This past week has been a very emotional one. Chase Bank had a Community Giving Program on Facebook (Round 2), and The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation had a real chance at winning anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million!! If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) is what took my dear friend Rita's beautiful son from her at only 5 months old. The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation was started to raise money to fund research and awareness for SMA, the #1 genetic killer of infants. Anyway, Jan.15th - 22nd we were working our butts off emailing, tweeting, basically bugging the crap out of people for votes. The top charity won $1 million, and places 2 - 6 won $100,000. It was SO very important that GSF placed in the top 6, I can't even tell you. Scientists are so close to a cure, but they need funding. When SMA is finally cured, it will also provide treatments/cures for such things as ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, the muscular dystrophies, and even some forms of cancer. So you see, this was very important. GSF was only one of 100 charities to be voted for, and compared to many of them, it is very small - SMA is not something people are familiar with until someone they know and love is diagnosed. After 8 long days of campaigning, emailing on facebook, posting every single status as a plea for votes, tweeting celebrities, etc., GSF came in 6th place with over 52,000 votes. That is HUGE!!! The money won, $100,000, will go a very long way toward finding a cure and to raising awareness. There were times when we'd lose momentum, and sink low thinking we were done for - at least I did - after countless pleas to a few of my "friends" on facebook, and being completely ignored was very disheartening. I never gave up, and I know I bugged the hell out of my friends with my relentless posting. It certainly paid off though, and we are all so proud of the great feat that we accomplished :) The winner of the million is an organization called Invisible Children, Inc. They rescue children in 3rd world countries who were abducted and forced into being soldiers, children as young as 8 and 9....sad. They had a voting center all set up with phones, laptops, lots of volunteers; all we had was a bunch of passionate people, parents fighting for their children's lives, asking for votes. So needless to say, it was a great accomplishment. Here is baby Gwendolyn celebrating! She reminds me so much of Raia, and vice versa...I have come to love this little girl from very far away, and her parents, too.
The few moments I spent off the computer this past week (LOL), I got some really cute pictures of Raia.
This one makes me laugh a little - Raia mid-tantrum.
Nathan has been so good this week about keeping her in the evenings when he got home from work. He knew how important getting votes was to me. Here they are snuggling.
And again, only this time in the Blue's Clues sleeping bag LOL!
This girl loves to wash her hands...the sticker on her forehead came from my Aunt's house, and for some reason, that is where she likes to put them...go figure.
Me and my beautiful girl :)
In addition to working so hard to get votes this week, I also had two cake/cupcake orders, and I had a cake and cupcake order the week before. I will post pictures of the cakes in a bit, but here are the cupcakes for one order...These cupcakes were for a little boy's birthday, just plain with sprinkles.
Raia wanted to lick the spatula when I was done. After all, it matched her nightgown :)
Raia is such a smart cookie - she knows when she is doing something cute, and will say "Take pitcher ah me!" while posing! (Yes, I know it's spelled wrong, but that's how she says it!)
She loves stories! Either read to her, or made up ones. Cinderella is her favorite, and she asks for it every night as we rock to sleep.
Princess Raia - (taken at my mother-in-law's house)
I mentioned the cakes and cupcakes I have done the past two weeks. These were done for a little girl's 5th birthday, and this particular lady heard of me from a friend. She wanted a Little Mermaid cake. I usually won't put the toys on a cake if they have to be transported, I would hate for them to fall over during the ride and mess up the cake, that would be BAD. So here is the Little Mermaid cake without Ariel on it. If you will notice, the bottom edge has neat little "rocks", and they look SO real!! One of the guests at the party even asked if they were real rocks, but no, they are chocolate covered candy made to look like rocks - YUMMY!!
This is the actual cake, before I baked it. It is all French Vanilla, but I dyed part of the batter pink. I think this is just so pretty :)
Here are the cupcakes to match.
After the Little Mermaid party, the woman was so impressed with my work that she called me the same night and asked me to do another cake/cupcake order for her the following weekend (yesterday). WOW! Talk about an ego boost :) This one was for her mother. The flowers are actually purple, I don't know why the camera shows them as blue :( They turned out very nice though, and she loved it.
Rosebud cupcakes to match.
I think that's about all I've got for now. The only time I really have to blog is late at night after Raia goes to sleep, and I am pretty tired tonight. Night before last I only got two hours of sleep because, like blogging, I can only work on cakes after Raia goes to bed. The 'Happy Birthday Mom!' one should have been easy and should not have taken me long at all, but I got all 'OCD' on it and had to make it the best I possibly could, so I didn't come to bed until 3am. That was also the night that GSF won the grant from Chase Bank, so I was pretty wound up and couldn't sleep. Around 4am, when I finally started feeling sleepy, Raia woke up. She had me awake for another hour and a half. I had to get up at 7:30 am to get ready for work that morning, I was so tired. Guess I'm still catching up.
Like always, I will try to blog more often. The next few weeks are going to be pretty slow around here, I hope anyway! I have a cooking date planned with my friend Rita next Sunday to try out my Grandma's 7 layer chocolate cake. I will have to blog about that for sure!!
One more thing before I go - My sweet Mother had a birthday last week, and I am so terrible at sending cards :( I always remember either the day before, or the day of....sorry all you got from me was a measly phone call, and you weren't even home :(
Mom, you have been such a blessing in my life. I love that you always have a smile on your face, and you always see the good in people. You came into my life when I was 5 years old, and have fulfilled the Mom role without batting an eyelash, no matter how much grief I gave you, especially later in my life. You have loved me unconditionally, as if I were your very own child, flesh and blood. I hope that you had a wonderful birthday, and from your email (sorry I haven't replied yet!) it sounds like you had a great week! I am so sorry that I forget to send cards, but please know that I do think of you on your birthday and hope that it has been the best birthday ever! I love you with all my heart! Happy Belated Birthday Mom!!
And with that, I bid you all adieu ~ thank you for checking in :)
The headaches have been much worse this week, and I know it is from stress. We are planning to find a new Dr. for me, because this one just wants to throw pills at me and send me on my way - never once has he talked about triggers, and when I ask him to help me find a cause for them, he just tells me that "95% of all migraines have no cause". Please say little prayers that 1.) the headaches ease off, 2.) I find a Dr. that will DO something. I don't want to be on pills the rest of my life, ugh!!