Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 304: Donated to Redcross for Hurricane Sandy recovery

Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10

HOW TO HELP “This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now,” Shimanski said. “People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone.”

Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The storm has already caused the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives in the region, and more cancellations are expected. This has resulted in the loss of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far. The Red Cross has shipped blood products to hospitals in the affected area in advance of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.

Day 303: Donated MORE stuff

I can't relieve what I continue to be able to purge from my house. I placed a huge box in the kitchen and as I moved baby stuff in, I moved other stuff out to make room. As a result, I ended up purging more things and also streamlined some of the baby stuff I had.

Thanks to Alissa and John for the heavy-lifting and for transporting it for me!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 302: Sending safe east coast vibes


Hurricane Sandy is set to hit the east coast causing residual flooding, rain and damage.

Thinking of and sending "stay safe" vibes and prayers to all my friends and those I don't know on the east coast.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 301: Write out thank yous

And so it begins, the count down to the end of the year...towards the end of this years New Years resolution. 66 acts of kindness left....

I thought it fitting that for today's act, I take a moment (actually many moments!) to write out thank yous to every single person that has bestowed their love to my girls and I.

I know I've SAID it over and over "thank you", but I know it means alot getting a note in the mail showing that appreciation.

I'm a little delayed on some but they're coming :)

I wish all you readers of this blog well! It's been an interesting year and as it comes to a close, I continue to reflect on what this New Years resolution has taught me, how it's impacted my life and my girls and where I plan to continue my journey with it in the future.

The image below is just one stack of cards we received. There's tons more. I can't get over how incredibly thoughtful and selfless people truly are.

Day 300: Support Rochester schools

We attended the Haunted Hallways. My daughter was SO excited. She loves holidays, and thinks Halloween is so much fun.

Haunted Hallways supports the Rochester schools. 100% of to proceeds go to the schools!


It's still happening! Stop by today and tonight! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 299: Pass a book on

So, my friend Jaymi came over to give me a break on the mom front :) It was nice running errands tonight..but I must say - I had to really force myself to stay away and not come home. :-o I was gone 45 minutes and already wondering how Madi was doing, if she needed to be nursed, if she was crying and inconsolable....

I had absolutely nothing to worry about. When I walked in the door (I was able to stay away for an hour and a half) Jaymi had her in her arms and she was still zonked out! Madi is such a chill easy baby! :)

On her way out, Jaymi pointed out a book of mine she had been reading. She brought up that she had a friend going through a divorce. I asked her to pass on the book to her friend with a note I wrote to her in the book.

The book was given to me by one of my girlfriends. Girlfriends gotta stick together. <3

Thank you Jaymi for the much needed
break! I feel rejuvenated and ready to so this mom thing again :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 298: Prayers for Payton Riley

Her name has been popping up in my Facebook newsfeed.

She's 19 years old. A daughter. A sister. A friend. A Minnesota girl <3

From the post-bulletin

"GOODHUE — Six people were injured in a two-vehicle crash west of Goodhue late Saturday morning."

Awful. Tragic. Heart wrenching.

Prayers go out to her family and friends as she continues to fight to recover. Payton, you're surrounded by prayers and love!

Prayers for all others involved in the accident. For speedy healing recovery, and peace.

Please hold them all in your prayers and thoughts too <3

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 297: Support a local school attending a book fair

Today my daughter and I stopped by a book fair. I was excited to do this with her because one of my favorite things to do is to read to her at night. It's that special moment where it's just you and your child spending some really good quality time together. I absolutely love it.

She picked out a few books.

As the act of kindness for the day, we put the left over money in the donation box so students at that school can get books too :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 296: Accept each other

Today as I was browsing Facebook a status from a friend popped up in my feed. I always read her statuses because she has some compelling stories to share.

This status wasn't just a story of another person/people that she had a tendency to talk about. It was about her and she decided to "come out" in it.

I was surprised but incredibly delighted that she felt in today's society it would be more a accepting....and that she felt safe enough to share.

I let her know it didn't change my opinion or her. In fact, I had a whole new respect and admiration for her.

Be who you are and don't ever doubt or apologize for it. Always <3

Day 295: Appreciate the outdoors

What an absolutely gorgeous day it was. I had been feeling stir crazy from being pent up in the house with Madi, I could tell we both needed some fresh air and sun on our faces!

We got outside, said hello to our neighbors and walked around our neighborhood. It was a day to be out and about outside!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 294: You got mail

I've been receiving messages from some who have had similar experiences that I have had (father of my child walking out on us at 37 weeks pregnant). While its not fun to talk about, it's the reality of what happened and something that's apart of my life's journey now.

I'm determined to turn it into something positive.

