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#niceonthe9th

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Be Nice Be SUDC Aware

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March is SUDC Awareness Month! Week 2 is “Raising Awareness One Person at a Time Week.” Help us prepare goody bags for first responders and those in the medical community Saturday, March 9th at Firehouse Subs (5924 SW 3rd St, OKC, OK 73127) from 6-8:30pm! We will be including SUDC fact sheets but if you would like to bring small items like “vroom vrooms” (AKA Hot Wheels), rolls of Life Savers, pocket-sized hand sanitizer, hand warmers, and non-perishable snacks (or any other items you think they would appreciate), we would LOVE to see you!

As usual, if you are not in OKC, you can do something similar wherever you live! The fact sheets we are using can be found here https://sudc.org/…/Foundation%20Broch…/SUDCF1PGGENAUD19.pdf…. Caleb’s picture is on the bottom right.

We chose Firehouse Subs because a portion of every dollar is donated to grants to purchase life-saving equipment for first responders. See more here: https://www.firehousesubs.com/public-safety-foundation/

See you on Saturday to be Nice on the 9th!!

https://sudc.org/get-involved/sudc-awareness-month

#calebeffect
#niceonthe9th
sudcawareness

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Of All the Creatures Big and Small, I Will Always Love You Most of All

Caleb's animals. Top left-Sofie (01/04/04-05/05/15) Top Right-Sanka Bottom-Smudge All three came from shelters but they rescued us from more than they will ever know. Sanka and Smudge are brothers.   To find out what a sucker I am, ask  Adam  about how both of our kitties came to own us.  Thank you to  Viewfinder Photography  for helping us get each of these beautiful furmily members.

Caleb's animals.
Top left-Sofie (01/04/04-05/05/15)
Top Right-Sanka
Bottom-Smudge
All three came from shelters but they rescued us from more than they will ever know. Sanka and Smudge are brothers.

To find out what a sucker I am, ask Adam about how both of our kitties came to own us.

Thank you to Viewfinder Photography for helping us get each of these beautiful furmily members.

As I was leaving to go to our event I saw a huge hawk. The picture doesn't do it justice but it was the best I could do from my car window.

As I was leaving to go to our event I saw a huge hawk. The picture doesn't do it justice but it was the best I could do from my car window.

We had lots of fun activities for the whole family!! I also thought it was rather appropriate that it was at "The Garage," the place where vroom vrooms live.

We had lots of fun activities for the whole family!! I also thought it was rather appropriate that it was at "The Garage," the place where vroom vrooms live.

One smart and absolutely stunning little soul helped us write notes to the volunteers and staff at the 3 non-profits we supported this month. I can't wait to deliver all of these sweet messages!— with  Jennifer Yowell .

One smart and absolutely stunning little soul helped us write notes to the volunteers and staff at the 3 non-profits we supported this month. I can't wait to deliver all of these sweet messages!— with Jennifer Yowell.

We met some really sweet new friends this month and two of their girls even had kitties on their shirts! Coincidence??

We met some really sweet new friends this month and two of their girls even had kitties on their shirts! Coincidence??

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No one had to cook on the 9th! Woo hoo! We loved seeing our faithful friends and their growing babies! — with  Gabrielle Luebke  and  Christian Mangrum .

No one had to cook on the 9th! Woo hoo! We loved seeing our faithful friends and their growing babies! — with Gabrielle Luebke and Christian Mangrum.

This gorgeous lady is nice every day on and off her meaningful job as an adoption attorney and we are so happy she brought her whole family to help us be Nice on the 9th for our furry friends. Thank you, Yowell family! — with  Jennifer Yowell .

This gorgeous lady is nice every day on and off her meaningful job as an adoption attorney and we are so happy she brought her whole family to help us be Nice on the 9th for our furry friends. Thank you, Yowell family! — with Jennifer Yowell.

The Lindo/Lundys showing some love! — with Thomas Lundy ,  Annie Lindo  and  Rose Lindo .

The Lindo/Lundys showing some love! — withThomas Lundy, Annie Lindo and Rose Lindo.

This might be my new favorite picture of Caleb's grandparents! Thank you for all your help! — with Roy Wile  and  Ruby Willoughby Wile .

This might be my new favorite picture of Caleb's grandparents! Thank you for all your help! — withRoy Wile and Ruby Willoughby Wile.

These beautiful friends have been here since the beginning! Wish we had more time to catch up! — with  Bradley Bollinger ,  Stephanie Fine  and  Erica DeGiusti Bollinger .

These beautiful friends have been here since the beginning! Wish we had more time to catch up! — with Bradley Bollinger, Stephanie Fine and Erica DeGiusti Bollinger.

It's fun to be nice!! Vroom vrooms, markers good food and company AND no one had to cook OR do dishes! Thank you  The Garage  for all your warm hospitality and support of charities like ours! — with  Adam Wile ,  Bernie Lindo Wile ,  Shari Wile  and Rose Lindo .

It's fun to be nice!! Vroom vrooms, markers good food and company AND no one had to cook OR do dishes!
Thank you The Garage for all your warm hospitality and support of charities like ours! — with Adam Wile, Bernie Lindo Wile, Shari Wile andRose Lindo.

A. DOR. A. BLE. If I carried cash, I would've given her all my quarters! — with  Jennifer Yowell .

A. DOR. A. BLE.
If I carried cash, I would've given her all my quarters! — with Jennifer Yowell.

The Lindo/Lundy/Wile ladies. (P.S. Rose, you will be happy to know that Facebook automatically tagged you as you in this picture, ha) — with  Thomas Lundy ,  Bernie Lindo Wile ,  Annie Lindo  and  Rose Lindo .

The Lindo/Lundy/Wile ladies.
(P.S. Rose, you will be happy to know that Facebook automatically tagged you as you in this picture, ha) — with Thomas Lundy, Bernie Lindo Wile, Annie Lindo and Rose Lindo.

Everyone made new friends! I got some people on the live video but sadly, this was the only picture I got of the Maxfield representative who showed up with a car FULL of supplies for the animals!! Thank you guys!! — with  Jacob Maxfield ,  Kissy Padron and  Jennifer Yowell .

Everyone made new friends! I got some people on the live video but sadly, this was the only picture I got of the Maxfield representative who showed up with a car FULL of supplies for the animals!! Thank you guys!! — with Jacob Maxfield, Kissy Padronand Jennifer Yowell.

Someone thought she was a big kid driving with her buddy! Thanks for being so gentle and patient, Will! You earned your Nice on the 9th sticker! — with  Erica DeGiusti Bollinger  and  Rose Lindo .

Someone thought she was a big kid driving with her buddy! Thanks for being so gentle and patient, Will! You earned your Nice on the 9th sticker! — with Erica DeGiusti Bollinger and Rose Lindo.

I've missed these ladies! We go waaaaaaaaaaaaay back to the days before I could even drive a car when I was "Babysitter Bernie." You would be hard-pressed to find anyone nicer to animals than the North family. — with  Pam North ,  Bernie Lindo Wile  and  Jess North .

I've missed these ladies! We go waaaaaaaaaaaaay back to the days before I could even drive a car when I was "Babysitter Bernie." You would be hard-pressed to find anyone nicer to animals than the North family. — with Pam North, Bernie Lindo Wile and Jess North.

These precious ones know most of the volunteers and staff working to help animals deserve more than a few wet-nosed kisses to keep their spirits up. — with  Erica DeGiusti Bollinger  and  Jennifer Yowell .

These precious ones know most of the volunteers and staff working to help animals deserve more than a few wet-nosed kisses to keep their spirits up. — with Erica DeGiusti Bollinger and Jennifer Yowell.

Caleb's grandma finally found a kitty that doesn't make her sneeze! — with  Thomas Lundy  and  Rose Lindo .

Caleb's grandma finally found a kitty that doesn't make her sneeze! — with Thomas Lundy and Rose Lindo.

Being able to collect supplies for our furry friends puts a smile on this guy's face! — with  Adam Wile .

Being able to collect supplies for our furry friends puts a smile on this guy's face! — with Adam Wile.

Annie's first local Nice on the 9th!! Welcome home, Annalou!!! — with  Thomas Lundy ,  Annie Lindo  and  Rose Lindo .

Annie's first local Nice on the 9th!! Welcome home, Annalou!!! — with Thomas Lundy, Annie Lindo and Rose Lindo.

I ordered my food and look what number I got. Hmmmmmmm... — with  Stephanie Fine ,  Bernie Lindo Wile  and  Erica DeGiusti Bollinger .

I ordered my food and look what number I got. Hmmmmmmm... — with Stephanie Fine, Bernie Lindo Wile and Erica DeGiusti Bollinger.

So good to get to catch up a little bit with Caleb's auntie,  Shari Wile ! — with  Adam Wile .

So good to get to catch up a little bit with Caleb's auntie, Shari Wile! — with Adam Wile.

Nikki with  Safe Haven Animal Rescue  was so excited to see the new items (and checks) she got to take back to all the animals being fostered! It was so good to meet you!!

Nikki with Safe Haven Animal Rescue was so excited to see the new items (and checks) she got to take back to all the animals being fostered! It was so good to meet you!!

We hope everyone enjoyed being Nice on the 9th for all creatures big and small.

We hope everyone enjoyed being Nice on the 9th for all creatures big and small.

Hi Baby. I love you. I miss you more than words can even begin to tell you. Tonight we celebrated one of your favorites in this world – animals!

