So, we started the day at the hospital then stopped for lunch & afterward we headed to Good Mews, a local cat adoption shelter where my mom had purchased a memorial brick in honor of Emery. She wanted us to see it on Emery’s birthday. Emery always wanted a kitten so my mom knew it would mean a lot to have a brick at Good Mews. My cousin and her family were able to join us for that, some of the kids loved the cats & kittens and some of the kids & adults did not love them. It was a mixed bag but a good visit.
We had a busy day celebrating Emery’s birthday July 30. Phillip’s sister & family came to town to celebrate with us and we had quite a few family members locally who were able to join in last minute. I didn’t have a formal plan for Emery’s birthday but I knew I wanted to do one thing, give each child at the hospital a beanie boo on Emery’s birthday. We had also planned to begin a family tradition to have dinner downtown at the Sundial restaurant. After that I had no formal plans but several things came together to make it a very memorable day. Prior to Emery’s birthday her best friend Emerson told her mom that she wanted to host a lemonade/salsa/chicken pot pie stand to raise money and donate to Emery’s family kitchen fund. I was so touched that she wanted to do that and I suggested they do it on Emery’s birthday since it was a Saturday. I also asked a few other friends who knew Emery and knew about our fundraising efforts if they too would host lemonade stands on Emery’s birthday (one friend had already said her kids wanted to host one and donate money to CHOA so I just threw out the idea for Emery’s bday). All in all there were 3 lemonade stands around town on Emery’s birthday each set up to honor Emery & to raise money and awareness about the family kitchen. Emerson’s was the biggest success because she and her mom put so much effort in planning, preparing and promoting the event. They raised well over $2,000 and Emerson’s dad will be able to make a 100% company match. In addition to that huge contribution we had some other big donations when people who know both Emerson and Emery heard about our efforts. It was very touching to see the outpouring of love and support. Tracey Nies and her kids hosted one in Dunwoody with an impressive amount raised & Susan O’Farrell’s 3 kids hosted one in Marietta too.
I had a few friends catch wind of the beanie boo give away so I received several from a fellow heart family in Illinois, thank you to The Bryants and my co-workers surprised me with a huge pile of beanie boos that they had bought to donate to our cause. It was so great again to have the support. Several moms who received the beanie boos at the hospital reached out to tell me how thankful they were & that felt awesome.
Then we all headed to the lemonade stand where more friends of ours met us. Michelle & Jay Hicks brought gifts for Emery’s birthday, a bunch of butterflies for us to release and a beautiful piece of art work with butterflies to add to our sunroom where Emery spent a lot of her time.
We made it out to dinner & the Sundial rotates to give you a full view of the city, we were there in time for sun set and it was perfect. I think the most memorable part of the evening though was when the waiter accidentally dropped the fish entree on Lauren’s lap. She was far from amused but it made us all crack up & in hindsight we think that was Emery’s way of saying she was with us. My mom brought mustaches for us to wear and mustache straws in honor of Emery so we were quite a sight.
At the end of the night we lit paper lanterns and let them float into the night sky. It was beautiful to see and closed out a very memorable day.