Thursday, December 29, 2016

The December Varsity FBC Project: Chiari and Molly

Varsity FBC is in year three of advanced friendship bracelet making. Our team includes 45 girls from around HSE and across the Midwest. One of our goals is to provide opportunities for these girls to partner together to do small things with great love. Each month I'm going to give them a project where they can make bracelets for a cause. Together we can make a bigger impact than if we were trying to do it on our own.

Meet my friend Molly. She's in 7th grade, the biggest animal lover you'll ever meet and she lives life like it's party every single day. I was lucky enough to be her teacher this past semester and she was consistently one of the brightest spots each day. When I walk into my classroom and say, "Hello! What's going on?" students rarely answer with enthusiasm and many don't answer at all. But not Molly. She would sit up straight in her chair and yell, "Hi Miss Wright!" Her zeal is contagious. 

When our school went to Tecumseh for our Fall Field Trip Molly's mom Mindy came along as a chaperone. She is a riot and quickly became best friends with Ellyn and me. The three of us were a giggling gang-- I know where Molly gets her positivity and silliness from. Molly came to Wyld Life a few times and continued to be the life of the party. 

Over Thanksgiving Break Molly's family discovered that her concussion symptoms that suddenly took a turn for the worst were actually symptoms of something called Chiari Malformation. Basically it means that part of Molly's brain was extending into the brain stem where it shouldn't have been. They quickly got an appointment with Riley and set up her surgery to fix Kiki (Molly's nick name for her brain). 

I visited Molly and her family at Riley Children's Hospital two days after the successful surgery. Even while healing, Molly is still full of pep and energy. We watched the New Year's Eve Ever Wagon Drop, tried out her new Sea Turtle slippers, visited the Kids' Zone and the library and tried the color change couch.

In honor of Molly, the girls of Varsity FBC made friendship bracelets (mostly purple, the color for Chiari Awareness) for Riley which will be given to other Chiari Malformation patients like her. Molly is doing great and I can't wait till she's back at school when she is fully recovered.

Bracelets this month were made by Grace Freund, Elise Ruby, Brooke Ratliff, Hannah Lyon, Taylor Pozzebon, Claire Shumaker, Caroline Shumaker, Brynn Urban, Mallory Myers, Grace Eckhardt, Carolyn Nohren, Ella Ruston, Makenna Hoftiezer, Ellen Baker, Tori Elliott, Rachel Kent, Julia Dewolf and Sarah Wright. 

"Are you falling? Are you tip-toeing in your Jordans?"

My first full day back in Indy was a life-to-the-full, lives-overlapping, so-Sarah-Wright kind of day. 

Lives Overlap Part 1: Arielle

I met up with Arie downtown at the General America Donut Company which is right around the corner from where she lives and a place I've been wanting to try out for months. 

The selection of donuts reminded us of Voodoo Donuts in Denver, CO. We both got a regular donut and then got a more adventurous flavor to share: Coffee Creme and Creme Brulee-- both were a smashing success. 

Arie and I both grew up at Tecumseh, were part of the Delphi United Methodist Church youth group, went to Delphi and ran XC together, worked as CILT counselors side by side multiple summer and stuck together through it all. This girl is my very oldest friend.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this summer! I love Arie and Sam (aka Wolf Dancer) and can't wait to be part of their day in July. #hirtsogood

Please notice the lovely invitation she crafted-- very, very impressive.

Then I convinced Arie to keep adventuring with me and a few blocks away we found THE wall. I've seen this mural in a few instagram posts this Fall and have been dying to go and find it. Right around the corner from the Alexander hotel we found it in all it's colorful glory.

What a day to be alive. I'm so thankful for Arie, decades of friendship and still being such an important part of each other's lives.

 Lives Overlap Part 2: Megan Cook

Oh this girl. I'm so thankful for her friendship, her boldness, her insights and the way she makes me laugh. It had been far too long since we'd hung out together and our lunch and grocery shopping date today was perfect... even if I didn't give in to her persuasive speech and switch to almond milk.