Mommy showed everyone the picture of you kissing Smudge and it still makes me wonder why in the world he was so tolerant of everything you did. How did you manage to make him sit still while you drove your vroom vrooms all over his back? Why didn’t he run away when you made him your personal pillow on the couch? We had to teach you not to grab his tail that was right at your level but he never used his claws to take a swipe at you. It’s like he wanted to play and he was willing to be slightly uncomfortable just so he could be close to you. He kept coming back and rubbing his whiskers against you or flopping right in front of you and letting you “hug” him. I think you must have been telling him things without even saying a word. I think he is still listening, Baby Boy.

Mommy is still trying her best to listen too. We try to be nice to our friends who have hands and feet but also the ones with paws and claws. You always knew your furry roommates were special but some of them are still in shelters and foster homes waiting to have a little buddy to adore them too. All three of your animals you had in your life had volunteers and special people taking care of them before they ever came to live with us. In fact, Mommy had Sofie, your German Shepherd/Lab before she had Daddy or you. Thinking about it now, she was just a few months older than you when I adopted her. This fact in itself breaks Mommy’s heart. We know in advance that our animals don’t have the same average lifespan as humans but even all your animals have been able to stay in our laps for more than 5 times as long as you did. Humans can live past 100 so why did you only get 2 much too brief years? There are so many questions but no answers no matter how many times they come hurriedly into our brains.

Smudge’s brother, Sanka is the shy one but you always seemed amused watching him jump over the gate and up the stairs to safety. I think you knew that most kitties are more like Sanka and that he didn’t mean anything with his stingy affections. Still, you never stopped trying to make him love you the way you loved him. Sanka liked to watch you play at his watchful distance and then check it out for himself after the lively, little boy went on to the next fun thing. He liked some of the same toys you did and still hides in your Thomas the Train tent and behind the curtains the way you would. He is also a little on the small side like you and knows exactly when it’s time to eat. You probably couldn’t convince him to eat frozen peas but if they made kitty food in packets he would probably cry and demand his servants squeeze it out into his dish for him and then immediately act disinterested until he was coaxed back to the bowl. He thinks I don’t notice that he comes slinking around and pawing at me only when he is trying to get me to give in and feed him early but I know all his tricks. A really long time ago kitty cats were royalty and there is a phrase that says that they have not ever forgotten this fact. Sanka has definitely not forgotten but every now and then he will come curl up with me and make your Daddy jealous.

I’m jealous of all the people who get to carry you on their backs or kiss your perfect cheeks right now. Mommy misses her mini, snuggly bear cub more than she knows how to comprehend and I think your kitty knows that as well. Sometimes the overflow of emotions is too hard to contain but Smudge is paying attention. A tear came out of my eye last night and he wasted no time jumping onto my chest. He took his paw and gently wiped the drop off my face and then nestled his head right against mine. I’ve never had an animal do this in all my life and I never knew I could love a kitty like this. You knew how to love all creations equally but I had already selected my favorites. I’m the dog lover so it’s a change for me to have a cat who is so tolerant (that means he puts up with a lot of stuff) and has always acted more like a dog. The childproof locks were in place well before you were born, but he has not given up testing their strength and opening any door in the house that is not securely latched. Also, in case you were wondering, yes, both your kitties still growl and hide when they hear the doorbell. I’m still going to claim it is because your “woof woof,” Sofie raised your kitties since the time they were little fluff balls that both fit in Daddy’s hands.

Speaking of Sofie, you didn’t get to really play with her during your lifetime but I could see it all over your face that you wished you could’ve. I could see it in her soulful stare that she was curious about you as well but she wasn’t as sure about the little boy who made high-pitched squeals and was becoming increasingly more mobile. She had a lot of people let her down in her life so she was scared of most humans. I didn’t know this when I adopted her, but from the minute I saw her picture on my computer I knew we were meant to be. Before Daddy came along, Mommy liked to run by herself at night. I thought Sofie would make a nice running partner but she had a very strict 2-mile maximum rule before she nearly had to be carried back to the car. What she lacked in being my running buddy, she made up for in spades in being the most loyal, protective watchdog I will ever have. Unfortunately, she was a little too protective of me as Mommy discovered very quickly after introducing her to new people. She always went straight for the calves and then ran off. After literally making a significant mark in Aunt “8.5” (something for which I still feel horrible) I tried everything I knew to do, but I still couldn’t fix her fear. I bet you didn’t know this but before Daddy earned Sofie’s trust, even he couldn’t escape the trademark ninja nip she left in his jeans. Despite being shamed in obedience school for being a biter, she passed with flying colors. People told me I should get rid of her or do something that you don’t need to know about, but I knew none of those people understood her and didn’t even care to try. Eventually she came to love Daddy and everyone else who was patient enough to let her love them back on her time frame. I think she knew you were equal parts of both Daddy and me and she hated it when you were upset. When you were a tiny baby, you were having a good cry because your tummy was not happy. Sofie came into the room and started howling right along with you! I wasn’t sure whether I should be laughing or crying because I was so sleep deprived and delirious at that point. In the end, I decided it was entertaining and took a video of the moment in time when I couldn’t make either of you happy. We were still trying to accomplish this when you started crawling so we decided to make the biggest baby and woof woof playpens to give each of you enough space. I truly think Sofie would’ve allowed much more from you than any other typical human, but her circle of trust was too small to risk your safety. You had just learned to walk when Sofie suddenly became very sick. Only days later we had to let her dig her muddy nose all the way to the Rainbow Bridge. I hope you get to play with her and all the other two and four-legged friends with you now. It seems like lately there have been a lot of people who had to say goodbye to their doggies and kitty cats so please kiss and hug each of them the way you did with Smudge, okay?

This month in honor of all three of your “furmily” members, we picked three charities doing their part to make sure animals like yours have a good start or a happier new beginning. We knew that this time of year OKC Animal Welfare would be overloaded with returned “gifts” and furry friends who are sick, hurt, or just need a warm place to live. They are Oklahoma City’s only shelter and they help doggies, kitties, birds, wild animals, snakes and even animals you might see on Old MacDonald’s farm. January hasn’t had very many days yet but they have already found new homes for almost 80 animals!

We also knew that once the shelter filled up, there would be nice people like Safe Haven Animal Rescue who rely on volunteers to foster animals at their house. They have mostly dogs, cats and ferrets but they also take care of mice and rats, guinea pigs, bunnies, birds, iguanas, and other small animals! I can only imagine the faces you would make if you got to see all of these little critters. You loved learning new things and I miss watching the amazement in your eyes seeing your world becoming more unlocked every day. I hope you saw all the people who came to The Garage to show how much they love you and all the fur babies. We got to meet Safe Haven’s president, Nikki during Nice on the 9th and we loaded her car with comfy beds and supplies for all the creatures staying with their temporary families.

After the doggies, kitties, bunnies (and maybe some other small animals) get a safe place to rest their heads, Spayway makes sure they won’t have future babies and that they get what they need to stay healthy. They also put a tiny little device inside so if the animal gets lost, they will have a way to connect them to their home. There are so many doggies and kitties in the world that don’t have families to love and care for them that they end up in really bad situations. Again, I won’t tell you the details, but you will just have to trust me that none of them are desirable options. SpayWay also has a vroom vroom where they go all over the place to help people who wouldn’t have been able to afford to take their animals anywhere else! I hope you will give them a sign to let them know you are cheering them on wherever they go.

We don’t know the final totals of how much we raised from our night at The Garage yet, but I can’t wait to go shopping to get these three deserving organizations some desperately needed items. I CAN tell you that they also got a boost from your very generous supporters who left money for each in their designated collection areas. The total raised just by your friends for all three groups was almost $500! Pretty awesome, huh?

Baby Boy. You continue to amaze me. You really are inspiring a kinder, gentler world. Thank you for teaching us how to love each other and take time to admire all the quirks of beauty in each of nature’s varieties. Mommy literally carries a lint brush everywhere, but you never even noticed when your clothes collected fur from one of your extraordinarily hairy animals (am I right Apple Brown?). You didn’t care about the things grown-ups do and I love you even more for every miniscule way you showed me how to live and love. I know you are still showing us. I want to be just like you, Caleb Lennon. I love your furry family too, but even so, it pales in comparison to how I love you. You are my favorite little being in this world and the next. I will always miss kissing your angelic face the way you loved kissing your kitty. I wish I could sneak up to the couch and grab each of your baby, soft cheeks in my hands the way you did with Smudge. I would give you all my kisses and never let you out of my arms again. Of all the creatures big and small, I will always love you most of all. Thank you for unlocking a whole new, wildly brilliant world. Mama misses you, Baby Bear.

One day.

I love you, Caleb.

Love, 
Mommy
XOXOXOXOX

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Nice on the 9th-Pints for Paws

Caleb and his rescue kitty, Smudge

Caleb and his rescue kitty, Smudge

Our pint-sized little lad absolutely LOVED his three furmily members (see picture for further proof)! One overprotective German Shepherd/Lab, one shy Seal Point, and one extremely tolerant Lynx Point all had their paws in raising him. All three also came to us via local rescue groups (thank you Aunt Nancy). Hence, this month we chose three organizations (one shelter, one rescue, and one reduced price spay and neuter organization) who keep animals like Caleb's safe and do their part in controlling the population. 

The holiday season may bring many good tidings but unfortunately it also sends an influx of returned "gifts" to the shelters as well. 

How can you help? 

