Saturday, July 31, 2010

400 Followers Giveaway

To celebrate 400 followers I am doing my first giveaway. This blog has been such an amazing outlet for me. Journaling here has given me way more gifts and opportunities than I ever imagined. The blog is the #1 way that I have been able to spread the word about PFM. The ALI community and its never ending support has done wonders for PFM's rapid growth.



Don't know what PFM is? Click here. And peruse the blog!





One winner will receive an Envirosax Eco-Friendly bag. Botanica.



and very cute Key Kaps. (check out the link)




Plus a set of PFM black and white drawings on stationery notecards.




Here's my try at a giveaway.




Rules:


1. Become a follower and leave a comment. If you already follow, then leave that in the comments.


2. Blog about the giveaway. (you can enter if you do not have a blog)


3. Tweet or face.book the giveaway.


4. Leave a comment that you did all of these things and the link to your post and tweet (if you tweeted)





Giveaway is open until Wednesday, August 4 at 5pm.

I will announce the winner by Thursday, August 5, 2010.

By participiating in this giveaway you not only have a chance to win some cute items, but you are helping to network for the non-profit.



http://www.parenthoodforme.org/

Friday, July 30, 2010

Photo Friday- Play

My parents cottage in the 1000 Islands is where we go to relax and play. My parents also bought 250 acres of land about 10 minutes away. They call it the farm. My father has purchased many "toys" such as ATV's, snowmobiles, and his prized tractor. Min man loves anything on wheels. So last summer when he got to ride Papa's tractor, he was thrilld. I cannot believe how big he has gotten compared to last year. His Grandpa also has a tractor on his farm about an hour from where we live. Papa's tractor is green and Grandpa's tractor is blue.I keep telling him what a lucky boy he is to be able to play with all his grandparents toys!









Me riding the dirt bike.

View from a boat ride.

The sunsets are all picturesque.


Visit Calliope at Creating Motherhood for more of Photo Friday.
*If you like my blog, please become my 400th follower!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quotable Quotidian- 7.29.10



Align Center

The "Quotable Quotidian" can be words of wisdom, famous quotes, not-so-famous quotes, lines of poetry, a line from a favorite song, etc. It can be your own insight and creativity or that of another; give credit where credit is due. If you read something or hear something and feel inspired, share it here.If you participate, please put a link on your post to return here so everyone can see your words of wisdom, have a laugh or be inspired.
There is a button on my side bar to add to your post.

"We come to love not by finding the perfect person but by learning to
see an imperfect person perfectly."

-Sam Keen



"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's In Your Belly?

My best friend, K is pregnant due in October. She was in town last week and had us over for dinner with another couple who is also expecting in October. This was a good night for my challenge to stay away from alcoholic beverages for awhile. A couple of years ago in this situation I would have chugged a bottle of wine due to the fact that I can't get pregnant.

Eventually Min man asked Aunt K, "What's in your belly?" Aunt K always has a tiny waist so he must have noticed a change. Aunt K told him a baby was in her belly. This was the first time Min man learned that babies can be in bellies. He had a lot of questions about why it was in there, where it was, would it come out. Does it hurt?

He was so intuitive about the baby growing in the belly and how it was going to come out of Aunt K. Does it come out your eye? You have to push? I couldn't believe he came up with that on his own. This conversation will spark many others when Min man sees pregnant women. I am also pretty scared about him asking heavy women and men if they have a baby in their belly. I'm sure it will happen. I'm already formulating a response to that question/statement hoping to save face.

Today Min man asked me if I have a baby in my belly. I told him, "No, it's just a belly." This conversation did not make me sad however. I am now in great anticipation of him slowly putting the pieces together of babies growing in bellies and that he grew in a belly too. As he gets older the story will become more detailed and pertain more to him and how he arrived in this world.

Tonight at bedtime I told Min man a story of a little baby who was born far, far away and lived with a woman named Mrs. A. She loved him and took care of him and made sure he was happy. Then one day a mommy and daddy found out that this baby was to come live with them forever. They waited and waited until finally the baby was able to go to the mommy and daddy's house to be a family. He said, "It's me. I the baby. It's Min man."

I should not be shocked at anything he says at this point, but I was. It could have just been a guess or his little brain understood that I was speaking about him and how came home to live with mommy, daddy and Lucy. And how we became a family.

When the time comes to answer some difficult questions about Min man's adoption and birth mother, I hope I get it right. I think I will. I feel like he is extremely bright and such a sensitive little boy that he will understand. By getting it right I hope that he always knows just how much we love him and cherish the fact that he became our son.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday- 90 Years

This past weekend we had a 90th birthday celebration for my Nana.
The family came into town and we had a wonderful time. Last week I sat down with Nana and asked her many questions about her childhood. I had been meaning to do this for so long. I plan on spending more time with her trying to understand more about her life. What a treasure to have her in my life at 32. Nana is very inspirational. She has a lot of gusto and lives life to the fullest. Still driving she is very involved socially, playing in 3 bridge clubs and attending luncheons all the time. She has her own house and loves redecorating and entertaining.
After many years of trying to conceive I am so grateful that Nana knows Min man. She was there through the struggle and is now present for all the gifts he has given to us as a family.
Nana and my mother.




