Giving Back

Choose an Action

I was on a marketing webinar today expecting more of the same.

Ideas for engagement or new ways to sell. I stopped my multi-tasking when the presenter said, “You can start a movement. All you need is to give people actions to take.”

This year has been a mess for so many. I want you to remember mess is part of the process.

Healing comes when we say yes, this is a mess, and still, I want to help.

If you’re in the thick of loss, or the confusion of what small next step to take, simply surviving is enough. Food, shower, maybe a brush through your hair – that is enough.

If you’re on the road and your load is lighter, I’m giving you some actions to take.

This year, I’m morphing previous year’s concept of the Give Light Giveaway.

Choose an action to create good and spark light at the end of the dark year.

Send me proof of your donation, or pictures of your random acts of kindness. I’ll share the results here throughout the month. Contributors will be entered to win a prize pack and I’ll send a few of my favorite things to one random winner.

Choose an action. Let’s start a movement.

Create a seat at the table for a grieving 20-30 something

Give the gift of books to Native communities

Rebuild in Central America

Write a Letter of Encouragement

Give hope to foster families

Commit a Random Act of Kindness

Share your own light

Send me a note about what’s bringing light and love to your circle of influence and I’ll share here and on social media.

It’s easy to feel like we are alone right now and separated from those we love and even our neighbors. As I learned while my husband rewatched Star Wars Episode 9 this week, “They win by making you think you’re alone.”

There have been so many Dark Sides this year. Don’t let them win. We aren’t alone. I’m here. I see you. What action will you take?

Rising Waters – You Can Help

I met Heather when I was 23. I sat next to her in a big leather booth drinking cocktails at a girls gathering we liked to call “Philoso-tini”.

We’d discuss life and the women older than me discussed their kids and careers and the mystery that is faith.

Heather looked right at me that night as I was lamenting about my next job decision and she said, “Honey, it’s just a job. You don’t have to take it so seriously.”

It’s taken me five years to realize she was right.

She lost her dad a year before me and while we weren’t close at the time, I watched her handle the complete suckage of cancer with grace and honesty. She met with me at high top tables and was one of the first people to nod along as I started practicing processing my grief.

Heather is funny and hopeful and optimistic and has a big heart. And over Memorial Day her childhood home was flooded in Oklahoma. Her parents and her family need some assistance as they navigate insurance, adjusters, travel in flooded areas, and getting basic supplies in an area destroyed by rising waters.

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Today, dear friends, I ask you to help my friend Heather and her family. They are hoping to raise $6,000 to cover the costs of the following things:

– mitigation costs (clean up, dumpsters, haul off, drying, air purifying, etc.)
– supplies (masks, boxes, gloves, etc.)
– assist with payment of insurance deductible
– cost of accommodations when couches and spare rooms are not available (insurance doesn’t pay a dime)
– help offset costs when people host
– food (no food storage available)
– fuel and travel costs (driving back and forth to the house from wherever sleep happened; helping a daughter get there to help)
– storage costs for items that are salvageable
– eventual rebuilding
*while we don’t know what the insurance claim will be classified as, regardless, nearly all furniture was lost. there isn’t a couch to sit on or a table to eat at. even while clean up is happening.
– a little bit of help with travel costs (daughters trying to rotate through to help – flights, rental cars, time away from jobs)

Please consider giving financially here.



I’d also like to collect gift cards to support her family still in Colorado. She has two kiddos and a husband who also need to eat and be cared for while she is away. If you can donate a gift certificate to King Soopers, restaurants, Target, or Amazon to provide for the family while she is back in Oklahoma, please let me know by Wednesday, June 5th.

Here’s a chance folks. To reach out and give and serve someone I know who is very much deserving.

Learn more about Heather’s family story and how to donate by clicking here. Please spread the word.

Let’s rally in support and give big. One of my favorite beautiful things.

Let’s Get Pancakes

“Let’s get pancakes” I said. “It will be fun.” I said.

That was a few days ago when Snooze AM Eatery brilliantly marketed their National Pancake Day celebration on my Facebook feed. Those damn targeted ads. They work.

So when my phone buzzed at 6 am with one of my friends texting she was sick and wouldn’t make our breakfast date I almost rolled over and went back to sleep. Then I couldn’t find a comfortable spot in my bed and my alarm kept buzzing back from snooze singing to me, “It’s time to get up in the morning.”

I got out of bed. It was still dark out. Let me repeat. It was still DARK out. I never wake up when it’s dark out. Sorry folks, I just don’t.

I got dressed, kissed my sick husband on his feverish forehead and left the house.

As I walked to the garage I noticed a thread of bunny tracks in the snow across the driveway. A sign of life in the glistening powder that was gifted to us last night. Tiny animal prints reminding me that we share our yard with other little creatures.

I got in my car, turned on the heat, drove the twenty miles to get a delicious breakfast. Heat in my car. A beautiful thing on a frosty morning.

As I drove the sun came up, turning the sky from dark to pink to blue. Shivering trees brushed the sky, reaching up their branches into the promise of another appearance from the sun.

I never wake up early enough to see the sunrise. I should witness that beauty more.

We sat down to warm coffee with rising cream in those perfectly crafted yellow mugs  and placed our order.

And then our waitress brought us these.



