Monday, April 30, 2012

Indianapolis Hosts Super Bowl XLVI


Tebowing at the Super Bowl Village

Your 2011 CMN Indiana Champion Tebowing!!!

Warm Winter & A Cold Drink

Our January has been insanely warm!!
Speedy Freeze anyone??!!??!!
Blue teeth, blue lips.........all smiles!!!

Riley Hospital Annual Luncheon

 The Riley Annual Luncheon has become one of my favorite events of the year.  This year I got all dressed up in my "Riley red" dress because I was going to help Riley Childrens Foundation President & CEO Kevin O'Keefe make a "super" announcement.  The luncheon included the introduction of the eight new Riley champions and the program also highlighted the Child Life Specialists and how they are an important part of the healing process.  I love the Child Life Specialists and they are always bringing smiles to patients faces.  Whether it's through music or art therapy, the Child Life Department is an important part of treatment.  Who knew games, music, and dancing could be so therapeutic??!! 

After a couple of presentations and live entertainment provided by Jon McLaughlin, it was time.  Kevin & I took the stage to announce the Super Baskets of Hope program.  As the host city for Super Bowl XLVI, what a better way to show kids around the country a little Hoosier Hospitality!!!  The program, inspired by Angela Brunette's Baskets of Hope, was marketed to all 32 NFL cities to deliver 7,000 baskets to sick kids in each NFL city's local children's hospital.  The baskets would contain games, books, puzzles, pillow pets, jewelry, stationary, and NFL gear.  Once the baskets were assembled and delivered, NFL players & coaches would personally deliver the baskets.  I made a card which included my artwork and a special message that was going to be placed in every basket so that each child knew that we were thinking of them here in Indiana!!!  For more information, visit


Enjoying the State Capitol


Ceilings & Floors

As a parent, we want the best for our children.  This song embraces the hope that our children will be able to achieve their dreams regardless of circumstances.  The video includes more highlights from the 2011 CMN Champions trip!!

Champions Time To Shine

Check out this video recap of the 2011 CMN Champions trip!!

Indiana or Bust!!

The next day I said good-bye to all my new friends before heading home.  ORANGE BUS ROCKS!!! (inside joke) And thanks to the fantastic Delta crew for giving me the rockstar treatment on my flight home!!   

Champions Farewell Party Cruise

Our last evening together as Champions was spent on the Spirit of Washington Party Cruise.  It was a night to celebrate friendships and accomplishments.  Each of us has overcome our individual challenges and  obstacles. Those challenges do not define us; they have shaped who we are and who we will become.  We celebrate life because it is a gift.  There was laughter, tears, dancing, and singing!!!  The friendships that were made IN those 8 days will last forever!!! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Friends in DC

One of my favorite parts of the DC portion of our trip is meeting new friends Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlon and country singer Mark Wills.  Both are ambassadors for Childrens Miracle Network.  Teresa is only 18 and she is a great role model for me and all young girls.  Mark is like the biggest kid I have come to know!!!  I am so lucky to know them both!!! 

The Champions Invade the White House

This was my first visit to the White House!!! 
No better way to see the White House than with 52 new friends!!!

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

One special evening, the Champions visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where we laid a wreath.  After witnessing the changing of the guards, we were escorted to a private question & answer session with the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  This soldier was guarding the memorial when we arrived.  He was so tall!!  He said he was 6'10"!!! 

Beautiful Sights

One of my moms favorite photos!!

DC Monuments & More

After a good nights sleep, the next morning, the Champions and their families meet to go over the days agenda.  We are off to sight see!!!  I love the Lincoln Memorial. (I saw it in the Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian movie!!)  It is so cool!!  We also visit the Vietnam War Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, FDR Memorial, and the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  It is hard to believe that all these people & events have shaped our nation into what it is today.  The history here is unbelievable.  I love hanging out with some of my new Champion friends in DC because now we have all become good pals!!

Exploring Washington DC

Upon landing in DC, the Champions are taken to the National Air & Space Museum to explore the exhibits.  I was fascinated by all the planes, space shuttles, and jets!!  They were gigantic!!  I like Amelia Earhart and there was even an exhibit about her!!  After leaving the museum, we were off to check in to the hotel and get some sleep.  Tomorrow we are going to see the monuments!!

Delta Takes The Champions To New Heights

Delta Airlines was responsible for all of our air transportation needs during our CMN Champions trip.  And Delta really rolled out the red carpet for us for our flight from Orlando to Washington DC.  The interior of the plane was decorated in true Chanmpion style and we even received the honorary water arch as we taxied down the runway!!  I had my own TV so I could watch whatever I wanted and I played video games too!!  The food was pretty good, but I love all the theatre candy and treats the flight attendants handed out!!  Thank you Delta for getting us to DC safely!!

Champions Last Night at WDW

It's the Champions last night at Walt Disney World!!!  So what do we do???  We see fireworks and party until the Magic Kingdom closes!!!  My Champion friend Maddie and her family from Hawaii join us for a midnight spin on teacups!!!