I'm also glad I've been open about it. Because the notes I'm receiving from other women who can relate ...and looking for hope, inspiration and support is astounding. I can't look away.

In particular, I opened my Facebook the other day to a message from a single mother who wanted to let me know that for the longest time she's felt alone in her own journey - until now. She realized after following what was happening to me that SHE was going to be ok too. Which is true :)

I shared with her that I've been reading this book called the "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz, recommended to me by a friend. It's been truly a transcending of deeper understanding of life, relationships, love, etc. as I've read the book. She shared that she's be interested in reading it too :)

I ordered it today for her. She should receive it next week!


For those that have experienced the heartache of someone leaving, or hurting you, etc. - there IS hope going forward - you ARE worthy of love and for the person that walked out on you and your family - they were NEVER worthy of you to begin with.

((Hugs)) and love. If you ever feel alone, send me an email. You're not alone.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 293: Lip gloss for a cause

1. I love make up
2. I love great causes

Put them together and what do you get?

Join Mary Kay and change the lives of women and children worldwide. In the United States, from Sept. 16, 2012, through Dec. 15, 2012, $1 will be donated to The Mary Kay FoundationSM from each sale of limited-edition† Beauty That Counts® Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss in “Inspiring” and “Possibilities.”

"Mary Kay Ash emphasized the importance of giving back. That’s why we are committed to changing the lives of women and children around the world. Like giving orphaned children a reason to smile, victims of domestic violence a chance to heal and cancer sufferers hope for tomorrow. You can help others through your purchase of limited-edition† Beauty That Counts® Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss. Loaded with benefits, this lightweight gloss delivers ultimate shine."


Sold! :) Bought some

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 292: Pledge towards a Jog-a-thon for student

My high school classmate posted a status about her daughter Olivia doing a jog-a-thon and accepting pledges towards it. All proceeds go to her daughters school.

I pledged $10. Jog on, Olivia!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 291: Rooting a friend on

A year ago I encountered a status on Facebook that was a cry for help. I didn't know this person very well. I have many different people on my Facebook from going comedy, or events, etc.

Many thought it was a joke - I erred on the side of caution and took it seriously. I started asking who knew the person well, and urged support in getting help that was very much needed.

I wanted this person to know that they mattered.

Late that morning, there was a status posted stating that help was being pursued.

A year later (yesterday) I saw in my newsfeed engagement photos.


I sent this person a note tonight congratulating them on their engagement and to also let this person know that I continue to follow their journey, and I'm rooting them on.

Amazing how complete strangers can become friends, just by showing another human being that they matter.

Day 290: RSVP on time

I received two invitations today - one for a wedding and one for a baby shower. I RSVP'd right away. I know how it goes planning both - sometimes it's a matter of tracking people down just to see if they're coming or not.

Rsvping immediately gives them one less person to worry about! :)

Looking forward to both events filled with pretty incredible people.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 289: Offer some assistance (and receive it too)

Today I went to Target for the first time with Madi. I was nervous because I was winging this on my own. Would she sleep? Would she wail and cry the entire time? Would I need to frantically locate a spot to nurse her?!??!!

Would I be able to remember to pick up everything we need?!?

She slept the entire time. :-p AND I picked up everything we needed.

As I went to go check out and feeling victorious over our first grocery shopping trip together - I ran into one of my friends in the same check out line. She gave me a huge hug and then instantly went to work helping me empty my cart onto the register counter. After I paid, she helped me put all the bags in my cart and then proceeded to push the cart to my vehicle. It's as if God placed her in my path.

It seems he's placed alot of people in my path the last four weeks <3

As we were walking out, there was an older woman that was getting out of those handicap motor carts. I could tell she was abit unsteady - I asked her of she needed assistance. She smiled at me and said "No, just getting all the kinks out and then I'll be waking ok"

Day 288: Quality time with my daughter

Yesterday (Saturday) as I was nursing Madi, D (my eldest daughter) started crying. I looked at her in surprise and asked her what was wrong. She said "Mommy, you're spending all this time with Madi (nursing) and not spending anytime with me"

I was not prepared for that response. Of course she feels this way, I'm constantly nursing Madi.

I looked at her little sweet face and said "How about we decorate that gingerbread haunted house?"