Come to Pints for Paws at The Garage (2900 W Britton Rd OKC, OK 73120) on Jan 9th from 6-9pm and bring wish list items for three wonderful organizations providing care for vulnerable animals. Stick around for a burger (vegan options available) and your favorite beverage and 10% of all sales (INCLUDING ALCOHOL) will be donated to The Caleb Effect. We will be using these funds to purchase supplies for the organizations. As usual, we will also be writing a few notes which will be delivered with the supplies to the volunteers and staff. 
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WISH LIST ITEMS:
**denotes high demand items

• **CLEAN Towels/washcloths/blankets/sheets
• **Pet food (including canned kitten and puppy food)
• **Cat litter
• NEW small litter boxes 
• Pet beds
• Collars/leashes
• Soft treats/peanut butter/Kongs
• Cat and dog toys (without catnip)
• Puppy pads
• Salt licks
• Bleach 
• Pine-Sol
• **Paper towels
• Plastic baggies (all sizes)
• Laundry detergent
• Hand soap
• Dish soap (regular and dishwasher)
• Odor neutralizer spray
• Disinfecting wipes with bleach
• Spray bottles
• Sponges and scrub pads
• Lint rollers
• Kleenex
• **gift cards to grocery, pet supply, home improvement stores, office supply & auto parts stores
• **Monetary donations (we will have jars set up for each organization and proceeds from food/beverage sales will be split equally)

Not local? As usual, there are furry friends in your area who need your help! Be Nice on the 9th wherever you are and introduce someone new to Caleb.

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All I Want For Christmas Is You - Searching for 70%

All I Want For Christmas Is You - Searching for 70%

The best present we've ever been given.

The best present we've ever been given.

Mid-sentence and something that could keep up with him in each hand.

Mid-sentence and something that could keep up with him in each hand.

"Chewbacca!" I wish I could remember why you were making this face.

"Chewbacca!" I wish I could remember why you were making this face.

He loved his Duplo cars.

He loved his Duplo cars.

Opening his sock monkey from his Virginia family.


Opening his sock monkey from his Virginia family.

Lens cap bandit. This is a fun toy.

Lens cap bandit. This is a fun toy.

Look, Mom, I put it on my head just like that bow!

Look, Mom, I put it on my head just like that bow!

I probably said something like "Hey, that's my lens cap!"  But when you smiled at me like this, you could've had whatever you wanted.

I probably said something like "Hey, that's my lens cap!"
But when you smiled at me like this, you could've had whatever you wanted.

Hangin' with Uncle "Annie." — with  Andy Wile .

Hangin' with Uncle "Annie." — with Andy Wile.

My pretty boy and his Papa.

My pretty boy and his Papa.

So happy to be riding in his own vroom vroom with his friends.

So happy to be riding in his own vroom vroom with his friends.

There were sound effects coming from the driver.

There were sound effects coming from the driver.

Visiting Grandma on Christmas. Caleb was too busy playing with his new "twactwo" to care one bit about taking a picture.

Visiting Grandma on Christmas. Caleb was too busy playing with his new "twactwo" to care one bit about taking a picture.

#iHeartPiedmont 's Hometown Holidays which presented The Caleb Effect Foundation a check for $1200 from their t-shirt fundraiser! Thank you to everyone who made this a success!

#iHeartPiedmont's Hometown Holidays which presented The Caleb Effect Foundation a check for $1200 from their t-shirt fundraiser! Thank you to everyone who made this a success!

McCaleb Homes , a wonderful private donor, and so many of you who have sent us funds helped us buy 50 backpacks and lots of fun goodies for kids getting care through Angel's Foster Family Network.  Academy Sports + Outdoors  even let us borrow a friendly personal shopper to help us. — with  Kailey A Kerr ,  Robin Feuerborn ,  Angels Foster Family Network OKC  and  Academy Sports + Outdoors .

McCaleb Homes, a wonderful private donor, and so many of you who have sent us funds helped us buy 50 backpacks and lots of fun goodies for kids getting care through Angel's Foster Family Network. Academy Sports + Outdoors even let us borrow a friendly personal shopper to help us. — with Kailey A Kerr, Robin Feuerborn, Angels Foster Family Network OKC and Academy Sports + Outdoors.

We had fun at our bag stuffing party! — with  Robin Feuerborn  and  McCaleb Homes .

We had fun at our bag stuffing party! — with Robin Feuerborn and McCaleb Homes.

Each bag was stuffed according to the child's age. We hope they like them. Thank you,  Willingham and Reiter, D.D.S. ! — with  McCaleb Homes .

Each bag was stuffed according to the child's age. We hope they like them. Thank you, Willingham and Reiter, D.D.S.! — with McCaleb Homes.

We hope each child really knows they are loved and treasured. We did this last year and discovered a pre-teen boy saved his note. Link posted below. You never know what two simple sentences could mean to someone going through a really rough time. — with  McCaleb Homes .

We hope each child really knows they are loved and treasured. We did this last year and discovered a pre-teen boy saved his note. Link posted below. You never know what two simple sentences could mean to someone going through a really rough time. — with McCaleb Homes.

Were you Nice on the 9th? We know some faithful volunteers who were but the photographer failed to capture some of them. Also, I'm pretty sure this beautiful couple wins the prize for spreading The Caleb Effect the farthest this 9th. Our dear friends,  Christian  and  Gabrielle  went to Israel and showed Caleb around!! — with  Jacob

Were you Nice on the 9th? We know some faithful volunteers who were but the photographer failed to capture some of them. Also, I'm pretty sure this beautiful couple wins the prize for spreading The Caleb Effect the farthest this 9th. Our dear friends, Christian and Gabrielle went to Israel and showed Caleb around!! — with Jacob

Hannah's Hope drove all the way from Perry to collect toys to share all across our state!  I also found a little elf who volunteered to take donations to  The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital ! It was SOOOOOOOOOO good to see these beautiful people! Someone else was camera shy this month so her handwriting is tagged instead. Ha! — with  Christy VanMeter Kukuk ,  Jeff Kukuk ,  Jennifer Goode Robinson  and  Ruby Willoughby Wile .

Hannah's Hope drove all the way from Perry to collect toys to share all across our state!
I also found a little elf who volunteered to take donations to The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital! It was SOOOOOOOOOO good to see these beautiful people! Someone else was camera shy this month so her handwriting is tagged instead. Ha! — with Christy VanMeter Kukuk, Jeff Kukuk, Jennifer Goode Robinson and Ruby Willoughby Wile.

They make THE BEST notes!!! Thank you,  Jacob Maxfield  and  Kissy Padron  for teaching your kids how to love others so well. We love having you with us on the 9th! — with  Bernie Lindo Wile .

They make THE BEST notes!!! Thank you, Jacob Maxfield and Kissy Padron for teaching your kids how to love others so well. We love having you with us on the 9th! — with Bernie Lindo Wile.

Sweetest family with some stinking adorable babies! — with  Jacob Maxfield ,  Kissy Padron  and Church of the Servant .

Sweetest family with some stinking adorable babies! — with Jacob Maxfield, Kissy Padron andChurch of the Servant.

Caleb's YaYa,  Ruby  delivered some really fun toys and arts and crafts to Little Light Christian School, where kids have one or more parent incarcerated.  Our last stop was to The Children's Hospital Volunteers where Caleb was born. Since every new patient gets to pick a new toy on their 1st or 961st visit, we sent them the majority of our collection.  Belinda Anderson , check out the valet! I love it! Also,  Sara Jacobson , someone is going to get THE most adorable note!  Kissy  and  Jacob , this one was my favorite! — with  Robin Hanes Khoury , The Children's Hospital at OU Medicine ,  The Children's Hospital Volunteers  and  Little Light Christian School .

Caleb's YaYa, Ruby delivered some really fun toys and arts and crafts to Little Light Christian School, where kids have one or more parent incarcerated.

Our last stop was to The Children's Hospital Volunteers where Caleb was born. Since every new patient gets to pick a new toy on their 1st or 961st visit, we sent them the majority of our collection. Belinda Anderson, check out the valet! I love it! Also, Sara Jacobson, someone is going to get THE most adorable note! Kissy and Jacob, this one was my favorite! — with Robin Hanes Khoury,The Children's Hospital at OU Medicine, The Children's Hospital Volunteers and Little Light Christian School.

Nailed it! Cutest elf EVER!

Nailed it! Cutest elf EVER!

Hi Baby Boy. I love you my little star.

You’ve been busy sprinkling your magic and excitement “alllllllll through the town.” I wish I could still sing your favorite songs with you even if you wanted the same ones sung over and over and over. Moments so simple and innocent that when I was in them I knew they were special yet still couldn’t fully cherish them the way I do now. I wished then that you would’ve picked another tune to change up the monotony (that’s when things stay the same), but every time we would finish, a little voice from your car seat and the kicking feet insisted, “Bus song! Bus song! Bus song!” Your baby cousin is older than you now and she knows this song too. She did the little motions last week and it made me wonder if you taught her to bring her index finger to her face just exactly the way you did, “shh, shhh, shhhhhhh, shh, shhh, shhhhhhh.” I hate that she doesn’t have you here to sing songs and pretend together just as I can’t stand that your other now older baby cousin doesn’t get to hide and play trains in your Thomas tent. I would love to hear the entertaining conversations you guys would be having inside your homemade box forts. I don’t think your youngest cousin could convince you to play babies with her but then again, I have a feeling you would’ve let her have her way. I wish you could still play with all of your cousins and be doted on by the bigger ones. I want the little ones to know you more than just in pictures and videos but we don’t have that option anymore. I hope you show up for them when no one else is looking.

