Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 182: Love a friend unconditionally

Something I've learned in the last month is what it means to be a true friend - loving a friend unconditionally even through imperfections.

Today, I was there for a friend who needed support and unconditional love. This person didn't want to disrupt my day - and as I explained - a true friend is there regardless.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 181: Donate an iPad to YMCA

Will post story soon

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 180: Pre-Birthday love

Ah. What a day :) I went on a field trip with my daughter today. Im marking today as one of those top ten moments of awesomeness.

We were running a tad late this morning. Mainly because I was off of work and trying to squeeze in as much sleep as possible!

We got to the bus just in time. As my daughter and I ran to the bus door, the head counselor grinned at me and said jovially "Happy Birthday"! I was so surprised he remembered.

THEN. We walked onto the bus, and every child and counselor on the bus serenaded me with the 'Happy Birthday' song.

None of these people knew me.
None of the kids knew me.
Other then they knew I was some other kids mom.

Yet they specifically remembered that it was my birthday (technically tomorrow, but it's my birthday week!) AND they made it special, by singling me out and wishing ME a happy birthday. My daughter was beaming too. Thank you to the many strangers who showed me love today. Definitely my top birthday memory.

Kindness. Thank you for showing me kindness.

While I was riding the bus, I sat there and thought how appreciative I was to be able to ride the bus with these new incredible friends, but also I paid attention to the bus driver. I think we've all seen the bus monitor video of the woman, Karen, getting bullied. And she was an adult!

This bus driver was a kind man. He had kind eyes. When we got to our destination I asked him of he had any water to stay hydrated. He had some but not much. When we finished our excursion, I got him an ice cold bottle of water and brought it back to him. When I handed it to him I gave him a pat on the arm and said "This is so you stay hydrated, thanks for getting us to our spots safely"

His smile of thanks in return spoke volumes.

We all connect in many ways. It's about letting ourselves become open and receptive to those around us that we can welcome new friendships in our lives.

A friend recently told me of a teaching she recently learned from resilience- leaving a silent loving blessing on others by stating in your mind towards others: "I wish you well".

To the 50+ kids, counselors and bus driver - I wish you well <3 thank you for the beautiful memories and best birthday to date.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 179: Birthday pedicures

My recipient for todays giving was my daughter. Shes got a pretty selfless heart, so shes a perfect recipient of being apart of my giving instead of receiving birthday week!

Tonight my daughter and I got pedicures together. She giggled when they tickled scrubbed her feet, she grinned when she saw the flower designs grow delicately on her toes beneath the nail stylist hands.

The greatest gift is watching your child's happiness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 178: Give instead of receive

This is my birthday week. :) I've decided to change my perspective about my birthday. Here are my thoughts and what I posted on Facebook today. Instead of receiving this week, for my birthday I want to give:

I’m going to be really real about this. It’s easy to set expectations for other people to do things for your birthday. Or at least, for me it was. And if someone didn’t do something, I would get disappointed every single year that I wasn’t thought of for my birthday. It’s an easy negative scenario to get into…and it’s a really really selfish perspective. What I have done in the past, is left it up for OTHER people to make ME happy and that’s absolutely ridiculous. So. I was laying in bed last night thinking about my perspective/feelings and how to turn the table to stop making it about ME. So, here we are. :) Learning to be truly selfless at a time where it’s tradition to expect others to do for you. I’m making a change on that. I’m going to start doing for OTHERS on my birthday instead, because honestly, deep down, it really feels better to give then receive anyways. :) Striving to be the BEST person I can possibly be, when it's easy and human nature to be self-centered/selfish ♥

Today I:
-Got a friend a coffee
-Gave a friend half of my breakfast sandwich
-Sent my honey surprise PayPal to get him a new shirt to wear for my birthday
-Sent another mom a book called 'Just mom & me' that has terrific ideas, surveys, cute notes to do with daughters and make special memories :)

Feels way better to give then receive!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 177: Mission Small business

My friends, Debbie and Allen own a business that is rapidly growing.

They distribute fire extinguishers. Saves lives, homes, property.

I think it's important to support our small businesses, in turn they grow and create jobs for more people.

AKE has thrown their hat in for a grant. It could help them considerably.

I voted for them, will you take 1 minute out of your day to vote for them too? They just need 250 votes to meet the first phase.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 176: Listen and lend support

I met a guy today that was going through a rough time. He was sitting by himself, with his left hand holding his head up. I could sense that something was wrong. While the girls were distracted, I went over to him to ask if he was ok. He said he was not. I told him if he needed to talk, I'd be willing to listen. He said ok.

