valentines for joanne


A few months ago, my friend Joanne called me to ask me which kind of bag I’d prefer–one with two short handles, two long handles, or one over-the-shoulder strap. “I wanted this to be a surprise,” she said, “but I want to make something you’ll really like, so I decided to let you choose your own style.” She had found some really cool giraffe fabric (and knows I love giraffes) and planned to make me a bag for my birthday (on Halloween).

That’s the kind of friend Joanne is.

“Over-the-shoulder,” I said. “I’ll take it to the library with me and fill it with books.” A love affair with the library is one of the many things we have in common.

I’ve probably gotten close to a dozen packages in the mail from Joanne over the course of the last four years. Things like vintage vocabulary cards and an old kids’ book about Ohio from the library close-out sale. Handmade zippy pouches and Beth Moore study guide covers.

And on Friday, January 7, the mailman delivered a package to my door. It was from Joanne. When I opened it up, I gasped at this amazingly gorgeous bag.

The attached card reads, “Happy birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy birthday, Merry Christmas!” And on the back: “I didn’t forget–it just took longer than I expected! Love, Joanne”

I smiled and shook my head at her amazing-ness and thoughtfulness and then I reciprocated in the only way I know how–I sent her a thank-you note with sticker-Scrabble magnets that spelled L-O-V-E, her “word for the year.” I mailed it Saturday morning.

On Tuesday, January 11, at 9:00am, Joanne had a stroke. And thus began a 2-week fight for her life. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. But she did it. She made it. She woke up. PRAISE JESUS!! And now begins the most difficult journey of her life.

In the past 3 weeks, thousands and thousands of people around the world have rallied around Joanne’s family and prayed their hearts out for our sweet sister in Christ. And she is making remarkable, miraculous progress.

She’s been moved to a LTAC (long term acute care) facility where she’ll be doing the long, hard work of getting better. Toben (Joanne’s husband) has been faithfully updating Joanne’s blog, and Joanne’s amazing sister, Kristen–a mama of 3 and a fabulous photographer–has written some really moving posts on her own blog. I love this one where she took pics of a bunch of the mail Joanne has gotten and this one where she shared pics of Joanne’s new room all decorated with her goodies.

I know so many of you have already sent Joanne cards/letters/gifts, but I’d love for all of us to completely BOMBARD her with LOVE this Valentine’s Day. Whether you love this holiday or hate it, you’ve got to admit it’s a perfect opportunity to show Joanne (and her family) that she is loved.

You can send your Valentines to Joanne Heim (c/o Kristen Haufschild) 11004 Grayledge Circle, Highlands Ranch, CO 80130

I’ll bet her daughters Audrey (12) and Emma (10) would be tickled to get some Valentines too!

Speaking of Valentines, my friend Holly messaged me on Facebook yesterday and said “You should make handmade Valentines to raise money for your Cambodia Trip!” Ha! What Holly didn’t know is that I’d already started making some.


If you need some Valentines AND want to help us get to Cambodia all the faster, you can purchase your own set of 4 for $5.01. (the penny is to distinguish Valentine orders from Cambodia Photo Card orders in our Paypal account) The $5.01 includes shipping and you may choose the 4 cards you want (or let me mix-and-match for you). The only “rules”–no 2 cards can be the same, and U.S. addresses only.

DO NOT SEND THESE VALENTINES TO JOANNE. I want her to get a million DIFFERENT Valentines, not a ton of the same. Plus, I’m sending her one of these! 🙂

The cards are 5×7 and each one comes with a red envelope. *Limit 2 orders per person.* You can pay via Paypal here or e-mail me if you’d rather send a check. You can also e-mail me with your custom order (which 4 cards you want).

So, there you have it. Buy some Valentines for your loved ones. Send a Valentine to Joanne and her girls. And have a Happy Wednesday!

24 thoughts on “valentines for joanne

  1. Elizabeth

    Those are incredible. Any chance a few special friends in Oklahoma who do their blog reading at night and really love you can still get some?

    Just kidding! Sort of.

  2. Megan at SortaCrunchy

    SOLD OUT?!?!? I guess that’s what I get for doing my blog reading in the evening. *pout* That really is a precious idea and I’m so glad it was a hit! ♥

    The Joanne bag is AMAZING. Praying she’ll be back to stitching up bags before we know it.

  3. Kaye

    Will be sending Valentine’s their way ASAP and thanks for sharing the update links. So many answered prayers for her and her family.
    Hope and pray you all are well & warm,
    Matthew 21:22

  4. Dani

    The cutest valentines ever!!! Just did paypal – although I’m not sure I did it right. I just entered donation amount $10.02? I’mnot picky about which 8 you send me as long as one of them is the LOVE one. One of my twins is Callie Love so I’ll want to make sure she gets that one.

  5. Laura

    OOH OOH I want some! Will paypal you right away. I’d like (if available, of course, otherwise you choose!):

    I <3 U
    love you much

  6. Denise

    First of all, if you ever want help, I’d love to come, hang out and help, I love being crafty. Second, I was thinking a lot about Joanne’s girls the other day and want to send them a little Valentines gift basket thing each. What kind of things do they like? Do you know? Parker and I are making handmade cards for friends, so they will definitely be included on that as well. I am also working on a Encouragement Verse book for Joanne!

    I love you and love that you are you. P.S. I love your bag!

  7. Brooke

    just did the paypal thang. let me know if it didn’t work properly (user error I’m sure).

    i’d like:
    I <3 U!
    LUV <3

    please and thank you!

  8. Jaclyn K

    you are so creative:) And thanks for keeping us posted on your very special friend……gonna try to dream up something creative for her two lovely ladys a and e:)

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