Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Buddy Walk 2013

I am way behind on my Big Buddy Walk post of 2013.  So, here it is, two months late. There are tons of photos and lots of rambling, but we sum it all up at the bottom. Get ready...here it is: 
Grammy, Pa and Aunt Terra made the trip for this year's event. We, of course, put them to work before we even left the parking lot. 
 We felt the magic walking into the stadium. Little Porter even got out of the stroller to snuggle with some of the cheerleaders. He's a ladies man.
 Friends traveled from near and far to be a part of the amazingly warm October fun!
 There were donuts.
 That produced smiles.
 There were new friends.
 And new kinds of fun.
 The nice weather meant we could really take advantage of all the activities.
 The kids had a blast!
 I was completely overwhelmed by the support! Support from old friends (Lori & I met when we were three and now our kiddos are growing up together) and new...
 ...and Grammy snuggles.
 This little man was showered with love about 84 times over.
 This is almost all of Porter's Peeps 2013.  Seriously amazed by the number of friends and family who joined us!
 Even though Buddy Walk is Porter's thing, Penny also enjoyed super star big sister status. She had an amazing time with all her friends. Aside from her birthday, this is the one event where she gets to see almost all her friends.
 Porter had fun with his buddies too!
 Godmother Maureen brought her Villanova pride.
 And Ella made Penny smile!
 RC's Villanova crew was in the house!
 And his work crew supported us too!
 Porter's OT came to join in the fun.
 As the walk started, we hit the track with our team and we brought out our signs. I wish I had a photo of the entire team walking. There must have been a dozen strollers!
 No event would be complete without a Kadingo family photo.
 Erik and Kendall made the trip from Allentown! And, they brought a sign :) Thanks so much guys!
 Do you think we had fun?
 We most certainly did!
 From family to daycare, childhood and college friends, we were surrounded by the people we love and the people who love Porter.
 We are so incredibly lucky that our friends accept him for all he is.
 And we think he is pretty amazing. So does Jane :)
 Porter's speech therapist was part of his team!
 Darth Vader was not. But we did have fun meeting him.
 I don't know if Risa will ever know just how much we appreciate what she did for us. This amazing mom we know from daycare raised so much money, helping our team double our fundraising goal. Risa- you rock!
 Grammy and Nana rocked their peeps socks!
 The day was all about love. We love Buddy Walk!
 And the kids loved the bleachers. They would have climbed all day if we let them.
 My college roomies made the trip...love you girls!
 More love!
 After the walk, we headed over to Flip & Bailey's.
 Someone was hungry.
 He ate everyone's lunches!
 Family :)
 After all that rambling, here are my thoughts. Buddy Walk 2013 was amazing. We were overwhelmed by the number of family and friends who joined us at Villanova for the walk. From Grammy, Pa and Terra who traveled by plane, to the Fitzpatrick cousins, the Weiner's, Greible, the Kelly's, the Crater's, the Applegate's and everyone else who drove many miles to be with us, thank you! To all our local friends who gave up a busy fall morning to spend time with us, thank you! To everyone who donated to our team, thank you!
This is Porter. I am proud to be his mom.
I am proud of our family and friends who have welcomed him with open arms and who continue to support us on our journey.
I'm a little Buddy Walk obsessed. For me, Buddy Walk is a place where we can celebrate the extra chromosome. When we're at Buddy Walk and we see all the other teams who we've come to know over the past two years, I am, more than ever, so incredibly thankful that we've become part of this community. Down Syndrome wasn't what we expected. Porter's extra chromosome continues to open our eyes and hearts. Thank you to everyone who was a part of Buddy Walk 2013! I can't wait to see what Buddy Walk 2014 brings for Porter and his Peeps. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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