Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coming to an end

I can't believe it is coming to an end. Everything we have worked for, fought for, prayed for..she is finally going to be here. It is hard to wrap my mind around that. It has been a whole year of our lives that we have devoted to this journey.

As I sit and feel Kamryn moving around inside me I think back to the first time I met T and F. When I entered their home I entered into a relationship that would be like none other I had entered before. I had to trust that God brought us together and that He was going to work all of this out in His perfect plan. I love looking back for that exact see what He has done in all of this. I look back at all the people I have met, the comments that have been left for me and all of the people who have supported us through all of this and I am in awe. Speechless even at the amount of love that has been shown through all of this. The decision for me to become a surrogate was between Travis and I and yet so many people have stepped up to help us in so many ways. For this, I will be forever grateful. I carried Kamryn but everyone else carried me.

So while this chapter is coming to an end, it is just beginning for T, F and their new addition. I know there will be emotions I am not prepared for nor experienced before but I am so blessed to have the opportunity to watch Kamryn grow and cheer T and F on as they learn their new roles as daddy and mommy. And I will continue to pray for them and for Kamryn and trust that God will continue His work in their lives.

There is so much more to say but the words just aren't right for how I'm feeling. So I will leave you with this...Cheers to an amazing year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

8 more days.. in case anyone else is counting

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post something, because it is on an even week and I would be able to say 1 week to go but I am feeling in a blogger mood right now and I better take advantage. Is that right? A blogger mood? Maybe a blogging mood? Either way, here it is.

Eight more days until we go in after this little lady and bring her into the world. Not exactly how God planned birth to be but with my track record of c-sections it is the safest for myself and Kamryn. So we will enjoy the fact that we get to plan. Kind of... I think it is bad for me to have a date planned. I am very much a procrastinator and I will wait until next Monday to finalize everything. It's my nature to believe I always have more time. And right now I do. I have 8 more days. Eight more days to clean, pack, find sitters for the boys, finish shopping and decorating, go to the grocery store and deliver the rest of the candles that are coming in this week. That's plenty of time. Well, if I really break it down, I tend to have about 3 hours of energy and motivation a day so really I only have 24 hours to get all of that done. Oh well...I still have time.

So as far as the pregnancy, it is going good. Nothing really to report. Kamryn is measuring right on and her heartbeat is strong. She moves around a lot but doesn't keep me up at night. I have had a cold that I can't seem to shake for the past 2 weeks but I think the cough is finally tapering off. That has not been fun but I know the end is near so I am trying to enjoy it. We did have a false alarm that sent me to the hospital but everything was fine and I was just being paranoid. It did scare us all into getting a little more ready. I am enjoying by belly shelf. My bowl of Fruit Loops sits perfectly on my shelf as I shovel the tasty little loops into my mouth. Fruit Loops is my current obsession if you didn't already get that. And yesterday I started cleaning out the maternity clothes from my closet. I know, a little premature but by closet is throwing up clothes and I can barely get in there. Plus I am wearing sweats until I can fit into my old jeans, which I expect to be by Christmas. Ha!! A bit of high expectations, but that is my nature as well. I just want more of an excuse to stay in my sweats.

Well, I think I'm running out of things to ramble about. Hopefully I can post again before Miss Kamryn makes her appearance. I do have things to catch up my big boy turning 5. Now that was a fun pirate party. Until next time...

36 weeks 3 days
(Do I look tired? Because I am. And that blue bra strap keeps ending up in my's the only one that fits)

37 weeks 1 day

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Only 3 more weeks

Can it really be only 3 weeks left until we finally meet Miss Kamryn? I was feeling a bit nostalgic a few weeks back so I went back and read some of my first posts. The one announcing that I met a great family to carry for. Then having to wait for paperwork, test results, etc. The post about our transfer and then getting a positive pregnancy test. Remembering back on the first trimester and how on edge we were just trying to make it into the "safe" zone. The beginning seems so far away and yet when Kamryn arrives we will have only been on this journey for a year. I am so glad that I decided to start a blog because I never want to forget this.

