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Yahoo! Japan to make disaster relief donation for every person who searches for 3.11 on March 11

Megan L.:

I don’t re-blog often but I just came across this and since tomorrow is 3/11 I felt it was important. Four years ago there was a major catastrophe in Japan with an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that is still causing fallout.

Yahoo! has stated that they will make a donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts every time someone searches for “3.11” on their search site in memory of that tragic day.

If you read this please make that search “3.11 on Yahoo!” tomorrow. Please share!! ~Megan

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

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Four years on, the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis that befell Japan’s Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 have very little effect on the day-to-day lives of most people in the country. The rolling blackouts have stopped. Batteries and bottled water are once again readily available. Trains are running, and whole cities aren’t spending hours walking home from work or school.

But while a return to normalcy is a desirable, and ultimately necessary, part of recovery, it’s also important to remember what happened. To stem the forgetfulness that often accompanies the later stages of coping with tragedy, on March 11 Yahoo! Japan will be making a donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts for every person that searches for “3.11” through the company’s search engine.

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Launching my new business! Hearthstone Parenting: strengthening families through education, support & community

BusinessCardLogoOk!! It’s live! www.hearthstoneparenting.com    is up and running! Please check out my website and if you live anywhere near Snohomish County registration is open for classes! If you are farther away, Hearthstone Blog offers parenting tips, inspiration & fun! Please share to help me get the word out :)

Thank you!! ~Megan

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A new look at the idea of Parenting

I am starting a new business offering parent education classes, community building activities and parent coaching. I am hoping to create the missing village feel for parents to be supported and have a safe place to share. It is taking up a lot of my time, which is why I haven’t been blogging much. I am busy building a website, working on curriculum, creating brochures and setting up class dates, times and locations. There is so much to do and my to-do list is long!

I am having fun though and feel like I’m in my element. I have a bachelor’s degree in education, taught in elementary schools for 6 years and teaching is my passion. My feeling is teaching doesn’t mean you know it all about a subject, it’s more that you have learned how to research, process and share information. I am really getting into the Breakthrough Parenting model which is what I recently received my parenting educator certification in.

One part of this model I connected with very strongly is the idea of perfectionism. Plato, the Greek Philosopher, explained that people think in the world of ideas. We have images of this ideal. It’s all related to what we personally think perfection is. It’s just how humans think. Unfortunately for us we are destined to feel let down because these ideals are in reality impossible to obtain with our children. The idea we have of who our child is going to be, what they will do, how they will act, will all be false.

Children will constantly surprise us as they show us their true selves. The truth is we do not know who these little beings are. Some people have an easier time letting go of their ideals, but others need a little help realizing that their child isn’t living up to their expectations because they can’t. It’s not to be hurtful, spiteful or with any sense of malice. It’s just impossible. Every child is their own person, they each have their own soul and have a destiny that no one can really understand or control.

Children struggle along this path and we as parent see the struggle. Sometimes we feel the struggle, we take part in it and we feel like we might be the struggle. This is where old parenting ideas get in the way. If we throw those out and view ourselves as a steward, a guide in our childs life, the struggle lessens. There are no specific expectations. We see our children in a new light. They are individuals and we are learning about them as they learn about themselves. We guide and help give information, teaching responsibility and lending support while always showing love.

Our children ultimately are the only ones who will live their lives and it will be up to them what they make of this gift. As a steward we can let go of any control we feel we need to have over our children. It will not work. Compassion, love, respect, understanding and acceptance will allow everyone to feel happy and worthy.

Ahhh….the learning continues :) BusinessCardLogo

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New Years Resolution 2015 : Make Lots of MISTAKES!!

So a New Year has commenced and with the drop of the ball many of us are wondering what the year should bring…Should we lose 10 pounds? Exercise more? Always eat only organic? Never yell at our kids? …

This year my resolution is to make MISTAKES. I am going to make MISTAKES in 2015! Lots and lots of mistakes. I am giving myself PERMISSION to try and fail, over and over again. I will laugh at myself, readjust what needs to be adjusted and try again. Mistakes mean growth, bravery and gains. Mistakes mean I am LEARNING!

