It's November! In case you didn't know, it is Prematurity Awareness Month. World Prematurity Day is November 17th, and that is a day where buildings are lit purple, and people come together to talk numbers--celebrating and heartbroken-- trying to do all we can to make sure every baby is born healthy. I posted about this same time last year, if you missed it, you can read it by clicking here.

In the year since I posted last year we have been submerged in ALL THINGS purple, mixed in with 4 kids, foster care visits in Memphis, sometimes 5 kids, jobs, school, a garden, and the rest of life.

 In November went downtown and hung out with some March of Dimes folks on World Prematurity Day.

I agreed to be on the Family Team Committee again, and we were asked to be the Ambassador Family for the March for Babies. Then, in February, we spoke at the kickoff breakfast for the March for Babies.
We did a radio interview later in March with Mix 92.9 .The March for Babies was scheduled for April 22, but there was the craziest thunder and wind and storm ever. So, it had to be postponed =( To say we were upset would be an understatement.  We rallied our troops who had come in from Florida and Kentucky, and snuck to the walking bridge , AKA "Lucy's Bridge" in our house, to snap a few photos before the downpours came back.
We had planned on going to Party Fowl afterward ( they always do a big fundraiser for us in March), but it was no longer morning, and the timing was bad, so we took a drive to calm our broken hearts & went to Loveless.
I think Luke was the only one of us who had been there before! I guess for anyone looking in, the walk being postponed wasn't a big deal. But anyone who is associated with the March of Dimes has been affected by either a pre-term baby or the death of a baby.  There are so many families that show up to walk, and so many teams that have all their support there with them. It's a big deal. It's babies. It's loved ones. And there are always tears.  I love seeing everyone's t-shirts at the walk. You start walking behind moms and dads who no longer have their babies, and you see so many people there in support. I felt heartbroken for them. This was their day to remember together, and to share their hearts and stories with everyone else. 

We did all have on matching shirts at Loveless, so we did get to speak to plenty of people about the walk! I loved our shirts this year! Our friend Kat designed them, and they were so cute! We had a few more Team sponsors this year, so a back was something new and fun for us.

After we had spoken at the kickoff breakfast in February, we were asked if we would also like to be the ambassador family for the Auction they have as a fundraiser each year in September. We agreed! And instead of talking, we just filmed a video at the house that they would play at the auction. Teary-eyed, raw story of Lucy's birth to be on film. AND something happened to the files from the first time, so we got to do it twice. ;)
I'll try to add the link here: Ambassador Family Video

 In June I met up with Marissa at Kendra Scott to talk about some jewelry they were donating, and they gave me jewelry to wear at the action itself! We also discussed having a fundraiser for Team Lucy Loo, and got the planning for that going. We also went to the Auction Preview Party in June--where I went ahead and wore my jewelry-- and we got to meet some of the chefs and taste their food.
Luke and I had a great time!
Next, because we literally never stop, was the March On Celebration. It was our do-over day from the rain out in April.

Lucy gave me a purple lei in honor of  the journey we took with her.

I gave Jennifer a white lei in honor of her Peyton Louise.

Next up was August. We stopped in Macy's one day while they did their Shop For a Cause. Can you tell some of us were in the middle of that week long stomach bug? We didn't touch anything or breathe on anyone, just wanted to say Thanks for what they do.

Also in August, we took part in a fundraiser with Kendra Scott. Lucy got to go in a few weeks before the event, and design 2 pieces. She even got to keep her necklace she designed! The night of the event was so fun, and we had friends show up in support , family call and place orders, and raised a good amount for a short night!

How adorable?

Seriously SO beautiful! 

And then that brings us up to September, where we got to attend the fabulous March of Dimes Signature Auction. We had a table of 10 to fill-- thankfully the kids were asked to attend! My friend Amanda came in from Kentucky to go with us when everything else fell through. She helped get the girls ready, went to the auction, and then drove back home. #friendoftheyear

Lucy got to walk around and pass out Thank You cards she had written to the top donors. The amount to match on the card was what she raised at the Kendra Scott event. Then later on she got to help the auctioneer. He might have used her to his advantage.  Who could say no to Lucy?

The lady behind the auction!

So, here we are in November. Prematurity Awareness Month. I'm FAIRLY CERTAIN all of my friends know about prematurity, and how much it has touched our lives, and how we want to help make a change. 

