Archive for the ‘Hazel & George’ Tag

it’s christmas eve and we are going to go celebrate being young and being alive.   Leave a comment

Since arriving home on Wednesday, I’ve attempted to watch The Holiday twice already, passing out within 30 minutes of the first scene each time.  But here I am, on the Christmas Eve morning/early afternoon attempting to watch it again, from the last spot I last remember before drifting off last night.  Third time is a charm…or at least I hope.  Honest to God I didn’t think I’d like this movie, primarily because I’m not a big Cameron Diaz fan., but with Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and a beautiful message about life and love, it’s proven to be one that I turn to quite often- especially during the holidays.  Watching this movie today, I cannot help but think about how special the holidays are.  And how much more special they are when you have kids to celebrate the holidays with. 

As I said a few days before, reading those Dear Santa letters from the Macy’s Believe campaign, these Kids Make Me Want to Believe Again.  In Everything.  Believe that Anything is Possible if you Just Believe.

As we prepare our house for tomorrow’s guests, our holiday tradition with members of both my mom’s and dad’s families, I sit here wishing that we’d be graced with the presence of the Real Joys of Christmas: Children.

Much to our dismay, all of the young children in our family (my older cousins’ kids) will not be spending the holiday with us here in Pittsburgh.  But I promise you that as we sit around the dinner table tomorrow, the same conversation will occur, directed at my cousins and me: So are you dating anyone?  (No.)  I cannot believe you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend. (Response is typically a simple, let’s change the subject- smile or a witty one liner , which today’s tends to be “Oh that poor boy. whoever he is, is going to have to put up with this hot mess!”) And, as has been common lately after a conversation about my passion for volunteering with my children’s organizations, I’m sure this unheard line will find its way to my ears: “You’re going to make a great mother.”  If that line is spoken to me, no matter how far away my mother ends up being at the time, I’m sure she’ll hear it and I may catch a glimpse of her hopefulness as she wishes that one day her daughter would finally meet a good guy and respond differently than, “I’m not sure if I’ll even have kids of my own.  I don’t even think I’ll ever get married.” 

But that’s not the point of this post…and instead I want to tell you about some children that I will be spending the holiday with, at least in spirit. 

First, you know about my little angels, Hazel & George, who are the children of my friends, Rebecca & Nate.  I would give anything to spend this Christmas with them.  Take in their Excitement, Joy, and Beautiful Innocence.  See their Smiles and Hear their Laughter.  Just knowing them is the Best Christmas Present I could ever receive.  If I do have kids of my own, one day, I know that it will be because of the impact that Hazel & George made on me. 

And then there’s little Ethan & Liam (photo on the right), my two Wish Kids that we’ll hopefully be sending to Disney World in 2011.  Liam’s as precious as they come: From His Tiny Little Voice, His Bright Big Boy Smile, and His Contagious Laugh that Makes You Want to Laugh.  He is a Gift from God.  And Inspiration to Me.  The Reason I continue to Believe that Good Things can happen if You Fight & Believe.

On Monday, I am excited to spend some time with two more special kids, through accepting an invitation from my friend, Nila, to send-off Wish Kid, Ivy, her sister, Ayla, and her father and uncle on this trip to Disney World.  Not only are Ivy & Ayla completely deserving of some spoiling and good cheer, but I feel blessed to have the support of my friends, Kristin, Stef, and Jen, who will be joining Nila and me at the Columbus Airport for this special occasion. Looking at photos of Ivy & Ayla makes me Appreciate the Chance that I have to Make this Holiday a bit Brighter for these little girls. 

And this week, my mom brought another special girl, Matisse, and her family Into my Life.  Into my World.  Ten-year old, Matisse, is not only spending Christmas in the hospital but also her birthday (which is on Christmas day).  Matisse and her family are from New Zealand and relocated to Pittsburgh four years ago to undergo a stomach, duodenum, pancreas, small and large bowel transplant.  Her strength and determination are inspiring.  Her family’s love & support are admirable and serve as a Reminder to How We Should All Love & Support Our Family. 