I sat over to the side and waited. He kept his head down solemnly. I decided I should try again.

So I went over to his table. Sat next to him and he started pouring out his story. (obviously not going to share details)

I listened. He talked.

It was heartbreaking. Sad.


Towards the end, I left him with this message and one we should hold close to our hearts and minds in any relationship, be it romantic, friendship, parental, etc.

You matter and you deserve the best.

When the girls, Scott and I got in the car, the eldest daughter said "That was an act of kindness, you talking to that guy when he was sad"

Yes it was <3 but mostly - it was important to let him know that he mattered.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 175: Strike up a conversation with a stranger

Today we went to the park after we went to go see the movie 'Brave'. When we got there we were the only family. Gradually more families trickled in. An older last arrived with a little girl.

Eventually our daughters and this little girl started playing together.

I started chatting with the lady who brought the little girl. Turns she's the grandmother of the little girl. I told her how my grandmother raised me and how much it meant to me. I told her that her granddaughter would cherish the bond they would have.

How very lucky for those of us who had/have really incredible grandparents <3

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 174: Thank Sam from Financial Aid office

I can't imagine working in a financial aid office at a college. Every student is different, every intricate derail can't be overlooked because all of us are counting on as much aid possible so we don't rack up student loan debt.

I sent a guy from the financial aid office a massive thank you. He has gone over and beyond with detailed email responses back - meeting all my needs and questions. I also cc'd his director.

I'm sure he doesn't get paid enough, but I certainly valued him, and I know others must too.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 173: Fight like a girl - support Kelly Kay

Last night a friend posted about having a booth at Thursdays on First, for breast cancer awareness, supporting a woman named Kelly Kay. I stopped by today, donated and in return was given a cute cupcake, and some breast cancer awareness arsenal.

Kelly, I have no idea who you are, but you matter - I like your mentality - fight like a girl.

You inspired me today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 172: Donate to Red Cross for Duluth, Minnesota and surrounding areas

Red Cross MN press release

We're all seeing it on the news, here in Minnesota. I just visited Duluth for the first time a couple of months ago. It's a beautiful part of our state. Now flooded. Water is one of the most damaging elements when it comes to a natural disaster. You cant escape it and it destroys EVERYTHING.

Govenor Dayton and Mayor Ness (of Duluth) both declare a state of emergency.

My thoughts, prayers and love to those in Duluth and surrounding areas effected by the floods. We love you Duluth!

American Red Cross Northland Chapter
June 20, 2012
The American Red Cross is responding to extensive flooding in Duluth, Minnesota, and surrounding areas. According to Tony Guerra, Readiness Manager for the American Red Cross Northern Minnesota Region, two community-run reception centers have been established. One is at the First United Methodist Church, known as the Coppertop Church, at Central Entrance and 11th St. in Duluth.  The second is located at Carlton High School on School Avenue in Carlton. Red Cross volunteers and staff are already responding to the emergency. More information about the Red Cross response to this disaster will be available following an 8 a.m. meeting in Duluth.

The Northland Chapter responds to about 100 local disasters annually. Red Cross disaster relief includes emergency housing, food, clothing, medicine and medical supplies, eyeglasses, health services, and disaster counseling. Relief takes the form of preloaded debit cards, that are used in local businesses by clients, thus pumping up to $1000,000 in charitable contributions back into the community it serves.

HOW YOU CAN HELP Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 171: Buy a puzzle piece and bring Shani home

I'm a huge advocate of people chasing their dreams. Cathy and Dave have a simple dream - to have children. They adopted Justin, and now they're looking to bring Shani home too.

Consider buying a puzzle piece, helping to make another dream come true :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 170: Help with Non profit social media campaign

I'm going to keep this short since I need to rest.

Today I had lunch with one of my favorite non-profits, United Way, and gave feedback, support and help on a fun social media campaign they're doing this summer/fall. Keep an eye out for some neat easy ways you can help (maybe as your act of kindness)

Ps. Thank you for the book Dave!

A couple of hours after lunch, I ended up in OB triage due to dehydration. I hadn't been feeling 100% but figured it was just pregnancy. They pumped fluids in me and now were on the mend with orders to rest :) I plan to do just that! Baby is doing great <3

A very special thank you to LaVonne for coming to my side and helping me, and Jim for driving my vehicle home, and for my honey for coming down on short notice to take care of me, and for Brian for taking our daughter in the interim so I could recover

And for all the prayers, texts and messages - so our baby didn't decide to come early.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 169: Acknowledge great dads

Today I texted the father of my daughter letting him know what an awesome dad he is. He has so much patience. He works with our daughter on her homework religiously. I'm so glad he's her father and I wouldn't change that for the world.

