“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. 💗

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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The Love Jars Outreach

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Compassionate Hands and Hearts Outreach event. I was blessed to be a recipient of this organization last year. Each month, this organization supports local women (and men) who are battling breast cancer. The recipients are provided a financial gift to help with their journey along with a gift bag filled with lots of items to help make life a little easier.

When I attended the outreach with this organization in November, it touched me in a way that is hard to describe. These people, these warriors…they’re amazing. They volunteer their time, their minds, their ears and their hearts to help people like myself. They offer support, encouragement and friendship. They understand the battle and have survived it themselves.

I wanted to give back to this organization, for the love that they shown me and my family. Thanks to the support of Team Red Phoenix, I brought Love Jars to the outreach for each of this month’s recipients. They were placed in the gift bags alongside other wonderful items that were donated to help during their journey. Listening to each of these six women share their story, and knowing that they are all right here in my town, brought tears. My heart aches for each of their stories and the struggles that breast cancer has brought them. I can simply hope and pray that through the support of organizations such as CHHO that these women find comfort in their journey.

And perhaps the Love Jars help them to know that they are not fighting alone.  Spread the love.

More love…jars!

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I’ve been keeping an eye on the price of mason jars since I last worked on the Love Jar Project. I was a little worried for a bit because the cost of mason jars went up for a while (holidays, maybe?) and then there was a mishap where the 2 dozen that I ordered online arrived completely broken. Thankfully, the jars are back to their normal price and the most recent order arrived at my home safely.

After receiving such a wonderful response to the first round of Love Jars, I was excited to create more. My sweet friend Cara offered to help and today she came over to spend a few hours with me to do just that. In between lots of chatter & laughter at the table, we cut, folded, glued, wrapped and tied to make these fabulous jars.

Using supplies that we had on hand, and thanks to Cara’s creative skills, these jars look different than the first round but they are filled with just as much love. I’m excited that the look changes a bit each time, as I think it adds to the character and fun of the jars. The inside love notes are the same as before, although I did add one more about waking up and naming three things that you are grateful for each day. I love the idea of starting every day on a positive note and a reminder that I am too blessed to complain, so I wanted to share that through these jars.

I’ll be sure to post an update when I bring the jars to the treatment center. I hope the response is positive again so Team Red Phoenix & I can continue to give back in this way. Spread the love!

 

The Love Jar Project

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They are complete! Although simple in their design, I hope that they will have a positive impact on the lives of those who take them.

Joe & I were not alone in this creation -they are made by Team Red Phoenix! The jars and fabric were both donated and my amazingly artistic friend painted the Red Phoenix symbol on them (which she created). She switched the ribbon out for other types of cancer too!  Even the stickers were bought with money donated just for these jars.

Each Love Jar is filled with sheets of folded paper.  Every piece of paper has a sentence or two that is meant to inspire positivity and hope.  Joe and I cut each saying, folded it and tucked it into the jar for someone to enjoy.

I am thrilled that one was taken almost immediately! I cannot wait to see how long it takes before I need to make more. I just love that they have the potential to brighten someone’s day, when they may need a smile.

If you are reading this and have one of the Love Jars – YAY!! Welcome!  Please share your thoughts on what it is like to have one. I would love to hear from you!

Spread the love, my friends!

A great day to be alive!

Some days I wake up with a song in my heart.  Today’s song is “It’s a great day to be alive”.  This song has always made me smile and I have lots to smile about today.

-Treatment number 5 has begun! While this week was a little crazy, I am glad to be here today. I have made it to the 5th treatment, something that seemed so far away in August.  The fact that I am here today means that I am almost done with this part of the journey!

-Tomorrow brings two of my sisters and one of my nephews! Yay! Although it isn’t a carefree weekend of festivities, it is time with my family to laugh and smile.  That, in itself, makes me feel better.

-I’m going to beat this. My best friend messaged me yesterday and told me that this treatment is going to be one of the hardest because it is going to be the one that takes over the cancer and kills it off, making progress on this tumor & lymph nodes. Ya know what? I believe her. And with all of the people supporting me this weekend, even if it is the hardest one, I know I’ll get through it.

-I dropped off the Love Jars today!!! It took a little longer than I anticipated but I was so excited to drop them off this morning. Everyone loves them and within 30 minutes, someone had already taken one. Yay!  I hope it brightens someone’s  day the way it brightens mine.  I’ll post pictures later!

-At the end of this year, I’ll be able to ring the bell to indicate that I am done with this portion of treatment! Just typing those words brings tears to my eyes!  How awesome is that?!

-Did I mention I won’t be sick on Christmas? My 6th treatment will be the Monday after, which means I should feel good that day!

So today, my friends, is indeed a great day to be alive! Enjoy this beautiful day  and hug someone you love for me today.