a different kind of perfect

i'm a mom...on a mission...to enjoy life everyday...appreciate the little moments...try not to get so easily annoyed...raise my kids with a faith legacy that leads them to continue to be amazing people...and to make my husband feel as special as he makes me feel.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

CF is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30k children and adults in the US (70k worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that both clogs the lungs and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. [www.cff.org]

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Buddy!

Happy Birthday Dean-o Shean-o Cappuccino!

I loved my birthday brownie!

Two years ago today I can vividly remember the crazy feeling of being so unbelievably excited that you were going to join us. We knew right from the start that you were different from your older siblings, all born on the 21st of different months and here you come out on the 30th. 

You are hilarious; you know how to joke around.  At such a young age, you know a simple moo will make us chuckle.

You are loving; you give hugs in the morning, run to greet Cali and Owen when they walk through the door after school, and Gaga when he comes home from work and I love those little legs and how they sprint to give me a great giant bear hug when you first wake up.

You are kind; after your milky in the morning, you warm my heart when you insist on bringing Evie hers (even when she's still sleeping).

You are strong; I tear up the few times when you cry to take off your vest, but I'm in awe the 90% of the time when you work the machines and take the treatments without a whimper.

I loved that you watched ELF about 100 times this winter and that you're rotating now through Toy Story and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. 

I love that you're best buddy is Obba and that you get so excited when you wear a blue shirt like him.

I love that you call your big sister Cali Mama, your big brother O.J. and we're so close with Evie...from EE to EB.

I love that you follow Evie around and miss her dearly when she's at school. 

I love that you get so excited seeing a fish; that you literally shake with excitement when a dawwgy comes near and get even more excited when it licks your hand.

I love you buddy, you're my littlest man and there are days when I can't stop thanking God for the gift that you are to all of us.  Birthdays are special but every single day with you is just precious.

Some pictures from Dean's day today...
Starting off the day with a game
My sisters decorated my door!
Opening some gifts
Still smiling at bedtime!
 If you haven't had the chance to see Dean's 2012 Fundraising video and contribute to our Great Strides fundraiser, please check it out at:  http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/JimandErinBurns

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Once a year we're shufflin'

Today, we had a beautiful sunshine-y morning for a run through the streets of Chicago. Ten years ago we ran our first Shamrock Shuffle 8K and it's the one race we try hard to run each year.  We run it with enthusiasm (well at least Jim does) and vigor and absolutely love the feeling afterwards. Jim ran 9 out of the last 10 years, me...well, a few less.  To be honest, I frequently complain about running, always choosing to never have time for it, always making an excuse why I can't fit it in but I so enjoy how great of a feeling of accomplishment it is when I'm done.  And believe it or not, it was actually fun today.   Although not easy.  I don't recommend the training for an 8K in 20 days and I don't recommend a few glasses of vino the night before a race so my goal this morning wasn't to set a PR but to actually run the entire 5 miles.  After the earbuds fell out and got tangled right before mile 1, I wasn't sure I was going to make all 5 but mile marker 2 and 3 came and I was quite proud of my endurance.  I even managed to drink a few sips of water without stopping or spilling it entirely on my face.  At about 3.5 miles in though, I almost stopped....I was talking myself out of it.  I could only repeat I can do all things through Him who gives me strength so many times.  But low and behold, right as I was about to give in, there was a spectator on the sidelines that looked right at me, noticed my shirt and yelled "go team CF, you're doing great!"  I wanted to cry. So many thoughts ran through my head:

You're so right. I.AM.DOING.GREAT!
I can do this. 
I have the ability to run, why would I choose to give in?
I'm in the middle of it, more than halfway done, it's not that much longer.
If Dean can deal with limited lung function on a daily basis, why can't I deal with the "pain" for 5 miles? 
What would Jim think if he saw me walking (haha...)

So I kept going.  I did it for all of my kids so they know how important it is to keep your body healthy...after all it is the "most magnificent machine you'll ever be given...take care of it" (per karyn). 

So I kept going.  I did it for Jim, so he'd be proud of me.

So I kept going.  I did it for me, so I could be proud of me.

So I kept going and I finally realized that all throughout our lives, even the simplest of things, the kindness of those we know and love and that of those we don't know are our motivators, our little pieces of gold in this life, our angels, to keep us going.

Thanks to O's for watching the kiddos while we enjoyed our night in the city and our running day, to Jim for the encouragement, the love and the laughs when my training doesn't quite live up to yours (and for setting your PR today - what motivation for 2013), to our kids for giving me a reason to take care of myself and finally to that random lady on the street for helping me to keep going for the last 1.5 miles - you're all a little piece of gold from above.

Save the date...come out and join us on Saturday May 19th in Orland Park for our Great Strides walk/picnic!  For more details and to help us reach our goal, visit:  http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/JimandErinBurns

we both set a PR at this race!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

There's some simple things in life, things that make you smile when you have the best of times or the worst of days.  To me that is the sillies above.  Keeping it short and sweet today...enjoy your day, your year, your life:

May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health,
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth.
May the dreams you hold dearest,
Be those which come true,

The kindness you spread,
Keep returning to you.

And a cool little reminder...

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses more;
He who loses faith, loses all.

To donate to our Great Strides fundraiser, visit:  http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/JimandErinBurns

Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Fundraising Campaign Begins

Everyone has a cause, a person in need, a family, a church, a school.  This is our cause.  We are raising money because we are so prayerful that our cure will come soon.  We refuse to let Cystic Fibrosis define Dean and our family, and although we always have it on our mind and we continue to raise money for that cure, we will never lose site of just how precious of a gift we have in Dean as a person, as our little man, as our son.  Check out this video to see just why we want to share him and our hopes with you:  Dean's video.
For the second year, we will be participating in the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides fundraiser and Walk on May 19, 2012 in Orland Park, Illinois.  This is an annual fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and we can really use your help...
  • Help us fundraise by signing up via our Great Strides site (it's super easy and would expand our reach beyond our wildest dreams)
  • Make a monetary donation (if you're going to fundraise for us, make your personal donation on your page)!
  • Bring Eat. Pray. Dean to a walk in your area (we're going National!!!  Eat. Pray. Dean will debut in Maryland this year - we'd love to be where you are too!)
  • Finally, check out our personal website:  we have raised some money already this year, have events going on now, more events planned this year and have a blog to keep you informed throughout the year of Dean's health.
We are so amazingly thankful for each and every bit of help that we receive.  Thank you for sticking with us, for caring, for truly making a difference in the lives of so many and one in particular that is so undeniably courageous in every possible way.  We will leave you with this ending to our prayers that we pray for our kids each evening...May you wake up tomorrow morning with a smile on your face and God's love flowing through you.
Thank you,
Jim & Erin
"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” ~Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)