Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Birthday Blessings

Back in December I received a message from a dear friend sharing how a local baker had heard our story and wanted to be a blessing to each of the children for their birthday.  I was so touched that someone would be moved to do something so amazing for us.

Today is my sweet little Makinley's birthday.  I was contacted last week by Michelle Wilson of Michelle's Cakery Bakery for a run down on all things Kinley.  At that moment it consisted of purple and princesses (specifically Snow White).  Just seconds earlier, it was Ariel, wait maybe Aurora.  I had no idea what to expect, but was blown away when Michelle and her Mom arrived with this beautiful cake, balloons galore and two beautiful purple gift bags.  Tears rimmed my eyes and I just wanted to boo hoo big time. It felt like Publisher's Clearinghouse had just arrived and I was a major winner!  The true prize was the 'priceless' smile on Makinley's face when she saw this beautiful creation.  On top of it all Michelle pulled together a princess gift pack for Makinely, purchased everything we needed to complete a celebration (purple plasticware, plates, cups and a tablecloth) AND she made the most adorable purple heart shaped cake pops for Kinley to take to her preschool class.  We elected to have a early celebration with my niece and nephew to take advantage of the day out of school yesterday.
 Today we had second celebration full of birthday love with her class and family.  At preschool, the kids actually make a cake during class to enjoy with the birthday boy or girl.  There was major sugar overload going on this morning, so we decided to send the cake pops home with her classmates.  They were so excited.  Makinley has been celebrating all day long....we enjoyed cupcakes and another round of sweets and gifts this afternoon.

Preschool Cake Creation
I can't believe how quickly time has flown and I'm extremely thankful for Michelle Wilson. She has an amazing story which started with making cakes for her own child who has major allergies, only able to eat a few key ingredients.  That grew into making cakes and sweets for other children with allergies and eventually a full scale business was born (your gifts will make room for you).  I love her heart and desire to share her gifts with others.  This was really special for us. Please visit http://www.michellescakerybakery.net and consider Michelle's Cakery Bakery for your next event.  The cake and pops were delicious!

If you know of a family affected by childhood illness that does not reside in the Tri-City Area or Metro Area, visit Icing Smiles.  This is wonderful organization (with a host of licensed Bakers across the United States) making a difference in the lives of children affected by illness, one cake and smile at a time.

Happy Birthday Makinley!  I'll never forget when Daddy and I discussed having you.  I thought we were good (just having had your brother and sister), but Daddy wanted just one more.  I told him I loved him enough to go there and suddenly we were there and then you were born. I'll never forget you coming into the world, sounding off like a little kitty cat with that sweet little cry.  I remember thanking Daddy not long ago for lobbying for one more. I told him had he not been persistent in the campaign, we would be missing out on the total joy of you.  Love you so much sweet girl!

Monday, February 18, 2013

School Days

Mireya has had exceptional progress over the last week with counts.  Her counts last month were the best we've seen in two years.  Last week her counts were even better than those charted last month.  The Head of Hemoc (Pediatric Hematology and Oncology) had to take a pause when those numbers popped up on the screen.  Simply amazing!  She was released to start school last week with some restrictions, but we are so happy she can finally go to school.  She has been looking forward to it since the beginning of the year.

I worked with her teacher(s) and the school Administration to ensure we have everything in place.  We scheduled a tour and visit with her classmates to help prepare Mireya for the big day.  Meeting her classmates for the first time was a precious occasion.  There was one little girl, who has sent Mireya pictures almost weekly of the two of them playing together.  She was overcome with emotion when she finally got to see Mireya for the first time.  She sweetly grabbed Mireya's hand and took her around the classroom to show her all the different stations and neat things.  It was so beautiful to witness.  The kids were super excited to see her...she was a total ROCKSTAR!  Mireya is a bit more reserved and observant and it was a little overwhelming at first having so many people approach and demand your attention, but by the time it was over, she was on top of the world.  The kids reminded her to take her Monkey home, because it would no longer occupy her seat.
 In the words of Mireya, her first day was 'fabulous'!  It was a bittersweet experiencing my "First Day of Kindergarten' as a Mom six months later, but my tears were those of joy. By the end of the week transportation had been arranged for her and she is enjoying riding a much less crowded bus to school. Because Mireya is only allowed at this time to return to school half days, she will continue Homebound a few days a week to complete her Math and Geography tracks.

Continue to keep us in your prayers, we're thankful and grateful to reach this milestone and so happy for the continued progress for Mireya medically.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Super Bowl Fun & Feature

We had a great time Sunday with family, enjoying a delicious assortment of foods and watching the Super Bowl.  I don't necessarily have 'a team', there are a number of talented athletes I enjoy watching, but overall I like good football.  My B'more family was doing it big (I was born in Baltimore), so I was definitely rooting for my hometown team.  One of the highlights of the game for me was the Halftime Pepsi Show Countdown. Pepsi presented a Fan Kickoff Challenge several weeks ago for the highly anticipated Halftime Show by Beyonce which included a mini reunion with Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

Paris asked us to help her with the pics which were a combination of about 15 specific photos with a nighttime backdrop. Paris has a lot of personal goals and aspirations. She's not a 'in the box' or corner kind of kid. She is a creative, and gifted spirit that can do just about anything she puts her mind to.  Paris is focused on school right now and she's doing great academically.  We encourage her to pursue her dreams and follow her heart or at least create the road map to take the necessary steps to get there. There is nothing to big or out of reach (it's all attainable). It requires hard work, dedication and commitment, but we all believe in her.  She's done a few things recently to step outside of her comfort zone and I'm super proud of her.  I'm happy that she followed through with submitting her photos.  There were over 100,000 pictures submitted.  Three of hers were selected as potential finalists. That is a great feat! In the end one of them was chosen, but you have to admit that jumping shot is 'off the charts' good.

This is only the beginning. To see the full countdown piece click here Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Commercial...I promise you if you blink you'll miss it, but according to this tag, Superbowl ads cost $8 Million per minute, so Pepsi paid about $4500 per frame shown...'you go girl'.  Great things are in your future.  Continue to apply your self and keep reaching for the stars.

Friday, February 1, 2013


These last few weeks have been so 'freeing' for Mireya  Being able to ditch the mask was major, getting her line removed was icing on the cake. She is living life in an entirely new way.  Enjoying every moment with freedom and without limitations.  She is transforming right before our eyes and it's a beautiful things to witness.

Mireya has asked to go outside every day.  She walked with me to the bus stop with Jalen for the first time since school started.  I've seen rolling down a grassy hill, but when it snowed, Mireya's excitement had her rolling over and over and over and over down the hills squealing with delight. (To view, click here Reya's Snow Fun) She never would have done that with the line in. She's been laughing more, smiling more, I catch her just grinning for no reason.  She told us she is so happy her line is out.  The girls took a bath 'full of water and bubbles', for the first time in two years. Those bubbles lasted forever, the excitement of sharing that moment together could have last all night, but after more than an hour, I made those shriveled toes exit the tub...stage left.  We take so much for granted. There truly are no words for the pure happiness of small things being rediscovered.

Thank you Lord for you grace.  Thank each of you for your prayers over these last two years, they have carried us through and these are the days we believed our hope and faith would bring us to.  We're so thankful.