Updated: Mar 2, 2019
My name is Norman and I am Team Can's newest member and mascot! My mommy and daddy endured the blizzard last Saturday to pick me up in Storm Lake, Iowa. What was supposed to be a 4 hour round trip turned into 8 and I almost spent my first night as a Rosacker in a Super 8 hotel. I'm originally from South Dakota but I am so excited to be representing bulldogs in the Des Moines area alongside my friends at Drake University.
I can't wait to cheer on my mommy and her siblings in the Chicago Marathon. Someday I hope to be able to run that far but for now I'll spend the majority of my days eating, playing, and sleeping. I've had a lot of people ask what events led me to this life as Norman Rosacker, so mom's here to tell yah as well as share a little about ALSF. Enjoy!
Woof. Woof. Bark. Woof.
OUR "NEW NORM"
Kyle and I have always wanted a bulldog. One year for Kyle's birthday, I had arranged for us to spend the afternoon at the home of a local breeder of French bulldogs and it was magical. We stayed in touch with the breeder and had him send us pictures whenever a new litter was born. Then, of course, there was that fate filled moment on my birthday when I had a random encounter with an English bulldog breeder at a Rochester gas station who just so happened to be in route of bringing one of her puppies to his new home. Equally magical.
Flash forward to Feb. 7th of this year. I was on the book of face when I got a message from a cute hairdresser lady named Georgie who said my work bestie had nominated me for a free hair cut! We set up an appointment for Feb. 12th and I went in thinking I'll at least leave a generous tip for this incredible human who had been gifting 1 free haircut each day to lucky individuals throughout the month of February to spread joy during this Valentine's season. First of all, what an incredibly selfless and kind gesture. Second, not only did she cut my hair but she gave it a full wash, texturized it with product, and curled it - for FREE. She wouldn't even let me leave a tip. As if I couldn't love her more, she brings up her love of bulldogs and an hour passed and we were still talking about our mutual passion for this dog breed. She ended up giving me her breeder's information but I wasn't planning on doing much with it since Kyle and I had just made a few major home purchases and bulldogs are rather pricey.
THEN IT HAPPENED.
Feb 15th, 2019.
Georgie messaged me while Kyle and I were at The Fletcher in Ankeny toasting to the fact that we were finally done with "big purchases" for a while. Funny how God had a different plan in mind. Come to find out her breeder was selling the remainder of her litter half off!
We of course messaged the breeder right away but it wasn't until the following day we heard back from her. There were only 3 pups available to begin with and we knew she had received a lot of inquiries on her facebook listing.
JOY filled our hearts when we found out our Norman was still available. However, reality started to set in as we questioned whether or not we were truly ready for this responsibility.
I recently finished Lysa Terkeurst's devotional (amazing, btw) and I remember reading a section that was based off the premise of opportunity. She wrote, "Not every opportunity is meant to be my assignment" and goes on to talk about how overloading ourselves with "yes's" whenever new opportunities arise can distract us with assignments and responsibilities that aren't meant to be ours.
After prayerful reflection, I realized God's hand was at work with every event leading up to this decision making moment. I can say with utmost confidence, this was the best "yes" I have ever said second to the "yes" made in response to Kyle's marriage proposal. Crazy to think Norman Rosacker officially became ours less than 24 hours of even knowing he existed. But like I said, God's timing is perfect and I am so grateful for the quiet time granted to me this morning to sit, reflect, and write about all the little "yes" decisions that led us to Norm.
I encourage you to do the same with the blessings in your own life! Trace the path back to as far as you can remember. Smile. Laugh. Thank God for these precious moments. And next time an opportunity arises - don't fret. Try to look past the fear and anxiety associated with change and just go for it knowing what's meant to be is already set in motion by the Lord. Hindsight is our friend in acknowledging past good but trusting ourselves with everyday decisions can lead to bright and exciting futures.
Our road to Norm:
1. "Yes" to working at Methodist hospital where I met work BFF Sarah
2. "Yes" by Georgie to give away free haircuts this month
3. "Yes" by Sarah to lovingly tell me it's time for a trim & nominating me for a cut
4. "Yes" to going to my appointment (even though I was late...to my FREE haircut...like honestly how freakin' embarrassing...but are you surprised?)
5. "Yes" by our breeder to allow us to pick out a pup
6. "Yes" to braving the winter storm to meet Norman and take him to his forever home <3
To end this novel, I want to draw attention to common cliche phrases like "see good - do good" and "pay it forward."
Georgie truly inspired me with her willingness to use her profession as a means to show kindness and love to strangers. Hair in itself, is a beautiful gift and shouldn't be taken for granted. According to Mayo Clinic, hair loss is listed as one of the top fears associated with side effects from cancer treatment. Though hair loss is usually temporary, it takes roughly 3-6 months for regrowth to occur post cancer treatment and hair may return a different shade or texture. In some cases, such as with high doses of radiation, hair loss can be permanent.
"You might not think about how important your hair is until you face losing it."
To bring this whole story back full circle, I have a new goal in mind for this year. After the race on Oct 13th, I plan on chopping off at least 26 cm (10 inches) of my hair to represent the completion of 26 miles ran as a member of Team CAN. In order for me to have a shot at this goal, our team first has to reach our fundraising minimum of 3,750 dollars to be able to participate in the marathon. I sincerely want to thank everyone who has taken the time to donate, educate, and pray on our behalf. Your support in any shape or form has been and will continue to be greatly appreciated and we are still so grateful for this opportunity to work alongside such a great organization like Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
We are so close to meeting our fundraising goal! If you would like to learn more about ALSF please feel free to reach out to us or visit our page by clicking the link below:
And of course, if anyone has any recommendations of reputable organizations that accept hair donations or would like to join me in this endeavor, please feel free to reach out to me!
That's it for now, friends!
I will leave you with these pictures
of NORMAN reppin' his ALSF gear!
Thanks for reading!