Thank You Teachers!

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there.

And if you think it’s not, you are probably sending your kids to school fed, clothing them appropriately, providing them with school supplies, and helping them with homework when they get home.

Believe me when I say teachers are doing more than teaching math, science, social studies, and reading.

They are working on behavior skills, teaching to all learners, thinking about and maybe even meeting with their students on the weekend, encouraging those who are struggling, discussing morals and life issues with their kids, advocating for their students, and  helping their students in other countless ways.

Jen Hatmaker’s post on thanking teachers is spot on and I loved it.

Consider writing a note of gratitude, surprising a teacher with a treat, or sending in extra paper and pencils.

Whatever you do, just say thanks to a teacher.

In Honor of Jayden Lamb

My friend Jess, who recently moved to Michigan, shared a video with me. The video is the  story of Jayden Lamb, a little boy from northeast Michigan.

This past weekend we celebrated my almost 8 year old with a little party. There were a few hitches and things didn’t go quite as planned. I was frustrated and annoyed and quite honestly, had trouble letting it go.

Then I watched this video again and felt foolish. Jayden’s dad can’t celebrate his son’s birthday with him and I’m complaining because a few kids were difficult at my son’s party.

Take a minute and watch.

Now just be thankful.

And when you have a moment, Pay It Forward – Jayden Style!

Adam Greenberg – A Marlin Tonight

Tonight Adam Greenberg is getting a second chance.

A second chance at playing in the major leagues.

Seven years ago, Adam was up at is first bat in his first major league game when the unthinkable happened.

He was struck in the head with a ball going 92 miles per hour.

His Major League bio reads:

First Game: 7 – 9 – 2005

Last Game: 7 – 9 – 2005

He is the only player to ever have his career end on the very first pitch.

Since that point he has suffered with dizzy spells and nausea but has managed to play on several minor league teams though never returning to the major leagues.

In 2012, a Chicago Cubs fan and filmmaker, Matt Liston, started an online petition to get Greenberg his first official Major League at bat.

The campaign succeeded when the Miami Marlins offered him a 1 day contract to play in their October 2, 2012, game against the New York Mets.

I’m hoping Adam Greenberg makes the most of this opportunity and enjoys every minute of it tonight.

I was watching the Today show when Adam Greenberg found out he would get his second shot. And on Wednesday, I’ll be watching when they have him on in a post game interview.

Good Luck Tonight Adam!

20 Seconds of Courage

Our family loves the movie, “We Bought a Zoo,” with Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson & Thomas Haden Church.

Parent alert: There is a scene in the movie where Damon is arguing with his son in the hallway and he yells, “I still have one who believes in Santa Claus.” I manage to fast forward that part every time.

The film is an uplifting story in which a dad and his two children buy a run down wildlife park and try to help the staff keep the park operating . (Of course, the mom has died in the story – why do Moms always die in these stories?)

One of the things I’ve always said to my kids is, “Anything can happen. You might think you don’t have a shot at winning or completing a goal but anything can happen. When I was younger I was up against a swimmer I had never beaten. Never ever. When the meet official started us, she had a poor start and basically fell into the water. I won the race because she fell into the water. And from that one swim I had the confidence to beat her again.I knew I could do it.  Anything can happen.

While the movie is full of beautiful music, amazing music actually, the main message of the movie is what has really stuck with me.

In the movie Matt Damon is speaking with his son about a situation with a girl but it speaks to so much more than that…. he says,

“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you, something great will come of it.”

click here for printable

Most often I find the task I’m dreading or procrastinating the most to be manageable once I finally decide to do it. And amazingly, whatever I dreaded wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to putting things up for sale on etsy. I have this extreme doubt that no one will think it has any value. No one will think it is any good.

But you know, the moment I summon the courage to put something out there, I feel better.

No, everything doesn’t always sell but I always feel such a sense of accomplishment.

I’ve tried and for me, it’s a much better outcome than wondering what might be if I never try.


Have you always wanted to take a class but were too embarrassed?

Have you always dreamed about accomplishing something but are too scared to take the first step?