Before signing off, may I ask you for a favor?  Unfortuantely, Matisse and her family with be celebrating Christmas & her 1oth birthday in the hospital and as you can imagine, it’s not exactly their choice of destinations.  However, we can all help make it better for them.  Matisse LOVES getting e-cards from her family, friends, and all Well Wishers across the world.  Her goal is to receive a card from someone in every state.  Well, knowing that I have some international followers, as well, on this blog, I thought that we could help Matisse reach her goal and more. 

Please visit www.chp.edu/CHP/ecards  and send “Matisse Reid” a Happy Holiday card or Happy Birthday card.  By doing this, you will truly make Matisse’s Christmas & Birthday a whole lot merrier and joyful.  And Your Own Too, knowing that you brightened the day of a little girl.

So tonight, Christmas Eve, as you sit staring at the cracklin’ fireplace in your parents’ house and reimagine the plate of cookies, milk, and carrots that you used to lay out for Santa & his reindeer, wondering why did I ever believe in such a thing, Remember the Kids who Still Believe.  And if you don’t have any kids in your life- your own, friends’ kids, nieces & nephews, grandchildren, students, and/or patients- I encourage you to Think of Mine: Hazel, George, Ethan, Liam, Ivy, Ayla, Matisse, and all of the Wish Kids and Kids in the Hospital that I’m Wishing I could Spend Christmas with.

Happy Holidays! 

Matisse’s Blog: www.caringbridge.org/visit/matissereid

Liam’s Blog: www.liamsgang.com

a moment for myself   3 comments

I wasn’t going to write about my volunteer experience last night, but finding myself with anxiety and exhaustion today I think it’s for the best.  I began my Tuesday night with a visit with my Wish Kid, Liam, and his parents, as they’re back in the hospital for his second Stem Cell Transplant.  After enjoying their company and Liam’s adorableness, I ran downstairs to change into my volunteer jacket for my shift.  As I entered my first hospital room, I found myself missing Hazel & George even more.  Actually, spending a week with them really helped me in my volunteer role as I’m more aware and comfortable around the Infant- 3 year old age group now. 

I spent the majority of my shift with two infant girls, providing them with a little TLC before their bedtime.  With my second patient, whose condition I will not disclose but can say that it’s caused her to lose her sight, I sat in the chair and rocked her to sleep as I found myself engaged in a great conversation with her nurse- again making me realize how passionate I am for this line of work. 

When the nurse left to check on another patient, I found myself lost in a little daydream.  Holding the little one, I imagined what it would be like to be holding my own child.  My empathy for the parents who have children in the hospital sky-rocketed.  After spending time with Rebecca and the kids last week, my perspective has grown as I realize exactly what it’s like to truly love another unconditionally.  They gave me a gift that I’m going to give back to further my work with many kids & families for years to come, so thank you.

A few people near-and-dear to my heart have shared their concern for my constant travel and go-go-go lifestyle, that has really been the definition of this year.  I’ve reassured them all that I’m fine and that things will slow down soon.  Maybe.  Don’t tell them, or do, but today I actually felt the repercussions of the go-go-go as the exhaustion set in as I began packing my suitcase for my trip to Columbus tomorrow night.  But even with that momentary revelation, I know I won’t stop.  Slow down, maybe, but I won’t stop.  Because the truth is that the traveling to visit friends, the volunteering, and the little care packages are what I do to make me happy.  Making others happy makes me happy and therefore, I won’t stop.  I just can’t. 

