Until I get back to a place where I have the time to write on my blog, this is where you can find me..

I promise you, after I am finished with this book, I will get back to blog writing. I love writing to Ronan and miss it so much. One thing I am very good at is keeping everyone updated on Instagram. It’s so easy for me to post there, and photography is such a passion/hobby of mine. I know not all of you have Instagram, but I really want to keep you updated. Especially during this very important month of childhood cancer awareness. I’ve been posting something every single day that has to do with childhood cancer. The things I post are not always easy to read, but I wouldn’t be staying true to my path if I started to sugar coat things. The world needs to hear this stuff in order for things to one day change. I’m going to post my Instagram posts to this blog, so everyone can have access to read them; if they choose to do so. I really hope you won’t stop reading or look away. So many people are trying to change this world. I am doing all I can over here and I am so thankful to the people that remain behind this cause.

I have to give a little extra love to my Rach in New York and Rainesford in Kentucky. These are two young girls, who have become my dear friends/family. They are the two that have been keeping me afloat, saving my life, especially during a time when much Taylor love came floating our way. You guys, I am not a fancy foundation. We are small, we do not have one paid employee, and these girls have been working non-stop for me for so long now, all while being full time college students, volunteering, and working. We may be small, but we can still do mighty things and these two girls are proof of that. Without these two, I would be drowning ever more than I already am just trying to keep caught up on things over here.

I love you all so much. Below is my picture for Day 1 of childhood cancer awareness month. You should just be able to click on it to read what I have written. Stay Gold, kiddos.

xxoo

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THIS is what the Be Bold Go Gold Challenge is all about. These girls NAILED it!

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I think I have watched this video at least 10 times today. And each time, it makes me so happy. Please continue to submit your videos to: gogoldbebold2015@gmail.com or use the hashtag #beboldgogold on all your social media outlets. Feel free to share this video everywhere! Let’s keep this challenge going and give childhood cancer the awareness it deserves!!

Thank you, girls for being so wild, free and fun!! Also Emily, thank you for spending your birthday this way. I hope it was the best birthday, ever. #youaremyspiritanimalandsoisyoursister

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Welcome to the BE BOLD GO GOLD CHALLENGE 2015! Want to get involved and help us turn the world GOLD? Here are some ideas and guidelines that the lovies at The Ronan Thompson Foundation have come up with. Please help us make this September shine gold by being bold, brave and beautiful with us! Whatever you end up doing, please make sure to use the hashtag #beboldgogold

Post your submissions to: gogoldbebold2015@gmail.com

1. #BeBoldGoGold Dance Challenge:
-Deck yourself out in gold…the sparklier, the better!
-Turn on your favorite T-Swift jam, get your groove on & make your own personal flashmob! Dance like crazy at the store, in the park, at school or wherever you feel like spreading awareness. Bonus points if you lip synch… Tell random people why you are doing what you are doing, challenge them to do the same.
(Inspiration via Ellen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWWQmmuxwCM)
-Film it! Encourage people to give even just $5 to RTF. Tag us! We’re reposting our favorites. Can we make this go viral?!

Why? Because you CAN get dressed in crazy amounts of gold & dance wherever you want. And kids fighting cancer often don’t have the luxury of being kids as a lot of the time they are sick and stuck in hospitals. Get out of your comfort zone, and draw attention to the worthiest cause of all! (Plus, who are we kidding? Random dance parties are the best).

2. Encourage businesses in your area to go gold for childhood cancer! Whether it is donating, displaying Who Is Ronan? cards, or letting you dance on their tables (that’d be awesome…). Donations can be made here: http://www.theronanthompsonfoundation.com/donate

3. Spread Ronan bracelets around! Chalk the sidewalk with childhood cancer statistics! Doing something super-awesome while dressed in your gold! Bonus points for pictures & videos.

4. Shop the cause: Get your gold on here!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/FiredaughterClothing?section_id=16346898

5. Blast this all over social media. Turn your social media icons gold, to pictures of Ronan or any gold cancer fighter you want. This is our chance to make the world hear us and we can’t do it without you!!

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Have the BEST time and let’s honor these kids the best way we know how; by being BRAVE, BOLD, WILD, and FREE!

xx

THE BE BOLD GO GOLD CHALLENGE 2015 STARTS NOW!!!

