Friday, August 19, 2011

We relaxed.

I bet you read this title and thought, oh great.  She's pregnant.  HA!  You are wrong.  Let me just start by saying that I won't end this post with the picture of a positive pregnancy test.  We weren't relaxing THAT much.


The morning of the Just Relax party, we saw a teaser photo posted on Facebook by one of the people responsible for all of this wonderful madness.  You guys?  This party?  It was legit.  This was the photo:

It was too legit.
Too legit to quit.
Hey, hey.
You would not even believe this fundraiser.  Unless you were there, which...were you there? Ohmahgah it felt like everyone was there.  I kept saying that it was like our wedding all over again - how every time we turned around, another familiar face was greeting us with a smile.  And also how we had to divide an conquer because it was impossible to talk to everyone.  There were 200 tickets available and it was a sold out event - friends, family, family and friends of family and friends.  Strangers New friends.

Decorations, made by people from all over the place and mailed to Ohio
for our party.

My friend Andrea has a recap here, with lots of pictures.  I took a few pictures that night, mostly to document the existence of this ridiculous shirt:

The prizes for raffle and auction were INSANE.  I don't know how many there were, but I walked around the table a few times and was still surprised when I saw the things people won.
Is that tiger shirt up for raffle?  No?

The temperature was in the mid-90's on the day of the party and the venue did not have air conditioning.  So basically it was hot as a motherfucker.  I think we were all a bit worried about it, but it ended up being fine and I don't think anyone let the heat get in the way of the fun.  Plus, I learned a new term: swussy.  It's like swamp ass,  only more classy.

Andrea - the one mostly responsible for making Just Relax happen.
Jen - the one with all the drama that makes people feel bad enough to throw a 200 person fund raiser.
Lynn - the one who taught me about swussy. 
(And by taught I meant told.  It's not like she showed me or anything.)

Sometimes I say something that I find to be so hilarious that I keep saying it over and over to people and I know that it's pretty obnoxious but I can't stop.  The night of the party, someone brought me my own special beer (Sam Adams Summer Ale OMGYUM).  And any time someone told me they love Summer Ale, I'd say, "It would be nice of me to share, but I'm not nice, so I won't." 

Me with my beer, which I refused to share
 with people who were giving me money because
they are nice feel bad about my ridiculous life situation.
Not sure exactly what I'm up to.  Looks like maybe I'm minding the stepchildren?

The food was delicious and the music was fab - there was live entertainment and some DJ action.  We got to see all of our friends and family that we haven't had time to see since December.  We ate and drank and laughed and we really did relax, which I think was the point.

Finally!  Someone else who enjoys making ridic faces in photos!

At the end of the night, the total was announced and it made me cry.  Which, doesn't happen a lot as my heart is essentially a blackened little piece of scrap metal.  I have no idea who donated what, so I can't do formal thank you cards.  But I know that a lot of people were involved who read this blog and don't even know us (well, know us in real life - you know pretty much everything because I overshare, which, you are welcome, HA!) but donated money and prizes and wrote us nice cards and letters.  The gross cash donation total was over $15,000.  I have no idea what the prizes were worth, but there were a ton of prize donations.

Don't we look relaxed?
Not for long, as per usual.

At the end of the night, we packaged up a bunch of leftover dinner and desserts and took them to the NICU.  Ainsley was having a rough night, and two days later, her right lung collapsed again and she had to come off of the home vent.  Who didn't see that coming?  Really, she has a two week routine of: OK, good, great, not-so-great, hmmmm wonder what's wrong, crappy.

Dis mah trach.

Lately I've come to realize that we've been thinking of going home as this big relief when it actually isn't. I a point it is a relief - we live 40 minutes away from Akron Children's, and it will be so nice to not have to drive there and back all the time. But it's not going to decrease the level of stress because we will have to care for a very sick little girl and keep life as normal as possible for a very active big girl. 

It's all very terrifying, if I'm being quite honest.  And knowing that we have so many people out there supporting us doesn't make it any less terrifying, but it does make it a lot less lonely.  So, thank you so much.  Really.  From the bottom of my blackened little heart.


One Year Ago:  The Morning Sickness: It Continues
Two Years Ago:  How to make your own baby food, you tree-hugging hippie freak.
Three Years Ago: Lucky 13

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Books for Daniel

I am so.far.behind. on blogging and promise a recap of the Just Relax event very soon.

But first, I am passing along some information about Books for Daniel. I didn't know Daniel or his parents, but I heard his story from a friend of mine who is a friend of theirs.  Daniel's mom was lucky enough to be involved with a mom's group who organized this initiative to honor the memory of Daniel Metz.  While I've suffered a very different loss than the Metz family, I can relate to the comfort of knowing that there are so many people out there sending love and support.  If you are willing and can afford a donation, please send a book in memory of Daniel.

I was given the following information to share with you:

In Memory of Daniel R. Metz – Sharing one little boy’s love of reading with his community.

Daniel Metz was a three-year-old who always had a book in hand. Although an accident claimed his life in July 2011, his passion for learning continues on through those who knew and loved him.

Books for Daniel was created as a way to share Daniel’s love of books with children in his community of Maryland Heights, Mo. We’re asking anyone interested to purchase a new copy of your favorite children’s book and donate it to our Books for Daniel drive now through September 30, 2011. Each book will receive a Books for Daniel label before it is distributed to Rose Acres Elementary School, the preschool Daniel would have attended. In addition, books will be provided to the Pattonville School District to expand its school libraries and to Pattonville Parents as Teachers so that children in need can receive the gift of reading from a special little boy.

Show us how Daniel is impacting your life! Snap a photo of you or your children reading the book before you turn it in and let us know why it’s your favorite. It’s not only a great way to honor Daniel, it introduces your fellow readers to some incredible books they might not know about!

Every time a child opens a Book for Daniel, we know Daniel is guiding him or her on that incredible adventure found only in books.


If you are interested in making a book donation:

- The mailing address can be found on the Books for Daniel Site, click here.
- Books should be suited for children in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade.
- You can follow the progress of Books for Daniel on the Facebook Page, click here