This is the time of year that used to be SO fun watching your animated face take in the wonder and lights. It was a season to take extra days away from work and spend all day together in our jammies. I will never forget your last Christmas. We wanted to let you wake up in your own room and have a quiet tradition celebrating with just you, Daddy, and me. You loved seeing the new train around the tree but you didn’t want to limit it to just going around in the same circle. We took it off the track and let it run around the kitchen floor for you, but you got scared when the clanging and lights got too close. We watched you open your presents and even captured some of these moments on video. You were battling the latest daycare bug but the coughing and runny nose didn’t stop you from tearing through the paper and discovering your new, red Duplo Jeep or “Tah Wohrs” books. There were toys and puzzles put away with plans to open later but just like the Toys''R''Us gift card you never got to spend, we didn’t know the chance for “later” would never come. I hope you get all the things we were never able to give you in this life my blue-eyed boy.

Caleb, you were the cutest and most loving little elf I will ever meet. It’s like you had already talked to Santa and he whispered every last desire securely tucked inside every heart. You knew how to make a soul overflow with joy and I will always wonder how you did it. December 25th will come and go, but Christmas will never be Christmas without you. I know the holiday is not just about decorations and presents but we can’t help aching with every little experience we are missing since you were stolen away from us. It hurts so much that we don’t get to buy you the things you love and it still feels like a horrible, completely unfair nightmare where we wake up gasping for air. I know life is ticking by but it’s almost like watching myself from above sometimes. It’s like a very prolonged out of body experience but maybe that’s because I really am already with you. Even so, the self that still exists in this dimension desperately wants to buy you cargo loads of every kind of vroom vroom and read you all kinds of new stories. I would make sure to make up the best voices for each character and read them as many times as you wanted.

We weren’t finished doing all the things we had planned. I was taking notes on all the things I never knew were a common part of family festivities and had so many ideas waiting for December. Daddy and I were trying to ensure you really DID have the kind of peaceful celebration that a baby born in a manger brought so long ago. We were creating traditions we hoped you would love enough to carry on even after we went to live in the twinkle of your own holiday lights. I wish by some Christmas miracle you could come back even if it was just for one night. We would drive to the nearest snowy hill and get to use the bright, yellow sled we bought for you at a summer garage sale. We took it to White Sands National Monument and sent your vroom vrooms on the maiden voyage for you but it is still not the same. There is nothing I wanted to do more on your next Christmas than to ride the Polar Express as a family in our matching pajamas. Mommy has never made a gingerbread house and I was waiting to get to make our first, colorful one together. We would’ve made our own designs mixing what came in the kit and adding in a mess of frosting, brownie bites and maybe even some marshmallows.

We dreamed of so many hopes and futures but there are too many moments that never came to be. You had moved up to a new class and were finally going to be old enough to go to the chapel and sing. Daddy and I couldn’t wait to watch you cheese it up at a holiday program and have the whole audience cracking up at your expressions. My little ham, you would’ve been so proud of yourself and stolen the whole show.

You are still stealing the show down here whether on tv or center stage. It’s very “you” and I’m grateful for this way of sharing my little boy. However, it’s not at all in the way I wish the world could see you. I wish I could let everyone experience one of your tight hugs and pats on the back, or watch you stare a thousand full-grown deliberations into the wheels of your plastic airplane. I know I am the luckiest one in the world to have earned your affections and to have tickled my eyelashes across your laughter-filled, baby face. I was so proud to be your mommy and be the one to kiss your perfect, miniature lips more times than anyone else. All the words in the dictionary are not enough to describe how special you are, how much you are loved, or how deeply you are missed. I will die trying, but I will never be able to convey everything you will always be onto a card or quick sound bite. It makes Mommy and Daddy so sad to only be allowed our limited human constraints to sum up your superhuman, infinitely loving and treasured life. Not even showing videos and talking about you non-stop for the rest of our lives could accomplish that. Still, I hope people can still see you through us and somehow you reach them even if they never know it was you.

Baby Boy, your Velcro, size 5 shoes that you haven’t worn in far too long are still here, but the tiny space your feet left remain a colossal hole I will never be able to fill. No, I can’t buy you the most amazing vroom vroom you’ve ever seen but Mommy and Daddy ARE still working on a project that we hope comes close. If everything works out, 2019 will see the creation of our final family pit stop on this planet. However, just like your personality, Mommy’s ideas were brighter than what exists in this limited Earthly world. We’ve literally searched the globe to give you this one last present and we finally found an element that fulfills my biggest request (even if it IS on a mere technicality). We’re doing our best to finish our stint but we need you to help us get it just right.

You’ve been getting it right all week but Mommy hasn’t had time to tell you about it.

Mommy’s home town raised money through the #iHeartPiedmont Hometown Holidays charity tees in memory of you and two other beautiful boys. I have to believe you greeted your new playmates when they arrived and you are taking turns sharing all your favorites from this world. Rhett loved “moos,” Mason adored dinosaurs, and you typically had at least one vroom vroom in each hand. Joyce Mills Leach and her hype girls made sure Santa remembered each of your special toys on his trip to visit you from the North Pole, and some friends not much bigger than you had a ball handing out your beloved vroom vrooms to help warm the frigid air. Is it just me or is it a little ironic that AllStar Screen Printing was the generous designer and t-shirt printer, donating a majority of the costs in memory of three all stars? Because of their kindness, and the help of several sponsors (including your uncle, Lindo Paul Construction), Piedmont Public School Education Foundation and The Caleb Effect Foundation both received checks for $1200! We already have ideas brewing for a future 9th but we are thinking it will have to wait until the weather is a little warmer. Thank you!

You also had a lot of love sent last week from McCaleb Homes, a very special couple, and your Caleb Effect crew. Together, we bought 50 backpacks for kids who have to leave their house and their families (many times without time to bring what they need) and live in the care of a foster family. This is the second year we have been able to send this gift to some kids who deserve a heaping dose of kindness. We tried to put things in the bags that would make them feel the love we know you are still sending. Everyone got a backpack (thank you, Academy Sports + Outdoors for being patient and lending us a personal shopping assistant); hand-written note; shampoo and conditioner; a toothbrush and toothpaste (thank you, Willingham and Reiter, D.D.S.); a book; crayons or pencils to write or draw their feelings; a journal or notepad; toys or vroom vrooms; a stuffed animal or stress reliever; and a few things to take their minds off going to sleep in a place that isn’t familiar. We got to deliver these bags directly to Angels Foster Family Network OKC and meet Jennifer Abney and her team. They are making a big difference so it is my hope that your video sends many more helpers their way. Make everything in the bags come together to ease their young minds and let them know that so many people care about them.

The weather played a practical joke on us for the 9th, but we still had a few faithful make it to be nice. Your friends and family brought a sock monkey, board games, dinosaurs, books, and so many fun toys to give to kids. Mr. Donald Jay Cole with Church of the Servant made sure you could be seen from a prominent spot and just as he suspected, you did attract a few curious concert attendees who wanted to know more about the cheerful boy clapping for himself in the picture. We gave away the last of the presents from your friend’s 1st birthday, and also emptied every donation we had been saving from Dollar General and Family Dollar. At the end of the week, we sent or delivered toys to six different groups! The Children’s Hospital Volunteers; Little Light Christian School (for kids who have mommies and daddies who are away in prison); Noble County DHS Christmas Store; Northwest Toys for Tots; The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital (thank you for the bear hug and for collecting the toys, Jennifer Goode Robinson); and The Ronald McDonald House at Children’s Hospital were our lucky recipients! We also got to make a special video to drop off toys to the hospital where you were born. We got to see Mommy’s friends, Sara Jacobson and Belinda Anderson, who have been there since Mommy was a volunteer. They make sure all the kids who have to stay in the hospital get to pick a fun gift from the toy cart. It is still hard to visit the place where you were born so Skyler and her therapy dog, "Targa,” came through at just the right time to make sure Mommy was okay.

Caleb Baby, even spreading all your love and cheer far and wide, there is simply not a way to ever be as happy as we were when you were in our arms. With you, no matter what we had been through before, we had it all. When describing this to a new friend who we met through our connection with the SUDC Foundation, Julia and Wade agreed. Their daughter, Vivienne, left this life without a reason or warning as well. He and Julia know that the happiest days of life really are behind us but they are still choosing Vivienne's Joy (Vivienne's Joy Foundation) for themselves, their surviving daughter, and for Vivie. It was so good to meet others who didn’t try to paint a serene fantasy overtone and dismiss our daily struggles. Wade explained that while we will never get back to our 100% level of happiness when our families were whole, maybe we can strive for a new high with a few 70% moments sprinkled in next to the 5% ones. I’m guessing some of the kids who will receive one of your presents will never get back to 100% either. In fact, maybe they never had a quality of life that brought them anywhere close. Whatever kind of day we are asked to face, please keep helping us have some double-digit days until we get to make it to our checkered flags too.

Caleb, my beautiful boy, and Santa’s happiest helper. Wherever you are with the jolly, ol’ St. Nick, may the secrets you so instinctively knew be whispered in my ears tonight too. Even when we are struggling to make it to a measurable number even after coffee and candy canes, help me share your love you still beam down to all of us at 100%. We don’t have a stitch of decoration hanging in our house, but I hope by sending surprises to other kids it brings the true Christmas spirit you deserve.

All I want for Christmas is you.

I love you, Caleb Lennon.

One day.

Love,
Mommy
XOXOXOXOX

Angels Foster Family Network OKC
The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital
The Children's Hospital Volunteers
Little Light Christian School
Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oklahoma City

A special thank you to Hannah’s Toy Boxes of Hope for driving so far to collect and distribute toys. You truly are bringing hope to so many who still need Hannah’s special touch.