For more Perfect Moments visit Weebles Wobblog.
Also, please visit Christa at Fearlessly Infertile for her birthday celebration giveaway!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Awarding Our First Grants


Parenthood for Me received over 60 completed applications on our first attempt at awarding grants. The applications poured in from all over the country: Iowa, Minnesota, California, Georgia, Arizona just to name a few. There was a dedicated committee to reviewing all the applications and narrowing down the selection for the entire board of directors to place their vote.


I was not a part of the review committee. But I was told that all the applications which included a personal statement were touching and in many cases heart breaking. I understand firsthand the hardships of wanting to be a parent. In some cases there were families trying to having more than one child.


There was a delay in PFM notifying the grantees because the process of choosing was overwhelming. There was a quantified scale rating process for each application and several people reviewed the same application.


If we all had our way, everyone would receive financial help. We want to help everyone.


We are able to help 4 couples from all over the U.S. awarding a total of $12,000. The grants will go towards adoption and assisted reproductive technology.


The Chairman of the Board, Chuck had the pleasure of notifying the recipients. He claimed it was one of the most rewarding experiences of his life.
For all those applicants who did not receive a grant, thank you for taking the time to put together the application. You will be receiving a letter in the mail from the Chairman.


Reaching this milestone as a young non-profit has made all of the hours of work more than worthwhile. Knowing that we are able to help people fulfill their dreams of parenthood breathes new life into me and reinforces my drive to get out there and raise more money.


PFM is in the process of formulating ways that you can help us raise money from your corner of the country. We can assist you in organizing a bake sale, yard sale, a walk or run, or car wash. Please leave a comment if you are interest in organizing a fundraiser in your hometown.


Thank you to everyone who has supported us either by spreading the word of our cause and/or donating to our endowment.


If you or someone you know is considering donating to charity this year, please consider visiting our website to make a donation. No amount is too small.




We are unsure of when we will be accepting applications again. We have fundraisers coming up which will determine when we will be able to award more grants. At this time the prediction is spring 2011. The goal is to award grants 2 times a year. I hope we can get to that point within the next 2 years.
Thank you to all of the board members. We are an all volunteer organization.
Board of Directors:
Erica Schlaefer- President/Founder
Charles Montante- Chairman of the Board
Kevin Mulcahy- Vice President
Rob Spatola, CPA- Treasurer
Elaine Pelissier- Secretary
Sally Bacchetta
Mark Gunther, Esquire
Melissa Mulcahy
Nancy Koris
Abbey Naples
Jerry Furciniti
Heather Smith
Christina Westmiller


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Remarkable Life

Last night I watched the episode of Deadliest Catch where Captain Phil Harris passed away. Even though I am not a huge fan of reality TV shows this one is different. We have seen these men and their colleagues/comrades and family member toil over one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs. The Captains of the boats have worked very hard their entire lives dedicating their energies and passion to the sea and fishing. The dedication of these men and their families (wives and children who are back at home) is commendable. Sure they're doing something that they love and has been ingrained in every fiber of their being. But what an inspiration.

Watching the family and friends hear of Phil's death was very difficult. The pain and shock in their eyes and body language was devastating. Throughout the show there were clips of people telling how Capt. Phil had influenced their lives by watching the show in their living rooms. There were words of wisdom repeated, funny anecdotes, and observations of a sincere, no-nonsense kind of guy. I really appreciated the show for the first time realizing that documenting someones life for TV isn't all that bad. We can all learn from others when we have the ability to step into their lives and see how someone else lives and breathes.

I could not stay up to watch the hour long tribute to Captain Phil. DH had to record it for me. I'd had enough sadness for one night. But before I headed upstairs to read my book I heard the narrator say, stick around to learn about the remarkable life of Captain Phil Harris.

Remarkable life.

I hope that when my time comes, my life will be considered remarkable. Let's face it. Not everyone lives a remarkable life. Some people take for granted what they are given and never do anything to better themselves. But you do not have to become President to have a remarkable life. Living an impressionable life is intimate to each individual. We can be remarkable to all those who love us in our own way.

As I have gotten older my drive to do something special with my life has increased. Hearing about the lives of my grandparents and the impression they made on friends, family, and colleagues inspired me to live every day to the fullest. Be a good person to all and do the best I can in everything I attempt. As my parents get older I am amazed at what a wonderful life they have lived together. They started dating on and off at 16. My mother recently gave me her cheerleading pin and my fathers fraternity pins from college. I wear them on my lapel every once in awhile. Their memory box is full and continues to over flow.

