Sunday, May 31, 2015

Great Strides Walk 2015 - Walk today, add tomorrows. Fighting for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis one step at a time

This is it!  The culmination of all our efforts for May!   The fundraising, the purple hair, the daily facts, the constant purple shirts, the continual talk of Cystic al.

May is the awareness month and purple is the awareness ribbon color - so yes, it's been a very purpley month - and I love it.  I can't even tell you how many people have asked me questions, or that I have gotten to talk to and provide education regarding this disease.  Not only am I'm astonished at how little is understood about it from the general population, but saddened as well.  So much focus is directed at other diseases that are more common.  It seems that causes become personal when it touches your life.  Thus, cancer is usually the forefront for fundraising and awareness.  Not to take anything away from that since I  have been witness to that with dear friends in my life, I guess I'm just saying I hope that one day CF is going to be splashed all over the news because we found a cure!

The Great Strides walk is an annual fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation  - the number one CF charity that focuses on research and funding for a cure as well as quality of life for CF patients.  There may be other CF charities out there, but not as much of the money donated actually goes to patients like CFF does.  Since Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive fatal disease, we don't have time to dink around with money.  The United States government does not provide any funding (as they do with other diseases) so we are entirely on our own.  I appreciate their stewardship with the donations they receive.

Saturday morning was the perfect weather for our walk - and of course, I can only really document it in pictures.
Our walkers/runners this year:
Karalee, Corbin, Chloee, Emma Luke, James, Sherrie, Sondra, Brenda, me, Mindy, Angie, Rose, Leanne, Juliana
In the strollers, Mason, Emma, Ben, Angie's baby and Nico

Notice Mindy wearing the lei around her neck.  CF patients cannot be within 6 feet of each other without fear of cross contamination, to the walker with CF wear the lei to identify themselves as such.  You can imagine how lonely it might be when you can't even hang out with people with the same disease as you.
Our cute Mindy is EXTRA diligent at keeping space between her and other Cf patients.  She's more like a 16 ft rule  :)

Brenda me and Mind's.  We didn't have matching purple shirts or tanks to wear, but all the girls put purple ribbons in our hair.

Splenda Daddy, me, Mindy and Luke.  They are amazing kids and I am humbled to be a part of their lives.  Such great examples of cheerfulness, gratefulness and the ability to find good in even the worst days.

Mindy and Karalee - besties and sisters - what great daughter-in-love's I have.  Just missing Montana in this one.

Me and Sondra.  We were introduced a couple of years ago when she was going to run on our relay team, but had to decline due to an injury.  However, we've stayed facebook friends and her son recently married a CF patient.  It's bonded us as mom's with a cause.  She was a HUGE part of our team this year in raising money and awareness - Thank you Sondra!

Me and Brenda - my running bestie.....Since the walk was on the grass around the park, I actually ran most of it.  Brenda provided my voice of reason and made sure I didn't push too much, too hard.  Splenda Daddy thanks her :)

Chloee and Karalee - I am so thankful for Karalee - what a great Mommy she is and Chloee loves her so much!

Chloee and her friend Slick.  They walked the whole thing!

My love.  My favorite person on the whole planet.  My best friend and partner in life and eternity.
The man, the myth, the legend
Splenda Daddy

And our beautiful Mindy.  For whom we do all this for.  As long as I live, I will fight, earn money, raise awareness and beg others to help in my cause until truly 
CF stands for Cure Found

The most gigantic thank you to everyone who donated, and those that came out to walk with us.  You really have no idea what this means to me and to my family.  Every dollar raised is a dollar closer to a cure,  a longer life span, a better quality of life, not just my daughter-in-love, but for every single CF patient.  I am humbled by the generosity of family and friends that donated to our team.  I love each and every one of you so much!

From the bottom of my heart,

**As always, if you want to learn more about Cystic Fibrosis click here.  It will direct you to the CFF website that can give you information as well as how to become involved.   It is not too late to donate to Team Minderella - if you feel like you can spare a buck or two, click here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Graduation and life milestones

At the end of April, my oldest son graduated from our local community college with his Associates Degree.  For long time readers, you may remember his last graduation which was from USMC boot camp earning him the title of United States Marine.

You can read about it here, here, here, here and here.  Yes it took FIVE separate posts to capture the awesomeness that it was!

I wish I had pictures back from his high school graduation.  I'm sure I do somewhere on our desktop in some folder but when I asked him about doing this post, I don't think he was eager for his high graduation pictures to be posted.  He's not as happy as where he was in life then as he is now.

As his mother, I am proud and loved him no matter what, but I'll respect his wishes.  Plus, I don't have the patience to dig around on the desktop.  We gotta lotta stuff on that bad boy.

Back to Corb.  SO proud of him!  He finished his four years with the Corp, then moved his family back home to Utah and immediately enrolled in school.  I think he took him just a little over a year to finish his two year degree.  He went to school full time and for part of it he also worked full time.  Add to that, he was Young Men' president of his ward (a very large time commitment) and of course, his own family.  The kid was stretched to the very edge, but he hung in there and finished with high honors.  So happy for him!

I love how our family has grown in the past 5 years!

Next up for Corb?  He's taking the summer off from school, working full time and they are house hunting.  He starts back up in the fall at Westminster College and I have no doubt he'll go into and kicked butt.  It's his MO

Congratulations Corbin!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Eight is GREAT!

In the words of my good friend, the late Rob Dewitt, HOLY SMOKES!

Like seriously - how does time go by so fast?  It feels like it was just yesterday that Jill and I were leaving another hospital after visiting a friend, when her contractions started and we headed to a different hospital.  And then later that evening Corbin introducing us to his daughter.  Seeing him become a father and to watch my husband become "Papa" is one of the sweetest memories I have.

And now look at her.  Chloee turned EIGHT YEARS OLD.  8 years feels like a blink.

Chlo is really into Minecraft, so of course, Karalee made an amazing Minecraft cake.  I swear she amazes me every cake she does.  She shows more and more talent!

The party at Boondocks included some family and friends.  Good times!

Then some LaserTag

Some go carts

And then some batting cages - so fun to see Corb and Chlo taking batting practice

And then of course the arcades that even little Addy could have fun with

Of course her party was fun and I think she'll always remember it, but the big event was getting baptized.
In our religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe children reach the age of accountiability at 8 years old and they are then given the option of being baptized a member of the church and make covenants with God to keep His commandments.  It's a big deal.  It's often the birthday most Mormon children anticipate the most.  Because it's a big deal, and we hold the ordinance sacred, there are no pictures.  Just a nice simple beautiful one of my family all together.
(yes that is a neck brace - a different post for another day, but isn't my family beautiful?)

In the few months that have passed since her big day, she is just blossoming into an even more (if possible) beautiful, kind, thoughtful young lady.  She tries hard to do what's right and is thoughtful of other's feelings.  She is respectful and loving to her parents and is a sweet cousin to Addy.  I really can't imagine our family without her and every day, we express gratitude for her.

Happy Birthday Chloee!!  Eight IS really great!