“I will bring you butterflies”

Every year for the week of Valentine’s Day, Jacob’s school has a Heart Art Sale. All the kids in school create a special piece of artwork (thanks to the amazing teachers!) and the art goes for sale to the parents for $5 each. As part of this sale, the kids learn about what philanthropy means and the proceeds are donated to a charity.

This year, Jacob’s school surprised us in a BIG way. They decided to donate all of the proceeds from the Heart Art sale to the Rallying for Red Phoenix fundraiser! They even bought Jacob’s artwork for us!  As if that isn’t enough to make me cry, an anonymous donor asked to match all of the proceeds from the sale. Wow. There are no words to express how this has made us feel. His school made us promise not to use the money towards any adulting – just something FUN for our family. They even suggested a weekend away at the beach – how perfect does that sound?!

Throughout this entire week, the school celebrated Spirit Week. They wore a different color each day and learned what it means to be a philanthropist. They have spent the whole week decorating the school with all of the art they have been working on this week, as the Heart Art artwork pieces are sold.

On Thursday, we picked up Jacob to find that the entire lobby was decorated as the Red Phoenix Beach! Each classroom chose a different piece of beach themed art to make and each child created their own masterpiece. They took all of these amazing pieces of art and created a beach – just for me. And wow, is it incredible.  The imagination, the vision and the depth of dreams that these children have is amazing. Truly amazing.

Then there was today. The color of the day was green and it was Red Phoenix Day!  Everyone wore green – many even wore a Red Phoenix shirt! Walking into the school today, I couldn’t help but smile with tear filled eyes. Seeing the incredible beach pictures, the art work made by all of the different classes and everyone – kids, parents & children – wearing GREEN…for me. Every time I thanked someone they responded by telling me that they should be thanking me, for being an inspiration to them. I’m just me. It’s you all that are so amazing.

Picking up Jacob tonight, the director stopped to tell us that she had a surprise for us and to stop on the way out. After picking up little man from the playground, we headed back to the lobby. There, the director came out of her office with a jar and two books.

The Jar.  She shared that the jar is a Love Jar for us, from all the kids in the school. It is filled with paper that is cut into the shape of mason jars and each child in the school decorated their own jar with their fingerprints or drawings or hearts or words just for us. The title of this post? One of the awesome jars I found in there.

The Beach Book. They made “Our Beach Book For Ms Meghan”. It’s filled with beach scenes, made with love. There are beach chairs, boats, fish, sharks, crabs, palm trees, lots of sand and the sun too. It’s…perfect.

The Book. All of the teachers and directors of the school wrote messages to Jacob in the book, “Mama, Will You Hold My Hand?” by Anna Pignataro. I was told to be ready for tears from the book but I imagine many will be from the notes to Jacob also. ❤

Amazing. As I hugged each of these incredible women, I couldn’t help but wonder how we ever became lucky enough to find this school. Not only do they adore Jacob and treat him like their own, they are unbelievably kind to us as well.  They are a part of our family and a reminder of just how blessed we are.

We are truly too blessed to complain. 💗

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Spreading the love…

Imagine yourself walking down the beach and finding a decorative stone or two. You look at it and smile – the sentiment bringing warmth to your heart. “Believe”, “Wish”, “Love”. You keep walking but leave the stone behind. A few feet further and you find another. The color catches your eye this time and you can’t help but pick it up. Perhaps it’s the Red Phoenix (😉). Perhaps it’s a heart. Maybe a beautiful word of “Hope”. Whatever image is there, you hold that stone and stare deeply at it. You feel the love that went into each stroke and the tears begin the fall. Walking away, you take the stone with you…feeling it’s presence, the love that it filled you with. It is exactly what you were looking for that morning. It was exactly what you needed to find.

My aunt and her family have started creating these amazing stones. She walks regularly in a beach up north and finds beach stones along the way. Her family collects them and brings them home to paint and leave behind at their next visit. She even recently started making small chemo bags out of burlap sacks and painting rocks to match tick-tack-toe boards to give away.

Such an incredible gesture of selflessness, kindness and pure LOVE. I wanted to share this moment with you all. It brought me to tears and I love seeing the pictures of her and her family creations. They wrap themselves up in the love that they find each and every single day. I don’t think I could be more proud. Team Red Phoenix! 💚

Spread the love

It’s been a rough week for Central Florida. There has been a lot of heartache and too much tragedy.  Through these challenging times, the community is coming together in the most incredible ways to spread love and overcome the horrific events that have occurred.

Spreading love needs to become a regular thing in our day to day lives…not just within our families and friends but with folks that we may not know.  The power of a smile or a hello is amazing. It can literally change someone’s entire day around.

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I was sad that last treatment round that I didn’t have Love Jars to drop off. I have been meaning to make more but life has been busy.  Tonight though, I made them a priority – and little man helped too!  They may not be the fanciest jars that I’ve made but they are absolutely filled with love and blessings from my heart. I can only hope that someone’s day is brightened, just a little, by picking one up tomorrow.

Though it is a very small gesture in this big, beautiful world, it is something I can do to spread love.  And that makes my heart smile.

Continue to love hard, friends. Spread the love, always.

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More love jars ready!

Although time consuming to make, I just LOVE seeing another bunch of Love Jars ready to go! These gave me something to focus on this week while I anxiously awaited the phone call to begin radiation. The plan is to start Monday or Tuesday of next week but I’ll know for sure tomorrow as they are finalizing my plan today.

Special thanks to my incredible friends for their help in making these Love Jars through time, support and supplies. Love you all!!  💗💚💗💚💗 Team Red Phoenix!

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