Thursday, February 21, 2013

I learned a lesson...

We had a fun Valentines Day this year. We usually try and hit up a nice restaurant and spoil ourselves on fine dining, but this year, I just wasnt wanting to face the crowds. Also, with a baby on the way and hopefully moving in the next couple of months, I didnt want to spend a lot of money on food.
Russ had found this cool Japaense restaurant where you get your own little room area and you eat on the floor. We decided to celebrate the day before so we could miss the Love rush. We still werent able to go our own little space at the Japanese restaurant so we opted for Italian instead.
I started off my day with a nice good morning text from my Dad. It made my day...I think he is excited to be a Grandpa again..

I wasnt being a love scrooge but I didnt really think gifts were neccisary this year. I had been gone all the week before in Georgia for work ( and trying to track down Honey Boo-Boo! I found her house but she was on vacation in Florida..darn).
While I was gone Russ had been working really hard on a homemade gift for me. It probably my favorite gift he has ever given me. It melted my heart and made me laugh out loud all in one. Thats my kind of gift.
When I flew in from Georgia, it was the day before Valentines, which was the day we were celebrating. I walked in to a beautiful bouquet of red roses and Russ's gift... a homemade pop-up book!
This is only 2 of the awesome 4 pages.

Nothing says I love you more than a 3D picture of my husbands face.
I still cant figure out how he did it. He just said, "You just fold it backwards!" ...I still dont get it.
That same weekend was my nice McKinleys birthday party.
She is an AMAZING girl! She heard what my mom was doing and all her efforts in raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma society and heard we were selling bracelets here in Utah.
She told her mom she had an idea...She told her Mom, all on her own, that she could ask the kids to buy a bracelet, instead of buying her a gift.
I dont know many girls turning 9 that would think to do that.
Although its not surprising because she has the sweetest, most tender heart. She heard about Jerons story (the little boy we are campainging for and families like him) and she wanted to help!
So she sent out a birthday invitaion.
I thought it was the sweetest thing in the whole world, but because I had been gone so many weekends in a row for work, I thought we should pass.
Then, I got this amazing letting in the mail from her, along with cute little kitten Valentines cards.

"I wish you could come to my birthday party so you could help donate money"
I thought that was the sweetest thing Ive ever seen. She was trying so hard to raise a lot of money and so selflessly.
We couldnt pass that up and decided to go up and surprise her!
By the time we got there, she was already asleep so the next morning they woke up to find us asleep in their living room. It was so cute how surprised they were.
Before we left for a full day of birthday activities, and since Kinley asked for donations instead of presents, we opened her presents from Russ and I and my parents.
This birthday girl LOVES socks.

Kinley had a basketball game before her big party so it was so fun to be able to support her.
Before we left for the game, we got a belly shot. My sister in law is due just a few weeks before me!
Im so excited to have babies at the same time!
Kinley was superstar! She is such an athletic little gal.

I think Huddy was ready to go to the birthday party!

We got to the birthday party early before all the kids showed up. We set out pictures of Jeron who is still struggling with Leukemia, as well as our friend Zach who had a really tough couple years with Leukemia. We also set out our bracelets for the kid to chose their colors.

All the parents that dropped their kids off were touched with Kinleys gesture and put in a couple extra dollars to the donation jar.
I was at the front desk when a couple brought their daughter from Kinleys class in. They handed over a $10 bill and said they didnt have a lot of money and it was all they could do but they wanted to donate. It really touched my heart, $10 is a GREAT donation, and I know it came from their heart.
The gym where the birthday party was held was SO.MUCH.FUN!!
Im pretty sure Russ had more fun than the kids.

We all had fun going off the tramp into the foam pit!

I got to jump for a second before Russ reminded me I was pregnant and couldnt play.
The birthday girl!
Oaks loved the rings too!

Sometimes you are just having too much fun to pull your pants up.

My job was to stand at the end of the tramp and make sure kids didnt land on each other in the foam pit!

The big medal slide was probably the funnest and fastest slide Ive ever been on. Even more fun than the big yellow slide at the fair. You sit on a little sack and it makes you cruise down and land in the pit!
We begged my dad to go down and finally he did it for the birthday girl!

And then he disappeared.

We see a foot!

He's alive!

We then went upstairs and sang to the birthday girl and had brownies and ice cream!

Then we went back to playing. My dad must have felt Huddy's pain when he got stuck in the foam pit.

The incredible birthday girl!
I could NOT be more proud of her. It takes a really special girl to give up birthday presents to help others at her age. And she was so excited about it and passionate about making money to help others. She has such a special heart and she really touched a lot of hearts this day.

Fun time over..

When we got home, she was so excited to count the money she earned at her party. All the kids went and played when we got home and she sat at the table with the adults to count the money. She had 22 kids come to her birthday party and she didnt receive one gift, but she is smiling so big in this picture because she earned $397.50 to donate to LLS!!!
After this trip, I had a whole new perspective on this fundraiser. We are all SO proud of my mom and for the opportunity she was nominated, and that we can come together as a family to help raise money for a good cause, and get my mom some recognition. I want her to win so bad, but after the weekend, and see McKinley sacrafice her own gifts for strangers in need, it gave a whole new meaning to what we were doing. And I learned that form a 9 year old. I am so proud of her and thankful for the lesson she taught not only me, but all those kids and adults that came to her birthday party. And it was all because of this wonderful lady for setting an example to her family.

The next day before we had to drive back to Utah, my brother Cody made us a delicious breakfast of Swedish Thins!

The kids watched a few movies and snuggled up. 
Thanks to Miss McKinley for her example to us this weekend and for all the generous people that opened their hearts and wallets.

Go Kathy's CUREsaders!!




  1. I LOVE that girl! She is so AMAZING!

  2. I'm bawling at this post (me cry?). I am going to donate today! I feel bad I haven't done it yet! Love you!