Saturday, January 28, 2012

ISU Dance Marathon

Do you all remember me telling you that we were chosen to be a Dance Marathon family for Iowa State's Dance Marathon? Well, the big day was January 21st. What a day! It was, in a word, AMAZING! I cannot say enough good things about it. I took a boat-load of photos, so bear with me. :)

When we got to Memorial Union, there was music playing and college kids out in the hall and they were just crazy. Jumping around, dancing, just totally jacked up about the 15 hour feat they were about to conquer.

We were "Team Tiger". Here is Blake with his little name tag they made for him. So cute. The bummer part of the day was that Blake wasn't feeling good at all. You can tell by his eyes he was sick, but we felt like we really needed to be there.
The beginning of the day all the families got announced. The students made a tunnel for us to go through. It was dark, lights flashing, music blaring. I told Jenna they would probably give her high fives, so to just go with it. So she led the Burdorf family, giving high fives the whole time. It was so cute!

They had a room just for the families that had a ton of activities for the parents/kids to do. Brody and Aaron decorated a star.
Our very good family friend Emily Morgan was the one that asked us to be a DM family. She is awesome! We love her and are so glad that our first year got to be with her.
The first two hours of the day the students spent learning the Morale Dance. After they learned it, every hour on the hour they played the song and the students did this specific dance. It's actually a bunch of songs melded together and different groups took turns with the choreography. It was so cool to watch! Last year ISU even won an award for the best Morale Dance.
Inside the Great Hall, where the actual DM was held, in addition to the dancing, they had tons of family and student friendly activities going on. They had a bounce house, four-square, board games, karaoke, the joust. Brody and Jenna battled. They were so funny with their head gear on.
After he watched Jenna do the ring toss, Bowen gave it a try.
Daddy and Blakers
Mama and her twin baby dolls (Blake left; Bowen right)
This was a Brody favorite - video games! The college kids were impressed with how well he did.
After lunch and more activities we met with our team and told them our story. It's a way for the kids to really connect with the cause. I volunteered Aaron to do most of our talking, for fear that I would cry. Aaron did a good job and I added to the story when necessary. The students asked really good questions too.

After our talk with the team, we decided it was time to go home and let the kids rest. Bowen had had enough... :)
The twins had a nice nap and we decided to head BACK over for a couple more hours of the DM. I took a picture of Blake's sign that they made for him. Every single miracle kid had one and they were hung around the Great Hall. So cool!
Emily and Bowen
We also had some friends come over too! Our friend Jay (below with Blakers), Emily's parents, Brad and Sara, and Chris Davis and her daughter, Megan, came. Chris' son was also participating in the DM.
When in Rome...although we are Hawkeye fans, we can't say enough about these AWESOME, AMAZING completely SELFLESS, ISU students!! Cy made an appearance, so I thought, well, it is ISU's dance marathon, so I asked Cy if he held babies. He did, so Blake got his picture taken.
And then Jenna wanted one too. There was a huge fan blowing just to the left of them, which explains the expressions and the hair.
I found this room that said, "Why we dance," outside of it. Inside, I found all these different reasons that these college kids chose to participate in this event. I was in this room all by myself and I was tearing up. Some of them said, "To bring hope to the families." "I can when they can't." "For a brighter future." "To be part of an amazing cause."

Then, I saw one that made the tears spill over. It said, "Because my twin sister is in my life today." Wow. That hit close to home. I cannot in a million years imagine what our lives would be like without Blake. I thank God for him every single day.
I most definitely agree with this sign...
Our family - year one of our Dance Marathon experience.
These selfless students, who are helping miracle kids and their families that they may or may not ever meet raised over $380,000!! AMAZING!!
15 hours. 15 years. Kickin' it for the Kids.