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Welcome to the BE BOLD GO GOLD CHALLENGE 2015! Want to get involved and help us turn the world GOLD? Here are some ideas and guidelines that the lovies at The Ronan Thompson Foundation have come up with. Please help us make this September shine gold by being bold, brave and beautiful with us! Whatever you end up doing, please make sure to use the hashtag #beboldgogold

Post your submissions to: gogoldbebold2015@gmail.com 

1. #BeBoldGoGold Dance Challenge:
-Deck yourself out in gold…the sparklier, the better!
-Turn on your favorite T-Swift jam, get your groove on & make your own personal flashmob! Dance like crazy at the store, in the park, at school or wherever you feel like spreading awareness. Bonus points if you lip synch… Tell random people why you are doing what you are doing, challenge them to do the same.
(Inspiration via Ellen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWWQmmuxwCM)
-Film it! Encourage people to give even just $5 to RTF. Tag us! We’re reposting our favorites. Can we make this go viral?!

Why? Because you CAN get dressed in crazy amounts of gold & dance wherever you want. And kids fighting cancer often don’t have the luxury of being kids as a lot of the time they are sick and stuck in hospitals.  Get out of your comfort zone, and draw attention to the worthiest cause of all! (Plus, who are we kidding? Random dance parties are the best).

2. Encourage businesses in your area to go gold for childhood cancer! Whether it is donating, displaying Who Is Ronan? cards, or letting you dance on their tables (that’d be awesome…). Donations can be made here: http://www.theronanthompsonfoundation.com/donate

3. Spread Ronan bracelets around! Chalk the sidewalk with childhood cancer statistics! Doing something super-awesome while dressed in your gold! Bonus points for pictures & videos.

4. Shop the cause: Get your gold on here!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/FiredaughterClothing?section_id=16346898

5. Blast this all over social media. Turn your social media icons gold, to pictures of Ronan or any gold cancer fighter you want. This is our chance to make the world hear us and we can’t do it without you!!

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Have the BEST time and let’s honor these kids the best way we know how; by being BRAVE, BOLD, WILD, and FREE!

xx

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine Taylor’s special guest would be you.

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Ronan. I haven’t slept much in the past few days, but not because of the usual insomnia that I have struggled with since you died. I haven’t slept much due to the most unexpected surprise from a girl named Taylor. I know you know which Taylor I’m talking about. That girl named Taylor who fell in love with your beautiful blue eyes so many years ago and made me aware of her love for you when she invited me to her Speak Now World Tour, the Red Tour, and now her 1989 Tour. That girl named Taylor who wrote a song for you and simply called it, “Ronan.” That girl named Taylor Swift who continues to sprinkle her magic everywhere with her heart of gold and selfless acts of kindness.

I follow everything she does in this world and not in a creepy way. I mean, I’m not swimming in an ocean to try to get to her house or anything. More so in way like when I hear about how she showed up at a hospital and spent hours on the floor of a children’s oncology unit, I jump up and down and do some ridiculously dorky dance. Or how I like to blast her music when I’m having a really bad day because it instantly makes me smile and feel like I can take on the world. Or the latest example being how I have been following her most recent tour online and every morning before school your brothers and I freak out about who her special guest was the night before. “Boys! Did you see who Taylor had as her special guest last night?!” We do our usual, OMG’s of it was, “The Weekend! Lorde! Imagine Dragons! Or my personal favorite, “Lena Dunham!!!!” We then go on to name who we would want her to bring on next and place bets on who will be right. I’m still holding out for Justin Timberlake. Never in a freaking million years did I ever think to wish for her special guest to be you.

We found out pretty last minute that we were going to her concert. As we were driving out together as a family, Quinn chirped in, “Mom, do we to spend time with Taylor like last time?” I didn’t want to get any hopes up as I honestly didn’t know what to expect, so I just told everyone the truth which was I didn’t know. Poppy was in the back chatting away and it went something like this, “Taylllor. I gonna show Tayllllor my meow meow shoes. MEEEOOWWWW. MEEEOWW,” referring to the Mini Melissa Kitty cat shoes she was wearing. I meowed back at her, of course.

Once we arrived at the concert to the best seats ever, or so I thought, we were soon whisked away by Taylor’s Tour Manager to sit somewhere else. That somewhere else being the back pit area where Taylor’s parents sit. Taylor’s dad, Scott, immediately recognized us and gave us the warmest welcome. We chatted with him as he caught us up on how the tour was going, how life was going, etc… He is always so much fun to talk to and always has the most interesting life lessons to share. He then goes, “Have you seen Taylor yet?” I told him we hadn’t. He then told us he would be right back as he was going to check in with her. We happily waited. Poppy was so entertained by the lights, the crowd and the music that she was keeping me more than busy by twirling her around. A few minutes later we were greeted by a really nice man who said, “Come with me, Taylor wants to see you now.” Taylor’s dad reappeared and told us that Taylor wanted to see us before the show because she knew if she waited until the concert ended at 11:00, Poppy would be asleep. Smart little cookie.