I’m just going to share this quote with you that I heard by Portia de Rossi today, in speaking about the impact that her wife, Ellen Degeneres, has had on her.  I promise that I’ll be sharing this again, but for now I want to let her words leave a mark on your heart as they did on mine:

‎”I used to think that the way to be strong, was to be tough. I used to think that to be independent, was to not need anyone. But she’s taught me that the more vulnerable you and the softer you are, and the more you allow more people into your life and into your heart, the happier you are and the more valuable you are to other people.” ~Portia de Rossi

oh darling, don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little. oh darling, don’t you every grow up, it could stay this simple. i won’t let nobody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart, and no one will desert you. just try to never grow up.   Leave a comment

George and Hazel.  Hazel and George.  These are the two precious faces that I woke up to every morning last week, and these are the faces that I wished to be woken up my this morning- however, no such luck.  I’m back in Chicago, waking up in my little 1-bedroom apartment, with thoughts of Hazel & George dancing through my head.  I never thought I’d say this, but I just want to go back to Cincinnati.  (Sorry Pittsburgh.  At least it’s not Cleveland.  See, I know where I come from- sorta.)

Before I express my unconditional love for these two darlings and their parents, I have to begin by declaring that, before last week, I really didn’t think I’d ever have kids of my own (nor adopt).  For most of my life, I’ve never given marriage nor kids a second thought, even those I love love love kids and am relatively good with them.  Okay, I’m pretty great with them.  Anyways, for some reason, I just not thought that it was for me.  There’s really no explanation why this thought first entered my mind nor why it’s remained there so long.  But being bombarded by love and adorableness in the form of a 2-year old (Hazel) and an 8-month old (George), I, Kristen Medica, admit that I’m not sure if I can imagine not having kids now…one day.  Yes, I said it and only time will tell (que sera, sera) but a text from my friend, Matt (MT), confirmed my notion again:  It would be a shame if u never had kids. You will make an incredible mother.  Mr. Thompson, I actually agree with you on this one.  Again, que sera, sera, but after being with Hazel and George for a week I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had a change of heart.  They’ve changed my heart.

When I first met Hazel 1 1/2 years ago, it was truly love at first sight.  She was the first baby I’d really been around since my cousin, Ryan, about 11-12 years ago.  So yes, I was a  little out of my comfort zone.  But looking at little Hazel and having her look at me with her big brown eyes, I knew I was in trouble.  From that moment on, this little girl could do no wrong in my eyes.  Her smile lit up more than the entire room.  It lit up my entire heart.

(Hazel, our little photographer, took this picture of her baby brother.)  And now there’s Georgie too.  When I first met him last April he was only a few weeks old and in September he wasn’t too active yet.  But now he’s crawling and his cuteness radiates through his irresistible smile.  Watch out, future OU ladies!  This boy will be a heartbreaker.  He’s already captured my heart.  George, you little cougar bait. 

Enough of this, let’s get to the good parts.  I had so much fun with these two and their mom, Rebecca, last week.  After our Trick-o-Treat adventures, we settled into their traditional weekday schedule.  Unfortunately the kids stayed at their sister’s during the work hours, only providing me with Hazel & George time for a little bit before they left in the morning and a couple of hours when they got back.  It’s wasn’t enough!  I found myself like a puppy waiting for my “owners” to come home and play with me.   And play they most certainly did. 

Every moment with Hazel and George, I found myself perfectly content and lost in the enjoyment of their company.  There was nowhere else I wanted to be but there with them.  How often do we find ourselves in moments like that?  In our fast-paced world of endless possibilities we always think about what else we could be doing.  We check our cell phones and Facebook just in case so we don’t miss anything.  I do it too.  But last week, when I was with these kids, I didn’t even know where my cell phone was.  Nor did I careless who was ‘in a relationship’ with whom via stalker net Facebook.  Instead, I spent my evenings smiling and laughing as I took part in games of hide-and-go-seek; dinnertime picnics; finger painting; swim lessons; watching Elmo on ‘the little screen’ (my former computer); playing naptime-and-cockadoodledoodle (long story); and my favorite, cuddling on the couch watching Beaver Beaver (aka Leave it to Beaver). 

