Iowa State's Dance Marathon was at the end of January. Without a doubt, it is our absolute favorite day of the year! At the beginning of the week we had to start counting down how many "sleeps" we had left until the big day.
Dance Marathon is neither a dance nor a marathon, but a celebration of LIFE! For 12 hours, these students stand "for the kids" and raise money for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. This year, they raised over $362,000! That does so much good for families just like ours.
Jenna - 1. The morale dance! Everybody learns it at the beginning of the day and it is done at the top of every hour.
2. Playing laser tag and doing the inflatables.
Brody - 1. Playing with the college kids
2. Power hour - this is the last hour of dancing. There are glow sticks and tons of dancing and it is CRA.ZY. I'm with Brody, it's awesome!
3. Blake - 1. Hanging out with Nathan (our new family contact) and his girlfriend, Becca.
2. The army inflatables
4. Bowen - 1. The morale dance (you can youtube this to see what I'm talking about).
2. The game room (see above and below).
5. Aaron - 1. The hypnotist
2. Seeing the "reveal" for the first time this year! That was at the very end when they let everybody know how much money was raised.
6. Jamie - 1. Power Hour
2. Seeing all the dM alumni
3. Connecting with other families (there are a few moms I've become close to and we love to catch-up).
4. Hearing other miracle kids' stories
5. Having Steph and family with us. It means so much to us that they are now part of our family.
6. And this is my favorite, hands-down....
Last year and this year we had the honor and privilege to share the last family story of the night. It's a lot of pressure because everybody's tired and you're supposed to be super motivational. I don't talk, Aaron talks. The whole day I harass him with suggestions like, "You should talk about this..." Or, "Make sure you don't forget to say something about that...." I make him nuts. I know I do. :)
Here's the thing though about Aaron. He nails that speech. I mean, he hits a home run out of the park. He has the college kids laughing and crying and cheering. I am so, so proud of him how he can convey our story to these dancers.
One funny he told during the speech I have to share. He was talking about me carrying the twins 37 weeks and then being induced. He said both twins were good-sized, 7 lbs. apiece. Aaron then proceeded to walk over and high-five me.... :) :)
Another year over and more memories made. More funds raised for a cause near and dear to our hears. Thank you dancers for inspiring me. Thank you families for sharing your stories of hope. We feel so incredibly blessed to be part of this amazing thing called Iowa State's Dance Marathon!