Thanks(4)giving

It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: love

Week 44-Rocktober!, Day 5-Let’s ALL party!

Party is a word that I will not be saying or participating in this week until both my exams are over on Thursday.  Yes, you indeed read that correctly.  I have two exams on Thursday, two assignments due on Tuesday, and a presentation on Tuesday.  I know you wish you were me, don’t lie.  So needless to say, today has been devoted to grading papers, and creating my presentation.  I did wake up to great surprise of a new Twitter follower, Eliminate Prejudice, who are all about getting everyone together no matter what age, race, religion, or gender they might be.  It also happens to be LGBT History Month.  I’m always thankful when blog topics just fall into my lap!

Oh, hey there LGBT History Month!

Before I started this blog I never really thought a lot about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.  Obviously I knew they were a strong group of individuals, but I never realized how many non-profits like Eliminate Prejudice were out there.  EP helps people address the underlying issues that prevent progress in their relationship.  They’re not afraid to dig deep and get to the root of the problems that we always want to avoid, and create real, lasting change in communities.  Over 40 campuses across the country have almost 1,000 active members in this uniting movement.  Check out the video below from the 2011 EP video contest winner.  Something to be proud of for sure. Speaking of pride, we all know that the LGBT community has got boat loads of it.  The Pride Foundation was founded in 1985 by four concerned citizens of Seattle who thought that they LGBT community could use their own philanthropic organization.  Over the past twenty plus years they have raked in more than 8 million dollars to help build equality for their community.  PF’s vision for a world that honors diversity, fosters mutual respect, and truly celebrates complete equality has inspired thousands of people to join in their fight.  I may not technically be a part of the LGBT community, but who doesn’t love equality?

Eliminate Prejudice Donation 

Pride Foundation Donation

So here’s to ALL of us getting our party on!  I’m not even going to waste any of our time with my witty last paragraph.  Take that extra 30 seconds and get down with your bad self.

This guy knows how to party

Week 23-Emotions, Day 5-Loved

loved past participle, past tense of love (Verb)

1. Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone): “do you love me?”.

2. Like very much; find pleasure in: “I’d love a cup of tea”; “a fun-loving girl”.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  Even though I’m not physically spending the day with my Mom she is always in my heart and on my mind.  I could not have dreamed of a better mother.  She taught me so many things that I will never be able to thank her enough for.  She taught me to be responsible, always do my best, and always treats others the way I want to be treated.  In all honestly I have learned a lot from all of the great women in my family.  My grandmothers, aunts, cousins, nieces, and sisters-in-law are all women I look up to in some way.  Even though I’m only a mother to children who have four legs and fur, I still feel so loved today because I know my Mom would do anything she could for me.  Thank you Mommy for being you, and having me.

It's true 🙂

Mothers are often the driving force behind the change that happens in a family.  Mothers4Children is a charity that unites a wide array of women for change, but it’s so much more than that too.  As a mother all you want is a better life for your children.  M4C is a sisterhood of women who are mothers, aunts, godmothers, daughters, and grandmothers that want and believe that ALL children deserve love and the best start in life possible.  M4C also seemed like a perfect charity for today because they were founded on love.  The love a mother has for her child is unconditional and the potential to harness that unwavering love to help transform the lives of children is both powerful and enduring.  Just think about a momma bear with her cubs.  Would you challenge her?  I didn’t think so.  Sometimes mothers have to help other mothers out.  Mothers2Mothers is a charity that helps prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and support the health of mother and child after both.  HIV can be transmitted during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding, but can be prevented with treatment.  M2M not only treats pregnant women with HIV in Africa, but they also teach them about being a new mother living with HIV.  They provided Mentor Mothers who work with new moms one-on-one and become role models in their community as they earn salaries to support their family.  M2M saves lives and empowers women at the time day.  Happy Mother’s Day indeed!

Mothers4Children Donation

Mothers2Mothers Donation

So here’s to you loved!  You are the feeling that warms our hearts and reassures our minds.  Lots of us feel this way because of our fabulous mothers!  They were the first people to really show us what it means to love without condition or trepidation.  You are the emotion that moves us to create holidays for the invaluable people in our lives.  Thank you for giving us another reason to honor the women who gave us life.

My Mom sent me this today! I feel so loved to know she is always thinking about me!

Week 11-Valentine’s Week, Day 7-Friendship

You always hear people say that their husband or wife is their best friend.  Or you hear the story that we were friends first and then it just turned into more.  The point is if you don’t have friendship as the foundation of your love then it’s a rocky road to happiness.  I had a great day meeting some new friends at the Newcomer’s Club here in Morgantown.  Everyone was so incredibly friendly and welcoming and I was thankful to know I was surrounded by lots of people new potential friendships.