Are you worried what someone will say if you tell them something?

All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage

…and something great may come of it…

…because anything can happen.

*Remember to enter the Clever Containers giveaway by 10 pm tonight!


Random Acts of Kindness Blog

Last week my friend Jeanne emailed me a link to a blog which I wanted to share with you.

366 Random Acts of Kindness

Ryan Garcia is a new father who wants his daughter to learn to give back to those around her when she is older. He figured he would start his journey towards kindness in 2012. Every day in 2012, 366 total days, Garcia will do a random act of kindness for a stranger, friend, or family member.

Today will be Garcia’s 81st day completing random acts of kindness. Here’s a look at just a few of his acts so far: has sent pizza to a soldier, donated eyeglasses, wrote his father-in-law’s obituary, and sat on a rooftop in Chicago.

I’ve added Garcia’s blog to my blog list on the right and have enjoyed checking it each day. He has inspired me to continue with my random acts of kindness journey.

Consider following Garcia on Twitter or Facebook since he will donate 10 cents for every follower he gets.

Click here to visit 366 Random Acts of Kindness.

143 Acts – Part 3

 143 Random Acts of Kindness is Continuing….Go here to read the why and Part 2


#8 – Donated money to friend riding bike ride to support MS research – Kelly

#9 – Donated bed

#10 – Gave coach paperwork from another team which would help him write up a handbook quicker

#11 – Donated money to my friend who is running a marathon to support cancer research. – Kelly

#12 – Gave $10 store credit coupon to woman in store

#13 – Donated clothes to Family Services Center

#14 – Left baby coupons in store directly by object

#15 – Donated clothes & house items – Jess

#16 – Paid for order behind me in Starbucks drive thru

#17 – Held door open for woman coming into donut shop

#18 – Gave money to family who has been without a job since October- Mom

#19 – Stopped for someone to cross road

#20 – Gave coupon to woman in store when I didn’t use it

#21 -Left magazines at the airport for another traveler

#22 – Gave coupon to woman in Gymboree

#23 – Stop and speak with check in desk at pool everyday

#24 -Stopped and spoke with a woman for 10 minutes who obviously wanted to talk. Normally would have said, “I need to go.”

#25 -Bought magazine subscription from a teen door to door salesman

#26 -Let mom go in front of me at grocery store when I was shopping alone

#27 -Gave encouraging words to store employee who was dealing with difficult customer

#28 -Stopped car so someone could cross

#29 -Left coupons near items at grocery store

#30 -Left comment on blog of a new blogger

#31 -Left coloring books in hospital waiting room

#32 -Left coupons in grocery store

#33 -Shared shade umbrella with someone at outdoor soccer practice

#34 – Served kids pizza and drinks at a friend’s party

#35 – Donated clothes and household supplies to Family Services Center

#36 -Gave woman in Old Navy a 30% entire purchase coupon

#37 -Donated blood

#38 – Donated Halloween costumes to the hospital

#39 -Gave woman coupon in Goodwill after someone gave it to me

#40 – Bought gifts for Salvation Army Angel #1 – 9 year old boy

#41 – Bought gifts for Salvation Army Angel #2 – 6 year old boy

#42 -Bought gifts for Salvation Army Angel #3 – 18 month old little boy

#43 – Sincerely complimented sales woman on outfit


100 Acts to Go!

Halloween Giving

As a parent, I am always trying to find ways to help instill “giving” and “thinking of others” in my children. My kids are very blessed and I would like them to view themselves that way one day, even now. I think it can be a delicate balance to try and keep kids innocent while at the same time allowing them to be informed people.  I try and choose opportunities which allow them to make some choices and feel ownership in their giving.

I was reading the paper a week ago when I came across this brief news item.

Kids Hospital Seeks Halloween Costumes

I instantly felt this was a project my kids could be involved in. This was the same hospital we had visited only a month earlier. Honestly, I hadn’t thought once about the kids at the hospital in October. I always thought about families celebrating Christmas at the hospital but never Halloween.