For the past 6 years, we have delivered gifts to Lucy's NICU. We started out sewing tiny hats from onesies, and shortly moved to blankets. The blankets are either embroidered or they have a vinyl tag that says Lucy's Love.  
My mind is literally so tired from thinking about all of these events from the last year, so feel free to look back at all of Lucy's NICU gift photos on the link above. I'll just add last year's picture below.I know she's delivered over 150 gifts, & she loves to do it. My mom has donated enough ziplock bags for us, and a friend sent some blankets from Texas today! 
Please let us know if you'd like to help us give a little of Lucy's Love to some sweet families as they spend their first Christmas apart from their baby. We will take any new receiving blankets you'd like to donate for the next 3 weeks. We wash them, iron on a tag, and then fold them into a ziplock bag. We hope to have more this year than we have in the past.

One of the blankets last year.

2016 delivering


Kendra Gives Back

I've been posting on social media about the Kendra Scott fundraiser event that we are helping out with. As you know,we were this year's Ambassador Family for the March for Babies ( I will post an update on that later in the week).

Lauren at March of Dimes asked us if we would also be the Ambassador Family for their amazing Signature Chefs Auction in September. We happily said yes!
One of their donors for the auction--Kendra Scott-- mentioned that they wanted to provide me with some jewelry to wear to the event, so we all met up at the Kendra Scott in Green Hills one day this summer. I thought I was just picking out some jewelry to wear, and then I'd hand it back over. After they discussed the auction and details for some other events, the fabulous Marissa showed me all around the store. The summer line is full of BEACHY designs --shells, coral, bright summer colors, and everything I love about summer. I also love big earrings. So, of course, I loved the Aviana Statement earrings and found the Candice cuff bracelet as well.
And then I was completely shocked when Marissa said she'd just go ahead and put them in a bag for me to take home! Amazing. Y'all , in 2016 this company gave back over $3.5M and donated more than 75,000 pieces of jewelry to 3,500 local and national organizations. This is philanthropy.

So how does this tie into a fundraiser? Great question , thanks for asking! While we were at the store we discussed our family hosting a Kendra Gives Back event at the store. Everyone knows how much the NICU and March of Dimes is connected to our family. I'm sure you get tired of hearing about it. ;) But we know just how fortunate we were in our journey, and we know every story is not like ours. I've made it part of our mission to do everything we can to ensure families don't have to go through what so many have had to do. So, we decided that we would host a #kendragivesback event. We pick a date, invite friends, show up for some drinks and snacks and shopping , and Kendra Scott gives back 20% of purchases to the March of Dimes Tennessee chapter. Easy peasy . Oh but I forgot one more thing. Lucy got to go to the store and design a piece that will be on sale that night also! She absolutely was in heaven. She would have sat at the color bar all day long. Since her piece will be a special featured necklace, I tried to sway her away from the necklace she wanted to pattern with blue, turquoise, red, and pink stones.

Lucy did a fabulous job designing a piece, and Marissa said we could just go ahead and do 2 pieces-- a long and a short necklace.

This is the shorter one. It is SO pretty. If you were to go to the color Bar and design this yourself, it is The Mabel necklace in gold with iridescent drusy. Now since her little eyes fell in love with the iridescent drusy versus just a color stone, it added a few dollars onto this design.  It is pulled back on her and on the shortest link ( the website says it is a 16" chain with 2" extender). This design is $60. 
And then of course she wanted that drusy again on the longer one, but also just loves the rose quartz. She is obsessed with the color rose quartz now.
If you were to make one like this at the color bar, it is the  Tomon y-necklace in gold with rose quartz and iridescent drusy. It is a sliding adjustable length, and the middle piece drops 5".This one is $85. I'm adding a photo of me wearing this one,  and please ignore my facial expression. I was just trying to get a photo of my earrings, cuff, and this necklace as I was running out the door to church. Saturday was a long, hard day; I clearly need more sleep or better concealer. But, it's all for the babies ;)
So , what can you do? Come see us on August 16th between 6 & 8 pm! We will be at the Green Hills Kendra Scott, raising some money for the babies! You can purchase one of Lucy's personal designs. And if your wallet isn't as big as this 6 year old's taste, you can design your own piece or shop for something else. There is something for every girl in your life, even nail polish. The fall line is coming out this week also, and it is all inspired by Italy.

 If you can't make it to the store, you can still help. You can call the store anytime during the day ( preferably 6-8 PM CST), and you can place an order. 20% of EVERYTHING purchased during those hours at the store will be given to March of Dimes.
The event will be Lucy themed and she will be thrilled to see you there!
 Feel free to just stop in and say hello.

And thank you to Kendra Scott for giving back and doing good.
Please call or message us if you have any questions on the event, and we can't wait to see you on the 16th!