Recently I have made some big changes in my life- lifestyle changes. For the first time I finally decided to grow up and start really taking care of myself. 32 years old is the time to take back my health and do whatever I can to live a long life. I understand that I do not have control over what may happen to my body. We all have the potential to get sick or get in an accident of some sort. All the more reason to use what I have and appreciate my health and all the little things that make up me. I have started eating better. When I say eating better I mean actually eating meals. I have never had a big appetite, but I am now forcing myself to have balance in my life when it comes to my diet. We now make a point of sitting at the dining room table as a family to eat dinner. I want Min man to understand that dinner is an important time of the day to reconnect with one another- not watch TV.

I have stopped drinking alcohol. I do enjoy a Cor.ona or glass of wine but, in my attempts to cleanse my body I am giving it up for awhile. I have been running! My knees are shot so I will never be a long distance runner, but when I go on my fast walks, I have been jogging for a half mile or even a mile and then walking again. My husband has also committed himself to getting healthier. It is so much easier to make a big change like this when you have someone striving for a better lifestyle as well.

Life is a continual challenge full of lessons. So many things I experienced in my younger years are coming to light and making sense. I have begun to see how my life has unfolded up until now, why I faced this challenge and that difficult time. What's hard about life is being acutely aware that tough times are inevitable. Being mentally prepared that my life is going to continue to throw me curve balls helps me feel more in control.

I still face challenges, old challenges. I am still trying to make sense of many things but at the same exact time I am planning to live a full life. I decided not to hide from things that come into my life that are difficult. If I do not deal with them now, I will either have regret or a continual problem knawing away at me. I need to be able to look back and say I did everything I could to be healthy and happy so that I can give my son the mom he deserves. A whole person who is there for him 100%. And ultimately there for myself 100%. You only get one chance.

We all have the opportunity to instill an impression- big or small. Taking a leap of faith to go for that dream of opening a store or saving your money to make that long-awaited trip are the blocks placed on the foundation of our existence. We should all have a bucket list. But maybe it would be better to check off the items all throughout our life instead when it seems like time is running out.

My biggest goals awaiting a check mark:
Fulfillment
Happiness
Peace

Remarkable life, indeed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Updates

I am proud to announce that Parenthood for Me will be contacting the first grantees next week. We are able to help 4 couples on their path to parenthood. I cannot wait to give the details once things are finalized. Having this milestone almost complete I am rejuvinated to work hard again to raise more money.

PFM also has been lucky enough to add three additional board members. We are an all volunteer non-profit therefore, we rely heavily on people taking time out of their busy lives to help us fulfill our mission statement.

Welcome Abbey Naples, Jerry Furciniti, and Heather Smith.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Photo Friday- A Shout Out For My Skills

To participate in Photo Friday visit Creating Motherhood.


Today's topic is displaying what I'm good at. Do I have skills? Sure do. Don't know how good at it I am but it is something I love to do- decorating. My husband calls me a pack rat but I love going to Estate sales and antiquing. Being a Realtor does not help because I am often able to buy items from seller's homes. I don't enjoy painting that much but I absolutely love putting a room together and seeing the finished product. The best part is hanging the curtains, picking out a rug or pillows and going into my arsenal of potential decorative items and choosing things that make the room complete.


When I see a particular item like a vintage tablecloth or depression glass plate, I know I can find the perfect spot for it- someday.


I don't like knick-knacks or cluttered spaces. Therefore, I switch a lot of things around during different times of the year.


Here are a few pictures of my home.

I purchased this carved bench at an Estate sale for $75. I made the curtains but am by no means a seamstress. I dabble. However, I do make most of my own curtains. I absolutely love picking out fabrics.

The picture on the bottom shelf is from a 1901 edition of Harper's Weekly. It is entitled "Motherhood." My mother gave this to me after Min man came home. (I wonder how long she had been hanging on to it. She's a "collector" as well.)
If you like old houses then you will appreciate their charm. Our house has all natural gum wood trim, 10 foot ceilings, a window seat and beautiful hardwood floors. The house almost decorates itself. This is a picture of our mantel. You can my paisley curtains in the mirror. The mirror is original to the house - 1922. It is beveled and pretty and makes the room feel larger. We are not sure if we want to keep it up or hand artwork. But one thing I will not allow is a plasma TV above the fireplace. I love displaying things on my mantel.

BTW, Calliope. I'm a pretty funny gal myself. Even though that may just be my opinion. I'm always cracking myself up. My son is obviously catching on. In case you didn't read the previous post here is his knock-knock joke.
Knock-Knock
Who's There?
Right there. (he raises his hand)

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