As we walked down the hallway of the arena, Quinn looked up at me, his eyes as big as the sky and goes, “Are we going to see Taylor now?” I felt my heart flip flop due to the look on his face as I told him yes. We waited for backstage for Taylor and soon she came walking out, her eyes twinkling as she scurried over to give us hugs all around. Her mom was with her which I was so happy about. I’ve been wanting to give her a hug for the longest time as we all have been keeping her very close to our hearts. We chatted for a bit. Snapped a picture. Poppy clung to me, but was so infatuated with Taylor and her sparkly coat. She said in her little voice, “Mom, Taylor soooooo sparkly!” She then proceeded to show Taylor her lipgloss and we bonded over the importance of a really good lipgloss, especially when it comes in the color red. We said our goodbyes as Taylor had to run onto the stage to start her show. She grabbed me for one last hug and I felt her hug me extra tight. I thanked her for everything as much as I could without bursting into a big pile of mushy tears. We headed back to our seats as we waited for Queen Tay to take the stage.

Once Taylor appeared and the music started, it was on like Donkey Kong. Poppy a.k.a Pearl (my lovies who follow me on Instagram will know what I’m talking about))) was on fire. I wasn’t sure how she was going to react to all the lights, loud music and thousands of people, but she turned that Taylor Swift concert into her own personal dance floor. I was dancing with her, twirling her about for a good 40 minutes when I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I looked back and it was Taylor’s Tour Manager, Erica. She had her cell phone close to her face and goes, “Taylor wants to know if it’s alright for her to sing, Ronan tonight. As soon as she said those words, tears sprang from my eyes and I yelled back, “YES!!!” I turned around to you brothers and daddy who had just watched the whole interaction. Your daddy goes, “What??” I told him what Erica had just told me and his eyes fell to the floor. He looked up at me and goes, “How are you going to handle that?” He knows I can’t listen to that song without sobbing hysterically. No matter how many times I’ve heard it, no matter how many times I listen to it, I ALWAYS cry. I told him I didn’t know, but the moment to me just felt so right that I did not even hesitate to say yes.

At the time, I did not understand what it truly meant to have Taylor perform that song again. I had always just assumed that she never would, therefore I had not even had time to make up an imaginary scenario in my head of what it would be like if she did. In other words, I was in no way prepared for what was about to happen. I stood with her dad after hearing the news. He didn’t know how Taylor was going to get through it as she had such a hard time singing it the first time. He didn’t know how I was going to get through it. He went and made sure the pit area was full of Kleenex. I wandered up to the front as I heard Taylor start to talk and the crowd become earily quiet and respectful to the words she was saying. I felt Taylor’s mom grab my hand. The next thing I knew, Taylor was talking and she was talking about me, about you, about the brutally heartbreaking world of childhood cancer. I think my body floated above me for a while as I could hear what Taylor was saying, but I was in such a state of shock that I could not process her words. My entire body was covered in goosebumps, but I felt like I had the softest, safest blanket wrapped about me which can only be explained as being you. I felt you everywhere. I swear I felt your little hand inside of mine as Taylor’s angelic voice started to sing your song. Guess what happened once she started to sing? My eyes welled up with tears, but I didn’t cry. Instead, I sang right along with Taylor the entire time. You would think in the most emotional situation, I would have completely lost it, but I didn’t. I think the reason why is because I could literally feel your little arms wrapped around me. I have not felt your presence so close to me since you were physically still here on this earth. It was absolutely one of the purest, most magical moments of my life.

I spent the rest of the night dancing with your little sister and trying to enjoy the beautiful moment that had just occurred. I wasn’t sure how your brothers were going to feel about everything, but I think they just feel incredibly proud. It wasn’t until I got home that I started to understand what had really just happened. I sent a slew of text messages to my dear friend, Rachel in New York. I woke her up way too early and curled up on my bathroom floor as we talked and cried about everything. Everything was so surreal. It still is. I am just so incredibly grateful for all the ways Taylor continuously gives her heart and soul to the cause of childhood cancer. She called me brave that night, but she is also brave. She has taken on a cause not because it is the “cool” thing to do or the easy one to take on. She has taken on a cause that NOBODY wants to talk about because of how heartbreaking it is. It would have been so easy for her to pick the “safe and sweet” cause where all she had to do was write a big fat check and call it a day. She didn’t do that. She followed her heart and it led her here and for that I will be eternally grateful. She is the real deal. She is not just talking the talk, but she is walking the walk. Not many people truly do that. She is the bravest soul who is not afraid to take on a little darkness in order to get to the light. Taylor’s light is the brightest light the world of childhood cancer has ever seen and it is about to catch on fire. You two make the BEST team and I am so beyond proud of you both.

