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Milestones and New Directions

     Well, it is the end of Lolo's Birthday...month!  The girl is now 12 and currently all is right with the world.  She had her bday on March 7th, but it has been such a busy month, I didn't get a chance to tell about her celebration.  We had a suprise party for her because her party plans were just getting downright nutty.  It was going to be a sleepover weekend because she couldn't decide which friends to invite, so she divided them in half.  I didn't think I could bear one night of a sleepover, let alone two, so I had to get this thing under control.  She kept asking friends what their plans would be on the 7th, a Friday night.  But, I had arranged for a dozen of her close buddies to ride out and set themselves up at Kobe Steak House (the Omaha version of Benihana's for my So Cal friends) to be ready to suprise Lolo.  She was bummed because all her friends seemed "busy" and it was only going to be family to help her celebrate.  At 12, we are 2nd class citizens to the ultra cool "friends."  So, we shopped with me while Phil and my friend, Kim, drove all the little girls out and got them ready for the big unveil.  Lauren and I pulled up to the restaurant and I told her Dad was going to text me when the table was ready.  She thought it was weird sititng in the car, but I assured her it was so busy there was no where to sit.  We talked about funny you tube videos and chit chatted.  When we walked in she was so surprised!  I knew many of the girls would not be able to keep a secret, so I asked some of the moms to just wait and tell their daughters right before the party.  It was very fun.  The girls loved the food and had such great manners, I would take them back anytime.  Jonathan was a great sport to dine with 12 12 year olds.  He has earned points in heaven for being a part of it all.  I do owe my friend, Kim, many points also for encouraging me to ride home alone with my son, so that we could visit, while she packed her car, along with Phil for the long ride back to our house for some cake.  The cake was awesome!  It was from The Cake Box and had a very cool giraffe print around the side and had Lauren's original artwork of the Eiffel Tower on the cake.  This is the same artwork that will be auctioned off on Holy Thursday at the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society's big fundraiser.
     Speaking of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:  Tomorrow is Casual Day at St. Margaret Mary's School.  All the proceeds go to the LLS with Lauren as the honored hero.  She has raised close to $7K, I think for the LLS.  If she raises $50K, a study will be named after her to help fight Leukemia.  If anyone would like to donate to the LLS with Lauren as their honored hero, please send checks to :  Leukemia & Lymphoma Society-Pennies for Patients (Put Lauren Hacker-honored hero in memo line).   You can send it directly to the LLS: 
12100 W. Center Road Building 1, Suite 202
Omaha, NE 68144
This is such a fantastic cause!  Someday I hope to see a cure for leukemia.  It would make my heart sing to know other families do not have to be devastated by this illness.  Plus, it would be such a blessing to actually have Lauren CURED.....remission is good, but a cure would be a dream come true! 
     In the meantime, we are truly grateful to have celebrated #12 with our sweet girl. Her big gift was a fancy giraffe chair from Pier One Imports for her cool new bedroom.  I am going to put some pictures together to show her finally finished bedroom.  So many people contributed things for her bedroom.  It is so snazzy and is such a retreat compared to her hospital room.  She likes to spend a lot of time up there having some privacy and her own space to dream and create.  She is in her elements surrounded by violet, giraffes, and Taylor Swift playing in the background. 
     With Easter just around the corner, and this long, cold winter finally ending, we have a lot of fun to look forward to.  Lo and I are so excited to start planting some flowers next month.  Our bulbs are starting to peak through.  Lauren is excited to get her mower out and start getting the yard done.  I told her she has a few weeks yet.  This year, we are going all out on our garden. So, if you need cucumbers, spinach, or tomatoes, you know where to come.
     I do have a couple of things to clear up.  I have been getting emails asking if I am going back to my old job at St Robert's School.  The position is open and it seems logical, but no, I am not returning.  Sometimes, you just can't go back, you have to go forward.  I will talk about that in a few more weeks. 
     And....another clarification.  I keep getting people that ask me about the negative feedback I got from my blog on CaringBridge.  I wasn't that clear about that and it has mislead some people.  Lauren's story has reached more than 4,000+ people and has 110,000+ hits.  Lo is inspiring and the presence of miracles and grace is apparent.  To date, I have received more than 300 personal emails thanking me for sharing her fight against leukemia and our struggle to support her.  Many of these emails say it has helped people with their own struggles with a multitude of things.  I have had only 2 friends give me negative feedback about CaringBridge.  2 friends out of 4,000 people.  But, like most people, those 2 were what I focused on and was sure there were more.  There probably is.  But, I got over myself and focused on the 300+ that thanked me for helping in some way and the feedback on the guestbook.  I realized that even if I helped one person by sharing our story, that was more important than anyone that was uncomfortable with it.  I didn't address that before, because I wasn't concerned about it, but someone just mentioned it to me recently and said it was important since Lauren is healthy to make sure people see me as "put together" and clear up the negativity.  I decided I needed to be clear that as far as I am concerned there was negligible negativity.  I also want to say I have learned that I won't ever strive to appear "put together" or appear as anything other than I am.  Admitting to people that you are sad or having difficulty in life is never shameful.  Honesty is uncomfortable for many, but helpful to many more.  I like being honest and helpful, it is more who I am than "put together" anyway.  I have also been asked to write for some small projects and have been encouraged to do a blog.  I am debating about both.  I have recently met someone that has inspired me to take a different direction in my life.  I will write about it sometime when things are more firm.  But, it is amazing when you are called in a different direction and it seems so strange to some people, but seems like the perfect plan to yourself.  I guess I am being guided by a different compass lately.  It keeps pointing home, with a few side trips here and there.  I love being HOME!!!  There's no place like HOME!!!
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1 Comment

Michelle Tjardes
By Michelle Tjardes
As a SRB parent I am sad you are not returning, I have heard AMAZING things about your teaching, but as a wife and a mother, I am happy you are moving forward with your life! Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your raw, honest emotion. Too many go through life saying "I'm Fine" all the time. You are a rockstar in my opinion!!!
1 person hearted this