The 2016 Angelman Walk Adventure... 

We just got back from a fun-filled weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio at the 2016 Angelman Walk!! The Walk is a way to support all Angel's and the Foundation's research for a cure for Angelman Syndrome. As you can tell from the photo above we had most of the family with us. We last came to the walk when Sky was 4 years old, so it was great to be a part of this again. And especially to get the opportunity to represent Safe Place. 
I want to give you the play by play of our trip. Because like any trip, especially one that is classified as both family and business and involves children, is filled with laughs, frustrations, and lessons learned.
 
I spent most of the week before we left, making lists, packing (not only clothes, pull-ups, toiletries, etc... but also our Safe Place stuff). The way it usually plays out is Jon is at work, and I do all the cleaning, packing, and stressing out. Then he shows up to leave! This week was no different. Thursday night I had everything ready for the next day; I was pumped and ready to go!

Then...

That night as I was walking down our loft steps, I slipped... didn't catch myself in time, and fell down the steps. When I did, my foot (with the help of body weight and gravity) smashed into a trim board that runs up the wall! I continued down the steps and hit my foot again on the stove at the bottom of the stairway. Before you ask yourself why our stove is at the bottom of the stairway, remember we live in a tiny house. I landed on all fours after the final foot smashing. Grimacing in pain, I hear THUMP THUMP THUMP, I don't think Jon ever made it across our loft that fast before!

Being the nurse, he starts doing his assessment, in a calm voice. "What hurts?, Are you ok?, Honey?" Give me a minute to bellow in pain!! I managed to get out, "My FOOT!" Finally making it off all fours I held onto the kitchen counter and wall to hobble to the bathroom to see my foot. The whole time in my head asking God to keep our kids asleep, especially Sky! How a woman in excruciating pain thinks of her childrens' well-being at the same time is beyond me. It's a gift, I'd say. After stumbling in the dark to the bathroom, we finally see the damage. My third toe and surrounding area was already swelling and bruising, but the scariest thing was I now had a gap between my second and third toe that wasn't there before!

If you are married to a nurse, you know you practically need a bone or an organ sticking out of your body before they take you to the doctor. So, Jon the nurse, gave me some ibuprofen, ice, and propped my foot all night. Hoping, best case scenario, the swelling is what caused the gap in my toes and that I actually just had a severe case of a "stubbed toe". That was what we both hoped, because we were off the next morning to the Walk! Yes, I said walk.  
The drive down, despite my swollen foot, was actually very mellow and enjoyable. A 2 1/2 hour drive without any hiccups is awesome! Abigail kept saying we were going to the beach. The hotel had a pool, so close enough!

We made it to Cincinnati just when the rain started. We had a lot to take with us, so we drove our truck. Let's just say we see a van in our near future... We rushed to the nearest Lowe's and bought a tarp. We had hundreds of dollars worth of promoting materials and banners in the back of that truck!! Thank God we didn't have any serious damage, and we ended up taking a lot of items into our hotel room with us, as it rained all night. 
We were so ready to chillax in our hotel room, but we first put up Sky's Safe Place Bed. It fit perfectly on the sofa bed! Even Abigail helped blow it up. Sky of course had to get in it as soon as he could. He posed for his picture! 
Jon's parents and sister made it to the hotel later than us. Because of traffic it took them 4 hours to get to Cincinnati! By the time they arrived our kids had been in their swimming gear for a while anxiously awaiting some pool time. The rest of the evening we swam and ate pizza with my foot propped, of course. 

The next morning, the day of the Walk, we awoke to the sound of rain still pouring down. This presented another dilemma... this is an outdoor event. We have no pop-up tent to shield us from the rain. Uh... oops! Seriously folks, we are learning as we go. 

The extra hands at breakfast was amazing! Jon spent quite a long time that morning getting everything secured under that tarp. It would have been very difficult for me to assist feeding all three kids with a swelled up foot that I literally limped on to get around. It was swelled so much I couldn't wear tennis shoes. Rain and wet flip flops, not a good combination. Thank God for family!

After a quick stop at Wal-mart for a pop-up tent, we were on our way! 

Because of our morning, rainy, set-backs we arrived a little later than I would have liked. Nevertheless, we weren't late. After a warm welcome by Penny Jusko, the Walk Coordinator, we found our spot and got to work getting our booth up. Everything was coming together... except our team. My mom and sister had yet to arrive...

I grabbed my phone to see several missed calls and text messages. Turns out they were lost! The phone GPS was taking them on a wild goose chase, probably due to the rain, and I had no clue how to help them. Thank God a while later they made it, just as all the festivities were about to commence. Team Sky's the Limit was present!
By the time everything started, the rain cleared and it ended up being a beautiful day! The walk itself is 1.4 miles long. I managed to hobble for about a mile of it before Jon picked me up and placed me in Sky's wagon. I felt goofy riding in it, but a couple Angel's along the way got a chuckle, so it was worth it. Below you can see the damage and my view from the wagon. 
In addition to the excitement of the Walk, we got to spread the message of Life without Limits to families. The way people come alive when hope is realized makes my heart glad every time. It is our WHY! 

I'm attaching some more photos from the Walk. We will most certainly make this an annual tradition. 
After the hustle and bustle of the weekend, Jon and I both decided I better get an x-ray of my foot. On the way home we stopped at the Urgent Care; turns out my toe was broken! Of course, not much can be done for a broken toe besides buddy taping, a flat shoe, and some pain medicine. So, as I sat in the only pharmacy still open at 7 o'clock at night (Wal-Mart) waiting on my prescription in my flat shoe trying to elevate it in the air as best I could, I re-hashed the weekend in my mind thankful for the memories and connections we made. God is so crazy good to us!

Until next time... Hobble, I mean, Live without Limits   

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