And of course, my other little munchkins father. Can't wait to see you hold our daughter. <3 thanks for the gift of her. You're an incredible dad <2

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 168: Pay for arcade games for two teens

My only goals this weekend was to do homework for my college course, to try to work ahead in it, and to spend the weekend in quiet relaxation and respite so I can rejuvenate and reflect. My friend Karlys and I went to Quarry Nature park. It was beautiful and tranquil to be among the quiet solitude of nature. Butterflies, dragonflies , geese and ducks. It felt peaceful sitting by the creek and hearing the water brush against the rocks, trickling down.

On our way out of the creek area, our peaceful solitude was met with a snake and I almost toppled Karlys over my panicked state. :-p

Tonight we went to the movie "What to expect when not expecting". Great movie! Of course, I love comedies :)

As we were leaving I told Karlys I needed to do an act of kindness before I went home. Ironically, earlier today, as we we're leaving my place, she thought she felt something in the pocket of some shorts I had given her awhile back. She pulled out $15!! I guess I had left money in them.

So, tonight that $15 was my inspiration. I saw two teen girls with their parents. I went over and asked their parents if it was ok if I gave them money to play some arcade games and explained that I did daily acts of kindness every day. The parents said "Of course!" and the girls faces lit up.

See. Even though it was my money, I obviously didn't miss it. Those girls will get better joy from it then I would have, I'm sure of it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 167: Bring cupcakes to daughters daycare

Today was it. Formally the last day of daycare for my daughter. I brought in cupcakes to celebrate the time she has spent with them.

I watched her tiny little self making the last trek to the playground to play with many of the kids she's grown up with. She still looks so small.

I know I'm going to have to trust that she can fend for herself in new settings, but I still feel this intense pressure to hover, go peek in on her in her new setting and whisk her into my arms to protect her forever. I'm sure that feeling will never go away.

So, I stuffed a cupcake in my face and wallowed in the bittersweet moment as I watch my little girl slowly slip away into the next phase of her life. <3

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 166: Tank Goodness for cookies!

Ah, Thursday's on First again! I stopped by the vendor/booth of Tank Goodness. She makes these delectable delicious melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookies. Being that I'm pregnant I am sure to be one of her most dedicated and sincere customers throughout the summer! Lol

Her and I chatted for a bit and she gave me a free additional cookie!

As I was headed back to work with my piping warm cookies, I saw a colleague of mine, Mark. I would have to say that Mark is someone I greatly admire in my department. He's gentle, kind and works hard and successfully at what he does. I shoved the cookie in his hand and wished him a good day. Shortly after, he sent me a thanks and enjoyed the cookie! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 165: Donate to 'Spare Key' organization

A week ago I posted a status on facebook asking people who their favorite charity/organization was and why. I got a lot of great responses and will share them throughout the end of the year -

Spare Key was an organization that someone mentioned. They had been recipients of help from 'Spare Key'.


'Spare keys' mission: Helping families with critically ill or injured children by making a mortgage payment on their behalf.

This organization is critical to keeping families afloat while they care for our most precious loved ones.

I donated to them today :)

"Thank You For Donating
Thank you for your donation to assist Minnesota homeowners with critically ill or seriously injured children. This contribution will help make a mortgage payment on the family's behalf, allowing parents to spend time with their child.

You will be receiving an e-mail and a letter acknowledging this donation.
Thank You!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 164: Acknowledge excellent customer service

This evening Scott and I went to a restaurant. It seems, at many establishments, that good customer service is not emphasized and consumers are expendable. As a result, there have been many experiences where it was obvious that we were just another table and the intent was get the job done.

Tonight was different. As soon as we arrived we were greeted with a magnificent smile and hospitality by the host. He share with us that it would be a short wait. Another hostess popped up and she gave us conflicting estimated time, while the other host was gone handling another guest.

When he was done he came back and have us an update on our seats, meanwhile the lady host had no idea what she was talking about!

Shortly after, we were seated and enjoyed our meal.

During the wait to get our food, I asked to speak to the manager. He came over and I exclaimed over the make host and his impeccable hospitality that single handily set this establishment apart from the rest, he shared that he would share with the owners my feedback. :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 163: Let another woman know she's awesome

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily difference we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee." ~ Marian Wright Edelman, American Activist, Families in Peril

We all go on in our daily lives, nose down, focused on our work, our home life and just plain making it. What's interesting to me is how connecting, uplifting and supporting each other gets lost in the shuffle over the importance of work, or other things that get in the way of a simple connection.

