Sunday, December 16, 2012

For the Moms of Sandy Hook, CT.

As I watched the horrific events unfold on Friday  I felt completely helpless. My heart ached for these families and for the

innocent victims whose lives were taken from this earth all too soon.

I especially felt an overwhelming sadness for the Moms who would never again be able to see their children or embrace them.

The only way I could think to help these Moms in this time of tragedy is to get care packages together for them.

This will not take a lot of time or money and I know that this small act of kindness will help to ease someone’s burden, if only for

a moment or two.

This is what I am asking....

Please gather up as many of these items listed below and send them to:

Moms of Sandy Hook

P.O. Box 3700 Newtown, CT. 06470

Items on the list include but are not limited to:

A box of tissue, a small bottle of lotion, one or two bottles of water,

a non perishable snack such as a granola bar, crackers, beef jerky, etc.

a blank journal, a blanket, lip balm, waterproof mascara, and a small candle.

As a person who has lost a loved one in a tragic accident, I remember the small things in those following days of grief that helped me get through the difficult times.

I had to remember to keep myself nourished and hydrated, which in times of sorrow we often overlook.

I advise you to keep your words few, but heartfelt if you include a note or card.

Please let me know if you are able to send a package. I appreciate your time.


JaeAna Bernhardt

Go to the facebook link and "like" the page. You can receive more information there about sending care packages. Thank you and please spread the word!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easy & delicious breakfast quesadilla

This is my very own creation and let me tell you, I'm impressed.
Trying to start Weight Watchers again. I'm a life time member, but I haven't been able to lose the last 10 lbs. since I gave birth to my son nearly 2 years ago.
So,  I need to start tracking again.
Here is the recipe:
1 Tortilla
1 oz. soy chorizo (I find mine at Trader Joe's)
1/3 cup cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped green onions

Lay out your tortilla, flat. Place the cheese all over the tortilla.
Cook the chorizo and then spread it on top of the cheese.
Add your green onions, place in toaster oven at 400 degrees for approx. 4 minutes.
Garnish with sliced avocado.
This is very satisfying!

I calculated points to be : 11 Weight watchers points plus.
If only using egg whites: 9

Monday, March 26, 2012

Funny note I saw at "Five Guys Burgers" in DC

Just had to take a picture of this. We were at a burger joint in D.C. for lunch one Saturday.
I noticed there was a place for customers to write a note and pin to a bulletin board.
Most of them said things like, "Best burgers in town. Great place to eat, I love Five guys....." etc.
This one caught my eye and made me laugh.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Generation Gap

I did something a little unconventional this past week.
It is something that I have been meaning to do for years, literally.
I wasn't exactly sure what to expect and I didn't know if it was a good idea or not, but I wanted to try it.
So, what did I do?
I took my toddler son to go visit residents at a nursing home.

When I was a child, it was called an "Old Folks" home.
I remember my first ever visit to  the "Old Folks" home when I was a child, around the age of 7 or 8.

 You see, my mom was a nurse and she used to work for a nursing  home when I was a child.
She would take me to work with her sometimes. I'm not exactly sure why she did this, but I can recall being scared to death the first time I ever went to the home with her. There were all these elderly people sitting around either watching TV, playing board games or just sitting in their wheel chairs staring out the window.

This was such a foreign place to me. I had never seen so many old people together in once place before.
I didn't like it. I didn't want to stay, I wanted my mom to take me back home.
She didn't take me home and I ended up staying there for her full shift.

I was very shy, I sat down in the cafeteria trying to hide. I didn't want anyone to speak to me, or to even look my way.
Of course I couldn't hide. There I was, a little girl with long, perfectly fixed braids in her hair, with huge brown eyes taking in the sites and smells of the place.
 My mom  introduced me to the residents and then she told me to go play checkers with one lady, so I did.
I can't remember too much more about that day, but I do remember that I left that day with a smile on my face and it gave me a really good feeling inside.  .

I returned to the nursing home many times after that first  visit. I would play board games, take someone for a walk, eat lunch with my new "friends" and sometimes I wouldn't do anything, I would just sit quietly and listen.
That's all they wanted most of the time, was to have someone listen. They wanted to be noticed, to be validated and I provided that for them.
It was a great feeling and I was happy that my mom introduced me to this new world that I never knew existed.