#calebeffect
#niceonthe9th
#shopping
#fostercare
#backpacks
#toys
#holidaysinthehospital
#rehabilitation
#hannahshope
#toysfortots
#santa
#therapydogs
#newfriends
#childloss
#grief
#sudc
#sudcawareness
#lifeafterloss
#christmas
#shatteredheart
#helpabovehurt
#theelveshavebeenbusy
#heresto70percent
#beautifulboy
#loveisforever
#alliwantforchristmasisyou
#oneday

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Nice on the 9th-Charity Toy Giveaway!

https://www.facebook.com/events/357039718390939/

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We've been doing good things all year and Santa has been filling the house very full! We are completely out of space so this month we are giving away all remaining items to registered charities!! We have lots of toys and beauty supplies like you see pictured as well as a ton of hardback books, activity pads, and a few miscellaneous odds and ends. Tag a charity to come stock their shelves until it is all gone! We will also post wish lists of any charities who let us know you will be there.

Find us at Church of the Servant (14343 N MacArthur Blvd, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73142) in South Adult Ed. rooms 1, 2 and 3. As usual, we will also have a letter writing/picture coloring station to wish the gift recipients well. 

If you would like to bring an unwrapped toy (or items from wish lists once they are posted), the elves will make sure they find a good home.

See you on the 9th!

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Be Nice-Pack The Pockets!

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2.5 years today since we've seen your beautiful, smiling face. A face I miss more than anything in the whole wide world. I know you are still watching over us, Baby Boy. Thank you for all the signs this week. Help us to be nice and pack the pockets full this 9th. I love you. One day.

Love, Mommy
XOXOXOXOX


https://www.facebook.com/events/449457432249561/
It's getting COLD outside and our friends at Elemental Coffee are making it easier for people to stay warm! Come drop off coats you and your family don't need anymore, or swing by to pick out a free coat packed with love. All sizes and styles of coats, socks and gloves appreciated.

For November's Nice on the 9th, we are going to be "packing the pockets" with baggies full of goodies and would love your help!! Come by Elemental Coffee (downtown) on the 9th anytime from 8:15am-6pm and enjoy a cup of coffee from their small-batch roastery and cafe while you spread some warmth for someone in need. 

Items needed to pack the pockets include:
-Notes of encouragement
-Gloves
-Chapstick
-Kleenex
-Hand warmers
-Trial size lotion
-gum/small, individually wrapped candy
-small hand sanitizer
-bus passes
-gift cards
-anything else you can think of that is small enough to fit in a coat pocket

-Not local? Why not host a coat drive of your own or donate an item to keep someone comfortable. Kindness templates available here: https://thecalebeffect.org/kindness/

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Hugs and Heroes

Hi Baby. I love you. I miss you. I still wonder all the time what you are doing, who you are with, and how you must be keeping everyone smiling just hearing your sweetest giggles. I can’t wait to hear them in person again, too. Daddy and I went to a meeting for people who have a hard time hearing (Central Oklahoma Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America) and they all got to experience your pure joy, listening to you cracking up on the video with PaPa, popping bubble packs. Someday we will also have your memorial ready and we will celebrate with enough air packs for everyone!

It’s already been a busy month and you made many new friends who were nice on the 9th for you! Did you see everyone throwing the frisbees, writing letters, and bringing snacks and toothpaste for all the brave troops?

I know it has taken me an extra-long time to write this specific message, but I’ve been directing my time to another project that needs my focused attention (or as focused as Mommy can be anymore). I also can’t physically stay awake like I used to be able to push my body to do. I’m sorry. The animals are trying to stand guard for me or act as additional weighted security blankets. Smudge still thinks he is a dog just the way you thought you were a big kid. He really is doing his best and I promise you, so am I. A handful of people have also told me they have been praying that I get some rest so maybe it’s a combination of everything blowing in like these terrible hurricanes and rapidly spiraling out of control. I honestly never knew it was even humanly possible to be awake for the number of hours I’ve been, but the other part of my brain says I have to try harder. I still very much have a need to stay ready to spring into action but there is also a desperate biological shutdown overriding everything as well. It’s like a condescending highway patrol officer I met once who walked up to me swaying awkwardly, and with bowed legs. One side of my brain wants to tell that insecure shmuck to hurry up and give me the ticket already so I can be on my merry way, and the other part knows no matter what I say, he’s not going to listen. I wouldn’t have taught you to be this way to yourself, but I can’t help but to keep demanding my body to “Suck it up, buttercup!” I knew eventually this would happen, but I hate that it is not on my own terms. The migraine martinet wildly shakes his baton and demands closed eyes but my unconscious “rest” jolts them open in a panic. Meanwhile time is ticking by, and no matter how many minutes of seconds have passed, there are only losers in this argument

I know I’ve sent you my other thoughts but I am sorry this one had to take a back seat. I really hope the new things I’m doing make a difference for you and for so many like you. I’ve felt a tiny burst of excitement about this project the way confetti erupts from the present when you type, “congratulations” in Facebook. It may only last a few seconds, but that is also a rarity for Mommy. It’s a different kind of celebration that isn’t filled with all the pure “Caleb love beams” you sent straight to my heart as you jumped into my arms. It is more like that guy doing a silent 3-second dance behind an unsuspecting person, and then going straight back to work. I want to have moments like this but they are also always mixed with sadness for all the that could’ve been, and whys of how this could even be my real world. You might be the only one on heaven or Earth who understands me (or maybe a few of the other Myers-Briggs’ “Ns” of the world, too). However, if I can’t turn off my brain, please help me use it in a way that makes some of this a tiny sliver easier for those who have to dig so much deeper just to make it through the days and nights.

There are many other conflicts raging in this world both here in our little section of the globe and across the entire map. Little Boy, you really are teaching people how to set aside some of those differences to spread your love. People tell Daddy and I that we are amazing, but all we are doing is telling them how you saw your world. Help them see past us to really see you. I don’t know how to paint all the pictures of life that you made so effortlessly beautiful, but I DO try to remember this quote when people have strong opinions that are completely opposite of mine. It says, “We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.” It is not known who wrote this but I couldn’t agree more.

So many people who come to your Nice On The 9th events might only have this quote in common. We are not a group of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, people who vote or don’t; men or women; addicts or those less tempted; red, brown, or white; gay, transgendered or straight; Atheist, Christian, Jewish, or Muslim; dripping in riches or starving on the streets. We are just a group of people being nice because a little boy keeps demanding this for us at least once a month. You never knew or cared about any of these subcategories and you never once asked anyone what they did for a living. However, you MIGHT have grown up to be one of those people who wanted to check out your friends’ vroom vrooms, but I have a feeling you would’ve adored the ones that looked more like Mater, and the ones that went as fast as Lightning McQueen. I will try to see my world through your eyes for the rest of my life. There is nothing I wish more than to have been able to actually watch you see all the marvel and wonder through your curious, blue eyes. I absolutely adored seeing you staring at the wheels of all your little vroom vrooms, and I don’t know if I will ever feel like this is not just some strange dimension I’m trapped inside that isn’t really reality. Will a part of me always be in shock because that’s how big the ripples of your love really are? It can’t really be so that this bizarre series of circumstances equate to not having you here. You have to be secretly tucked away somewhere just waiting to come play.

Speaking of that, maybe that is why you like to send butterflies and  ladybugs to visit. Thank you for the ladybug AND monarch butterfly at the Myriad. I was going to take one last picture of the ladybug being passed around but it flew away and I didn’t see it again.

Right after my ladybug encounter, one of your littlest friends came to give me a hug before he left. I crouched down into a squat and he put his little arms around Mommy’s neck. It was only my second time to ever meet him so I thought he was just going to give me a quick little baby hug or maybe a fist bump as he headed out with his family. Instead, he just stayed there standing there holding on to me. He laid his head of curls on my shoulder and started patting me almost instantly. I could feel his little fingers on my shoulder blades reassuring me that he was happy to be there and perfectly content to send me some extra love. My legs started getting tired so I stood up and held him and hummed a little tune. I couldn’t see his face but his mommy said he was falling asleep and then drooling on my shirt. I didn’t care one little bit about that and neither did he. I just have to wonder if you have been sending people like this to come give Mommy hugs. His mommy told me he doesn’t usually go to people he doesn’t know very well, so I can’t tell if it is just the big kid in me that some kids see or if this was something you devised.

There have been several recent incidences where someone has been there with a hug at just the right time when I needed it most. It is in times like this that it has been impossible to keep my emotions at bay, but with 34 people at the event on Sunday, I did manage for the most part. Still, how did he know? Did you show up to him and tell him to do that? Whew.

Speaking of hugs, I shouldn’t get any further into this story without telling you about what we did this month.

This 9th we chose The Hugs Project, which sends care packages to the military to help them have a few of the necessities and comforts of home. This organization was the first to make cooling ties to send to troops and since then they have sent out over 2 1/2 MILLION of these “hugs”, 800,000 “kisses” (helmet coolers), and more than 3,000 TONS of care package items.

Mommy was never in the military and there are not enough push-ups or drill sergeants yelling in my face that would’ve convinced me to shed the heaping pile of stubbornness in my soul. Yet, I have a deep respect for those who have humbled themselves to accept these challenges and serve their nation above themselves.  

I have views, theories, and beliefs I’ve been taught in my upbringing and many I’ve collected or left behind in my adulthood. I would’ve expected and even encouraged you to explore what you thought was right and challenge me when you thought I was being narrow-minded. That is the beauty of living in a “united” country. We can be vastly different, but unified at the same time.

You were blissfully unaware of this fact, but the United States is not very united at all right now. However, we live in a country that allows free thinking and to agree to disagree. Not everyone in the world is as fortunate, and that might be one of the biggest understatements of the year. People who join the military and get deployed get a rare glimpse of life in another land. Sometimes they get to hand out toys to kids who have nothing. Sometimes they get to make friends with people who look, dress and worship completely different from them but with whom they share common goals.

