Coming Alive

Inspiring others to use their voice to change the World

Bringing (Keeping) It All Together

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

Let’s run through the day; wake up everyone; take out the dog; wake up everyone; turn on the water for tea; wake up everyone; take a shower; one last call to wake up everyone; make breakfast; encourage teenagers to make lunches; do some dishes; switch the laundry; answer quick emails; gather items for the day; remember to get myself ready (make-up/hair/professional clothes—not slippers and stretch pants); drop of at the middle school; drop off at the high school; drop off at the university; park and hustle to the Department of Public and International Affairs for my Graduate Teaching Assistant duties; pick up at the middle school; pick up at the high school; pick up at the university; drop off at theatre; drop off two at home; drive back to the university; attend Public and Policy Analysis evening class; go home; rinse and repeat!  Make note–this evening was minus guitar, PTSA meetings, eye appointments, or the multitude of other items that make their way onto the calendar.

When I list it all I think I should be suffering from a massive breakdown, which could be something sneaking up on me, but honestly I do not feel overwhelmed!  I think it has to do with making the decision to pursue something that makes me “come alive” and leaves me optimistic that I am on the path of having the fulfilling (personally and financially), career that I have longed for.  By bringing it all together, I am keeping it all together.  How ironic does that sound?  When you are doing what you love life just feels more manageable.

So to keep up with the pattern of busy and the goal of success……I spent last night putting out this email…….


I hope this email finds you happy (or sleeping) tonight.  I am reaching out this evening to introduce UN Women-Wilmington, part of the NC USNC UN Women chapter.  You are included in this email group because either, I met you at the International Student Welcome Pool Party; you are in my Volunteer Management course with Dr. Brudney; you kindly took a moment to stop by the Coastal Carolina UNA-USA table at the UNCW Involvement Fair; you are a parent of a girl who might be interested in learning more about GirlUp; or at some point you were an engaged member of ONE Wilmington while I was the Congressional District Leader from 2010-2013.

Whatever the reason, if you would like to be removed please do not hesitate to ask.  My disclosure statement is that I never place you on a listserv (I will give you links to do that yourself if you are interested) and I am a very busy grad student and mom of three teenagers, so will be extremely mindful of your time with the content of the email.  I strive to provide information in bulk allowing you the choice to read, take action, give, or attend events on your own accord–there is never pressure.  What is most important is that you know I am available whenever you feel the desire to speak up for women and girls around the world, to give direction in choosing the most effective way to advocate!

With housekeeping out of the way, I would like to share with you some upcoming events and opportunities to learn more about the incredible work of UN Women.  If you have talents to offer in planning, organizing, or being a vibrant presence at an event please respond to this email and we can talk more.  My contact information can be found below.

Now the details:

*This Saturday, Septemeber 20, you can RSVP to view the screening of HeForShe being hosted by Emma Watson in New York.  Follow this link to learn more and register for the viewing link:

*Next Thursday, September 25, the NC UN Women will be hosting an event at the Executive (Governer’s) Mansion, “Talking Back:  A Conversation About Women With NC Lawmakers”.  I am honored to be the opening speaker offering some social media training that can have an impact on empowering women and girls.  This will be followed by a panel discussion with Congresswoman Elmers (NC-2) and Congressman Price (NC-4).  You can register by following this link (I would love the hometown Wilmington support if you are available to attend):

*Thursday, October 2, there will be a UN Women-Wilmington coffee shop meet up at Port City Java, 132 Racine Drive (next to Khol’s), at 2:00 pm.  It will be a relaxed way to meet and then discuss how we can engage our local officials to keep women and girls a priority in their decision making.

*Saturday, October 25, there will be a meeting for GirlUp at the Northeast Public Library.  The Wilmington GirlUp club is facilitated by my daughter, Isabel, and focused on middle and high school age girls who want to become advocates for girls around the world.  If you are interested in learning more please email Isabel,

*Friday, November 21, there will be a UN Women-Wilmington event around the topic of ending gender-based violence in conjunction with a Thanksgiving food drive.  More details for this to come.