Sponsor's Pin Exchange

Saturday, all the CMN Champions got together with representatives from all the CMN corporate sponsors for a meet & greet pin exchange.  Each champion brought pins from their own hospital or home state to exchange with the sponsors for their businesses pins.  The corporate sponsors play a major role in contributing generously every year to Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals.  Corporate sponsors, like ACE Hardware, Walmart, RE/Max, Marriott, Delta Airlines, Dairy Queen,
Speedway Gas Stations, Coca-Cola, IHOP, Kroger, Publix, and Six Flags, develop their
own unique fundraising
campaigns in order to generate funds that are donated to CMN hospitals right in their local communities.  I signed autographs and passed out Riley Hospital red wagon logo pins.  I made sure to tell each sponsor thank you for giving to CMN!!! 

Meeting an Idol & a Journalist

Saturday morning, we had a meeting with two very special CMN celebrity partners, American Idol alum David Archuletta and the Today Show's Merideth Vieira.  They came to show their support for Childrens Miracle Network and to meet us!!!  Can you believe they came to meet us??!!??!!  WOW!!!  Both hung around to chat, take photos, and sign autographs.  Merideth Vieira pinned my red "Ask Me About Olivia" button on her lapel and  

  David Archuletta actually asked me for MY autograph!!  And, of course, I gave it to him!!!  Like all of CMN's celebrity partners, David & Merideth are very important because they are highly recognizable figures who can use their platforms to help raise awareness about  Childrens Miracle Network.  Thanks for all you do for CMN Hospitals David & Merideth!! 

Freetime on Friday

On Friday, we were given the day to spend as we wished.  I started my day by having breakfast with the BIG CHEESE Mickey Mouse!!  We strolled downstairs (in our pajamas!!!) to see if we could get into Chef Mickey's.  It's one of my favorite spots to dine, but we didn't have a reservation; however once the hostesses identified me as being a CMN Champion, they immediatley led us to a table where we began to chow down!!  YUM! YUM!!  After putting on clothes that were suitable for a public appearance, we hopped aboard the monorail.  Destination: EPCOT!!  We rode all of my favorite rides & attractions!!  I absolutely love Soarin'!!  We rode it 2 times!!!  Before I knew it, it was time for lunch.  We took the water taxi over to the Yacht & Beach Club for the go-to spot for ice cream..............  Ariel's Beaches & Cream!!  Lunch was great, but the No Way Jose was the ultimate treat.  Only Disney could create an ice cream sundae that is the size of my head!!!  After lunch we decided to head back to the hotel because I was feeling kind of crummy.  I'm not a big complainer and who wants to take a nap at the hotel WHEN YOU'RE AT DISNEY WORLD!!!!  But, mom knows best. :)  She called the doctor, who then came to my hotel room to check me out.  Turns out, I was very, very sick.  Dr. Forbes was fantastic!!  She got me all fixed up so that I could survive the next 5 days of our trip.  Two prescriptions and a 6 hour nap later, I was starting to feel like my old self!!!  And I would have never imagined that the doctor who took care of me that day would become such an important & special person in my life.  She is the most lovely person inside & out!!  My friends over at the Whispering Canyon Cafe (thanks "Slick Sam") heard that I was sick and they sent over a very nice "Get Well Champion" gift to cheer me up and boy did it help!!  I am surrounded by such very kind, caring, big-hearted people, and I feel so blessed to have each one of them in my life!!  Love y'all!! :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

At the Champions medal ceremony, I met Evan, the 2011 CMN Champion from Rhode Island.  He and I became instant friends and remain very good friends today.  Evan inspires me to smile through everything!!!  Evan like to tell jokes just like me and he is a great dancer!!  And my moms says he is very handsome!!   

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Olivia Receives Her Medal

At the medal ceremony, each Champion was individually recognized. I thought this tutu was perfect for the occasion! Upon receiving my medal, I posed like a true champion. I know that no matter what comes my way, I can overcome any challenge and any obstacle. *Philippians 4:13*
My mom reminds me every day:
Challenge is inevitable.
Defeat is optional.

Sleeping Beauty

Even a Champion needs a little beauty sleep now & then!!

Move It! Shake It! Celebrate it!

This afternoon, some of the Champions hopped on the monorail to head over to the Magic Kingdom. As the 2011 Childrens Miracle Network Champions, we were special guests featured in the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Parade on Main Street USA. We all got to dance with some crazy characters and circle the hub in front of Cinderella's Castle. Talk about shaking your tail-feathers!!! The 2011 Champions really know how to move & groove!!! Later in the day I was made an honorary conductor of the Walt Disney Railroad!!

Mickey's the boss, but Donald will always be my #1!!

And John Schneider is pretty cool too!!!

The Face of a Champion

This is what a CHAMPION looks like!!!