Rising Above Adversity

I know I have days where I’m exhausted, frustrated, and angry, but luckily, I have more days when I feel full of life, blessed, and everything is falling in line. A lesson I have learned recently is knowing that even when I am in my darkest days, better days are on their way. (Thanks to a little help from St. Ignatius)

Today was one of the wonderful days. I was greeted early this morning with a fantastic article on NOLA.com about Benjamin and the playground. (The article will also be in the Thanksgiving Day paper of The Times-Picayune thanks to Sheila Stroup.) I then dressed the girls and took them to my appointment for the new baby, and they were able to hear baby Rush’s heart beat. Lennon’s face was priceless. Isla was still requesting a “gurl.” We had a few more stops, lunch with friends, and then our appointment with United Way. I was a little worried bringing the girls, but thanks to a few new books, they were quite well behaved.

20131126-202819.jpgThe meeting went fantastic. Not only are we partnering with United Way of St. Charles, not only will all donations be tax-deductible, but today, we found out that United Way will be donating $10,000 towards the playground. That puts our total over $50,000.

Today, during one of my great days, it was easy to notice the wonderful things that people have accomplished while being faced with adversity. From a story about Steve Gleason, to a family collecting toys to take to Ochsner where their son spent his first Christmas, to friends planning a road trip across the United States to gift equipment and supplies that their son, who recently gained his wings, previously needed. All are people who made a decision to make a change, not to dwell in their misfortunes. The playground is our chance for this, and as we get closer to our goal, I definitely have more good days than bad. 🙂 I truly believe that God doesn’t allow adversities to watch us crumble, but instead to watch us rise.

Now, I am fully aware that everyday can’t be wonderful, especially since I am now alternating Tylenol and Pediasure for Benjamin, but knowing that these days exist really do make the dark days a little brighter. I think what we choose to do at our toughest hours is where we can really make a difference. 🙂

http://www.nola.com/family/index.ssf/2013/11/luling_mom_on_a_mission_to_bui.html

Tax- Deductible donations can now be made through United Way. Checks need to be written to United Way and list “Miracles To Milestones” in the memo area. They can be mailed to or dropped off at:

United Way of St. Charles
13207 River Road
Luling, LA 70070

They are currently working on a way for people to make online contributions.

Miracles To Milestones Golf Tournament

After months of preparation, the day for the Miracles to Milestones Golf Tournament was finally here. Planning a golf tournament sounds very daunting (especially with no experience and relying heavily on Google), but everything really couldn’t have been smoother thanks to a few very special guys who really stepped up to the plate without even being asked.

We woke up Saturday morning excited, nervous, and of course running late. On top of everything that had to be done for the tournament, Lennon had a soccer game, and KC, Benjamin, and I had photos scheduled for the Times-Picayune. With a few small bumps in the morning, 10:30 came around and golfers were ready to register. As the golfers filled in, we were so busy with registration, I never really looked up to notice how many people came out to support this playground and our community. Once all the golfers reported to their carts, I ran out the door to grab a few pictures. I stepped out, snapped a few, and tears flooded my eyes. I was in awe of the support we had received. People of all ages, from multiple states, some we knew, some we didn’t, some had connections of their own to a child with different abilities, but all were there for the same reason…to help build a place where children and adults of all abilities could come together to learn and play. Somehow, we had pulled this off, and without any major issues.

Despite reports of thunderstorms and rain for Saturday the week before, we woke up to a lovely overcast day. So many had asked me about the weather during the week, and I always replied, “I am not sure. There is really no point in worrying about it, it is completely out of my control.” I never worried, I had faith that no matter what happened, everything would work out…and it did. 🙂 This reminds me of the bible verse about a mustard seed of faith. Instead of moving a mountain, our mustard seed of faith will build a wonderful playground for everyone.

Apparently, everyone had such a great time, that we are considering another tournament in the spring. This one would have to be larger, since we had to turn people away for Saturday.