*In December meetings will begin for planning and organizing the 6th Annual UN Women Walk to End Violence Against Women and Girls at Hugh MacRae Park that is held every April.  We are accepting walk committee members to be a part of this rewarding event.  I can honestly say it is one of the best committees and events to be a part of–we would love to add some new faces:)!

Thank you so much if you have read this far.  I appreciate your interest and will be available for any questions you might have.  I whole-heartedly believe that together as ONE we are shaping a better world.  I always stay focused on the positive proof of progress and raise my voice when I see the injustice.  I hope you are inspired to join me.

All the best,


3……..2……..1……..Grad School!!!!

 Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.  ~George Herbert

In my head I hear, “Really? This is a crazy idea!!”  I have a daughter in her final year of early college high school, which means college applications begin over the next month.  A middle son in his first, and most challenging year of the same early college high school. My youngest son weathering through one more year of middle school. A busy husband enrolled in the local community college while still commuting an hour to work. All while, I am starting my second year as a Legal Assistant in a local Immigration law office, serving as Secretary of the NC USNC UN Women Board/Vice President of the Wilmington Region, Apparel Coordinator for the kids’ high school, and sewing assistant for Journey Productions.  Sure, this sounds like the PERFECT time to start Graduate School—oh my!!!

But, then I read the words of George Herbert, “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right’.  I found what lights me up and I have written about it all over this website.  It’s time to take the leap.  There is something BIG I’m supposed to be doing in this world and it is not scanning, copying, organizing, and drafting documents in a law office.  Don’t get me wrong, this job came into my life at exactly the right moment and I am incredibly grateful, but in this position I have had to step away from all of the things that I long to do.

Last summer, my friend and mentor, Dr. Paige Tan Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science at Radford University, sat and coerced me to look into the Master’s in Public Administration program at UNC-Wilmington.  Knowing she would never steer me wrong I went home and started researching.  I knew instantly that this was the education I needed to give all of the advocacy and board work I had been doing credibility.  I made a point to write about it here on my website as a way to hold myself accountable for the decision I was making:  Coming Alive Again and Again and Again.

However, taking the GRE, facing the technology age gap, and stomaching the cost of college have all been obstacles to overcome.  At first I talked myself out of it daily.  Then over the winter there were some life events that pushed me inward again.  Our life here on this earth is short and I want to leave it knowing that I lived fully and true to myself.

When we first moved from Indiana I tore a page out of an “O” Magazine—Oprah just knows how to push us forward, as does Barbara Kingsolver (one of my favorite authors).  It sits in an old broken Pottery Barn frame right on my dresser to remind me to step out into this world and do what I am called to do.  It reads:

“Every one of us is called upon, perhaps many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job…And onward full-tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another–that is surely the basic instinct…Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.” ― Barbara KingsolverHigh Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never

So here I go…….3………2……….1………..Grad School!!!



Holiday Shopping Challenge: Make “Uncommon” Common

Shopping with (com)passion, creativity, simplicity, and frugality is the only way I can make the task enjoyable.  Buying something new and full price puts a lump in my throat unless I know it has been made with the intention of improving lives or blanketing the world in beauty.   So when Halloween is over and the official season of gratitude and giving begins, I compile “the list”.   You know the one—teachers, grandparents, neighbors, parents, spouses, kids, mail person, and/or anyone else you wish to offer a little holiday cheer to.  I then decide how to meet the above criteria and get started.

This year I am woo!! hooing!!!! because I have found the perfect company that meets my standards and they have such a variety that I can do a ONE STOP SHOP!!!  How is that for simplicity!  Back in September I introduced UncommonGoods in a post and received incredible feedback—plus a few incredible birthday gifts……..

Recycled Hummingbird Feeder

Recycled Hummingbird Feeder

UncommonGoods Gift Certificate

UncommonGoods Gift Certificate

I have decided to throw 100% of my support behind their company and make UncommonGoods “common” for all of those on my “list”.  Since it is the beginning of my brainstorming session, I thought it might be fun to have it right here on my blog.  Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same.  Clicking on each photo will take you directly to the order page for that item………simple…..simple……simple!!

