"Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have" - Jim Rohn
Wow! January is nearly over and I have no idea where the time went. We've been so busy since returning home to Chicago after being gone the last two weeks of the year. We traveled to Pennsylvania to spend Christmas and New Years with our family. Then on New Years Day we flew from Pittsburgh to Colorado for a week of skiing. The mountains are absolutely beautiful and the snow gods blessed us with more than two-feet of snow our second and third day in Beaver Creek. Powder skiers dream come true. The kids were in heaven. Rachel stayed back in Pa. with my Mom for the week and was equally happy to have one-on-one time with Grandma Jeani and Pappy Tim, playing games, doing a little shopping, and reading her books.
We returned to Chicago for the kids to head back to school in January 10th. Everyone is off to a great start to their second semester of the school year. We just registered Hanna, Rachel and Will for their high school classes for the 2017 year. It was very strange to not register Ian for classes this time around. He's in his final semester of his high school career. Talk of college, scholarship essay writing, Senior Salibration (it's an all night lock-in at the HS for seniors) and Prom weekend are our focus for him right now. It's all going way to fast. One of my first blogs here at Share was written about Ian starting first grade and spending all day at school, away from me for six hours. And now we're barreling into him being gone all the time at college (narrowed down to 3 schools, but no final decision has been made just yet). I can't imagine not waking each morning to the sound of his shower turning on, and hearing his "Bye Mom. Love you!" as he walks out the door to school. Maybe I can convince him to send me a text each morning as he leave his dorm to class. Highly unlikely... but a girl can dream right?
Kirk and I continue to dive head long into our Chicago March of Dimes Market Board positions. As Volunteer Engagement Chair I am tasked with helping to create training materials and training all new incoming board members on the history, mission and revenue goals of the foundation. I really enjoy this position. It's been a great use of my teaching degree coupled with my deep passion for the March of Dimes and the mission. We've also restructured our board and how we work as a group focusing our work on measurable, achievable goals for the year (as the Board Chair Kirk get's all the credit for this format and the early successes we're seeing already). We have broken our board into four work groups; Brand, Mission, Reach and Revenue. Each member was asked to choose an area(s) they would like to focus their time and talents on. I immediately gravitated to Mission and Brand. Our task is to teach about the mission, by sharing our personal stories, promoting the work of the March of Dimes, and the ongoing research that is happening in the five Prematurity Research Centers across the U.S. This also includes bringing other mission families together to celebrate their accomplishments and continue their training as mission families. Our Branding work group is focused on increasing brand recognition in the local community through PSAs, broadcast and print media, as well as social media. We kicked off our first group meetings this week. That meant Kirk and I both spent about 8 hours this week in meetings in the Chicago offices. I wrapped my last meeting of the week about an hour ago and I'm feeling so inspired and excited to get to work on our first projects of the year.
Kirk and I always include our kids in our March of Dimes work. Any opportunity for them to give back is time well spent. Hanna and Rachel will celebrate their 16th birthday on February 24th. I can't even put into words what this milestone feels like as their mother. They never stop making us proud. Their plan for this birthday just showcases why. We asked them what they wanted to do to mark their birthday this year. It's a big day so it should be marked in a big way. They decided that they wanted to give back to the NICU that gave them the world. That gave our family the best blessing we could have ever hoped for. Thus Hanna & Rachel's Blankets for Babies came to life. This Sunday, along with 30+ of our closest friends we will be making blankets for the NICU that Hanna and Rachel were born in. We have a goal of 100 blankets - a blanket for each day they were born too soon. Then on Friday, February 24th we will go to the NICU, that literally saved their lives and donate all the blankets we have made. It should be a very fun day in our house. Probably a bit chaotic and quite loud but I'll take it.
It's been a crazy busy week. All for the babies. I wouldn't want to spend my time many other ways.
Sounds like things have been good but busy for you! What an amazing opportunity to get to have the role you have with your MOD chapter. I love how your daughters are giving back for their birthdays. Nicki
Wow, you have been busy! I love how involved BOTH you and Kirk are with the March of Dimes. Very different story here where it is just me. You have so much to offer the MOD -- and other families.
I love Rachel and Hanna's idea to give back on their birthday. What wonderful girls you are raising!
Happy to have shared some of that busy time with you. Love you, love your family. How are the kids this grown up?
Hugs and so much love,
As always, you and your family never cease to amaze me with how motivated and giving you are of your time and resources. I think its just amazing that they want to give back to the NICU for their birthday celebration! It could be my heightened emotional state but I definitely teared up thinking about how wonderful your girls are and how lucky they are to have you as a mom! (your boys too, ofcourse)
Love and Hugs
I can't believe how time has flown and that Ian will be going away to school this year. I love you and your family and I'm so proud of the girls for making the blankets. You have done an amazing job with them. Your MOD work sounds amazing! I wish I lived just a bit closer so I could be a part of the team.
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