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Monday, January 7, 2013


Hello friends and family, and Happy New Year!

I am SO excited that my first post in 2013 is to share with you that The Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation has been asked to participate in this years Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Night at Busch stadium here in St. Louis.

To be invited to participate in such a large public event like this, as such a young foundation feels amazing. This event is hosted by two enormous, established, national organizations, so as you can imagine we are excited to be teaming up with both The Children's Heart Foundation (Their main mission in to fund research for CHD's) and the Adult Congenital Heart Association (who offers support to adults whom have grown up living with and battling their Congenital Heart Defects.) Not to mentions, having The Saint Louis Cardinals share their house with us has redbird feathers spraying out of our ears!

But there is MORE.

Sit down. Take a deep breath. And just imagine....

A packed house in Busch stadium. 46,000 of our closest friends. A cool May evening. A beautiful pinkish blue sunset over 3rd base.  Excitement in the air as we prepare to crush the Milwaukee Brewers. MOHF fans everywhere. And then you hear the announcer introduce....

        Greg Ortyl, as he walks out to the mound to throw the first pitch of the night!!!

YES!! That is right. Greg was asked, in honor of Oakes and all children lost to Congenital Heart Defects, to throw out the first pitch of the game.

Ok, now stand up, and go crazy, folks, go crazy!

More details to come, but for now, please mark your calenders for Saturday May 18th. This will be an evening game. Please do not rush to the Cards website to buy tickets on your own, we ask that you buy them through us. We will have a bundle of tickets to sell for $30 a ticket. If you already know that you want tickets, please message me and I will add your name to our order list. ( That is all we know now, but will share more details as soon as possible.

So very often something will catch my attention and I will be comforted by the thought, "That had to have been Oakes." Sometimes I feel a little more confident in identifying Oakes magic than other times. This, I have no doubt, is ALL Oakes. I could not imagine a bigger or better gift that he could give to his family and friends, especially his Papa.

We have a bagillion images of Oakes, so many of the good ones I have shared with you already, but I had to include some of these with this post. This was last April. Oakes had been in 7West for weeks and we were regularly going to the garden for therapy. On this day we dressed Oakes in all of his little Cards gear, and Greg met us in the garden with all of his gear on. In the beginning of our time outside Oakes was awake and alert, but within maybe twenty minutes he was pooped and asleep in my arms. I am so grateful we had this time together, the three of us. And it is a bonus that Greg and Oakes were dressed in their Cards gear!

Getting ready to get in his stroller to go outside. I never saw people hold him like this and he just looked to big.
In his stroller headed through the halls. Mask on to keep germs away. 
Smiling at Momma, before getting out of the stroller!

Therapy, toys & smiles all around!

Smiling at Papa, too!
We were all just content.

Sleepy Oakes, happy parents. 

No doubt, he felt the LOVE.

More details soon!
Looks like 2013 will be a happy New Year after all!
Mighty Love,


  1. I really should know better than to read your posts at work. Even when it's amazing news, it gets me so choked up!!! This is incredible beyond words, I am thrilled for you, your family and of course the MOHF. Recognition for the incredible work you and the foundation are doing!

    The pictures of you with Oakes in the garden, him and Papa in their Cards gear... precious. Just precious.

    I am going to do my best to get to this!

    MI love to the Ortyls and the MOHF

  2. The "Oakes sandwich" photo is awesome. I can feel the squeeze from here. xoxox congratulations!!!

  3. This is so exciting!! Way to go - the pictures are fabulous. Congrats on the amazing difference you are making for so many other people.

  4. Ok, I totally missed this post until today. These Cardinals pics are just soooo cute & melt my heart. This is an amazing memory that I am so glad you all got to make w/ Oakes. Makes my heart happy to see these. Hugs to you all!