KICKING MY FRIEND’S CANCER’S ASS

I have to believe it was meant to be. The odds were against these two meeting in a club on trendy Hollywood Blvd. one night in 1990. My college roommate Cindy and I preferred dance clubs outside the “scene!” and out-of-towner, Tom, was on brief leave from his military assignment. They crossed paths in the heart of LA – they beat the odds!

After college, CA girl Cindy moved across country because Tom was the right guy at the right time! I don’t just like Tom since he is “her husband!” I love him because he’s an outstanding guy! Since then, we’ve shared many times together at our weddings, trips to Disneyworld, and a growing pile of children! This month, Tom and Cindy celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary about the same time Cindy celebrated her 20th week of pregnancy – their second baby!

Ohana means family. No one gets left behind - or forgotten!

Ohana means family. No one gets left behind – or forgotten!

This anniversary found Tom and Cindy in the hospital. He went in thinking he had a stomach virus but, due to subsequent tests, he wound up recuperating from back surgery. It’s not the venue that makes the celebration, but the people there to celebrate and the love they share! Turns out, Tom has Multiple Myeloma – blood cancer.

He started treatments immediately and LLS has already provided support for his family. The odds are improved, from generations past, because LLS has made amazing progress with treatments and such. Treatments are more aggressively pinpointing cancer cells, leaving non-cancerous cells strong to fight!

OK, can you tell these families believe in Disney magic?

OK, can you tell these families believe in Disney magic?

I’m a big believer in the power of positive thought and prayers, and in progress being made. I’ve worked beside inspirational people who fought and overcame blood cancers, and whose stories varied so much because treatments now are significantly less invasive! We are so close to a cure, but until then, we continue to battle!

Being on the opposite end of the country from such close friends as they face these odds really sucks, so I’m rallying the best way I know help. Please help me send the power of love and hope to my friends in Florida and to their family – that will be growing larger mid-November!

Branching out to a new kind of magic!

Branching out to a new kind of magic!

Let’s push them past the odds!  I am already halfway to my fundraising goal!  Please help me reach the goal – every $1 counts.

If you know anyone who’s battled cancer, please consider making a small donation of any amount and leave their name in the comments! GO TEAM!! 

Please consider that for the price of what you’d pay for 1 Venti Fru-Fru drink at Starbucks, you could make the money go farther by donating $5, it will make a difference!

In the very least, please consider reblogging, or simply tweeting my fundraising webpage or anything! The more people that hear, the more likely it is I’ll burst through my goal of $3,000! WTF: Way to fundraise!

Wanna do more? Register to be a bone marrow donor at www.bethematch.org

THANK YOU!

TEAM IN TRAINING HAIKU

10,000 foot prints

An Army Fighting Cancer

Help Us Find A Cure!

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…AND NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM…

People finally won the $640 million lottery! Now we can leave La-La-Lotteryland and get back to “real life.”  I don’t feel disappointed that I didn’t win as the odds foretold this result.  I’m excited to see who did win, and hear great stories of changed lives and paying it forward.

To ground my kids as quickly as possible, I’m redirecting our focus to FUNdraising as a reminder that just because the cash bubble broke and we splurged buying tickets, let’s refocus on efforts where our money brings a better return – FUNdraising!

By putting the FUN in FUNdraising the effort stands strong despite the economy. When people get something good while doing good, it brings joy twofold.  We held a Melt Down boasting hot food trucks and bands for great Friday fun!

Side Effects burned up the stage for our Melt Down!

Karaoke events feed a musical frenzy as guests pay to request songs or singers whom, if they don’t want to sing, must out-donate the first person.

Capitalizing on things people must do, like recycling, brings joy to people’s chores and raises awareness.  Clean the garage, host charity garage sale – no haggling! Put a bin out for neighbors to leave recyclables. For greater success, pick up from their homes!  Host a car wash! I held milk/cookie stands in my yard (donated from grocery stores) and cars drove by dumping change from their cup-holder because they saw me there.

For $5 people could eat all the cookes and milk they wanted and hang out, read books, play games or just chit chat!

To fundraise without no events – INCENTIVIZE!  CupcakesbyJoyce.com sweetened the deal for my MS Walk (big button –>). For each $5 donated people get entered to win a dozen delicious cupcakes. Because cupcakes don’t mail well, if you live outside 100 miles of LA/OC/SD then cupcakes will feed Team Hope – the large group I’m walking with.  When local companies donate prizes, they get tax-deductable publicity while you raise money. HOT items – gas or coffee cards!

If you had successful or unique fundraisers, please share your ideas in comments!  Want fundraising feedback? Post ideas, I’ll share my thoughts. I live in that brain often, it comes naturally.  Your biggest goal – start the conversation. Once people know what you’re doing, they appreciate your efforts and give. One never knows until one asks and the worst people say is “No.”

