Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Heart Walk 2015

Saturday morning we joined many Arkansans in a walk aimed at fighting heart disease and other heart related conditions.  Having participated the past three years, I can honestly say that momentum seems to be building for the American Heart Association as more and more people are affected by the #1 killer of women and the #1 birth defect in the nation.

I was a little apprehensive as to how the morning would go since we'd had so much rain the night before but it turned out to be a perfectly beautiful day!  We had a lot of family and friends join us and were overwhelmed with the support we received.  So far, the Heart Walk has raised over $266,000 to help fund important research and education to help combat heart disease and other heart related conditions.  Adam and I want to say a big "Thank You" to those of you who gave in honor of Ava Jane.  We hope that the money raised will help to ensure other kids like her, who have Congenital Heart Defects, can receive life saving treatment and get as great an outcome as Ava Jane has had post surgery.  We are so thankful for how well she is doing.

Since Arkansas Heart Hospital was the presenting sponsor, Adam had a chance to publicly thank everyone for their support and encouraged the crowd to continue (and/or start) a regular exercise regimen as part of a heart healthy routine.

And here are some pictures of our team, Ava Jane's Angels.  (In this picture poor Ava Jane was obviously so frustrated with the balloon at this point, I should've removed it from her wrist before taking this group shot, but honestly didn't realize amid all the noise and chaos of trying to get someone to take it.)





It wouldn't be as good of a ride without a little pre-walk sucker.

And throughout the walk there were musicians singing, playing and entertaining us!

And these oh so informative signs along the way gave me a little bit of pause, particularly this one, because tell me, who can just eat one?  Seriously!

And my precious Aunt and Uncle drove all the way from Alma to be with us that morning.  It was so fun to see them, Katie Jo, Evan and Connor, thanks again for making such an effort!

We did have fun on the walk.  Some of the boys (and the dog for that matter) got tired on the 3.1 mile walk so thanks to Grammy, G-Dad and the others who gave piggy back rides and rides on shoulders.  It does take a village!  And oh the life of a tiny little min-pin named Lucy…she enjoyed the view from atop the sunshade of the stroller, it was a perfect mix of a hammock and a cocoon.


And you must notice the collection of flowers.  My sweet boys kept gathering handfuls of them and would come running to give them to me!  Oh how I love these boys, they're learning how to love and how to give thoughtful gifts.  This Momma's heart is just a puddle when I experience these kinds of gestures!


Though Lawson and Emerson tuckered out toward the end, Ava Jane never stopped running once she was set free from the stroller.  As we were watching her, Adam and I both commented on how amazing it is to think that a mere 28 months ago there was no blood flow to those little legs and feet, but now, with the amazing surgery, her little legs love to run and they run fast!  We are beyond blessed with this precious little girl and are so grateful to call her "our little miracle"!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ava Jane's Angels

This weekend marks our third annual Heart Walk with the American Heart Association. We are compelled to support this great organization not simply because of the nature of the business Adam is in but on a personal level, it is an organization that researches heart issues and conditions like our little girl, Ava Jane, was born with.

I've been overwhelmed with the amount of money people have so generously donated over the past few weeks to our team, Ava Jane's Angels; we've received $1525 as of today.  As the walk draws closer (its this coming Saturday, April 25th at 9:00 am) we'd love to have you be apart of our team. If you are interested to help support this organization that focuses on cardiac research, eduction and prevention you can follow this link to find more information.

Here are some pictures from last years Heart Walk.


Ava Jane has been chosen to be in this years American Heart Association Survivors Gallery, so her picture and storyboard have been traveling the state telling others about her Congenital Heart Defects and helping to raise awareness of heart disease and different birth defects that affect the heart. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the AHH and to have the opportunity to share Ava Jane's story (which you can read about here, here, here, leading up to surgery, and then the after surgery report).


Here are the links to our Heart Walks in 2013 and 2014.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Kids with Character and Time with the Big Boys

Every month our school has a Kids With Character assembly. This year, both our big boys got chosen for the character quality of Loyalty. It was fun to see them both up there at the same time. I do believe that both Peyton and Lawson have true loyalty toward one another, their friends, and family. "Loyalty" is being faithful to one's oath, commitments or obligations. Adam and I are definitely beginning to see sprouts of growth in this area and were so proud of both of them!



Don't they look thrilled to be taking this picture with Mom? Because of their "loyalty" they obliged me!

Right after the assembly finished it was time to go on the kindergarten field trip to the Wonder Place. I was curious to see if it was too "young" for their age but honestly, all the classes seemed to have a really great time at all the stations whether fishing, playing in the sand, with the blocks, coloring, dressing up, playing make believe or selling things in the market, they all seemed to have a blast!









