increases the number of life saving stem cells that are stored which also increases the possibilities to use them later on.
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++ LifebankUSA offers different payment plans to offset the cost of stem cell banking for you and your family; be sure to check out your options!
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Of course, stem cell banking is ultimately a personal choice for you and your family. I ended up not choosing to bank my children's stem cells due to financial reasons and my hope to delay cutting the umbilical cord immediately following birth but it is something I'd be interested in looking into again in the future. Have you or someone you know taken advantage of cord blood banking? I'd love to hear your opinions and stories below!
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almost five months.
( can't even handle this photo of baby asher! )
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*I was compensated for this post. All word and opinions expressed are my own.
 Thanks for supporting my family by reading along. I truly appreciate your love!*
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

10.20.2015

portraits of papaw.

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we traveled to ohio in september for my grandpa's 80th surprise birthday party. we had no intentions on going back to ohio for a while, but when i heard about papaw's party that my family was planning it just kept festering inside me that i needed to be there. this man means so much to me; i can't even begin to put it into words.
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we celebrated at "sligo" which is a very special place to our family. my grandmother grew up on this farm and later my grandparents built a house there where we would all gather and spend time together. as a kid i spent a lot of time at sligo; picking berries with my grandma, playing with my friend next store, having birthday party slumber parties, and the most story book thanksgivings you could ever imagine. i have so many memories there and i probably haven't been back in about 10 years since my grandparents sold the land to the family that lived next door to our farm who became close family friends.
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there are just so many things i could say about my grandpa, about this place, about this trip. i'm so glad that i went. i had to be there for him, for my family, for me and also for my dad. i knew that my dad would love that i made it and i felt close to him with my presence. my papaw is truly the glue that holds my family together. he is a strong and gentle man. he has always been the sweet grandpa to give us hugs and call me, "gillian claire". he was also there for my dad in the best of ways until the very end and he was there for me in the hardest moments of my life just over a year ago. when i couldn't bear to make decisions and process the pain, my grandpa was there for me, as usual. steady and calm as ever. telling me that hard things happen in life but that we have to make those difficult choices and keep waking up and going. i'm so glad that i got these special portraits that preserve a piece of this wonderful man that i'm lucky to call "papaw" forever. <3
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10.19.2015

summer park days.

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i was so not ready to let this summer go. it's hard for me each year to face winter because the season just feels dark and stuffy and lonely to me. looking at these pictures from the end of july, i realize how much has changed since then and those hot sticky days with firey pink sunsets do feel pretty far away now. fall has been okay and i've embraced it pretty well i think. i do like fall because it isn't as miserably hot. the air is fresh and cool and you can still go outside everyday. this past summer the boys and i went through a little phase of driving down the street for a walk and to play at the playground during the sunset. these pictures are from one of those nights. i have so many photos from those quiet, slow summer nights that i'm going to have to share quickly before that feeling of  summer completely fades away.
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happy monday, friends!
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10.02.2015

do you read pictures as poems?

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i haven't posted in a bit. but i have been taking pictures like crazy and here are a few i have to share with you today: portraits of ash, pieces of my beautiful, lovely, wonderful and wild-hearted little boy.
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do you read your pictures as poems? because i do. i read each one like a story, not necessarily one with a beginning and an end. more like notes scribbled out on scrap paper, thoughts swirling around a beautiful instant captured and frozen in time. the poem here is all about a little wisp of a boy. a boy who is fiery and fierce, but who, when he pauses, can tell stories with his eyes. this poem is about the pieces of the people who came before this little life that the camera captures in his face.
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 in this picture i see a boy who is trying to please his mother by letting her take his photograph. but when i look closer i see the pain of how i've tried to please others in my life as well. i see my hopes and wishes for this special soul, expecting that he will meet pain and struggle in life and of course knowing that he already has. stay strong my son, keep making people happy but also take those moments to close your eyes and find what makes you shine.
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