SOLAR STORM YIELDS A POCKET FULL OF SUNSHINE

Woo hoo!  Three cheers for the sun this week!  A solar flare threatened to tan us all to a crisp or frazzle our GPS to mess up our commutes!  We received warm enough days for kids to jump in the ocean – no sane adult would do that without a wetsuit. Then, as I left work, I discovered I’d received a pocketful of sunshine from Beth over at weight4us.  THANK YOU for The Sunshine Award nomination!

Check out these amazing ladies!

Made My Day - Thank you!

This award spread a smile across my face and put a spring in my step! To receive this nomination from two ladies who so honestly share their life experience – past, present, and future – and the challenges they face together while on their journey means a lot.  Everyone’s challenges differ, but we all experience them and the journey goes better with someone to travel the road with you.

Rules

  • Place up the award picture, link back to and thank the person who nominated you – hopefully I did that right
  • Answer the ten questions posed to you
  • Pass on the award to 10 or more bloggers

Questions

  • Favorite colorRed – Passionate!
  • Favorite animalHorse
  • Favorite number5 – as in o’clock
  • Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Arnold Palmer
  • Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
  • My passionKindness
  • Getting or giving presents: Giving
  • Favorite pattern:   Hidden Mickeys
  • Favorite day of the weekSaturday – as far from the workweek as possible
  • Favorite flower: Tuberoses – heavenly scent

I am excited to pass on the Sunshine Award to 10 bloggers who I feel bring overflowing pockets of sunshine into my day.  I chose blogs that a) I’ve met only in the blogosphere; b) Must contribute beauty to this world! Please check out their blogs and if you like them as much as I do, follow them!

kevinscottdavis

The Positivity Page

From Nonsense to Momsense

Single Dad Laughing

Smile, kiddo

The Struggler’s Handbook

Eggton

Sarsm

Julia Hedlund  Write Up My Life

Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Sunshine relaxes me, envelopes me, soothes me, surprises me.  Thanks again Beth, for presenting me with the closest sunshine-in-a-can substitute for the real thing!  You and Elysia inspire us all!

Enjoy your weekend!

Best,

Sarah

TRADITIONALLY SPEAKING

How many favorite family traditions can you think of from the last third of the year? Then, turn the corner into the new year and the barren first months leave us in withdrawals. This year I’m eager to define a fun tradition for my family to implement this spring, in addition to our shamrock shake indulgence or any religious holidays.

Carlsbad rununculus = spring!

Living in Southern California finds us smack-dab in the middle of a huge, often impersonal, population where hardly anybody – not even most neighbors – interact. Rather than go away on vacation, I want to stay local and find something that this region finds significant. Something to bring this diverse town together through an event that people do, not just observe. Visiting a museum, or taking a historic tour of downtown might be options. Knowing the scurrying pace of people in a big city, I don’t want the tradition to take up more than a day.

California Gold!

Spring creates a mental picture of beautiful and plentiful flowers, sunshine, beautification and rebirth. Perhaps replanting things for an elderly neighbor, or cleaning up the parks or beaches. Perhaps repainting senior centers or scout houses. I hope this tradition could provide a celebration to kick off the active, healthy outdoor season.

I feel the sunshine from these daffodils!

I want something that draws in my children to teach them the importance of traditions, plus the lessons in the activity themselves all while having boatloads of fun and creating fond memories. I want the journey to carry more significance than where we end up and for the flavor to last longer than the mint shake lingers on our tongues.

Tulips - all the colors of spring!

Because of this, I tend towards philanthropic endeavors to remind us of the humanity in people and the good in ourselves from giving back and supporting others. Charities come in many forms and don’t underestimate baby steps – small gestures impact the world as much as large ones.

I could lay under the tree and dream all day!

I think the springtime is a great time to give back to your community or get a local group to support far away causes. In the spring, focus on bonding with friends and neighbors that you will see more of throughout the upcoming summer months.

Once a year traditional indulgence! Yum!

What about you? Have any favorite Spring traditions?

TO FIND OUT WHAT TRADITION I START:  “LIKE” Makes Me Wander’s Facebook page!    The answer and pictures of the kids and I will be posted in the next week or so. To submit pictures to be put on the Facebook page of you and family/friends carrying out your own traditions, please email them to makesmewander@gmail.com!

PAY IT FORWARD FRIDAY: JOIN THE MS WALK

For this Philanthropic Friday I am sharing the words of an amazing woman!  I went to high school with her, but have only recently really started getting to know her (that is the great gift of attending High School reunions, so attend yours!).

I never even know how much she was dealing with while we were just so worried about what boys liked us or not, was our clothes cool enough, our hair high enough…

This cause means a lot to her personally so check out her page to learn why she walks.

PAYING IT FORWARD FRIDAY: GO TEAM! (Click to the right to help now!) –>

In 2007, after finalizing a divorce and launching myself into the rest of my life, I signed up to run the 10th anniversary race through my hometown on my birthday. The race was the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon as in 26.2 miles. For perspective, when we moved worlds away from San Diego out to the sticks in Poway – I signed up to run farther than that.

