Sunday, February 27, 2011

St. Baldrick's 2011

Well, everyone, it’s that time of year again: Hair will be flying and scalps will be showing as Eamonn, Declan AND the Mighty Finn go bald to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation whose mission is to conquer kids’ cancer.

We are grateful for your continued support over the years. Recently, we have been in contact with a family whose son was diagnosed with the same kind of cancer Finn had. It has been a painful and important reminder that the battle to find a cure is not over. Not even close. Every day—every hour—a family’s world is changing forever as they hear: “Your child has cancer.”

A few days ago, I was writing an e-mail to Declan’s hockey team, many of whom will be shaving their heads for St. Baldrick’s as well. They wanted to know more about Finn’s journey. I was wrapping up the e-mail and I typed the words, “In 2012, after 5 years of clean blood work, Finn will be declared cancer free.” Just by writing that, my eyes filled with tears. So much has happened since April 7, 2004, the day Finn was diagnosed, to bring us to this place where we are today. Did I ever imagine on April 7, 2004, that I’d be watching Finn play hockey so aggressively he’d get sent to the penalty box? Did I think I’d ever watch Finn fly down a mountain in front of me going Mach 2 and yelling “Woo Hoo!” as he goes? I barely dared to think about it, but today, that is reality and we are so grateful. Beyond grateful even. All of you were there for us at that very difficult time; we couldn’t have done it without you.

So now, we’ve got our hands out on behalf of St. Baldrick’s again. The economy still isn’t the greatest—we know this. We also know that you have other charities you support and are a part of. However, if you are so inclined to contribute this year, be it $5, $10, $100, it would be so appreciated. Links are below. You can donate to Team Mighty Finn as a whole, or you can sponsor Finn, Declan or Eamonn on their own. It all goes to the same great place—funding for pediatric cancer research.

Our local event is scheduled for Saturday, March 12, from 1 – 5 p.m., so if you live in the Eagle area, come hang out and join the fun!

Team Mighty Finn

Finn’s Page

Declan’s Page

Eamonn’s Page

As always, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Natalie, Eamonn, Declan and, of course, The Mighty Finn!

Check out the guys shaving in 2010. (This year, Eamonn and Finn will shave LIVE on Vail’s TV8 on Thursday, March 10, at 9:12am. The five people who get that channel should tune in to watch…)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

They Did it Again

I swear, this is the Little Team that Could

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Which of These Things is Not Like the Other?

Take a look and see if you can figure it out...

I know! Who's that totally tall dude who is, we estimate, a foot taller than any of us!?

That's Bigfoot! I'm not going to put his real name on here because his mom, M, has been so careful to protect her family's identities on the Internet all these years (unlike me).

Anyway, M's daughter and Finn had the same type of cancer and we "met," as often happens, through various and sundry Caringbridge pages oh so many years ago. And Postcard Cindy (who we called Cindy from Sonoma) also played a role :). Crazy how the Internet works, isn't it?

So, M's son, who is known on M's blog as Bigfoot, goes to college in Colorado and came to meet us because we are near his school at a hockey tournament this weekend.

Finn couldn't get over how tall Bigfoot is. I couldn't get over how tall he is. Funny story: I told Bigfoot to call me when he got to the rink so he wouldn't have to pay. He called, I couldn't get signal. So I ran down one set of steps while he walked up a different set of steps. I got to the entrance area and he wasn't there. I asked the guy at the front, "Did a really tall guy just come through here?" The guy laughed. "He went that way," and motioned up the other steps. M had said, "You can't miss him," and she was right.

Thank you M and Bigfoot! Truly, what a great kid. Now we just need to meet M...

So we've been at this tournament since Thursday. We drove here in a snowstorm, of course. Thursday was Eamonn's birthday. He left the house and ended up in a ditch in his work van. He couldn't even get to the house he was supposed to be working at, so he came home early, ready to head out of town. I was there, still in my sweats, trying to finish work and discovering that the dryer didn't work. We had to take a load over to our neighbor's. And of course, it was a load that included my underwear. Nice. They're great friends and neighbors, but I feel we may have breached some sort of ettiquette by putting my undies in their dryer. I may have to gift them with something spectacular to get past this.