Giant pancakes. We started laughing. I thought we ordered off the special flight menu for, you know, National Pancake Day.  The tiny pancakes. I guess I was wrong.

Beauty in abundance on my plate(s). In white flour and caramelized pears, in strawberry jam mixing with sausage, and white chocolate mixing with coconut flakes. Beauty in pools of syrup and perfectly weighted forks.

Beauty in enjoying time with friends. Beauty in feeling productive before 8 am. Beauty in frequenting local restaurants that give back to their communities.

And later, tonight as I thought about this post, I asked my friend, “Hey silly question, did you take a pic of all those pancakes this morning?”

Of course she did. It’s so great when you have friends who get you. Who snapchat their food and document culinary adventures so I can share them with you.

Today reminded me that it doesn’t take much to be delighted. Mix up your routine. Watch the sunrise. Order the pancake or two.

You can always take home the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.


“Thermal Shock and Die”

I have a brother who is three years younger than me. When we were growing up, say oh, he was in middle school and I was in the beginning of high school, he and my dad would go off to Boy Scout camp. The trips ran Friday afternoon through Sunday mid-day. Overnights, tents, farting – you know the drill. I don’t; I wasn’t there.

While the boys were away the girls would play. And when I say “play” I mean my mom and I would camp out on the couch watching whole seasons of Gilmore Girls and eat entire pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. The boys would be building snow forts, and chopping wood and starting fires and the girls would be snuggling under blankets and drinking hot chocolate and sleeping in.  These activities were never fully disclosed to the other parties upon return to family dinner on Monday nights. My mom and I would communicate with a smile about how sluggish we were and the boys would laugh and laugh about their adventures, keeping their inside jokes to one-liners, never letting us in to each others secrets.

However, there must have been one spectacular Boy Scout lesson that my brother had to share that is really coming to mind tonight. Before I get there, though, I feel I’ve got to give you some background info. For those of you who know my brother, it’s pretty obvious that we are polar opposites. He is loud and really funny and personable – hates being at home on any evening of the week. I, on the other hand, love me some quiet time, a cup of soup, a mug of tea, and hanging with my mom (nothing new here – did you read what I just wrote above?)

One weekend, in the winter, my brother came running through our house after tearing open the front door, leaving the freezing air to seep into our front room, clomping ever so loudly down the stairs to our basement abode. He had to share his Boy Scout preparedness lesson – all that one could do too prevent thermal shock. Skills, I imagine, that are incredibly necessary for winter survival. Something my fourteen year old self was NOT concerned about, as I did not plan on ever going camping in any weather below 55 degrees at night. Too be honest, I still do not.

I don’t remember the story, exactly, all I remember is the punch line of his story – that weekend, he was SO concerned, that he was going to “Get Thermal Shock and Die.” If you know my brother, ask him to say those five words because his tone is wonderfully threatening, wise and sarcastic. I can not get a recording here, but I do know that one-liner became my mom’s go to for reminding us to get gloves, wear coats, and bring a hat as the weather got colder. You MUST prepare for any weather, because you do not want to “Get Thermal Shock and Die.” It’s a family line now, a lesson imparted, and a reminder that my brother and I handle things ever so differently.

Tonight, I sit in my apartment and am full of gratitude as the weather drops below zero. November morphed into freezing weather and snow in 4 hours, as it often does in Colorado, and I seem to have forgotten what snow actually feels like. Yesterday, as the temperature dropped so did our thermostat. The little machine stopped working and before bed it was 59 degrees. It was a night of flannel sheets, and two comforters, and hoodies. I am so thankful for a responsive landlord who drove up quickly to fix it. Mostly, though, I was struck by the simple beauty of a bed, and extra blankets, and responsive problem solvers who care to take care of us.

I was channeling my mom as I got dressed to leave this morning. Gloves, check. Hat, check. Coat, check. No thermal shock here, not yet. I went about my day, warm at work, and nestled into routine. I got home, made soup, and could take a warm shower. Our thermostat was running. However, as I sat down to write, our pilot light went out on our fireplace right before I turned on the computer. There goes the idyllic writing in front of the fire place experience. Maybe I should stop shooting for idyllic writing sessions? Instead, I’m focusing on the beauty of a bountiful box of  hats and gloves to choose from. Not everyone is so lucky. Not to get morbid here, but I am thankful that I can just joke about “Thermal Shock” in jest, because I know, all too much, that not everyone can laugh that concern off.

I’m cleaning out my closet and donating my extra coats to Homeless Gear, because they need it. People, my friends, are cold and freezing and trying to stay warm, and I am so fortunate, that I can just turn that one-liner into a funny voice in my head. So, here is my PSA, donate your unused coats and warm clothes to those that need it. Do some research, find a place, help a person, warm some hands. I’ve got a big heart, I think about these things and want you to think about them too.

This week I’m settling into the beauty of bundling up, snow flakes and the cold, quiet that snow creates. I’m loving the twinkle lights that got lit for the holiday season downtown. They make my slow drive home much more enjoyable.


I’m setting into the beauty of gratitude this season and asking myself how can I give back what I have been given. And how can I stay warm? Do you have any family one-liners that you can laugh about? What about things you take for granted? How do you like to give back during this time of the year?