Finding one small blessing each day.

More than enough November 8, 2012

Filed under: Family,Inspiration,Kindness — hiddenblessing @ 4:59 pm
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At work lately I’ve been noticing all of these posters up for “angels” and giving trees.  I tried to be an “angel” one year for them, but my employer apparently only gives out whole lists for children as opposed to letting you buy a portion of the list.  So if a child wants pj’s, socks, cd’s, video games and tennis shoes, you either have to provide ALL or let someone else be their “angel”.  I think that’s rather silly, myself… wouldn’t some of their list be better than none?… but it’s what they’ve decided.  So I’m finding a different way to be helpful this year.


One of my favorite blogs, Momastery, has something they do every year called Holiday Hands.  This year, they have this down to a mad science!  They have a board, per se, of readers who are in need.  I read the initial requests on there this morning.  It was things like… a coat for my two year old.  A bed for my child.  Help with dental work.  Help paying off a funeral expense.  Gift cards for groceries.  And then, other readers sign up to provide these things.  It is BEAUTIFUL!  And amazing.  And what a wonderful, perfect way to help.  You can look through the requests, find one that touches your heart, and help.  Or maybe you are the one who needs some help.  You can put it out there.  It’s kind of like a Craigslist for kindness. 


Then later today, Glennon, the blog writer, posted a comment on Facebook about one woman who requested on the Helping Hands board that she needed clothes for a girl, size 2T.  And within MINUTES, something like twelve women responded that they had clothes and were going to send them.  The mom was crying – at the outpouring of love she was getting within MINUTES.  She actually turned AWAY people offering because there was more than enough.  This led to a bunch  of other moms posting in the comments that they had boy clothes size 4T if anyone wanted them, and someone saying they needed any boy clothes for ANY size under 3… and on and on and on.


It was like a giant list of friends, helping friends.  Because that’s really what life should be, isn’t it?  My Little One has gotten bigger and as he has, I’ve returned most of the items that were lovingly given to ME, and bagged up all the rest and sent them on to a younger, brand-new mom who’s just starting out.  Because I love her and she’s my friend.  And that’s what we do.  Sure, I could sell them at a second hand children’s store or a garage sale.  I could list them on Ebay and see what I get.  But really – I was a young, new mom once, who had a friend who packed up HER baby’s clothes and gave them to me… it’s all about sharing the love. 


There is more than enough to go around.  More than enough.


Love and blessings and peace to you today, my friends.


Our version of the Yaya Sisterhood September 23, 2012

Filed under: Family — hiddenblessing @ 8:25 am
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Fairies by Flo’s shots 4 me (http://www.flickr.com/photos/florencia123/)

* * * *

I am a Yaya.  A princess Yaya, that is.  And oh, how I love this little tiny bit of (pretend, but very real in my heart) royalty.

Did you ever see that movie Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood?  Here is a very brief summary:  there is a group of girls growing up in the 50’s who are best friends.  They have a secret club, as most little girls do at some point, and they name themselves the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. They sneak out late at night in their jammies, have a little bonfire, wear silly crowns and swear their loyalty to each other forever and ever.  Their friendship lasts into adulthood, and when of the Ya-Ya’s has relationship difficulties with her daughter, the remaining friends kidnap the adult daughter.  They sneak her away to the family cabin to try to get her to come to reason with her mom’s history and why she is the way she is.

That’s a terrible rendition, but it’s the core of the movie.  But here’s where it turns really fun… during the summer of 2002 after the movie came out, on some random weekend my extended family and I all sat on my grandmother’s patio talking.  Somehow the movie came up and someone decided it would be really fun if we had a Yaya weekend.  Somewhere where all the girls could get away – no husbands, no kids, and just be us for a weekend.  We would make fun drinks, get pedicures, swim, and basically just have a fun weekend together celebrating us. 

And so it was born.  On the weekend after Labor Day 2002, my aunt, mother, sister, grandmother and I gathered at my grandmother’s house.  We giggled and laughed and did no cooking.  We drank copious amounts of alcohol, swam at my great uncle’s home (he wasn’t allowed to join us except for one cocktail since we were, after all, using his pool), and waited for Saturday night.  And when Saturday night arrived, my grandmother pulled out beautiful crowns she had made for each of us.  We pulled chairs into a circle under the crabapple tree in the backyard, and we lit a bonfire.  And that’s where the real magic of Yaya began.