However if you wish to choose your own you can start right on their holiday gift collection page……click HERE to get started being “common”!

Here I go now with “THE LIST”:

Teachers:  Having older kids means we have many teachers, so it is imperative that we think outside of the box.  We were so excited to discover the holiday record coasters!!  They come in a set of 6 which means we can split them up and make fun packages with a coaster, seasonal soda, and a candy cane………….woolah—teachers are done!!!

Holiday Record Coasters (set of 6)

Holiday Record Coasters (set of 6)

Grandparents: Towels and aprons always make me think of my grandparents.  That is why I loved these items.  I smell cookies and pies baking now!

State Dish Towels

State Dish Towels

State Apron

State Apron

Neighbors:  There is just no denying how cool these mugs are……..I want them for us too!

Face Mug--cookies not included

Face Mug–cookies not included

Parents:  Buying for the parents is always the toughest.  When I saw this vase I was sold.   Siblings are always looking for that special something to go in on and this is perfect:)

Brick Memory Vase

Brick Memory Vase

Spouse:  These mugs in a basket with some candles, fair-trade tea, and chocolate would make the post-holiday relaxation even sweeter.

Personalized Porcelain Mugs

Personalized Porcelain Mugs

Kids:  I hope my kids don’t read this post because I found something to please each one of them.

For the boy who loses his glasses

For the boy who loses his glasses

A ticket stub diary for the rock star to fill up

For the boy who loves to rock!

"she made rainbows" iphone cover--because she makes them daily

It’s called the “she made rainbows” iphone cover–perfect fit for my girl

Mail carrier:  All year long our mail carrier, Ginny, brings us packages full of joy–we always try to remember her during the busy season!

Bag of Cheer

Bag of Cheer

Family gifts:  Our families all live in another state.  Every year we try to get a package to the house where they will be gathering.  I found some great things to include this year-yippee!!

Random Acts of Kindness Cards

Random Acts of Kindness Cards

Eco Dough

Eco Dough

Things that are just too cool:  Ok, these are WAY out of my price range, but I had to show them.  It is incredible what people can create.  I am always mesmorized by items like these…….

Road Tested Chair

Road Tested Chair

Seat Belt Chair

Seat Belt Chair

With only a few exceptions all of the items I showcased were handmade and recycled.  I also made an effort to stay in my budget, unless it was an item I thought there would be multiple people contributing to.  There are always great sale items and for those who prefer to shop through a catalog there is that option as well.  Follow these links for sale and catalog options.

Now finish up your order and put that shopping list to rest………..share the post and we will definitely make UncommonGoods “common” this shopping season!!

One Way Out Part 2—A Family Affair

“It takes a village to raise a child”–African Proverb

sirua (96)

There is no way to describe the African experience to others when you return.  When my family wanted me to talk about it I didn’t have the words—“you just have to go there”, was my response.  They wanted a way to share in the trip and were all eager to participate in the 26 day challenge for Carolina for Kibera as a way to “travel” there in a small way.  When Christine Catlett, founder of One Way Out, returned from her trip she felt the same and was determined to return to Dago with her family and the next summer she did!


Now, One Way Out is a family affair.  She returned with her husband, Sam, and two children; Marley, 14, and Dylan, 16.  Life-changing is not a grand enough description for how this trip launched them forward.  Marley has since returned two times and raised over $1,000 for the organization through fundraisers.  Her senior project last year was a preschool/kindergarten curriculum introducing the similarities and differences between the students here and in Africa.  During the 5 lessons the students collected change for their peers on the other side of the world.  How awesome is that?  Marley is currently in her first semester now at UNC-Chapel Hill and has already taken the steps to create a One Way Out College Chapter.  Her Swahili professor has agreed to be the advisor and she has set a goal to take a group of students to Kenya next summer.  Obviously Marley was passed down some of those “take action” genes from her mom!


Christine’s son, Dylan, has also returned one more time since the first trip.  He and Marley share a sponsorship for one student and he recently has asked to sponsor one on his own.  This is a college student giving up some of his play money—I love it!


