Thursday, June 18, 2015

Five Minutes Underwater

10 Years. A Decade. 3652 Days. One Third of my Life. 
It alternately feels like so so long ago, 
yet at the same time only yesterday 
that we walked down the aisle toward our happily ever after.
The years have gone by so fast.
Being married to you has felt like only 5 minutes. 

Happy 5th 10th Anniversary to the man who still surprises me every day.

To my middle-of-the-night baby bat killer.

whose sophisticated sense of style 

always leaves me impressed.

To the mature, grown man who cares for us

and protects his family (note: the foot that is barley missing whacking Ella's head..)

To my husband who takes us on such adventures as whale watching


and horseback riding.

Who never lets his boys down
"Daddy! How high can you climb?"
Me muttering to myself: "More like, how far can you fall.."

And takes his kids fishing wherever they want

whenever they want..


This guy is all those things and more. 
He is also the world's strongest dad

who is always there to help our children with their homework, 
(even when I'm not sure who 3rd grade math is more confusing for..) ;)

Who goes on the sweetest picnics with his little girl

and takes the coziest naps with his boys.

Who watches Saturday morning cartoons with the kids so I can sleep in,

reads bedtime stories every night,

and who I spontaneously see taking the kids on a walk to get them out of my hair so I can make supper

You are the best dad I know, the most supportive husband, the first person by my side when I'm struggling with something and don't want to talk about it, yet you somehow get me to. You are still my best friend and even after 10 years and (almost) 5 kids later we actually still like spending time together. 

Happy Anniversary to the guy who still picks me wildflowers from the side of the road, 
who supports all my dreams, and loves me unconditionally.

Thank you for being by my side the past 10 years, for building this crazy beautiful life 
we have together and for always, every single day, making me laugh.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ella's Run & CdLS Awareness Day

I had a blog reader email me and ask the other day, "So.. how did Ella's Run go?" I was a little confused because I thought, "Why don't you just read the blog about it?" And then I realized..

I never wrote a blog about it

Oh, right.. In fact my last blog was way back in April. Oops.. Worst. Blog. Writer. Ever. 

Do you think this has any correlation with May being right in the throes of my 3rd trimester with baby #5 and also the beginning of summer break for my other kids? Quite possibly yes, absolutely YES. After the little blessings finally go to sleep at night basically the only thing I have enough energy for is sitting down on the couch and staring at the wall for awhile. Really. (The only reason I'm writing this right now is because I woke up at 4:45 with the baby pressing against my bladder and haven't been able to go back to sleep again.. Naps for all today!!) I read a blog on pregnancy the other day that said something about when the mere thought of movement causes you exhaustion. Yes, that is 100% where I'm at. 

So anyways.. CdLS Awareness Day.. Ella's Run. Right.

I know I said it last year, but I just can't emphasize enough how much different CdLS Awareness Day is to me now than it was when Ella was first diagnosed. That first year I wanted nothing to do with raising awareness for CdLS. I didn't want to talk about it, think about it, goodness gracious definitely not tell anyone my child had it. Now? I actually really love spreading awareness. I love knowing we could be helping someone find a diagnosis, letting someone know they're not alone, giving someone hope who feels hopeless. It still blows my mind that I would willingly go on live TV to talk about my daughter having a rare genetic syndrome.

I say this again because I know there are mamas (and daddies.. and grandparents) out there just getting this diagnosis, struggling to deal with all the questions and whys and what if's and doctors and therapists and it can all just be SO overwhelming at first and you might be tempted to look at our family and think "It must be so easy for them to raise awareness. They must have accepted this diagnosis so easily. Why am I having such a hard time?" I want to tell you that it hasn't been easy and it's okay to have a hard time or not want anything to do with CdLS right now. There is hope and there is a future and who knows? You might just find yourself on live TV in a few years talking about that thing you never wanted to even think about, assembling 'swag bags' for 5K fundraisers and even writing a blog over a whole month later about it.. ;) It might be easy to assume that I have the type of personality that enjoys taking charge and planning things and talking to strangers.. which, if you know me really couldn't be farther from the truth in my opinion. Just one of the many ways Ella has changed me and brought out desires in my heart I didn't even know were there to start with.

The actual run, which was held on CdLS Awareness Day, went so so good! We are SO THANKFUL to everyone who came out and helped us raise awareness for CdLS and support our Ella. I really can't even begin to describe how much it means to our family to have that kind of support. The weather was a little chilly for our fair weather girl, but she enjoyed snuggling up in Papa's coat the entire morning.

Ummm... yeah.. so totally forgot to take a picture of the starting line so here's a picture of everyone's backsides.
You're welcome.
We had a great turnout and raised our goal amount of money to donate to the CdLS Foundation and also put some away toward bringing Ella to future Conferences. We are so thankful to all the businesses that sponsored our tshirts or donated supplies. 
Ella with some of her therapists
One of my LEAST favorite parts of fundraising (okay, actually the part I absolutely despise with a passion) is calling people asking for donations, but at the same time it is probably the area where I feel the most blessed. I love when businesses owners answer the phone and hear what we're doing and without hesitation volunteer to help out. I love spreading awareness to people who might have never heard of CdLS otherwise. I love giving them our CdLS bookmarks and seeing them look at the picture of the kiddos on there and saying "Oh how cute!" I'm still working on getting all the thank you's out--I'm trying to hand deliver as many as possible, which of course requires such sacrificial acts from me such as taking the kids to Jitters (the donut shop who donated to the run) to drop off the thank you and of course stopping to eat some donuts as well. Of course. This all takes time, you know. Sidenote: If anyone in the area has not had a Jitters donut, you need to go ahead and do that like now. DE-LISH. 

So again, I can't say it enough---THANK YOU THANK YOU
everyone who helped make our 2nd Annual Ella's Run a success. 
We are so grateful to each one of you!