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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Well its been a while since my last post so let’s catch up. Here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post..

– I Started a new job as Outreach Development Manager at Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois where I am trying to bring our  Girl Scout programming into schools, community centers and housing units.
– My husband and I took a trip to Chicago and I crossed U.S. Cellular Field off my list of stadiums I have yet to visit. (And got to see good friends..always a plus)
– I took a week-long trip home to attend my hometown music festival, Steamboat Days, which I haven’t been to in 3 years.
– During that week-long trip I held a yard sale at my mom’s house for which I went through boxes and boxes of childhood memories.
– I rode a Segway. The same segway, actually, that Justin Beiber rode when he was in St. Louis and apparently crashed because he was texting.
– I started a 5 day cleanse which lasted 2.5 days.
– I attended my husbands 10 year high school reunion.
– I found out one of my best friends ever is going to have a baby. (So happy but yet…so scary)

OK, Now that you’re caught up, I’ll go back to the new job part.

My supervisor and I have been doing a program at a Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. From what I’ve read the home originally started as an orphanage a million years ago and since the needs of the community have changed it is now a home for runaways and/or troubled youth. I’m not exactly sure how the girls get placed there…If the parents send them there or if the system does. And I’m not exactly sure what the girls do to get placed there (they aren’t allowed to talk about why they are there to anyone but their therapist…not even each other) But the girls range from probably 14-18.

Now..I’ll admit I was a little hesitant about going there. After all…I had NO IDEA what these girls did to get in there, AND they’re teenage girls which is a whole other kind of dangerous. I thought they would be mouthy, have a bad attitude and sit with their arms crossed rolling their eyes at the thought of doing Girl Scouts (much like I would have been at age 16.) But after being there the first week it was very clear these girls were nothing like that. I was more than surprised.

These girls sat quietly, were engaged, answered questions, laughed, all got along and respected us and their surroundings. A few even gave us hugs as we left and thanked us for coming. Really?  I thought. I guess a change of surroundings can change anyone. Some of these girls I could see that in the right surroundings and situations they could be problems, maybe being egged on by their peers. But other girls were quiet as can be, polite and even seemed innocent.

Ever since I was younger I had this fascination about why people are the way they are. I people watch ALL the time. Make up stories about people and families in my head. Try to determine their life story. I want so badly to know the stories of these girls so that I can understand why they are in the position they are in. Have they had a horrible home life? Were their parents really strict and now they’re rebelling? Was everything at home perfect and they just ended up with the wrong crowd? Have they been abused? I know I’ll never know the answers to any of those questions but I still try to figure out their story in my head when I’m there.

I’ve now visited the home 6 or 7 times and actually enjoy going there. I like watching the girls continue to learn life skills that will hopefully help them when they leave the home and go out on their own. I like to think that we are instilling some values in them that they can use in the real world. After all….that’s what Girl Scouts is all about, right? I guess the old adage is true…don’t judge a book by its cover. Noted.

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I’ve recently been a co-host of a couple of baby showers and have of course made some Pinterest projects. And have actually invented a couple of baby shower games that I thought I’d share since I’ve had many requests.

Catchphrase: Celebrity Mom Edition (Pin)

So this is a mix between Catchphrase and Taboo. Everyone splits into teams of 2. Each team is given 5 cards with the names of famous/celebrity moms. One person on the team will be trying to describe the name on the card without saying the names of the kids, husband, or father of the kids while the other person has one minute to try to guess as many of the 5 cards as they can. Once the minute is over, assess who has guessed the most and trade the cards. You can eliminate teams or continue the rounds as many times as you want, keeping track of each teams cumulative score and then the team that has the most wins.

TO DO:

I’ve provided the Word Document (So that you can continue to add names as more celebrity moms have babies.) You can get that here. The font may not show up so you might want to either download Broadway font or make it any kind of fun font you’d like.

Once you get it printed and cut out you can just glue them onto any colored card stock. I did multi-colored pink cards. For extra durability you can also laminate them if you think you’ll be using them over and over.

Don’t Forget the Lyrics: Nursery Rhyme Edition (Pin)

This one’s easy, if you’ve seen the show Don’t Forget The Lyrics. Basically everyone gets some kind of noise maker (whistle, kazoo…). The first 2 or 3 lines of the nursery rhyme are read off and whoever blows their whistle first can finish the nursery rhyme. You can keep track of who had the most and that person wins. Or you have give out little prizes for each person who gets one right. There’s probably a lot of different ways to play it so feel free to experiment!

For my noisemakers I used lip shaped whistles like these:

And the the Word Document is here

Personal WELCOME BABY Sign (Pin)

I simply made letters spelling out “WELCOME BABY LASTNAME” each being a page big. I printed them on white card stock and had crayons available for when people arrived. Each person would decorate a letter then we hung them up with string and clothes pins. It serves as decoration for the shower and then the sign is the mom’s to take home with her. The Word Document is here.

Now for the Pinterest projects!

I made these “cupcakes” out of receiving blankets, washclothes and bibs. Pin is here.

And the grand finale…something that never in a million zillion years did I think I could actually make..a Diaper Motorcycle!

Boom! I actually had a BLAST making this and was so proud when I was done that I actually did it. I also have to give credit where credit is due. Although I found the idea on Pinterest I used this tutorial.

I had a great time being a part of these showers and am excited for more chances to be crafty and creative!

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Today officially marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Girl Scouts. Starting with 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912 Juliette Gordon Low created an organization that 100 years later would serve 2.3 million girls. The organization would be a place where every girl every where would develop physically, mentally, and spiritually.