Little man. I have to wrap this up now and try to get a couple hours of sleep. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xxoo

Taylor,

Thank you for following your heart in everything that you do. You are changing the world and your heart is leading the way. That is such a beautiful thing to see. I love you so much.

The Fun Never Ends because I’m Traumatized for Life.

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Ronan. It’s been so long since I’ve written on here and I feel so much guilt for that. Not only that, but I miss writing on here to you so much. I’m hoping to wrap some things up soon which will free up some free time so I can start writing to you again on a regular basis. So much has been going on and it would take me hours to catch you up on things. I don’t have hours tonight as I have to get back to my other writing soon. For the most part, things are going well. The foundation is still massively busy and we have some great things coming up for the month of September. My hometown just put on our 3rd Annual 5k and it was such a beautiful success. So many beautiful faces came out to run for you and I am still in such awe of the way my little town pulls off such an amazing event. It just gets better and better every year.  Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work organizing this, all the amazing volunteers, everyone who donated items, and all the people who came out in support of my baby boy. I know how much work pulling off something like this is and I am forever grateful for your love and support in this fight. Thank you again so much.  Also, a huge thank you to Ashtown Brewery for an awesome event after the run. Best Brewery in all of Washington. Fo’ shizzle.

So, do you want to hear my VERY dramatic bedtime story tonight? I’ve got a good one as it just happened a few nights ago and I feel like I am still recovering from it. We are out in Washington for the summer like we always are. I am now feeling like every time we are here, I have a major freak out about something, but this one was the worst. That little Poppy sister of yours just turned 2 in April. She is the perfect mixture of a girly girl tomboy. She is my insanely smart, fiery little girl who has decided that TuTu’s are her favorite thing in life as long as she can be playing in the mud in one while being covered in bruises from her rough and tumble ways. She makes me laugh constantly with the way she speaks in full sentences and uses words that are way too big for a 2-year-old to be using. I am amazed by her and the way she lives her life so vibrantly and big, for being so tiny. Needless to say, she is the love of the my life just like the way you and your brothers are. I am so thankful everyday to you for her. She brings us all so much happiness and you know we need that around here. Anyway, back to my story… sorry I got off track, I’m that annoying mom that could blab about my baby girl all day long. I also am borderline obsessed with the age of 2. She is a lot like you at this age and it makes everything so bittersweet.

Let’s back up a bit. Your Poppy sister also has that light skin that bruises very easily. I guess I started worrying about her bruises about 4 months ago. It was like a little bird was sitting on my shoulder just pecking away at me and the voices started slowly creeping inside of my head. Bruises can be an early sign of Leukemia. I now know all the freaking early signs of every pediatric cancer out there and bruising easily is one of them. For the past 4 months I’ve pretty much ignored the voices as your sister has been nothing but healthy much like you which seems like a sick joke. I went on with life and got us all ready to drive us out here for the summer (solo road trip is a story for another time).We arrived safe and sound and ready to be in our favorite place on earth for the summer. My soul aches for the Pacific Northwest so badly as I miss it so much. Everything started out wonderfully, we had a great family vacation in Sunriver, Oregon, but then the, “My stomach hurts!!!!” started up from your Poppy sister. You know this is one of my triggers. My stomach hurts to me really means she probably has cancer as that is one of the first things you said to me a couple of months before we found a huge tumor in your abdomen. Poppy started saying it off and on, usually before bed when she wasn’t quite ready to go to sleep. I told your daddy. He told me it was nothing and kids get stomach aches. Yeah, but kids also get stomach aches and cancer and die, too. I know both worlds very, very well. I kept my eye on her carefully the following weeks where I watched her act like a totally healthy child.

I sing to Poppy a lot. We listen to music non-stop. We were in my old bedroom one day and as I was getting her down for her nap she looked up and me and goes, “I gonnnnnnaa hold yaaaaa, gonnnnnnaaa kiss armsss, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, big jet plane.” I started bawling. She just looked at me and started singing louder. “Gonna take you for a ride on big jet plane..Mama! Twinkle Twinkle Star!” It took me a minute and I had goosebumps all over my body. Big Jet Plane was one of your favorite songs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was the song I always sang to you, especially right before you died. She continued to beg me to sing to her, while she squeaked along with me, singing most of the words spot on. I fell asleep crying and holding her little body close to mine. She is doing so many of these little things that keep you so close to all of us, especially to her. I woke up from my out-of-body experience feeling a bit jet lagged to say the least, but so thankful that she keeps you so close to her heart even if she doesn’t even fully realize she is doing so. It means everything to me.

