Heart Heros

This weekend proved to be as dear to my heart as I thought it would be.  The kids, Nana and I loaded up in the Tahoe ghetto style (as in packed to the hilt without an inch to spare) and headed to Tampa where the American Heart Association walk was being held.  One of, I should say.
Every time I even enter that part of the state the memories come rushing back.  I hate it for the fear it held and love it all at the same time for beaten, kicked a*# path it was for us.  Reminds me where I've been and although I have zero clue where I am headed, I am pretty sure if I can make it through last year I can make it through anything.

We met up with other heart heros and gathered round to celebrate little lives fighting big, BIG battles. It was cooold!  Our boys, yep all boys, were blue lipped and shivering.  We bundled them up as best as we ahem....could.

Some of us didn't realize what a stud they looked like in a beanie.  Dangitall, I love a man in a beanie, so I try to get my boys to wear them. Oh' well, least my other two were willing to rock them out for me...

And this next pic, I just had to throw in here for all my closest peeps.  Lord knows ya'll know about my addiction to "D.C." otherwise known as McDonald's diet coke.  And let me be clear, it has to be from McDonald's and in a styrofoam cup so it doesn't melt, naturally.  Well below is a shot someone took of me sucking down my "D.C." so intently I look as if it's my last day on death row.  Very comical!

( Reminder friends, I wake up at 4:30 every morning and had a little boy named Austin who felt it would be necessary to keep me on my schedule while away for the night by getting me up at the exact same time, when I could have potentially had two more hours in me.  Let me have it ok! ;)


The star spangled banner was performed and there I went. Melted like a snow cone.  Tears welled as I remembered where we were last year at this time.  Oh' have mercy, I had no idea just how far we would come! I looked at the babies surrounding me and my heart swelled with pride and gratefulness that they were there to show us how it's done.

 Glorious, glorious morning, it was. 

Catching rides from the official wagon puller...

Getting snuggles from those who love him most...

Coming together knowing each others journey, knowing we don't have to explain, knowing how far we have come and how far we have to go.

 (love you charity, deeply. strongest woman i know.)

Tanya, Charity and myself.  3 HLHS heart moms all in this together.  



And then the West boys laid eyes on this medivac helicopter and it was epic!

"Helihopter Mommy!"

My boys, my heart.

"Morgans" " Morgie",  who started out as our babysitter when Austin was born and has become an intricate part of our family and pretty much loves the boys as if they were her own.  She never misses any part of the boys lives.

And man do they love her just as much!

And Nana, who started out helping me to care for Paxton when he first came home, now she too never misses anything in the boys lives

The entrance into the Raymond James Stadium where we finished up the 3 mile walk.

And they showed us all on the big screen as we walked by.

My whole life right there on that sidewalk.

Austin, Asher, Paxton, Mason
Asher and Paxton are both HLHS heros and were neighbors at All Childrens Hospital.

Charity and I as usual, off on our tangents about how fat the boys fingers are.  We stray together and it's the perfect friendship because it needs no explanation.

Paxton was hell bent on beating me up during this photo op

And again! SO in love we are!

Finally, we got one after say a couple 50 or so shots ; )

Mateo. Heart hero #1

Asher (aka Chublet) heart hero #2

Paxton, last to join the group, heart hero #3

These boys, they are stronger than any one of us reading this.  I look at them and am in awe of how brave and beautiful they are.  


While this journey is long, thick and ugly sometimes I was reminded this weekend that I am not in it alone.  While the ride is different for all of us, we are fighting the same fight. Pushing on, hoping and praying for an ending that is the one we dreamed of when we were pregnant, before we knew. 



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