Acts of Kindness

db54f6aec86fdd0624af13bbc4468848

I was looking back through our old posts and came upon a couple that we had done as “acts of kindness”. A smile quickly arose on my face because all the memories came pouring back from last summer. We had thrown ourselves in a bunch of different circumstances where we were helping peoples days become a little brighter. I thought that maybe we should bring that back? I mean, why not.

It was a very easy and heart whelming feeling helping people pay their bills, or writing them a little letter and sticking it under their windshield. It was acts like that that made my summer a whole lot better, and for the simplest of reasons.

This summer, I want to try and make as many peoples days as possible, whether it be a hello or holding the door for them; telling someone they look beautiful or asking how they are doing for once. We all get so busy in our schedules and we forget that maybe the people surrounding us have emotions as well. Maybe they are having a bad day or are struggling in some type of way. Its each and every one of our jobs to pay it forward and let people know that they are loved or cherished.

I was reading a story once about a girl who noticed a homeless man sitting outside of a Starbucks. instead of doing the usual gesture of giving the man a couple dollars, she invited him in to sit with her and chat over a cup of coffee. The man, taken back at first, decided to join her. They talked of many different things, but what the girl noticed most is that the man had a lot of hurt behind his eyes, even while he was flashing the biggest grin.

After they decided to part ways, the girl gave him 100 dollars and told him to jumpstart his life, because he has so much potential. He gave her the money back and with it was a note he had written. It said that he had been planning on taking his life that day, but because she took the time to make him realize how beautiful life can be, he decided to make a change.

This girl, who took thirty minutes out of her day, was able to change a mans life forever. I look up to people like that. People who don’t think anything of helping a random stranger overcome their battles. I love that.

So from now on, I will do whatever I can to help people, no matter what they are going through. Hopefully that story acts as a reminder that there are good people in this world. Aside from all the destruction and the awful events that have taken place..taken lives; there are good people and there are good things that are happening. Take part in those amazing things, and take pride in the fact that you are, in some way shape or form, making the world a better place.

Simple Thinking

This past year has definitely been a roller coaster of events for myself along with my loved ones. We have experienced great loss, and in the most unexpected and worst possible way. But there are so many things that I learned throughout the whole process.

1. Stop Blaming Everyone Around You

Sometimes, things are meant to happen. As awful as that sounds and as much as I hate to admit it, everything happens for a reason. Bad things happen to good people, and although I cant possibly wrap my head around the concept, I have to believe that there are better places out there. Having said that, this past year I learned that I cant blame the bad events that happen on the people who are closest to me. I find that I am always trying to find the shortcut out of things instead of dealing with it head on. Nobody can ever tell the future. So I need to be there for them, like they have always been there for me.

2. Love Myself

Yeah, I have made my fair share of mistakes. But this past year has helped me to realize that I need to forgive myself, and move on. I may not have to forget about what happened, but I should always stay true to myself and love myself for all that I am. Now that I can truly love myself, I can fully let others into my life, the way it should be. It seems like such a simple concept, if you think about it. But really think about it. How many of you are harder on yourselves than any of the others around you? How many times have you made a mistake and not been able to shake it off? I know I have. This sounds like a big fat cliche’, but in order to love someone else, you need to love yourself first.

3. Change is Good

This is definitely one of the hardest things I have had to find the truth in. I know that, without a doubt, nobody should make you change who you are, and you should never try to change someone else, but we are all a work in progress. By allowing yourself to make mistakes and to grow from them, you will be able to be the best version of yourself. Not anybody else, but yourself. You are going to have bad days, and you are going to have great days, and there will always be people there to go through it with you.

tumblr_n7fc3u1cyw1r1arpmo1_1280

Random Act of Kindness

In my previous post, I had asked each of you to do something for another person that could make their day a little brighter. I had a little doubt because it is the new year and so many people are busy enough with their daily schedules to even stop and think for a moment, but I was surprised to see on Facebook the other day that my nephew took part in a very giving act of kindness.

