Last weekend, my husband and I had the honor to attend Christine’s Christmas for the incredible Make-A-Wish Foundation. During my years in the news business, I covered many stories about the Make-A-Wish Foundation and truly fell in love with this organization. The wishes they grant are incredible and to see the impact they have on the lives of so many children is heartwarming.

Saturday night was filled with delicious food, an impressive silent auction and phenomenal orchestrated Christmas concert. Christine’s Christmas is an annual holiday concert established in 2004 in memory of Christine Wilson, a year after the deadly 2003 OSU campus fire that took Christine’s life along with four of her friends. Christine had a love for children and was passionate about building a career about helping them. Her legacy lives on through this holiday concert as it captures her thoughtfulness and
passion for children through music and celebration.

While Christine’s Christmas brings joy each year to those who attend the concert, its impact extends beyond the concert hall. To date, the event has raised more than $900,000 for children’s charities! WOW! In 2016, Christine’s Christmas began partnering with Make-A-Wish to support granting wishes for children in Central Ohio battling critical conditions.

This year’s Make-A-Wish kid was Delaware native, Isaiah (16) battling leukemia, who wishes to be a music producer. His wish was granted by Christine’s Christmas in October, when he was surprised with his very own music producing studio in his home, complete with a computer and state-of-the-art music equipment. Isaiah and his family were also able to attend Saturday night’s concert.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on a quest to bring every eligible child’s wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. There are currently over 300 children in central Ohio
who are awaiting their wish. For more details on how to get engaged, please visit: www.oki.wish.org or follow us on social media @makeawishohkyin.

*This post was sponsored by Make-A-Wish Foundation. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

 

Such a lovely evening at Christine’s Christmas!
Beautiful performance at a beautiful venue. 
Columbus Native Jessica Grove and her father were mesmerizing. 
A photo of the woman this event is in honor of, Christine Wilson.

I absolutely love organizations, particularly businesses that give back! Goldfish Swim School doesn’t just give back during the holiday season. By providing the community with invaluable swim lessons, I truly believe this is a business that is passionate about giving back.

Oh, but wait… it gets better!

This holiday season Goldfish Swim School is encouraging you to help provide Sweet Dreams & Stories for children throughout Columbus. This month Goldfish Swim School Dublin, Westerville and Lewis Center are partnering together to help provide pajamas and hard cover books to children who may not have access to a literacy rich environment at home.

From December 1 to 21 Goldfish Swim School is accepting donations for two deserving local organizations: Brightside Academy and Run The Race/Brian Muha Memorial Foundation serving at risk children on the near west side and inner-city Columbus.

If you are interested in donating, please bring one or both of the following items to Goldfish Swim School in Dublin, Westerville or Lewis Center.

  • A new pair of pajamas for children ages three months to 12 years
  • A hard cover or chapter book for children ages three months to 10 years

Goldfish Swim School’s goal is to provide pajamas and books for each of the children at Brightside Academy and have many more to donate to the Muha Foundation.

For more information about Goldfish Swim School, please call 614-407-3474 or visit

https://dublin.goldfishswimschool.com https://westerville.goldfishswimschool.com

https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/lewis-center/

*This post is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School. All opinions are my own.*

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Earlier this fall, we surprised the kids with an incredible trip to Butler County, Ohio. We packed up their suitcases and picked them up from school, and off we went!

You can read about the first part of our trip here:

But today, I’m focusing on the most exciting part to me… the Butler County Donut Trail!

Started in 2016, the trail spans 80 miles and covers 12 donut shops. Start at any one of the shops and you can snag a passport that each store will stamp as you go. If you visit 11 of 12 shops, you even get a free t-shirt at the end!! Along the way, you can try every kind of donut you can imagine. Some of the unique flavors we saw were Fruity Pepples, Maple Bacon and S’mores. Y U MMMMMM.

Our first stop on the donut trail was Holtman’s DonutsThis shop was very close to our hotel, and so idyllic. We adored the interior design of subway tile walls, chalkboard menu boards, and teal leather seats. The kids devoured the donuts! We actually had to slow them down reminding them it was just the first stop of many…

Next up was Stan the Donut Man. This donut shop was completely different from Holtman’s. It’s located in a strip mall and doesn’t appear to have changed much in decades… but I LOVED it. The donuts were almost all picked over by 9:30 AM, CRAZY! The nice staff saved some donuts for us in a white paper bag. I don’t want to pick favorites here, but these donuts were INCREDIBLE. I couldn’t stop with just one! Stan the Donut Man was the kind of donut shop I went to growing up. Kind of a hidden gem. I highly recommend you not skipping over this shop.

Our third stop on the trail was The Donut House. Another hidden shop in a small stripmall. The Donut House had gorgeous pink walls and only a few booths. We were given a full dozen donuts here and these were some of the most unique offerings, including fill your own! Maple Bacon, Reese’s Cup and Cookies n Creme just to name a few. Plus, they had pumpkin Spiced donuts… which was perfect for fall. Okay, we were stuffed, but we trekked on…

Our forth and final stop was at Jupiter Coffee & Donuts. This donut shop is also filled with unique offerings. My husband had a banana filled eclair, and said it was the best donut he had all day! Needless to say, this may have been our last stop but it was just as delicious as the other three.

