Monday, March 31, 2014

Defying Gravity

What a beautiful day - all the way around! The event was a big success, our Peachy Keens raised over $5,000 (and counting!), and the weather was perfect. AND I had a 23-months-OT survivor by my side, handing out t-shirts to the brave shavees!

 Let's give it up for Austin - thanks, buddy!

Elise and Georgia playing High Five, Mighty Girl-style

Thank you, Jon and Kaylyn - Bald Moms Rock!

After all of that excitement, we were on our way for more fun and adventures in San Antonio. We met Lolly and Poppa for dinner and then went to see Wicked at the beautiful Majestic Theatre. Such an incredible show! Georgia and Ivy both performed in a workshop version two years ago, so we were singing every word and marveling at the set and costumes. Please go see it if you get the chance!

Sunday, we weren't quite ready to come back to Earth, so we went dress shopping for the 8th Grade Cotillion. And I think we've got a winner ...

 The dress ain't bad either.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lucky Number 23

Celebrating 23 months off treatment today by giving childhood cancer the business for the St. Baldrick's Foundation! So proud of our warrior girl. Next stop: Two Years OT! BOOM!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


This weekend, we'll be volunteering at the Dell Children's St. Baldrick's event - the one that started our relationship with St. Baldrick's in 2010. We'll also be cheering on some Peachy Keens who are braving the shave! Recently added to the roster is Jon, sweet Elise's daddy, so show him some love by making a donation to fund life-saving research! You can also click HERE to support Kaylyn, and HERE to support Austin! Your donation will help kids like the amazing Grace, a fierce medulloblastoma survivor, a 2014 St. Baldrick's Ambassador, and the daughter of my dear Momma friend, Bekah.

Grace is determined to CONQUER childhood cancer - and so are we!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Postcard from New Orleans

Oh, boy - what a time we had in New Orleans! As I mentioned, it was a complete surprise to Georgia and Ivy, and they jumped into the adventure with both feet. We spent the better part of our first day at the beautiful City Park, one of the oldest and largest city parks in the country. There is no shortage of things to do, for all ages, and just walking around amongst the live oaks (including one that is over 800 years old!) feels like a vacation itself. Some highlights of our day were the sculpture garden and the children's amusement park:

We stopped for a picnic with po-boys from Johnny's.

The next day, we started the morning off right - with beignets from Cafe Du Monde, of course!

We walked around Jackson Square - and, for the second time in 12 hours, ran into playwright and actor Sam Shepard! Later, we took the streetcar to the Garden District for a tour of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. The girls were fascinated.

We hopped back on the streetcar and went up to Mid-City Lanes Rock'n'Bowl to bowl a few frames before dinner at The Camellia Grill. Full to the top, we headed back to the French Quarter for a wonderful jazz set at Preservation Hall. Such a great day!

 Two Sisters

After a delicious breakfast at The Ruby Slipper Cafe, we took one last spin around Jackson Square. It started to sprinkle, and the fog rolled in - it was beautiful.

Our last stop was Mardi Gras World - which was amazing! We saw artists already hard at work on props and floats for next year's Mardi Gras parades, as well as hundreds of pieces used in past parades. We learned so much and can't wait to go back to see the real thing!

Funny girl.

It was a really special trip, and Georgia and Ivy both responded even better to the city than we thought they would. I believe they've got it in 'em for sure! The only downside of having such a great time is now they know what it means to miss New Orleans ...

But macarons from Sucre can certainly soften the blow.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Amplify Austin has come and gone in the last 24 hours, and the total raised for local non-profits is over $5.7 million! Several of the organizations that are near and dear to us raised a fair amount of funds, so we're thrilled that they will be able to continue providing services and support to families touched by childhood cancer. And you don't have to stop donating! Click these links to learn more about the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas, Dell Children's Medical Center Foundation, Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas, and the Austin Film Festival - which sponsors the teen infusion room at the clinic, as well as film camps for kids in treatment, like ...

Austin Film Festival Claymation Camp, July 2010

Every one of those organizations, and many more, are deserving of your support, so please choose from the list of participating non-profits on the Amplify Austin page or donate to a local organization in your area. Every little bit makes a big, big difference - we know this firsthand - so thank you, thank you!

We got the results from Georgia's bone density scan and ankle x-ray, and it's a bit of a mixed bag. The ankle shows no fracture or other injury, and her bone density has increased by 22%! That said, it still remains below the 1st percentile for her age and weight, so we will definitely keep up the good work she's been doing and get further instructions from her team. We'll also count our blessings, and keep fundraising for research into safer, less-toxic treatments that can cure childhood cancers without harmful late-effects.

