Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Giveaway! - Personalized Graphic Plaque

Thanks to my crack-like addiction to, I have been inspired to get crafty. Below are a few projects I've been working on lately. These are graphic plaques... made with my own graphics and a block of wood.

Lea's footprints
Now the fun part... here's the chance for you to win one of these bad boys... with your own quote, baby's footprints, or anything else you'd like to see on a 5 x 7 wooden plaque. It will be completely customized for you. And instead of just opening up this contest for preemie parents, I'm going to include ALL parents.

How to Enter

 Step 1:
"Like" us on facebook or become a follower of our blog. If you've already done this, move on to step 2.

Step 2:
Preemie Parents - Comment with a quote, bible verse or any bit of advice that either helped you get through the NICU experience, or is currently helping you cope.

All Other Parents - Comment with your parenting "mantra," or a saying that you've heard that applies to your parenting style.

PLEASE COMMENT WITH YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS, OR A LINK TO YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT SO THAT I CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU IF YOU WIN. (If you don't want to leave your contact info, just be sure to check back on November 4th to see if you've won.)


Step 3:
I will randomly pick one preemie parent and one non-preemie parent winner. Once your design is finalized and your plaque is produced, I'll ship it to you. Good luck!

And the winners are...


#2 - Shawnte (Preemie Momma) & #5 - Elizabeth
Congrats ladies!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

28 Acts of Kindness :)

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.
~Amelia Earhart

 I recently came across a blog entry where a Mom chose to do 35 random(ish) acts of kindness for her 35th birthday. Genius! So for my 28th birthday this year, I planned to do the same.

Now I know this is a blog for Lea, but believe me, this all ties together. I have decided that in order to ensure that she grows up to be a loving, compassionate and contributing member of society, I must lead by example. I want to be the best role model I can be for my girl, so I dedicated myself to committing these 28 random (and some not so random) acts of kindness by the time my birthday came.

Aside from setting a good example, I also wanted a way to show God how thankful I am for all that he has blessed me with. What better way to show my thanks to Him than to do a few good deeds for His children? So with that... I set out to do some good. Below are my 28 acts of kindness:

1. Mailed a handwritten note of gratitude to someone that has touched my life.

2. Donated blood. Student nurse = OUCH.

3. Left a large tip for my server at a restaurant. We could tell it was his first day, bless his heart. He was hustling... he totally deserved it.

4. Left a stack of books I was done reading at a coffee shop for customers to read.

5. Left some quarters in a vending machine for a thirsty passer-by.

6. Left a gift card outside of a coffee house for someone to find and purchase them-self a cup of coffee.

7. Brought some home-made cookies to my co-workers. Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies to be exact. YUM!

8. Paid for the person behind me in the drive-thru. I actually got to watch this one go down in my rear-view mirror, and it was really fun seeing the guy smile as the woman handed him my "Random act of Kindness" card and told him his meal (and his friend's meal) was paid for. He waved at me with a big grin... it was too cute. 

Lea and our new tree.
9. Planted a tree in our front yard. Yes, this counts! Trees help control the climate, filter the air and help to beautify the Earth. Therefore planting a tree is my way of giving back to the environment AND my community. Thanks to my sweet hubby for doing the majority of the work! Lea loves her tree -- I think she's going to be a botanist when she grows up.

10. Created a T-shirt design (free of charge) for a group walking in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. 

11. Pledged a donation for a child participating in a Boosterthon Fun Run. The Fun Run helps to raise money for the child's school while teaching students about fitness, leadership and character.

12. Gave away a $25 coupon at Gymboree to a woman in the check-out line. I cannot STAND to waste a good coupon, so this act might have been just as satisfying to me as it was for the woman I gave the coupon to. (hehe) She had a pile of clothes, and walked away with a bill $25 less that it would have been :) Side note: Yesterday as I was standing in line to check out at Victoria's Secret, a woman handed me a $10 off coupon she wasn't using. Tell me karma's not real!