Lives Overlap Part 3: Cass and Brookie

Two of the most positive and silly gals I know-- I don't think you could ever have a dull moment with these girls. We cheered on Kegley and the rest of the HSE girls basketball team, met up with Lydia in the stands, told stories and laughed a lot. I love that I get to see Brookie every day once we're back at school and Cassidy so many times during the week.

Lives Overlap Part 4: Hools and Han

My girls. Hools and I feasted at Olive Garden, caught up on life and sang Ben Rector in the car. Han met up with us to see the new movie LaLa Land-- I'd recommend it-- and then we all worked on Top 10 Lists.

Top 10 Hopes/Dreams/Goals for 2017
Top 10 Things I Want To Do More/Less Of In 2017
Top 10 Moments in 2017

Thanks to Young Life, these girls became two of the main characters of my life and two close friends. I can't imagine what the last few years would have been like without them. I love that I get to do life with them, talk about the important stuff even when it's hard and grow up together through different stages of life.

Honorable Mention Blog Titles:
"So you think it can't be mine because it's hearts and I'm evil?!"
"I was looking up if Fruit By The Foot is vegan."
"That's so cool! I want a forehead vein. How do I get one?"
"What do you mean you don't like Jazz?" "Well, it just means when I hear it I don't like it."
"Hot Box used to have my families photo up on their wall because we won the contest for having the most Hot Box Cups." "How many do you have?" "Oh... about 300. They're all up in our attic."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"Red held onto those pennies the entire trip and didn't even let go of them during his nap."

The end of our trip to Crystal Mountain was full of more games, more books and more time together. The boys learned how to play Gobblet...

We put together puzzles and legos and robots...

 Linc, Red and Grandma got to play together every day...

I'm so thankful for a family that will spend a whole week together, who takes care of each other and loves one another so well. I'm very lucky.

And I even got to run into my dear friend Casey Dawson (from Hope) and her husband Kevin on our last morning. It was so good to see her and briefly catch up. Casey was one of my very best friends during my last two years at Hope and so many of my favorite memories included her and her intentional friendship.

When we got back to Holland Mom and I finished the t-shirt quilt we had started before the trip. Now it's off to the quilter! Can't wait to put this on a bunk bed at camp this summer when it's totally done.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

"What's an iPhone mini? Am I missing something? Am I behind on the times?"

Welcome back to Crystal Mountain with the Wrights and the Dekosters. Christmas Eve was spent out on the slopes. We headed out in the morning to tackle the mountain for our second day of skiing. 

Lincoln got his lesson-- he blew all of us away when he went down BY HIMSELF and mastered TURNS AND STOPS. Watch out people-- this kid know's what he's doing. Meanwhile, Red was happy to cling on to the back of Daddy's skis to hitch a ride.

After Linoln's lesson with Miss Carolyn we were all more confident that he could come up the mountain with Nick and I with no leash. This kid was officially on his own.

We were back in the lodge for lunch. Powerade, chicken fingers, french fries and all the ketchup you could want-- the boys were in 7th heaven.

We got in a few more afternoon runs before hanging up the skis for the day. R2-D2 owned Crystal Mountain.

Just about the only time you'll see both Lincoln and Redford very calm and very quiet is right after their nap. They'll crawl right into Katie's lap and sit there quite contently until they've completely woken up again.

Christmas Eve night was filled with some Battleship, green bean casserole (my favorite) and It's A Wonderful Life.

Linc went to bed saying, "Don't let Santa in this house!" while Red disagreed, "I want Santa to come sleep in my bed!"

Christmas morning came bright and early with a 3 and 5 year old in the house. After we each got a cup of coffee we started in on the stocking presents from Santa.

Linc couldn't be happier than with all of his new Star Wars cars and legos...

Red is perfectly content with his new flashlight and carabiner...

A specifically requested bracelet for Lincoln...

But Redford's favorite treasures of the day are the christmas tree, his nickel and metal ring. 

"And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans-- and all that lives and moves upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have missused-- and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself." -Sigrid Undset

 Back to the mountain in the afternoon...

The greatest family photo we've ever taken because I believe it is the very first picture we have where BOTH boys are smiling and looking at the camera. It's a Christmas miracle. 

But perhaps my favorite Crystal Mountain Christmas tradition-- pepperoni pizza on Christmas day. 

Merry Christmas everyone!