Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week Six

I know I say this every week...but I can't believe another week has passed! For anyone new to the blog, the Sunday Shout Out is where I give tell a little about each person who has donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of my volunteering to raise money and run 26.2 miles. Each and every time I receive a donation, I get all emotional because I know how much reaching my goal means to me, and that each person who donates is also doing a huge thing to honor my cousin, Michelle, and her family. (Her son is Clayton, the little boy in the picture on my right sidebar. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at age four. He's six now, and though he is in remission, still has many months of chemo to go.) I am so proud to do this in honor of Clayton, and I am so thankful that the blogging community has been so supportive in addition to all of my friends and family.

Donations this week:

Mariah is one of my many beautiful cousins. (She is supporting me, and she isn't even related to Clayton and his family...completely opposite sides of the family!) Her support means so much to me, as she is one of the most passionate people I know. She is strong and sweet and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She also has one of the most amazing singing voices I have ever heard! Hearing words of encouragement from her makes me so proud to do this, as I know she wouldn't just blow sunshine up my butt. (Haha!)  So Mariah - thank you. Thank you! I'm thankful to have amazing support from family members.

Michael is someone I've never met. He's the father of Conner, who was the young man who hit my vehicle with his truck when it was icy one morning. Wasn't a big deal, and I didn't even want to have my car looked at. They asked if there was anything they could do for me, and my only suggestion was to help me reach my goal by making a donation. Despite the crazy way it came about, I am incredibly thankful nonetheless. Conner was such a sweet kid. Makes me not so afraid to have all girls if nice boys like him will be around when they're teenagers. Ok, who am I kidding? I am still afraid. But meeting him helped.

Krystal and Patrick are an incredibly special couple to our family. Krystal started babysitting for my girls once a week - gosh - I can't even remember how long ago. When I met her she was boyfriendless, and Kamy announced that Krystal would get married by a certain age. Guess what? She did. And guess what? They had a baby of their own, thus leaving me babysitterless. (But for good reason, of course!) My daughters still ask when Krystal and Patrick are coming over. Psssst! When are you coming over? We love them so much. Having their support melts my heart. I love you guys!

Bob and Cyndy have a special connection to why I am doing this marathon. Clayton is their Grandson! And my Uncle Mike (he is a Lymphoma survivor) is Bob's brother. Obviously this makes them my Uncle and Aunt. While it was a given that I would have their support based on our family ties, I still got teary thinking about what I am able to do in honor of their Grandson. I can't think of a better way to show them how much I care. Thank you so much.

Jeff and Jodi are our neighbors across the back fence. I will be wearing the name of Jodi's Mom on my race jersey. She lost her battle with Lymphoma a year and a half ago. When I read that, I cried. It is incredible that I can honor her Mom in the race, and makes me even more determined to raise the money to help battle blood cancers! The heartache involved is just too much. I am so thankful to live in a neighborhood with great people. (I got lucky in each neighborhood I've lived in!) Thank you Jeff and Jodi.

Ryan is a fabulous cousin (I married into the family through my step-Dad) that I am lucky to know because she is just awesome. I consider her one of my dearest friends. She is married to Mark and they have a precious son named Brendan. I will be honoring Mark's Dad at the marathon by writing his name on my jersey. He recently started chemo and has a long road ahead. I know how much this hurts them. What I am doing by writing his name is such a small thing, but it has so much meaning to me. Because, as I always remind myself, someone battling cancer is going through something much much much more difficult (no comparison, really) to my 26.2 miles. I love you Ryan, Mark, and Brendan!

Ken and Margo are so much fun. Ken is a partner at the law firm where my husband works. We had a work-related event at their home last year that was one of the most fun nights of my entire year! They are such an adorable couple, kind and hilarious, too! I rarely like dogs, but I like theirs. Weird! Thank you so much for your support. You are both awesome.

Dan and Sheryl are our next-door neighbors. I have barely had a chance to get to know them, but already they have been so supportive and helpful since we moved here. They have all girls, so of course I have a connection in that way! I can't wait for the weather to warm up, as I am sure we'll run into them more often once it isn't too bitterly cold to leave the house. Dan and Sheryl - thank you!

Angi and Greg are my step-aunt and uncle on my step-Mom's side of the family. Angi is so fun and is the oldest sister of FOUR girls. I haven't been able to hang out with their family in years, which is a bummer. But oh my goodness, they are all hilarious! Their son Brock, who I swear was just a little kid when I first met him, is now in med school! I think this makes me 'old'. I truly appreciate their support, despite not having even gotten together in so long. Gives me warm fuzzies! Thank you Angi and Greg!

Kristen is my cousin (or second cousin, I guess...) and is married to Chad. They recently moved to Washington State, so I am keeping my fingers crossed they can make out to Seattle in June for the marathon! Kristen is having a baby boy soon - he is their first and this time is so special for them. Kristen has always been a great friend. She and I even "paged" at the State Capitol for her Aunt when we were younger. I will never forget that day. Such an awesome experience for us to have together. Love you, Kristen (and Chad! And baby Jonathan!)

Nicole is one of my dearest friends from high school. Now she is all grown up and is a Dentist! We lost touch for many years, but were able to reconnect again 6 months ago. It was as if we hadn't lost touch at all. She is a gorgeous woman, full of love and life. And single! (Douche bags need not apply.) Seriously, though...this woman is truly awesome. I'm lucky to call her a friend, and I miss her terribly. She's in New Orleans finishing up her her schooling for her specialty, and then...maybe she'll move closer to me. I can only hope! Love you, Nicolla! (For Nicole, I will be honoring Pam.)