I know that having a supportive husband is key to being a successful advocate. Christine is lucky like me, I have Randy and she has Sam.  Sam is a board member of One Way Out and present at all of the events.  His (com)passion matches that of the rest of his family.  They are truly a family of world changers.  At first I was quite intimidated by their awesomeness, but after spending time with them I learned that they are no different than the rest of us.  They work, go to school, volunteer, garden, walk their dog, and in addition to all that are educating a village.  I guess it is time for the rest of us to get busy.

One Way Out

“Only the educated are free.”–Epictetus

After returning from Kenya I was bombarded with comments and questions about why I was advocating for individuals in Africa rather than here in the United States.  It prompted the post, “We Have It In Us To Do Both”.  My feelings are the same today (two years later) and I have been fortunate to become friends with Christine Catlett who is living proof that we can make a difference both here and in Africa.  I believe all of the mid-life moms (by that I mean 30s, 40s, 50s) reading this post will be inspired by Christine’s Story.


For those of us who left the professional world for the parent-at-home career, there comes a point when the youngest is in school all day that space is created to contemplate doing something personally fulfilling that is separate from them.  I embraced being a ONE Congressional District Leader and Christine Catlett chose to become a Guardian ad litem—translated ‘guardian during litigation’.  Basically a Guardian ad litem is the advocate for the child who has been removed from a home by social services.  It takes a special person to take on this role!  After volunteering a few years Christine became a trainer for their organization under a time restricted grant.  It is easy to know the (com)passion she has for these kids—it radiates from her and being able to train others for the role was an opportunity she welcomed.


Christine’s story then takes a turn—in the direction of Africa (Kenya to be exact).  When the grant ended for the training program she felt like she needed an adventure and something just for her.  Through a friend she learned about a non-profit that coordinates volunteer opportunities abroad.  Christine was going to the Dago Village in Southwestern Kenya and she was going SOLO!  Now it is no secret that the ONE Moms trip to Kenya changed the lives of everyone involved and the experience was no different for Christine.  She returned with the same emotions and thoughts that we all had—a deep rooted desire to take action.  Our ONE Moms post trip involved numerous media events as well as meetings on Capitol Hill and the White House.  We created a movement that has since led to a second ONE Moms trip to Ethiopia and the creation of ONE Mums in the United Kingdom.  Christine left Dago Village with an aim to educate every single child in that village and she is well on her way through the creation of the non-profit One Way Out.

The first time Christine and I met for coffee/tea I knew that our enthusiasm for changing the world matched.  While in this village witnessing the beauty and poverty all woven together, she knew in an instant that if ALL of the young people in this village received an exceptional education the situation would be different.  After returning home she started talking to her friends about what she wanted to do and they wanted to be part of helping Christine fulfill her wish.  Christine returned to Kenya several times building relationships and meticulously choosing the school with the highest standards that was graduating students with National level scores on the KCPE (standardized test similar to SAT).  Then through One Way Out began a sponsorship program.  Sponsorship candidates are between 5 and 14 years old and placed in Preschool through Class 8.  After reading their stories you chose a child and commit to fund their education through high school.  The fees for preschool are $65/year and for Class 1 through Class 8 it is $625 the first year and $525 every year after.  High School fees are determined after the scoring of the standardized test.  The primary school students attend Sirua Aulo Academy and your sponsorship provides them with all school fees (including enrollment and examination fees), textbooks, pens, pencils, paper, full room and board, uniform (two complete sets including tie and socks), one pair of black school shoes, and most importantly a life-changing education!  Currently there are 40 students being sponsored in primary school, 50 supported at the preschool, and many more waiting for someone to hear their story.  The relationships built between the sponsor and their students are really touching.  They write letters and send pictures.  The outpouring of gratitude is how you know your gift is making a difference.

mama maria & kevin

In addition to the sponsorship there is also a merit based Headstrong Scholarship awarded to a non-sponsored female student each year.  Research is clear that investing in women and girls makes the greatest impact.  However Christine and I share the same feelings that are only made more evident after a crisis like the one in Nairobi, Kenya last week—it is crucial that we reach our young boys with a quality education giving them the tools needed to create professional lives free of hate and violence.