 When my oldest was just a baby, 6 months old, my husband and I traveled to Nebraska to visit his dying Grandma. When we walked through the doors of the nursing home with my son held tightly in my arms, I remember the look on the residents faces as we walked the corridors. It was a look of joy. I saw their eyes light up and I remember thinking that it was the same look that I would get when I would visit the nursing home as a child.
The women wanted to hold the baby and when I handed over my son to one lovely lady, it touched my heart. It made me happy to know that for one moment I could make someone's day. Make them feel loved.
I wanted to continue visiting nursing homes with my son when I returned to my home, but I never made time for it.

 This brings me back to my visit this past week with my toddler.
It was now or never. My youngest son is at the perfect age for us to start visiting nursing homes.
I contacted a local nursing home and let them know that I wanted to come by to visit some residents with my son. The activity director was overjoyed with this news and made arrangements with me to visit during their weekly activities session.

 So, on Wednesday, we went to the nursing home and it turns out, I had nothing to be worried about. We had a great visit!
My son was very shy at first, he clung to my leg and didn't want me to leave his side.
Slowly, but surely he warmed up to the crowd. He walked over to the TV and started to fiddle with the different buttons, he caught his reflection in the mirror and examined himself for a few seconds before moving on to something else. Finally, he  found an exercise ball and started to throw it around the room. He played "Peek a boo" with one grey haired lady and he jumped up and down and made silly faces for everyone and we all laughed.
 I'm not certain that everyone was happy to have a little toddler running around the facility, but for the most part I think he was a hit!
I can't tell you how full my heart was that day. It was a full circle moment for me.
My mom would have been proud.
I will continue to honor my mom's memory by taking my son for weekly visits to the nursing home.
It's the least I can do to close the generation gap.
I encourage you to get out there and do what you can to put a smile on someone's face.
After all, wouldn't you want someone to do the same for you when you're 99?

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's OK, I'm OK.

I find myself repeating this mantra a lot lately.
My life is busy, sometimes chaotic. I deal with depression on a daily basis, I don't know if depression is a result of some things that happened to me when I was a child, if it's because an imbalance in my brain, or if it's delayed postpartum depress, no matter where it stems from, I know I can't let depression keep me down.
I'm a Mom of 3, I'm a wife,  a friend, a Daughter, Sister and Aunt.
I'm going through a lot of emotional chaos right now.
Am I complaining? I suppose some could view it that way.
I'd like to think that  I'm just  venting.
I live in a rural area, I'm not around any other adults much during the day, so sometimes I guess I do speak without thinking that maybe it could come out as a complaint or frustration.

However, the goods news is that I am aware of this. I'm tired of losing friends and pushing family members away.
I have made a vow to work on myself, my patience, my complaining and just being an overall better person.
It's going well, so far, at least I think so.

Life isn't easy, I don't care who you are. It's never easy.
It is what we make of it and I'm not sure if the upcoming New Year has made me reflect on all these issues I need to work out, or if it's just life in general that has made me contemplate these issues  and made me want to do and be better. What ever the case may be, my children, my husband, family and friends deserve a better "ME". So, I'll give it to them.

Life goes by way too fast and I want to try to enjoy every moment of it that I can. 
When I lost my Mom 16 years ago  in a car accident. I turned to her and I knew in my heart of hearts that she was already gone, but I was hoping that she could somehow be able to hear what I had to say to her. Those words were, "Mom, it's ok. I'm ok." Those were the only words I could force out of my mouth. My mind was spinning but I wanted her to know that her daughter was going to be OK.
So when I find myself in the midst of chaos or when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I'll repeat those words as a reminder that everything is going to be just fine. "It's OK. I'm OK".

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shoe Make Over

Back in May, my Daughter and myself attended an annual Mother's day tea.
The theme was to come dressed as your personality.
After giving much thought to this, I decided that I would be the "Queen Bee" and my Daughter would be a "Honey bee" because she's such a sweetie.

We had fun decorating our hats with flowers & bees. We both wore black & yellow dresses, but we still needed some shoes to match our outfit.

At the last minute, I decided to do some fabric flowers and glue them on our shoes.
We didn't win a prize for our theme, but I was very happy with the overall outcome.

Linking to:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby!

I'm very late posting this, but our little guy turned 1 on June 24th.

