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Mostly Sweet

This time of year most of us are very blessed to spend a lot of time with our families.  Sometimes this is the only time of year we get to see some of them. It is always one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I love hanging out with my parents and siblings and in-laws.

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One thing I have learned in my experience and conversations with others is no family is perfect. I would venture to guess that behind every Norman Rockwell painted smile there are a few snickers, giggles, questionable glares and possibly even tears. Likely on the bottom of the perfectly-browned, perfectly-seasoned, perfectly-shiny, perfectly-PAINTED turkey there is a real turkey that is a little too dry and maybe slightly burned, that came out of an oven that is perfectly covered in the caked on messy juices from a day of cooking. The oven you look at and think "I really need to clean that sometime."

I think it is easy to look at other people's life, or Christmas card photo, and think, "Wow, they have the perfect family. They have no idea what goes on in my house at Christmas. I'm so glad she won't be looking in my oven."

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So Thankful

During this season of thanksgiving, I feel I should give thanks for so many things:1) I am thankful for my health but more than that I am thankful that I have learned to be intentional about this day as we never know when it could be our last.2)I am thankful for my family and the "family" of people that I get to know through Inheritance of Hope; the staff, volunteers, and incredible families we serve.3)I am thankful for my resources. I feel so blessed and love looking for ways to share those blessings.4) I am thankful for an amazing Legacy Retreat in New York City in November and another one coming up in February in Orlando, Florida.5) I am thankful for an eternal perspective that allows me to continue to know and love people who are facing the end of life on earth.  I am so thankful that this is not the end!As we all look forward to this holiday season, I pray that you are able to  give thanks in all circumstances.
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A Night Out

Tonight everyone enjoyed a night out! Even the rain couldn't damper our delight to head out on the town.

All of the parents were given gift cards to eat at a fancy New York City restaurant.  They were thrilled to have a nice evening just as adults, but not as thrilled as their children were to have Kids Night Out!  

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A New Day...More Fun!

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This morning it is a little bit cooler and cloudy in the Big Apple.

Most of the families were a little later down to breakfast this morning, feeling the tiredness from an amazing a busy day yesterday.  After filling their bellies with the Novotel's delicious breakfast spread everyone was able to perk up to begin a fun and full day in the city.

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Rockin' with the Rockettes

What an amazing night!

Following a scrumptious dinner  at the Hotel Novotel we took a 3 block walk to Radio City Music Hall. All of the families were super excited to see the show.

The show started with a 3D movie experience and moved into a kick line.  The Rockettes were amazing as santas, toy soldiers, shoppers, humbug zappers, and glittery Christmas decorations.

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Circle the City

Today has been a great day! The weather has been fantastic and all the families are enjoying each other and New York City.

This morning's blog update proved to be an accurate description of everything we have done.  In other words, everything has gone according to plan!  I love it when that happens. 

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Filled with Excitement

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The Hull Family

Currently (at 6:30am) the skies are clear and it is 53 degrees.  This day will start with a delicious breakfast at the Hotel Novotel. Did I mention that this luxurious hotel is in the heart of Times Square and we only need to look out our windows to see the most spectacular view of New York City?  Families have been enjoying the rooftop deck. Make sure you check out the pictures! (You have to be a member of the "Fans of the 2011 New York City Legacy Group".)

Anyone can join just click "join group".

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Everyone's here...almost!

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The day started early for many of the families attending the 2011 New York City Legacy Retreat.  Some of them even started their travels yesterday to get to Manhattan for their Inheritance of Hope Retreat.

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The Big Apple

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Ten days from today 16 families from 10 different states will arrive in New York City for a trip of a lifetime. They will arrive from California, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

Although we serve a wide variety of families with a wide variety of conditions it always amazes me that the community that develops at our Legacy Retreats is very rich and unified.  These families may come from all over the country but they have much in common. One of the commonalities is their excitement regarding this retreat.  Understandably so....

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Crossing the Finish Line

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This past weekend was an incredible memory for me! I completed my first marathon with an amazing group of people.

We all ran to support Inheritance of Hope.

We ran so that families with young children who have a parent facing a life-threatening illness can experience joy in memories, comfort in community and hope in their circumstances.

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