Ever since I met Christine I have envied her ability to create an organization that is making such a difference.  My impact has been through sharing stories and inspiring others to use their voice.  Her influence has been completely action driven.  It reminds me of the Proverb quote: “Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what has happened”.   Christine definitely knows how to make things happen!  I am so grateful that my path has crossed with hers.

As I wrap up this post (yes it is long, but for such a vital cause), I will leave you with this passage to ponder:

One morning an elderly man came upon a boy surrounded by thousands of starfish.  As eagerly as he could, the youngster was picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean.  The old man chuckled and said, Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you.  What difference can you make?  Gently tossing the starfish into the water, the boy said, It will make a difference to that one!​​

​-author unknown​

Better to Give

With my birthday right around the corner this is the perfect post to write!  I have provided a way everyone can get me a gift!  Let me begin by sharing that I love gifts that give!!  This puts companies like UncommonGoods top on my list.  Not only do they have the Better to Give program that donates $1 from every purchase to the non-profit of your choice, but they are invested in showcasing unique designs and handcrafted gifts that are good for the earth and the people of the earth—just as I talked about on my shop page. Even better, they are a certified B Corporation.  Being a B Corporation is like having the Fair Trade Certified stamp of approval for your business.  This means meeting rigorous standards for wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to the community.  Get this—they cover 80% of healthcare, donate 15% of net profit to non-profit organizations, and offer incentives to encourage low-impact commuters (over 38,800 human powered miles to date!)  Over 40% of products are from independent designers & artists and half are made right here in the United States.

Now I am not asking you to buy me a gift from UncommonGoods (even though I could provide a nice long list of items I love), instead I am encouraging you to think of an upcoming purchase you need to make and visit the UncommonGoods site.  Your gift to me would be the $1 donation that goes into one of the four charities that are part of the Better to Give program.  You can choose from:

Women for Women International—providing women survivors of war with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.


RAINN—the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization that carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.


City Harvest—striving to end hunger in communities throughout New York City through food rescue, distribution, and education.

City Harvest

American Forests—protecting and restoring forests worldwide, helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit of its inhabitants.

American Forests

What is there to think about…….start shopping!


Coming Alive Again and Again and Again


I believe our lives are made up of “coming alive” moments to move us forward.  In between these moments we can sometimes fall into a deep sleep until the next one presents itself.  I have struggled over the last six years to find meaningful, flexible work.  I have been given the most incredible volunteer opportunities that opened the doors to so many possibilities, just nothing to fill the professional void I feel.  My husband has heard me say so many times over the years that I have no doubt what I am supposed to be doing is out there just waiting to crash into me.  I wish most days it would hurry up!

I made a decision at the beginning of summer to take a vacation from all of my volunteer related activities and focus on the direction I wanted to go personally and professionally.   Reading, journaling, reflecting, and the beach filled my days.  While reading Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho, I came across the best passage:

“Rest a little, but as soon as you can, get up and carry on.  Because ever since your goal found out that you were traveling toward it, it has been running to meet you.”

Resting has been good for me and I am excited to say that I feel as if I am “coming alive” all over again.  I have taken some early steps to return to school in 2014 to complete my master’s degree, but instead of nursing I am embracing my passions and going for a Masters in Public Administration.  The cost and GRE have my stomach in knots, but I stand by my mantra that “all is well”.  In the meantime I am offering Coming Alive: The Workshop, Independent Consulting, Public Speaking, and Writing.  I even took the leap at the beginning of summer and started writing the book to accompany my blog.

When I finally started to move forward again I was presented with a great opportunity to write for the online/catalog retail company, UncommonGoods.  I am super excited by this and can’t wait to share the world changing they are up to.   Now I feel a direction with my blog—that means more posts and that I am back in the game!

Always as ONE,


Question 8: What is the Purpose of Art?

My daughter has really inspired me to reconnect this summer by revisiting her blog, The Neverland Effect. She is delving into more of the questions from Rain Wilson’s book, Soul Pancake, encouraging readers to join her in the conversation. If this isn’t a “Coming Alive” moment then I am not sure what is!