The hours are seeming to pass slow but the days fly by. This has been such an amazing experience but my body is feeling very ready to be done. I do remember that the last few weeks are the hardest. Everything aches, sleep becomes scarce, visiting the bathroom becomes a constant activity, bending down is near impossible and finding energy to do anything is hard to do. But I would do it all over again in a second. A surrogacy journey is something that you can't fully explain in words and unless you've done it it is hard to grasp the full extent of everything that goes into it. And we haven't even gotten to the best part yet.

I go back to the doctor tomorrow and then weekly after that. Hopefully he will start checking to see if there are any changes so we can have a better idea if we can count on her hanging out until the 20th or if we need to expect her to come earlier. This week I am trying to get things finalized and ready so I can feel prepared when she decides to come. Kamryn has yet to do anything on schedule so we need to be ready.

T, F and I have started guessing the size and length of Kamryn. If you would like to join in on the fun, put your guess in the comments section of this post. It will be fun to see who gets the closest. Also, remember that she will be coming at 39 weeks or sooner. Happy guessing!

34 weeks

Thanksgiving Day - 35 weeks 2 days

Monday, November 14, 2011

5 weeks and counting

It is hard to find the motivation to sit down and write a blog post when nothing really is happening except for waiting and the busyness of everyday life. But I owe it to my faithful followers to write something.

I'm sorry this won't be very insightful or very interesting. I'm getting less and less sleep every night and more and more anxious everyday. And with that comes a lack of words. So I will just update you with information and pictures.

I guess it's been 3 weeks now since I've gone to my doctor and officially scheduled our c-section. December 20th at 7:30 am is "supposed" to be the day we finally meet Miss Kamryn. However, we have never been able to schedule anything with this whole pregnancy and I have a sneaky feeling the delivery won't be on schedule either.

T and F have put the nursery together and it is so cute. I can't wait to see little Kamryn in her crib and dressed in all of her cute little clothes.

I think I am having such a hard time finding something to write because all I want is to finally meet her and watch her parents holding her. I want to see this little miracle that has been moving and wiggling around for the past 8 months. I am really struggling with having patience because honestly, the birth part is my favorite part. It has been 4 years of heart break and anticipation for T and F and now we are only 5 weeks away. I really want to enjoy these last few weeks with Kamryn but what I want more is for her to be with her parents. I imagine in my mind what delivery day will be like and I know I'm not even close. God has orchestrated every part of this whole journey and I know delivery day will be just as miraculous when all of his plans finally come to fruition. What a day it will be. Who wouldn't be anxious for a day like that?

So, hopefully I can get a few more posts in before we deliver. I am getting things finished with my businesses and Bible study will be ending so I should find myself with a little more time. As for now...if you pray, please pray for the anxious hearts that surround this journey as we prepare for the birth. Pray for peace that the timing will be perfect and that everything will work out just as it has this last year leading up to this.

Until next time... here are the pictures of my ever increasing belly.

27 weeks 3 days

28 weeks

29 weeks 1 day

30 weeks 3 days

31 weeks 3 days - I was feeling a little under the weather

Happy Halloween

32 weeks 2 days

33 weeks

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baby shower and a guest post from the mommy

I love sleepy little eyes and the boys that stumble down the hall and into my lap for morning cuddles. It is getting increasingly more difficult to hold them in my lap but I move and shift to find a comfortable spot to snuggle them just a little bit longer because this may be the only cuddles I get all day. Then my mind shifts to T and F and in 9 short weeks they will be able to experience their own sleepy cuddles with their precious daughter.

I was honored to have the opportunity to attend the baby shower for F. It was a humbling and overwhelming experience to get to meet all of her family and friends and hear their appreciation for this journey. These are all the people that have walked every step with T and F in their ups and downs in becoming parents. They have cried and rejoiced with them along the way and on Saturday the 8th there were many tears of rejoicing. It was such a blessing to be able to experience that. I couldn't have done it without my awesome sister-in-law Kara who took yet another trip down south with me.

