Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hello Mr. Senator

Yesterday I got a phone call from a very important person, a person that has helped us save lives across our state, and whom I owe a giant debt of gratitude.

Senator Ron Miller

Yet, he called to thank me. The way he answered the phone made me giggle:
"Hello, this is Senator Ron Miller"
My jaw dropped, my eyes got big, then I collected myself and said hello.
"So have you heard, your pulse oximetry (he could barely pronounce it) bill got passed?"
I just giggled, and said "Yeah, I heard!". 

He went on to thank me for all the work I have done on the pulse ox bill, all the networking and advocating, and all the emails. I was speechless at first, hearing what he was saying. I told him that it is I who should be thanking him for all his support and for helping us pass the bill. I told him, that thanks to him and his fellow supporters, that lives will indeed be saved and I am eternally grateful. He told me "if you ever need anything, give us a call, and we might not be able to answer right away, but we will do our best to help you!". I said "I will hold you up to that, thank you!". He just laughed, but I don't think he realized how serious I am!!

On top of that, I got a thank-you letter in the mail from an American Heart Associate who (I believe) I haven't met. It made me smile and really made my day hearing gratitude from others, others who have heard my story and appreciate all the hard work I have put into this.

So thank you. Thank you for your kind words and heartfelt thanks. I sincerely appreciate it and it makes my day to hear that Corbin lives on in others. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I've been thinking about doing this for a very long time now. I've been told my many people that I should. I've even talked to others about getting it done. But what's holding me back is: I don't want people to think I'm doing it for the wrong reason.

I want to write a book.

I'm not worried about making money or becoming a "real" author and writing more. I just want to put Corbin's full story into one collective piece to share with others. There are a lot of things I haven't written about that are part of his story and should be told. 

I just don't want people to say "She's doing it for the money", or that I'm trying to make money off of Corbin's death. Because that's not true. So many good things have happened because of Corbin, that I feel it needs to be shared on a bigger level. 

I love blogging and I love how many people I can reach, but it's not the same. I want to be able to walk to my bookshelf, pull out a book, and say to Monkey "this is your brother's story, this is his life. Read it and learn how he changed the world." 

I want to have something physical that represents his story. Something I can take with me and give to others. "Read this and learn that good things can happen after heartbreak. Learn how you can make a difference, how you can save lives, and how you can memorialize your baby for eternity." 

Does that sound selfish? I hope it didn't come across that way. 

This isn't for me, this is for all those mothers out there who have lost a child and didn't know where their life would go afterwards. This is for all those unborn babies who need someone to talk for them. I want to do this because I am so proud of Corbin. I'm not the one who touched so many hearts or inspired others to make a change. He did. I didn't show the strength of a lion after battling a life threatening disease, he did. My son is amazing and I want to share that with everyone. 

You hear that Peanut? I'm am so very, very proud of you. You have made such a difference in your short little life and it amazes me every day the people you have touched and inspired. 

I wonder if you would be willing to help? Would you share how Corbin touched your life in some way? 
I bet we could fill chapters with those stories. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Heart Ball 2012

Some of you may have read about my recent trip to Washington DC, part one and two. If you haven't, take a minute (or longer) to read so you'll understand how crazy my weekend was.

The day I get back from DC, and after sleeping in till noon (yikes!), my hubby and I got out of bed and prepare to leave again in a couple hours to go back up to Charleston for the AHAs (American Heart Association) yearly Heart Ball.

I had been invited not only as a heart mom, but as a speaker. I was pretty nervous and had been contemplating what to say for weeks. I didn't write a speech because I never stick to them and I usually just "wing it" and do pretty fine. This had a bit more pressure because it was a fundraiser and I didn't want it to have too much detail and lose people's attention, nor did I want it to be really emotional and become a sobbing mess in front of 300 finely dressed people.

We clean up pretty good!
*and yes, that is the dining room table on it's side. It's used as a barrier to keep The Kid out of the kitchen*

The drive up is uneventful and we arrive in Charleston right on time. The AHA was able to get us a room at the Marriot, where the ball was taking place, so that we wouldn't have to drive back home again at 1 in the morning. *waves* Thanks Holly!! So the Hubby and I were excited about staying in a nice hotel together for once. :)

The reason for the ball: to honor Dr. Dilip Basu and his Heart of Gold Award.

Once you step inside the ballroom, you see all the table full of items for the silent auction.

Then in the middle of the ballroom were our heart kids! That's Jacob on the far right whose mom blogs as well!

These cutouts were blown up from the pictures I took of the kids months earlier.

We wander around for a while, looking at the items up for silent auction, get our pictures taken, then wander back to our table to eat. 

Out table arrangement.

My delicious salad.

So before dinner was served, it was time for the night's introduction by Bailey, a 9 year old heart survivor.
Click here to watch his speech. I didn't catch the first couple seconds, but he did great!

Then dinner was served.

Then dinner, which was yummy. The steak wasn't as rare as I would have liked, but the fish I could have eaten every day for the rest of my life.

The ballroom.

My hubby telling tales of his job as a Correctional Officer. I felt bad for the other heart parents because I know how long Hubby can talk and talk about that kind of thing. But they enjoyed his stories and he was very entertaining.

Check out this little beauty :) She's one sister of a heart survivor.

Then the live auction began!

Here's the auctioneer going around hassling people to bid. :P
The fundraising was slow going, but I was happy to see that people were participating and donating. 

Then it was my turn to speak. I took a deep breath, drank down the rest of my wine, and walked up to the podium.

While I spoke, they showed a slideshow behind me. 

He is me when I spoke in front of Delegates at our state Capitol.

A photo I ordered from Names in the Sand  for Corbin's birthday.

I was pretty proud of myself! I think I did a good job, I didn't get flustered or fumble over my words, and I didn't break down. There was a moment, if you noticed, where I looked over and saw Corbin's picture and I had to take a second to compose myself. But overall I think it went great!

The rest of the night involved free wine, music by a Beatles cover band, and lot's of cute kids dancing and just being adorable. 

Heart warrior Jacob. He was so funny. Whatever game he was playing on his mom's iphone was cracking him up and in turn, making the rest of us laugh along with him.

The band did great! I love how they got involved and let Jacob come up and play the tambourine. 

Heart mom and her gorgeous, curly-haired daughters. 

Jacob was a total ladies man that night.

Dancing with mom.

Check out the video of Jacob totally cutting a rug! Hilarious! 

And another cute video of cute kids dancing. 

Like I said, ladies man!

Our AHA friend Holly, then my two heart mom advocates helping with Corbin's Bill, whose son's are both named Jacob. 

Heart moms, advocates, mothers, wives, and saving lives in honor of all heart babies and Corbin.

I had so much fun. Dinner was great, the speakers were touching and inspiring, and we raised money to help those affected by heart disease. I can't wait for next year!

Now for the best part. Our room. :)

Check out the carpet!

The bed was actually really uncomfortable, the pillows were way too soft or way too hard, but the sheets were really nice!

I want this chair for my living room.

You know I have to get a bathroom shot.

Really? Bath and Body Works? 
You know I took those home :)