While Girl Scouts played a minimal role in my childhood life, it has played a massive role in my adult life. After being placed at my local Girl Scout office (GSEIWI) through a staffing agency for a temporary position, I transitioned into a permanent position and even went on to work for two other councils (GSEM & GSCM) in two other states. I was constantly inspired by co-workers who had been with the organization for double-digit years and who have committed their life to the organization. I was deeply touched by volunteers who generously gave so much of their time and energy (and sometimes even their own money) to serve their Girl Scout Community or Girl Scout troop.

I have made many good friends who started as co-workers through Girl Scouts some who I haven’t seen in years but continue to have contact with. These people all have a special place in my heart. The experiences I gained while working at Girl Scouts will follow me throughout my lifetime. And while working at my local Girl Scout council now didn’t work out geographically, I have never ruled out working for another council. I can honestly say that working with Girl Scout staff and volunteers enriched my life in ways I never knew a job could.

So Cheers to another 100 years of building girls of Courage, Confidence and Character who make the world a better place!

Support your local Girl Scout Cookie Sale Here

Find a local Girl Scout Council Here.

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The Thanksgiving Post

So for my Thanksgiving post I intended to do something along the lines of a  “25 days of Thankful” post where every day in November I would jot down what I was thankful for that day. I made it to November 7. So instead I thought I’d do a “25 Things I’m Thankful For” but I could only come up with 10 or 12 or so before I started sounding superficial (i.e. I’m thankful for my Zune, for my computer, for Verizon fixing my phone, for coffee in the morning and so on) I can only say I’m thankful for my Family, Friends and Health in so many ways. (Which don’t get me wrong.  I truly am Thankful for all those things and much more) BUT instead of doing anything like that I chose to amuse you all with some hilar Black Friday ads because let’s be honest, that’s Thanksgiving is really all about.

I will also be cooking my very first turkey this year. Which promises to be amusing. Don’t worry, I’ll be documenting it for your enjoyment.

This one literally made me laugh out loud. And made my husband almost spit out the milk he was drinking. That’s how you know a commercial is funny.

This made me chuckle a little. Genius Idea for a commercial.

And of course the beloved Crazy Target Lady. Did you know she’s also on Twitter?

Hope everyone has a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Leisurely scrolling through my Facebook news-feed as I usually do while sipping my coffee on Saturday mornings, I came across a post from a girl that I had went to grade school with. She had started a blog and had just made her first post. While I usually end up reading blogs by strangers, I’m always intrigued to read blogs written by people I actually know. The blog is called The Fullest Expression The author, Dailah, writes about a phrase Oprah used in an interview with Barbara Walters that phrase is: “”I am seeking the fullest expression of myself as a human being on earth” At the end of Dailah’s post she asks: “How would you describe the fullest expression? Do you have any mini regrets?” After a long journey into myself, I’ve attempted to find my fullest expression. In order to find the fullest expression of myself, it definitely took a lot of time to reflect on things and dig deep into myself to find what exactly encompasses THE fullest expression. Find out what I’m made of, if you will.

And I’ve come to two conclusions. 1) There are the stable things in my life that never change. and 2) There are unstable things in my life that always change. It’s kind of like moving. Everything inside the house is the same but the view out of the window is ever-changing.

The stable things in my life that never change have helped developed my core personality. Where I grew up, childhood experiences and family. They all worked together to provide an inner hub of person and personality.

The unstable things in my life chip away and build up little niches that help define that core personality. Collegiate and adult life have worked in unison to help make a further definite idea of who I am. People I’ve let into my life…and then let out of it have also changed me. Whether I wanted them to or not – it’s a risk taken when you let yourself get close to someone. No matter how hurtful,  I’ve chosen to embrace those changes because I believe everything happens for a reason. The views out of the different windows has always changed and everything outside of those windows has changed me and will continue to help develop a more clear definition of myself. I embrace that also because I know that I am ever-changing.

I love that life is a mystery. I love not knowing what is around the corner. And I love that the view from the window is always different. While I may not have a solid grasp on the “The Fullest Expression” of myself just yet, I look forward to finding more pieces to the puzzle to help complete the idea of ME.

Oh and as for mini-regrets? I’m sure I could look back and find some things I wish I could do differently and situations I wish I could have handled better but what good will ever come of that? You learn from every mistake you make. Life moves on and I can’t change those things anyway. There’s no use in looking back.

Life and finding yourself is an evolving and ever-changing process. Embrace it and Enjoy the ride.

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Rod McKuen

I’m not quite sure how I came across these books. I feel like they just appeared in my life. But since I was fourteen I’ve been reading them over and over. Rod McKuen is a writer/musician from the 60’s/70’s. His words, like his life are inspiring and something I couldn’t imagine my life without. He’s brought such comfort to my life I thought I would share with the world his talent. Below is one of many of my favorites.

I’ll Say Good-bye

Now that the summer’s come and gone I’ll say good-bye.
Now that the winter’s comin’ on I’ll say good-bye.
I’m not the first man or the last
who had a thirst to leave the past.
So while the autumn rain is falling I’ll say good-bye.

For every star that falls to earth a new one glows.
For every dream that fades away a new one grows.
When things are not what they would seem
you must keep following your dream.
So while my heart is still believing I’ll say good-bye.

Love is a sweet thing caught a moment
and held in a golden eye.
You can borrow but never own it
after a while it says good-bye.

Heavy’s the heart that has to turn and say good-bye.
But as we love so do we learn, I’ll say good-bye.
Cage a bird he will not sing
I can’t be caged in by a ring.
So while the chilly wind is blowing I’ll say good-bye.

So as the winter says hello I’ll say good-bye.
I never ever did like snow I’ll say good-bye.
I’m just a man and nothing more
in the face of love I’ll close the door.
Because another road is calling I’ll say good-bye.

From: Listen to the Warm

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