Sunday, April 17, 2016

March for Babies 2016

We had a very successful 2016 March For Babies walk this past weekend!!! First and foremost - THANK YOU for sharing our page and for donating! Together, so far, we have raised just under $700!! If you didn't donate and want to, it's not too late! Click the "March for Babies, March of Dimes" icon you see on the right of the screen and then on the orange "Donate" button.
This was one of our smallest teams to walk but we still had a blast! I felt like we had a lot working against us this year but we prevailed! First of all, I was super worried about our ability to complete the 5 mile walk. The quads, now 7 and all just a tad shy of 50lbs are getting too big and heavy for the infamous choo-choo wagon. I knew they wouldn't be able to walk the 5 miles all on foot and I knew we wouldn't be able to pull them the entire way either! Keeping with tradition, we committed to doing it one way or another!  My anxiety about completeing the walk with all of the kids intensified when Bret called from work on Friday afternoon and told me he had been hit with the stomach bug that has plagued so many in our area. I could not believe it. After discussing the situation over with Bethany and our other team members, we decided we would still march on without Bret, again, making it happen one way or another! Lastly, North Texas had some very damaging hail storms last week and the weather radar showed possibilities of more storms on Saturday for the Dallas area, because of this, just over half of our walkers opted to play it safe and stay home.
The 18 of us who walked were armed with a couple dozen umbrellas, panchos and ziplock bags and we were prepared to get wet. Despite the dark clouds that filled the sky, not a drop of rain fell during the walk!

Our little Quadlings... Kylee, Korbin, Baxlyn and Brody
I absolutely loved our shirts this year! Special thanks to Amy Horton for bringing my idea to life and to Prosper Marketing for graciously donating our shirts so that we can walk in style!
7 of the 12 kiddos who walked/rode!
Broman. Ugh, this sweet, talkative guy!
Alright yall, if you know Kylee, you know this is HUGE! She's made big progress with characters over the past few months! Mention the name "Chuck E Cheese" and she'll run for the hills, but she's making progress ;)
Luke, bless his heart. I think he had the best set up in his cute little wagon!
The Pemberton Family, seriously one of the sweetest families I know! We are so happy they're committed to walk with us each year in honor of our quads and their 5 year old triplet girls born at 30 weeks...
Not having any other option, we brought our 5 car choo-choo along so that the kids would have the ability to ride as they needed. At any given time we would have 2-4 kiddos loaded down in it and it actually wasn't that bad. Don't get me wrong there were plenty times I could be seen covered in sweat panting like a dog, bit it wasn't AS BAD as I had imagined! I was reallllllly hoping all the pulling would pay off and I'd wake up with buns of steel the morning after, but nope!
  The kids did PHENOMENAL! Thankfully, they all walked (and ran!) a lot more than I had imagined they would. We didn't have any tears or complaining from any of them. Brody & Kylee, who struggle a bit physically, had to have walked a good 2+ miles. Kylee was limping towards the end but she didn't complain one time and did a great job at keeping up. Seriously, I couldn't be more proud! We walked along side a grandpa at one point and he told me "you know, I've been watching you guys at the walk since you started when they were babies, it's just amazing to see them and how far they've come each year."
The littles lined up during one of our snack breaks...
Baxlyn holding the quads' Path of Hope sign...
Reagan and Cyndi - Thanks for participating, pretty ladies!
I love seeing all of the Path of Hope signs that are displayed throughout the 5 mile walk. Seeing signs in honor of babies like my own and other survivors as well as signs that are in memory of angel babies is a great reminder of why we walk each year. 
This sign in particular, stopped me in my tracks...
I stopped and showed the kids I had with me at that point during the walk and explained to them that THIS is why we walk. It's hard to tell the size of premature babies in pictures but when an infant is lying in the palm of his mother's hand, there's no question as to just how tiny they're born sometimes. My own babies may have a handful of challenges, they may be weaker than many, they may walk slow...but they're here to walk. For that I am so thankful.

It was right about noon that our team crossed the finish line together. We were very close, if not last to finish but we finished! Thank you to all who walked. Thank you for all who were unable to walk but supported our team in other ways. Thank you to all who read my daily status updates on facebook asking for support and didn't unfriend me! Thank you to all who shared our fundraising page and to those of you who donated to this cause that is so close to my heart. Together, we all had a hand in making a difference and helped get one step closer to being able to give all babies a healthy start at life!

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