I can’t even imagine all the people you are meeting or maybe you instantly know and understand everyone where you are. Maybe even passionate disagreements are settled and many surprised people of all kinds of walks of life are gathered peacefully. That is my hope anyway.  

Baby Boy, I wish I could tell you some wonderful story about how everyone here gets along and we never fight but that’s not the kind of world where we live. We are a group of broken people who come from all kinds of different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and beliefs. This makes humanity both a wonderfully interesting place, and also a complex dwelling where we don’t always understand each other’s points of view. Sometimes we don’t speak the same language or have the same customs so even trying to communicate to work out our differences takes major effort. Even with people who we DO share a common language, we still can’t seem to get along!

Sometimes these disagreements turn into bigger events and sometimes this even includes war. This is not a subject we spent much time talking to you about when you were here, but you come from a long line of military and Veterans like Daddy who signed up to serve their country. My Daddy also served in the military and so did Aunt Michelle, Uncle Andy, Aunt Shari, and PaPa. People like them help keep us safe from the bad guys. They raise their right hand and swear to support and defend our nation even if that means sacrificing their life for people they’ve never even met. This is the true definition of bravery.

I want to tell you about another such brave soul. Baby Boy, Mommy and Daddy aren’t the only ones missing someone they love dearly. The Nice On The 9th events are always done in your memory, but we hope you didn’t mind sharing the spotlight and dedicating the event especially to Command Sergeant Major Timothy Allen Bolyard. He gave his life for his country and joined you in the clouds on September 3rd. He had many friends in this life, but on the day he left this world for the next, he was betrayed by people he thought were part of that sacred circle. It also hit home a little harder when I read he was the same age as Daddy.

Mommy never got to meet this man, but he served with someone she knows. His life didn’t last into old age, but just like you, it was chock full of action. I read that CSM Bolyard was deployed (that means he was sent somewhere in order to do his job) seven times, and that he earned six bronze stars. I’ll admit, I had to look up the specifics to see what qualifies someone for this award (Mommy isn’t the best at remembering details learned in American History class in high school). This is what it says: “The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, after December 6, 1941, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight.” This courageous man was already deemed a hero multiple times yet he still kept volunteering to go back to dangerous places. Wow.

You were always more of a high-five kind of boy, but I wouldn’t mind if CSM Bolyard teaches you how to look a person in the eye and shake their hand. In fact, I would be honored if you could shake his hand for all of us, okay, Baby? Tell him thank you for living and serving and trying to better the lives of people he never even knew.

Another soldier who received eight boxes from The Hugs Project in one day wrote a note to The Hugs Project and Karen Stark, the Executive Director relayed his story. "His interpreter said, ‘You have a lot of relatives.' And the soldier said, ‘Well, these aren't my family.' The interpreter said, ‘Well, you have lots of friends.' And the soldier replied, ‘I don't know these people.' And the interpreter could not believe. He said, ‘Why are people doing this for you?' And the soldier said, ‘Because we're all Americans."

This is the America for which I believe CSM Bolyard gave his life. He made many dear friends with people from all over the world and became the humble advisor and coach to those who served alongside him. This dutiful American hero was less than 2 months away from retirement when he was promoted to his permanent command post. Please tell him we all salute him and send love to all who will forever keep his memory close.

I never earned a Bronze Star or attained a hero’s status, but I’m certainly grateful for all of those selfless men and women who have. “Thank you for your service” is a nice start but not nearly what is owed. Freedom is truly not free. All I want from my freedom here is for you to be proud of me, Caleb Lennon. I will do my best to earn this every day. I can’t wait to get an extra-long hug from you again and for you to pat me on the back until my legs get tired and I get to stand with you still resting your soft cheeks against mine for eternity.

I’m dreaming of that day. One perfect truly united day.

I love you. I always will.

Love, Mommy
XOXOXOXOX

#calebeffect
#NiceOnThe9th
#kindness
#unity
#military
#thehugsproject
#hero
#sacrifice
#love
#benice

We dedicate this day to you, CSM Bolyard. With deepest appreciation for your life and service.

We dedicate this day to you, CSM Bolyard. With deepest appreciation for your life and service.

This is from a 2nd grader!

This is from a 2nd grader!

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All the Veterans received The Caleb Effect dog tags. Thank you! Someone still had his original military ID!!

All the Veterans received The Caleb Effect dog tags. Thank you! Someone still had his original military ID!!

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Nice handwriting and he comes up with creative letters!

Nice handwriting and he comes up with creative letters!

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We thought Caleb might want to have one balloon back before he stole it anyway. I showed the ladybug that joined us that I had wings for the day as well. Thank you everyone for coming! September was once again our largest Nice On The 9th with 34 people, several visitors and a dozen vroom vrooms sent out into the world. I will post more pictures when I finally get a minute to drop off all the goodies as well! See you next month!!

We thought Caleb might want to have one balloon back before he stole it anyway. I showed the ladybug that joined us that I had wings for the day as well. Thank you everyone for coming! September was once again our largest Nice On The 9th with 34 people, several visitors and a dozen vroom vrooms sent out into the world. I will post more pictures when I finally get a minute to drop off all the goodies as well! See you next month!!

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Tomorrow is the 9th! Celebrate a Senior!

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The 9th is tomorrow!! Caleb shared a special bond with his great grandma, and even said “I luh you guh..,” when he should’ve been way too young to have been able to say that. Whether it is an elderly neighbor who is lonely, a stranger in a nursing home, a little old man at the grocery store, or just someone wearing an “old man” style hat, we hope you will join us tomorrow in your new colorful shirts to buy a cup of coffee, sit with a new friend, or find your own way to spread some love! Don’t have a shirt? Link is in my Instagram bio, and pasted here as well. Shirts are only available until Tues (11 PM EST), so get them while you still can!
https://www.bonfire.com/4caleblennon/
#calebeffect
#niceonthe9th
#elderlycare
#benice

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Home - March 2018-Nice on the 9th

Hi Baby. I love you. I miss you. I've been more than a little distracted lately but I'm still trying. Remember the lady I was telling you about a few months ago when the eclipse was here? The one who sat with us and found paper plates for us to help enjoy nature's show? She was the one who despite living outside in the heat, smiled easily and was grateful for the sandwich and snacks Mommy gave her. Well, yesterday we decided to help people like her, and a few others who only recently found safe shelter in our state.

I know you know we miss you but we really hope by doing nice things for you on the day of the month that you were born, it really does make you happy. We are listening, Baby Bear, and other people are, too.

Mommy's first stop was more secret that our usual "Nice on the 9th," but your kindness has been there before so you probably recognized it. I didn't take any pictures and I'm not going to put it in the blog because some of the people there have to hide from others who are trying to hurt them. If people want to help, I will let them know they can just ask Mommy.

I don't understand how some people can be so mean, especially to kids, but the truth is that it still happens every day here on Earth. I'm grateful you never knew that you had to be careful when talking to new people, but I know if you would've grown up, we would've had to have more serious conversations about this, too. The world was still your oyster, Baby Boy and maybe somehow it still is even if it isn't in the way that we want. You had a 6th sense about what people needed and it taught us so much about being open to meeting new friends we were initially skeptical about approaching. However, some kids not much older than you have already learned first-hand that it isn't always safe to be carefree and friendly all the time. Luckily, every single person I've ever met who works for this organization has always shown that extra care and understanding for the kids, and the children there know these are adults they can trust.

Speaking of adults, when Mommy was dropping everything off, the lady who is in charge of one of the programs where Mommy used to volunteer already knew all about you! I never told anyone during my time as a volunteer our story so she HAD to have either read one of your templates, seen you on the news or in one of the publications, or heard about you from one of our donations or a friend. The Caleb Effect really is spreading!!

The next place we visited was the The Homeless Alliance, where multiple non-profits (that's a company that usually has a heart for others) who help homeless people have offices. (Thank you for the yellow Hummer on my way there, by the way). Instead of making someone try to take a bus to multiple locations all over town for things like seeing a doctor, talking to someone about all the things that overwhelm them, or just helping them get an ID, there are several agencies that assist them all in one spot.

Even just being 2, you had a lot of stuff, but imagine if Mommy and Daddy had to carry around everything you loved most, everywhere we went. You would be REALLY mad if we didn't take all your vroom vrooms or enough packets and Veggie Straws. You would also want to "read" your books every night, too. People who don't have a house or apartment have to carry around EVERYTHING that is important to them, and that can be a vulnerable (that's when someone feels like they are leaving themselves open to being hurt) feeling. One of the things they have at the Homeless Alliance is lockers so the people there don't have to worry about something getting stolen or having to carry so much on their backs. They also have the only day shelter in Oklahoma City. People who live outside and sleep in parking garages or in makeshift boxes can come use the computers; showers; eat breakfast, lunch and a snack; and even come take their doggies to play. A lot of people refuse to get protection from things like freezing or scorching temperatures because the regular shelters won't allow animals, so this is a place where people with animals can come without having to worry about leaving their furry friends behind. They also have a vet who comes and checks on the "woof woofs" and makes sure they are okay, too. Pretty awesome, huh? Your Aunt Nancy Viewfinder Photography and Pam North will be really happy to hear this.

We had no idea that so many wonderful things were happening under one roof, but one of the programs that we DID know about is called The Curbside Chronicle. It is a magazine that gives homeless people a chance to sell magazines and work their way to a better future. Instead of just standing on the street begging for money, it allows someone who might have trouble getting a traditional job a legitimate opportunity to make money. It also gives people like Mommy and Daddy a glimpse into the day in the life of someone living on the streets, and even displays a little humor in the section titled "Hoboscope," (AKA horoscope). Anytime we see someone wearing one of the green vests (and assuming we actually have cash on us), we buy one. I was a little bummed (no pun intended) that I didn't see any vendors while we were in the area but keep listening and you won't be disappointed.