Let’s leave the New Year ultimatums behind. I’m losing the words NEVER, ALWAYS, HAVE TO, CAN’T and ONLY.

This year I will not view myself so SERIOUSLY and leave the idea behind of trying to become the person I THINK I should be. I am going to EMBRACE the person I am now and the journey I am on. We are all on a journey and the idea of the perfect “self” is never going to happen because of growth. We are constantly becoming someone new with every experience.

In 2015 I will not pigeon-hole myself into one way to be. I will allow myself to be FLUID.

This my friends is why 2015 will be a year of learning. This ability to learn causes us to constantly be evolving,  one thing learned opens a new door to another path sending us crisscrossing all over 2015! It will be amazing!

So here’s to a new year full of acceptance of where we are today. Here’s to eyes open, looking to learn just to make mistakes, and hearts free to change the path on a whim. We don’t need to be so rigid, so serious or so focused on a single idea. Allow life to happen and smile. This is the only one we’ve got!

Let’s commit to making mistakes and accepting our journey for what it is, an amazing opportunity to become the person we even have no idea we can be!

Happy 2015 from Seattle <3

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Writing just to write…

Blogging was at first a nice stress release for me, writing just for fun, connecting, sharing and learning from others…Then I began to feel pressure, from myself to become “better”, write higher quality posts (even though I am not a writer), post more like a “professional blogger”, also which I am not. All of this stress I created in my head. I read many amazing blogs posted on huff post, here in WordPress and posts that pop up in my news feed on Facebook, and I began to think, “what am I even doing”…I began to feel embarrassed about my writing and my ideas.

Anyway I’m here to say that I have decided to give my ego a much-needed kick in the pants. Today some of my close mom friends came over to create vision boards, which I love by the way. This activity always helps me to think clearer about what I want my life to feel like. Stress is not my friend, and I am usually the one who creates it for myself. Funny how we seem to often get in our own way isn’t it?

This is a reminder to myself that this isn’t a competition about who writes more, or better, or who posts labeled beautiful pictures that I often see on others blog posts. So here’s to me writing for fun, writing for me and writing because it releases stress (as long as I don’t get in the way) ;)

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Finding a lump…

12/8 I found a lump. My heart sank and my breath caught in my throat. Every woman’s worst fear, one of the big ones anyway. I don’t even know what to think. I know I need to call the doctor but I don’t want to. I get dressed and go downstairs. I look at my three-year old playing and I know I’ll call. For her and for her sister. I don’t tell anyone. Why worry them until I know.

I made my appointment. I will go get examined on the 15th. Ugh, this will be a long week.

12/15 I made it to my appointment.  I was examined and it is decided I should have a mammogram to get pics of the lump that I had almost convinced myself I had imagined. I kept thinking that maybe she wouldn’t feel it too. Maybe her fingers would know it was nothing to worry about. Maybe I’d get a pass. But no. Next step. The Comprehensive Breast Center. 12/23. Another week.

This time I told my husband but tried to make it seem like not that big a deal.

12/16 It finally hit me that evening. My anxiety is rising. I messaged a friend who I knew had gone through this too. It felt better & worse to say it out loud. I’m laying in bed thinking I should feel for the lump again but I can’t make myself. I just don’t want to know. I don’t want to feel it. I lay there holding my arms across my chest and try to sleep. It is not easy.

12/17 I am an anxious wreck. I finally told my husband that this is really hard. He has been great. He took the girls to gymnastic class tonight so I could take a bath and relax. I sat there for over an hour reciting the serenity prayer. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to accept the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Right now there is nothing I can do. I will make it till next Tues. I will go from there. Tomorrow is my 9th wedding anniversary.