My sister and her boyfriend Tony have three beautiful kids together. Seeing that yesterday they had off of school because of snow, they had the boys go outside and sled in the neighborhood. Right across the street, there is this awesome hill that all the kids accumulate at for a fun filled day in the snow. Nicole stayed back at the house to make some hot chocolate for the boys, but still was able to keep her eyes on them. Gage (my nephew) and Austin and Noah were out minding their own business, when a kid in his late teens, maybe early 20’s came out to see what they were up to. He had a snowboard with him and asked if the boys wanted to make a ramp with him, so that they could have some more fun. They each did their part in making this extravagent jump on the hill, and they all went flying off of it. Only a couple minutes went by, but the kids had so much fun with this older kid. He ended up having to leave for a busy night of work right down the road, but before he left, he pulled Gage to the side for a quick second. I guess he could notice Gage eyeing his snow board, so he asked him if he liked to board and if he was “regular of goofy-footed”. Gage told him what foot he led with and the kid ran inside for a quick second. When he came out he was holding this snowboard with stickers all over it. It looked pretty worn out, but it was such a cool board, with such an awesome personality. The kid came right over to Gage and said, “It’s yours now, bud!”

Gage has been begging my sister for a board for the longest time now, but they never go enough. Plus, snowboards aren’t so cheap. Needless to say, this was such a wonderful act of kindness, and Gage has been carrying the board around with him every day since then. He makes frequent trips up to his room to check if it actually happened and the board is still there.

The kid never told my sister or Gage his name, but what a great guy he was.

Gage will always remember how a random stranger gave him his first snowboard!

Thought Catalog: On Being Happy

f3fa3f36addbfbef6695c23d1313004bEverybody has their morning agenda, and by that, I mean the things that you do without even realizing it. For instance. Every morning when my eyes open from a long night sleep, I click snooze on my phone exactly three times before I realize that I need to be an actual human being and do actual human being things.

I sit up, let me feet dangle over the bed while I gather my surroundings, because lord knows I am still half asleep from my rough night of studying and writing silly papers for silly college. Once my surroundings are a bit in place, I take that first eager yet still a bit hesitant, step. I make my way to the bathroom, tripping over a couple of shoes on the way, and YOWWW, who put those heels there? Once I make it to the bathroom I examine myself in the mirror and shake my head because I forgot to wash my makeup off from the night before AGAIN! Why do I always do this? Laziness at its finest people. I wipe off the mascara and the eyeliner, brush my teeth for two minutes, gargle some mouthwash, and here is where it gets interesting. I put the water in the facet on the coldest it could possibly get. I wait for it to get to maximum coldness so I put the toilet seat down and sit, and wait, and sit and wait. Once I think the water is as cold as possible, I form my hands into a makeshift bowl and go to town. I think I throw water on my face about ten times before the job of waking up is really done. The makeup is gone, the eyes aren’t puffy, and best of all, the color is back in my cheeks. There she is. There is Haley. Then, I make my way back to my room, turn on my curling iron, and while that is heating up, I make a cup of coffee.

I am very particular about my coffee, as I am sure most everyone is. My mother got me hooked sophomore year of high school, and I have been a goner ever since. And as I sit here writing this, I am thinking to myself, “Why in the hell would you brush your teeth and then drink coffee?” Oh gosh, that just is silly. I really need to rethink my morning rituals.

Like I said, coffee. Drinking coffee. I love Hazelnut creamer, so after the coffee is done brewing I poor the creamer in for exactly three seconds. 1 mississippi 2 mississippi 3 mississippi. And there you have it. A lot of creamer and a little coffee.

I come back upstairs, coffee in hand, and go to my favorite website. Thought Catalog. Oh, how I love this site.

“Launched 1 February 2010, Thought Catalog is a website dedicated to your stories and ideas”

Thought Catalog is a blog site where many different people can put their thoughts into words, and share those words with the world.

