Hiking for Babies to Remember Mom

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This summer it will be 2 years since my mom passed away.  While I am truly grateful she is no longer suffering, I do miss her.  I miss being able to call her and ask her advice about childrearing–she had 12 of her own children.  My kids, who adored their “Grama Shell” miss visiting her in the summertime.  And, sadly, I know that there will come a time when my children can no longer remember their Grama Shell, except through photographs.

Mom with baby lucas

Her children weren’t the only lives she deeply touched during her life.  My mother was a passionately devoted NICU nurse.  Indeed, on those days when her pain was so bad, I think it was her devotion to her helpless and struggling NICU babies that kept her going.

There is a 17 year age span between my older brother and my youngest brother. Having such a large age span among children in a family can make it difficult to be close, especially in an age when families often spread across the country.  In some ways my brothers, sisters, and I are even closer now than before my mom passed away.  We have found strength in coming together.

Here is a fun little collage one of my sister’s made of our family.  The left picture was taken in 1998 just before I left for college.  The bottom right was taken at my sister’s wedding in June 2012, just over a week before my mom passed away.  The top right was taken after my mom’s graveside service.

sibling collage

Next weekend my siblings and I will be holding our first ever family reunion in Zion National Park!  During the reunion we will be doing a Hike-a-Thon in my mom’s memory. All donations will go directly to Embrace Global, an organization who’s mission is to save the lives of premature and low birth weight infants in developing countries.

Take a look at the video to learn more about Embrace and see just how important their mission is:


Each year, more than 1 million babies die on their birth day. 98% of these deaths occur in the developing world.
What’s the leading cause of these deaths? Preventable and treatable complications related to prematurity and low birth weight, including hypothermia.

The award-winning Embrace Warmer is designed for hypothermic infants in developing countries. It costs a fraction of the price of a standard incubator, doesn’t require constant electricity, and is portable, hygienic, and reusable.

I felt that an Embrace fundraiser would be a very fitting way to honor my mom’s memory, and carry her passion of caring for premature babies to parts of the world who are in dire need of good care.

I know that there are a lot of wonderful causes vying for your generosity, but even just $10 can help provide a lifesaving warmer or healthcare education that can save the lives of hundreds of babies.

I have just a couple weeks left to hit my goal of $500.  Will you help me?

You can donate to our Embrace fundraiser through the secure widget below.




About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Thanks for sharing about your Mom and family. You look the same in both pictures and haven't aged a bit. I am a nurse too. It takes a special person to take care of the little babies. I couldn't do it. I lost my Mom too. It is hard.
  2. Melissa mann says
    Michele was my son Ronan's nurse along with two of my other preemies I was a lucky mom to have her as my children's nurse. Ronan our special one he was born at 24 weeks and had a stroke at 12 hours old every doctor who saw Ronan told me to stop life support and I couldn't do it I couldn't say stop. Michele was my only help. She told me that she had seen kids when she worked at children's hospital in another state that had the same thing as Ronan and that they are happy now special but happy. I was told he would never breath alone he would never smile he would be mentally retarded and have no quality of life ..... Thank you Michele you are amazing we talked all the time before she left us. And I know she is watching over him he is not mentally retarded he is quite smart he can walk with a walker and take ten steps all by himself he swims he is amazing and without her we may not of had him. I thank you so much Michele and her amazing kids for doing this every nicu nurse is amazing but she is above all as far as I'm concerned. Please donate let's beat the 500.00 goal
  3. Janine LeMaster says
    What a wonderful tribute Amy! As your aunt, I am always proud of you and know your mom is also!! Thank you Melissa for the wonderful tribute to my sister! She always loved kids and wanted to have lots of children since she was a pre-teen. It's comforting to see the beautiful children she brought into this world and know of others that were blessed by her. I'm glad we're contributing to babies in her memory. I know she's smiling down on all the kids in the world - especially her own!!
  4. i think that was a wonderful way to honor your mother.
  5. I love the way you all are honoring your Mom. It seems like she was a wonderful woman & has raised a wonderful daughter <3
  6. shelly peterson says
    Thanks for sharing this story with us. What a great way to honor your mom! So glad you and your siblings have gotten closer. Enjoy your family reunion!
  7. Tabathia B says
    I like that you and your siblings are closer than ever after losing your mother. When my grandmother passed away, the same held true for my mother and her siblings they became even closer but some of my cousins who are all adult didn't visit as often when she was alive and now my mother has lost her brother and sister. They all passed away from cancer. This has brought a new found closeness that has passed to our children and we get together more often now, because you never know what tomorrow brings.
  8. great that your family is so close. hope your reunion went well!