Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 121: Stop Bullying

The past few days, I've been following young peoples feeds on Facebook that I'm friends with. A young girls name Rachel Ehmke and a picture of her kept popping up.

The message that was clear over and over in relation to Rachel was 'Stop Bullying'.

You could sense the heartache, anguish and frustration.

Rachel took her life as a result of being bullied. Link below.

She was 13 years old.

The solidarity and legacy that Rachel has left behind - is incredible.

This daily blog is about acts of kindness - the intent is to contribute good in this world with my own actions. That includes taking a stand on issue that are priority.

Imagine a world with no bullying? Imagine if instead of making a mean comment to someone, we compliment them instead?

I hope this blog post brings awareness. And the importance to have constant dialogue with kids.

I also want people to know that THEY matter. You're not alone.

Words hurt. Think before you say something.

My promise is this - This topic Bullying and suicide will be one of my top priorities in life.

There will be an event put on by young people here in Southeast Minnesota. I'll share more once there's details worked out.

Rachel. You mattered.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 120: Support Misophonia research

To get some background, see above link.

In short, misophonia is a sensory disorder in how a person processes sound.

I have misophonia. And just like the lady in the article, I can remember as far back at 8 years old being greatly agitated by certain sounds and not having any control over my emotions towards them.

Bubble yum is my nemesis. Popcorn in a movie theater makes me cringe. The kitchen table at dinner time can be challenging.

But I work hard to control my emotions, it's extremely difficult. I also have way to "cope". When I go to the movies, I wear a headset. First time
I was ever able to enjoy a movie. And my loved ones and friends that know me well, eat with their mouth closed and spit their gum out. One time I gave my boyfriend "the misophonia look" - he spit his gum out instantly. No contest! (sweet man <3)

I'm weird. I know :-p

I know many many people that have this now (that it's being talked about more). My own daughter has it.

So, tonight I filled out a 25 minute survey to further research on an disorder that I think needs more understanding.

I know, that had I known I had this in high school, I would have been more of an advocate for myself in a test-taking setting, etc. and the results could have been much better in the right environment.

So, I hope those out there reading this that may have misophonia, know that you're not alone :) we can be weird together!

If you know anyone that experiences misophonia, or suspect they do - encourage them to fill out this survey!

The more research, the more awareness, the more comfort and advocacy for others <3

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 119: Make a homemade birthday cake

Normally, I'd just buy an already decorated made cake. Considering I'm still sick, and any other day, it would have been the easy way out. :-p

But I had told the girls that we'd make a homemade cake and that we'd decorate it.

So, we did. The cake was a slight disaster (top level fell apart as I plopped it out of the pan) but we were able to cover it up with the icing and 30 candles. Haha! The cake looked like a tiki torch after we lit it!

Happy birthday honey!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 118: Protect everyone's skin

Today I stayed home sick (I ended up getting what my daughter had this week, and I don't think it helped that I'm worn out) It was awful. Sore throat, lymph nodes swollen and I spent from 1am in the morning till noon - puking (and towards the end dry heaving) very unenjoyable, exhausting and unglamorous. Sorry for the TMI - but, my main reason for bringing it up was that I had offers from friends in support and "ammunition" brought over to combat the symptoms. Thank you Kary and Alissa for the sprite, emergen-c, chicken noodle soup, jello, and Tylenol. I really do have incredible kind friends.

Also. When I originally posted about this new years resolution, I had some people asking me how I could possibly do a kind act if I was sick that day.

And I told them, no matter what - I WILL do a kind act every day, even if I'm on my death bed!

This afternoon, I was browsing Facebook while laying down. A friend posted this article (thanks Travis)

After I read it, I cried. My heart broke for Glenna and her family. She died at 26 from something totally preventable.

We care so much about our appearance that sometimes we do things that could jeopardize our health.

I don't want to get in a debate about tanning. But I do want to express the desire of trying to protect our skin.

I had 4 moles removed and biopsies several years ago. I know the reason I got them was from not using sunscreen. Now I use the highest SPF! also, my "glow" is spray tan :) love it!

Tonight I donated to glennas fund. You can see the pie chart of exactly where donations go.

Wear sunscreen :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 117: Gave a coworker a ride to her car

Opportunity presented itself - my coworker asked if I could give her a ride and I said "heck yes!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 116: Bake and deliver cookies with high school students

On Day 107, I spoke to several classrooms of high school students about this blog and doing daily acts of kindness.

