Friday, November 2, 2012

Vienne's Video

Here is a video that was made for Vienne and played at her funeral.  We played it at the start and end of the race.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


To see how we spent our first Holly Day (Monday, October 22, 2012), go here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Quick Preview

I am planning on posting some more details about Saturday and our Holly Hoop run, but I'm still recovering from the event and from family being in town.  I thought I would give a quick little preview of the event.
Registration Desk with maps and pink wristbands

West Salem girls came to support me and even made me a Holly Hoop tee- shirt.  Such good friends.

We had a matte to sign for Vienne and her family.  

We had a beautiful video showing of Vienne.  It was the video that was shown at her funeral.  She is absolutely darling and I'm glad people who never knew her (including myself) were able to watch her in the video and get an idea of what a beautiful, happy little girl she is.

At the start.  Since the weather was off and on crazy that day, my Dad cleaned out his garage so people could hide from the rain.  Here is Nick giving some instructions to some volunteers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some Race Stuff

Just wanted to give you a little heads up on details for the race.

- Runners are allowed to check in at 2 p.m., but the race will start at 3:33 p.m.
- We would love for everyone to get there by 3:15 p.m. because we would like to take a picture at the race start before we take off.
- We will not, however, have much going on before the race.  Just a few videos to watch, some things to sign.  And we will be outside rain or shine, so please be prepared for that.
- When you are there, you will have a chance to sign a frame for Holland and another frame for Vienne (which we will be giving to her family), so if you are interested, try to make sure to get around to signing those.
- After the race, we will have light food and water.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Parking and Directions

We are so excited for Saturday, and praying for at least not much rain (I think in Oregon praying for anything more would be just greedy and unrealistic).  Just wanted to give a few heads up to everyone about parking and arriving:

There are two locations that we were thinking we could have people park.
1. On Fir Ridge Road.  
2. At Hope Community Church just as you turn off Boones Ferry.  

If you have a large group of people, you may want to have everyone dropped off at the start and then park at the church, because it's about 1/3 mile walk from there to the start, and it's uphill.  Here is a map of the start location and hopefully you can see where available parking will be.  It's going to be a crowded little area, so please be cautious.,2950+Wembley+Park+Rd,+Lake+Oswego,+OR+97034&gl=us&ei=TqF8UIWxCaW5iwKOrIGABA&ved=0CCEQ8gEwAA

The start will be held at David and Stacy Ainge's home: Holland's Papa and Nona.  If you walk to the left of the house past the garages, you will see the registration table.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Running for Vienne

I have been thinking for a while about how we would go about donating towards a family who has a lost a child.  I  have searched and searched obituaries the last few months.  I have thought about it, talked about it with several people and have never felt right about any of the situations.  And then I received an email from one of Nick's co-workers about a family in the Beaverton area, and I could not stop thinking about this family.  They lost their four year old daughter, Vienne on September 6th, 2012.  The circumstances surrounding her death were similar to SIDS in that they were shocking and unexpected.  The cause of death is still not determined.  She is such a beautiful little girl, and I don't feel like it's a coincidence that I came to know about this family.  The donations that we receive on race day will be given to this sweet family.  Vienne's Dad, Mom, and 9 month old sister will also be there on the 20th to join in remembering Holland and Vienne.

To learn more about Vienne, you can go to the blog created for her here.

For those that are interested in making a donation, but not able to attend the race, please e-mail me at

Monday, October 8, 2012


For those of you who are just learning about the loss of our Holland (or if you just want to cry :) ), here are some links to old posts about Holland.

Briz with Holland at the hospital the day she was born.  She wanted to help with everything.  She was very curious about her baby sister.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


One of the greatest fears after Holland died was that I would forget her.  I figured other people would a little bit.  People are sad for her death in the moment and then life get busy, people move on.  I know that I will always miss her and want to not get so caught up in my own busy life that I forget to include her in them.  So we have started a few traditions.  Here they are:

1. On her birthday, we let go of balloons with messages written on them.  We send them up to the sky at 3:33 p.m.  My favorite thing about this is how much Briz loved doing it and how much I hope my future children will love it.  We also buy her one present: one that she would like for the age that she would be.  We eat cake and sing Happy Birthday.

2.  We visit her grave either on the 22nd or the 23rd of the month.  Her birthday was August 23 and she died on October 22nd, so both of those dates have special meaning for us.

3.  We visit her grave after we get back from a vacation.  We always buy/collect some kind of present that will be durable outside and we take it to her grave.  We tell her about our vacation.  Briz has gotten very good about talking directly to her little sister.  She has very frank and funny conversations with her.  I love it.

4.  The weekend before Holly Day (October 22), we will be doing our Holly Hoop race.  We will collect donations for another family who has recently lost a loved one.  And then on the actual Holly Day we are going to take the family the donation we received, some flowers, maybe a book about grieving, and just let them know how sorry we are.

5.  Christmas Eve at some point during the day, we sing carols to Holland.  This year, we might be gone for Christmas, so we will have to think of an alternative.  We also watch our videos of Holland on Christmas eve.  And then the morning of Christmas, we have a stocking prepared for her and that is the first thing we open.  It is generally filled with things that remind us of eternity.  She gets her annual ornament in there as well.

