Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tis the SEASON!

The Christmas season this year was wonderful and full of magic!

The first magic of the season came the weekend of Thanksgiving in the form of an elf... Mason and Kendall received an early gift from Santa whom they named Charlie. Seems fitting since this was Masons name choice for his sister Kendall - So instead of naming his sister Charlie we settled with naming our elf Charlie!

What fun she had dancing around our house, creating a few messes! She TP the tree, wrote notes on the mirrors, drew on our family photos and swung from the chandlers!
Oh that Charlie! The good news she did pick up after herself - that was a relief!!!!

On the morning of the 24th Charlie landed in the tree and wrote a special note to Mason and Kendall. Santa allowed for her magic to be lifted before they went to sleep so they could each give her one big hug and kiss before she left for the year... Thankfully I had my camera ready!

Mason was so excited but Kendall not so much - maybe next year :)

Goodbyes are hard and thankfully he made it through with minimal tears! Each day life gets easier with out Charlie. THANKFULLY we know that she will be back with all of her mischief next year!

 I had to post the above picture... It makes me laugh!

Christmas Morning... Let the magic continue!
SANTA CAME and left behind some amazing gifts!
Kendall got a few new dolls and Mason got a fire kindle (so he calls it)!
These kids are beyond blessed!

Mason gave Kendall a doll and a matching dress for her! He even wrapped it!
So sweet!


I am so grateful that we live in a country that allows us to celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ!
Each year during our Christmas celebration we also take time out to do something very special... Sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JESUS! I thought last year when Mason wanted to do this is was a one year thing but this year again before we served dessert he asked us to do it again... So of course we did!

The month might have gone by in a blink of an eye but we sure enjoyed all of the special moments it brought!


We got a little nervous as his first performance approached. We would ask him everyday "what songs are you singing" or "can I hear a song that you have been practicing at school". His answer was always the same "Its a secret, I cant tell you"... What did that mean, was he ready, did he remember?
The anticipation for a Mom was to much. 

The day arrived and he was ready to perform. Which is opposite of how he is normally, not usually one to "perform" but you get him on stage with his friends and it became show time with one snag... he realized mid performance that he had a hang nail that he needed to do something about!

One second while he gets his nail :)

 At the alter before the show!

 What is a performance with out an after show dinner. With his Grandma Horsey!

I cant believe my LITTLE cousin turned 21!
Another example of how fast time goes by.

Still can not believe she put these on


We went to Seattle to see the DRAGONS play!

Of course the ears have to be plugged before it even starts!

KENDALL celebrated her first Christmas!


We meet up with our "HEART" FRIENDS

AND we had to make a pit stop...
Nature calls! 

I hope that this season brought you joy, peace and rest!

Kelsey Garka

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Walt Disney



School Field Trip - THE PUMPKIN PATCH!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Being grateful in the worst circumstance…

I am currently reading the book 15 invaluable laws of growth by John Maxwell and he writes about Pulitzer prize winner author Alexander Solzhenitsyn. This man spent 8 years in prison during the soviet era for criticizing Joseph Stalin.
He went into prison as an atheist and came out a person of faith.
Looking back on his experience he says “I bless you, prison – I bless you for being in my life. For lying on the rotting prison straw, I learned the object of life is not prospering as I had grown up believing but the maturity of the soul.”

This experience didn't leave him bitter it left him grateful for the development of his faith and the strengthening of his character.
This is how I feel about the curve balls thrown in our lives. I would do anything in my power to change Mason’s circumstance, but I can’t, I don’t have it in my power, so I choose to be thankful…

  • Becoming a heart mom has lead me to hundreds of people that I would not have had the opportunity to meet or know. I am thankful for these women, families and children.

  • I am thankful for my “accidental purpose”. Giving back to others walking on a similar path has blessed me beyond imagine.

  • Mason’s condition reminded me how precious life is and what was really important. I am a better mother, wife and person because HLHS and my son change my perceptive on everything!

Mason still sleeping and Kendall ready to play!

One happy little girl wearing read to support her brother!

Mason with his drawing of me.. 

Until next time...
Kelsey Garka

Thursday, November 1, 2012


The biblical phrase “sacrifice of thanksgiving” was a puzzle to me…
And then I realized that gratitude is acknowledging that someone did something for you that you could not do yourself.
Gratitude expresses our vulnerability and our dependence on others.

Everything we do, every accomplishment we have, every mile stone we pass has come in part because of the efforts of others. A Chinese proverb says that those who drink the water must remember those who dug the well.

If we can remember that we can be grateful…

I was told the best way to overcome writers block is to write through it… So this begins my series of “thanksgiving”!

To start my series here are a few people I am grateful for today…

  • I am grateful for - Dr. McMullan; Mason’s Surgeon! Simply put I am grateful he chose the profession he did and I am grateful for his ability to fix small hearts!!!!
  • I am grateful for my Horsey Grandpa (Yes I am a grown women and I still refer to him as this)… He taught me to be comfortable in my skin without the pressure of being “fake” and lastly he taught me how to pick myself up when I fell. All lessons learned when I was young
  • I am grateful that I am Jackie Burts Granddaughter! When it came to this blog she was my biggest fan – which makes it ironic that after she passed away I lost my desire to write here, that would have not made her happy. Words can not even describe how much I miss her.

I chose these three people to write about today – because each of them has given me gifts that I could not give myself.
Dr. McMullan saved my son’s life and my Grandparents helped shaped who I am today.

Be BLESSED - Kelsey

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Seattle Heart Walk

THANK YOU to everyone who supported us by attending yesterdays heart walk, by donating and by just being apart of our lives!

More pictures coming soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Trying for a comeback...

This Blog; we have a love hate relationship.

Love –Because this blog is always there when I need to have my “therapy” session a.k.a. create an emotional blog post. It never lets me down and even though I see how many people visit my blog each day I feel safe, alone and protect when we are together. I feel like what I share on this site is for my eyes only – even though I know that is FAR from reality!

I feel such a sense of responsibly to create hope for families who were dealt with the same cards as us that when I can’t bring myself to share our life and my feelings I feel guilty.
This is where I am today… Feeling guilty and tongue tied… Not a day goes by that I don’t think about writing. The problem I can’t seem to find the words and I am having a hard time figuring out why… Not that figuring out the why would even help – but I tend to like to know pretty much everything J

Mason continues to thrive and people seem to think he is fixed; but he will never be fixed. He will always only have 1/2 of a heart. Every day since he was first diagnosed has been filled with anxiety, worry, wondering how long we will get, panic at the first sign of a stuffy nose or cough, constantly worrying about his SAT's and analyzing his skin color. This doesn't go away the older he gets. I wish I could say it does and that the feelings simmer down but they don't.   
When you hand your child over for multiple times for major open heart surgery it is in the front of your mind everyday. 

Mason and the HLHS community gave me “accidental purpose” and even though this life is harder than the average. Mason is worth it!!! He is the one who is teaching me about living life even though as his mother that should be my job. 

Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming and doing more 

Saturday, May 19, 2012