Surprising Fans on the road….

   

I love surprises…at least when I’m the one surprising! It is really fun to do something unexpected for someone that brings joy and happiness! It’s one of my favorite things in life. So when I got the chance to surprise a fan of mine who does so much for others, I just had to jump on the surprise wagon!!

Anita Outlaw is a fan…but even more than that, she has become a dear friend over the years. Until now, we had actually never met face to face. She is the Great Aunt of Parker…the young boy with Leukemia behind the Flat Parker project. Do You remember Flat Parker? A few years ago, my family was privileged to be the Tennessee hosts! Besides taking pictures with him in Nashville and Franklin, I had him in the studio with me too. Flat Parker traveled to all 50 states in the U.S. during one full year. Each family that hosted him took him to special sites in their city and then posted them to Facebook for the family and the page followers to view. It was the brain child of Anita’s son,Tracey, who wanted to DO something to give Parker’s family a diversion during this difficult time fighting leukemia. Parker has had more than 18 spinal taps,besides chemo etc. You know the drill of these diseases…it’s difficult on everyone. Flat Parker is now on a World Tour! He has visited the OLYMPICS, The GREAT WALL OF CHINA and The HOBBIT HOUSES of NEW ZEALAND! To Learn more, see amazing photos and even donate to the foundation go to www.flatparker.com  The stories and the sights are amazing! Flat Parker’s journey also serves as encouragement to many families fighting this disease. One family, sharing their story -affecting and connecting so many. Our stories matter! 

Ok…now back to surprises! I was on a trip to Cincinnati with my son’s show choir for their annual competition trip. I knew Anita was visiting her son and I called him to set up the surprise. He brought her by the hotel we were staying in because as a chaperone, I could not leave. You should have seen the look on her face when she walked in and I was standing there! It was a delight to both of us! Anita, her husband and son were all there. They got to hear the show choir sing too…in the pool! These kids sing anywhere!We talked for a LONG time and have a lovely visit.  This family has worked tirelessly with the Flat Parker hosts around the country and now around the world. Tracey Outlaw runs many marathons in honor of Parker and encourages this family and others to run the race and to finish strong. They are a blessing to many and I am so glad that my family and I got to be a part of their story.

Follow your dream…

Don’t we all long to follow our dreams and make them come true? That’s what I was thinking about when I wrote this song for my kids. Follow your dreams, work hard, be persistent and even when you fall…get back up and something wonderful will happen! You will learn to FLY….

Summer fun and the Flat Parker Project!

Flat Parker and me in the studio!

Summer was SO busy with my family! If you have kids ..you get it! This year was even busier. Besides summer fun, cousin camp at my house  and neighborhood BBQ’s , we added college hunting  and visiting to the mix! WHEW! I had no idea… 🙂

The highlight of our summer was an unexpected visit from my NEW friend, FLAT PARKER! Flat Parker is traveling to 50 states in 365 days on behalf of the REAL Parker, who is a 5 year old boy from Michigan who has Leukemia. He is in the midst of a 3 year treatment to save his life. While he is at home and cannot go anywhere, Flat Parker travels FOR him. Flat Parker then uploads his adventures, via pics to Face book so the real Parker can have something to take his mind of all the needles and tests and chemo etc. The timing was right for FP to come with me into the studio and we had lots of fun! When I was first asked to take Flat Parker  I thought I may not have time to give the project my full attention. We had a busy week in the studio planned and I was also on my way out of town to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday. Never-the -less it was something I really wanted to do for Parker and his family. Even though I had a moment of hesitation as I was looking at the business of my life, I quickly moved from hesitant to yes and I’m so glad I did! My whole family had the privilege to participate and honestly, it has been one of the highlights of our summer! When we said Goodbye to Flat Parker even my kids and husband felt that emotional tug as we sent him on to his next secret location. Spontaneity has always been difficult for this planner girl !! However, I’m learning that sometimes the best things in our life come from the unexpected!

To see pics and learn more about this worthy cause and follow FP ‘s travels around the country, please go to their FB page and like    http://www.facebook.com/FlatParker