Splits for a Cause Event, Part I

CATEGORIES: Kate

So imagine, if you will, a hot, steamy Louisiana afternoon. I was a hot, sweaty mess from cooking, cleaning, and shopping all day for a big birthday party the next day and Sara called to tell me we’d been invited to New York City. I was SO disappointed because I knew that after the crazy month I’d had, I just couldn’t leave my kids. And then she informed me that our kids were invited, too, and I became cautiously optimistic.

As I was on the phone discussing the details of this trip, hiding from my kids in my bedroom, lying on my bed that hadn’t been made and was covered in laundry that hadn’t been folded, my kids banging on the door to see if they could come in and I was thinking, “Really? Am I really talking about flying to New York City for a couple of days and meeting Kelly Ripa?” And then she mentioned that it was all part of a campaign to help raise awareness for ovarian cancer research and I was sold.
Sara and I talk a lot about our dads, but I just haven’t talked about my mom too much.


She died when I was 9 and while she didn’t die of ovarian cancer, that incident created a spot in my heart for health issues that don’t get a ton of spotlight, so anything that helps bring attention and awareness to these diseases is something I’m all for.

I love that our kids were invited to this event because it represents what I think is at the heart of this campaign–helping save the lives of women who are or were or might become mothers. I know that in my life, this research could help my friends, my sisters, mother figures, and maybe my children and future children.

The other reason why I was so excited about my kids being invited was that some of my favorite memories from when I was growing up were when my mom and I or my step-mom and I would go stay at a hotel in “the big city” (usually Salt Lake City, which IS huge compared to my hometown, although one of those trips was to New York when I was 13). I’ve always kind of dreamed of doing the same thing–whisking my kids away for a few days and making amazing memories. So when I had the chance to re-create those memories with my own kids, I couldn’t have been more excited.

In the matter of a few days, we packed our bags and headed to the airport. I’ll inform you now that you won’t be seeing any pictures of our turn trip–let’s just say that everyone was a lot cuter on the way than on the way back. Thank you, Hurricane Alex and the 12-hour flight delay.

Once we arrived, a driver (yep, I totally just said that) picked us up at the airport and drove us to the Omni Berkshire Hotel where quite possibly the most comfortable bed in the world awaited us. I (unfortunately) spent very little time in the bed due to the fact that I had a whole slew of things I wanted to see and do and none of them were compatible with sleeping.

After a quick change of clothes, I met La Fuji Mama and Maggy from Three Many Cooks at La Bonne Soupe for an amazing dinner. It was this little French bistro that felt very, well, French, but the food was simple, delicious, and completely non-pretentious. I loved it and would eat there all the time if I could. My son loved the desserts and took the two-spooned approach to his chocolate mousse.

I also bought a bottle of their fabulous salad dressing and proceeded to leave it in the mini fridge at the hotel, which is one of those things I’m pretending didn’t happen because I’m seriously bummed about it.

We had such a great time at dinner–the kids were adorable, Maggy was awesome (and even volunteered to take my kids to the restroom for the millionth time so I could finish eating my dinner), and La Fuji Mama and I were just kind of in disbelief at the smallness of our worlds. We walked back to our hotel and snapped some pictures along the way.

After I coaxed my kids to sleep, I soaked in a hot tub and watched some Gilmore Girls on DVD. The next morning, we ordered room service and then headed out for as much shopping and sight-seeing as we could manage in about 2 1/2 hours.

I was kind of hoping Tina Fey would wander out and I could semi-stalk her down the street. For just a few minutes. In a fun and completely non-creepy way.


Yes, that is a big apple made out of Legos.

And a Rockefeller Plaza made out of Legos.

Sbarro–Michael Scott’s favorite New York pizza joint… 🙂

After we blew through most of our spending money in a couple of hours, we headed back to the hotel to hurry and finish packing up and get ready for the event. Then our driver (again, a little surreal) drove us to Studio 450 (and my son cried the whole way there because he was so sad our trip was almost over) where we were meeting Kelly Ripa and the Emperor of Ice Cream, Stephen Bruce, who founded the world-famous Serendipity 3. But first, we had a little lunch. My kids were so distracted by the awesome entertainers that they kind of forgot to eat.