We had no idea, that first year, what a precious thing we were creating.  We had no idea how seriously we all would take Yaya, and how much it would grow and morph over the years.  But I will tell you this… there is nothing quite like the honesty and love and support you get from a group of women who love you.   Who have known you since you had buck teeth and skinned knees, and watched you dress up for prom.  Who kissed your newborn baby and comforted you when your marriage was falling apart.  There is very little in the world that is more beautiful than the night when one of the Yayas was seriously ill, and the other princesses drove over state lines, donned the crowns and snuck into the ICU late at night, to giggle and hug and love the sick princess.  Or the coronation of a baby Yaya, who was born much, much too early and had to become a Yaya right away. That baby Yaya is now a healthy, happy 9-year-old, and while I’m sure it very much has to do with the powers of modern medicine, there may be a little bit of Yaya magic sprinkled in there, too. 

In two weekends, the princesses and I will be coming together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Yaya.  Ten years.  It is staggering to me what has changed over those ten years.  I can’t begin to express the enormity of our losses, and the significance of our gains, in what life has dealt each of the princesses in the past ten years.

But one thing remains… we are still together.  We are still gathering to light that midnight bonfire.  To celebrate love and family and all the things that matter to each of us.

I am so honored, and blessed, to be a Yaya princess.


The green sign on the corner July 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 10:14 am
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It has been so long since I have written here I don’t even know where to start.  But it’s nice to be here anyway.  Good morning, my wonderful friends. 🙂

I have been so inspired to write lately, and sometimes I think the best way to get going is to just start SOMEWHERE.  So here I am!  This inspiration started when an old friend started a blog about her child’s challenges with Fragile X syndrome.  It’s not so much a blog as a collection of poetry and musings regarding learning to cope with this challenge life threw at her.  This led to someone else mentioning the blog Momastery, which if you haven’t read, I highly recommend as well.  The writer/mom on Momastery, Glennon, reminds me a lot of Rockstar Ronan’s mom in her style of writing.  This world is full of such amazing, wonderful, inspirational women.

Momastery’s big thing is about spreading the message that we all belong to each other.  Every single one of us.  As a part of that, we need to care for, help and love each other.  She has followers all across the U.S. who have joined her movement to just do good things for people.  I love, love, love it.   Am definitely a fan, and will definitely keep reading.  As you know, this blog is about finding the beautiful things that are all around us.  Glennon of Momastery definitely meets that criteria.  Go, mama, go!  I want to be one of these mamas who do something amazing in the world.

On my drive in to work today, I noticed a sign.  It said “FREE LUNCH.”  It looked like a garage sale sign, and was in fact mixed in with some For Sale By Owner and garage sale signs.  It caught my eye, and then the light turned and I kept driving.  The thought that flashed through my mind was “Crazy.  Someone is offering LUNCH to get people to come to their garage sale?”

I got to the next light, and saw another sign.  This one was green cardboard, and read again, “FREE LUNCH”.  So I looked a little closer.


Monday – Wednesday – Friday

12:00 – 1:00

Ages 1 – 18

And listed a school name as its location.  This stunned me.  I know children that attend this school.  I know families that live in this neighborhood; on this very street.

The message it implied honestly brought tears to my eyes.

Are there really babies in my neighborhood, in my town who don’t have any food to eat?  Are there really babies (and by the way, babies are anyone who isn’t old enough to vote) who have to go to school during the summer just so they can get something to eat?  My heart breaks just thinking about this.  Here I am, driving to work with my Tupperware container of watermelon, my travel mug of coffee, thinking about how much I’d really like a Sonic breakfast burrito, and there are children ON THIS VERY STREET that don’t have any food to eat.  These children, that my children play with.  These children that swing on the same swings at the park with my child.  These children, whose mommies and daddies work just as hard as I do, but for whatever reason, don’t have enough to eat.

I’m not quite sure what I am going to do about this.  But that green FREE LUNCH sign definitely opened my eyes.