27.1.11

Day 306. The Married One.

Sometimes the subjects of these posts just stand up and demand to be noticed. While I know this story is already getting lots of press, I want to add my voice to the chorus.

First, let me say, it was a total fluke that I even saw this. Stephen and I have never even watched half of an episode of American Idol, and the parts we have seen are only of the bad singers because they make us laugh. But we stayed up to watch this one story last night and it was the right thing to do.

The video below is just under five minutes, but I can guarantee you that it is worth it to watch this clip. And here is why - because this IS what marriage is. Marriage isn't just flowers and hearts and whisking away to romantic trips, marriage is work, marriage is loyalty, marriage is love - real love. It's not always pretty but the reward is knowing that there is someone who is completely, and totally and forever there for you in every way imaginable. Vows often contain a version of "in good and bad, in sickness and in health" and when you can find someone to whom you truly mean that and who truly means that to you it is the most rewarding thing ever. And, like I said, not just in the fireworks way (tho that still happens ;) ) but in the deep, true way that will pop up and remind you how blessed you are to have your spouse in all the little and big ways.

Chris and Juliana have not been able to say proper vows to each other - but they are, in fact, married. Because if you were ready to say those things and you uphold them, no matter what, well, you're more married than some people who've exchanged the rings and thrown the big party.



I'd also like to throw a quick spotlight to Steven Tyler - watch at the end. Its always awkward to know how to interact with someone who may be in the midst of physical or mental challenges but Steven doesn't let that stop him from truly trying to connect with this woman in his own way. Props.

21.1.11

Day 305. The Not Caring if We're Late One...

I will let this story speak for itself and only add my name to the list of people who appreciated this pilot's humanity and kindness.

Here's the actual story as told by the affected man's wife READ THIS

And, if you think its a hoax, here's another telling of it, or just use the Google for "Southwest Pilot holds plane"

18.1.11

Day 304. The Tummy Mommy One.

In the most recent months, some very dear, good people were able to realize their dream of being parents through adoption. This couple has shared their journey of growing their family for quite some time and the arrival of this blessed little person has been a true miracle to watch unfold. I have stalked (sad, but true ;) ) their story through Facebook in recent days as the baby was born, and now, after an entrustment ceremony and, of course, paperwork, a wonderful woman gave my friends the baby she carried for nine months. I'm sure the tears of wonder and joy I have had only add to the many that have been shed in happiness, in sadness, and in fear throughout this experience.

The new parents have demonstrated the most unimaginable love and care for the woman they lovingly call "the Tummy Mommy". Even reminding all of us, that as we celebrate with them and their new baby, that we need to continue to support and pray for the woman who has given them this gift. Recently, T, the new mom, invited those of us who would wish to send some encouraging words to V (the "tummy mommy"...and can we pause and discuss how adorable that title is?!?!?) as she experiences a different side of this journey. So, I have chosen to talk to V here - because, this project is all about acknowledging amazing people NOW and this woman is beyond amazing. [Obviously, I am going to keep any identifying facts about the people involved here out of this post to respect their privacy]

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Dear V,
I must tell you that I can't imagine all the emotions you feel right now, so I won't even try. I will try and fumble to find the right words to share what's in my heart.

I want you to know that even though I don't know you, I have so much love and respect for you. I love you for helping two wonderful people's dream come true. I love that you saw how cool they are in their baby book and that you picked them to be the caretakers of your little one. I respect you - though I will not assume your reasons for this choice, I can tell you that as someone who has thought quite a bit about having children and actually gotten into paralysis by analysis sometimes, I can only slightly imagine all that you considered and all that you weighed. For undertaking that process alone, I know that you are a strong person, a thoughtful person, and someone who is willing to take on challenges.

Please know that even if we never meet, I am holding you close to my heart right now. I am sending you prayers and good vibes to be at peace with your decision, to appreciate who you are and how amazing you are for going through this process, and to build your life to be whatever you wish it to be. Know that you are loved, by that little baby by the parents you have chosen for her, by extension, all of us love you too. If you are ever feeling low, please know that there are literally hundreds of people who are thankful every single second for you and these people hold you in the highest of regards.

You see, I started this silly little blog because I believe that people who do good things should feel the appreciation for doing them. And I feel that people should know how appreciated they are RIGHT. NOW. And you are one of the most deserving I've ever "met".