Is life so fast paced that it's too much to acknowledge another person? Take the time to slow down and connect?

Is work so important that the value of a relationship with a coworker doesn't matter? Just to get the job done?

Are other peoples feelings so trivial that we minimize how people feel because we may feel differently? Or don't understand?

What is more important then valuing another human being, appreciating their life and what they contribute.<3

I feel like I'm doing my absolute best to make a difference or contribute something positive on earth and sometimes things don't go as planned. Sometimes life sends you challenges and negativity.

But deep down, when you know you're doing your best, you keep trucking along because eventually - it's that one person that "gets it" - and that's all that matters.

Some acts ARE small, but they all lead to something bigger.

Tonight I let another woman know that I admired her, valued her and respected her.

Everyone deserves affirmation love and support.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 162: Emcee Gail's benefit

Ah, what a day. :-) Today was one of those days you put down in your internal book as "Glad I did that."

I emceed a benefit for a coworker/friend I use to work with. I remember Gail always being upbeat, kind and energetic. So when I found out recently that she has a stage 3 brain tumor, I was shocked. These things really CAN happen to anyone. :(

In the last year, I've become more aware of how many people are effected by Brain tumors.

It was neat to see Gail today. It was also neat to see the strong support and turn out for a benefit put on by many of her friends. These events are successful because of those involved.

It was a honor to be present and witness the love and support.

Below is an image from the silent auction. It was packed!

If you're interested in donating or helping to further research on brain tumors - contact Brains Together for a Cure.

Also, a big shout out to my honey who supports me wholeheartedly on these endeavors by helping with the house, kids, coming to the events or just plain participating in these acts of kindness, too! I love you, Scott!! <3

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 161: Find a dollar. Pay it forward

The other day I was walking up to my car, and instantly saw a dollar on the ground! I looked around to see if it appeared to belong to someone but didn't see anyone obvious. I picked it up and felt guilty for doing it! It wasn't my dollar and it belonged to someone. It sucks to lose money.

So I sat there and looked at it in my car trying to determine what to do with it. I know it's just a dollar but definitely didn't want to keep it. It wasn't "mine". I threw it in my purse and decided that it would come to me later.

Tonight we went to the movies. I was telling Scott about it. He said I should throw it back on the ground so someone else could find it. :)

So I did.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 160: Have daughters friend over that's moving

My daughters friend is moving. These two little munchkins have been together in daycare and see each other daily in school. When I found out her family was moving, I was truly bummed. I've enjoyed watching my daughter and her interact and have a special connection.

Tonight, we had her over while her mom wrapped up some loose ends. The girls had a blast. I loved watching them run all over the backyard giggling over the silliest things. :)

She will be missed. Safe travels T family! Rochester will miss you, well be here when you visit :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 159: Share an ice-cream bar

Today was the first day of Thursday on First. In Rochester, this is a fun yearly festivity. It's great for people watching and also connecting with people you may not have seen in awhile.

I went out for lunch. It's right outside of my work building, so it's quite convenient. I walked along the vendors, admiring all the handcrafted items - in particular the cute tutus for baby girls! (I must get one for this baby! :-))

Anyways, I snagged a stromboli,some water and sat on ledge near my work. I people watched.

As I was observing those around me, I noticed a man wearing a winter jacket and cap. That struck me as out of character since it was almost 80 degrees. I watched him through my sunglasses as he walked over to a bench and sat down. I walked by peering at him and he wasn't really acknowledging anyone. I decided I wanted to connect with him and know his story.

I went to the ice-cream sandwich vendor, bought two, and walked back over to the bench he was at. As I was plopping down in the bench, I stuck my hand out with the ice-cream sandwich and said, "here, got you one too".

He looked surprised but uninterested, which sorta bummed me out. From a closer look, I could tell his clothes were worn and tattered. It also appeared that hes had a tough life. So, I sat beside him, ate my ice-cream sandwich and made small talk.

Slowly but surely he started opening up. He told me he lived at castleview (which verified to me that he had probably been homeless before) and that he had just had lunch at a church. I peered over to see if he had touched his ice-cream sandwich yet but he hadn't...

We kept chatting. I told him my name and reached my hand out to shake his. He smiled (for the first time in the conversation) and told me his name. I gleefully shook his hand in excitement that he was opening up abit.

In the midst of one of our silence in between the conversation, a friend walked by and we chatted.

When I was done chatting with the friend, I glanced over and my new friend was eating the ice cream sandwich.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 158: Donate to Make A Wish foundation

I've known a couple of recipients for the make a wish foundation. One sweet girl had a simple wish of having a princess room. I watched her play in her room, and that vision of her joy and excitement is forever impressed in my memory.