That evening, I was getting Poppy ready for her bath when I noticed 5 suspicious bruises going down her spine. They were perfectly round and in the shapes of small circles. I fucking flipped out. I felt my stomach drop. I immediately snapped a few pictures of them and sent them to our favorite lovie. (P.S. Names have been changed to protect the innocent). He told me the pattern of bruises were strange and wanted to know what we had done during the day or if she had fallen or had any kind of trauma. I told him no, that we just had a normal day and she was being her rough and tumble self. He told me not to worry which was completely lost on me. I was ready to throw Poppy in the car and either drive her to the hospital in Portland or all the way home so I could have her checked out there. After bath time, I took her upstairs to brush her teeth. She hates having her teeth brushed and fights me on it every night. Sometimes I just let her do it, but every couple of days I have to basically hold her down and scrub away. On this particular night, I don’t know if I scrubbed too hard or what, but her top gums started bleeding everywhere. Another sign of childhood leukemia. The sight of blood was enough to fly me over the coo coo’s next. I handed her to my mom and went completely mad. I started pacing back and forth. I called your Daddy and was crying hysterically. I listened to all of his rational reasoning but nothing was going to calm me down. I called our other little lovie, Rach, in New York. I seriously think this is how our conversation went:

Me: Rach! sobbing. I think Poppy has Leukemia. more sobbing. I told her all the reasons why.

Rach: O.k. I promise you she doesn’t, but let’s talk this out. Poppy cannot have Leukemia, this sounds more like an anemic  thing. If it will make you feel better, you can take her to get checked out. You can have her blood looked at. Do you want me to call the hospital in Portland right now? I’ll make sure they get you in and treat you like gold.

Me: Sobbing, still. I don’t know. Let me try to calm down, I’m not thinking clearly. I want to have her checked, but I’m not sure I can take her tonight.

The phone call went on for a bit longer. I also talked to your daddy again. Texted with Rach some more. All in all it took 4 different people, 3 of them being doctors, to calm me down. My mom was a wreck from watching me be a wreck and I don’t even want to tell you how upset I was that your brothers had to witness a bit of this as well.

After I was able to calm down, I tucked your brothers and sister into my bed where I watched them all sleep as I tossed and turned all night long. I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Poppy woke up, ready to take on the world as always. I usually want to take on the world with her, but I had decided that the world had to stop until I could confirm for sure that she did not have Leukemia. I texted our lovie the pictures again. He showed them to another doctor. He called me. “Sweetheart. What do you want to do? If you want to get her checked out, go and get her checked out, if nothing more for your peace of mind.” I asked him to fax in a doctor’s order to have her blood drawn at a local place in town. I got her ready, dropped your brothers at Nana’s cafe, and took Poppy to get a mother fucking pokie in her arm.

She was such a trooper. Oh, in no way did she corporate. She was straight pissed off once she knew what was happening. I had to hold her as she kicked, screamed and cried while I told her over and over how sorry I was. After the blood draw was over, the nurse tried to put a sparkly band-aid on her. She ripped it off and said, “I DON’T WANT A SPARKLY BAND-AID!” Little badass. I scooped her up in my arms, put her in her car seat, and called our lovie to tell him it was over as I cried and did what I do best which is beat myself up for being a fucking maniac. I know I’m not really a maniac. I’m just a mom who has been through the worst thing possible and because of that, my worry is constant. My worry never goes away. I don’t know how to fix that, but for the most part I manage it as well as I can.

“I feel horrible for putting her through that. This is not my finest moment in life, you know.” I continued to cry.

I got the whole, “Hey, don’t do that. Don’t beat yourself up over this. You did what you had to do. What you did is not an overreaction after all you’ve been through. You have every right to worry about this. Let’s just wait for the results and what ever happens, we will figure it out from there.”

I then put Poppy on the phone where he talked her while she smiled that gorgeous smile of hers at me. The pokie had already been forgotten by her, but not by me. I’ll never forget what I had to put her through to make sure that she was safe and the healthy child she deserves to be. I found out a couple of hours later that all of her blood work came back completely normal. I let out the sigh of relief that I have been holding in for months. I finally feel like I can breathe again and I know that won’t last forever, but for now it is enough.

Ronan, I must continue the rest of this later. It has gotten so late and my head is pounding. It just started to rain here and that seems like a little sign from you to shut things down and go to sleep. I miss you so much. So very much.

G’nite. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xx

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