Thank you to all of F's family and friends who showered me with kind words, hugs, appreciation and gifts. This blog has taken me more than a week to try and write because I just don't have the words to express what that day meant to me. It is truly an honor to be walking this journey with all of you and to have the opportunity to be a part of bringing this child into your lives.

I thought it would be really special if F would share her thoughts on her baby shower so I asked her to write something for this blog post. Here are her words:

F, Grandma Nour (F's mother) and me

Hello All and thank you so much for following along with this wonderful journey that we are on. I thought I would tell you all about my dream baby shower:

Some of the beautiful friends who came to celebrate with F

From the minute we walked in the door, seeing all my friends and family, the food, the drinks, the Presents (LOL), and the d├ęcor- it was my dream shower for sure! Shannon my wonderful sister in law outdid herself, it was magical!

Grandma Sue (T's mother), F and Auntie Shannon (T's sister and hostess)

Our theme was Gerber daisies, they just so happen to be Johanna’s and my favorite flower. They always make me smile. As a matter a fact Johanna gave me a Gerber Daisy plant on our 22 week ultrasound trip. I have since planted it in my front yard to remind me of this special journey…

As you can see from all the wonderful photo’s it was a great time for all. It meant the world to me to have Johanna and her sister in law Kara there. It completed the day. I can’t thank Johanna enough for giving us the gift of becoming parents. She is our Angel. She will forever hold a part in our and our daughter’s life. That bond will be so special to KAMRYN SOFIA SNYDER. (As you can see, we have named our daughter.)

Thanks again to everyone who came to my baby shower and made it a day to remember! I love you all and thank you for all the support through the tough years it took to get here. Your love and support helped me to keep going until our dream came true. Johanna and Travis, thank you!

Daddy and I are so excited to meet you, our sweet Kamryn!

Much Love,

Fatima (the mommy)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where's the time

I'm having a really hard time finding time to blog. Especially because I currently live with two little tornadoes. They have the sweetest faces in the world but they can sure make a mess in a hurry. Speaking of which, when I get done, I must clean little pieces of toilet paper out of the tub and clean make-up out of my bathroom sink. One tornado is currently obsessed with toilet paper, especially what happens when it gets wet. The other gets bored during rest time and finds make-up quite enjoyable. I mean, who can blame them? Toilet paper and make-up are both very fun to experiment with.

I used to be able to get stuff done during nap time. Oh, nap are so greatly missed. Hudson has decided that on most days he doesn't want to take a nap. On the days I know he needs one I have to lay with him until he falls asleep which usually leads to me falling asleep next to him. Not that I mind, but then nothing else gets done. The other days, when I don't fall asleep I need to decide between, cleaning up from cute little tornadoes, exercising (which I was actually starting to enjoy), typing cookbooks, working on my Gold Canyon business, Bible study, posting on my blog or starting dinner. And let me tell you, 1-1/2 to 2 hours does not give me time to do much, especially when little ones keep popping out of their rooms.

So today, feel lucky that I chose blogging off my list of things to do.

The pregnancy has been moving along nicely. Then this little girl got a little bored and I started to feel cramping so I decided to head in to the doctor (this past Tuesday) to make sure everything was fine. There is something about carrying a baby that isn't your own that you take even more precautions and pay extra attention to everything. Normally cramps wouldn't have bothered me. I would just consider it normal but this time I wasn't about to just let the feeling go. I promised to take the best care of this little girl while she was with me and I am doing everything I can to keep her safe and cooking for the whole time. The doctor checked me and everything looked good. When he put me on the monitor to check for contractions I was having a couple minor ones, so down to labor and delivery I went. I laid there, on the monitors, for an hour without 1 contraction. Great news! They also ran a lab test that would be able to help determine if I was at risk for preterm labor in the next 2 weeks. It came back negative, so we won't be expecting an appearance in the next 2 weeks. (Sigh of relief).