Who came away with the prizes…
1st Low Gross: Scale Damage Bow Fishing: Walker, Walker, Galt, Coil
1st Low Net: Leblanc, Hebert, Domico, St. Pierre
Last Place (Most Team Spirit): Becnel Rental Tools: Miller, Garafalo, Duplantis, Bonaventure
Longest Drive: Val Harmon
Closest to the Hole: Peyton Dufrene and Bo Baker

I need to give many thanks to those who helped run this tournament, and I hope I don’t forget anyone.
Event Sponsors
St. Charles Parish Hospital
Esperanza Investments
RiverBirch Incorporated
Dr. Robert Dugas with LSU Orthopaedics
The Basketry

Hole Sponsors
Ponchartrain Bone and Joint
Quality Janitorial
Jay and Lauren Smith
Becnel Rental Tools
Dean and Sally Church
Gary Smith, State Senator
Lou and Sally Sirmon
Otto Candies
St. Charles Printing
Gregory Miller, State Rep
Advanced Medical
Atlas-Edco
Krewe of 8:32
Pedal Valves
Ben and Jamie Kuo
Plant Tech
Zimmer
Kyle Farms
Depuy Synthes
Advocare
Buckwalter Insurance
Spahr’s Seafood
Tab Troxler, Assessor
Hope Church
River Region Rehab

Food for Volunteers
Iron Gate

Beer
Abita

Water
Majoria’s Supermarket

Gift Donations
Outcast Fishing Charters
Sailfish
Cajun Powdercoat
Zephyr’s Baseball
Grand Ridge
English Turn
La Tour
Belle Terre
Roussel’s Jewelry
Ormond Plantation
Bobby’s Seafood
Monogram Express
O’Reilly Auto Parts River Ridge

T-shirts
272 Graphics

Grand Ridge Golf Club and Bill Covert

Support Team Who Provided Golf Expertise
Steve Seipel
Jarrett Walker

OUR WONDERFUL FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO VOLUNTEERED OR DONATED

Totals:
-78 golfers
-20 teams
-About 30 volunteers
-8 very excited kiddos

Funds Raised:
-Donations–$3381
-Power Starter Raffle–$149
-Closest to the Hole–$545
-Extra Hole–$365
-Golfers–$5,504
-Sponsors–$7,655.50
Tournament Total: $17,599.50
Extremely Generous Individual Donation: $20,000

Grand Total: $37,599.50

To say that this tournament exceeded our expectations, would be a huge understatement. We are so glad that people are able to see and share our vision for this playground. WE PLAY AS ONE!20131118-140109.jpg20131118-140124.jpg20131118-140136.jpg20131118-140146.jpg

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Trick-Or-Treat

I just realized we never shared pictures of Benjamin’s first time Trick-or-treating. Last year, Benjamin and I stayed inside because it was extremely hot outside and the mosquitos were horrible. This year, the mosquitos were still horrible, but we were determined to have all the kids go together.

After 20 minutes of pictures and layers of Off coverage, we were ready to head out. The mosquitos were unbelievable, but still determined, we continued to spray, fan, and push our way through. The girls acted like they were immune, while the adults swatted and griped…including myself. After about 45 minutes, a fantastic breeze came through, and the mosquito fog cleared. The weather was perfect, at least for about 10 minutes, before the Heavens opened, and a deluge came through. Three blocks from the house, there was no point in running, so we huddled the children under an umbrella and tried to cover Benjamin’s equipment. To say the least, I was not prepared. We made it back with equipment protected, but we were all drenched. Candy can make you forget how wet and cold you truly are.

Would we do it again?…of course. I cherish memories like this. However, I am waiting for the day for Benjamin to look at me and say, “Mom, thanks for making sure I was always included, but I really would have been ok at home.” 🙂

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Registration and Tee Time Moved

ATTENTION: We have officially met our quota for golfers… unless you can supply your own cart. We can accept hole sponsors until Monday. Also, due to the possibility of cloudy skies along with daylight savings time, the TEE TIME HAS CHANGED TO 12 WITH REGISTRATION AT 11. Please spread the word, and I would like to thank everyone who helped recruit teams. You all did excellent jobs.

FUNdraising With The Basketry

Today could not have been a more perfect day for Miracles To Milestones’ first FUNdraiser. We were truly blessed with beautiful weather, awesome food, fantastic shopping, great music, and entertaining company. I love this community more and more the longer I live here.

Benjamin truly enjoyed himself dancing to the music with all the extra attention, while Isla apparently assisted customers with their shopping, and Lennon relaxed in the hammock outside. (Lennon highly recommends the hammock.)

We want to give special thanks to Kristi Brocato and her magnificent staff at The Basketry, Quinn Dempster and Mr. Joe Bergeron for the delicious jambalaya, Scotty Bergeron for trusting us with his sound equipment, and everyone who came today to shop and show their support.

Today we raised:
$335 from the jambalaya
$72 from tips from wrapping
$530 from donations
$2500 from THE BASKETRY
For a grand total of $3,437.

Everyday we get closer to our goal, and everyday I thank God for blessing us with such supportive friends, family, and community. WE PLAY AS ONE!

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