As the week passed, day-by-day, I found myself getting upset about leaving.  When Friday morning finally arrived, it was truly bittersweet.  But the show must go on.  Taking the day off from work left me with a full day of playtime with my BFF, Hazel.  In our PJs, we drove Rebecca (mommy) to work and then took George to the sitter.  We played games on the way back to Casa di Hazel before having a breakfast picnic with (another DVD watch party of ) Elmo.  We got ourselves ready, with me mistakenly giving Hazel my camera (note her photo of me here), and we loaded ourselves – and my bags :(- into the car.  With Hazel insisting on taking photos in the backseat, I programmed “Starbucks” into the GPS. 

Just our luck, the Starbucks happened to be in a Target.  If this Starbucks in a Target would have been in Athens…well, I think only one word would have explained it: PRICELESS.  Note: If you haven’t fallen in love with Hazel yet, you are going to in a few seconds.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

Let me backtrack a bit and say that earlier in the week, I happened to inform Hazel that Adriana was sad.  In her 2-year old Why-stage, she appropriately asked, “Why?”  I let her now that Pat’s mommy is sick, which led her to ask, “Is Pat sad too?”  (Enter adorableness.)  “How can I make them happy?”  I love this little girl so much!  All week she kept asking what she could do to make Adriana & Pat happy.  First we painted and colored for them, but it was my brilliant idea in the Starbucks in Target where I decided to let Little Miss Happy-Maker pick out gifts to make Adriana and Pat happy. 

With our Starbucks coffee and OJ in hand, we headed to the $1 bin where Hazel picked up colorful spoons and clips, asking me, “Will this make them happy?” after each.  She then decided that gummy bears will definitely make them happy and clutched them proudly in her tiny hands.  I informed her that Adriana loves Hello Kitty (like Hazel) and so we headed to find some HK-happiness.  Our search eventually led us to the toy section where Hazel chose squishy balls- orange for Pat, pink for Adriana- and then allowed her to pick out cards for each of them- one with two cats on the front for Pat, a purple “this is such a pretty one” for Adriana.  Again, I love this little lady.  After paying for our happiness treats, we giggled our way to the car, past two men putting up Christmas decorations, and got back in the car.  Unknowingly, I let Hazel use markers to colored Pat’s and Adriana’s cards on our way to the Children’s Museum.

After a little detour and a nap (for Hazel), we found our way to the museum.  “Are you reeeaaddyy?”, I asked Hazel.  “YES!”, she exclaimed.  “Are you reeeaaddyy?”, she asked me.  And away we went.  We played for a few hours, took photos in the photo booth, and then grabbed lunch before heading to pick up Rebecca at work.  Before leaving the museum, a woman came up and complimented me on Hazel’s proper behavior.  In thanking her and pointing out that she was my friend’s daughter, I found myself with such pride- as though she was my daughter.  I would be honored to have a daughter as precious as her.  Her kindness is innate and truly a result of the love & care that her family shows her.

After picking up Rebecca and Georgie, we opted to spent the last few hours together at Graeter’s and then the pet store.  Best idea ever.  These precious moments made me realize just how special these children are and how blessed I am to have them in my life. 

It was so difficult to say goodbye to them when the time came.  Especially little Hazel.  After spending the entire day with her, I didn’t want to leave her now.  I wanted to go on Starbucks and Target runs with her all the time.  I wanted to let her pick out happy gifts when all of my friends needed them.  I wanted to sit with her in my lap every night and watch Beaver Beaver before bedtime.  I wanted to be there to protect her from all the sadness and anger in the world, and to make sure she was always happy. 

I just got off the phone with my brother and he asked me point-blank: “So (after last week) are you going to give your parents grandkids or not?”  I think he was surprised by my “Yes” response, yet very relieved since he doesn’t plan on being the one in our family to do so.  I think it’s fair to say that if  that does happen and I become a mother one day, my parents, my brother, (my husband/boyfriend/whatever), and me will have to appropriately thank the entire Littleton Family: Nate, Rebecca, Hazel, and George.  I love you all! 