V, you are brave, you are strong, you are caring, you are amazing. Because you are all those things (and more) you are loved. Thank you for coming into my life through my friends, it truly gives me comfort to know that there are people in this world like you. You have increased the joy that exists out there one hundred times over. You will never be forgotten and you will always have a place in so many hearts - not only the parents you've chosen, the child you've entrusted them with, but also in mine.

Love,
Alison

17.1.11

Day 303. The One That Compelled Me to Finish This.

Wow. Well its been almost a year. And its been one heck of a ride. All I will say is that a lot has happened that has caused me to not expect the best from a lot of things. I'd even gotten to saying that I really REALLY needed to see something good happen to someone good to "keep the faith". But then, something happened...(oh, and a certain someone who's been blogged about before sent me a not so subtle nudge ;) Thank you, you know who you are.)

So I am a sports freak as people who know me know. And one of "my teams" is the Columbus Blue Jackets NHL hockey team. And look, we know, the team isn't that good. Last year we had an epic implosion and this year, after a promising start, we...well we're struggling. I can tell you in my heart I still believe - we are a young team that could become more, but the one thing that had troubled me was that, regardless of talent (or lack thereof) losses came when we seemed to lose our heart, or our desire to win. De-press-ing. That, coupled with growing fan discontent - and as a reminder, in my book, a fan's job is to support their team. Not with total blind faith or in a disillusioned way - made things look grim. We had lost every game in January and we had to do something but what? And, to boot the next game on the schedule was against an insurmountable obstacle (for us anyway) the Detriot Red Wings (booo!)

So then, after a loss last Tuesday, one Blue Jackets fan decided to do something. His name is Tyler and, being rather frustrated, Tyler put "money on the board". This is a hockey tradition-I'll be brief, players and coaches place a bet on the dry erase board in the locker room to challenge the team, or players, to a certain achievement or win. For example, a guy's parents may be in town so he puts a dollar amount on the board that he'll donate if he scores or whatever.

So, Tyler put money on the board. He put up $20 to the charity of choice of the player who scored the winning goal.

And in a swirl of ridiculous activity and hope and positivity and proof that Twitter still works sometimes, Blue Jackets fans from all over ended up pledging so much money that by 6 p.m. on game day there was over $5000 in pledges from the fans and an additional $1.5K in incentive pledges, all to charity. The team even got wind of it and those numbers were on the board IN THE LOCKER ROOM before the game.

Let's recap - $20 --> $6000 based on belief and support and hope.

And then the game started. If I thought you all were hockey fans I'd go into great detail, but I won't. I'll say in one of the best games ever, in front of a sellout crowd at home, the Jackets went into overtime and then a shoot out and WON. They won. They won in storybook fashion. And Tyler sent out one simple Tweet. Then word came from the locker room, from our assistant captain, that the team was going to match the fans' donations. I'll be honest, I almost cried (and apparently so did Tyler ;) )

Because here's the thing, sport or no sport, sucky record or not, here's what we are left with (prepare yourself for list of cliche's now): proof that one person can start something HUGE, proof that belief and support does count for something, proof that there are still good people (read Tyler's Twitter stream - you'll be hard pressed to find someone more humble in the middle of all this and who did it for all the right reasons), proof that we all still want to be part of something, and ultimately proof that, even for a low-lying team, little happy miracles do still happen and, even it it takes a lot, our team does have heart.

I have to say I hadn't cared that much about a hockey game in a while but I was sitting on the edge of my seat all night and I felt like part of something so cool - this crazy mix of fans willing their team, sending total support, pulling like crazy for goals, seeing people focus only on the good (even with fingers crossed) and I was nothing but proud to be a CBJ fan and part of the fan community here. If you care to search on twitter for #moneyontheboard, I promise you will see something special.

The team and fans have gotten some crap in the media "what, your fans have to pay you to win now?" But whatever. You don't get it. Seriously. And I'm sorry you don't. Because "money on the board' was a magical week of positive things happening.

So here's to Tyler. You rallied a team, a fan base and you kickstarted an epic amount of donations of over $10,000 (and apparently more than a few pints of blood, some miles run and some push ups) to well-deserving charities.

See? Good people do still exist...and good things still. do. happen. And I'm back to hopefully find even more of them and to convince both you and me. :)

[this did get a lot of good press - among others here's one from the national wires. Or search for "money on the board" and "Blue Jackets"*]

*this is a blatant, shameless plug for how cool this story is:)