When I asked a couple of them if they were ready to head back to school, their response was a collective "NO"! I really think they all had such fun just playing and being kids.


And as if all that weren't enough for one day, I decided, after talking to his teacher, that I would check him and Peyton out of school and do something fun just the three of us.  So we hit up a 12:35 middle of the day movie at the Rave.  We enjoyed our popcorn and cookies, while watching Home in 3D.  It was a pretty cute movie, though I must say there was a short stretch in there where the dark room and comfortable chairs had me sleeping pretty soundly.  I sure love these boys and I feel grateful to be their Mommy! To quote my Dad, "we made a memory" and that's for sure!!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

First Hair Cut

Well, we've always known that Ava Jane had a lot of hair. I often joked, when we first found out about her heart defect when she was 2 months old, that though her blood only flowed 30% to her lower extremities, there seemed to be no issue with the flow to her hair follicles.  She has never had any problem being able to keep a bow or headband in, so the fact that she is just now getting her FIRST hair cut is a bit comical.  Here she is with all that hair---this was at 6 months old.
Ava Jane 1

I've just not wanted to cut her hair, but with family pictures coming up this weekend I decided everyone needed to have a little trim.  She's all cleaned up and I think it turned out great.

We headed over to see Mrs. Denise at Pig Tails and Crew Cuts. All the ladies there do a great job, but we love Mrs. Denise, she's patient and kind and doesn't get flustered one tiny bit when my kiddos are uncooperative.  Some how she's able to do a good haircut even with a moving target!

Here's a little snippet.  I was really proud of Ava Jane, she really did pretty good.  Her favorite movie, Frozen was playing on the televisions so she had no trouble sitting still and looking straight ahead.  We didn't take a lot of length off, really it was just a trim, but I think it looks great.  And being that I have three boys, I'm just now learning how to do fancy fishtail braids.  I got a little tutorial and everyone thought she looked adorable, I'm of course quite biased!




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Girls Night Out

It doesn't happen very often that Mom, Whitney and I get time together without little ones, but we took advantage of the opportunity a few nights ago and enjoyed our time immensely! Our night started with dinner at The Fold, which is such a fun restaurant.  We loved the open air feel as they had the large garage doors rolled up and for once, in this month of many April showers, the sun was shining!



After dinner we headed to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre to see Mary Poppins, it really was a great show. The whole cast did an outstanding job. I know they worked very hard for many weeks and being there for the last show, we got to see some of the emotion come out during the curtain call.  The young girl who played "Jane Banks" teared up while each cast member returned to the stage to be recognized by the audience.  The show was terrific and according the the Rep, Mary Poppins has been the most successful production they've done in 39 years.


I sure had fun, lets do it again soon!  Next up--a GNO at Eggs Shells, I'm ready for the cooking class!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend: An Unexpected Visitor and Fun

This weekend was more of a catch-up kind of weekend. I spent Friday night entertaining kids with pizza and a movie while Adam spent the evening at a hospital fundraiser.  Thankfully, my sister decided to bring Lachlan over so we held down the fort together.

Saturday was yard day. We spent the majority of it spreading mulch, pulling weeds, mowing, weed-eating and the like.  It wasn't my most favorite way to spend the day, but I do love the results! On Saturday morning as I was cleaning up from breakfast we got to enjoy an unexpected visit with Adam's brother who came home from college for the weekend. To say my kids were excited to see "Uncle Johnny" is a slight under statement! They loved wrestling with him, jumping on the trampoline and having "light saver" fights--as Emerson likes to call it.




It's always fun to have John home, we look forward to May when he graduates and will be back around here!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Camo Fun

Over the weekend, our kiddos got invited to a true Arkansas boys party, camo theme and all!

The cupcakes and cookies were delicious so my Ava Jane couldn't stay away from the dessert end of the table!


Since it was Easter weekend, there was a camo egg hunt with two special orange eggs that enabled its finder to receive an adorable "target" cookie.   Lawson was the recipient of said cookie and it was devoured almost instantly, along with all the other sugary goodness found inside the plastic eggs!  My bigs were in hog heaven running around climbing on logs, shooting a bow and arrow and simply playing in the dirt.  They had a ball!







Ava Jane and Emerson thought the camo-ed out UTV was so awesome so they just sat in it for a good long while strapping and unstrapping their seat belts!


It was such a fun party!  Happy 6th birthday David!

Lake Day With Friends

Back in March, Adam and I began setting aside weekends on our calendar to go to the lake this summer with friends and family.  It felt a lit...