Sunday, October 28, 2007

Baseball

I grew up with a baseball game constantly on in the background. Even when my sister and I somehow miraculously convinced our parents to have "Family Fun Night" (which usually ended in us playing a 3 hour game of monopoly, full of tears and yelling) there was a game on in the next room over, volume up to the max so my dad could "keep up on the score". When my parents divorced, it was us three girls without my dad constantly needing control of the television. I found myself in the basement late one night when I was about 15, and I was flipping through the channels. I was falling asleep, and stopped on ESPN - a baseball game - and the sounds of the game.. the cheering, the crack of the bat, the articulate announcers, put me right to sleep.

I've never really been into the whole Yankees/Boston duel that is forever ongoing. Whenever my dad was watching a game that wasn't the Orioles, I'd ask who he was rooting for, and his response was always, "the underdog". I'd nod in agreement, even before I really understood what it meant to be an underdog. That being said, whenever NY was playing Boston, my dad would be rooting for the Sox. I never saw them play, and never knew that much about them until I got to college and met Suzi Meconi, who is the most die hard Boston fan I have ever met in my life. She introduced me to Boston, not only as a team, but the foundation that they're built on. Their official charity is The Jimmy Fund, which has brought in over $400,000,000 towards Pediatric Cancer since it's original founding. The Jimmy Fund is in connection to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and their pediatric cancer center. The Red Sox- players, coaches, managers, and even team owners - are constantly involved in fundraisers and visiting the hospital in Boston to hang out with the kids. It's been widely stated that most of them do it in their own free time, and not when they're involved in publicity engagements. I think that's respectable.

Not to say that the Yankees don't support great causes.. or any other MLB team. It's just that this one seems special - the Jimmy Fund has been around for over 50 years. And also, this is not to say that the team who supports the best cause (or what happens to be my favorite cause) is the best baseball team.

I'm just saying, I wouldn't mind if the Boston Red Sox won the World Series (and at this moment, they're 1 inning away from clinching it!)

I'll post some pictures of the Halloween party tomorrow.
Love everywhere (including the Red Sox Nation..)
Kristen

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

AMAZING.

Thanks to Gill Looney for bringing this to my attention. This video is absolutely brilliant.. it deserves your 4 minutes and 23 seconds..

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Updates.

Hello All.

Just an update on some of the families that I read about every day.

Unfortunately, there's just not a lot of good news going around. If you remember the Loneliest Road campaign, of those 7 fathers, three of their children have received the worst possible news. Please keep these families in your hopes and prayers, that these children may be in the least amount of pain, and that they maintain stable disease as long as possible.

Grace Oughton

Grace relapsed awhile ago, but recently her prognosis became extremely poor. Her abdomen was described by her doctor as "a mess" and she has been sent home to hospice. Her parents wrote on her website, "If Grace is to die of cancer, we want her at our home, in our bed." This breaks my heart, this little girl is beautiful and has fought so hard. Her website is here: www.savegrace.com

Marissa Monroe

Marissa was NED, and on antibodies (3f8), however, she HAMA'd recently, and unfortunately, a few days later, her family learned that she had relapsed. With this relapse comes a new chemo regimen. This little girl has a lot of fight left in her, please keep her in your hearts. It seems that when relapse happens, the families hope and pray for an answer that will "buy time" until something new comes around that may save the life of their child. Marissa's website is here: Marissa

Jack Brown

This little boy is from England... he received his chemo and transplants in England, and then his family raised $350,000 to come to NY so that he could treat at MSKCC and receive the 3f8 antibodies. While he was here, he relapsed. He just flew home to England, as he has run out of options. In the words of Jack himself, "I just want to be at home." Jack's website: www.jackbrownappeal.org


The other Loneliest Road children are all undergoing treatment, and dealing with their own scans, tests, and chemo. All of them can be found at the Loneliest Road website.

One other bit of news - beautiful Lucas Tran gained his wings a few days ago. His father was a founding member of Band of Parents, a new group of parents who are willing to go to almost any measure to get their children the care that they need, that the government refuses to provide.
Lucas Tran

Lucas and his mommy. Visit his website here.


Finally, as always, please PLEASE keep Katie Krize in your hearts. I feel a really special connection with her, even though I have never met her. She is the very first child that I knew other than Liam who has NB. She was in a state of relapse while Liam was treated and passed away, and sadly she relapsed over a year ago.. I was devastated. Once again, Katie is at odds with this monster, but she fights each day and Em and I keep up on her very regularly. (She also sent me mail while I was at H**ver.. so that instantly made her one of my favorite people!!)
Katie Krize

Please visit her website, and leave her some LOVE!

Please keep all of these families in your thoughts, and remember that there are always struggles going on all around you, even ones you may not be aware of.
Love everywhere,
Kristen

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today is my half birthday.

CNN right now is showing live, the Dalai Lama speaking on Capitol Hill. It's the ceremony in which he is accepting the Congressional Gold Medal. He's struggling his way through the speech because he wants so badly to do it in English, but he's making great light of the situation, lightly joking as he struggles through words like "Pelosi" and "Personable" and "intolerable".. Kind of funny - He just thanked President Bush for his kind friendship, and Bush just giggled, his face turned red, and he smiled this ridiculous goofy smile - not looking the D.L. in the face, but looking out into the crowd. He then thanked "Madam Speaker" (haha) for her support of Tibet and for her excellent representative skils, and she smiled, and gave one long nod and said, "Thank you". I'm glad someone knows how to treat one of the smartest, hardest working individuals on the planet. Bush's reactions tend to be so rude sometimes.