I have no idea how a marathon got in my bucket list.  I never ran as a kid, except on horseback. Workout programs followed the trends.  In college I ran around the track, while the rugby team practiced on the infield, ending up with shin splints. It was then that I attended an information meeting for a fairly new program called Team In Training.  I didn’t sign up because I lacked the vision beyond myself to see how to complete it. Then, 16 years later, the planets aligned! I signed up!

Team In Training benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to find a cure for blood cancers and improve the quality of life for patients and families.  The training program molds you into an athlete and a fundraiser!  It SO thoroughly trained me, that I still remember the night before my marathon. I didn’t worry about finishing; I worried about not making it to start.  Talk about the law of attraction, when I got to the start area, I stepped off a curve, twisted my ankle, got through it and finished anyway!

Courage to start! John "The Penguin" Bingham

Beyond the event, the support I received, the mental arguments I won, and the people I met made it the most amazing experience ever.  I got to train alongside heroes!  Heroes who showed incredible bravery facing their, or a loved one’s, diagnosis, heroes sharing their stories of recovery or recurrence, heroes who blew past fundraising goals, heroes relentless for a cure.  I continue to draw on the endless inspiration from the experience so often that now my kids roll their eyes. I have done several events with the Team since and make such quality friends! If running is not your thing, they have options.  I highly recommend joining the Team for you and for them!

FUN FRIDAY: WORK FIELD TRIPS!

Field Trip Today!

Field Trips created the best school days – leaping outside the lines and learning by accident. At one job, we took a field trip to see their latest film at a public theatre – with popcorn!  I started another job when the taste of their outing to an exhibit, with lunch and an event Tshirt still lingered!

The Artist's Way speaks to creative souls!

I love Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” books, especially one heralding Artist’s Dates. She encourages weekly sightseeing trips into our towns. While hers implies a solitary effort, the goals remain the same:

1)    Top off your tank, tap into creativity – Exposing your self to surrounding energy opens you to great gifts and experience to draw on.

2)    Catch a new buzz –Even textbook business strategy involves creativity applying it to your product. Leave the stale boardroom and breathe the benefit of fresh air. Exist for a while in the heart of your target audience.

3)    People that play together, work well together – Employers take note, a small gesture of a few free “stolen” workday hours treats employees in a huge way! I don’t mean leaving early, as most people return home to more “work.”

Coffee Shop Conference Room

I took a field trip to step away from lists, hear different conversations, lose myself in a latte and melted brie, and not wash dishes afterwards. My perspective shifted within 10 feet from the door.

A woman talked to the barista – whom she knew.  When he stepped away, she said hello to me and offered me the messenger bag on her shoulder to carry my laptop.  I gratefully declined explaining my month-long home purge. She commiserated with me saying that in her van, things get crowded for her and her bed, which she shares with her dog.  I chuckled saying no matter the size of our containers, we fill them.  The man returned with her ice bucket, she bid me a good evening and left.  As I ordered, I bought a gift card for the man to save for her next visit.  Rather than assume whether she needs help or not, I hope she, too, may treat herself to a meal, frothy drink and someone else to clean up.

Share your favorite field trips!

PAY IT FORWARD FRIDAYS: THE BIRTHDAY PROJECT

At my age I’m climbing that flowery hill, and every birthday brings me one step closer to hurtling down the shady backside, heading straight for the briar patch. I love great celebrations with friends, but found something more my taste in a blog that I stumbled upon.  Robyn Bomar celebrated her 38th birthday by committing 38 random acts of kindness herself, and proposed to her social media followers to also each complete one act! I LOVE random acts of kindness and that this is a project that anyone can celebrate with friends. Plus, everyone leaves with a full heart, and not just bag o’crap favors.

She planned some acts and allowed the day to present opportunities as she went along.  Kindness ranged from loading groceries for shoppers, bringing in a neighbor’s garbage cans, taping change and a note stating “Free Drink!” on vending machines, buying a store gift card then handing it to the person behind her in line! For the full rundown of 38 acts click: http://www.thebdayproject.com/the-original-38-random-acts-of-birthday-kindess-post.html

A small effort can yield a wide-spread difference!

As her site points out, you share your birthday with 19 million people in this world. Think of the positive shift that would occur if a fraction of those people did just one action!  Acts multiply exponentially as people tend to continue paying it forward.  I have heard of two coffee shops overflowing with generosity.  One is a drive-thru chain started when 1 person paid for the car behind them and that chain has remained unbroken for years. One is a coffee shop where an donor left $100 to pay for other people’s coffee and still returns regularly to donate to warm someone’s heart and brighten their day.

I am compiling my birthday list but hate to wait!  Choose to celebrate your anniversary, your Merry Unbirthday or just because! I am going to celebrate MLK Day by doing acts with my kids. Just because school’s out doesn’t mean they can’t learn something.  Do one random act this weekend and share it with us!

Read about The Birthday Project at: www.TheBdayProject.com

While special attention is not what motivates folks to give back, high fives are always appreciated.  To bring anyone or any organization to my attention to possibly be featured in Pay It Forward Fridays, please email: makesmewander@gmail.com

Let's make this world a little kinder.