Unimaginable, Unacceptable, Unbelivable

Dear World,

It had been since April that I have started this blog and I feel like my posts are a little of this and a little of that. Every now and then I mix in a call for action and ask for the help of my readers. I hope that it doesn’t come off as annoying and I pray that you all realize that when I am asking for help it is because someone or something has genuinely touched my heart and I feel like all that I can do is try to help.

Honestly, I never expected to write anything that would help anyone. I thought I would write about some tough times that I was experiencing and I may throw in some funny stories about my family and friends. I never expected to be in a place that I could help others, and for that, I am incredibly grateful. I have been able to experience people pulling together and showing love and support to those that were in desperate need. I may have linked some of that together through my words but the real work came from you the readers.

Today, I ask you once again to help. On November 23, 2013, I will be participating in a Give Thanks Walk for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This hospital is a charity that I have supported for many years in small donations. Twenty dollars here and there and I never really got involved much more than that. Last week I saw that this walk was coming to Pittsburgh and I didn’t even have to think before I knew that I would be in it. It was like God had put this article in front of my face for a reason and there was no chance that I could say no.

For those of you who may not know, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a place that treats children with cancer and other terminal diseases. It is a place that provides everything for these children and their families, in a terrifying and unfair time in their lives. St. Jude does it at no cost to these families. No patient ever pays to be treated at St. Jude.


It is unimaginable to me that “Worldwide, more than 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year—that’s nearly the entire population of Jackson, Mississippi. And cancer doesn’t care about borders, race, nationality, age, socio-economic level or religion—it can strike any child at any time.” http://www.stbaldricks.org/kids/

It could strike my kids, your kids, your neighbors kids…. any child. any time. That is unimaginable.

I would be willing to bet that we all know someone who has had some form of cancer. Cancer had become an epidemic. I have watch grandparents die from cancer and I have seen many other people that I love and care about be tormented by this disease.

As sad and heartbreaking as it is, all of these people that I knew where adults. They made it to see a movie in the drive in, they made it to their proms, they got to dance and see a parade. They got to run outside and swim in the summers. Some of them got the chance to fall in love and marry that love. They were plagued with despicable disease later in their lives. On their death beds I imagine that they looked back and counted endless moments that they wouldn’t trade for anything. I imagine that they accomplished many goals and saw many things. They lived!


Now crying as I type, I picture the children that St. Jude treats. If they were without the research and care that is provided, and they were on their death beds….. what would they look back on? They have not had their fair chance to experience all of the things that we daily take for granted. Those babies and their families hold on to the hope that St. Jude provides and pray that tomorrow they will be around to make a new memory.

It is unacceptable that any child should bear this weight. It is unacceptable that any family should have to experience this pain and watch as a disease tortures their child. It is unacceptable and it is unfair. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does everything in their power to even the playing field, to give these families hope for another day.


It is unbelievable that “It costs $1.8 million a day to operate St. Jude, and public donations provide more than 75 percent of our funding.” http://www.stjude.org It is unbelievable that almost every penny that is donated goes to the cost of providing care and research to save these children and to cure cancer once and for all. It is unbelievable that when these families are in the worst situation that they could imagine, that St. Jude provides all of the care at no cost.  “Thanks to donors, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. Care, housing, transportation, meals—the list of services we provide to our families is unequaled. But it is for one purpose: To ensure the very best outcome possible for every child.” http://www.stjude.org


I have partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help meet the needs of these children and their families. Cassidy and I are going to spend the next twenty-six days begging for donations for a cause that is so very important. It is a walk for thanks, and I see it as an opportunity to be thankful that I do not need St. Jude for my own children. I am thankful that they are well and that I have the opportunity to teach them how to help those in need. I am thankful for all of the blessing and memories that I have created with my children so far, and I am joyous to help raise money to give another family the opportunity to save their child’s life, and experience those blessings as well.

I can’t think of a better reason to lend a helping hand. Please visit my donation page and give what you can. http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR?px=2350499&fr_id=8281&pg=personal I have set a goal for Cassidy and I to raise one thousand dollars, but I have it set in my heart that we can raise so much more. Help us blow away our goal and save children who need our help. If you don’t have money to give feel free to join our team to walk and raise money along side of us. Together we can make a difference!

