Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011: What a day...


For those of you who are married, remember your wedding day?  Remember all the planning, and then POOF, the day came and went like the snap of two fingers?

Well, that's what Saturday was like for us!

Months of planning, 3.5 hours of set up, 3 hours of FUN, an hour and a half of clean up, and that's a wrap on Bella's Birthday Bash!  I would be remiss if I didn't thank:

Our Volunteers:

Carolyn Rhinehart, Andrew Truong, Maria McGovern, Aditi Verma, Janet Steward, Charlotte Harris,
Kelli Kelly, Sejun Lee, Sara Dudik, Celine Wang, Ami Kunimura, Partik Mehta, Russell Barr, Sarah Zonouzi, Paloma Hernandez, Natalie Tran, Rosalina Hernandez, Cassidy Bergevin, Jessica Rose Western, Max Messervy, Soren Vitarelli, Stephanie Ignatius, Nahoon Wang, Daphne Wagner, Andy Kim, Claudia Quinn, Joonhee Lee, Becky Human, Tony Phan, and Stephen Prendergast

Our Sponsor:  Molnlycke Health Care

Our Contributors:

Hollister Wound Care, Zoomars Petting Zoo, Creative Cakes, City of Anaheim, The Rusted Chain, Sara Cooper, Janet Steward, Denise Heydn, Johnny Rockets, Lonni Mooreland, Luna B Tees, Miguel Ortiz, Verve Jewelry, Carpet Solutions, Chick-fil-A, Filling Station, Taste of Sicily, Santa Ana Zoo, The Butterfly Fund, Chelsea Truong, Kala Brand Music Instruments, Asics, Doris Kollias, Rodger Rhinehart, Ralph's Grocery, Ana Elkins, Saddleback Equipment Rentals, Koki's Teppan and Sushi, Lazy Dog Cafe, Wayne and Kathe Searcey, The Bite Market, Mother's Market, Rochford Law Group, Wings of Hope, Tustin Ranch Golf Course, OC Fire Authority, and OC Volunteer Clowns

Angelique and I also wish to especially thank Joyce Jones and the St. Paul Episcopal Pre-School, the ongoing support of Children's Cancer Research Group and the Minnesota Medical Foundation, and the vision and faith of Lonni and Jay Mooreland.

The day began cloudy, but almost as if on cue, at 11am sharp, the sun broke through and provided us with a simply picture perfect day. A gentle and constant breeze kept the heat away, and allowed us to enjoy the sunlight without frying in it. There was just so much happiness and joy in the air. Music was playing, children and adults were laughing, the happiness was rampant. We came out just a few bucks shy of our projected goal, which in itself was great considering this was our first event in Orange County.

I have to give a ultra uber hats off to my amazing wife Angelique for planning and coordinating a phenomenally organized event. The compliments we received on how well the event itself ran were worth it all, because person after person indicated how enjoyable the day was, and how much they'd like to be part of anything we do in the future. Ang was AMAZING. Did you SEE how many volunteers are on the above list? She was ready for them all, with stations and directions, t-shirts and PUCK name tags as well! There were SOOOO many moving parts to this event, and Ang kept on top of them ALL throughout the planning and execution. She is an amazing woman.

Overall, we feel like we threw a really great birthday party in honor of Bella. It was a day she would have enjoyed, because she enjoyed people so much, and the people that chose to come to this event on this day filled with every graduation known to man were some of the sweetest, kindest, and generous people we know. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you all for sharing in our day. For those who don't live in SoCal, thank you for your words of encouragement, and thank you for sharing our message of hope with your communities.

Highlights of the day for me were watching the Captain of the Fire Engine hopping along in the cake walk, playing backing guitar for my nephew Wilson as he stole the show singing Johnny Cash on the mic, meeting two of our blog followers who posted faithfully throughout Bella's transplant journey, pushing my colleague Lisa Jackert's darling son on the big wheel tractor through the dinosaur maze, and the butterfly release.

The day was full of snapshot moments, and I could write pages upon pages of the moments. There were some bittersweet ones for me as well. Bella's last birthday seems so much more than a year ago. It seems a lifetime ago. I don't know if I meant the pun there, but the word choice just seems appropriate on multiple levels. So much has happened since this time last year. I know I feel a whole bunch more than just one year older! LOL.

On that note, I need to drag my body to bed. I played soccer yesterday for 90 minutes, and it was my first time on the field since in Minneapolis last June! I can't really move my neck so much, that kind of krept up in the last hour or so. On Thursday, I'm gonna tell you all about Amazing Team Bella, the contest, and the winners! Until then, may gratitude flow through your heart, even for the things you don't yet understand...

God night.


  1. I hope Bella's birthday present arrived in time!

  2. i loved the whole day.
    when i left, my heart was FULL.
    and it still is.

  3. Looks like Bella's Birthday Bash was an amazing event! What a great way to honor Bella! I have a feeling she would be very proud of the two of you.