I think baby girl wanted me to have something to write about because before that I had nothing. I do feel like this third trimester has crept up and hit me out of nowhere. I had been feeling great, having a lot of energy and now I feel like I could sleep most of the day. My motivation is quickly dwindling and I have to sit down and rest more often. I guess I don't really remember this because I worked at a job that I sat most of the day when I was pregnant with my boys. Also, the forgetfulness is driving me crazy!!! I literally will remember to do something and 2 minutes later totally forget. I need to have check lists everywhere. It is getting a little frustrating, probably more so for the people I forget to do things for when I said I would do it.

Disclaimer...If I don't email you or call you back please don't take it personally. I probably forgot. Feel free to bug me though.

And now I just ran out of things to say, so here are a couple updated belly pictures (these are not my favorite, but for the sake of they are.)

25 weeks

26 weeks 2 days

Next up on my boys playing soccer. Just because they are so stinkin' cute in their soccer uniforms. You don't want to miss it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A visit and an ultrasound...with other ramblings of sorts

I haven't been able to post a blog in awhile. I've been busy obsessing about jeans. Yep...obsessing. All I want is one pair of comfortable, cute, flattering jeans to get me through the rest of this pregnancy. Is that so much to ask? I'm thinking it is. Destination maternity was having a Labor Day sale with an additional 40% off all of their sale items. So exciting if you ask a pregnant woman on a budget. So, I looked online and read reviews of how other women liked the jeans that I was interested in. Okay, so I had it narrowed down. Well, I can't tell if they would fit, be comfortable or flattering by looking at them on the extremely skinny models on the computer so I trekked down to Destination Maternity to try some one. Well, of course they wouldn't have the same ones in the store. What was I thinking? The insanity of it all. So I just picked a couple of pairs from the same brand that I liked online and tried them on. Big mistake. Looking at myself in florescent lighting is not my best look. I'd rather use my slanted mirror and terrible lighting at home if I want to feel good about myself. So, I walked out feeling depressed. I should know better by now. I went home and obsessed more about the jeans on the computer. It wouldn't have been such a big deal except that I have to pay return shipping if the jeans don't fit. Who comes up with this madness. There is no way for me to try them on so I just have to guess and check with each item I order. Seriously? Well, it was the last day of the sale and 9:00 at night and I broke down and ordered them, $60.00 for a pair of jeans that I will wear for another 3 months that I don't even know if they will fit. This better be the best pair of jeans I have ever owned. Do you see now why I couldn't post. I was busy!

Did I really just talk about jeans that long? Yep. The important stuff in life.

I added this just because he's so stinkin' cute.

So T and F came for a visit two weekends ago. I can't believe it's been two weekends already. We had a really nice couple of days. They made it here on Saturday and I took them over to meet my awesome but quite large family. We had a nice barbecue with awesome food and a nice time introducing them to everyone. Thank you to all of my family for pitching in to make it a nice evening. We spent all the time talking and finding out about each other. I loved it. T and F were probably a little overwhelmed by the amount of people there but they were champs. We came back to our house to see if they could feel their baby move. Unfortunately she was in a food coma and wouldn't wake up to move around.

The mommy, daddy, baby girl and me.

The cake I had made. It was supposed to have a picture of one of our ultrasounds but thanks Savemart for not coming through.

The next day they were able to go and visit T's family who lives close by. I was glad they had something fun to do because I didn't have anything planned for them. With two little boys it is hard to plan much of anything unless they wanted to go to the zoo in the 104 degree weather and I doubt that is how they wanted to spend their "vacation". So they came over later in the afternoon and I was going to make dinner. This was the first time I'd ever made anything for them and probably the last after how the dinner turned out. I was making this yummy lasagna recipe that I got from my sister-in-law. I had made it a couple times before so I knew it was good but this time I thought I would make it with no-boil noodles so I could spend more time with T and F and less time making dinner. Well, the noodles didn't cook all the way and were still quite crunchy. Fail on my first meal for them! They were gracious enough to tell me it was good. I appreciate that. Maybe I'll stick to baking. Next time we'll have cookies for dinner.

T running around playing tag with the boys.

