This summer, Andrew had a very special opportunity to attend camp in northern Minnesota
This is a camp designed just for kids with congenital heart defects
There is a bus that comes to a Minneapolis hotel and picks up the campers and drives them about 3 more hours north to Crosslake, MN.
This was his first sleep away camp, and I was sooooo nervous!
I knew he wouldn't be homesick, but I was just going to miss him so much! Kerigan too! He was really excited though!
I felt so much better because there were many friends that we knew from our heart support group who were also sending their kiddos.
These two have been friends since they were babies! Both named Andrew! And don't you love Andrew's shirt? He has the heart of a champ all right! Papa found that and got it for him to wear.
These were Andrew's counselors, Andrew and Kyle.
We hadn't seen Grace's family in such a long time since we moved away. :( We were excited she was attending camp too!
These four used to have so many playdates and we all had tons of fun together in our old town. We miss them!
And after we dropped off Andrew and Grace, we had breakfast and drowned our sorrows at IKEA, of course!
Kerigan needed a new desk for her room, so she picked this one out!
As we were strolling along, we both spotted this rhino and looked at each other and said "Andrew!" We knew he would love it, as rhinos are his favorite. So of course, I bought it. Haha!
She was so proud she helped me lift this enormous and heavy box that contained her desk! Ha!
Then we went to HomeGoods, because why not? She took my picture with this sign, but I'm pretty sure she rolled her eyes too! #notcoolmom
Entertaining herself on snapchat!
We made our way to Craig's brother's house to stay with them for a few days! These cousins were so happy and excited to see each other!
They have a pet rabbit named Oreo and Kerigan just loved him!
Aunt Darlene was so sweet and had prepared this little party for Kerigan as her birthday was later in the week.
Kerigan just loves Jack and Brooke!
The candles made a weird reflection but I just love her face here as we were singing
She was so excited about her little party!
And I was excited because this was posted on Instagram that evening! My little man was having fun!
Every night or morning they upload pictures from the day so parents can see what their kids are up to!
I lived for these uploads, let me tell you! They have no communication with us for the week- so the pictures are the only way to know how they're doing!
I could tell Andrew was having fun- ha!
Then they posted this! I can't find Andrew but I wanted to explain how every afternoon they have what they call "waterfront" time and so the kids all take a swim test to see if they can go to certain places in the water. Andrew passed his test!
They posted this the next morning!
And that day I took these girls to explore some fun parks around where they live!
They love this one- it has a zip line!
They call it the rainbow park because all the different equipment is in rainbow colors.
Then they were ready to move on so we checked out this fun park in their downtown square!
We could have stayed there all day!
Even as an adult, this park looked like so much fun! Ha!
They had these really unique swings I had never seen before!
Kerigan was loving it! Haha!
They went up super high!
Then there were all kinds of slides- at the top of this structure were some different ways to get down!
It was super hot this day- but they didn't want to leave!
So many unique things to do!
One more picture on the way out!
They were so hot so we had to run through the splash pad!
I got a few more pictures of Andrew!
They were always playing games and having fun!
I think his favorite thing was digging on the beach! I had to chuckle because most of the week the pictures of him were always right here on the beach!
He caught a crayfish!
Some of the boys from his cabin
He said they worked really hard to win cabin clean up and they finally did!
I guess it was really exciting because if they won they got to use the living room area in their cabin, so they were excited to do that.
Just some more fun pictures throughout the week!
Water wars was one of his favorite things all week
This was Andrew, a friend and their cabin nurse, Susan.
And I had to crack up because Andrew said he hated horseback riding! He said his horse took off running and he thought he was going to die!!! Ha!
They had cats and ducks around the horse barn
Andrew just loved everyone in his cabin and his counselors
I loved this picture- just the guys hanging out in their cabin.
And this picture just speaks volumes to me. A line up of warriors right here- all with matching scars. How many places can Andrew go where he is surrounded by kids who are just like him? On the way home in the car after picking him up, one of the first things he mentioned to me was "mom, I liked how all the kids had chests that looked like mine." He felt so special.
Camp Odayin is one special and amazing place- and memories were made that will last a lifetime.
More to come from Minnesota!