UPDATE: We have decided to go to Cincinnati, Ohio #blamemom

Will this be a turning point in L’s treatment plan for her eosinophilic esophagitis? As you all know, a rare disease decided to take us by storm in early 2016. My eyes were steadfast on the operating room doors for what seemed like hours. In reality, the time past had only been 55 minutes. When the doctor came through the operating room doors, her eyes caught my eyes, and I knew by her facial expression, the dreaded news was about to be spilled. The diagnosis from the doctor was the worst case scenario, eosinophilic esophagitis. This disease has wreaked havoc on L’s body for over a year and a half now. Many tears have been shed in hospitals, doctor offices and on the sheets of my daughter’s bed. As a parent, all I want to do is take this disease away from my daughter. My cries to the Lord have included to let my body fight this illness and let my daughter enjoy her childhood.

During this past summer, L was going backward with her symptoms instead of making great strides in a positive direction. As a family, we were scratching our heads on what should we do with L’s treatment. After a discouraging weekend at the end of this past July, I recommended to my husband and daughters to go on a very short hike to Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway with me. We could leave the disease world behind for a few hours, and enjoy God’s beautiful mother nature. While researching online the best path to take to Rough Ridge, I found an excellent location we could park our car and start hiking on the trail to Rough Ridge. The website stated this place would only be a 1/5 mile walk up to Rough Ridge. Meanwhile, the location I thought was a correct spot ended up taking us 1.5 hours to get to the Rough Ridge overlook. This trail had us climbing through trees and atop rocks, but we finally made it to the most amazing views. L was not happy with me taking the wrong trail and vented her frustration along with creating her hashtag #blamemom. After spending time enjoying the stunning views, we begin the trek back down the trail to find our car. As we are walking down the rocky path, I hear, someone calling out my name Jennifer. Immediately my eyes focus on this woman on the trail, and I realize it was a friend from my Facebook page! Her precious son has eosinophilic esophagitis and she has been a huge help to L and me through this journey. We have only talked on Facebook and never met in person. Time stood still as we stopped in the middle of the trail to talk with her and she persuaded us to rethink L’s treatment. Her conversation filled with reasoning on why we should take L to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  This clinic is the leading research hospital for all of the eosinophilic diseases. Carol’s credibility in recommending the clinic to us is very high as her son has been battling eosinophilic esophagitis for four years. Carol was such an encouragement to our entire family on the trail that day, and since she lives 7 hours away, it was God’s divine intervention, that she happened to be in on the same trail as us at the same time. My oldest daughter stated, “Mom there is a reason we took the long hike as God wanted us to see Carol.” If we had taken the 1/5 mile trail, chances are our families would not have met.

We are looking forward to hearing new treatment options next month for L and speaking directly with researchers to see how close we are to a cure.

Having Fun at Walt Disney World’s Blizzard Beach

This summer we finally visited our first Disney Water Park, Blizzard Beach! This family event was such a beautiful day for L and little Avery enjoyed surprising L with a treat. You will have to see the cuteness in our vlog. At the end of the vlog, we share a place at Disney Springs that has an icee that elemental patients can enjoy. We may or may not have let L get this particular icee every night.

Wyndham Disney Springs Resort Hotel Review

Wyndham Disney Springs Resort Hotel

Our view was amazing! Who wouldn’t want this view for their vacation? Re-entry was hard after we returned home. Our Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs vacation left such lasting memories in our heart. It was painful to leave. L said she did not think about her EoE (eosinophilic esophagitis) one time while we were on vacation. This is huge, friends. The hotel was so nice to let me heat her sweet potatoes in their microwave in the lobby and the mini-fridge in the rooms had a freezer in which we could re-freeze her ice packs each night to ensure we could keep her formula cold while in the parks.

L put together this video of our stay at the hotel. Hope you will enjoy!

Last year, we put together another video that shows a different part of the hotel.