That's all she needed <3

The kindest act I can do is to do everything I can to make sure my daughters know they are loved so much <3

Day 287: Start Madison's baby book

One of my other acts of kindness at the beginning of the year was to keep my eldest daughter D's baby book up to date. It's important for me to have them filled out for my daughters (my mother never finished ours) As soon as a tooth comes in - I have that baby book out. Every little fun detail must be documented! :)

I started Madi's baby book. Wrote out her birth story (her birth had to have been the most perfect labor/delivery ever), filled in Mommy's thoughts. :)

One day, each of my girls will open their baby books, and I hope they'll appreciate the memories I've left begin <3

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 285: Picked my daughter up early to spend quality time with her

Today we had parent/teacher conferences for my daughter, D. She's not digging school much (I was the same way (sigh) but she puts up with it . :-p

After conferences, I wanted to see her. She was in the gymnasium playing when I walked in with her little sister. As soon as she saw us, she sprinted over. Then all of a sudden we were surrounded by other kids wanting to take a peek at her little sister. They all exclaimed at how beautiful M is. I couldn't agree more and said "She looks just like her big sister." :)

I looked at D and asked if she wanted to go home early. Usually shes one of the last to go home since I tend to work later. Man that kid couldn't get her back pack and jacket fast enough :) I plan on picking her up early every day I have her while I'm on maternity leave to maximize my time with her. It's important to make this time just as special for her too.

I love my girls so much. <3

Day 286: Honor the life of Jen Burgess Thompson


I didn't know Jen personally. I knew about her from some other Facebook friends. What I gathered from her friends and her blog was the grace and dignity she portrayed as she fought a fearless battle with cancer. I admired the way she told her story and watched as many surrounded her with love, support and prayers.

Cancer took her. :-(

She leaves behind two boys.

A reminder that we really don't know when our time will come....capture memories and moments now - and in Jen's case, through photography, forever impressing it on our hearts.

You mattered Jen <3

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 284: Like a Facebook page, $1 gets donated to Relay for life

In Rochester, I have an "adopted" family. The Koens family.

Kendall is a 6 year cancer free survivor. He has a fundraising campaign commencing right now that with every like to his professional Facebook page, he'll donate $1 to Relay for Life.

Cool. :)

Day 283: Stick with Breastfeeding

Oh my my. I forgot what it felt like starting off with Breastfeeding. The first week or so is killer and there are many times you just want to quit!

We're on day 3 and its a nail biter, toes curling, ouch ouch ouch episodes! But oh so worth it. I'm an advocate for whatever works for a momma and her baby (Breastfeeding and/or Formula) Breastfeeding has its own benefits. After each feeding, it makes me feel joy that she's receiving immunities needed in the coming months, saves money and bonding with her is magical. <3


Below is my daughters first nursing right after she was born. A lot of people shy away or think Breastfeeding should be hidden. I disagree. It's a beautiful, natural way to sustain life. Truly a miracle what a woman's body can do.

Day 282: Thank my nurse

While I was in the hospital, I had an exceptional nurse named Fae. Her name lived up to the care she gave. She was gentle. She was kind. I had intended to bring a gift with me to give but forgot it - so I'll be circling back to her to show my appreciation to her.

Helping me with Madi's first bath

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 281: A blessing

A few weeks ago when I suddenly found out I would be swinging parenthood on my own, my pastor friend (met her on twitter! How cool is that?) Emily Carson sent me a message and offered to do a blessing for Madison while in the hospital.

What better way to kick off my daughters life then to have a blessing ceremony for her.

I invited several of my friends to be there. Pastor Emily arrived. Fully prepared with a script/blessing. She brought beads along. As we put a bead inside a glass container we each thought of a blessing and placed the bead inside the container.

It was absolutely beautiful. I feel as though Madison is surrounded and protected. Thank you Pastor Emily for blessing my little girl and helping to give her the best start possible!

Day 280: A tiny kindness warrior is born

I'm catching up on my acts of kindness....for good reason. My sweet little daughter decided to arrive at 7:30 am on October 6th. Hallelujah! I was ready. :)

She arrived with my closest friends surrounding her and I in the delivery room. I couldn't have asked for a better labor and delivery after everything her and I have experienced the past few weeks.

My promise to her is that she will be raised with the awareness and selflessness that I'm trying to learn, grow in and advocate for myself and others. My hope for her is that she'll live a blessed life and a deep understanding of what it means to love and be loved. That family isn't defined by what society tells us, but by those that stick around to be there through the good and the bad. I'll be by her side through it all.

I am so glad you are my daughter, Madison Jean. You are loved by so many, especially your big sister and I.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 279: Visit a coworker and her new baby

For the past several weeks, a co-worker on another team and I have been checking in with each other due to our pregnancies. She was due October 10th. I'm due tomorrow, October 6th.

A couple of days ago, we went for a brisk walk. I have enjoyed our discussions, she's made me feel more comfortable about the idea of having a newborn again.