Each of the students were given the assignment of doing a service project.

The next day I got a note from a student named Savannah, asking me if I would be willing to be apart of her service project! I can't even begin to explain how excited I was that 1. A young person wanted to do a kind act with me 2. A young person thought I was cool enough to do a kind act with!! Haha!

We went over some ideas and she really wanted to bake cookies and deliver them. And that we did!

Savannah and her friend Shelby came over tonight. And in true Teal fashion, there was a lot of eventful things happen. Like. Locking us out of my house when we got back from picking up the groceries. The good news is, that we keep the house tightly secure so I couldn't even break into my own house! Lol

The girls were total troopers about it and after some serious Macguyver moves, Savannah went back to the car and guess what?!! I had dropped my keys on the side floor of the car. Let's blame the pregnancy on that little faux-pas.

We finally get in the house, and started baking! Of course, we made rolo cookies! So easy, the girls loved them. We decided to call them "Lock out" cookies since we were locked out of the house for a good bit tonight :-p

Once the cookies were done, we wrote out notes and then traveled to the *Ronald McDonald house and the Gift of Life Transplant house. We were met with smiles and gratefulness.

I would have to say this experience was definitely in my top ten of neat memories. It's not only exciting to see young people involved, but you could sense and hear how genuine they were tonight too. I'm so glad they're both in my life now.

Had I not made this new years resolution, doing daily acts of kindness - I would have never met or probably crossed paths with Savannah and Shelby.

*Turns out, Ronald McDonald only accepts store bought sealed baked goods, so the cookies we made were given to volunteers :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 115: Support The Rand Family Foundation for Tweens and Teens

Nothing went as expected today. :) this morning I woke up bleary eyed and tired, and my daughter did too. She had been up all night congested and not feeling 100%. So, instead of the normal routine, it was a scramble all day.

She went to sick daycare, with hugs and kisses in tow, I raced to make it to meet a friend for the Dalai Lama event.

When we arrived, we ended up sitting really far in the back (and we thought we were early!) I couldn't understand really anything that was said (due to the sound) but I did feel honored and humbled to be there. I plan to listen to the recording tomorrow.

Afterwards, I zoomed over to work and was met with a very busy day (and queue). By the time my work day was over, and I went to go get my daughter, my pregnant body and mind was exhausted. I had planned to go participate in the Litter Bit Better, but didn't think bringing my sick child and exhausted self was the ideal scenario.

So instead, I'm sharing, advocating and donating to an important event that occurs this Friday.

Their mission

"The Rand Family Foundation offers community and support to children whose family members are battling cancer. Established by breast cancer survivor Jenny Rand, RaFFTT aims to help children, like hers, find a place of comfort amidst the grief and worry in their lives."

Check out the invite:

Hosted by:
The Rand Family Foundation for Tweens and Teens

Friday, April 27 from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM

Willow Creek Golf Course
1700 48th Street
Rochester, MN 55902

Message from Host
Join the Rand Family Foundation for Tweens & Teens for “Disco Ball”—an evening of dinner, dancing and all things disco.

Even if you can't go, considering donating $25 :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 114: Welcome the new kid on the block

Today we got a new person on my team at work. But, it wasn't just anyone. It was someone who I've gotten to know in the last year, who I've chatted with about inspiring kind acts and who's carried out some kind acts too.

I'm delighted to have a kindred genuine person on the same team.

Today we gave her a card, signed, and of course I added some "reisens" for her to love us and her new job!

Welcome Keli!!!

Ps. A shout out to a reader that said he was inspired and in return inspired me further. Thanks Ben for your email , support and love!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 113: Commit to protect the environment [earth day]

Yesterday as I was chatting with someone about ideas on what I should do for my daily acts of kindness, they mentioned that today was Earth day!

While, I've heard about this day, the environment isn't something I've really paid attention to in the past.

I, mean, I don't throw trash on the ground or anything. But, I do realize that I should be more proactive about the environment then I am. Learn more about my carbon footprint (see precious act of kindness), bring awareness and become more observant.

So, today I researched Earth day trough the EPA government site.

An excerpt I found compelling:

"Why is this important? Because many people don’t see “environmentalism” as an important issue in their lives. When actually having clean air to breathe, water to drink, and a neighborhood safe from toxics is important to ALL of us!"

