Monday, May 23, 2011

Introducing ...

... "The Jack Pot" Fund!!!

It is with great eagerness, excitement and overwhelming pride that we introduce to you something that has been in the works for months but has been within our hearts since the day of Jack's birth.  After Jack's birth on May 28, 2010, as new parents to a child with special needs, we found ourselves navigating the twisted roads of this unexpected journey, and with the help of many caring people who were just strangers to us at the time, we quickly learned what an incredible and rewarding experience it is to have a child with Down Syndrome.

Our little Jack has everything he could ever want ... lots of toys and books, wonderful therapists, and the medicines he needs to stay healthy.  But not all of his friends do.  So, to honor and celebrate Jack and other children like him on his first birthday, we have created "The Jack Pot" Fund.  "The Jack Pot" Fund will benefit Jack's friends in need who are part of the Down Syndrome Network of Greater Greensboro.  Once "The Jack Pot" is more established, this fund will be used to help local families of children with Down Syndrome pay for expensive medical or therapy co-pays, medications, or medical supplies that they struggle to afford on their own. 

No child should go without what he or she needs to prosper, especially when help is out there.

Please help us help Jack's friends in need and consider a donation to "The Jack Pot" today! 

To donate, please visit the DSNGG website at and click on "Donate" at the bottom of the page under the "Hit the Jack Pot" description.  (Be sure to type in "The Jack Pot Fund" when you see the "This donation is for ..." prompt!)

All our love and many thanks,
Korey, Robert and Jack Hickling

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome to Holland ...

... Michigan, that is! Last week, we enjoyed a wonderful few days in Michigan, visiting Robert's brother Matt and his wife Kelly (who's expecting a baby girl this October!!! :). We found out that there's a town called Holland in Michigan, and what do ya know ... they had their annual Tulip Time Festival while we were there! Learning of this while watching the local news one day, you just know we had to plan a trip!!!

I know most of you are familiar with the "Welcome to Holland" essay by Emily Perl Kingsley ( I couldn't resist remembering her words as we visited Holland, Michigan, as well as be moved by how far we've come on our own journey.

" ... you catch your breath, you look around ... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills ...

... and Holland has tulips

... be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

Holland is beautiful ... we think we'll stay a while.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

To all the mothers out there ... whether you are a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, an expectant mother, and mother-in-law, or not a mother yet at all, I hope you all have a very wonderful Mother's Day! This is for you ...

One Flaw in Women

By the time the Lord made woman,

He was into his sixth day of working overtime.

An angel appeared and said,

"Why are you spending so much time on this one?"

And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her?

She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,

have over 200 moveable parts, all replaceable,

and able to run on diet coke and leftovers,

have a lap that can hold four children at a time,

have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart

- and she will do everything

with only two hands."

The angel was astounded at the requirements.

"Only two hands!? No way!

And that's just on the standard model?

That's too much work for one day.

Wait until tomorrow to finish."

"But I won't," the Lord protested.

"I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.

She already heals herself when she is sick

AND can work 18 hour days."

The angel moved closer and touched the woman.

"But, you have made her so soft, my Lord."

"She is soft," the Lord agreed,

"but I have also made her tough.

You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?" asked the angel.

The Lord replied,

"Not only will she be able to think,

she will be able to reason and negotiate."

The angel then noticed something,

and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.

"Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.

I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."

"That's not a leak,"

the Lord corrected,

"that's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,

her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,

her loneliness, her grief and her pride."

The angel was impressed.

"You are a genius, Lord.

You thought of everything!

Woman is truly amazing."

And she is.

Women have strengths that amaze men.

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

but they hold happiness,

love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy

and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.

They stand up to injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer

when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel

And cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about

a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member,

yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss

can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you

to show you how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, love and hope.

They have compassion and ideals.

They give moral support to their family and friends.

Women have vital things to say and everything to give.

However, if there Is One Flaw In Women,

It is that They Forget Their Worth.

-Author Unknown

Although I have been receiving cards on this day for the past 7 years from our four-legged "first born," I have certainly enjoyed my first "official" Mother's Day today. It's been a day a day of pajama lounging, a late breakfast, and lots of playtime, snuggles and kisses. I was treated to a wonderful hour long massage yesterday afternoon for Mother's Day (much-needed), and I got the cutest and sweetest cards from all three of my boys today (including the furry one! :). Last night, Robert and I treated our parents to dinner and then I took my mom and my mother-in-law downtown for a Triad Stage performance of Steel Magnolias. It has always been one of my favorite movies, and the actors in the play really did the story justice. It's such a wonderful story about the powerful relationships that women share, especially that between mother and daughter. There wasn't a dry eye in the crowd, and as I sat there between my mom and Mary, I felt so very fortunate to have such amazing women in my life to share my journey with. It has been a wonderful weekend, full of immense love.

Mothers are remarkable beings, and being a new mother has really made me appreciate my own mother (I love you, Mom!) and all the other mothers I know out there, especially my two sisters who are such inspiring women, our dear friend Melissa who cares so genuinely for our Jack, and both of my sisters-in-law who are currently expecting their first children this summer and fall. To all of you ... please know how much you are appreciated and loved, and please ....
never, ever forget your worth.

Monday, May 2, 2011


A dear friend, Stephanie Goodrich, has nominated me for the's Mother of the Year Award!!! Stephanie and I just met a matter of months ago when her husband Dan was recruited last year to Moses Cone Health System as a new physician in Robert's hospitalist group. Stephanie and Dan have a sweet, beautiful little girl named Ivy who is just about to turn the big 1!!! (Jack and Ivy have (play)dated, and he's a big fan! ;) Let me tell you, folks ... Greensboro is much better place with this wonderful family here!

I feel so very honored to have been nominated, and I feel even more blessed to have friends like Stephanie who believe in me enough to nominate me for such an amazing award. Among all the nominees, I have been chosen to be among the Top Ten Finalists! I love that my little blogging habit has propelled me into this world of possibilities for moms and for individuals like Jack.

So, please ... if you feel so inclined, you may visit and vote for me from today (May 2nd) until Friday, May 6th! I can't think of a better Mother's Day gift than to be honored in such a way!

(Thanks again, Steph!)