Friday, December 2, 2011

Kick Off of 25 Days of Giving

Today is day two of 25 days of giving. Day one was a bit lackluster. Boo and I had grand ideas to swipe Jay’s plan to give donuts and coffee to the construction workers building a home next door. Our plans fell apart. I wasn’t discouraged though. My first year doing 25 days, which was 2 years ago, I ran on my own steam. I committed to the task and, by golly, I was going to see it through. I had forgotten one critical part, asking God to come along. Last year I’m pretty sure I invited Him on my journey but I firmly held the wheel. This year, I feel lead to hand over the keys and hop into the passenger seat.

As plans fell apart yesterday, Boo and I prayed that God honor our desire to do for others, that He give us eyes to see the need and courage and strength to meet it. With that, I let go.

This morning I had to run to the Meijer to grab some fruit for Jack’s hockey team. My heart was light and my spirit was soaring because I had just come from Jaysi’s where we had a great chat and some awesome prayer. I decided that I was going to buy a $10 gift card and hand it to whoever got in line behind me. As the checkout lady was ringing the card up, my heart started to pound. Who knew this giving stuff could be so exhilarating? A nicely dressed woman and perhaps her daughter began unloading groceries behind mine. I took the card from the checkout lady and turned to the woman behind me. When I am about to do this kind of thing, the doubtful thoughts try to creep in: What if she gets offended? What if she doesn’t need any help paying for her groceries? What if she just doesn’t understand what I’m doing? No way, Jose! I was not going to fall prey to that nonsense. I was going to give that card and not worry about the response.

I said to the woman “I’m practicing 25 days of giving and today I decided to give whoever got in line behind me a $10 gift card so here you go.” She just looked at me completely stunned. She said that she was just saying that she was over-budget and wasn’t sure how she was going to pay for all of her stuff. She was so overwhelmed. The absolute BEST part was that I was able to let her know that is was God who put her in the line behind me and that it was He who wanted to help her that day. She grabbed me in a big hug and praised God right there.

In His infinite wisdom and awesome ability to do ANYTHING He wants, He matched me with the person who needed to see Him today. He was able to confirm her faith and show her love and care through me. I was merely a vessel and I could not be happier to be just that. My greatest prayer is that, not just the next 23 days, but everyday of my life goes more and more like this. Amen

Friday, November 26, 2010

25 Days of Giving, Will You Join Us?

Here I am, a full year after making the commitment to give to another everyday for 25 days. To be honest, I was not planning on publicly mentioning it again this year but the enthusiasm and excitement of others has ignited my own. I have been contacted by a few loved ones who are making the commitment this year. I am so excited for them!

This exercise in looking outside of myself to the needs and hearts of others has truly changed the course of my life. Everything within me has changed. What I value, what I see as my reason for being, how important my little life can be. The effects have lasted long past the 25 days. I find myself thinking about the needs of others everyday now. I also see my own blessings much clearer. I want to encourage anyone thinking about doing this to DO IT! You will not be disappointed. Giving of yourself is as selfish as it is self-less. I benefited way more than anyone I gave to. So go ahead and give yourself the greatest gift this holiday season. The gift of touching the life of another for 25 straight days.

If you decide to make the commitment and care to share, I would LOVE to hear about it. I love to hear all the creative ways you find to give. Most importantly, I want to hear how this experience affected you and your family.
Wishing you all a blessed holiday season!
My family and I are committing again but I will not be blogging about it. If you want to read about last year's giving adventure, please click here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beyond Bliss

I don't even have words to describe the extent that my heart overflows. There is so much good stuff going on in this family of mine. I think it has something to do with the stages of life we are in. With the girls (the babies) being 4, we are able experience great adventures together. Jack is growing and maturing everyday and I think he even appreciates this old family of his every now and then. And I must give credit where credit is due, God is whispering in B's and my ear that it is time to spend serious time together and teach these children what they need to know. All these factors are creating one spectacular family experience!

This is where you'll find us most nights. On the stoop with an ice cream treat from our local seasonal ice cream shop. Playing with butterflies.

Delighting in the arrival of Mama's favorite late spring gift.

Loving each other and the time we get to spend together.

Even the pups are feelin' the love, even if they have to enjoy it behind glass.

We are blessed to be getting a Memorial Day visit from our favorite cousins. We can share some stoop love! Can't wait!

Monday, May 24, 2010

WW: The Splendors of Childhood...

and the insane joy of experiencing it again through our kids.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mama's Day at Preschool

What an emotional wreck I have been lately. I cry at the drop of the hat. You can only imagine the state I was in when I watched my baby girls sing, recite poetry and dance all in my honor. Really, though, the honor is mine. I am beyond honored to be the mother of 4 incredible human beings.

I'm not sure what God saw in me to give me such an honor but I couldn't be happier about it.

I know I make mistakes and so often I wish I could do better, but my greatest hope is that these kids know how very much I love them.

My big guy was at school and wasn't available for this shot. I will rectify that on Sunday. Thank you for my beautiful gifts and big huge hugs. I feel like a princess this mother's day. You kids make me beyond happy!!

Monogram T-Shirt Dresses

The teachers at preschool asked the girls if they were going to dress up for the Mother's Day program. I, of course, had to make that happen but with one day til the show, I was working on a tight time frame for a shopping trip.

I bought 2 plain white Ts a couple weeks ago with these dresses in mind. I used the same basic technique as the onesie dress. These are just a bit bigger. Got 2 done in just a couple of hours and I am sure these little beauties will get lots of wear this summer.

Ella and Grace wear their monogram barrettes to school everyday. They really like them but I have been daydreaming of monogram clothing. They really loved getting dresses with their "name" in them.

I have hesitated doing this because I want them to share clothing but lately, they have decided that they want their own clothes. Can't say that I blame them. They are two very different little girls, after all.

Two very special little girls.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Last Week's Theme: Celebratin' the Boo

A birthday and huge store opening all in a week's time = lots of girly fun! It all started with a sisters trip to the spa. Boo picked the place. She did some research online and found a spot that sounded great. It wasn't so great. It was not a luxury type spa, you know, the kind you hope for for a frivolous birthday experience. It was the more therapeutic sort that caters toward women seeking women. Fret not, we made the most of it with lots of giggles, a chat in the napping nook, finished off with a claustrophobic herbal wrap and a nice massage. Sometimes laughter is the best therapy!

We then headed to a yummy french bistro for wine and a croque monsieur. More chatting, more giggles. After lunch, we stopped by Sophia, the store my sister opened with a good friend. The girls there had the nicest little birthday party set up. Too sweet!

We went home for a veg-session and then got dressed for the night.

Here is the birthday girl in her new vintage Chanel blazer. Lovely.

Good friends, good food, good fun.

4 days later, I headed back to the city for the store opening party. I didn't take any pics that night. If you are my Facebook friend, you can see photos there. I am over the moon for my little sis. Sophia is fabulous! These girls worked so hard and the opening was a huge success. If you are ever in Chicago, you must check them out (Sophia on Oak Street). It is a mix of vintage and new. There are treasures beyond comprehension in the store. Kudos ladies and a super huge congrats!!!