After telling my brother all about my week at Casa di Hazel & George, I found myself rambling as I tried to explain how it made me feel.  While some words relayed my point, I again found it difficult to convey the impact that last week had on me.  Do you ever feel that way?  Like something is so special, so meaningful that you will truly be the only one who understands?  Anyways, I did find a few words to express how I feel about little Miss Hazel and my brother was the lucky one who got to hear them:

“I just want her to be happy.  Really happy.  Always happy.  Her life doesn’t have to be perfect, but I want her journey to be pain-free.  I don’t want her to ever question where she belongs or if she’s loved.  I don’t want her to deal with bitchy girls or have her heart broken.  I want more for her than I want for myself.  I want her to always be confident about who she is and go after everything that she wants.”

  

Song of the Moment: Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift

“life is hard, and so is love, child, believe in all these things”   2 comments

Greetings from Cincinnati, Ohio!  Somehow I woke up on time on Sunday morning to catch my 7 am Megabus for a week of playdates with Rebecca and her beautiful children, Hazel (2 years) and George (8 months).  Many are joking that this week will decide my fate: To be a mom (someday) or not to become a mom?  Even Mamasita Rebecca thinks that this may be the best birth control for me; however, I really am believing that the opposite is going to happen.  Yes, my blog friends.  These kids are too adorable and therefore my baby/kid temperature is (slowly) rising.  Very slowly, but it’s definitely rising.

(Left Photo: Sarah and Me, as Cookie Monster and Elmo, embarking on our Halloween Adventures in Chicago.  Right Photo: Trick-o-Treating with my lovely little butterfly, Hazel) 

While my last short post on early Sunday morning briefly mentioned the events that I witnessed on Saturday night, I’m going to forgo indulging you with those details (at least for now) and only show you the lovely Elmo costume that was corrupted by such shenanigans.  Thank God Elmo isn’t as innocent as she used to be otherwise she may have definitely been scarred for life.  Okay, just let me say this: If you dress like a slut on Halloween, it doesn’t mean you have to be a slut. 

Instead let’s talk about my real Halloween with the still-innoncent, lovely little butterfly, Hazel.  Trick-o-Treating around Rebecca & Nate’s neighborhood with Hazel and George (for a little while) definitely reminded me of my past Halloween in “The Indian Plan” back in Hampton.  However, I have to say that this one with Hazel trumped any of those.  I know I’m very, very biased, but this little girl is so adorable.  So beautiful.  Her smile makes me smile.  Her giggle makes me giggle.  When she made up her own tune of, “Butterfly, Butterfly” and “Doggie, Doggie” (for George), I couldn’t help but sing it with her… in my Elmo costume.  I’d probably do anything for that little girl; and give up anything so her heart remains pure, innocent, unscathed, and happy.  Spoken like a true mother. 

After recovering from trick-o-treating and getting George into bed, Rebecca and I relaxed with Hazel on the couch before her bedtime.  Amidst Elmo’s Potty Time DVD, Rebecca and I found ourselves reminiscing about our infamous OU days.  We found ourselves updating one another on Brandon, Libby, Phill & Brent (who are now best friends), Joe, Sleepy Sean, a certain ex-boyfriend of Rebecca’s who shall remain nameless, and several others.  As always we recalled that first year in Dougan and how we wish we knew then what we know now, imagining all the things that we would have done different.  Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda.

As Rebecca recalled some of her favorite memories, I looked at Hazel sitting in her lap.  Instead of commenting or sharing memories of my own, I asked her, “Did we ever once think that ‘one day we’re going to grow-up and move to new cities, get married, and have kids’?  The mother holding Hazel replied, “Absolutely not!” 

How could we have known what life outside of Athens was going to hold for us?  Gosh, my anxiety-ridden mind at the age of 22 1/2 didn’t even think that life could exist without Athens.  But look at us now, especially Rebecca: A mother of two and a wife.  I’m so proud of her.  I look at Hazel & Rebecca and ironically I don’t think of my own mother.  I think it may make sense of me to given the fact that I don’t have my own daughter,  but I really didn’t.  Instead I think of myself, wondering when I stopped really believing in fairy tales, wishes, dreams, and happily ever after.  When did I stop believing in magic, in miracles?  When did I start realizing that the world is unfortunately filled with more bad guys than good ones?  When did I stop believing that I would one day find love?  Am I ever going to believe again?  Or better yet, will I ever find it?