Every day I try to be a better human being. Today I commit even more to do better in protecting the environment. This Tuesday, I'll be participating with United Way ELIG for Litter Bit Better - beautifying and cleaning up our community.

Visiting Duluth this weekend made me appreciate the beauty and clean majestic lake, hills, trees...

Protecting that should be our priority. It's mine now too!

Ps. Today, I got a thank you email from the couple that was a recipient of Day 98 act of kindness. I didn't know the couple personally, but they tracked my email down just to be sure they thanked me. That's incredible <3 see! Doing a simple act of kindness, letting people know they matter - you touch someone's heart and soul.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 112: Gift for the tour guide

Today we visited Fitgers brewery for Scott's birthday. We went on their beer brewing tour. Before we had arrived I spoke to a guy named Tim who said he would be giving the tour. I was concerned that there might be a list and the possibility there wouldnt be room. It was Scott's birthday so I wanted to be doubly sure we got in!

Tim was SO nice and he reassured me that we would all be able to go.

We arrived and did the tour! But I didn't come without bearing a gift for Tim :) I brought him a deck of cards - Minnesota worthy - u betcha cards! I'll post a pic of them.

He loved them and said he plays cards all the time!

And yep. I'm out and about and I'm still making it a priority to make a post about an act of kindness. It's important :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 111: Give a friend a little piece of heaven

I posted a photo of a product I use on my hair called Argan oil on my facebook page. The stuff is ah-mazing. My hair feels soft, well conditioned and healthy when I use it.

A friend responded sharing that she had been wanting to try it and asked where was it located.

Well! Today I went by Sally's, saw they were having a sale and got her one. I was so excited to deliver it :)

She loved it. But even better, she said adamantly that she would pay it forward. And that really is the true act of kindness in all of this. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 110: clean a counter, make a new friend, help a lady

Each day goes by and my awareness for helping people increases daily. It would have never occurred to be, before this blog, to be so aware of my surroundings and to see opportunities on how I can help or make new friends in the simplest of settings.

Today I went to target on a regular grocery shopping trip (you know those kind where you go in for milk and bread and come out with $200 of stuff you did NOT intend to buy...)

First, we went to the food court. I wanted to be sure our tummies were full so we didn't buy the entire dessert aisle out...(obviously, it didn't prevent us from still getting the desserts.)

Right before we sat down to eat, i noticed that the counters had trash on it and spills from the pop machines and icees. I cleaned it up! The people behind the counter looked busy. :)

We sat down, got comfortable and my daughter saw this girl, her brother and her mother walk up to order food. My daughter said exuberantly to me "I'm going to make a new friend!"

She walked up to the young girl an started chatting with her. She even gave her a gummy bear as a token towards the new friendship. It didnt stop there. They sat next to us and the mom and I started chatting. Turns out our daughters take dance on the same night together at the same place! Cheers to new friendships :)

As we were leaving target, it was pouring rain. Practically a tsunami! I got everything in the car (of course I was drenched) ran my cart over to the cart corral and noticed the lady before me had left an item in the cart! I ran over, knocked on her window. She opened it and I asked if it was hers. She was SO appreciative!

Today was a productive day of kindness! Glad my heart is open to it more and more :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 109: Refer a friend

A couple of days ago I saw a friends status needing more work. I posted a status and asked if anyone needed dry walling done or painting.

Several people said they did. Today I passed on his name so he can get some work!

If anyone else needs a good hardworking man, let me know!

It's small acts like this that can really help someone out. :)

Networking on social networks is a beautiful thing! <3

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 108: Fill out a survey for a friend

Ahhhhh. The last 3 days have been incredibly busy for me. I'd wake up hitting the ground running and not get to sleep till about 2am each night/morning.

Today, I was SUPPOSE to help with the demolition and clean up of the Good News Children playground. As I was sitting at work, I thought to myself - I need rest.

Sometimes you just gotta tell yourself to slow down and be realistic about taking time for yourself to rest and rejuvenate.

So, instead, an opportunity for an act of kindness arrived. I got a fb message from a friend needing people to fill out a survey she is working on for her school coursework.

I happily obliged. <3

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 107: Speak at local high school about daily acts of kindness

This morning, I spoke to 4 classes of 16/17 year old students at John Marshall about the leaps of kindness blog.

