Monday, June 27, 2016

Tennessee Waltz

After a whirlwind trip to Tennessee, Georgia is now firmly ensconced at The University of the South in Sewanee, and she's ready to write some poetry!

 Bon voyage!

 First stop: A tour of Vanderbilt! We were all impressed, 
and Georgia really, really liked it - "definitely on the list!"

The Frist Center had some great exhibits - one with incredible vintage Italian cars,
and one of Russian photography and graphics. 

Georgia picked a favorite ...

We also fell in love with this artist's work:
 Green Goddess II by Inka Essenhigh

You can't pass up a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum!

And our final destination:

Georgia will be spending two weeks with 70 kids from around the country, 
all who love writing just as much as she does. 
The Sewanee campus is beautiful, and the buildings remind of us of 
a cross between national park WPA-era lodges and Hogwarts. : )

This is her classroom building and her actual classroom! 

We are so proud of Georgia and very excited for the cool adventure she's undertaken.
It will be a long (for us) but eventful (for her) two weeks!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ready, Set ... Summer!

Today is the first official day of summer, and here's what we've been up to the past week ...

Georgia had her EKG and echocardiogram last Monday, and while the results weren't official, we were pleased with the tech's assessment of "That's a good looking heart!" The survivorship clinic followed up on Wednesday, and it is indeed a good looking heart. While we're always grateful for positive news, being in the cardio lab again reminded us that part of our mission in funding childhood cancer research is to find safer, less-toxic treatments so when kids survive, they can truly thrive long into adulthood. 

That same message was being shared up and down the Appalachian Trail last week as my dad and brother made their way from Georgia(!) to North Carolina. It was a trek, to be sure, but they had a great time and were great representatives for the St. Baldrick's Foundation and the Peachy Keens!

This weekend, we finally opened our Little Free Library! It's been in the works for a while, and with the help of a neighbor, it's finished and ready for reading. We had a ribbon-cutting on Saturday, and this is the dedication, which will be on our bookmarks:

We are a family of book lovers, and we are thrilled to share that love with our community. Books give us endless opportunities to experience new things and new places, and in that spirit of adventure, we are christening our little library "An Unexpected Journey." Like Bilbo Baggins, Harry Potter, and even Alice herself, when she tumbled down the rabbit hole, books take the reader on a journey, whether it's to far-flung lands or right around the corner. We encourage all of you to step into a book and let it take you away as well as lead you right back home. And because life itself is full of unexpected journeys, we are dedicating our library to the children and families who find themselves on the difficult road to survivorship after a cancer diagnosis. We hope to raise awareness of childhood cancer and the critical need for research funding, and we invite all of you to help us help these kids reach the destination they all deserve - whole health, happiness, and a bright, limitless future.

We're starting to feel like real pool owners now and have been swimming nearly every day. Our swan, Ron Swanson, was joined last week by his cousin, Juan Swanson, and with the two of them in the pool, there's barely any room for the rest of us! 

We hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day celebration yesterday, and we'll check in later this week with more details about Georgia's upcoming trip to Sewanee! Have a great week!

Monday, June 13, 2016

For Avery

Our hearts are full of love and prayers for peace today for the Driscoll family. Avery passed away this morning, five years after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was one of the brightest lights in Las Vegas - and beyond - and was a tireless advocate for her fellow childhood cancer warriors. I was very fortunate to meet the Driscolls on my last trip to Las Vegas, but we have all been inspired by Avery and following her journey for several years. You can learn more about this amazing young lady here, and donate to the St. Baldrick's Foundation in her name.

Shine on, Fabulous Avery

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Just Keep Swimming

It's National Cancer Survivors Day, and we're so grateful that ours is thriving! I can't tell you how much we want all kids diagnosed with cancer to be celebrating this day, but the truth is, 1 in 5 of them will not survive. That's unacceptable, and the only way we can change those numbers is through research. Please consider a donation today in honor of the survivors in your life or in memory of those who were taken from you. And thank you, as always, for your generous support!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Light Bulb Moment

Recently, Georgia was asked to describe herself as a kind of light. This is what she wrote:

If I were a light, I would be a light bulb. Hear me out - I would be that old light bulb no one knows the wattage of that has a soft, warm glow. It might smell a little funny, or look a little discolored, but you can always count on it to work. I would be the light bulb that you find in the house you grew up in - the one on a pullchain in the exploding closet full of things forgotten over the years. Good things, of course, and happy memories. I would be the light bulb that someone absent-mindedly turns on when looking for something they've lost - the encouraging light guiding them to find what they're searching for. I like to think that I'd be the light that reveals to people all that is good about them and illuminates the goodness in old, forgotten things. I want to be the golden, buzzing light bulb that makes people love themselves and the things that they've done - the light that makes them laugh when they're sad or smile at something they've forgotten when all seems lost. I hope to be the warm, glowing light bulb that someone turns on to ward off the darkness.