I look at Hazel and I want her to always believe that all of these things exist.  Heck, I want to believe in all of them again too.  I was to believe that real-life fairy tales happen in a coffee shop, or a college bar.  I want to believe that wishes and dreams really do lead to happily ever afters.  That magic isn’t just an illusion and miracles do come true if you just believe.  I want to remember that there are definitely good people out there- more than bad- and sometimes it just takes awhile to find them.  As for love…well, I’m not much of an expert but I’ve come across it a few times and itreally does exist.  Again, just be patient. 

Dear Hazel~ I wish I could tell you that life is easy.  I wish I could say that you’ll never be sad, never be hurt; however, the truth is that even big girls get boo-boos and cry tears.  I wish I could guarantee that you’d find the love of your life when you were a teenager and that he’d be yours forever.  Maybe that will happen for you, but if it doesn’t then promise me that you’ll never stop believing in love.  It exists and you’ll find it.  I know you will.  Butterfly, Butterfly, always put your worries aside, dream bigger, and spread your wings and fly. 

Song of the Moment: Fireflies by Faith Hill

you think you’re lost, but you’re not lost. you’re not alone.   Leave a comment

Yesterday was a very long day.  The alarm went off at 4 am and I think finally shut my bedroom light off around midnight.  Those hours may or may not paint a clear-enough picture, but like I said, “It was a very long day.”  Both a good day and maybe a bad day (at parts); a fun day and an emotionally-draining day.  It was just another day, but it also proved to be much, much more than just another day.

After trekking to the suburbs for a work day at my supervisor’s house, I enjoyed a dinner out with her and her two teenage daughters.  While spending time with them I recalled my teenage years and how awful complicated tricky (?) they were, making me want to let them know that I’m happy to be a supportive confidante in their life.  Like Alisha, I now feel like an older sister to Laura & Liz, and I want all three of them to always know that they can count on me.  They never have to feel alone.  I want all of my friends to know this.  Sure the teenage years are tricky/complicated/awful but so are the years that follow.  None of you are ever alone.  I’m always here for you.  And yesterday, I realized (again) that I’m not alone either. 

(Thank you, Adriana and Stef.)

On the train ride back to Union Station, my tired mind decided to do something that led to finding something out.   (Yes, I’m going to be very vague here.  Sorry.)  Something I’ve claimed I wanted to know for while, but last night proved that instead it was something that I needed to know.  It’s okay.  I’m okay.  But I will definitely say that my already-broked heart shattered into a million pieces in a milisecond, as I sat on the train- alone- feeling absolutely nothing at all.  No real sadness nor anger…at least not for awhile.  I curled my legs into my core and wrapped my arms around my knees just to feel something.  I needed to feel something.  Once I finally began to feel something, the sadness, the anger, the foolishness, and the confusion began to set in.  While I wanted to be alone with my thoughts and feelings, I knew I’m blessed to have many someones to rely on during moments like this.  So instead of allowing myself to be alone, which is typical ‘me’, my fingers texted Adriana.  I’m glad they let her be there for me.  I’m glad I have her to count on.

After getting off the train and waiting for the bus, I figured it was best to head home and call it an early night.  It was (only) 8 pm, but with the upcoming night and next week’s trip to Cinci I thought it was best.  So I attempted to cancel my coffee/tea date at Starbucks with Stef, but immediately upon hearing her voice on the other line I realized that it was best for both of us that we still met.  She needed me and I needed her.  After all, that’s what friends are for.  Stef and I indulged in our ‘bucks and always-wonderful conversations about work, life choices, boys, and soul-searching, learning more how comforting it is to have someone else who understands you. 

I only wish I learned this sooner, but then again I know that it’s the friends I have now that were the best teachers to help me through this lesson. 