Have a good weekend, and thanks for always Keepin' Georgia on Your Mind!

Friday, March 14, 2014


Well, hello! We've just returned from a fabulous SURPRISE trip to New Orleans! This is our Spring Break, so we told the girls we were going to Houston to visit GG, and when we got there, we just kept on driving. They finally noticed when we crossed the border into Louisiana and were very excited! We had a wonderful time, and a full report with pictures will follow soon!

BUT for now, big news! We have a new member of the Peachy Keens who is fundraising for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Meet Austin!

Austin is the son of our dear friends and neighbors, Weldon and Martinique, and on his 10th birthday, he decided to do something to help kids fighting cancer. The whole family has been a big part of Georgia's journey from Day One, and Weldon even braved the shave in her honor in 2011. Now it's Austin's turn under the clippers! He'll be shaving his head at the Dell Children's event on March 29th, and we'd love for you to honor him and his big, sweet heart with a donation to childhood cancer research. We are so grateful for the family's constant support and their dedication to raising awareness and research funds right along with us. Every time we put out a call for ANYthing, they answer, and we couldn't have made the impact we have without their help. So a BIG thank you to Austin and the whole Phillips clan!

In other team news, Team SuperMax is celebrating some very big things - Max's successful shunt surgery and the sale of the Suit of the Loom! Final bid was $40,000! And the winner was ... the inventor of Rainbow Loom! He plans to take the suit to Loom events around the country to continue telling Max's story and raising awareness of childhood cancer - a huge win/win for everyone. In the final days of the auction, even eBay got on the bandwagon and offered to donate $1 to MaxLove Project for every online share of Max's story, up to $10,000. And Max and his dad did a great Skype interview with Headline News, which you can see here. Next up is a National Day of Looming in September, so stay tuned for details and keep on looming!

Georgia had her bone density scan and ankle x-ray this morning, and we'll have those results soon. Funny thing - her ankle didn't bother her once while we were walking all over New Orleans. Must have been the beignets! Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Shining Star

The word from endocrinology today is: stay the course. At the moment, at least. They have a lot of labs to look at, and we'll add the bone density scan and an ankle x-ray to the mix next week. Georgia is to continue wearing her brace, as needed, and to avoid running and the like until further notice. The Catch-22 is she needs weight-bearing exercise to help build her bones, but too much stomping or pounding on her feet and ankles gives her problems. There's a solution in there somewhere, and we're going to find it any minute! For now, Georgia's going to think positive and build a Longhorn birdhouse!

Hook 'em!

She shared this masterpiece with us at a student-led school conference we attended recently. Georgia had created a portfolio of her work from several classes, and she walked us through a survey of her plans and interests for high school and - gulp! - college! Lots of great things in her future, and we were very impressed with her preparation and overall handling of the conference. So grown up!

Our girl brought home another straight-A report card last week, and on Monday, she participated in a poetry workshop. Published poets will review and critique her work, so she was very excited. It's "just" another wonderful opportunity provided by the Ann Richards School and its incredible faculty and administration. We are lucky to have the private Ann Richards School Foundation subsidizing so many of these enrichment programs, so we will once again be supporting the Foundation during this year's Amplify Austin charitable giving campaign. Several other non-profits that are near and dear to us will also be participating, and we'll provide those links in the coming week as well. The event takes place March 20-21, and the goal this year is $4 million in 24 hours! I think the Foundation has an advantage already - look who they put on their campaign page:

Georgia and two of her besties

*** Austin-area friends: The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas is experiencing a critical shortage of O+ blood. If you can donate within the next few days, please do! It only took me 30 minutes to donate today. Thank you! ***

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Even though there was no 29th day of February this year, you better believe we marked the occasion of Georgia's 22nd month off treatment! Before we know it, we'll be whooping it up when she hits the TWO YEAR mark! This week, however, she hasn't been feeling so hot, thanks to what the pediatrician says is either allergies or the beginnings of a sinus infection. But she was still up and at 'em yesterday for her cousin's band concert and is looking forward to our favorite night of television for the year: The Oscars!

Yesterday, Georgia sent out a message to SuperMax and friends at his Loom-a-thon:

And we're sending more love and light to him today as he undergoes surgery:

This week, Georgia has an endocrinology appointment, and we'll schedule her second bone density scan. She's still having trouble with her ankles, so hopefully, we can get a good look at everything and make adjustments to our current plan of attack. Even with a fair amount of pain, our girl just keeps swimming - and smiling. Over four years after diagnosis, and she is unstoppable!