The next day (Monday) was ultrasound day. This would be their first time seeing their daughter. I had sent them all of the pictures from the previous ultrasounds but now they were getting to see her first hand. We got to the appointment and they took us in almost right away. Way to go Kaiser! The ultrasound tech was so nice. He talked us through everything he was doing and telling us what he was getting pictures of so we could follow. It was so sweet to watch T and F as they watched their daughter on the screen. It is such a blessing to be able to watch their hopes and dreams of a family come true. We all walked out of there on a high. Which was especially good for them since they had to make the 4-1/2 hour drive home. It was a really nice weekend. It took us about a week to recoup from all the preparations and activity but it was memories that won't be forgotten. Now I get to plan my trip down there for F's baby shower. Next up, obsessing over a dress to wear.

Baby Girl - 22 weeks 6 days

The Belly

22 weeks 4 days

F and I getting ready for our ultrasound. This is just going to have to count for my 23 week picture because I didn't get one that week.

24 weeks

Monday, August 22, 2011

22 weeks tomorrow

How does my life fly by so quickly without me even realizing where the days have gone? Having a blog makes me more aware that weeks have passed and I have failed to be intentional with those precious minutes. Everything I want to get done I seem to put off until tomorrow. However, we have been quite busy especially this last weekend trying to get ready for T and F to come and visit. That's right...they are coming to meet my family.

I tend to freak out and go over the top a little when people who have never been to my house are coming for a visit. And so, my list of "honey dos" keeps getting longer. Travis has been so great about working diligently to accomplish my outlandish requests. We are cleaning carpets and couches, washing windows and blinds. Replacing light switches and face plates (that I have wanted to do forever). Painting the garage and trim to match our newly stuccoed house. T and F probably would not have even noticed if they weren't reading my blog but these are things that bug me and even more so with nesting hormones raging through me. I can't let people know I live in a house with dirty carpets. So I talked my parents into purchasing a Rug Doctor and we got to work. And even with my extremely high expectations I think they look good. Now on to planning something for them to do. If anyone has any suggestions of something to do in Fresno on a Sunday afternoon/evening I would appreciate the advice. I am really excited though that they are getting to come to an ultrasound on Monday to see their little girl. I can't wait to see the little one again. It's been a long time.

I did want to show a picture of the new stucco that we are so happy about.

The old

The New

On to the pregnancy. I can't believe twenty two weeks have come and gone. Since making it out of the first trimester this pregnancy has gone so quickly. I feel the baby move more and more everyday and can even see the belly move when she kicks. I realize with this pregnancy there are many things I took for granted when I was pregnant with my boys. Just the mere fact of getting pregnant so easily quickly passed through my mind as an everyday occurrence. I remember a few times feeling so grateful at how blessed we were to be able to conceive our children but not to the extent as I understand it now. Having become a surrogate I have come across so many families who are struggling or who have struggled to become pregnant and it is just heart wrenching to see their pain. It is so unfortunate that some of the most deserving parents cannot have biological children but I guess that is why God has offered other blessings such a surrogacy, adoption and fostering.

I also took for granted feeling my boys move inside my body. I enjoyed the feeling but I never thought about the women who can't. I love feeling this little girl move in a completely different way than I loved feeling my boys. I love the responses I get from T and F when I joke with them and tell them she is going to be a dancer with her long legs that keep kicking me. I love feeling her and knowing she is there and growing stronger everyday.

I took for granted being able to talk to my boys and read to them at night before bed so they would know my voice when they were born. T and F live 4-1/2 hours away and don't have the same opportunity to talk to their little girl. I praise God for technology during this time. I was able to get some Belly Buds that are speakers that attach to the belly. The parents have read stories and recorded songs so their daughter can recognize their voices and favorite soothing songs when she is born. I love playing their stories for her, she wakes up and starts moving around. It is so sweet and I am just so, so grateful for the opportunities to allow them to experience this pregnancy along with me.

I better be going so I can get some more cleaning done but first I would like to post some pictures and introduce....