Love, Cherise

Christmas In …… October?

Dear World,

Merry Christmas to you all!!

Sorry, I know it isn’t Christmas yet, but I wonder if someone should let the stores know that. I was out today running errands to make my kid’s Halloween costumes and store after store seemed to have hung up the wrong month on the calender in the back office. Christmas has already thrown up on Pittsburgh and I haven’t even roasted a turkey yet.

I just don’t understand the rush. Maybe someone can fill me in, but I don’t understand our constant need as a society to move faster. It’s like when you have your first baby and you can’t wait till they start to talk. You anticipate the moment and hope you are there at the very second that it happens. Finally, the day comes and it is amazing but for the rest of that baby’s life, you will wish that things would slow down. I no longer wish for my kids to grow up quicker. In fact, I wish I could turn time back and steal a few extra minutes with them as babies.

This is what I don’t get. I love Christmas too. I get excited about it and I start thinking in my mind what I need to do to make it a great holiday for my family, but I don’t start thinking about it before Halloween. I mean, I can’t even get costumes made before I am bombarded with tinsel and holly and fake snow. The Halloween decorations are already on clearance so the stores can push it and make room for more red and green crap.

Maybe I am getting old, but I feel like I am at a point in my life where minutes matter. I sat down on the kitchen floor with Cassidy tonight and acted silly and just talked for at least twenty minutes. It was almost dinner time and I should have been making dinner, but this twenty minutes could not have been better spent. Sure dinner was late, but who cares. There wasn’t a fast forward button that could have moved us from that floor, and each slowly passing minute that we shared was precious.

I want to enjoy the minutes in my life. I hate counting down all of the time. Think about it. We have turned our entire lives into a countdown. Only ninety days till Christmas. Only eight months until summer vacation. Only three weeks till school starts. Only a nine months until a baby comes. Everything we do is marked in a time stamp that we feverishly watch tick away. It is sick how many things I count down to even in a day.

One more hour to sleep. Ten minutes before I have to get the kids up. Forty-five minutes until the bus comes. Two hours until I have to pick up Jacob. One hour until lunch. Half hour until nap time. It is endless and it is all I do every day. It takes the enjoyment out of life when all I do is look at a clock.

I am busy, we all are. I get why we spend our days counting endless minutes. It makes sense but holidays are the times in our lives that we are supposed to stop.


We are supposed to slow down. Enjoy our family and savor the time that we have. Halloween may not be a holiday created to give thanks but if you ask me, they all are about thanks. These are the days that we are supposed to take in each moment. We need to look at the details and embrace the moments that will never happen again. These are the days that give us an excuse to slow down because we won’t give ourselves one otherwise. I am thankful for every chance that I have to share quality time with my loved ones. If a holiday is what it takes than I am for sure not going to let it pass me by.

I hustle and bustle all day every day. It is rare that I have nothing to do, so I understand the notion that planning ahead may be helpful. I like to plan ahead myself. I want to have an amazing Christmas so I’m planning on celebrating it. I don’t need garland and string lights right now, to know that I will have a blessed day. If I don’t start Christmas shopping now, I am not going to miss the day. It will still happen.  I don’t need to fast forward my little trick or treaters because I need to prep for the next holiday. It is just one more way that we are letting life get ahead of us.

We are in a society that will pay extra to rush something. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Take your time. I don’t want to be rushed and I don’t want to waste the time I have here on earth in fast forward. I want to stop. Stop and enjoy what is around me before it is gone.

Cassidy says to me all the time that she hates being rushed. It actually will make her move slower. Maybe she has the answer. I am not going to embrace Christmas in October. I am going to go ahead and move slower. If my pumpkins wouldn’t rot so quickly, I’d leave them out until December. That is right, I am putting on the brakes and I won’t be enjoying another holiday until the present one has passed.

Here is to all things Halloween for at least the next fifteen days. After that, I may just move on the all things turkey.

          Love, Cherise