fair warning: i am taking a big step on to my soapbox right now. please feel free to turn around and close your browser. i won't be offended. okay, here we go. ahem. we all have a mission in life. a purpose. a cause. sometimes that special assignment changes, sometimes it is done in vain and sometimes it hits you like a ton of bricks and you just can't possibly turn your back. until recently, i could safely [and shamefully] say that my mission was to [selfishly] become a leader in treatment for at-risk youth, raise a perfect little family and live a humble little life. and while that [big dream] hasn't changed, i now face a bigger challenge: to inspire the prevention of heart disease in women. you see, my grandmother lost a very silent [and very scary] battle in february and i just don't think it is fair. no symptoms. no warning signs. perfect bill of health just weeks earlier. and as it turns out, she is not in the minority. families of women just like her face this dark reality every day. and yet, we don't hear about it. sure we wear red one friday out of the year. yes we notice the [humbling] go red for women campaign here and there. but, do we get tested? do we make our health a priority? do we encourage our mothers, sisters, aunts, bffs to take stock in their ticker? i know i didn't and still don't completely.this past weekend the wonderful women in my family took our first step forward in renewing and repairing our heart. physically and emotionally. this mother's day we participated in a 5K for women. no boys allowed. for heart disease. and it felt really, really good. such a little thing, with such a huge impact. and while i don't plan on organizing a million dollar fundraising event for the american heart association any time soon [although that sounds like my idea of a fabulous time], i do plan on making a conscious effort to make my own heart stronger and encourage those i love to do the same. because if we can save just one life or even add another year to that beautiful woman in your world, then our mission will be accomplished. won't you join the cause? let's dance to our own beat a little longer.
not pictured: a kansas city royals win in the bottom of the ninth inning, endless laughter, really good shopping luck at the outlets, a lot of hugs, unwavering love, tears as we all parted. an incredible weekend, indeed.