I have to say it was one of the most profound, inspiring, exciting experiences I have ever had.

I had one girl come up to me and told me how excited she was to meet me. She was exuberant and full of energy with her excitement over the blog. She shared she volunteers a lot. It’s lovely to see a young person so interested in helping others.

Another girl came up and asked me if I could help her with her service project.

Each kid is tasked with finding one service agency or project, carry out a volunteer opportunity (or kind act ;-) and encourage someone else to do that same. I have to say, I got really excited that teachers at John Marshall are doing this.

After one of my speeches, a young guy, started picking up trash in the room, pushing in chairs, etc. He came up to me with the trash and I had a huge grin on my face. He got it. He REALLY got it. And he returned the grin.

Each kid was a recipient of kindness today – I gave them each a dove candy. Inside the dove candies are inspirations or ideas for acts of kindness. I challenged them to not just eat it, but to pay it forward. If they did eat it, I encouraged them to save the wrapper and use it as a inspiration/reminder/pivotal moment to choose to impact the world in a positive way by doing an act of kindness.

The kind acts didn’t stop in the classroom. As I was leaving the high school, I walked around and gave dove candy to each kid I saw, and explained what I was doing (daily acts of kindness and they were the recipient)…and it didn’t stop there…as I went through McDonalds, I gave out dove candies and explained what I was doing, when I arrived at work, I gave dove candy to the guy fixing the gate, another candy went to a woman going to work. ALL were excited that they were thought of.

While my intent was to go to that school and inspire students, I came away inspired and motivated to continue to do what I do.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 106: Create a presentation for inspiration

Tonight, I put together the presentation/speech I'll be presenting to high school students at John Marshall about this blog for tomorrow. I've been thinking about what I would say all weekend and as I put the presentation together, it flowed seamlessly.

When you go with your heart. You can't go wrong.

See you tomorrow, John Marshall! I'm excited to meet you all!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 105: Paint with kids

Today I put together a painting project for the kids. I saw this button tree painting on pinterest and have been talking about it with the kids for 2 months now promising to do it.

We finally did it tonight. Art is something that I rarely do. And I know that it's probably not as emphasized as it should be in everyday society. Music and art is generally the first thing to get cut back in school.

So, today we painted and enjoyed being creative. We spent some very important one on one time with each kid. It was wonderful!

Pinterest. Bringing families back at the kitchen table. For fun projects!

Why is this an act of kindness? Well, when you really look at it, a lot of this stuff we should be doing anyways - its just not in the forefront of our minds...or something that's the most popular kid thing to do. Our kids have been so tech over- sensationalized, painting (and I'm not talking about drawsomething app on the iPhone) painting is a lost art.

Today was magical.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 104: Help someone with directions

Yes, folks! The one who gets lost with directions helped someone with directions and I actually knew what I was talking about! :)

I think my sketch drawing of the map rivals google maps. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 103: Deliver a favor for a friend

I got a text from a coworker/friend who was at lunch celebrating a friends birthday but had waltzed out of the office and in her excitement forgot the friends gift.

She asked if I would walk it over to where she was eating with her friend.

I delightfully obliged! This person is one of the most thoughtful genuine people I know, I'd walk that gift to Australia if she needed it!

Other act of kindness I did without knowing was posting "Somewhere over the rainbow" by IZ - I had a friend email me at work thanking me for posting the video. They had an already hectic day and that video brought them a much needed zen moment! :)

AND - Just when you think "Wonder if people are reading? Wonder of they're inspired to do acts of kindness?"

I got this text tonight (friend in grey)

Pretty incredible <3

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 102: Spend quality time with a friend

No. I'm not talking just a normal hang out, both on our phones, chatting and not really listening.

Today I spent time with a friend I've always admired but haven't gotten the opportunity to really sit down: no phones, no distractions and really talk - eye to eye - truly listen.

Why is this an act of kindness? Listening is something I'm constantly working on - to do better. People know that they matter when you hear them. I want people to know that they matter. I feel that as a burning number one goal of mine during my time on earth. That every person I interact with, chat with - I want people to know they matter.

One minute turned into almost two hours without us really realizing it.

Everything I was suppose to do tonight ....- well, sometimes I need to fill my cup so I can fill other people's cup. And tonight both our souls got rejuvenated.