13. Gave away a massage appointment to someone who could use it more than I could.

14. A day of no road rage / riding people's butts / honking. Yes, I admit it. I can be quite the agressive driver. However, I have made a valiant effort in driving more cautiously and less aggressively. The ride to and from work has become much more pleasant because of it. Plus, I don't want Lea picking up on that habit.

15. Brought sweets to the fire department. They were very thankful, and Lea even got to sit in the fire truck.

16. Cleaned out my closet and donated a bunch of clothes, shoes and purses to Goodwill.

17. Smiled at people. How simple, right? This act of kindness is awesome, because it instantly changes a person's mood. Lea is really good about smiling at everyone she passes, and she is already learning that giving a smile will more than likely get one in return.

18. Adopted a soldier. is an awesome website, where they link you up with a soldier stationed overseas. I mailed my soldier a care package filled with everything from soap to socks to double-stuffed oreos, as well as a thank you card expressing my gratitude for his service to our country. I definitely plan to continue to send care packages until he is home. Also, the website recently had an influx of soldiers sign up, so if you are interested in adopting a soldier, now's the time!

19. / 20. Got my truck washed by a group of kids raising money for their church. They did such a great job, I also donated some extra funds for a round of snowballs.

21. Gave a meal to a homeless person.

22. Brought a bucket of candy and popcorn to the nurses on the Labor and Delivery floor where I delivered. When Lea was in the hospital, we constantly brought treats to our NICU nurses... but I neglected to ever bring anything to the nurses that took care of me after my delivery. Here's making up for lost time! 

23. Made a donation to help fund a surgery for a dog that had been rescued from an abusive home. (All of the money has been raised, and he'll have the surgery he needs to begin a new chapter in his life with a new, loving owner.) 

24. Brought a bag full of baby food and formula to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

25. Dropped off some dog/cat treats and a ton of plastic grocery bags for "poop-scoopin" at ARNO (Animal Rescue of New Orleans).

As you can imagine, doing 28 random/non-random acts of kindness takes a lot of thought, and as I neared number 28, it got harder and harder to think of kind things I could do. I kept my eyes open for opportunities... but I saw none, so I prayed. I asked God that if there were someone is this world who could use my help in any way, to please guide me to them.

I'm not sure why I still get surprised when God answers one of my prayers in such a blatant and obvious way... I know He hears me, and I have full faith is His actions, but when I ask, and he delivers almost immediately, it never ceases to amaze me.

On the same day that I prayed for someone to help, I got a facebook message from a friend who has a friend who is soon going to be delivering a preemie at the very same hospital Lea stayed, and that she could use someone to talk to that's been through the same thing. If there is one thing I KNOW I can do in this world, it is to give support to a preemie mother in need. So with that, my number 26 was cake.

26. Befriended a fellow preemie mother-to-be. 

27. Donated to Kidd's Kids. This is something I regretfully have never done until now. For those of you who are not Kidd Kraddick listeners, Kidd and his team take a large group of chronically and terminally ill children and their families to Disney World every year, all expenses paid. The trip is funded mostly by listener donations. To find out more about Kidd's Kids, click here.

And finally...

28. My final act will have to wait until this coming Saturday, but Lain, Lea and I will be participating in "Skip for Tripp 5k run/walk," benefiting Tripp Roth. Most people I know are well aware of Tripp's story, but if you're not, you must go here to learn about this miraculous boy and his saint of a mother. And let me just say, acts of kindness aside, I would do anything, at any time if it meant I was doing something to help that sweet little drummer boy.

So there it is: 28 acts of kindness for my 28th birthday.

And to my Lea, I look forward to the day that we can read this blog entry together and plan your very first acts of kindness adventure. I love you, and thank you for making me want to be the best person I can be.

My sweet family 10-9-11

To download a FREE printable sheet of the Random Acts of Kindness tags I made and attached to my gifts, please click here!