A few other things I have done to help me grieve:
 - we made a book out of our funeral service.  We collected the talks and added pictures.
- Out of Nick's talk, we made a picture book that we read to Briz fairly frequently.  It's a story about our family that Nick turned into a little fairy tale.
- We have our Holly Tree out front that we look at every day
- I made a card book out of pictures of Holland and cards that people have sent us over the last year
- Nick is making a blanket (that's right, he's sewing it all on his own!) from onesies that Holland wore a lot.
- We have our Holland display in our guest bedroom.  Eventually, when we're ready, we'll move it into a trunk or chest of some kind that we will keep out so we have easy access to it.

I am not trying to do a humble brag with this post :); just wanted to share our world of grieving a bit.  It tends to be such a private and isolated thing.  I like the thought of sharing it.  It's a strange world to be a part of now, but regardless, it is the world Nick and I live in.

I feel like I can never do enough to remember her.  I am still constantly thinking of what else I can do.  I thought that maybe I could set an extra plate for her at Thanksgiving (does that feel too passoverish? :)).  Remembering her in these consistent ways has helped Nick and I grieve.  It is still so so hard, but it helps.  And anything that can help in my opinion is a good thing (ruling out drugs and alcohol . . . right now anyways).

Thursday, October 4, 2012


We are excited about the Holly Hoop run that is coming up.  We are quickly realizing (although Nick already knew this from previous experience with races), how much work, even small races like ours entail.  We have heard a lot of people mention that they are interested in coming, which would be great.  But please RSVP a.s.a.p. to help us out.  If you can't come, no biggie, maybe we can catch you next year.  And if you can come, or even think you might come, please let us  know.  We would rather be over prepared than under prepared.

Please RSVP to, or call/text at 503-400-1512 and let us know how you would like to participate.

Thanks and look forward to seeing you on the 20th!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Holly-Day 2012



Holland Kay Cottle died on October 22, 2011. She was two months old and no cause of death was found (SIDS). It has been beyond painful to have our daughter not with us. We miss her every day. But her short life and death have been a blessing to us as well. We have learned a great deal about life, our family, and ourselves. And we want to use the lessons gained from this painful experience for something that might help another family's life. It is this desire that has led us to create a day now known as Holly-Day. Each year on the Saturday closest to the anniversary of Holly’s death, we will celebrate her life in many different ways. Here is the agenda for this year’s inaugural Holly-day:


After Holly’s death some of Nick’s colleagues at Nike were interested in creating a running route in honor of Holly. Well, Nick loved the idea and took the idea and ran with it (pun intended). Nick created a route in Lake Oswego called the Holly Hoop and it is literally a stroll down memory lane for our family.

Memorable places on the Holly Hoop route:
- Holly’s grandparents’ (“Papa” and “Nona”) home
- Holly’s grandparents’ (“Pops” and “Grandma Julie) old house where Holly’s dad grew up
- Two elementary schools and the junior high school where Holly’s dad went
- The High School where Holly’s mom and dad went to school
- A suburb in Lake Oswego named Holly Orchard
- Holly’s great grandparents’ home
- The place where Holly’s parents first kissed
- The home where Holly’s mom grew up
- The LDS church where Holly’s funeral was held
- The LDS temple where Holly’s parents were married

The Holly Hoop run is a 5k and 10k and will be run by Holly’s family and friends each Holly-day in her memory. There will be course maps given to all participants and Holly Hoop signs at each of the kilometer markers. We hope that each participant will be able to take this time to remember how precious life is.

Holly Hoop Details:
- Date: Saturday, October 20, 2012
- Location: 2950 Wembley Park Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97034 (Holly’s Nona and Papa’s House)
- Time: 2pm - 6pm
- Start Time: 3:33pm (the time of day that Holly was born)
- Types of Participants: Everyone is welcome, runners, walkers, bikers, rollerbladers, etc.
- Parking: Street parking is available on Twin Fir Road and parts of Wembley Park Road

- Course Map: Participants are given a course map at start area

Holly Hoop Course (10k):

Holly Hoop Course (5k):


As part of Holly-day, each year Holly’s family will find another family in the community who has experienced the tragedy of losing a child. During the Holly Hoop event a completely optional donation will be collected from participants and the money will go to the family that has experienced this loss to help them with specific needs associated with the death of their child. Donations will be accepted the day of the event or by mail @ 16165 SW Loon Drive, Beaverton, OR 97007.

We are really looking forward to the first Holly-day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Friends and Family,
After our daughter Holland unexpectedly passed away last October we decided we wanted to organize an annual 5k/10k memorial run in her memory.  We named the route the Holly Hoop and would like to invite you and your family to join us for the in augral run on Saturday, October 20th. To participate, please RSVP to and let us know the following:

  • Names of persons attending?
  • How you would like to participate?
    • Run/walk 10k
    • Run/walk 5k
    • Volunteer (check-in, water station, course support, etc.)
    • Other (you may bike, or we have even had interest in people roller-blading)
In addition to the Holly Hoop Run, there will be other events surrounding the anniversary of Holland’s passing. 

Please feel free to pass this invitation on to anyone we may have accidentally missed or who would be interested in participating.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and support over the last year,
Nick, Lexie, and Brizzy