The entire morning was filling and gave our kids a sugar high, but it was so worth it. We’d love to go back and try some of the shops we didn’t have time (or an appetite) for. If you’re looking for a perfect holiday destination, close to home… give Butler County a try!

To read more about the trail check out the Butler County website here: https://www.gettothebc.com/

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Off to the Butler County Donut Trail

That chocolate mouth.

That chocolate mouth.

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Stan the Donut Man’s donuts were INSANE!

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Delicious.

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So many donuts, so little time.

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The Donut House

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Lisa’s Kitchen for lunch

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Wonderful family trip, indeed!

It’s that time of year again, for Goldfish Swim School to roll out their amazing holiday gift baskets. These baskets are always a perfect way to give your family the gift of experiences for the holiday season. This year’s offer is better than ever!

If you are local to the Columbus area… you will love this!

This year’s basket includes:

$200 in Family Credit at Goldfish Swim School 
Aaron Taylor Photography – 1 $100 Gift Certificate
Arnold SportsWorld Expo for Kids & Teens: 2 adult admission ticket ($40.00 value)
Art Garden Studios: 1 Free Class + Sketch Book ($40.00 value)
Barre3 Powell: 1 single class pass ($24.00 value)
Charleys Philly Steaks: 1 small-size Philly sandwich ($7.14 value)
Crazy Richards: Pure Peanut Butter Powder ($5.25)
FIT4MOM Free Week Pass ($35.00 value)
Friendship Crossfit: 3-classes and 30min goal setting & consultation ($85.00 value)
Goldfish Swim School pencil pouch 
Goldfish Swim School branded tote bag
Goldfish Swim School family swim passes ($30.00 value)
Gymboree Play & Music: 1 preview class ($18.00 value)
Jets Pizza: 1 large one-topping pizza ($11.49 value)
Lazer Kraze: 1 free inflatables admission ($8.00 value)
Magic Mountain Fun Center: 1 attraction pass for KidsGym Climbing Playland ($6.50 value)
Menchies: First 5 ounces free ($2.75 value)
Mutts & Co.: 1 Dog Wash ($15.00 value)
North Orange Family Dentistry: Free Whitening Tray for new customers ($360.00 value)
Northepointe Dance Academy 2 free dance classes ($35.00 value)
Nothing Bundt Cakes: 1 Bundlet  ($3.99 value)
Pinnell Dance Centre: $20 off registration 
Recreations Outlet: 3 Visit Play passes ($24.00 value)
Sky Zone: 1 – 30 minute pass ($4.50 value)
Sportsclips: MVP Haircut ($25.00 value)
Star Legacy Dental: $100 credit
Sweet and Sassy: Free nail polish ($7.00 value)
Sweet E’s Cookies: 1 free cookie ($3.00 value)
Texas Roadhouse – Polaris: Free Kids Meal ($7.00 value)
ZipZone Outdoor Adventures: 2 kids park admission tickets ($36.00 value) 
WOW!! Convinced? This is a $2,100 value priced at only $210!!!
Call today to order your holiday gift basket from Goldfish Swim School: 614-407-3473.
*This post is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School. All opinions are my own.*
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Dear Adam,

You turned 2 years old this month, and in typical 3rd child fashion… my birthday letter to you is coming a few weeks late, but that doesn’t reflect my heart.

Adam, you are saving lives. You have impacted more people in your two short years on earth than most people have in a lifetime. You don’t even realize it yet, but one day you will. I hope you are grateful for the work we’re doing.

Adam, we almost lost you during your sixth week with us. You tested positive with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) — a virus none of us had ever heard of before. But you were a fighter and survived with flying colors. I know this is your story to tell, but Adam your mom and dad are so passionate about helping others any way we can so we’ve made it our mission to share our family’s story… your story, in hopes of saving others.

Adam, you are the sweetest. You have the calmest and gentlest disposition. You are perfectly content sitting on our laps and observing the room around you. You are so cuddly, in fact, you can’t fall asleep without touching someone. You are constantly giving us hugs and kisses and we love you for that.

Adam, you adore your sister and look up to your brother. You want to do everything they do. You play sports and board games with Luke and you are patient enough to play “house” with Eden. She calls you her “puppy” and you crawl around on the floor with your tongue hanging out. She loves you more than you love her at this age. She wants to cuddle you and smother you with kisses… you don’t always allow her.

Adam, you look so much like your daddy with your big brown eyes. You also have his temperament, which I’m thankful for.

Your current loves are Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse, balls, cars and trucks. You also are obsessed with the Baby Shark song. Doo doo doo doo doooooo. Your love for Baby Shark has evolved to all sea creatures. When we go to the zoo, the aquarium is your favorite part…you could spend hours observing fish.

Your little personality is really starting to shine. We can’t wait to see what this next year brings you!

Adam, when I found out I was pregnant with you I prayed for a boy. I really wanted Luke to have a baby brother. You have filled our lives with so much joy, love and laughter. We couldn’t imagine our lives without you.

Thank you for being such an inspiration. Thank you for not giving up in the hospital when it would have been so easy to stop breathing. I thank God everyday for you and for the healthy air in your lungs.

Happy 2nd birthday, Adam.

Love,

Mommy

 

Happy 2nd Birthday, Adam!

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