12/18 Happy Anniversary to my husband & I. I am hoping for many, many more!

Waiting, waiting, waiting….why does this type of thing seem to happen often before the holidays? I want to ask for support, but during this time of year I feel like that is somewhat selfish. Plus I don’t know if it’s anything bad. Who needs possibly unnecessary worry over the holidays. If anyone would begin to feel even a bit like I do right now, I don’t want to share.

12/23 Today is my appointment day. Sat in the waiting room and I could feel the heaviness in the air. So many women waiting. The silence was deafening. I was called in and given a robe to put on. I changed in a dressing room and sat down to wait some more.  My turn came for my mammogram. It wasn’t to bad. Not comfortable but not painful. Then into another room to wait some more. This room had tea and coffee, a soothing waterfall, quiet music. it would have felt relaxing, if not for my beating heart. None of it helped. I was called again to head for my ultrasound. I was asked to feel the lump to show where it was. I didn’t want to, but did it. The images were taken and the technician left. The results came back in about 5 minutes. The longest 5 minutes I have felt as I lay there.

Good news! Wonderful news! A blessing! It is just a cyst that should go away on it’s own over time. No need for a biopsy. I breathe out for the first time in what feels like forever. I am more than grateful. I know that many women do not get these same results. I have a friend who has a close family member going through breast cancer treatment currently…I can’t imagine. My heart aches for these women and their loved ones.

Oh, and I think maybe I was wrong. Maybe it was selfish for me to not allow people to show support and be there for a friend. After I finally told about this scare I received so many stories about others who have gone through this too. So many friends wishing I had told them. Many lovely sentiments about how these are the times friends are for, to lean on. I learned a few valuable lessons through this experience!!

So here’s to a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year full of hope, health, love and friendship <3

My letter. Something to celebrate!

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Easy Ways to Spread Cheer This Season!

 

I love the holiday season no matter what religion is being celebrated. Many religions around the world share this season of hope and good will although they are different. The blog and movement Becoming Minamalist, has a wonderful list of 12 ways anyone can spread some holiday cheer this season.

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/spread-cheer/

A holiday tradition for me is leaving a extra generous tip for a waiter/waitress this time of year. I worked as a server when I was in college and know how hard it can be for persons in that industry to often make ends meet. I wrote about this in a post A $50 Unforgotten Kindness.

My daughters and I donate toys to Toys For Tots every year and to our neighborhood school holiday shop. This shop allows all students to “buy” (donated) gifts for up to 4 gifts. This is the only shopping many will of the students be able to do during the holidays.

So here’s to a season of spreading joy and kindness! It really can be easy to do, plus you may feel so good after you will decide to continue these smile spreading acts throughout the year <3

What are your favorite ways to spread cheer?? Please share!

Happy Holiday! ~Megan

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A Mother’s Love through sickness and in health…

Sick kids have to be one of the hardest things about being a parent. The hopeless feeling we feel when we know our kids have to experience the illness by themselves.  Us, standing by, watching, unable to fix them, but hoping our comfort helps some.

Whenever I take my daughters to the doctor I feel guilty. Guilty that I haven’t protected them enough. Every time my stomach turns and I feel horrible. I am grateful we can go to the doctor and have pretty wonderful insurance, but it really is one thing that just is so so hard.

This week we were at two visits in 3 days for my daughters eczema. First her pediatrician and then a pediatric dermatology specialist. We have been dealing with it for a long time now and when we seem to get a good routine her skin decides to switch things up. It’s extremely frustrating and disheartening to watch your child want to crawl out of her skin. My daughter has eczema on her eyelids, the corners of her eyes, her nostrils and by her mouth. It itches horribly. She tries not to scratch during the day, but at night when she’s asleep I hear her start to itch on the monitor. I run in to her room and snuggle up to her and hold her hands with one hand and gently rub her face. She is sound asleep, but I feel like she must not be getting good sleep if she is subconsciously so aware of the itching that she is aggressively scratching in her sleep. We have a new bathing regimen, new creams to try and lots of good old Vaseline.  Our follow-up appointment is in 3 weeks and I’m really hoping it starts to get back under control.

