Friday, September 20, 2013

High Five for Friday - Special Edition

Helleur there!  This week was pretty awesome..I have to say it was the coolest week I've had in a long time...and I've had a lot of cool weeks lately. That being said this weeks post is a little different other than my usual Friday blog.  So, let's get to it..

A few weeks ago in church an announcement was made that they were having a dessert auction to raise money for the youth mission trip.  I heard dessert..and auction and it immediately got my attention.  Since I absolutely love to bake - and I'm pretty good at it too - I decided that I was going to participate.  I know this sounds terrible, but I'm not overly involved with my church.  I show up on Sundays, Trey attends VBS every summer, and we go to the occasional church supper.  That is pretty much the extent of it.  So, a week later on Saturday I did my morning yoga class and then dedicated the rest of the morning/afternoon to baking some banana bread.  

I don't know what got into me, but I counted all my bananas and decided I had enough to make three batches of bread.  I texted my Mother telling her about my day of baking for the church.  She said "can you make them pretty with ribbons and put a tag on them explaining what it is?"  "Of course." I said.  After baking I cleaned up a bit, dusted the flour off of me, and headed to Hobby Lobby.  I bought some burlap and some tags spending the rest of my evening at home "decorating" my loaves...This is what I ended up with...19 loaves of bread ready to be auctioned off at church the next day.

Rewinding a bit...

On the last batch I ran short on some sugar, so I sent Trey over to Brittney's house to borrow some.  She was not home.  So I sent him to the house on the other side of me.  Luckily, Kathy was home and she gave me some sugar.  I miscalculated (imagine that..I am terrible at math) so I had to send him over a second time...this time with my measuring cup for him to show her exactly what I needed.

I felt bad for having to ask not once, but twice for the sugar, so when my first batch finally cooled off I gave Trey a loaf to take over there to thank her for the trouble.

A few hours later her daughter came over and handed me a plate of fresh brownies along with a card thanking me for the delicious bread and telling me if I ever need anything she is right next door.  It was very sweet and unexpected.

Sooo, that pretty much made my day, and it got me thinking about paying it forward, doing unto others..being the change I would like to see in this world..etc..and I decided that since this was my birthday week I wanted to do things to make others happy. This would be my birthday gift to others.  
Random acts of kindness, if you will.

I discussed this with Trey and together we sat down to make a list of 36 things we would like to do in celebration of my 36 years thus far on this earth. 

We started small..we made several post-it notes with positive messages on them, and decided to leave them in random places throughout the week...

Everywhere I went I left a little note behind...

just randomness...hoping to make someone smile...hoping to make a difference in someones day.

At the top of some Redbox machines we taped microwavable popcorn with a note saying to enjoy movie night..and the popcorn.. 

One day I called a girlfriend, who happens to be a Kindergarten teacher.  I told her about my plans for the week.  I didn't really know where I was going with this (it was not on the list that Trey and I made) but I asked her if I could stop by one day and read a book to her class.

She immediately said "sure!! and bring one of your dogs with you because we are studying pets this week."  I was like "Whaaaatt!!! Are you serious???  That's awesome..yes, yes, please..thank you, thank you!!"

So, instantly I knew I would take Brodie and I knew exactly what book I would read.

One night after yoga I gave Brodie a little haircut, nail trim and a bath..

Let's just say he was a little lot upset with me!!  He is so funny!!
I promised him it would all be worth it and kept telling he had a big day the next day. 
I knew he would love it!

So, the next day I brushed him out again and put a little handkerchief on him, packed his bag with his favorite stuffed animal, some sliced apples for treats, and my favorite children's book.  The McDuff stories...which is a book about a little Westie...named McDuff.  Perfect!

We got to the school...signed in..everyone in the office loved Brodie.  Of course, Catharina had to get permission for us to come, so they were expecting us.  I wish you could have seen Brodie..he pranced along with his cute little walk..head held high, ears perked up, tail constantly wagging.  I just knew at that moment we were exactly where we were supposed to be.

