So why did the blog change?


Thought I'd spice up this post with pictures from our visit to Dream Night at Hogle Zoo, courtesy of HopeKids. Patrick asked me to get out my camera in the seal-viewing area and struck this pose.
Thought I’d spice up this post with pictures from our visit to Dream Night at Hogle Zoo, courtesy of HopeKids. Patrick asked me to get out my camera in the seal-viewing area and struck this pose.

Thank you so much for your patience with the transition over to the new blog page. I see that some of you have already made it along with e-mail subscriptions and all. I added a new subscription for anyone who had been subscribed to You should have gotten an e-mail from WordPress prompting you to confirm. If you got it right, then you got a notification of this post in your e-mail.

Anyway, I’ve been asked a few times a question that I want to clarify. Some people are wondering if the switch means that we are no longer fundraising with COTA.

The answer is, OF COURSE we are still working with COTA. They have been a wonderful support to us. We’ve raised $21,921.81 so far which is AMAZING! And they have still been an amazing resource for us. I can’t even put into words how kind and concerned they are every time I talk to them.

So why the change?

A couple of weeks ago, a COTA representative called me because the website domain was up for renewal. It has been 4 years since we started fundraising. Can you believe that? 4 YEARS!

4 years ago, COTA asked me to move our blog onto their web platform and servers so that they could help us make sure that our online fundraising presence followed all of the rules and regulations required by the 501(c)3 status. 4 years ago, we had a committee planning monthly fundraising events. We were new and required a lot of supervision.


But now, well, we’ve been at this for some time. We’re a little more seasoned. We don’t need someone to screen all the posts to make sure we got the verbiage for fundraising right. Our campaign has gotten smaller and a little less busy.

And so, we can follow a little bit more lenient set of rules. My personal blog no longer is required to be hosted on their servers.

If you remember, back in the day when I had time for personal hobbies, I was dabbling quite a bit in graphic and web design. I have been itching for years to get control of my own blog design back. To get features like tagging and categories and an automatic Facebook and Twitter feed. (And a smoother CMS to work with so that posting blogs would feel like less of a chore and I’d do it more often.) I am thrilled to have the option to post pictures and quick blog entries from an app in my phone. I think I’ll do a better job sharing with you more often. And, as icing on the cake, I could save COTA the cost of maintaining my domain and hosting so that that annual fee could go to helping another family with their transplant expenses.


So, long story short, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been backing up this blog for the past couple of years, but I decided to take advantage of having to sit up half the night waiting to give antibiotic doses and get the rest of the blog moved. Pulled it off in just a matter of days.

And here we are.

We have not given up on COTA and they have not given up on us. You can still make donations through the links on the top right-hand side of the page. We are still collecting used cell phones and ink and toner cartridges and other assorted electronic devices. And we are still open to putting together big fundraising events, if you have any great ideas. In fact, I’m thinking maybe it’s time for a new batch of “Got Guts?” shirts, since we’ve got a new domain. (That project may take me days, or weeks, or months.. but it’s in my little head.)

And I am SO VERY excited to be able to continue to share the story of our journey with you at this, our new blogging home.

If you haven’t subscribed already, there’s a box in the sidebar on the right.

Or you can follow the twitter feed at

Or the facebook page at

Thanks to all who helped with Produce for Patrick

Last Saturday, friends, neighbors and family put together a produce stand in Patrick’s behalf.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all those who helped to make this event a HUGE success. Over $500 was raised in that day as generous people came to buy the fruits and veggies that had been donated. There was an amazing outpouring of generosity from loved ones and strangers alike in donations from 25 cents for a cup of lemonade to far more than the value of the fruits and veggies taken home.

Thanks to Tifanie who had this idea and spent countless hours talking to neighbors and picking fruits and veggies to make this stand a reality. Thanks to Kari, Amber, Jill, and others who gave time to help in gathering the donated harvest. Thanks especially to those who offered the surplus from their gardens and fruit trees.

Thanks to my friends and family who helped in the planning, setup, and manning of the stand, especially to Mom and Jill who’ve put so much work into pulling together our COTA campaign.

Thanks to Chris and Bella and the other kids who helped with the lemonade stand and tenaciously tried to sell a cup to anyone and everyone who arrived at the stand.

And finally thanks to those people who came out of their way to buy from our stand and to strangers who saw it driving by and stopped. We wondered going into this if anyone would stop and buy fruit from a stand that was only there for a day. We were overwhelmed by the response.

I’m hoping that some of the people who were there will share their experiences here on this blog. It was definitely a day to be remembered.

This little stand gave us hope and got us excited for what the days ahead. I can’t wait to see what other little miracles are in store.

Thank You

Before I say anything else in this blog, I need to begin by saying THANK YOU! Since we made the decision to adopt Patrick we have been overwhelmed by the show of generosity and support from everyone we know – and many we don’t. We’ve been the recipients of countless kindnesses and gifts including clothes, toys, blankets, and help with other baby needs for Patrick, help with meals, household chores, yardwork, and even completely redoing a room to be a nursery. You’ve been the listening ears, the helping hands, the friendly smiles, and the shoulders to cry on as we’ve gone through all this journey has taken us through over the past several months.

Some of the kind gestures are small things you may not remember and others have come at great personal sacrifice.

Raising Patrick, helping him grow in both body and spirit, making whatever time he has on this earth the very best it can be, and giving him every opportunity to live as long as he can… is the type of endeavor that requires an army of willing volunteers… and we are grateful to all of you who have joined in that effort. You have lightened our load. And you have bettered his life.

Amazingly, with all you do, I’m always being asked what more you can do.

So, for those of you who want something else… we are working now to raise money to cover expenses above and beyond what our insurance and savings can provide. On this website, you’ll find ideas or ways you can help – whether with a monetary donation or a few minutes of your time. My mom is our campaign coordinator and she can also help to point you in the right direction.