Monday, October 28, 2013

Gary's Ride for Bella

What a success!! There were at least 63 bikers that came and registered and rode for Bella's Camp Fund. Here are how the events of the day played out...

All 5 of us showed up at the American Legion at 9:45 am. Bella and I sat at the registration table. She was a little celebrity. It was so cute, she sat there so big and shook hands with complete strangers. She thanked them for riding. She used her manners and was on her best behavior all day long. I am so proud that she does in fact listen to the things we tell her. Manners are important and on Saturday, it showed that she knew that. We helped with the raffle ticket purchases and kind of did a meet and greet with every one that came in.

Gary walked in the door of the hall and Grayson our shy little 2 year old ran up to him and hugged his leg. Bella calls him Grandpa Gary and she calls Kathy, Grandma Kathy. It's so adorable. We are the parents that want our kids to be able to love anyone they want. It's clear that they both love Gary and Kathy. They both feel loved and special to Gary and Kathy. Many of Gary's family members were there to help too. John, Sue, Kelly and Madison were close by all day.

Some riders left the Legion at 11 and others left later. Ryan took all three kids home for naps and I stuck around. I wanted to be as involved as I possibly could. I wanted to be able to personally thank those that I encountered. It's important to me that they understand how much our family appreciates their support. Riders started returning around 1:30pm. They were meeting and mingled with each other, enjoying food and drinks. I left around 4 to come home and help load up the troops to come back.

I walked in our front door and all three kids were in the living room to greet me. Bella said "I'm ready to go back there now mom and see my bikers". She was putting her shoes on and ready to race out of the door. It was clear that she really enjoyed being there and being part of the event.

We arrived back around 6pm. We pulled in and Bella said "Oh there are MY bikers" as if they all belonged to her. It made Ryan and I both laugh. We went in and Bella sat up shop at the raffle table like before. She shook hands with people, she hugged complete strangers, she smiled and used good manners to thank them for coming. I sat with her. Ryan and the boys mingled around.

At 7, Bella helped with the raffle. I announced the winners as she pulled the numbers. After all was said and done, I wanted to thank everyone for coming. I fought the tears, it was overwhelming. It was hard to hold it together to thank the many people that shared their day and a little piece of their life with us. I hoped they felt how grateful our family was to have them there. At the end of the night, Bella was sitting on Gary's lap asking him to show her how his prosthetic worked. He was so patient, showing her and answering her questions. It was a perfect end to an incredible day.

Just in case someone missed it, I'm hoping they are blog readers.

Gary and Kathy, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! Thank you doesn't seem to be enough for all that you have done for our family. I truly feel like you will be a part of our lives and Bella's journey through life for the years to come. Our family feels a connection to you for not only for what you all have done for us, but for your kindness, your time, your sincerity in welcoming us to your lives.

To everyone that shared Saturday with us,
Thank you for spending your day to help our sweet baby girl. I know at 4 years old she can't fully understand why you all were there. What she did understand was that you were there to help her get to camp, you treated her so kindly, you shook her hand, you hugged her, you giggled with her. You treated her like she was on a pedestal. She felt loved and she made that clear to us as her parents, she called you "my bikers". Your leather jackets, your patches, your silly masks, your chaps, your tattoos... none of those phased her. We are happy to know that we are teaching our little people not to judge a book by it's cover. You all have hearts of gold and my children were able to see that on Saturday, that shined bright like the sun. The goodness that you showed us was tremendous. We appreciate all of your support. It was an honor to spend the day with each of you. You have touched our lives in a way that you may never fully realize. I enjoyed listening to your biker banter, it brought back many happy memories of times I spent with my dad and all of his Harley riding friends. It was something I haven't felt since he passed away 2 years ago. I think it brought back a piece of me that I had pushed aside since his death, so thank you for that as well. I encourage you to continue to check back here or to reach out to me via email. I want you to all see the difference that you have made in our Bella's life. She came home and said she had a bunch of new "buddies". We'll be booking our flights soon thanks to all of your kindness and support.

Much love from our family to all of yours!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Loving life


We've been busy loving life at the Zizzo house. With 3 little kids, there are never any empty moments, constant laughter, occasional crying, tantrums, bumps, bruises, endless giggling, hugs, kisses, singing songs, dancing, making up songs then laughing about their silliness, snuggling, messes... the list goes on. It's crazy love over here! I can't imagine it any other way!