CARS 3 “Road to the Races” Tour Rolls into Charlotte

Do you have any CARS fans in your house? We sure do in our house. The girls, Jacka, and Gray Baby all have a joint love for Disney World and CARS. Go ahead and gather all your CARS fans because you will not want to miss this FREE event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this week.

CARS 3, the newest film in the smash-hit franchise, is hitting the road this Spring with a “Road to the Races” tour in select cities across the country. Life-size, character look-alikes of five-time Piston-Cup champion Lightening McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson), tech-savvy Cruz Ramirez (voice of (voice of Cristela Alonzo), and the sleek next-gen racer Jackson Storm (voice of Armie Hammer) will be rolling into the Charlotte Motor Speedway to celebrate the new movie, which opens in theatres nationwide on June 16, 2017. With Charlotte’s rich history of racing, there is no better place to gear up for the release of CARS 3 than at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

CARS 3 “Road to the Races” tour is free and open to the public! Fans will have the opportunity to:

– Take photos with the “stars” of the movie – Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Strong

– Participate in a host of family-friendly activities

– Race pit crew tire-changing simulation

– Sample high-octane smoothies

– Interactive play area featuring locations from the movie

– Get a first look of the new movie in the Cinetransformer Mobile Movie Theater.

Activities:

Alamo Rent A Car is hosting a street art booth and will bring “Cars 3” to life with a giant coloring mural featuring Lightning McQueen and friends, along with a color pencil pack souvenir. Owned and operated by Enterprise Holdings, Alamo Rent A Car offers low rental rates and a hassle-free customer experience at the most popular travel destinations around the world.

Coppertone® is creating a racer pit crew that encourages visitors to take part in a tire-changing activity and photo-sharing opportunity. A leader in the sun care industry, Coppertone is made by Bayer HealthCare, LLC.

Crest® and Oral-B® celebrate the Road to the Races tour, providing fans with an opportunity to create a digital postcard with Lightning McQueen and get “Cars”-themed oral care products. Crest and Oral-B are the first step to enjoying a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Dole®, the leader in fresh, quality produce, invites visitors to fuel up and recharge their batteries, sample high-octane fruit and vegetable smoothies, collect “Cars 3”-inspired recipes and discover how Dole and Disney are working together to make healthy living fun and easy for families. To see more of Dole’s exciting promotions around summer family fun, visit www.dole.com/Cars3.

Mattel presents an interactive play area, which sends Lightning McQueen and other racers down the gravity drop and launches them into action in new play sets that feature locations from the movie. Also on display will be a collection of die cast racers from past and present. Mattel is the leading global childhood development and play company.

Again, fans will be able to catch a sneak peek of the movie in the Cinetransformer Mobile Movie Theater. Visitors will also be able to take photos with the life-size character cars. In addition, the sports national youth program NASCAR Acceleration Nation will display the science behind NASCAR racing, and elements from the NASCAR Hall of Fame will allow attendees to get up close and personal with the history of NASCAR.

Cars_3_Flyer_FINAL_Charlotte

Frozen Summer Games Coming to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

Frozen Games at Blizzard Beach

We will be attending BlogHer 2017 in June and our plans are to visit one of Disney’s water parks. I just read the news about Frozen’s Summer Games returning to Blizzard Beach this summer.

Following the success of the inaugural “Frozen” Summer Games last year, guests visiting Blizzard Beach can once again join Team Kristoff or Team Olaf to participate in a variety of activities, from Ice Pail Relays and a Snowball Toss to Ski Pole Limbo and Slide Races. It’s going to be a blast!

With crafts, games and a DJ spinning some up-tempo tunes throughout the day, the “Frozen” Summer Games are sure to be a major highlight of your day at Blizzard Beach this summer.

And for the first time in forever, you will be able to meet and take photos with Kristoff and Olaf at Blizzard Beach! Either Kristoff or Olaf will be at a designated character greeting location at the park, where you can snap photos of each “Frozen” star and let them know which team you chose to play for.

This may have just solidified our decision of  our water park choice. The entire family loves Disney’s Frozen!

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