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The Whirlwind, pt 1

Holy CRAP.

The kids and I began a marathon of activity Thursday night that has left me sore, exhausted and in deep need of a pedicure. I haven’t had time to blog, sleep or think and it’s just going to get better!

This is long, rambly, unorganized, not very well written and I almost NEVER post a complete novel in one sitting, and I totally apologize for that.  But I couldn’t let this crazy weekend pass us by without sharing it all.



We attended the kickoff for the Mike Alstott Family Foundation event. An annual event that benefits a charity that will forever hold a piece of my heart, the Children’s Cancer Center. One of Peyton’s art pieces went up for live auction and we went so she could show it off and represent the CCC as a cancer survivor. YEAH, those are sweet sweet words.

Would you like to know how much her painting sold for? $850!

Would you like to know who bought it? One Mr. Mike Alstott himself.

*there ARE photos forthcoming, but I forgot my camera (I KNOW!) and I’m waiting on them*

It was bittersweet for me, as they acknowledged that our family would soon be moving away *more about that later* and it hit me that this would probably be one of our last big events for the CCC. I can’t begin to explain all the ways the CCC has supported our family, but suffice to say, and this is no exaggeration, I KNOW that if we hadn’t had them in our lives throughout Peyton’s treatment, we would not be the people we are today. My kids would not have gotten through this with as many smiles and laughs and moments to just be kids as they did. Peter and I would have struggled, more than we DID, without the reassuring knowledge that it wasn’t just us fumbling along, doing our best, often feeling like we were failing.

I can’t write anymore about that right now, because it feels like I’m telling them goodbye already and THAT makes me want to just curl up and weep on the floor. *sigh*



The Alstott event got out SO late that when Friday morning rolled around the kids and I agreed that it seemed a mighty fine day to play hooky. Now, I’m ALL for responsibilities and doing what has to be done….but there’s just some days you have to leave it all behind and go have some fun.

And we did. And it was just what we needed. The next few weeks are amping up to be chaotic and busy and I know I’m going to have my hands overfull…so every moment I CAN take to concentrate on the kids, I have to.

So a movie day out to see Earth and a whole lot of nothing ensued…school? Who needs school when you got $623 in popcorn and soda!



For those of you that aren’t a part of the blogging community, you’ll may never fully grasp what happened in the days following the announcement of Maddie Spohr’s death.

Heather and Mike shared Maddie with the world. They were in love with their baby and they understood the unmeasurable value of ever day with her.  They opened up their lives to the world to share their awe at being parents to this little girl.  The world was awed in return.

Much in the way so many of you have reached out and told me that Peyton has touched your lives and you feel so close to our family through this blog, I felt the same about Maddie.  I never got to meet her, I never got to touch her curls or make her laugh (oh and we WOULD have laughed until one of us peed our pants), but I knew her and loved her.

It seems the entire internet felt the same way.  Over 50 March of Dimes Walk for Babies teams formed in Maddie’s honor since April 7th, raising over $50,000 dollars nationwide. Money was raised to help with the expenses of Maddie’s funeral services.  Bloggers flew in from all over the country and Canada to sit side by side with the Spohr’s family and oldest friends.

Because Maddie touched us all.

My family welcomed a sleepover with my blogging buddy Shari who came in from Orlando to join us for the March of Dimes walk in Maddie’s honor on Saturday morning.

It’s such a unique experience having someone who knows about the ins and out of your kids’ lives from reading your blog actually get to MEET your kids.  You wonder if you represent their personalities, if you can ever fully tell someone what it’s like to be the shine of their smile. I do the best I can to capture it for you, but I realized that no matter how many pictures, videos and tales I share, Shari didn’t truly KNOW my kids until she’d hugged them and watched them try to impress her with their goofy antics.

I felt sad because no matter how often I saw Maddie’s pictures and giggled with Heather over the videos with Maddie talking and dancing, I will never have that chance to truly know her. If I loved her with the small pieces I had, how much greater would my love for her have been? I feel like I’ve missed out on something wonderful.

Ok, the walk? Went GREAT!  Tampa turned out in style and the crowd was huge.  Our team represented well, with tshirts bearing Maddie’s name and face (although I didn’t get mine because the stupid shirt company that promised me mine would be here on Friday FAILED me!) and all the purple we could muster. I had the honor of walking with some truly wonderful and compassionate people and I know new friendships were made, established ones strengthened as we shared our grief and spent this time trying to make a small difference in the world.

Anyone who has ever argued that online friendships aren’t every bit as strong and real as IRL “In Real Life” friendships can BITE ME!


Picture from MorningsideMom


Picture from CrazedMommy


Photo from MorningsideMom

I have more to share, my kids got to play with dolphins and we spent some great time with the Mike Alstott family again at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the pictures? DIVINE!

But right now?  I’m about to pass out, I’m leaving you hanging for now to go get my sleep on.

Oh, but I will drop this for those that don’t know, I’m driving to GA tomorrow for the closing on our house on Monday. Holla!!  Yeah, it’s definite and we’re really finally moving.  I can’t wait to get those keys in my hand and start packing the first boxes.

Which, if anyone wants to come help, I provide beer and pizza to my endentured servitude.

I am MADE of kind, yo!

9 Comments on “The Whirlwind, pt 1”

  1. #1 Jodee
    on Apr 26th, 2009 at 12:29 am

    This was such a great post thank you for taking the time to share . I hope you get some much needed rest. And so awesome the walk went well!


    Jodees last blog post..What do you do all day anyway?

  2. #2 Jessica
    on Apr 26th, 2009 at 12:40 am

    and I quote- “we went so she could show it off and represent the CCC as a cancer survivor”

    awesomeness, pure awesomeness.

    Jessicas last blog post..Not cool.

  3. #3 Domestic Chicky
    on Apr 26th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I would come help in a heartbeat-I am one of those crazy people that LOVES moving-but there is that pesky 3000mile distance…thank you for sharing your wonderful (if exhausting) weekend…

  4. #4 kp
    on Apr 26th, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    So you need to have a going away party, i’ll bake the cake and finally get to see you again!

  5. #5 Marie
    on Apr 28th, 2009 at 12:36 am

    I’ve met internet friends, and they often do turn out to be “real” friends in “real life!” I would love to help you move just so I could meet you and the kids (for some reason I really want to meet Rachael, she just looks like a funny kid!) but I live kind of far away. I could use the force and move some dust around if that helps?

  6. #6 Midwest Mommy
    on Apr 28th, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Wow, I might just take a nap in your honor today. That is one busy weekend.

    Midwest Mommys last blog post..Oh General Mills, You Smart Cookie, You!

  7. #7 Ashley Hast
    on Apr 28th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I’m glad to hear someone’s life is just as hectic as mine is. I was thinking of having myself institutionalized after the last 10 days.

    Ashley Hasts last blog post..HOW is this possible?

  8. #8 Lucie @ Unconventional Origins
    on Apr 29th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for sharing the pics from the FL walk. I wish I could have been there with you guys!

    Lucie @ Unconventional Originss last blog post..Michelle Obama and the intersection of racism and sexism

  9. #9 Mary in ATL
    on May 9th, 2009 at 8:17 am

    For me, the packing is the worst of it but if you want help on the Georgia end – I am known as the ORGANIZER by my friends & family. I love the whole unpacking & setting up house part. Make sure the beds get set up first so when you finally run out of steam – you can fall into bed. Packing an overnight bag for each family memeber in the car is a good idea too- you’ll have everything you need handy, without finding the ONE DANG BOX you want.
    Where is the new house? When do you get here?