This tournament is long. The boys played twice on Friday and then once each day since. They have won all of their games, so we will stay for the final tomorrow. I enjoy eating out every once in awhile, but this is a long time. To make up for it, I have been going to exercise to my DVDs in a hotel conference room set aside for all of the hockey teams to hang out and play knee hockey. This morning, even though I was in there by 5am, I was discovered by some hotel workers who were coming in to clean. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really dig having other people watch me leap around while I'm exercising. Fortunately, I was almost finished, but had they been 5 minutes earlier, they would have seen me jab, cross, hook, upper cutting my way through Chalene Johnson's TurboFire. I've seen my reflection in the windows at home. I'm not exactly coordinated looking.


So the fact that the hockey games have been really spread out have allowed us to do some siteseeing around Colorado Springs. Yesterday, we toured the Olympic Training Center here. Eamonn and I were blubbering our way through one of the videos they show featuring the para-Olympians. Very inspiring and touching.

Today we toured the Air Force Academy. I can pretty much rest assured that the boys don't have that school in their sights after watching the video about what the cadets go through!

A few pics of our weekend so far...

Eamonn's friend, Craig, who is on the wall of Olympic athletes. We were talking about how we'd never find his picture (they're not alphabetical or anything) and we were standing right in front of him.

Bobsledding on a slightly slower surface.

Declan in front of a goalie cut out on the Olympic Training Center tour.

Air Force Academy Chapel.

Inside the chapel.

I think the most exciting thing for the boys at the Air Force Academy was discovering there is a Subway in the visitor's center.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'd Better End Up in a Really Nice Nursing Home

February is usually a quieter work month for me. Every other month, I'm kind of slammed and so starting last week, things should have calmed down a little bit. They didn't. Therefore, I haven't posted.

So there's my excuse for being an absentee blogger.

Last Saturday, Finn's hockey team was invited to play in between periods at the Colorado Avalanche game (NHL hockey). How fun would that be to be 7 or 8 years old and play on NHL ice in front of thousands of people? Of course we were going.

And of course, we woke up to snow.

Although the rest of you are getting hammered this winter and even though the ski resorts are swimming in snow, in our town, we have not had snow other than a random dusting here and there. Not even enough to get the snowplows out. It has been very, very unusual.

But since we had to drive to Denver and be there at a specific time, of course, it snowed. A lot.

Normally, the drive to the Pepsi Center would take right around 2 hours. The journey there took about 3 1/2 hours. The journey home took about 4 1/2 hours. Possibly more. I think I blacked out for much of the drive. And by drive, I mean driving about 1 mph for several hours. No lie.

And that wasn't even the longest amount of time it has taken me to get home from Denver. Dec. 30, 2006, holds that record at 6 hours. It's a record I hope I never break.

Anyway, we made it, the kids skated, and it was very cool. I hope they appreciate it when they're older because other than one family, I think the whole team made it.

A few pics. I realize the kids look like aemoebas down there. We were literally in the top row of the Pepsi Center. Top row. The nose-bleediest seats you can get. Great for watching hockey, not great for taking pictures. If you click on the pictures, you'll see bigger versions. I think.

Finn is in a gray jersey and is wearing white socks with two small blue stripes on either side of a bigger red stripe (thank goodness for those Columbus Blue Jackets socks--they have helped me ID my kids from afar many times). In this pictures, he's right by the "R" in Pepsi CenteR.

In this one, he's right next to the rectangle that says Chipotle.

Here his left skate is nearly on the circle.

He's about to cross the blue line...

The boys in our top row seats.

Long, fun day. I didn't get to eat at Smashburger on the way home though. I guess we can't have it all.