What up little JLo?

I am really lucky that we live in a place where it is so easy to make friends, but that’s not always the case.  The Boys & Girls Clubs of America strives to make sure all young people have a friend when they need it most.  BGCA gives kids a place to grow and reach their full potential.  The BGCA was founded in 1906 and has served over 4 million young people in over 4,000 clubs across the United States.  Jennifer Lopez, Denzel Washington, Martin Sheen, and Shaq O’Neil are just a few of the celebrities that have started their future at the BGCA.  Kids don’t raise themselves, and behind every great kid there is a great adult leading the way.  Friendship Bridge is a non-profit that goes above and beyond the call of friendship for Guatemalan women.  FB provides education and microcredit to the women of Guatemala so they can provide their own solution to poverty for their families.  FB usually loans about $320 and FB borrowers typically start or expand small businesses such as weaving, embroidery, raising livestock or poultry, basket making, roadside vending, or growing fruits and vegetables for sale at the local markets. Profits from these businesses boost overall household income, and as loans are repaid, they are re-loaned.  Women have been successfully empowered through FB over the past twenty years, and there is lots more success to come.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America Donation

Friendship Bridge Donation

So here’s to you friendship!  You are everywhere we look and are the reason for some many great love stories.  Without you I couldn’t have been thankful for all the other great delights of this past Valentine’s week.  There are books, songs, plays, and TV shows based on your magical bond.  I started this week off saying that all you need is love, and I stand by that.  All you need is love to be thankful for the friendship that sustains love’s thirst.

Week 11-Valentine’s Week, Day 4-Hearts

Real vs. Fake

Anyone who knows me well and is reading this is laughing right now.  It is no small secrets that I pretty much hate anything that is in the shape of a heart.  When Scott and I got married in 2009 I absolutely refused for there to be anything remotely resembling a heart associated with our wedding in any way.  So while it is true that I may want to pretty much vimm (vomit in my mouth) when I see cheesy hearts, I am still thankful for them.  Really I’m thankful for that real, blooding pumping, life sustaining, muscle in our chest that we would be vampires without.

It just so happens that this week is also congenital heart disease awareness week.  Obviously this is the perfect time to promote CHD awareness due to the impending holiday on Monday.  One percent of all children are born with heart disease making it the most common birth defect in the world.  The International Children’s Heart Foundation has been working since 1994 to bring the knowledge, skills, and technology to cure and care for children with CHD in developing countries.  ICHF uses medical mission trips to operate and educate local health professionals as well as provide equipment and medication in multiple countries.  This year alone ICHF will go on 52 different missions and perform over 800 operations.  In the same vein, pun intended, Children’s Heartlink is also working to give new life to children in undeveloped countries with CHD.  Since it began in 1969 CHL has provided over $60 million in education, technical support, treatment and medical equipment to partner hospitals and programs.  CHL is currently working in fourteen pediatric cardiac units in nine different countries across the globe.  It only take $25 dollars to provide an entire month’s supply of preventative medicine for CHD to a child.  Most of us will blow at least $25 on Valentine’s Day dinner alone.

International Children’t Heart Foundation Donation

Children’s Heartlink Foundation

So here’s to you hearts!  You can be made of paper, muscle, and around this time of year, chocolate.  You are literally what keeps on going from day to day.  You may be cheesy and you are definitely cliché, but you have a way of putting a smile on the faces of millions.  So take a lesson from the Tin Man and really listen to what your heart is telling you.

What's that? Be more thankful. Got it!

Week 11-Valentine’s Week, Day 1-Love

The Beatles were right, “All you need is love.”  And I don’t mean love like in the romantic comedies where women try to get men not to fall in love with them and somehow the exact opposite occurs.  This whole week I’m going to write about things that celebrate Valentine’s Day that I am thankful for.  You can call V-Day a made up holiday; you can hate all the cliches that surround it, but I’m embracing it and enjoying all the cheesiness cupid has to offer this year.  Love is always wanting to say you’re sorry.  Love is faithful.  Love is kind.  Love is what you make it.  Everyone has a different opinion about what love is, but I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever known who doesn’t want to be loved.  Love makes the world go ’round and the charities thrive during a recession.