It is an amazing idea, and that is why I read it each and every day.

Many of the posts are funny, fun loving, thoughtful, and just downright weird. But many make you think. And that is what I really love.

So today, like many other days, I am skimming through the blogs when I come across a title that stands out to me.

“How to Not Be Terrified of Being Happy”

The author speaks of happiness being this utopia, or this mystical world that  nobody truly understands the concept of. That somehow, some shape or form, we are always trying to do better than we already have. That we cant stop moving or doing more because things will just fall apart, “like a house of cards”.

Instead of being happy for the things that are going well in our lives, many of us worry about when it will be taken from us, like a game of hide and seek.

I have this problem where sometimes I feel like I do not deserve to be happy. That the people around me deserve better. Because of that feeling, I have a lot of anxiety. Anxiety about life, relationships, friendships, family, school. Everything scares me. It doesn’t mean I stop going about my daily routine, but sometimes I think that I don’t take things for what they are. I over think. “Things are amazing now, but that wont last.”

You may get your heart broken.

People may not like you.

You might not get your dream job.

You might upset your loved ones.

But that will pass, and you will once again, be happy.

“Avoiding happiness just so you can avoid the sting of eventually losing it will ruin you.”

Periods of Joy

Periods of Difficulty

Periods of Love

Periods of Heartbreak

I do not think I have ever read something that has hit so close to home for me. You can learn so much from a 500 word blog. I hope that one day I can meet the writer and thank them for opening my eyes to a world that can be full of happiness and love.

So. Morning rituals can be robotic, and boring, and annoying, but this particular morning, it was a great one.

THANKSGIVING FESTIVITIES!!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I have lots on my mind, but specifically, FOOD. I know that there is the typical food that is included in the dinner festivities, like the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. This year, why not try mixing things up a bit and trying different types of foods, and starting new traditions. I know for me and my family, holidays have always been really important to us. Not only was it a time for everyone to finally be together for a night, but we could also participate in something we all know and love so much, eating. LOL.

This year I will not be with my family because I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and his family, but I am sure my mom will have something extravagant up her sleeves for the dinner portion of the night. No surprise there.

I am not that good at cooking unless I have a very specific recipe and a right hand man there to help out, but earlier today while I was on Pinterest I noticed so many different foods that looked so amazing, and especially on a holiday like Thanksgiving.

Here are a couple pictures of what could potentially be some wonderful dishes for Thanksgiving night. Your bellies sure will be HAPPY!

Start with a nice salad to begin the dishes.

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

Ingredients
  • 6 cups salad (I used a combination of arugula and baby spinach, any spring green mix will do)
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (such as Diamond of California)
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
dressing (see note)
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar in a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup oil

apple-cranberry-walnut-salad-1

UGHHH so delicious…

Next we have some Crunchy Holiday Stuffing

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups celery
1 1/2 cups carrots
1 (14 oz.) pkg. stuffing
2 cups FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup Water

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease 3-quart baking dish; set aside. Melt butter in large pot; stir in vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.
ADD stuffing, broth and water and stir until moistened. Gently stir in French Fried Onions. Spoon stuffing into 3-quart baking dish.
COVER and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Onions. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until Onions are golden.

The results come out to an amazing looking dish, and what I love is that it is crunchier than all the stuffing I have ever had.

P082014202654_2

And lastly, but could never forget, THE TURKEY!

Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter & Roasted Shallots

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15-to-16 pound turkey
  • Salt and pepper to season cavity
  • 1 1/4 lb. shallots, peeled and cut in half through the root
  • 1 carrot, unpeeled
  • 1 large celery stalk, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cups (approximately) chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together softened butter, sage, thyme and parsley until well combined.
  3. Remove the neck and other innards from the turkey cavity. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the carrot, celery and onion quarters into the cavity of the turkey.
  4. Tie the turkey legs together and tuck the wings underneath the turkey, using small skewers to secure, if necessary.
  5. Starting at the neck end, slide your hands under the breast skin to loosen. Smear 3 tablespoons of the herb butter underneath the breast skin. Smear another 4 tablespoons of the herb butter over the entire topside of the turkey.
  6. Place the turkey in the roasting pan, breast side up. Scatter the shallots around the turkey, on the bottom of the roasting pan.
  7. Cover the breasts with foil and place the turkey in the oven. Roast the turkey for 2 hours, basting it with 1/2 cup chicken broth every 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the foil from the breast. If you find that the legs are browning too much, cover each drumstick with foil. Roast the turkey until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh (be sure not to hit the bone) registers 170 degrees F, basting every 30 minutes with the pan drippings, about 1 hour total.
  9. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  10. Remove the carrot, celery and onion from the cavity and discard.
  11. Remove the shallots from the pan and serve with the gravy. Use the remaining brown bits on the bottom of the pan and the remaining herb butter to make the gravy.

6338207707_8db922397a

And wow, is that a good lookin turkey!

Ps: These recipes and and directions are found from sites on Pinterest, and are just some of the wonderful dishes I have tried before. Pinterest always has some great pins for the Holiday seasons especially when it has to do with food!

Hope you all enjoy, and potentially use these recipes!

Have you just ever felt like this?

We all have days where we feel like the world is caving in on us, don’t we?  Sometimes,  I feel like I am the only one. To be honest, usually I am “happy-go-lucky” all the time. In fact, my husband always looks at me in times of trouble and says “you just don’t have a care in the world”!  Always perplexed with him looking at me like that, I just node, laugh and say no! I have always looked at things as if they were meant to happen and it is all in how you handle it. I am very good under pressure, I always have been but this week, I just want to pull my hair out.

Here, let me explain…

1. Leaving a house I grew up in since I was a child.

 2. Being self-employed, the bank is driving me crazy.

  3. A good friend will not speak to me and I don’t know

what I did?

4. My daughter is getting married…

5. Everyone wants something from me.

6. My house is a cluster f@%k with furniture, lighting

and accessories for the new house everywhere.

That is why I feel like this…

10732030_539097489568292_1517753356_n

But…

Unknown-6

These are all the great things that come out of the bad…

1. My daughter and her fiancé are moving into the house I grew up in…

2. We are blessed beyond belief to have what we have…

3. Maybe that friend is not worth the aggregation if they

do not have the time or patience to explain why… a blessing in disguise…

4. My daughter is getting married to her perfect guy…

5. At least someone wants something from you and you are not alone…

6. Well, that I need a magic wand, it is still a cluster f@%k…

There is always a silver lining in life. Don’t forget to remember that when your hands are in your hair and you want to scream and hit your head against the wall:)

5 Things

99648ebbca5d24e5feb3d49c2674ddc5 700b67f24562891cd4feee1acdf4d267 78f493876142b6841ed196e1ad179e5c

On a day like today, all I want to do it cuddle up, drink hot chocolate, and watch movies all day. Unfortunately, the weekend is over, and it is back to the real world.

It is always hard getting up on Monday morning, and I of all people complain about it..but what we all need to realize is that we are all lucky to have another day worth living.

Here is a list of ten things we should all be thankful for, even on the worst of days.

1. It is such a wonderful blessing to wake up another day, and take that first breath of fresh air. To look outside and see life everywhere is a true reward and we always seem to forget that.

2. We always seem to “hate our ex’s” but in reality, they have only made us the people we are today. Instead of bashing them and regretting the life you had with them, thank them for helping you grow and better understand who you would like to be with in the future.

3. Those annoying parents that you always seem to complain about? Those people brought you into this world, and understandably, at times they might be rough around the edges, but they love you. Just remember, it could be worse. I always find myself making snarky comments to my parents, and feeling awful about it later. Life is too short to hurt the people that you love, so never take them for granted.