I had so much fun meeting the other bloggers, their kids, and, let’s face it, watching Matt make balloon animals, that I kind of forgot to eat very much, too.

I’m going to save the details of the actual banana split-making for a few more days, but I will tell you that Kelly Ripa is totally and completely sweet and tiny. I mean, she looks tiny on TV, but she’s so little I think my 5-year-old could have put her in his pocket and taken her home with us. Here’s a teaser picture, though:


That’s Kelly with Stephen Bruce standing in front of what might be the most amazing refrigerator and freezer combination. Ever. I’ll admit that I felt a little lustful.

So until I update y’all again, click here to make virtual banana splits and send them to your friends. Every time you do, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and you’ll be entered to win daily prizes, $50 in summery treats, and the grand prize, which is the lust-inducing stand alone Electrolux refrigerator and freezer. Swoon.

Stay tuned for pictures and details of the actual event! I just have to throw out a HUGE thank you Electrolux, thank you Kelly Ripa, thank you Stephen Bruce, thank you anyone and everyone who helped us out along the way and for working with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The PR people who worked with us along the way as well as all the people involved in and attending the event could not have been nicer or more gracious or generous. So thank you, thank you, thank you all again for such an amazing memory!

18 comments

  1. wow, what a trip!!!! and there's no better reason than to raise awareness for Ovarian cancer, there are three things I don't talk about, the X, my diet, and my cancer. Its been 12 years and still is a tough subject to broach.. Hope your kids enjoyed themselves! They look like they did… goodies galore!

  2. How wonderful Kate! An experience to remember for sure! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I am now even more determined to be as small as Kelly Ripa thanks to the "tiny" comment. She has arms that are to die for!

    Nicole

  3. How fun! So cool you got to meet La Fuji mama! =) Rachael and I were in the same ward for a while until I moved…but we are in the same stake still. You are all a bunch of talented ladies! Secretly jealous 😉

  4. Waaay cool! And for those who watch a lot of PBS – Matt is Harry on Cyberchase (For Real). My daughter and I love watching him – he's so funny!

    And I agree – what a beauty your mom was and still is in your heart!

    ~ Molly

  5. thank you thank you for raising awareness!! my mom died almost 5 years ago now- she was 48 and battled ovarian cancer for 7 years off and on. what an amazing trip you had, but seriously, thank you! i'm going to spread the word about the virtual banana splits 🙂

  6. Looks like a really exciting experience. So Kelly is even smaller than she looks on tv?! Loved the Sbarro pic–one of my favorite Michael Scott moments. 🙂

  7. I actually just got acquainted with the Electrolux brand last year. Through All YOU they sent me a vacuum to test out. I've had it a year right now and am impressed(and I don't impress easy because all the bells and whistles in the world don't mean a thing if the basic function doesn't work well). I am actually considering them for a fridge(even though I'm probably one of the only women in the world not stainless steel crazy)

  8. What a great bunch of pictures! I definitely went to the Electrolux site and made a banana split and then shared the link via Facebook. I have tried to eat Sbarro many times but I just can't. Not just that I'm a pizza snob (Chicagoan) but for some reaosn it does not agree with me. But every time I go past, I always want to eat there anyway!

    I just wanted to mention one thing. I do not have children, will not have children. That does not mean my life is less worth saving. Being able or willing to have children should not be a requirement or emphasis in whether a woman who is ill gets treatment for disease. There are many women who choose not to be mothers (or who would have liked to but could not). Their lives are still valuable and their suffering still real.

  9. Meadow Walk–I totally get what you're saying. I'm definitely *not* saying that those who choose not or can't have children live lesser lives; I have friends and family members who, for whatever reason, don't have children and their lives are certainly just as valuable. And I never said they weren't. But everyone has a mother, everyone knows a mother, and ovarian cancer (and therefore ovarian cancer research) does not just impact mothers–it impacts their families, their friends, and all those who love them.

    As I've learned in my life, mothers come in lots of different forms–mentors, friends, aunts, teachers, step-mothers, and countless other roles where people step in and help care for and nurture others. The ability or choice not to have children does not impact their ability to care for and love other people (as I'm sure you know). ALL those lives are worth saving, both for the cancer victims and for those who love them.

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