Friendship is a beautiful thing. Friends become family.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 101: Donate to Caines Arcade Scholarship Fund

Have you seen the video circulating around? It's of a 9 year old boy who has created this cardboard arcade fantasy land. It's pretty incredible and touching.

Click the link above to see the video

Tonight I donated towards a scholarship fund for Caine.

With an imagination like his, imagine what he's going to do as an adult. :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 100: Solicit and collect donations for Xaviers benefit

Day 100! 266 more days to go :)

Since today is a big milestone, I wanted to do something for a special little boy. Have you heard of Xavier? He's the 2 year old that was stabbed multiple times by a vicious intruder. He has been recovering in the last month- a little warrior.

This was certainly unforeseen, as a result - medical bills mount.

This Sunday, April 15 from 1-7pm there will be a benefit, silent auction and children's carnival -

All proceeds go to Xavier and his family.

This is something no one should ever have to experience. Let's help bring some due-for ease of finances and happiness!

Today I was busy soliciting and collecting donations and will continue through the end of the week.

For those that have donated already - thank you!
For those getting back to me - thank you!
For those that tell me yes when I come back around asking for a donation again for an important cause - thank YOU!

Want to directly donate?

This Wednesday, come join me also at Big Brads - several people involved in coordinating these events are working as bartenders and all their tips go to Xavier and family too! :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 99: Pick up trash at a park

Today for my act of kindness, I picked up trash at Lake Rebecca Park Reserve. It surprised me that people just throw trash on the ground. It also made me think twice about how I handle my own trash and ensuring it goes in a trash bin.

I plan on doing more with trash pick up. Especially seeing what I did today. We really oughta keep our world pretty <3

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 98: Cookies for the neighbors

Today we visited Scott's family. As we sat around the kitchen table, I shared about my new years resolution and how every day I do an act of kindness. They all got excited and we all did an act together for one of their neighbors!

I wrote the neighbors a note and then we packaged up cookies that Bri and Lynn made. Several of us walked over and left the surprise in their mailbox.

1. An incredible act that we were all involved initiating this kind act.
2. I can't wait till the neighbors open up their mailbox to find a surprise from a complete stranger and their neighbors!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 97: Pay for the persons drink behind me

I have a half day off of work! I decided after I left work I would go get my favorite drink from Dunn bros. The CHOCOLATE NIRVANA! Mmmmm.

As I pulled up, another lady was pulling up to the drive through too. She waved kindly to me to go ahead of her. Being kind back I waved for her to go ahead! Lol! She seemed insistent, so I went ahead of her.

Kindness breeds kindness. I bought her hot chocolate for her. I was excited because I could hear her ordering her drink - I told the cashier, that I wanted to get her drink too. I asked for a napkin so I could write her a note. I wrote

"Thank you for your act of kindness letting me go in front of you. Enjoy your drink <3"

I love when acts like these present themselves and their virtually effortless in thought because (as Im learning daily) its just the right thing to do.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 96: Candy for a friend

Today has been a fun day! Went to an engagement happy hour for two very special friends of mine, and was asked to be apart of their wedding. I love weddings!

Then I had a friend come over and pick up some things she had order when I had a home party - inside I also snuck in some candy as a surprise! (and my act of kindness for the day)

It really is the small things (candy) in life that counts! :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 95: Participate in a research project to better care

I'm participating in a research project at Mayo Clinic to better/enhance prenatal care for patients.

Tonight was my first submission of the tasks I had to do and submit.

It's neat to know that my participation (among several others) contributes to a better experience for a patient. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 94: Bus a table

Tonight I bussed the table we ate at. It was cute because the owner was so surprised and didn't want me to clear the table, I had to practically beg her to let me!

Ps. A friend of mine, Joe, brought his carpooler breakfast!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 93: Thank a teacher or two...or three

Today I thanked some of the teachers I know for their work. A few weeks back, I appreciated my daughters teacher but I wanted to do more then one teacher. They provide SO much to our youth.

And some of my teachers in school were simply the best. Like Ms. Hardman. She was a popular teacher in school and there was a good reason why. She really made learning fun. And you never dreaded going to her class.

Some of my peers are teachers now too. And it's neat know that some of the most incredible people I know are out there in classrooms being excellent role models to kids.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 92: Donate kids clothes

Donated kids clothes to Salvation Army. (It seems like kids grow out of them as soon as you get them!) This was a joint effort with the kids again.

Teach them young - philanthropists in the making :)