4. The mistakes you cannot seem to get past. Certain mistakes that you have made in the past might have brought out certain characteristics that you might dislike or like about yourself. Those mistakes have molded you into the person that you are, regardless of how much you hate the sound of that. Mistakes have to happen or else you would never grow up or mature.

5. The silly fights that always get under your skin. As annoying as it may be, a little fighting every once in a while shows that you do have feelings, and that you do care. If nobody ever fought, we would live in a world of lies. People need to disagree. People need to have differences. Because from those disagreements and differences comes resolution, and resolution rocks!

Life is far better than I, and many others, deserve. Keeping track of what I am thankful for helps me put a lot of things into perspective. Hopefully from this, you too, can reminisce on what and who you are thankful for.

23rd Random Act of Kindness

images-10

Oh dear, I am in trouble…

Sitting waiting, wondering what is taking so long I am thinking to myself. I see a doctor walking towards me in the waiting room and he says, “Laurie, will you come with me please”. Well, you know this is not going to be good news.

We go back into the examination room and two other people come in the room and I know, oh man, this is really bad. My heart starts to go a million beats a second and my whole body has this shaking that will not stop. The doctor proceeds to tell me they have found a calcified tumor in my breast that looks like cancer and I need to find a specialist as soon as possible.

My Mother was just diagnosed with stage three-breast cancer 3 months before so my sister and I thought it was a good idea to get checked. I had been many times before with no issues but this time was different. It was the look in their eyes. The look you know you are in deep trouble. The look that has tears in it. The look that feels sorry for what you about to go through. The look you never want to see.

I was walking out of the office in a daze, with my imaging, doctors note in hand and I entered the elevator and saw my OBGYN who had delivered all of my babies. He knew I had this appointment today and we had become very close over the years. We are about the same age and had children at the same time. He also knew I never took things very seriously. I had been in his office the day before and he found this lump and set up the appointment with the radiologist for the next day. He looked at me with the look that I knew he had heard already. Man, does bad news travel fast. I looked at him and just broke down. I do not cry EVER, so this was truly an event. We walked outside the building, I am just sobbing uncontrollably and we sat on a bench. I cried for about 10 minutes, and then I was done. I actually never cried again. We started to make a game plan.

 By the time I reached my car I had an appointment with the best surgeon at Georgetown University Hospital in two hours. Sometimes it is really nice to know people who can work that quickly. While driving from Bethesda to Washington DC I called my husband to fill him in but with an attitude I was fine and everything will be ok. I did not want to alarm anyone and I was truly very good in bad situations, I always have been.  Something comes over me and I just do not stop until everything is in place. If you are sick, I am your girl. I will do everything in my power to make you well.

So finally after a very long wait, this tall blonde beautiful women comes into the room and looks at me and says, “So I hear we have a problem!” Look at it this way; you will have great new boobs. I just started to laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. I knew she was the doctor for me. Her opinion of this awful tumor was no different then the other doctor, so I knew my life was going to change forever.

So the dreaded day comes and I am in this bubble gum pink robe with these wires poking out of my boobs. They had found more tumors that needed to come out. My sister Shelly came with me because I really never said how serious this was to my husband and my children. I needed this to be very understated so I could make it through. I had told very few friends and family about this and wanted to almost keep it a secret.

As Shelly and I were walking down this hospital hallway, we both started to laugh uncontrollable; you know the nervous laugh where you cannot stop. Literally, we were told to stop three times. We just could not, every time we looked at each other it just started again. I think it may have been the “I am gonna die” jokes they did not like. They come to get me and I was walked into this room where your robe comes off and you lie on this table with your arms out like a cross. My doctor says, “I hope you do not mind but I have some of my students that will be in here for the procedure”. I am fine with that until I see 15 doctors that looked 12,  whom all want to touch me. I just went with it, made friends with all of them before they put me out.

