Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday Aiden!

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Today is my first born son's 10th birthday.

Sometimes I find it truly incredible that I have managed to survive 10 years of parenthood.

When I started this blog in 2006 Aiden was 4 years old.

He had just started his first year of school and had not yet been diagnosed with Autism.

It is staggering to think of the road we have travelled in the last 6 years.

I am so proud of you Aiden. We love you!

Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Help Speroway Build A Medical Clinic in Haiti & Win!

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I was recently introduced to a really great organization - Speroway (formerly "Feed the Children - Canada"). They have a great contest going on right now where you could win an iPad HD, but more importantly they do amazing work in Haiti and here in Canada.

Speroway is all about delivering hope to needy children and that is something I can stand behind 100%.  Here are some of the great things they are doing:

  • FEED-A-CHILD - Look into the face of a hungry child and you’ll see a child with real hopes, real fears, and a very real need to eat. From areas devastated by natural disasters to countries caught in the grip of poverty, countless hungry children need help! 
  • CHILD CHAMPIONS - Reach into the life of a child through our child sponsorship program and become a “Child Champion”. You can impact a child’s life forever. Every child deserves basic necessities like food, medical care, and education. Changing a child’s future – can you think of anything more important? 
  • MEDICAL TEAM - We seek your continued support for our medical teams. This program provides medicines and vitamins in its mobile clinics, along with food and other supplies. Assistance is also required in shipping containers of food, medicines and other life-saving essentials to overseas locations. 
  • FIRST NATIONS - High unemployment rates and an extremely high cost of living results in First Nations communities in Northern Canada living in poverty. This can be unreasonably difficult for First Nation children who simply want to have a good meal everyday.
  • ABANDONED BABY CENTER - A baby’s feverish eyes show the suffering. Ragged breath points to pneumonia, tuberculosis or worse. The agony of slow starvation is heartbreaking, and every day babies like this are orphaned or abandoned in Kenya. They are innocent victims and their needs are urgent! 
  • FOOD DROPS - We gather food from over 110 procurement partners and other generous groups and put together a 25+ pound box of food – enough to provide a child a meal a day for 7 days. Food drops are a tangible way to put our mission into action and to provide a helping hand to people in communities across Canada. 
  • SPECIAL PROJECTS - You can make a difference for hungry children by organizing a Special Project Fundraiser. These projects are a fun and fulfilling way to take a stand against hunger with Speroway.

Speroway is trying to raise awareness about their new name, new website, new facebook page, and of course their amazing programs. 

They also want to build a medical clinic in Haiti. 

In order to get people's attention they are having a contest.

The Grand Prize Gift Basket includes:

·        1 – iPad HD 2012 (16GB)
·        $500 WaySpa Gift Card
·        Cineplex Night Out Gift Pack for 4
·        2 “Big Kaboodle” combo packs from Mabel’s Labels

Other prizes will be awarded every two weeks. This "Share and Win" contest is open to all of Canada (except Quebec) and ends June 22, 2012. See the rules and regulations for details.

Do something good today- support Speroway!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

But Why?

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Learning to Do Less As A Life Strategy

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In February I was lucky enough to go to the amazing Blissdom conference in Nashville. It was truly incredible and I really can't say enough good about it - you all should go in 2013.

But the problem is there is more than one session going on at a time and since I can't seem to be in more than one place at one time I missed MOST of the sessions.

I attended all of the photography sessions and they were AWESOME... but that meant that I missed all of the life development sessions, all of the business sessions and all of the writing sessions. And there is pretty much NOTHING good about that.

Thankfully there is Blissdom At Home!

I have been soaking up the sessions from the comfort of my own living room and it has been like opening a new gift every time I hit the play button.

Last week I listened to Christine Koh's Life Development session - "Do Less As A Life Strategy" and it hit me hard. (Many of you probably know Christine Koh as @bostonmamas )

It took me a few days to process WHY it hit me hard because it is not like Christine was telling a series of sad stories or showing pictures of starving babies or anything... and it honestly baffled me a bit.

But even the first few questions of her session hit me hard... she said:

"Raise your hand if you ever feel overwhelmed with clutter... physical or emotional... Raise your hand if you feel the only way to become/stay successful is to do more ... Raise your hand if you wish you could do less but still be creative, productive, inspired, tremendously awesome."

I was sitting in my living room, by myself raising my hand because in that moment I knew Christine was speaking directly to me... even if it was a recorded session from a few weeks ago.

As I continued to listen to Christine's talk I was more and more drawn in and I was taking notes like crazy... of course one of the best parts of listening to it from home is that I could PAUSE and REWIND when I missed something or when I just needed to hear something again. I really love that feature.

I think I listened to her say "When you do less of the unnecessary, creativity can flourish" and "when you remove clutter, paths emerge" about 5 times because I really needed those ones to sink in.

And here is why...

When you have a child with special needs (like my son with Autism) you are inundated pretty much constantly with all the things you need to be doing to help that child or to help your other children or to help your family... everything from different therapy techniques to various diets and educational methods.

It never stops. 

There is always something new, something different to try, and no matter how much you do it will never ever ever be enough. 

You will always be left wondering if you did enough to help your child become all they could be. There will always be someone questioning you whether you have done enough. 

And added to that you have to keep track of all the appointments with doctors and specialists and counsellors- not just for your child with special needs, but also for your other children as well because siblings of children with special needs usually end up needing support of their own- and you have to keep track of all the information all of those people give you. 

And then you have to work with the school and the specialists and the medical people and the therapists and everyone else under the sun to try and get everyone on the same page. 

And it can be so completely overwhelming that the world around you begins to reflect the chaos of your mind... your house begins to look as chaotic as your overloaded mind and that doesn't help anyone because everyone knows a child with Autism needs a serene space to live in and chaos is never good. 

But it feels like if you stop DOING all the THINGS you are SUPPOSED to be DOING everything will just fall apart and every time you turn around someone is telling you another thing you should be doing even though you can barely keep up as it is!

Then you sit down to listen to a message called "Do LESS As A Life Strategy" and suddenly you are crying even though it isn't a sad talk at all - because simplicity is SO WHAT WE NEED!

And so I listened to Christine talk and I cried and I loved it. And I am going to listen to her talk again. Probably a few more time actually until it really sinks in through the chaos that has built up in my mind and until I can come up with a plan to move from the clutter that is our lives right now to the simplicity that I KNOW we need.

I have deep gratitude to Christine and I don't even know her. I didn't get the chance to meet her at Blissdom. I wish I had because she is one very wise woman.

And to think- that was only ONE of the sessions available!

If you haven't already checked out Blissdom At Home you really should- clearly I am a big fan! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pretty on Pinterest - Things that Make Me Laugh

Pin It Pretty on Pinterest is a weekly meme where you find your favourite pins on a particular theme and create a post to share. The theme for Pretty on Pinterest this week is "Your Choice of Theme". It has been a dark and dreary week here filled with snow and freezing rain so I chose "things that make me laugh" in an effort to focus on the brighter side of life! Enjoy :)

Pretty on Pinterest is a weekly meme hosted by Simply Stacie and Sassy Mama in LA. Be sure to find me on Pinterest as well!

If you are new to Pretty on Pinterest be sure to check out some of the other themes we've done:

Black & White
Audrey Hepburn
St. Patrick's Day

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