Created to Celebrate

Our family recently had the opportunity to help organize and enjoy one of the most fun celebrations ever — a huge birthday party. Our friend, Tim, has been battling cancer for 2 years and why wait…instead, just celebrate.

opTIMism — We were definitely optimistic that the cake would be a “loaves and fishes situation” and it wasn’t. The early bird gets the cake!

The balloons, burgers and cake are nice, sure. Yet, how about getting to talk to 500 of your favorite friends in one night??!? The money we raised with free-will donation buckets and a short auction is good, but how much better is knowing that people love you and support you from near and far??!? Multiple people approached me after the event and said we should have an opportunity to build up a community member like this once a month, or at least quarterly.

Surround yourself!

So, why not? Don’t wait until a friend has cancer. Don’t wait until your life will be less hectic and the weather looks to be perfect. God promised us that this life would be full of problems (John 16:33) but he also wants us to rejoice in our days (Psalm 118:24). I encourage you to think of someone you want to celebrate, text a few friends to help plan a get-together, and don’t wait. Just celebrate!

So much support.

Tomorrow is a big day

I am asking all of you wonderful people who have followed Ava’s journey over the last 7 years to pray. Tomorrow, at 7:30 here in Cincinnati, Ava will have a surgery. They will cut both bones in her forearm and rotate her arm into a more natural position. Also move around a few muscles and tendons.

We were so hopeful to not need this surgery but things are simply not progressing for her. No research is being done in this area because there are so few outcomes like hers.

Started the day with X-rays.

Yet, the time has come. Ava had X-rays this morning and then enjoyed a “yes” day. That means she got to do nearly all of the things she asked for and chose the pace. That is a luxury for a child with 4 siblings! We will keep the memories of this day close as we travel through some hard days in the future.

She got the board game, plus we had time to play it!
What a beautiful sunshine-filled day here in Cincy!
One last photo to end our great day together.

We are staying an a VRBO just 25 minutes away from the hospital while she recovers for a few days. The coincidences we realized after booking are so hard to believe. The host’s name is Reta (just spelled differently than me.) She grew up in the same small church denomination that Joe and I are members of. Her daughter was involved in a car accident 10 years ago and spent 5 months at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. We are staying in an apartment above the garage that they built so she could get the daughter’s wheelchair into the house easily. They just finished it this spring.

So, I believe that the timing is right. This is the right place. This is part of God’s plan for her life. I can’t tell you enough how encouraging all of the support has been for our family. Thank you!