I wake up in recovery and find my sisters eyes. My doctor and nurses are looking at me saying how do you feel? I’m okay but why are all of you looking at me like that. I have very low blood pressure so I have a hard time with anesthesia and I was having some issues with coming out of it. Worried looks is all I see and to make things even worse she says it does not look good for me and we have to wait a few days for pathology. At this point, I am starting to prepare myself for the worst. My first thought is my hair, how will I look bald? Seeing a person go through chemo is no picnic and I wondered to myself, would I be a trooper like my Mother.

I am at home talking to some friends who are checking up on me, Shelly had left to go back to Boston and I am just recovering from the surgery. It was a snowy, gloomy day and I was in bed feeling a little sorry for myself. I get a phone call from my doctor and she says, “Are you sitting down”? I am thinking, oh man, here is comes, the dreaded words of, you have cancer. I could tell in her voice that she was holding back tears and that just really threw me off and I was just waiting, almost hurry up already. She starts off with, I had them run this twice just to make sure but you have just won “the lottery”. I have only seen this 3 times in my career and you are the luckiest girl. NO CANCER…

I jumped out of bed so fast it would make your head spin, yelling for my kids and husband, guess what NO CANCER. Are you sure Laurie, my husband says? Yes, I won the lottery. They are all hysterical and I am running around the house jumping for joy and just so elated I am not sure what to do next. I start to make some calls to my family and friends to let them in on the news so no one has to worry anymore. What all of them said to me was you have no idea how many people were praying for you. I would have been so mad at everyone if I had known anyone knew about my situation. They all know how fiercely private I am and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. Unbeknownst to me, I had been put on everyone’s prayer lists, that friends of friends were praying for me, Churches were praying for me, strangers praying for me. Even our children’s school was praying for me. I had know idea that the world could be so kind and people you do not even know have your back in the worst of times…

The power of prayer and my miracle. Thank you to all of you for your random act of kindness.

 

21st Random Act of Kindness

You make my world sparlke

YOU make my world a better place to live…

Do not wait, tomorrow it not guaranteed.

Today be bold and courageous and tell the people you love, that they are the sparkle in your world.

WE often do not communicate to the people we l o v e the most just what they mean to us, we figure they already know.

WE often take them for granted.

WE often lash out at them first.

WE often forget everyone needs to know they are loved, really loved.

But, most of all of, we are most silent when annoyed by these people…

It does not matter if they are your children, parents, friends, husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. These are the people that need to hear this sometimes, because they are the ones that will “have your back”, “love you the most”, and “will always be there”!

So today, spread the l o v e…

Share your sparkle…

Tell them they are special.

18th Random Act of Kindness

A whole lot of stuff…

Image 3

A Mama, Daddy, newborn, kids, Grandma and Grandpa with a whole lot of stuff.

We go to the same place everyday at the beach in Rehoboth, DE and we always sit where no one can swim. It is designated for fisherman only. It is smack dab to the entrance of the beach at the very end of the boardwalk on the North side.

We see the same thing everyday. People come and set up not realizing the kids cannot play in the water. The reason they do this is because of a rock wall you can’t see when the tide is high. A place that someone can get hurt if they do not know this. So everyday we go and tell them, “You might want to move”.

We wanted to tell them this before they set the tent, chairs, blankets, toys and just everything else that goes into a beach day with the kids. Boy, I remember those days chasing my little angels around, making sand castles and playing in the water.

Jessica walks over to tell them and she says that the Grandma and Grandpa are coming and that is why they chose this spot so close to the entrance. They were older and walking fifty feet would be hard enough.

We sat there for a little bit an watched as they looked at each other trying to decide what they should do. I could see them start to pack up as I saw the Grandparents start to come down the hill. “Come on kids” I said, “lets help”.

I know how hard it is to just get to the beach with a chair and towel with grown children that can carry their own stuff but imagine a huge tent and everything else.

We helped move them to a different spot and they helped with getting the Grandparents safely to the spot they chose.

A day of fun in the sun ends happily…