Thursday, April 24, 2014

G+ Growing Circles Hop #15

Is it Thursday again already? Yes, it is! That means it's party time.

Welcome to the Google Plus Growing Circles Hop, where we network and share content all day long every Thursday.

Interested in Co-Hosting?
Send an email to 2justByou(AT)gmail(DOT)com with "G+ Hop Co-Host" in the subject line and include your blog and G+ links for consideration. We'd love to have you!


To make the most of this link party, please follow the rules below.
1. You MUST add your hosts and co-hosts to one of your circles before linking up. 
2. Link up your personal Google+ profile, blog or business G+ pages but NOT your blog URL. 
3. Share ONE post ONLY - (new or old) on G+ and use the hashtag #GrowingCirclesHop
4. Connect with others by clicking on your #growingcircleshop hashtag. Engage with at least 2-3 others by a Share, +1 or Comment. 
5. Add new friends to your circles. 
6. Grab a button for your blog, if you'd like. Help us spread the word so we can keep trending on Google Plus each week! (You can edit size to fit your blog in the code).
Mommy Mentionables

Throughout the next 12 hours, check back on G+ and +1 posts with the hashtag #growingcircleshop.

Google+ Tips

The real participation comes with sharing a blog post to G+ using the party's hashtag and engaging with others who are also sharing posts from this party. Interaction and engaging with others on G+ will bring you the most success! You will notice some posts have a very large picture associated with their post and others have a tiny picture. To increase your chances of being shared, post a photo along with your post link and NOT the tiny one that gets posted automatically with the link. The bigger and more clear your photo, the better chance of it being shared because those are the posts that G+ users want to share with their followers.

If you want to be notified the next time the Hop starts, give us your email below and we will send you a quick notification the next time it goes live.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Six Hours

Six hours. It could seem like a long time to some people, while to others, it could seem like an instant. 

What can you do in six hours? My two boys go to school in about six hours: It's one full day of school. Yet, it's less than an eight-hour work day. Do you think six hours is a long time? Can you get a lot done in six hours? 

Yesterday I published a post for a good cause, 10 Days - a hopeful adoption, to bring together a family. To bring a baby home. I posted in hopes that some of you, my readers, might be able to help out - if not by monetary means, then by social sharing & spreading the word.

Today, I write about six hours instead of ten days. Because six hours is all that one mother had with her newborn baby last week. I can't even begin to imagine what that would be like, how I would feel, what I would think. Any loss of a loved one is difficult. And the loss of a child, an infant, a newborn baby...Just the thought of it is almost too much to handle. 

When you think about the time you have here on earth, the time to live your life and spend with your loved ones, what is six hours to you then? Six hours is all the time that was given for a family to be with the newest addition. Six hours to hold him, be with him, gaze at him with undeniable love. Six hours does not seem like enough time, does it? But six hours is better than nothing.

Although I've had two premature babies (almost three, but I had some pretty awesome midwives for one of my pregnancies), I was fortunate that those two babies were born healthy. One had to stay in the hospital a bit longer, but was healthy, with no real cause for concern. The mother and baby I write about today did not have the same outcome. Just six hours. That's all they had with each other. And it breaks my heart.

One of my two preemies.

Today I will be celebrating those six hours that the little newborn had on earth just one week ago. I'll be with his family. I'm sure it will be a day full of tears. This is a family member I never even got the chance to meet. He is the brother that his sisters will never know. His mother and father only had such a short time with him, and I'm certain that they will cherish those six hours forever. 

I originally had a post planned for Earth Day today, and I wasn't even going to talk about this here on the blog at all. But as I've said before and in yesterday's post: I'm a blogger, and I have a voice. Whether my blogger voice is heard or not, I don't know. But as long as I use it to the best of my ability - that's all that matters to me. So I'm going to use my voice!

March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that I've supported in the past, and I'll always continue to support. Supporting the March of Dimes organization helps babies by funding important research and programs that help babies begin their lives as healthy as possible, no matter how premature - even the tiniest of babies. And it just so happens that there is a March for Babies event this Saturday at our State Capitol in Sacramento, California. I encourage you to take a peek at their website and see what March of Dimes is all about.

While it's a little too last minute for me to participate in the walk this year, I'd love to go and show support and possibly walk next year. I've always supported this organization through small donations and sponsorships of other walkers throughout the years since my first preemie baby was born nearly 12 years ago. I've never been to an actual walk, though. 
Wouldn't that be a great goal for next year?

Thanks for visiting today and reading, letting me share a little bit of life with you. Life isn't always about happy moments. Sometimes life is tough.

I hope you have a Happy Earth Day. Love the earth every day. It's the only one we've got. Even the tiniest effort can make a big difference.
And tell your loved ones that you love them. 

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Monday, April 21, 2014

10 Days

Today I share something with you, because bloggers have voices that need to be heard. As bloggers, we have the ability to share content and spread word about so many important causes. We're not just foodies sharing recipes, or crafters sharing DIY projects (although both of those are amazingly awesome!). We are and can be so much more than that. We are social influencers too. We are people with visions, hopes, dreams. As my bloggy friend Shane says, we can move mountains together. And bringing a baby to a family and a home is incredible. Take a look below at an opportunity to help a family out in a time of need. I saw a post at Satisfaction through Christ and was inspired by the story. So I decided to share it.

Meet Merissa.

Just last week Merissa, of Little House Living,  shared that she and her husband were preparing for their first adoption fundraiser.  The blogging community quickly shared their need for donated items and hoped that many of you would come alongside of them in that effort.  But, to our surprise, Merissa announced on Sunday that they had just been chosen to be the parents of a healthy baby boy born on that same day (read the full story here)!  

Today the blogging community has the opportunity to come alongside of Merissa and her family as they adopt this precious baby boy into their family!

Merissa and her husband are traveling to pick up their new son on Wednesday, but they have not had time to do any of their fundraising. It's all happening so fast. They need a little help to make it happen.

They need $12,000 in 10 days.

$12,000 sounds like a lot doesn't it?

It is.

But even by giving just $10, it can make a huge difference! It can create a family.

Can you forego a cup of coffee or a fast food lunch this week in order to bring home a new life?

Not only that, would you share this with your friends?  Email it, Facebook it, Tweet it, Pin it, Stumble it, G+ it.  Whatever you can do.  And if you're a blogger that might be willing to blog about Merissa's story, please leave a comment below or email me and I'll forward you the details!  

Life is worth it.  Adoption is worth it.

Let's bring this baby boy home!!

Disclosure: I'm sharing this post, because I am a blogger with a voice. This is not a sponsored post. I was not compensated in any way for sharing this content. I support causes that I believe in and have always been big on community service projects, non-profit organizations and other good causes close to my heart. Thank you for letting me share this with you, my readers, my friends.

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Easter 2014

I really wasn't ready for Easter this year. Not at all. It seems like it just came so quickly, and it was such a busy week last week. I was never big on the Easter Basket scene, though, I'll admit that. But we usually do egg coloring and an egg hunt as a part of the festivities. Even though this year's celebration was small and totally last minute, it was fun.

Here are our Easter eggs for our little egg hunt. You might have seen them already, if you're following on Instagram. Aren't the bunnies cute?

Our Easter feast consisted of some oven-baked chicken, red pepper pasta and what I call "pizza bread" (they're kind of like cheesy bread sticks & go great with marinara sauce).

For dessert, the girls made some white chocolate covered strawberries. Sooooo good!

Every year, we also make egg salad with our hard-boiled eggs. Tradition! Gotta love it. =0)

How was your weekend? If you celebrate Easter holiday, did you blog about it? Leave your link in a comment!

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