In a way, the Make a Wish foundation is a bigger spectrum of daily acts of kindness. I can't imagine the anticipation and excitement of having a wish come true.

Today I donated towards the Minnesota chapter. <3

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 157: Spread seeds of happiness

It's sunny outside and gorgeous and I was feeling a tad cranky (I know, shocking. Blame pregnancy hormones!) I decided the only way to get out of my "mood" was to bring someone else happiness!

I went for a walk on my break and stopped by the Tangerine store. It's a little boutique in Rochester that has the cutest unique and inspiring things!

I picked up a book I had been planning to get. It's called "Dear Daughter". I'm excited about it because it's a journal /questions for advice, etc. I plan to give it to my daughters when they're older and the time is right. I was never close to my mother and I felt I missed a huge portion of my life connecting. This is my way of leaving apart of me behind that they can look at when they want to know what my perspective on life, love and other stuff. :)

As I was checking out, I noticed a little bin of these weird looking clay painted balls. They are called "seeds of happiness". Each seed you purchase had a card with the story behind "seeds of happiness". [See image below]

How perfect for an act of kindness today in the midst of my pregnancy induced crankiness, eh? :-p

Purchased one. Walked out and already felt lighter in my step. As I was walking back to work, I saw the Think credit union and decided to go in and give it to someone. Walked right up to the clerk, told her I had a gift for her. She looked shocked and it brought a huge smile to her face "For me?!!" she said. "Yep! Have a wonderful day" and I left.

My mood quickly changed. That seed of happiness helped me too!

For more information on 'Seeds of Happiness' check out the link here:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 156: Compliment a stranger

You know, for someone who's very extroverted, it can still be a challenge putting yourself out there :)

There were two instances that I paid someone I didn't know a compliment. At lunch, as I was rounding a corner, I saw a guy out of the corner of my eye walking behind me carrying two huge bags of newspapers. At first, I wasn't going to say anything, he looked busy and on mission. And then I decided too. I turned around a said "Those bags look mighty heavy!" He responded with a smile and said he was close to switching routes so he wouldn't be on foot as much. I told him he made it look easy. :)

The other act was on my way to my car after work. I noticed a wine tugging a rolling laptop case. Attached to it was an umbrella holder. I complimented her on it and expressed my admiration of her impeccable organization skills compared to my own lugging a massive purse with envelopes and papers sticking it.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

- Mother Teresa

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 155: Invite a friend out, take care if their drinks

I like days that don't have a specific plan or place to be. Today we woke up, hit the house tidied up, lounged around abit and then set off for an adventurous day! It was terrific! We went to Foster Arends and walked the entire parameter of the pond? Lake? As we walked around it we chatted with people fishing. These two young guy were there for the first time. Chatted with them for a short but. We wished them good luck on catching fish and they wished us well on our walk/hike.

I must say that I'm more of a girly girl then I thought. Each time a branch whacked me in the face as we walked the claustrophobic trail, I yelped and tightened my grip on Scott's hand. I fully expected a bear or snake to come attack us :-p But, alas, it was a peaceful journey.

Afterwards we went to Whistle binkies north to relax before we went to the movies. I invited one of my good friends out and it was nice to spend time with her. Took care of her drinks as my act of kindness!

Now I'm off to do homework :)

Ps. Scott's act of kindness; reeling in someone's fish when they left it unattended and a fish got hooked on the line! See pic below

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 154: Fix a dispenser

Turns out, I'm pretty handy with fixin' stuff! I was at an establishment I go spray tan at. I get in there, get ready to go in when I realize the barrier cream dispenser wasn't working. I go let one of the girls know, she tries to fix it but just let me grab some cream while it was open so I didn't have to wait.

After I got out of the machine, I decided to take a stab at it. I kept messing with it and figured put the nozzle needed to come down further in order for the button to press it when touched!

Walked out and told her I fixed it! She was very appreciative since she was busy with a line of clients!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 153: Brunch for a friend

I met Axel at KTTC when I was promoting charity events. I could tell instantly what a good chap he was. Luckily, Facebook has been a catalyst for a growing friendship. I've always been impressed with Axel's character, but even more so with the dynamic duo he and his wife make.

Today we had brunch (my act of kindness - I took care of it!) we chatted about life, work and volunteering. That's the cool thing about Axel. He total gets it (random acts of kindness)

In the pseudo charlies angels pic, Axel is all the way to the left and the rascal to the right is Randy :) both great guys!