My heart breaks for her and yet again I wish I could take her place. Sigh….Guess the only thing to do is to continue to love, comfort and care for them through it, every time. <3

My daughter has a little boy in her Kindergarten class who is battling leukemia (ALL). When I feel disheartened I think of him and all the mothers with babies who have illnesses that are life threatening or requiring surgery and recovery and I am so grateful that this is all we are dealing with at this time. I hold this little boy and his family in my heart. I remind myself that there is always something that could be worse. I say the Serenity prayer, reminding me what I can control and what I cannot. I breathe in and pray for healing.

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Building a Parenting Community! Hearthstone Parenting LLC

My new business Hearthstone Parenting LLC is moving right along. I have submitted my workbook and final exam to be graded and assessed, then I will have a final meeting and receive my certificate as a parenting educator. I am really excited to become certified and another step closer to opening!

Why the name Hearthstone? Well, picture a warm place where people gather to find community support, friendship, all sharing and learning together. The hearth as the symbol of family and the stone being the solid platform to build upon. So many parents I know look for advice on the internet, in parenting chat rooms and by buying parenting books.  But then it becomes a solitary pursuit to gaining new parenting skills because of the disconnect between actual people in your community. People who would also love someone to build a lasting relationship with.

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In this day and age in the U.S. there is the lost sense of community for many where neighbors don’t know each other’s names. Long gone is the village that once helped parents raise their children. Families are spread out around the country and the globe, not living in the same house or on the same family homestead. Many new parents sit at home wondering what to do when their idealistic idea of being a parent seems to crumble with every tantrum or tear from the sweet little ones. Parents of teens sigh when the door slams shut or they sit alone while their teen is glued to technology, not knowing how to bridge that gap and re-connect with their child. Parents of grown children who never seem to grow up sit isolated in their thoughts of “where they went wrong”, feeling that they may never have a healthy connection with their child. Many parents feel like there is no-one to talk to or commiserate with and nowhere to turn to gain new parenting insight to change the relationships they have. Some parents just wish for other parent friends who have children in the same stages as theirs to compare notes.

I hope to use parenting education and support to strengthen the parent child relationships by building upon the already formed foundation of their family. It is never too late to learn some new strategies to help build healthy respectful relationships with children no matter their age.

I would love to hear from parents, grandparent and anyone else their thoughts on what they wish was available to parents both new and seasoned.  What classes/workshops would benefit parents and do you think this would be a service you would consider…I would love to start gathering ideas before I begin to design my curriculum, class roster and activity schedule.

 

Thank you!!! ~ Megan

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Thanksgiving Graces

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for thanks and a reminder to be grateful for all we are blessed with. Gratefulness to me is feeling content in the moment. It doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It’s about being aware now, in this very moment, this second. That feeling when you look around and just breathe deep. Feeling thankful for me is connected to that feeling. It’s realizing that your life is your life and cherishing what is there. It’s being aware the future may hold new adventures or challenges and that it’s okay because you’ve made it to today.

I don’t know what the future holds, I do know what my hopes are dreams are though. I am grateful for those. I am thankful for where my life has taken me so far. Thankful for my supportive husband, my beautiful amazing daughters who have made me a better person.  I am thankful for my friends who accept me as I am and encourage me to keep growing. I am thankful for my family who is there, ready to offer encouragement.

During this season I think it is easy for some to be caught up in the trap of more being better somehow. The idea of Thankfulness dispels that somehow. It’s  amazing, family and friends getting together to share food and company. No materialistic expectations, just love. I hope that this feeling weaves its way though out the holiday season into the new year.

I am blessed. <3 Happy Thanksgiving!

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