I thought I’d be a bit of a wreck after Stef left, thinking too much about what happened earlier in the evening; however, our  talk and my tiredness soothed my mind enough to allow me to pass out as soon as my head hit the pillow.  But this morning proved to be a different story as I woke up with my lovely ‘friend’ Anxiety on top of head.  I kept going back to sleep for increments of 15-30 minutes, before finally waking up at 9 am.  With packing & cleaning for my week in Cinci with Rebecca, Hazel, and George ahead of me, I’ve been in a panic all day as I try to get everything done AND deal with Anxiety’s troubling thoughts before heading out for my Halloween night adventures with Sarah, Jenny, and Nicole.  Halloween: The perfect day to put on a costume and cover-up all your worries. 

How do I feel today?  Confused and foolish.  But I could make it a lot worse by sitting here with my worries and regrets, wondering ‘what if’, and feeling alone.  Do I want to do that?  Yes Maybe A little bit.  But that really isn’tme and if I’ve learned anything since moving here 2 years ago, it’s that I’m not alone and so I should never let myself feel that way (on purpose).  Instead I’ll put on my red shoes and a “sassy” (not-at-all slutty) Elmo costume and have a night out with Cookie Monster, Cupid, and Snookie (Sarah, Jenny, and Nicole respectively) for an unplanned, eventful night in Chi-town.  And tomorrow morning, bright-and-early, I will throw my Elmo costume in my suitcase and head out for a Megabus ride to Cinci to see all of my kids- including Hazel & George- reminding me ago that I’m definitely not alone.

Yesterday’s discovery is definitely going to hurt for awhile, but I with tonight’s adventure with the ladies, next week in Cinci with the Littletons and Adriana, and my upcoming trip to Columbus with Stef, my brother, and a bunch of Ohio friends, I know I’m going to be okay.  I may feel a bit lost right now, but there’s nothing better being in the company of people that you love and love you back.  

Have a great night, everyone.  My mom ‘believes’ that I’m going to meet the love of my life tonight, but I digress.  Rather me, maybe you will.  And if you do, I’ll give you her advice: “Don’t push him away” even if he is wearing a toolish and/or foolish costume.  It’s underneath the costume that matters.  His heart.

 

Song of the Moment: I Won’t Let Go by Rascal Flatts  (Thanks Stef!)

if i follow my heart, where will it lead me?   2 comments

It took me awhile to fall asleep last night, and as Darlene and I say, “Those damn squirrels and bats were running around in my head.”  So many things and nothing at all contributed to the many ideas that ran through my mind, keeping me from getting the much-needed rest for a back-to-work MOAN-Day. 

Somehow I fell asleep…and then woke up…fell asleep again…rinse, lather, repeat.  I woke up again and again last night, and each time I had the same squirrel in my head encouraging me to think: What am I really doing?  I woke up to my 5:30 am alarm and that thought was still there.  It walked with me to the train station and rode the train with me up to Skokie.  Come to think of it, it even accompanied me as I drank my Starbucks.  But it was during that cup of coffee that I realized that I may not know what I’m doing…but I know what I want to do. 

As I said in my last post, this weekend really made an impact on me and clarified a lot for me.  And thinking about Hazel & George only makes those feelings stronger.  Working with kids in the Child Life/hospital environment is what I want to do.  It what I truly believe I am meant to do.  So today I took a chance and followed my heart– in more ways than one.  Where it will take me, I haven’t a clue but I know that I’m better taking this chance than always wondering what if.   

I’m not a selfish person.  I couldn’t be if I tried.  But today I put myself first and thought about everything that is important to me.  What do I really want?  How do I want my life to unfold?  Who do I want to be?  WHO AM I?  Today I answered those four questions by taking a chance on something that wasn’t even a possibility in my tossing-and-turning sleepless hours. 

The beauty of life: You never know what tomorrow holds, and therefore, you must follow your ♥.  