The Daddy

Mommy and daddy- aren't the gorgeous?? I can't wait to see what their daughter is going to look like.

T and F with their niece. This picture was on their profile and I immediately fell in love with them.

The belly

16 weeks 5 days

17 weeks

18 weeks 3 days

20 weeks

21 weeks

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happy 6th Anniversary!

Today I celebrate 6 years of marriage to the man of my dreams. I don't know how I have been so blessed to have the family I have, the kids I have, the husband I have and the life I have. It is all truly a gift which I am grateful for everyday.

When I first met Travis there was something different about him. He didn't blend in with everyone else. He didn't just go along with what everyone else was doing. He did what he wanted to do. God has taken that incredible gift in Travis and fine tuned it into a man who stands up for his beliefs, his family and his friends. He is a strong leader and provider for our family. He is committed and works hard for the priorities in his life. He is an amazing father to our children and his patience is beyond measure. His humor and smile still melt my heart and I am blessed to live my life with him.

God has changed me too in the course of our 6 years and isn't done yet. He has changed and shaped me into the wife that he has called me to be for Travis. He has calmed my temper and my need for control (still working on both of those). He is still teaching me what it means to be a partner and not just an individual. He is showing me what it means to be loved and to love unconditionally. And for these changes, I am grateful.

I look back over these 6 years and it has been an incredible journey filled with laughter and tears and one I wouldn't change for anything. We are lucky enough to have a house that we have made into our home, 2 beautiful children and another baby that we are blessed to be helping into this world for another family.

In honor of our anniversary I posted our video montage that we made for our wedding. As I watched it again I was reminded of all the people who have encouraged us, supported us and were examples to us. And since we've been married there have been many more rallying behind us and walking through life with us. We are the people we are today because of all of you in our lives. Thank you for coming behind us and being there through the tough times and the joyous times. What an amazing 6 years it has been.

(Just a warning...all together the video is 22 minutes long. Also, scroll down to the bottom and pause the music player so you can hear the songs that go with the montage.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another Home

Tonight I laid with Sawyer and we read his devotional of our second home. We read of the time when Jesus will come and take His children home. It seems as though every time we talk about heaven Sawyer becomes afraid and tells me he doesn't want to go to heaven. He wants to stay here with his family and friends.

I started thinking if I portray heaven the way I should. I tell him how wonderful it will be and that it will be filled with all of the people who know and love Jesus. But to be honest, I am afraid too. Not of how great heaven will be or if I will be there but of who might or might not be standing next to me. My precious children are still a little too young to really grasp who Christ is and why it is that we believe. But as they go through life, will they believe? This isn't a choice we can make for them. We can only share, encourage and pray for our children not just for their salvation but to come to know the wonder of our Savior.

Then I begin thinking of family and friends whom I love so much and I wish, just as Sawyer does, to stay right here. Desperate to hang on to my childrens' innocence, to aging family members and to my current sense of contentment. I don't want waves. I don't want to step out of my comfort zone and say or do something that might get funny looks or even live in a way that some people won't understand. However, we are talking about eternity here. So may I have the strength to read my Bible more, pray more, speak only when necessary and live a life that reflects the hope I have in Christ.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Holy fund raising Batman!

This past month and a half has been a whirlwind of planning events, fund raising and two kids with two different illnesses. I look back and wonder where July went but then I look forward at all that is ahead.

When I found out that Madyn was diagnosed with leukemia my brain went into hyper drive. What can I do, how can I help, how can I fix this? Because my nature tells me that I need to fix all problems that come my way. I need to give advice, wanted or unwanted and I need to fix it. Clearly, this wasn't something I could fix. As much as my heart broke from the news; the heart and smile of a 20 month old brought me back. It is ironic that the ones that are sick are usually the ones who heal the hearts of the grieving when it really should be the other way around.

