Yesterday was a CRAYHAYZAY day. Zoey and I pulled ourselves out of bed super-early and got ready to head off to Destiny USA (formerly known as Carousel mall before they made it into a behemoth of ridiculously expensive restaurants, upscale stores and, apparently, some sort of ropes course). For the fifth year in the row, I was ready to participate in the annual Lupus Walk at Carousel mall (whatever. It will always be Carousel mall to me) and Zoey was going along with me for the fourth year (if you include the year I was impregnito).
Here’s a look at past years to get you up-to-date:
And now, here we are in our fifth year of participating in honor of my mom, who is currently in remission from Lupus.
Over the past few years, our team of walkers has included family and friends and this year was no different. My mom was joined by myself and Zoey, my older sister, Colleen, and her girls, Skylar, Keagan and Rowan and my younger sister, Cristy. Also, one of Skylar’s friends showed up with her mother, father and brother in support. Together, we had a pretty big team.
Back row from L to R: Skylar, me, Cristy, Colleen and Mom; front row from L to R: Sarah, Zoey, Keagan and Rowan
This was the first year we did matching t-shirts. You can get easy-to-use tye dye kits at most craft stores. And see what used to be a plain while t-shirt on Zoey? Yeah, it was $3.88 at Walmart, which I felt was a total score.
Colleen, Cristy and I
My sisters and I
This was supposed to be our silly faces picture. Cristy apparently forgot. Boy, did she look dumb.
Colleen, Cristy, Mom and I
Mom with the grandkids
It was a pretty busy event:
Zoey was all about the complimentary doughnuts and juice:
Rowan and Zoey
Zoey, Keagan and Rowan
And, of course, the free balloon was a huge hit with the kids:
Right before the walk started, the Build A Bear bear made an appearance. I sort of sat back and waited for Zoey to noticed the bear because I wanted to see how she’d react. Up to this point, she has always insisted on keeping a good ten to fifteen foot distance between herself and anyone in costume. So, I figured this would be the same kind of thing. Oh, silly, silly Cindy.
This is her first spotting the bear:
I wish this picture were more in focus
And this is what happened next:
OMG the cuteness!
She gave him a high-five:
This is her turning to me in excitement because the bear waved to her:
She even threw the bear kisses.
Zoey was so excited about the bear that we heard about him for pretty much the entire first lap of the walk. In fact, halfway through the first lap, we stopped in front of the Build A Bear store and I mentioned to Zoey that the store was where the bear lived. Now, picture this: about fifty percent of the Lupus walkers were all standing in a line/crowd in front of the store, waiting to be given their ticket for a later raffle. It was pretty early in the morning, so the store still had its gate mostly down–with only about a foot space between the bottom of the gate and the floor. The lights were on in the store, so Zoey got a good look at all of the fun stuff inside. After I told her that the store was where the bear lived, she took a good look inside the store and then without a word, dropped on her belly and tried to army crawl underneath the gate.
Girlfriend is nothing if not determined.
Everyone in the crowd laughed and thought she was adorable as I grabbed her before she got too far under the gate. OMG. She just wanted to see the bear again. Other years, they had the bear stand outside the front of the store for the first lap or two. But this year, he disappeared kind of quickly.
After I tore Zoey away from the Build A Bear store, we continued with the walk.
Want more? Part two, coming soon. Lots more pictures and stories to come.