Yesterday, I noticed she was gone and wasn't in the office. Today, as I suspected, I found out that she had her baby! And she had a little girl. <3

I got a card and went to one of the stores in the subway level and got her these CUTE little pink sock booties. Because every little girl needs some lovely "shoes" lying around.

It was neat to visit them in the hospital. I know my time will be soon. As I held her daughter, all my fears and apprehension of caring/raising my own daughter by myself quickly washed away. It was as if God meant for me to be there and meant for me to see that I am completely capable and ready.

Madison, mommy is ready for you. <3

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 278: Be a happiness activist


I already feel I do this, but can always do better :) A very cool, worthwhile site. You can get ideas on how to advocate happiness and do acts of kindness. :) I'll be  a frequent visitor to it now!

"Being a Happiness Activist involves choosing to live in a way that promotes happiness, not just for ourselves but for the people we love and the people we meet. It means approaching life in a positive, loving and collaborative way - being a force for good rather than a voice of cynicism, criticism or selfishness.

As Happiness Activists we can use the 10 Keys to Happier Living to encourage positive living in all parts of our lives: at home, at our child's school, at work, in our local community and beyond.
Being a Happiness Activist also means caring deeply about alleviating pain and suffering in the world around us and taking positive action to help reduce unhappiness. This could mean helping people struggling with anxiety and depression, working to rebuild broken relationships, making people feel valued at work or reaching out to friends and neighbours in need."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 277: Order Christmas Wreath [Boy Scouts of America]

Sometimes I've planned out the acts of kindness I do, sometimes I have no idea what I'll do and then opportunity knocks. Literally :)

Today, I've been waiting for little miss Madison to make her arrival. [TMI - lost my mucous plug this morning so she could come anytime now!] My wonderful neighbors offered to take my eldest daughter for a bit tonight so I could work on some things at the house. I cleaned, vacuumed, climbed the stairs to try to induce labor - nada!

While I was cleaning I heard a knock on the front door. Opened it up and two cute little twin boys in Boy Scout uniforms selling their yearly fundraiser of Christmas wreaths. My daughters father is an Eagle Scout and I've always admired their service project efforts.

So, of course, I ordered a wreath. Who can tell kids no! I'm a sucker! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 276: Some Taco Bell for me...and YOU

What better way to induce labor then to get down with some Taco Bell! Mmmmm. Lol. Hasn't worked yet :-p all I have is heartburn now...haha

The man behind me didn't know it but he was about to partake of some free Taco Bell. I took care of his bill too!

The cashier got excited when I told her I would take care of the person behind me bill. She shared that she does this too at the college she attends for students that don't have enough money at the register. How cool is that?

I love RAK!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 275: Massive surprise for another single mom

Most mornings I go to this lovely spot in Rochester that makes the BEST breakfast sandwiches. I met this girl there that was due around the same time as I. She was having a boy, I'm having a girl.

She and I related on several levels - but especially being single mothers of our unborn babies. For myself, unexpectedly.

A couple of weeks ago, where I needed a hug, she was in my path and gave one to me. I had NO idea she was experiencing something similar, yet different.

Last week, I decided I wanted to do something special for her. I had received SO much love from my own community, I wanted to pay it forward. I wanted her to see that complete strangers cared. I wanted her to see how much that one hug meant to me.

So, I posted on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in contributing towards a basket of baby boy stuff for her.

Then I got a super huge idea in my head. A friend who knew her and knew what I was doing texted me her full name and where she was registered.

I looked on her registry and saw she still needed the carseat (critical :) and stroller (fun touch!)

So I posted another status with the link to the carseat and stroller and asked if anyone would be willing to contribute towards that.

I had the money for that carseat/stroller in less then 30 minutes. I have the most amazing 'move mountains' group of friends.

Several also contributed clothes, money for the card, toys, blankets, etc.

I ordered the carseat/stroller last Thursday.

My friend LaVonne (she's such a kindred spirit) and I practically skipped to go give our new friend the surprises this morning from all of us.

Our new friend came around the counter when we told her we had some things for her. Her face was flushed with surprise and her hands shook a little bit. She looked at awe at the both of us. As she opened the card, I told her "My New Years resolution was to do an random act of kindness each day. You're our random act if kindness. My friends and I wanted to join together and do this for you."

She opened the card and saw the picture of the carseat/stroller. :) Now. The funny twist of this story is that her coworkers had bought the carseat/stroller too and had JUST given it to her this morning too! However, one can be returned and the rest of the items left on her registry can be bought. :)

She kept saying thank you over and over. I knew she would. I knew how she felt. For I've been the recipient of such kindness myself.

Moral of the story? Two carseats and strollers means you're super loved. Complete group of strangers doing an act of kindness = restores faith in humanity and touches another's heart. <3

Nice work, friends. <3