Baby Braden Petska

Monday, July 07, 2008's about time!

Gearing up for football season...already!

Auntie Marci's surprise 30th fiesta fun!

Ahhhh, the signs of summer (and a big appetite)

Loves his new digger!

Sliding with Trevor up north!

Hello fellow blog followers, I apologize for my lack of journaling and keeping everyone in the "loop" with Braden news. What's new you ask? Enjoying summer, preparing for our 2nd annual charity event, and loving every minute of being at home with B!

Things with B couldn't be better....except......being persistant, the separation & stranger anxiety, and problems with getting to sleep lately. Any help in this department would be GREATLY appreciated. Other than the few little toddlerish stages, we couldn't be happier with Braden's growth and progress. He makes us extremely proud with all that he is learning and absorbing. One of his favorite quotes I must share is, "I love beer." For the record, Braden has NEVER tasted beer, but has always wanted what he can't have. One night when we were out roasting marshmallows, Rich put Braden on his lap. As Braden reached for his beer, he stated very loudly, "I love beew." The more we laughed, the louder he said it. The neighbors now look at us a little strangely these days ;)

Since Mother's Day (my last post sorry), we've enjoyed a few trips up north. The first being over Memorial Day weekend. We were able to award a very deserving senior one of the Heart of Gold scholarships. It was very neat to be back in my old high school to give this award. We were also able to personally award the Harvard and Johnsburg seniors, but unfortunately we were unable to be there in person to award Richmond's. We are very thrilled with our board's choosing of the four VERY deserving seniors who were each awarded $1,000. Thanks to all who have supported and continue to support our charity and it's wonderful cause. Without you, this wouldn't be possible.

On the same note of charity information, next week we will be delivering more gift bags to families at CHW. This will make 55 bags total since January. Although it is humbling to know the numbers of heart families who have endured this hospital journey, we hope we're able to shine some hope in their stay.

Lastly on the charity note, we are preparing for our 2nd Annual Heart of Gold Golf Outing Fundraiser. It will be held on August 16th in Twin Lakes, and we have plenty of more spots to fill. You don't have to be a golfer to attend as we have dinner, silent auction, and dancing in the evening. Please visit our website for more information:

This past week we were able to venture up north for the 4th of July festivities. We had a lot of fun, and Grandma and Papa LaCombe were happy to have a whole week with B. The weekend before the 4th, Auntie Marci and myself geared up for the Picture Rocks Run for Shelter 1/2 Marathon. It was a pretty big feat as the terrain was quite grueling, but the many weeks of training were well worth it! Braden, Daddy, Grandma, Brett and the Ericksons were great supporters during the run. The next race will be the 31st Annual Brigg's and Al Run for CHW. It is on Saturday, September 20th in Milwaukee. We are looking to expand our team this year....come one, come all.....You can run the 8K (5 miles) or walk either 3 or 5 miles. Please contact us if you're interested (

Future fun involves a zoo playdate with the Slagers next week, and a 1st birthday party for Miss Maddie Watson, one of our little heart pals we asked you all to pray for. She is thriving and doing awesome...we can't wait to help her and her parents celebrate this milestone.

In closing, we'd like to ask you to pray for my cousin's daughter Bridget. She has been in and out of the hospital almost all of her life, but this last time has been the most critical. She is in the PICU at CHW and has been since April. It will still be a long road to recovery, but everyday has been progress for her. She is truly a fighter and is admired for her strength and will to live. Please pray for her recovery, the doctor's wisdom, and her parent's strength. Her caringbridge site is:

Enjoy the pics,
Love, Stephanie, Rich, and Braden