The costumes needed to be new and in a bag to limit germ exposure. They were looking for costumes in size 10 and up and 2 and under.

I showed the kids the article and asked them if they wanted to participate. The catch was that I asked them to donate $1 of their money to help cover the costs, I would pay the difference. My six year old immediately said yes while my nine year old was hesitant. After a little pressure from his brother he agreed.

After school one day I took them to the Halloween store and let them choose a costume to donate. They examined the costumes for fifteen minutes, discussing each one in detail.

They finally settled on a Clone Trooper costume from Star Wars. Caroline and I settled on a ladybug costume as our choice.

We paid for the costumes and left.

I was extremely proud of my children. Not once did the boys ask for a costume or an accessory and not once did they complain that their costumes were made from Goodwill clothing.

The kids went with my husband to the hospital to drop off the costumes. They left them at the front desk for the child life specialist to pick up and bring back to some deserving child.

Hopefully two ill children or their siblings will enjoy dressing up and being a kid in those costumes. More importantly, I hope this is a giving tradition our family will continue for many years.


Spreading Kindness

*Thank you friends and family for inquiring about my health. I am on the road to recovery and will be back tomorrow. For now, I’ll leave you with this inspiring story*

This was on the editor’s page in our local paper:

On a hot Friday afternoon, the teen director at the local Family YMCA walked his 19 teenagers – ages 12 to 18 – across the street for a well-deserved treat at the local Sonic Drive-In.

Some of the teens had enough money to purchase lunch, but several could only muster $1 for a drink and had brought their lunches from home.

As the director and his teens were getting settled, a Sonic employee came over and opened his hand, revealing a wad of cash – $100, to be exact.

As the Y’s teen director looked up in surprise, the Sonic employee pointed to a white bearded man in a tan SUV pulling away from the Sonic. This kind gentleman had given our YMCA teens $100 to enjoy lunch.

Our teen director quickly took the opportunity to educate his teens to pay it forward. As the gentleman drove off, the teens all signaled their appreciation to him, but, being a modest soul, he was already looking the other way.

143 Acts Part 2

I began my 143 Random Acts of Kindness this week and feel quite satisfied with my progress.  I have found out that when you begin the day thinking, “How can I help someone?” you automatically set yourself up for a more positive day. It has helped remind me how incredibly blessed I am… My pantry is full, I have people willing to fight for my freedom, and I am healthy.

#1 – Gave food to food bank

#2 – Sent 2 packages to soldiers through Operation Shoebox (the boys chose all of the contents to include from a supply list)

#3 – Held door open for man with many packages

#4 – Gave diapers to repairman

#5 – Donated blood

#6 – Gave loose change to girl raising money for track meet

#7 – Gave the janitor at rec pool a large box of books we no longer needed

Photo by Heath Brandon





143 Acts

I am closing in on what was my due date.

This pregnancy started with surprise, which led to excitement, which led to fear, which ended in grief. So now only sad memories are associated with this pregnancy and I would like to change that. Even though I cannot change the ending I can twist the ending into one associated with positive memories.

According to my doctor I was 20 weeks 3 days pregnant when I had my miscarriage. This equals 143 days.

I have decided I would like to complete 143 random acts of kindness which will correlate with the number of days I was pregnant.

I am calling it 143 Acts.

143 Acts

Some of what I have struggled with is – That’s it. He’s gone. The end. No one will remember him. Why did this happen? What did I do wrong? What’s the reason our family went through all of this?

Everyday, heartbreaking events “just happen.” There is no rhyme or reason, they just happen. They are not punishments, they are not tests, they just happen.

I may never know why we went through this but I know I can change my thoughts about it. Hopefully, each of his 143 days will mean something by 143 people getting a smile or a good feeling in their heart.

I will be keeping a list of the 143 acts. If you decide to carry out a random act of kindness, let me know and I will include you on the list. Periodically I will give you updates on my progress.

I have written up some ideas for random acts of kindness.

Hopefully this will help bring me some closure to the past 9 months while at the same time bringing a smile to others.