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?
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