Sunday, September 1, 2013
Well, it's Sunday night, and yesterday I turned 41! I just had the most wonderful birthday thank on three fronts:
1) Got travel points? My wife Angelique surprised me Friday night with an overnight trip for the whole family to San Diego! All that summer travel payed off! We stayed right on the marina waterfront in downtown at the Marriott Marquis. The attendant at the front desk gave us a beautiful room overlooking the pool and the marina beyond it. We invited our good friends the McGoverns, who live kind of close to SD, to come on down and play with us and they did! After a FOUR HOUR drive from Orange County (usually takes an hour and a half), we decompressed in the pool with the McGoverns, then changed and ate at the poolside grill for dinner. I invited a close friend and colleague, Kat Fulton to come down for food, and she mentioned that our mutual friend and colleague, Lauren B. was in town that day, so they met up with us for dinner, and we all sat around the fire pit on the deck having a blast! When it was time to take the kids upstairs, we walked in our room, and within about 5 minutes, a fireworks show went off in the bay right outside our marina! We were 7 stories up, so our view was perfect! Then, we slept in, hit the pool again this morning, then took a tour in one of those buses that turns into a boat, and cruised around in the San Diego harbor checking out seals and sea lions and all kinds of sail boats; the Tall Ships Festival was happening this weekend, so we saw a lot of beautiful sailing ships as well. Then we headed back to Orange County tonight, and the kids (and Ang) have CRASHED! I'm still hopped up on the coffee from the drive home ... and ...
2) Arsenal BEAT Tottenham 1-0 today!!! GOD LOVE THE DVR!!! I set it before we left town, and got to watch the game tonight! I know, I know, this probably means nothing to you, but I am a diehard Arsenal fan, and this is a BIG rivalry in England, and there is a subplot beneath it, which is that... hahaha, wait a minute, you really don't care! LOL I was just about to go on and gush about all kinds of details that if you're not a fan, really aren't worth reading about! Sigh. It's hard to be an Arsenal fan in southern California. Let's just say that if you can even FIND a english football fan, they are probably a Manchester United or Chelsea or Liverpool fan, so, well, I'm lonely. :( hahahahaha weep weep weep! Moving on...
3) I am not really good at planning or organizing, so I launched my giving up my birthday for EB campaign after my last blog post, and sent out maybe 5 days of messages on Facebook about it. I'm sorry I didn't even have the foresight last week to mention it on here! We created a new personal fundraising page on the PUCK website where you could host an online fundraiser right through our website. Nice and easy! This was the first time I used it, and it worked great! It's also the most money I've raised in three years of giving up my birthday for EB. You can see the campaign if you CLICK HERE.
I originally set my goal for $500, but I blew past it within like 3 days! So, I decided to really go for it and I doubled my goal to $1000 but came up a little short, but the campaign is technically still open, so if you would like to support the docs in Minnesota with their work, please feel free! Every buck counts. That's how we've collectively raised over a million dollars in less than 3 years for the U of M! Lots of organizations raising a little here and a little there, sometimes a bunch here, and a bunch there, and like I said, within 3 years, the docs have the funding to test their elegant ideas, and lo and behold, they work!
If you ever feel moved or called to do a fundraiser to support the EB research at the U of Minnesota, it's really easy to set up an event - the money goes straight through PUCK to U of M, so you don't have to collect any money, you just send people to your page and they do the rest! CLICK HERE to learn more.
The one thing I've learned over the past three years is that giving up your birthday is a really easy way to fundraise. I heard two other speakers talk about it when Bella passed away, and I thought it was a novel idea, and because of the viral nature of social media, it makes it so easy. I just sent out I think 5 or 6 updates over the week on my FB page, and then sent a single email to a group of people that contributed to it last year.
It wasn't like I had to do an event or sell anything to give a portion of the proceeds... it was much simpler, and frankly more efficient since 100% of the money given went straight to the U of M. That's the point! It probably took me 20 minutes to set up my page, and a combined extra 40 minutes to send out my email and my handful of FB posts. Not bad for an hour's worth of work, right?
I'm sharing all this because a comment I hear a lot from friends and supporters is that they want to help out, but they are intimidated to take on doing a fundraising event. I agree! I am TOTALLY intimidated right now with the golf tournament we are holding in less than 2 months! I get it! So, if you want to get involved, make it easy on yourself, and do a birthday campaign. I can't think of an easier way to share the cause and raise a few bucks! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific questions or need any help along the way!
To close, the journey from 40 to 41 was AWESOME. What a gift. I was blessed in so many ways this past year, and I am even more optimistic about this next year. Thank you for continuing to stay connected with me and my family and the whole journey. It's all a journey; sometimes it's a comedy, sometimes an action/adventure, but even though there are challenges and sadness, I don't see it as a tragedy, because no triumph or success worth experiencing was won without challenge, setback, and/or sometimes a genuine boot to the teeth. In the end, I don't want to reach the finish line of life having snuck through the game taking it easy. I want to arrive bloodied, bruised, and battered, having left every ounce of energy on the field of life. I want to look my maker in the eye and say I gave everything I had in me to make this world a littler better off. I want to gaze at my daughter Bella and say, "I did everything I could to honor you, both while you were here, and after you left," and have her smile, and beam back at me, "I know you did daddy, and you did a GREAT job," and then feel the warmth of my maker reply, "I agree..."
So this next year, I'll continue to play ALL OUT...
... like my life depends on it...
See you on the playing field!