Song of the Moment: Taking Chances by Glee Cast

we live in a world full of beauty. sometimes it stares you directly in the face and other times it is not so easy to find.   2 comments

The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within- strength, courage, dignity. ~Ruby Dee

I’ve been flirting with the idea of writing my next post for the past two days but kept decided against it until the I knew the time was right because the concepts in which I choose to write about are of great importance to me.  I hope that I can conquer my weary mind and express my inner thoughts to inspire the way in which I’ve been inspired these last few days.  Where do I begin?  First, let me say that a puppy is not accompanying me as I write this post.  After soul-searching a bit on Thursday night- before and after my call with Joe- I woke up on Friday morning with the overwhelming notion that now is not the right time to adopt.  The truth is that I have too much traveling and work/volunteer commitments these next few months to take on this new responsibility.  Plus, I think it’s better for me to play with my (human) best friends instead of one that barks and needs potty-trained.  One day though, hopefully in the new year, I’ll be ready to bring one home.

After making my decision, I spent the majority of my Friday multi-tasking as I worked from my apartment and listened to the Eric & Kathy 36-Hour Radiothon at Children’s Memorial HospitalTalk about inspiration!  The radio broadcast was filled with stories about children who were/are patients at the hospital, sharing the strong-will and courage of these admirable kids, as well as their families, friends, doctors, nurses, etc.  They are so resilient.  They are filled with hope, full of belief.  They are fighters.  True SUPERHEROES!

Some of the tears were shed in sorrow for the children that lost their lives, as well as in sympathy for their families.  However tears were also shed in admiration as I felt as inspired as ever to pursue my calling in the Child Life profession and continue serving as a volunteer for the hospital and Foundation. 

Yesterday I spent my morning representing Make-A-Wish at the CureSearch Walk on the Great Lawn at Soldier Field.  Not even the rain & cooler weather could keep the participants & volunteers from participating in the event for such a worthy cause.  I really enjoyed interacting with the kids and families- (fake) tattooing them up and doing arts & crafts- and left feeling even more inspired to find my path in the Child Life field.  At the Walk, the kids & their families reminded me that beauty also shines in unfortunate circumstances- like illness and death- and therefore, it’s important to always keep in mind just how precious life is.  I, for one, am guilty for getting caught up in the stress & anxiety of our world today, but being in this environment allows me to refocus my priorities and fight to see more beauty. 

Today I’m also reminded of the beauty of friendship.  Back in my hometown of Pittsburgh, high school friends are gathered together to support another (an Ovarian Cancer survivor) at the Walk to Break the Silence event today.  Not only is Kelly (the survivor) an inspiration to us all, but her friends & family are too for showing their love & continued support. 

I’ve found myself looking at this picture of Hazel & me a lot this past week, and now it’s even in a beautiful frame in my bedroom.  (Thanks Stef!)  Hazel and her little brother, George, are the two main reasons I remain dedicated and focused on the Child Life profession.  This happy, healthy, beautiful little girl makes me smile each time I think of her.  I want more for her than I want for myself.

In this photo with Hazel I am reminded of so much with respect to the beauty of my own life: My Journey.  I look at Hazel and think of her mother, Rebecca, who was one of the first friends of the nineteen year old that left her hometown in Pittsburgh, PA for an adventure at Ohio University (gasp) 7 years ago- which reminds me of the girl who grew up in Hampton Township and dreamed of what her life may aspire to be. 

Life really is a beautiful journey.  It’s not flawless nor as smooth as we’d like it to be, but there really is so much beauty that we sometimes fail to see during but it’s a blessing when we can look back and acknowledge what was surrounding us all along.  That’s where I am today.  I write, sitting here acknowledging all of the beauty that I have been fortunate to have in my life.  Sure I sit here wishing that some things were different and full of a few what ifs…but I refuse to ignore all of the blessings that the little girl from Hampton was given.  I just hope that Hazel realizes the beauty of life long before I did. 

It’s there, Hazel.  I promise you.  Sometimes you may have to clear your weary eyes to see it, but the beauty is always there.