Valentine's Day is the perfect day to reflect on a beautiful event that occurred this past weekend...


The Heart Ball is the big annual fundraising event for The American Heart Association.

It was a blast to get to see the town out-and-about in their formal attire, but
often the best part is getting ready for the event with your girlfriends...

Of course, getting dressed up is always fun for me, but more than that, 
The American Heart Association holds a special place in my own heart. 

My father and grandfather both died suddenly in their early fifties from heart attacks. Unfortunately, I was never even able to meet my grandfather and it was devastating to lose my father at such an early age. 

If he were here, I know he would insist on getting into the solution, rather than focusing on the problem. So, it felt good this year to be even just a small part of the movement towards
 prevention of heart disease in others. 

My father inspires me more than anyone else to this day. He was blind almost his entire life, but never let that stop him from any dream, achievement or accomplishment he might have otherwise had, and he certainly accomplished more than most ever will. 

That is how I have started to try to live my life as well.
Though my limitations have been of a different nature, 
they have still held me back from what could be and should be.

I have fallen flat on my face a million times in life. However, the thing I have come to realize is that after screwing up a whole lot, you become pretty fearless. I mean, it's not that frightening a notion when it's happened ten times already. I have also discovered that the things I once thought to be my biggest defects are actually my greatest assets. One of Dad's favorite things to say to me was-

"If there is a will, there is a way."

I think this may actually be the way to a healthy heart. 

Pursue your dreams with reckless abandon, no matter what your circumstances are. 
Get knocked down. Get back up. Get knocked down. Get back up. Get knocked down. Get back up...
...and then you will believe just how strong you actually are. 

*Thanks, Dad!