Anyway! So last weekend was fall break, and it was FABULOUS! I didn't want it to end! It started out with driving to Richmond, VA on Thursday night, where we stopped to stay at a hotel - a first for us. We are usually "marathoners" - we drive the whole thing all the way through. But we decided to treat ourselves to a night at the Hampton Inn (thanks Mr. Galbraith!) which was really actually pretty fun, the bed was HUGE! The only negative part was that Syd was forbidden to come into the hotel haha, so we made her up a really comfy bed in the car, and put one of Em's sweatshirts on her to keep her warm. I was really worried about her all night, but as you can see from the picture, she had a great night!
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Friday we arrived into Wilmington and we drove to West Chester University in W.C., PA to pick up my sister/see her dorm, which was great! Friday night my mom took us to Red Lobster, which I haven't been to in years - it was great =) Saturday we went to the Mutter Museum in Philly, which is this great museum that is full of medical anomalies and is used to teach the human anatomy. There is this collection of skulls from around the world, so you can see the differences, and there's a TON of scary looking this submersed in jars (conjoined twins, babies born with ALL SORTS of disformities. (is that a word? because blogger is telling me it's not haha). Anyways, after the Mutter museum, we switched gears and met up with my dad (luckily, Kels was with us to help buffer the awkwardness) and he took us to Charcoal Pit for dinner. After dinner he dropped the three of us off, and we went to see a movie with my mom - The Heartbreak Kid .. it was really funny, as long as you're not one of those people who needs movies to be extremely realistic. It was definitely worth the money, lots of good laughs.

Sunday morning we left DE and headed to Philly to meet up with Em's best friend Lindsey. She took us to this great place for lunch, and I had an excellent tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad. Yum, then we went to the AIA bookshop, which had the coolest stuff ever. I need to go back there at some point because I already have a birthday present picked out for a certain someone :D It was great to see Lindsey, and her pooches (sorry again, about the accident in the apartment!!) but we had to get going because Em's family had a big dinner Sunday night. Em's parents recently returned from China, so we heard all about that and everything else that's been up. Mrs. Galbraith bought me this beautiful Love Ball from China - I guess the story is that the girls used to make them (they're beautiful, and very ornate) and give them to the boy, and if the boy wrote her a love note back, then they were to be engaged. Cute =)

Monday was another great day, minus the part when we went to the DMV and sat for over an hour. Monday afternoon BEAKER JEAN met us at Target, and her and I went to Starbucks for coffee and catch up... it was sooooo nice to see her. She came to dinner with us and Em's parents, and then afterwards we went back to Em's and played around with her brother's Wii. (Beaks was the best at golf.. let me just say ;-)

Tuesday morning we woke up, drove home, had a tiny mishap that set us back, and arrived home after 13 hours on the road. We saw this sunset coming into Greensboro, and the picture, of course, does it absolutely NO justice. Sorry that it's blurry, but it kind of shows how the sky looked like it was exploding red and orange!
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Enough for now.
Love everywhere,
Kristen Nicole

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Rainbows and Dancing..


Em and I saw this rainbow yesterday on Pisgah Church
Rd. I had to snap a picture, because it made me really
happy.

I haven't updated anything but pictures in awhile... so I thought I'd stop by and talk about something besides pictures =)

Em and I are coming home next weekend. It's fall break, and it seems that fall break in the past has been a sad time for me. My first fall break was the last time that I was honored to be in the presense of sweet Liam. We visited him at A. I DuPont hospital. He was walking, talking, and looking great. Last year for fall break I went home and went to Steenstock, which was fun, but just hard all around - for everyone I think. Hopefully, this fall break will be a little less depressing =) We plan on going to Wilmington first, for Friday and Saturday, then Sunday morning drive to Chatham and spend Sunday and Monday in NJ. We'll drive back Tuesday. If you're in the Wilmington/Northern NJ area and want to see us, then let us know!!

Katie Krize, a sweet neuroblastoma fighter from South Carolina, has recieved the worst news ... they are out of options for her. Basically, she is going to start a chemo regimen that hopefully won't knock down her platelets too badly, and that way she may be eligible for some sort of clinical trial that will buy her time. Katie is SUCH a cool girl. She's in 8th grade, and she sent Em and I sweet letters all summer! We sent her letters too, and meant to send her a H**ver tshirt, but we forgot at the end of the summer. We play Clemson in a few weeks, so we're thinking about maybe heading over to meet her and give her hugs in person that weekend. She has fought for EIGHT YEARS total. The only way I even found out about her was because her website was in the "Hope" section of Liam's website... she was in remission then. She relapsed a few months after Liam passed away... such a shame. This cancer is such a monster, and I will never stop doing whatever I can to help fight it.

On a happier note (and there usually has to be a happier note with my entries, sorry!!), if you haven't seen the disney movie Cars, then go rent/buy it!! It's brilliant, I love how clever the screenplay writers were. It's one of those movies that is hilarious for kids, but even more so for adults at times because it's so funny. Ex: Lightning McQueen: "Doc won three Piston Cups!" Tow-Mater, discretely: "He did what in his cup?"

I'll leave you with this video of my little cousins...Coulby and Emma. If you remember, I went on vacation with them after Christmas last year at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. It is totally worth watching!!!!


video

Love everywhere,
Kristen

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

1 year of happiness.


Big Dorks... in Florida at Em's Aunt Ginny's house,
playing with a really sweet blow up croc.


Today marks one year of Em and I dating - and I can honestly and happily report that we are just as happy as we were when we started dating :) This is a first for me- I've never made it an entire year dating someone. So cheers to us!

To love!
-Kristen