Love is the emotion that spans all generations, cultures, and different depths of relationships.  You love your Mom; you love your dog; you can even love piece of art hanging on your wall.  So what could be better than love recycled?  Baby Buggy, that’s what.  Well really BB embodies the theme of love recycled so I guess the two are pretty even.  BB is a non-profit in NYC that provides families with essential equipment, clothing, and products that they need for children of all ages.  BB has delivered over 4,000,000 items to thousands of families over the past ten years of their service.  The generous families of New York donate to BB and make their sure their “trash” (which is obviously Bugaboo strollers and Tiffany rattles couldn’t be trash if they tried) becomes another families treasure.  Another place where you can always find genuine and pure love is in the eyes of children.  Look up love in the dictionary and you’ll find the charity Reece’s Rainbow.  My sbff (secret best friend forever, long story) actually encouraged me to blog about this charity and I’m so thankful she did.  She has the most adorable nephew ever known to man, Carter, and I’d think she’d agree with me in saying that she had her definition of love shaken to the core when he was born.  Carter has Down Syndrome, just like the precious children on RR.  The difference is that Carter has a family that will love him to pieces for year and years.  RR works to advocate and fund raise for international children with DS to find a new loving home like Carter’s.  You don’t have to adopt a child to show your love.  You can donate to their adoption costs and help them find their way to a new life.  You can donate and be general contractor in the houses that love is building.

Sweet, sweet Carter

Baby Buggy Donation

Reece’s Rainbow Donation (or go here to see the waiting children and donate to their adoption costs)

So here’s to you love!  Without you there would be no puppies, babies, or even Valentine’s Day.  You are the theme for endless books, poems, movies, and greeting cards.  You give us those butterflies in our stomach and the weak feeling in our knees.  Love is a timeless classic that falls in the same category as the little black dress, grilled chicken, and martinis-straight up.  The fight to spread love across the word is…ever thine. ever mine.  ever ours.

Week 2-People, Day 6-My Husband

My mature husband 🙂

As I sit here typing this blog my husband is folding my work pants, socks, and camisoles.  Mind you, he is folding and reciting the lines to an episode of Pawn Stars he has seen at least 3 times by now.  This is one of the many reasons I am thankful for him.  He does laundry and he makes me laugh.  Constantly.  I still remember telling him the day he asked me to marry him, “Well I know I’ll never get bored with you.”

For anyone reading this who doesn’t know my husband, Scott, he grew up in Southern California on a sheep farm.  Well it was really an everything farm but they mainly showed sheep through the local 4-H club.  Scott is the example of how being in 4-H can improve your leadership and public speaking skills for life.  It’s what he does.

First place!

He has also carried his love for agriculture with him from his childhood.  And the only thing I can think of he loves more than agriculture is the Dave Matthews Band.  So what do you get when you put together agriculture and DMB?  Farm Aid! Willie, John, Neil, and Dave have raised over $37 million dollars to support family farms, get more consumers to buy local, and help farmers in crisis.  Oh and let’s not forget that little concert they put on every year with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Jason Mraz, and Norah Jones.  Click on the links below to donate to the national 4-H program or Farm Aid.

Donate to 4-H Youth Program

Donate to Farm Aid (or buy their really cool shirts or attend the concert!)

So here’s to you love of my life!  You continue to spoil me rotten and drag me around the country on our next great adventure.  “But I do know one thing is, where you are is where I belong.  I do know where you go, is where I wanna be.” -DMB

Week 2-People, Day 2-Mom

Honestly I’ve wanted to write this post from the very beginning.  My mom was one of the very first people I told about my idea for thanks(4)giving, and her being automatically supportive would be an understatement.  And me being thankful for her would be an understated response.  Before I had even launched the blog she was already offering to buy me a url for Christmas so it looked more professional when it went big.  Her words not mine.  The best part is I know she’s not just saying it because she’s my mom, that’s not how she rolls.  She’s my biggest constructive critic.

My Momma

I was and still am very lucky to have my mother in my life, and I want it to stay that way for a long time.  Heart disease runs in my mom’s family so learning that heart disease is the number one killer of women yearly, and accounts for a third of all deaths in women was disturbing.  The Go Red for Women is a great campaign of the American Heart Association that is paving the path in teaching women about their hearts.  The good news is, armed with the right knowledge women can reduce their risk of heart disease.  Mommas also need to get their mammograms!  The National Breast Cancer Foundation helps educate women about breast health and helps women in need receive mammograms.  We have to be sure and Save the ta♥tas, and support the AHA who I personally loved jumping rope for as a kid.

American Heart Association Donation

National Breast Cancer Foundation Donation

Save the Ta♥Tas Donation

So here’s to my very own momma.  I really don’t know where I would be today without her.  She taught me how to beautiful on the inside and love who I was on the outside.  She also taught me that life’s not fair, money doesn’t grow on trees, and it’s always better to give than receive.