Archive for August, 2013


I’m a little behind in posting about this awesome event-working full-time definitely adds a new dimension to stretching my time!  I’m still trying to get the hang of adding 40 hours of work outside the home to my schedule!  However, this amazing morning was too cool to not post about.  Every time I think about it, I have to smile – it was that great!  Get ready for a marathon post with pictures – there’s a lot to talk about!!!!!

Last May, Erika and I convinced Becky Anderson to come participate in the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure” 5K – We wanted to honor Becky, who is a breast cancer survivor, but mostly an amazing friend.  Before Tyler got sick, Erika and I had run it and always had such an inspiring time when we did.  Although we all had our issues with the Komen Foundation and how they run parts of their organization, we decided to go join the thousands and be part of the cause.  That’s when the inspiration began happening…as we walked along with the crowd (actually, at the very back of the crowd!), an idea began to take form.  What if we started one in the name of F2TF, and what if we let people create teams in memory/honor of their own loved ones?  As we walked that morning, we got more and more excited about doing our own, and how it could become personal for each runner involved.  Ideas were just coming to us, and I’m quite confident, they weren’t our own, but from a higher power.  I remember our conversation, saying, “What if we got about 200 to come run in this first 5K?”  We imagined we could convince our family and close friends to come join us and we’d have an inspirational morning.  We thought the three of us could handle this pretty much on our own…we didn’t even begin with a committee because we weren’t sure the response we would get.  Little did we know…

From the time we announced the creation of the race, registrations began pouring in.  Before we knew it, we were up above 1000 registrants – 30 teams of fighters to be honored.  We were completely blown away!  We scrambled to get some help and as usual, had fabulous people ready and willing to take the reins and get each aspect of the race organized.  Thank you so much to all those who stepped in and saved us!!!!

I’ve said a picture is worth a thousand words, so the pictures are going to do the talking now.  There were so many touching things that happened during this race, I would have to write a book, so this year, you’ll just have to see the pictures and imagine you were there.  Next year, you’ll have to join us and see what the excitement was all about.  I can tell you that there was one common denominator the whole morning – smiles.  We all had the common goal of honoring those we loved.  It wasn’t about winning – it was about finishing…F2TF.

Preparing for the balloon launch to honor the four Giving Tree boys

Casey Elliott singing "Go The Distance" - AMAZING!!!

Sweet Maddie releasing the balloons for the boys...

Wow...Coolest Sight Ever

And They're Off!


...and they just kept coming! All 1500 of them!!!!

The Finish Line!

Bellas in Farr West donated breakfast burritos - delish!


The Human Spirit Is Stronger Than Anything That Can Happen To It - We Love and Miss You Tyler

Two incredibly talented people created videos of the event, one by ground, one by air!  Andy Bell from Ambit Films put together this incredible video –

And Allie Dixon Schroeder, my sweet friend, put together this amazing video from the ground.  Grab your tissues…you’ll need it for both of them!

Thank you friends for being so willing to share you talents with us!

President Thomas S. Monson said, “Let us ask ourselves the question, ‘Have I done any good in the world today?  Have I helped anyone in need?’ What a formula for happiness!  What a prescription for contentment, for inner peace…there are hearts to gladden…there are kind words to say…there are deeds to be done…” I’m telling you that there were hearts made glad, kind words said, and deeds done.  It was such a wonderful day filled with families and teams of those who came to celebrate their loved ones.  It was truly a community of kindness and I felt like those who had left this earth were with us here that morning.  We felt angels around us the whole time.  On what should have been a crazy, anxious morning of preparation, it was filled with calm, peaceful souls, just coming and doing what they had been assigned to do.  Becky and I marveled at the order and demeanor of everyone that morning (maybe it was just that it was 4:30 a.m. when we started! :))

Thanks for helping us continue the Giving Tree Legacy another year.  We are able to double the amount we put on each tree, so thanks to you, a wonderful service will go one another twelve months!

And finally, to end a truly ‘marathon’ post, I want to quote President Monson once more and thank you from the bottom of my heart for following his admonition, “May we go the extra mile to include in our lives those who are lonely or downhearted or who are suffering in any way.  May we cheer up the sad and make someone feel glad.  May we live so that when the final summons is heard, we may have no serious regrets, no unfinished business, but will be able to say … “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”