Once I realized this wasn't something I could fix I knew something I could do was raise money for their family, hoping to take some stress off finances and focus their attention completely on the health of their children. So of course, I went overboard a little. I set up a Gold Canyon fundraiser so anyone who wanted to participate could help collect candle orders. I got together with my sister-in-laws and we decided to do a poker night. Well, that 1 poker night turned into 2 on 2 consecutive nights. Along with that I thought "hey, people would donate money to see me shave my head" so I set a goal of $1500 and if I reached that I would shave my head. I had a lot of people respond that they did not want to give money towards me shaving my head so I changed the rules a bit and allowed everyone who donated to vote if I should shave my head or let it grow and donate it to Locks of Love.

My Strength

I received one donation in the first two weeks and I might not even be able to raise money for them. As the month went on more donations trickled in. I was able to see the names of the people who donated and I was blown away by the people who donated and the amount they generously gave. Most of the people did not even know Madyn or her family and yet they still gave. It was such a blessing and so humbling to see God work in the hearts of the community. It is still hard to believe which is why I am stumbling through this post. I just am left speechless by so much generosity.


I do need to plug my business for just a minute not because of the business itself but because of the heart behind Gold Canyon. They do have a wonderful fundraising program that we were able to raise $350 for the Frazier family just by selling candles but that is not the most important part. When the founders of Gold Canyon, Curt and Karen Waisath started the company they said that if it was successful they were going to give back in some way. They started in 2000 an organization called The Prayer Child Foundation. In each catalog there are three or four specific Candles for Kids candles where 100% of the profits go to the Prayer Child Foundation as well as a percentage of all Gold Canyon's annual sales. Since they started the foundation they have given over $2.4 million to help children in need. When I heard about Madyn, I immediately sent in a grant request to the Prayer Child Foundation. During the second week in July I received a check in the mail made payable to Madyn in the amount of $500.00 from the Prayer Child Foundation. I just feel so honored to be part of a company with such a huge heart. I want to share this mostly to thank anyone who has ever purchased Gold Canyon products. You are a part of something bigger.

Well all of a sudden it was the week before our 2 poker nights and I realized I hadn't really planned anything. Sawyer had come down with walking pneumonia and I wasn't prepared. Luckily I have the best family in the whole world. My sister-in-laws had already planned and gotten everything ready for both nights. I basically showed up and enjoyed the festivities. We had about 20 people show up to each night to play poker and support the Frazier family including my amazing brothers and their wives. I just cannot say enough about how much my family stepped up and supported my vision helping every step of the way. I haven't really mentioned Travis in this but it is only because we were one in this. Together we dreamed of how we could help and together we worked to make that dream a reality.

My brother Jason and his wife Jill

My brother Jim and his wife Janelle along with a long time family friend J-Mac.

My brother Jeff and his wife Kara.

The weekend of the poker tournaments Hudson came down with a fever and it turned out to be an ear infection so needless to say, we were exhausted. We spent the next week recouping and getting ready for the "main event." The night I would shave my head if there were enough votes, but mainly to present the family with the money that had been raised over the past month and a half. My sister-in-law, Kara and her parents decided they wanted to do a yard sale that Saturday the 30th and they were going to donate whatever they made to Madyn. So, we threw it all together and made it happen. Let me just was hot but well worth it.

Finally, it was the donation night. The morning started off with rain and thunder which lead to a very humid day. People came and sweated outside for a few hours but never complained. As I started my speech I became emotional thinking back over the last month and a half and everything we had accomplished. I made a list of all who donated, sold candles and/or participated in the poker nights to give to the Frazier family and was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came together. Their family has said thank you to Travis and I but really it wasn't us. We offered the opportunity for people to get involved and they did. It was clearly a work of God moving in his children to help this family.

I was proud to present to them a total of $4,535.00 and the donations keep coming in. I just received yesterday a package from my sweet friend Annie who lives down south over $300 in donations. Another dear friend, Helen, hosted an online auction that also raised over $300. This is what living is about. Not living for ourselves or our personal gain but taking on the burdens of others and coming alongside them. Thank you does not seem like enough but it is the only thing I can really say. Thank you to all who helped to make this so successful. You will be blessed by our God for the blessings you have given to another. And...I get to keep my hair.