Links About Bill

Obit with video.

Bill's Bio.

Star Tribune Obit.

Don Shelby's In the Know.

Notes from family and friends.

Snips from a song John Denver wrote for Bill & Nancy for their wedding.

Condolences from viewers.

Various blogs about Bill:

Star Tribune article.

An update on Bill's condition at the time.

Bill & Rae meet for the first time.

Bill announces his cancer returning.


As many of you have probably already heard, my dear friend Bill Carlson passed away tonight around 6:00 pm. I got a call from my former boss at WCCO around 10 with the news. He said Bill passed peacefully, while sleeping next to his adored wife, Nancy, in their home.
I don't even know how I am doing right now. I am heartbroken, and thankful to God for bringing him home at the same time. I am trembling with grief, but rejoicing that I get to see him again someday in heaven.
I don't have to tell you how close Bill & I became during my time working at WCCO. We sat right next to each other and talked every day. He was one of the first to know when we became pregnant with Rae, and Bill confided in me that his cancer had returned before he had even spoken to the WCCO higher-ups about it. I cried with him when his mother died and he rejoiced with me when Rae was born. He held her in his arms for the first time when she was only 10 days old.
Bill is a remarkable man. I have never known a man like him. I say he "is" a remarkable man because he lives on with Jesus right now. Bill is the epitome of kind, compassionate, and generous. He is always optimistic - even in the worst of situations. His favorite song is "What a Wonderful World," and I think that says a lot about his outlook on life. He absolutely adored his wife Nancy, as well as his daughter and two granddaughters. He loved his dogs. He loved Hawaii. He loved green tea. He loved unique pens. He loved the arts. He loved people. And he loved life. Now he is enjoying eternal life.
Tonight I was singing to Rae before I put her to bed. For some reason, a song that we used to sing in high school choir came to my mind and I sang it to her tonight. I didn't know yet that Bill had passed away, but I sang to her "No more night, no more pain. No more tears, never crying again. Praises to the great I AM! We will live in the light of the risen Lamb!" I couldn't have known the significance of this at the time, but I praise God that even before I heard the news, he had put it on my heart that death has no sting anymore. Bill is free. He is no longer in any pain. He is living in the light of our Savior!
We were at our church when I heard the news, and Rae was sleeping in one of the children's church rooms. When we got home and I transported her into her crib, I noticed that the teddy bear she had waiting for her in her crib was the one Bill had given to her for Valentine's Day, just after she was born. Another sweet reminder of the man Bill was and is.
The last time I saw Bill was at his birthday party. He was happy, surrounded by his friends and family. He got to see Israel, too. Shortly aftewards, he mailed me a framed picture of the three of us on that day. I am so thankful for this lasting memory of the last time I got to see and hug Bill. The last time I talked to him was to tell him of our new pregnancy. He was thrilled with the news and sounded so happy and optimistic about his own situation. Classic Bill.
I am rambling now. I have so many memories of Bill that I could record.
I want to thank all of you who are praying for everyone affected by the loss of Bill. Please especially keep Nancy in your prayers. They were so in love - I've never seen a couple as crazy about each other as Bill & Nancy.
Knowing Bill has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I love you Bill, and I will miss you until I get to see you again! love, Audra


What a Friend

I listened to a copy of Kathryn Scott's new album "I Belong" today. One of the songs is the old hymn, "What a Friend we Have in Jesus." I wept as I remembered the lyrics.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Family Day

My beautiful mother's birthday was on Saturday, so as a special treat, we got the whole Harpel clan together for an official family day that Sunday. We took advantage of the beautiful weather (mid-30's...it's a heat wave!) and brought all the kids to Como Zoo & Conservatory (excluding Zach & Missy...Zach was home sick). It was warm enough to walk around the zoo and enjoy the animals, and most of the kids are at an age now where they can really enjoy the monkeys and tigers and Israel's favorite..."fshhh!" (fish)

Elijah enjoying the fish:

After roaming the beautiful gardens and watching the polar bear swim laps, we headed out to lunch. Afterwards the kids went down for naps and a handful of us went to see Juno. It was a good movie - a bit more raw than I expected it to be...and the ending was a little sad...but overall a good movie with a good message of choosing life.
Finally we all met up again for our regular family dinner.

To all my family: days like this one are the highlight of my life. I love every minute I get to spend with you. love, Audra

(all of us watching the polar bear - notice the sign)


The New Baby

We had our first ultrasound of the new baby this morning. What a thrill it was
to see that tiny heart flutter! Much to JP's disappointment, there is only one
baby in there. :) But we are both thrilled that we have one, HEALTHY baby,
measuring about 9 weeks along. We've been affectionately referring to the baby
as "our little pinto," since my pregnancy book told me he or she was about the
size of a pinto bean last week. This week they say he's the size of a green

Some people say that a faster heart rate indicates a boy and a slower heart
rate, a girl. Our baby's was 153 -- right in the middle -- so I guess we'll just
have to keep on guessing!!!

Here are some pictures. The head is on the left, and you can see his little body
and legs curl up like a tadpole to the right. I've attached another picture of
what a 9-week-old baby looks like so you can get a better idea when you look at
the pictures.

Please keep praying for a healthy, full-term pregnancy. I have been blessed with little to no morning sickness this time around, and I do not take it for



WCCO had an interesting story about a birth control method rising in popularity, called CycleBeads. It only works for women with a regular menstrual cycle, but when used correctly is 95% effective. And it's 100% natural. Its kind of like a really dumbed down version of natural family planning.
Read about it here.


Sick Baby

Tonight Rae and I are home from church because she started puking today. She's puked four times so far, poor baby. She can't keep anything down.
I should have known something was up when she was highly disinterested in her lunch. She normally loves to eat. She forced down some stuff, but not much. Later she ate a good portion of a banana. Shortly after that, I tried to give her some grapes, but she refused them (which she NEVER does) and just wanted to be held. So I picked her up and...the rest is history. Three times in a row.
Later in the day she woke up from her nap crying, which is highly unusual. I went in to check on her, picked her up, and what do you know. Round four.
To make matters even worse: I tried putting her back in the tub after episode #4, but she was bawling and kept trying to crawl into my arms. So I decided to fill the sink up and rinse her off there instead. Well, her arm must have hit the hot water handle, and burning hot water started pouring out of the faucet onto her leg. She, of course, freaked out and once I realized what had happened, I freaked out. Her leg was all red, so I called my mom in tears and asked her to bring over some Melaleuca oil. Thanks, mom, for your help!
Rae is sleeping now. Her leg is fine, I don't even think it hurts her at all. She and I are both on our third outfits for the day. She is still in good spirits, which is a blessing. Please pray that her tummy will settle soon.


Pictures from Rae's Birthday

G & Bompa brought Rae the same cake JP had on his first birthday.

Unsure what to do with it.

Hey, this is pretty good.

Can someone please turn the cake so I can reach the other strawberries?

This is what happened when we took the cake away.

Opening Gifts

The sugar-free carrot cake that Gammy made:

She like that one, too. Especially the yogurt "icing."


Happy Birthday, Israel!!!!

Happy first birthday, my darling daughter. This past year has brought me more joy than the other 24 years combined. God couldn't have given us a more beautiful, brilliant daughter. You truly are a miracle of grace.