Faith and Scott. I love them. I met Faith while we attended Wichita State back in the day. She and Scott now have two adorable boys, and I cannot imagine not having her in my life. She is hilariously competative - I say it lovingly! - and incredibly beautiful. And she runs fast! She did her first marathon in less than four hours. Holy speed demon! She just recently had her second son, so she's aching to get back to running. For now, she allows me to talk her ear off about it...and I think she enjoys it! I am so thankful to have their support, despite being busy with two kids and building a house. You are awesome and I love you!

Stacy is one of my favorite teachers from high school. I'll never forget meeting her. It was one of my first classes my sophmore year. A new school in a new city. I, of course, was sure my life would be over. I walked into her class (metal crafts) and had so much fun! She was so fun. Strict and fun. Is that possible? She pulled it off. I went on to take at least one other class from her and we've stayed in touch pretty well even after I graduated. To this day, I still have urges to make glass beads, and to do stained glass projects. I'm thankful she instilled a love for these things in me. And any cute pictures I take of my girls are compliments of her photography class. You rock, Stacy! I will be honoring Stacy's grandmother on race day. Thank you so much.

Natalie is yet another neighbor, only she's a tiny bit further away. Natalie was immensely helpful before, during, and after our move to the new 'hood. She shared with me the story of our neighborhood. What it was before. What the vision was for the neighborhood. And how it came to fruition. Her father-in-law was the man with the plan. He died of cancer many years ago. But she told me - and I believe this - that she is positive he would be proud of what our neighborhood has become. I'm sure he's looking down and smiling to see his vision carried out. I'm proud to wear Larry's name on my jersey for Natalie and Kyle. Thank you so much for everything.

Tena and Ken are a fantastic couple I met right before Scott and I got married. To be honest with you, I beat them both up at the gym! They are clients who have become friends through the years. I still train Tena to this day. When I mentioned last week that a client had lost her Mom to cancer, it was Tena I was talking about. I am beyond proud to put the name of an amazing woman on my jersey. Myrna will be represented and will have a special place on race day. My heart aches for them right now, as this loss is such an awful one. I'm thankful Myrna was such a strong and amazing is clear why Tena is as strong and amazing as she is. Thank you so much. Thinking of you and your family daily. Love you.

Michele is Scott's step-Mom. I suppose that makes her my step mother-in-law? She is a great woman. She was one of 15 or so at our wedding in Jamaica. She liked it so much, she has gone back multiple times. Michele lost her husband (Scott's Dad) to esophageal cancer in the late 90's. I never met him, but have heard nothing but good things about the wonderful man he was. Jim will have a very special place on my jersey. I wish my girls could know their Grandpa. He was a great hockey player, and loved the sport. I know he would have loved today's hockey game - Team Canada! (He was Canadian, after all!) It is strange. I miss him and yet I never knew him. Regardless, having Michele's support makes me proud and honoring Jim is pretty awesome, too. Love you, Michele!

Skye and Jason are friends that I've known since high school. Technically speaking, Jason is the brother to Lex, who was one of my best friends. They are the son and daughter of Phil (who I am honoring - he died from Melanoma) and Sharylyn, who I shouted out to previously. Skye is Jason's wife, and she is so hilarious. I have so many memories of laughing and laughing with her when I was in high school! They have a beautiful daughter who is lucky enough to get to spend lots of time with Grandma Sharylyn. In addition to honoring Phil, I will be honoring Amber, also. I am so thankful for you guys. Ok. Now I'm getting weepy all over again. Thank you so much.

Dale is a partner at the firm where my husband works. He and his wife Lynn are a great couple. My favorite memory of them is when we were at the Washburn School of Law 100 year anniversary celebration. Bob Dole was the keynote speaker. I brought along my Britney Spears dvd for Bob to sign. (What? He was on the dvd in the Pepsi commercial he did with Britney!) I think they thought I may have been a little crazy, but hey - we got the signature (yes, I own a Britney dvd with Bob Dole's autograph!) and I think they've learned to accept and love that I'm just me. Dale is a runner, too, and I think he should do a marathon with me sometime. Might finish a few hours faster, though. Thank you for your support!

Last, but not least, are Mike and Melinda. They are good friends with my Mom and Step-Dad. Their oldest son is best friends with my brother. They have always been around, from the time my Mom and Step-Dad got married. They've seen me as a runner in high school, as a cheerleader in high school, at my wedding reception, and whenever we are able to see them, it is always great. They are a wonderful couple, and they have two daughters, as well, who have grown up to be wonderful women. All this reminiscing makes me feel really old. Thank you so much, Mike and Melinda!

In other news:

Ahhhhh. Another one of those two-hours posts that make me weepy and emotional. I think it is a great thing to stop and think and type about every person who is supporting me. Feels amazing. (Don't fret. Mrs. Manners is also sending hand-written thank you cards, thankyouverymuch.)

Oh, just a side note: I ran TEN miles Saturday! First time ever in the double-digits! Whoop! Whoop! My ankle hates me, but I'm not too sore otherwise. I'll take it! Stats to come tomorrow. Goodnight!