We knew that a lot of people who are homeless don't have the basic necessities so we put together goody bags for 15 people (see pictures to learn what went into each bag). We also delivered tons of socks from Grandma and our friend, Jennifer; sticks of deodorants; bars of soap; stuff for ladies that you would be even more confused if I tried to explain; and snacks for our new friend, Ranya Forgotson O'Connor to keep in her office and offer to vendors when they are there. Some of our longtime friends and YaYa met us there and brought supplies, too! Baby Boy, did you see the faces of the people when Mommy opened the hatch on her vroom vroom? We didn't even have the bags unloaded yet and they were already excited and asking us for a bag! One of the ladies looked a little sad but Mommy told her how I was there to spread some love for you. I gave her a little encouragement and a hug, but maybe you could also watch over her, too.

We left the Homeless Alliance even more grateful for things like a computer to write you this message, a choice whether to share our space or not, and a hot shower anytime we want. You ALWAYS loved splashing in the bath, using your net to "catch" your rubber fish, and squeezing (and usually drinking) water out of your squirt toys. However, there is not a bath tub at this facility and no one gets to sit in a deep tub of bubbles or drop Elmo's colorful tablets in their water. I'm also willing to bet none of these people have a Mickey Mouse toothbrush to brush (or mostly just chew) their teeth, or a Monster's Inc or various animal-themed hooded towel to dry off with when they were finished. All of your things are as you left them. I wish there was some sort of magic trick we could perform that would bring you back just as shockingly fast as you were taken away. It still seems like you are going to pop out from behind the curtains and start laughing when you see our elated faces. Maybe that's what heaven will be like. It will come swiftly and we won't even believe what we are seeing. We will just be so happy to be with you again.

Not everyone believes in heaven, but the people at our 3rd stop most certainly do. Much like the Homeless Alliance, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City offers many programs to people of various walks of life inside one building. Some of the other social services agencies are only blocks apart, so they call this whole area the "Corridor of Hope." Catholic Charities recently moved to this new location and built in many symbols of their faith and community both in and outside the building. One fun fact of the day is that one of the more unique and artistic symbols (which also will be in the pictures) was even requested to be taken to the Vatican and replaced with a replica (that's a copy).

We came there specifically to learn more about their Refugee Resettlement Program and got to meet Maleeha Siddique, a former refugee from Afghanistan and Mark Chan, who run the program. I'd love to hear more about Maleeha's story, but we did learn that she speaks 5 languages which has proven to be highly useful to refugees coming into their new community.

I know this month we are highlighting homelessness so maybe you are wondering why we chose to "be nice" to refugees, too. Maybe you are also wondering what a refugee is. Well, my sweet boy, a refugee is someone who has had no other choice but to leave their home due to a "well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion." That sounds pretty scary to me.

You were fearless. It didn't matter if you were starting a new "school," hiding in a pitch-black room to scare us, or jumping into the water and insisting on no "floaties." However, we have always lived in America, in a place where you didn't need to worry much about someone coming to do mean things to our family. Not every place in the world is like it is here. I imagine if we were forced to live in a country where mommies got in trouble just for driving you somewhere or not believing the same things the head of the government believes, fear would've found you eventually, too.

I also know that refugees aren't "homeless" in the traditional sense, but to me, home means more than just four walls. Home means having the people you love with you and feeling a sense of safety and comfort. Many of these people have lost family members in terrible circumstances and have endured unspeakable trauma and hardships. When Catholic Charities arrives to pick them up at the airport, some only have the clothes on their backs and a small bag given to them by another agency. They do not know anyone, many don't speak English, and literally nothing except the family they might have with them is familiar. I'm sure it is very lonely and overwhelming to make such drastic changes all at once, so we hope the supplies we brought them help make them feel a little more welcome.

Some literally went from living in camps for many years to getting on a plane and walking into their first apartment of their own. Some of the refugees are not accustomed to the modern conveniences we enjoy in the Western world so it is an even bigger culture shock for them. The Executive Director, Patrick, was our tour guide and told us that they have had people who have tried to cook with charcoal in the middle of their living room because they are used to cooking everything over an open fire. He also shared with us that many of the refugees come from places where corruption is widespread and where bribery is expected. He said that since most refugees aren't familiar with how the laws in the U.S. work, and they have to be taught things like not giving a police officer or person of authority money when encountering them.

There are so many things we take for granted simply because we live in America. Mommy was raised Catholic and Daddy was raised Baptist, but neither of us are members of our original churches now. In many parts of the world, this would be reason enough to treat us with really terrible punishments way worse than time out. You are not old enough for Mommy to tell you all the details about these kinds of things, but just know that we were all fortunate to be born in the U.S. Although Daddy and I aren't Catholic, we appreciate the work this charity is doing (especially for refugees), and are also grateful they serve both the uppercase Catholic and lowercase catholic community. (In fact, we learned that 85% of the people they serve are not Catholic) Another fun fact is that the definition of "catholic" is "universal, including a wide variety of things; all-embracing." You, my forever "Little C," still encompass this better than anyone I've ever met. Help us to keep embracing those who need you and to welcome our newest neighbors so they truly feel that Oklahoma is home.

Mommy's last stop of the day was to the Sunnyside Diner, where they have a public pantry. The sign says, "Leave what you can. Take what you need." It is probably human nature to take more than we need, but something I've observed from the homeless community is that many seem to adhere to this principle. They know there are others like them who are still in need, so they leave enough for others and take what they need. We wanted the people who are in need to have food that is nutritious and will fill their bellies, so we left some tuna lunch kits and an assortment of protein packs. Originally, I was going to leave a third box of tuna kits inside, but something inside me told me that I should save one box back for anyone else I may encounter.

Well, guess what? On my way to meet up with the rest of our group, Mommy saw a lady selling the Curbside Chronicle! I pulled over into a parking lot and loaded a couple of tuna packs into my lap and circled back to be on the correct side of the road to buy a magazine from her. As soon as I got to the light, I flagged her down and she came to my window. I asked her if she liked tuna and she was so happy to receive a couple extra meals. Mommy finally got to buy her magazine. Pretty fantastic way to end another successful Nice on the 9th, Baby Boy.

I love you. I always will. Someday we will all be "home" together and none of us will ever have another fear or heartache again.

One day. One glorious day.

Love,

Mommy
XOXOXOXOX

P.S. For all your friends who read the entire super long post: Shirts are still coming soon, but I noticed a large discrepancy in the names, so I am looking into this to ensure that all families who want to have their child represented will have the chance.

#calebeffect
#benice
#NiceOnThe9th
#homelessness
#refugees
#humanrights

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Come Join Us for March "Nice on the 9th!"

Image 3-4-18 at 4.50 PM.jpg

WOW! You guys rocked February's Nice on the 9th so much, it is hard to believe it is already almost time to do it again!

This month we will be spotlighting homelessness, so get out your new Caleb Effect t-shirts and spread some love wherever you are! 

We will be delivering items to a few locations throughout the day. If you are local and would like to donate an item or simply tour a facility with us, please join us! (comment below and let us know if you plan to attend one or both locations):

-2pm-Tour the Homeless Alliance and learn more about The Curbside Chronicle
(1724 NW 4th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73106) 

**Curbside Chronicle wish list includes:
-Packaged Snacks
-Bottled Water
-Hygiene Products
-Feminine Products
-Socks (sometimes these are worn for weeks or months at a time so the higher quality, the better)
-Hand/Body warmers

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-4pm-Tour Catholic Charities as they share information about their Refugee Resettlement program
(1232 N Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK, 73106)

**Refugee Resettlement program wish list includes:
-Sheets
-Blankets
-Pillows
-Pots and Pans
-Household Items
-Hygiene products
-Dishes
-Cleaning Supplies (brooms/dust pans/mops/buckets, cleaning products, rags, etc)
-Trash cans

#CalebEffect
#benice
#NiceOnThe9th
#Homelessness
#HumanRIghts
#Refugees

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Happy Birthday, Caleb!

Caleb's 2nd birthday

Happy birthday, Caleb Baby. Daddy (Ken Toey) and I haven't even read through these messages and pictures yet but wow, do you see how much you are loved, Baby Boy?

Daddy and I stuck to ourselves and hid away from the world. It is really hard to be around people on days like today, a day when our hearts are missing someone as much as we miss you. We hope you got our messages and the Cars balloons, or noticed the flicker in the candle that we lit just for you. We hope you light up the faces when the kids your size find the vroom vrooms we left for them, too.

We still wish we were lighting birthday candles and buying you vroom vrooms. That is a reality that makes Mommy and Daddy very sad. However, many people far beyond our house and community are getting to know you because of the kind of little boy you keep showing the world that you will always be. (I DID buy you two new domains and am going to make it a goal to be switched over to those sites and officially up as a non-profit organization by Easter.)

The Caleb Effect army of yours was out in full force so please show up in your unique way and tell them THANK YOU!!!!!

Baby Bear, you've added over 200 friends in one week! Who can say they have ever made that many friends so fast? We will probably never fully realize all the ripples of kindness you have thrown into this big pond we call life, but I hope you are getting to see every last way people are going to "be nice" because of you.

I ate veggie straws, "cah-doe," (avocado), turkey, and mango but I probably didn't eat the same quantity that you devoured when you were here. Mommy also drew the line at frozen peas. Tell Papa Roy, he is going to have to pick up the slack in that department.