So, we went into the classroom.  All the children sat in their seats as I walked Brodie around the room for each child to pet him.  He was so polite giving kisses..wagging his tail every step along the way.  We discussed how to care for a pet, that you have to be gentle with dogs, what kind of dog Brodie is. They loved it when Brodie showed them his stuffed animal that he sleeps with...and then I read the book.  Quietly and wide eyed they all listened and occasionally would say "awwww" along to the story.  It was perfect and the puppy in the book looks so much like Brodie.  It was an amazing day!  The next day when I spoke with Catharina she said that the kids were still talking about our visit.  :-)

After leaving the school Brodie and I went to pick up Trey.  We took Brodie home so he could rest, and then Trey and I ventured out to spread some more happiness.

We stopped by the dog park and left a bag full of tennis balls with a note saying to please take a ball for your dog to play with.  While I was hanging the bag a little boy, probably 2 years old, was running around chasing his dog.  Trey asked his Mother if their dog would like to have a ball.  She said "sure, thank you so much" then she asked where our dog was?  I guess we were the creepy people at the dog park without a dog..anyway the little boy took the ball, threw it, and then ran off chasing his dog..and the ball..

After the dog park we stopped by the Humane Society..

Earlier in the week I contacted my friend, Amy, who is the director of the Humane Society.  I told her what I was doing and how I wanted them to be a part of my week.  She was excited and told me when to stop in the office.  The HS offers a spay/neuter program that assists fixed, or low income families who otherwise cannot afford to spay or neuter their pets.  The voucher costs a considerably lower amount than it would if you had gone straight to the vet for this service.  In order to qualify for a voucher you have to provide proof of some form of assistance whether it be food stamps, disability, public housing, social security, WIC..and/or a few other types of assistance.  You can take this voucher to vet offices participating in this program and they will do it for the lower cost.  It is a remarkable program, and has helped so many.  Trey and I made a donation to be used towards a voucher for the next person that came in to purchase one.  I only wish that everyone would spay and neuter their pets.  What a difference it would make!!

While shopping one evening I sought out the manager of a store I frequent to tell her that her staff is always so kind and helpful, and that they are a huge part of why I enjoy shopping there..(well, that and the super cute clothes).  I opened doors whenever possible, sometimes rushing to get there first to be able to do so.  I smiled more, hugged tighter, told some parents how well behaved their children were.  I complimented strangers, donated half a closet worth of my clothes, and I rolled my neighbors trash can back to their house after I saw the garbage truck empty it.

This last story I am going to tell you is without a doubt the most special act I preformed this week. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I cried my eyes out before, during and after this one. I sat down one afternoon and hand wrote two to my Mother and one to my Father.  I thanked my Mom for birthing me and for being such an inspiration all these 36 years.  I thanked her for being the best Mother and Grandmother imaginable.  I also have to mention that I thanked her for not smothering me in my sleep between the ages of 13 and needed to be in the me..I was no saint...but I think I turned out alright!  I thanked my Dad for being my friend, my role model, my everything, and for being the funniest most amazing, compassionate person I know. If it were not for them I would not exist and I darn well wouldn't be the person I am today.. I wanted them to know how special they are to me and how grateful I am for them.

I was super proud that Trey was excited to be involved in this mission..I wanted him to see that it doesn't take much, or that it doesn't take gobs of money to make a difference, or to make people make people feel special.  He got to experience the joy in giving..  I wanted him to know that he can "be" the change, too..It only takes one person to make a small imagine what this world would be like if we all took time to make a tiny difference...

I may not have completed my full list of 36 random acts, but I did have a full heart by the end of the week, and all I can say is I love this beautiful life I have been given...and Happy Birthday to me!



  1. HOW INSPIRING.....Trey is very lucky you are his Mother! LOVE YOU'

  2. OMG! Carrie you had me crying by the end of your blog. You are such a wonderful person, a true role model for all of us. You have inspired me to take the time and do for others. I try to be kind and helpful to others, but not nearly enough, so I am going to do 51 acts of kindness. I may not get them all done in a week but I will try for a month. Thanks for your sweet blog every week, it is the highlight of my Fridays! Love ya, Pam

  3. You are the most awesome person I know!