It still blows my mind as to how the time can go by so fast. I still remember the very first day I held him in my arms and how I wanted to capture that moment in my mind and keep it forever.
He is a very active boy. He likes music, he goes back and forth between being a "Mama's boy" and a "Daddy's boy". One minute he wants to be held and cuddled by me and the next he's crying for his Dad.
He isn't speaking much, but does say, "Mama, Dada, Wow". He also knows the sign for "More" and "Please".
All in all he is a joy to have around and we are so glad we have our little "Bonus" baby.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quick craft for Easter.

At the last minute, I came up with this super easy craft for my kiddos to make for their friends at school.
I had a bunch of those chocolate candies in a wrapper.
We cut out Butterfly wings out of construction paper, taped the chocolates in the middle and added some
google eyes and pipe cleaner for antennae.

SUPER Easy and cute.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Last Minute Baby diaper cake

I had a baby shower to attend on Saturday. I knew there would be a diaper raffle and I forgot to buy diapers, so I thought of a last minute idea for a diaper cake.
Luckily, I had some diapers at the house because my little guy is only 9 months.
Mind you, they were a size 3, but they'll come in handy once the baby is older.

1. I started out with a small mixing bowl. I rolled up the diapers and gathered them all together with a rubber band.
2. I used some white raffia and unrolled in around the diapers. Kept it together with a small piece of tape on the back.
3. I used a white napkin for the top of the "cake". Just unfolded it and tucked it into the raffia paper.
4. Got out my scrapbook supplies and came up with a cute little sign that read "baby". Glued the sign on to a popsicle stick, stuck it in the middle of the cake.
5. Took a flower and put it under the sign to complete the diaper cake.
6. Tied some ribbon around the whole cake for a finished look.

So fast, simple and cute.
My friend loved the cake!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Almost time.

It's almost that time again. The time when I wipe tears from my eyes because I find myself thinking about her.
Almost time to try to forget the horrific images I have ingrained in my memory of the day the accident happened.
Time when I reflect on all the good memories I have of her. All the funny memories.

Like the time when we were driving down a busy street and she took the turn a little too fast and her car door flew open which resulted in her purse flying out of the car and plopped onto the middle of the intersection with all her loose change and dollar bills blowing into all the other oncoming vehicles. She just kept screaming, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what do I do?" All the while her car door was still wide open and she continued to drive down the road. I screamed back, "Shut your door and pull over!". Then I had to run into the street to get her purse and gather up all of her personal belongings, shoving them back inside her purse as I tried to dodge vehicles who wouldn't stop for me to accomplish this task.

It does bring a smile to my face now, just thinking of her and her clumsy things she would do.
Who is she, you ask?
My Mom.
My beautiful, wonderful, caring , loving Mom.
She was killed in a car accident on April 6, 1996. I saw her die. Right before my eyes, I swear I saw her spirit leave her body.
That day was the most traumatic day of my life. However, it was also one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I was the last person that she ever saw before she entered into the afterlife. I was the last voice she ever heard. I knew in my heart of hearts that  she was gone, killed instantly. The last words I said to her were, "Mom, it's ok. I'm ok, it's ok." Those were the only words that I could manage to say. I have heard that when a person dies, the last thing to go is their hearing. I wanted my Mom to know that I was ok. I wasn't injured. She could go in peace knowing that her daughter was safe and alive.
A few short days after her death, I had a strange kind of peace about her untimely death. I thought to myself how special it was for me to be with her during her death. She brought me into this world and I was able to be with her when she left this world.

April 6. It's only a few short weeks away. During the early years of her death, usually around 2 weeks before the Anniversary date I would start getting anxious. My Husband will tell you that I was not a person he would want to be near. I would have crying fits, my temper would sometimes become volatile, I would be in a deep state of depression. It was just an awful 2 weeks for me and for anyone else around me.
It wasn't until my Daughter was born that I was able to view the Anniversary in a different way. You see, my Daughter was born in April. She was born on April 26. My life had come full circle for me the day she was born. Instead of dreading the month of April, I now had a reason to celebrate. I celebrate my Daughter's birth, I celebrate the fact that I am a Mom..... of 3! I celebrate that I'm alive and I was able to give life!
I now understand how much my Mom loved me. It is truly a blessing to be a Mom. For me, it's an even more special blessing to be a Mom of a Daughter.
Don't get me wrong, April 6th is still an emotionally difficult day for me, but I try to make the best of it. I choose to remember how she lived life and not how she died.
So yes, it's almost time.
Time to live, time to love, time to laugh. It's time.

Linking to:
Creative Girl
Hodgepodge Friday
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