I want you to know that your love transcends everything. Every political party, race, lifestyle, age, gender, religion, loneliness, wealth, hurts, and everything in-between. Today, your love was celebrated and people were united because of you. It will not stop there. Your love will be spread over and over not just on special days like today, but for many lifetimes still to come.

I started writing a list of some of the things I love about you and there ended up being 64 before I could squeak this under the wire and still make it to be posted on your special day. Coincidence? I think not. So, Caleb Baby, here are some of the literally millions of things I love about you and always will:

-That life was an adventure no matter how ordinary. I never could've known how much fun just riding in the car with you could be.

-Your sandy hair that was starting to thicken but that was still interlaced with the finest baby strands.

-Putting your cheeks with the perfect layer of "baby blubber" against mine. I could kiss you over and over for hours. Sometimes I was told that I held you too much, but I didn't care. I knew even then that there was nothing else I would rather be doing.

-Your beautiful blue eyes, so full of curiosity, inquisitive deliberations, wonder, determination, independence, your own way of doing things, joy, pure love, inclusive welcome, empathy, and a plan all your own.

-The way you would dance. Whether it was during the Greek Festival, at home listening to P!nk, pretending to be on Ellen, or just dancing to the music that was ingrained in our souls. I loved to watch you bob from one foot to the other as you threw in random "headbangs."

-Your slightly petite frame (shoulders, little feet ((although when you were a baby, they were too wide to find sandals)). You were never going to be a linebacker and being a touch small meant you already got to enjoy "hand-me-downs (or "hand-me-ups" as was the case for some of the things you wore from your slightly younger friends).

-The way you would run to me when it was time to pick you up from "1s" (you didn't do it as often when you went to "2s." You preferred to show me something or have me chase you (which also turned into chasing your friends and then getting jealous “my mommy”).

-Watching you eat. Stopping mid-bite to tell me something or point out whatever captured your attention.

-Your friendly and social nature, with the highest emotional intelligence of anyone I've ever met.

-The way you put both arms around my neck and squeezed me as tight as you could. I miss holding you and being so close.

-How your laughter was a full-body experience, contagious in every magical way.

-I love the way you love me.

-How you loved to stack things. You would get so mad when you would stack your vroom vrooms and the top car would fall down. Why did you insist on doing this? One day I will get to ask you this in person.

-When you ate so much your belly would stick out. Every now and then you would even misjudge how much clearance you had after a big meal. I had never seen a child eat so much in my life and I was slightly concerned for what our grocery bill would've become during your teenage years.

-The way you tried to take your own temperature when you were sick.

-The way you pronounced "Superman." It was something like "soup-uh-man," with a slight pause after the first syllable.

-Your high fives. "Aww wiiiiiiiiight."

-That no one could steal your joy. Your blaze of happiness engulfed everyone in your path and there was nothing they could do to stop you.

-The way you hooked your arm around mine when I carried you.

-Your love of the water. You put your face straight into the water even before you could walk. The next year, you jumped off the ledge after watching one of the big kids, and refused to wear your floaties from that point on. I would give anything to take you "wimming" just one more time. I hope you are teaching surfing lessons and playing with Nemo. Save a spot in your class for Mommy.

-The best laugh I've ever heard. A delightful sound that made us all double over like you and smile through squinted eyes. Oh how you must be keeping so many people entertained right now. I'm jealous of the angels and all your newest friends.

-How you really did smile with your whole face and love unconditionally with your whole heart.

-Your love of sirens and all emergency vehicles.

-The wonder in your eyes whenever you got to climb into all those vehicles at "touch-a-truck." I don't know who had more fun, you or Mommy.

-The way you loved your vroom vrooms and anything that moved. Your book "things that go" was pretty appropriate for you. You were just like that. Always on the go. Constantly in motion.

-Hearing you say "I love you!" I'm thankful I have a video of you shouting this to me. I love you, too, Baby Boy. I always will.

-Your smell. When you were brand new to this world it really was true. Your head still smelled of heaven. I would sit with the crown of your head right under mine and go back and forth, kissing your head.

-The way you always pointed out Jesus on the wall at school even though we had never been to church together.

-Your soft, porcelain skin. They say boys aren't supposed to be pretty, but you were.

-Fixing your hair. I loved spiking your hair with your gel or just smoothing it straight upwards and every which way in the bath (oh how you loved bath time).

-The way you walked around pinching your cheeks or belly for some reason. You were cute no matter what you were doing.

-Your sweet voice. The sweetest I've ever heard. A tiny, excited voice, said with a slight high-pitch and lips pressed together trying to contain the incoming smile.

-Your perfect little eyelashes. They were darker than the hair on your head, but not overly dramatic. They were barely long enough to start a small curl upward, as if a light rake was flipped upside-down, and just waiting to capture new friends and draw everyone closer.

-The way you raised your eyebrows JUST. LIKE. DADDY.

-Your stubbornness (I don't know where you got that…).

-The way you read to yourself. There is a picture of you sitting in your cubby by yourself (where most kids had to go for their "me time" to calm down) but you didn’t mind doing your own thing.

-Your baby lips that loved to give kisses. You had even had your first kiss, already. (I don't think Abigail's mommy was as entertained as I was, but I had already prepared myself to let you spread your love to whoever captured your affections).

-Your "boy ears" that were masculine and slightly floppy, and also very selectively tuned-in to whatever you were determined to be focused on on your own terms. I especially loved seeing your little ears as various hats rested on them. You were really starting to look more like a toddler and not a baby anymore when you wore them.

-How you just knew what people needed and how you acted immediately upon those needs. Daddy and I have told dozens of people about the lady on the airplane. (The one who you reached out to and went to sit with because somehow you knew she was sad because she just left her own grandkids).

-The way you loved "The Letter Show" AKA Wheel of Fortune.

-Watching you play with your toys. There was not a vroom vroom, boat, airplane, dump truck, or plastic singing recycling truck you didn’t love.

-Coming to "find" you when you didn't think I knew where you went to hide.

-How peculiar it was that you didn't mind hiding from Mommy in the pitch dark inside the laundry room. (I've wondered now if the reason you were okay with this was because you always had enough light within yourself to never be scared or fully in the dark).

-Your excitement and enthusiasm for each new day.

-How you never seemed to be afraid of anything (annoyed and not big enough to get away, but never terrified). One such time was trying to get away from YaYa and PaPa's dog. You were truly fearless, Little Boy.

-How you never let strep, random daycare illnesses, or asthma stop you from doing everything that you loved.

-The way you put your hands on my face (I didn't notice that until Ellis' mommy, Mira pointed it out).

-How you loved to cuddle, just like Mommy.

-How incredibly smart you were. You could count to 20, knew your colors and letters, and could nearly spell your name (I will never forget the look on Heather’s face when you started spelling your name on your 2nd birthday or when Sarah Toy told me that you knew more than some of the kids in her kindergarten class).

-You had my nose and I loved when you rested it on mine. We made each other laugh because our faces were so close and distorted. I miss being silly with you, Baby.

-I loved your impression of a fish. Opening and closing your mouth really quickly like you were gobbling the water.

-Your little chin that hadn't quite lost ALL your extra baby cheeks, and stuck out (especially when you made your eyes wide as you did when you were extra passionate about something).

-I love the way we both loved to give each other kisses and how Daddy had to intervene when our affections were delaying your bedtime.

-How you love me despite all my shortcomings. I wish I could take some things back or make other moments more grand, but I'm grateful that I truly never have to worry if you knew you were loved in this life and will always be loved by us for the rest of eternity. I just can't wait to love you for eternity, in-person.

-I loved how you clapped for yourself. We should all have Caleb-sized self-esteem.

-The way you ran and looked back at the same time. One such time resulted in a crash with the corner in the hallway, and a goose egg with a perfect line straight down the middle. You were not happy with the ice I put on it to get the swelling to go down so we didn't leave it on for near as long as I would've preferred. I felt so bad because I was the one chasing you.

-How we could make each other laugh without ever saying a word. Pictures and videos are still so hard, Baby Boy, but I will forever cherish the video of us laughing together on the couch. Neither of us says one word and Daddy even cut the video off before we were finished with our own made up game, but we said plenty and had the best time “chatting.”

-How you would blindly plop straight into my lap when you wanted me to read you a story.

-How you greeted Mr. Jeff and Nemo every time you came to school. I loved how Mr. Jeff would wait for us to get there and give him "fives" before going about his day as well.

-Your "hurricane hair" with a perfect swirl on the crown of your head.

-The sympathy pains you had for Grandma Faye after she hurt her knee. You rolled up your pant leg and told me how much it "hewwwt," and more than a week later, you were crawling on the floor and had convinced your teachers enough to call me. I was about to come pick you up when Mandi somehow figured out that you were okay and the doctors could hold off on their x-ray.

-Horse playing. I loved nothing more than being in the floor pretending with you and making you laugh. I usually get in trouble for "winding the kids up" but there was no one I loved to be animated and playful with as I did with you.

-How happy you made me.

-How you understood me perfectly and I completely understood you, too.

-Listening to you sing. I imagine that when I get to heaven and finally get to hold you, I will fall asleep to the sound of you singing to Mommy. Then, I will relax and truly rest. I think this is what people mean when they say "rest in peace." I will be so beyond ready for this day when it finally comes to greet me.

Happy birthday, Baby Boy.

I love you, Caleb Lennon. I always will.

One day.

Love, Mommy

XOXOXOXOX

#calebeffect
#benice
#NiceOnThe9th
#iloveyou
#happybirthdaybabyboy
#oneday
#sudcawareness
#HopefullySomedayThereWillBeAnswers

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