Ice, ice baby…

What a Tennessee ice storm looks like:

ice

Yep, that’s the extent of it! We had 70 degree weather and tornadoes this past weekend, and now icy conditions through the week. At least it’s beginning to feel like winter, right?!

I’m not a cold weather gal, so I really can’t complain.  Hope you all are staying warm today!

Advertisements

One Blessed Nest

Our Christmas was truly blessed this year.

There were presents…

IMGP4825

Fun with family…

IMGP4901

And even one huge surprise…

pregnant

 

Looking forward to the new year! I have a feeling it’s going to be a magnificent one.

Happy New Year Everyone!  Wishing you lots of love and blessings in the coming year.

Maternity Worldwide and Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Still trying to think of a last minute gift for that person on your list who has everything?  Instead of hitting the crowded mall, why not save a life instead?  You can with a just a click of your mouse and it’s certainly not too late.

——

Did you know that 800 mothers die each day while giving birth?  800.  Think about that number.  800 hopeful, nervous women who long to hold their precious gifts will not live to do so.

Safe-Birth-Certificate-2012-Happy-Christmas-300x211

Maternity Worldwide wants to change this staggering statistic.  And you can help them do it this year by simply purchasing a  ‘Save a Life This Christmas’, their alternative Christmas gift of a Safe Birth Certificate for $24 and $81 for an emergency delivery for a mother in sub Saharan Africa

——-

The Statistics:

Having a baby should be a time of great joy and hope. But every year across the world 287,000 women die in pregnancy and childbirth. That’s one mother dying every 2 minutes, 800 each day. Another 7-10 million women and girls suffer severe or long lasting illnesses caused by complications in pregnancy and childbirth. These women do not need to suffer and die; most lives could be saved relatively easily and cheaply.

  • 162,000 deaths in childbirth occur in sub Saharan Africa, that’s 56% of the total.
  • Women and girls living in poor countries face a much greater risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth then those living in wealthy countries. 99% of deaths take place in developing countries.
  • The maternal mortality ratio (that is the number of women dying per 100,000 live births) is 240 in developing countries compared with 16 in developed countries.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa the maternal mortality ratio is 500 per 100,000 live births.
  • A woman’s lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 150 in developing countries compared to 1 in 3800 in developed countries.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa the lifetime risk of dying in childbirth risk rises to 1 in 39. This compares with a risk of just 1 in 4600 for mothers living in the UK.
  • Poorer women, particularly those living in rural areas with poor access to health services are far more likely to die in childbirth than those who are wealthier or who live in urban areas.

——

But there is hope.  In fact, there’s a solution that you can be a part of today.

By ordering a Safe Birth Certificate you will enable a mother in a developing country to safely give birth to her baby.  Long after the bubble bath has been used and the Christmas hampers have been eaten you will have given a lasting gift which will save a mother’s life and enable her baby to grow up with their mum.

A Safe Birth Certificate can be personalised with your own message and either sent directly to the recipient or to you to give to them. Order one here today: http://www.maternityworldwide.org/news/save-a-life-this-christmas

(Maternity Worldwide’s website is British so the amounts are in pounds. When you give, it will automatically change to dollars upon checkout.)

So what are you waiting for? Give the best gift under the tree–a chance to save a life.

——

globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

2012

2012 was so good to us. I’m very grateful today that there is a fresh, new year looming on the horizon and that we get to spend it together.

2012collageI don’t know what this new year will bring.  I’m sure there will be trials and difficulties as well as joys and triumphs.  Whatever is in store, I’m just so glad we will be able to face it together.

Blessings to you all on this December day. I hope that your new year will be merry and bright as well.

The Good

“…Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
-Max Ehrmann
——
Even though it is hard to remember in times like this, there is STILL good in the world. Strive to be the good, spread the good and do the good. Only by doing this will we ever be able to drown out the evil. Be extra kind to each person you meet in the coming days. We’re all in this together.
—–
Love and light to the babies and families involved in the Connecticut shooting.  My heart is broken and I hold my own babies tonight with tears in my eyes.

Science and Nature for Kids {Make a Bird Feeder from a Pumpkin}

Halloween has passed and winter fast approaches.  If you are looking for a way to reuse any leftover pumpkins, here’s a great way to enjoy a nature activity with your kids.  Turn your old pumpkin into a bird feeder!  It’s easy and fun for little hands.

Start with a medium-sized pumpkin:

20121111-162514.jpg

Cut it in half and scoop out the insides (great sensory fun for the little helpers):20121111-162533.jpg

Using a nail, punch out some holes on opposite sides of the pumpkin:
20121111-162554.jpg

Use string or twine to make the holder:20121111-162607.jpg

Now punch out some larger holes on each side:20121111-162627.jpg

20121111-162643.jpg

You can slide a twig into the larger holes to make some perches for the birds.  Then hang it in a tree and fill it with some wild bird seed:
20121111-162700.jpg

And wait for the birdies to find the food!20121111-162711.jpgSimple, easy and fun…and the birds will thank you.

The Journey that Changed Everything

It was an incredibly hot and humid day in August.  Little Man and I were resting at the top of a formation in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.  We had only known each other for a few days.  The boat we were staying on in the bay had no air conditioning.  The heat was over 100 degrees Farenheit and the humidty was unrelenting.

We found ourselves on quite a journey.  We had traveled 36+ hours to Vietnam, stepped off the plane and literally sped straight to the orphanage to hold our Little Man for the first time.

There was a lot of trauma and post-institutionalized behaviors that became evident as our first night together unfolded.  We felt lost and overwhelmed, but still full of joy and grateful for our new blessing.

We became parents for the first time as we traveled across Vietnam, soaking in as much of the people and culture as we could.

I love this photo–a quiet, happy moment shared between a new mother and her son during a time of complete chaos and unknowns.  If only I had known the many destinations that would manifest from this single journey.

Our journey to parenthood opened a lot of new doors for us.  One door was the opportunity to become an advocate and a voice for the voiceless. I was recently asked what was the first time that I realized I could use my voice for good, and this story crept into the forefront of my mind.

So here I am, on what was seemingly an innocent journey to parenthood that has turned into so much more.

Stay with me, I have some exciting new things to share in the near future!

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

 

So we meet again….

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

Finally, Autumn has graced us with her presence down here in the Southeast. I love the way the leaves glisten in the morning sun. Hello, Fall!