There's been a lull in the blog because of everything going on. Sometimes computers, cell phones, electronics must be put on hold so that life can be lived. Usually I have times in the evenings to update the blog but lately with a baby that cut four teeth in month, that lull of quiet time hasn't happened. Babies grow up, I've been busy snuggling babies!

Things are happening here. Life is in high gear. Camp is approaching quickly! Our application has been accepted and our spots have been reserved. We're sorting through sleeping arrangements for camp with the director. It's a little bit challenging and interesting but it'll be so much fun. They will be action packed days for sure! We're working on our flights too, watching airfare and getting ready to book in the next week. We have rental cars to figure out and all that good stuff. Traveling with 3 kids in car seats will be entertaining, we'll likely look like our own traveling circus! Heck we are our own traveling circus. We bring the animals in the form of tiny toddlers and a very mobile baby and Ryan and I are the animal tamers... wait or are we the animals and they are the tamers...

I've been helping prep for the bike run that Gary and Kathy Wetzel are doing. Random odds and ends of stuff to just make sure things go smoothly. I'm so excited. I'm also a little nervous. Let's be honest. My dad was a big time, hard core, rough and tough Harley biker. He lost his leg riding his Harley and never lost his love of the wind through his hair and the rumble at his feet. Bikers and motorcycles remind me of my dad. Sometimes I must fight back the tears when I hear the roar of their motors. It's hard to disconnect. Sometimes it brings back the good memories of him and our relationship. We loved each other madly. He was my first love, he set a good example of what to look for in a man. Anyhow, all of the motorcycles will surely trigger some of those memories. Gary reminds me a lot of my dad. Rough around the edges but soft in the middle, heart of gold. I think my dad had a hand in connecting Gary and our family.

The ride will happen this Saturday at Oak Creek Legion Post 434
Registration from 10-1pm
$10 per person
Cash prizes, raffle and poker run.
All vehicles and bikes are welcome! Bring your car, truck, motorcycle, minivan :) Come one, come all!

If you stop by, be sure to say hi. I'll be there most of the day and during the full registration time. Our entire family will be there for at least the first hour. Bella will be returning around 6 pm and staying until about 7:30 or so. Join us, we'd love to see you!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Emotional

Fox 6 news ran our story with Gary. Click here to watch I didn't get to watch the story on the news, life as usual was busy. I honestly forgot it was even scheduled to air. Being parents of three kids sometimes makes your mind wander to the daily tasks and lose track of other things. The interview was so impromtu. I met Gary and Kathy to pick up some flyers about the bike run and a Fox 6 reporter was there with a camera man. We chatted then they asked if they could follow us home to talk more. My first thought was "holy crap, our house is complete craziness right now". I figured what the heck, why not talk to them a little more if they were interested.

I found the article online without the video. I emailed Mike, the awesome reporter. He responded that it was live so I found it. I watched it during a break at work. I cried. I was emotional during the interview. I was emotional again today watching and reliving it all again. I get attached, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I get emotional. It's part of the strands that weave me together. I was emotional hearing more about Gary and his accident. I was emotional watching my child talk and giggle. I'm living it daily but sometimes it's nice to take a step back and soak it all up.

Yes our house is complete craziness, that day and every day. We have three kids who are little, they need lots of attention. Attention that we want to give them. Part of the reason our house is crazy is because we live in the moment. We get on the floor and play with our kids, we wrestle, we giggle, we color, we build. We do all of the things that little kids want to do. Laundry and cleaning go by the side at times, they'll always be there... little kids, they grow up. We embrace each day and live to the fullest.

Our kids teach us something every single day. Bella is the one that made me a mama, she is the child that taught me that even though I had thought I had loved to the fullest, I had not... When you have a child of your own, your heart explodes with love. It's incredible. Grayson taught me that I could love someone else again like I loved her. Luca, he taught me that your heart can never be too full of love and that there is always room for more. The laughter in the video, that's my girl. The little chubby guy on my lap, he's our last and the happiest baby I've ever met. The one in the middle, he admires his sister like no other. He lives and breathes to be around her.

In that video, I watch myself fighting the tears. My babies make me emotional. Being a mom, makes me emotional. Having Gary and Kathy reach out to help our family, that makes me emotional too.

Successful 504 meeting

Last week, we had the official 504 meeting. It happened at 7:30 am on a school day. This made it easier for all the parties involved to be t...