Neverland Effect

Art. What a broad term. For many, the term art refers to mostly to paintings, sculptures, and sometimes collages. But for me personally, art can refer to both visual and performance arts. What do I mean? Visual arts are what people typically describe as art; that is anything that you make with your hands. Some commonly overlooked visual arts include printmaking, sewing, and photography. On the other end you have performance art; that could be theater, spoken word, singing, or dancing. Why am I describing this? Well for one, I am a performer; so in order to talk about art I like to make sure it includes performing. But I also feel that in order to describe the purpose of art, you need to make sure that you are aware of what art is. 

To me art has many purposes; one of the most prominent is to express. All art…

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Something is Brewing

I know it has been a while–all I will say right now is “something is brewing”………

Look for a clue in yesterday’s monthly ONE Wilmington email:)

Hello All,

Spring is a time of waking up and re-energizing!! There are lots of meaningful ways to make that happen in the month of April. I feel like the engagement and the events just keep getting better.

Before I list the April opportunities I want to point out that because of the actions that ONE North Carolina has taken over the last several years to advocate for the world’s poorest our Members of Congress have stepped up and became leaders to support programs such as GAVI, PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and Feed the Future. They have heard from you and they have voted to keep these programs funded. You are ALL world changers!!!!! This month we get to send my favorite kind of letter–thank you notes:)

Now pull out your calendar and mark the days you will change the world this month:

April 6: 10:00 am – 11:00 am African Storytelling for all ages at Teacher’s Aid (831 S. Kerr Ave.–Beside Dick’s Sporting Goods). We will all be inspired by the words of Wangari Maathai. For the kids there will be storytelling, tree building, and seed planting. For the adults there will be a reading from Unbowed: A Memoir and then we will create thank you notes to send to our leaders for doing their part to keep programs funded.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm “Post” Girl Rising panel discussion at UNCW Randall Library 2nd floor auditorium. For those who don’t know Wilmignton had a sold out screening to the documentary Girl Rising. We were all moved by the strength, courage, and determination girls have around the world to “rise up! This conversation will focus on collaboration, fundraising, public policy, laws, and social organizations.

April 9: Because of the double Saturday events and the UN Women Walk the end of April, we will not have our monthly PCJ meet-up. The next PCJ meet up will be Tuesday May 14 at the PCJ by Khol’s at 6:30 or 7:00 (I have to come at 6:30, but I think Jocelyn will be there at 7pm)

April 21: The 4th Annual UN Women Walk to End Violence Against Women and Girls at Hugh McRae Park Shelter #2 from 1pm – 4pm. Pre-registration has closed, but we welcome ALL who want to show up and walk. If you are unable to make it out I have set up a fundraising page to raise funds for the UN Women Trust Fund where I know programs are working to make the lives of women and girls safe around the world. You can follow this first-giving link to donate:

If any ONE members are available to help at the ONE table at the walk on April 21 that would be ONEderful. Let me know and I will look for you there. We will be writing more thank you notes at the table and there will be an example there to go by.

I hope to see you at any and all of the April events–it is a busy month!

Together as ONE,
P.S.-For anyone interested I am putting together a 4-day Coming Alive workshop for the month of May. It will be held at Teacher’s Aid over 4 Thursdays. I am super excited! Email for more details:)

Not A Day Goes By

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

I was going to write a post about my fascination with thoughts, but my daughter beat me to it.  When I read her blog, Neverland Effect, this morning it challenged us to think about how our thoughts affect our reality.  I love how she is able to recognize her stream of thoughts—that right there makes her present in the “now”.  As a mom, I have always tried to steer the kids away from “stinkin’ thinkin’” (that was a phrase I used when leading groups with the chronic psych patients at the VA Hospital twenty years ago).  With all of the quotes posted around the house and my insistent reminder of words like; “joy is not in things—it is in us” or “we all have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude. Be happy. It’s one way of being wise”, my kids have a pretty clear understanding that our thoughts can really make us who we are.

To take things another direction, I have also taught my kids that daily gratitude is essential for creating the world we want for ourselves and the planet.  We practice focusing on the good that is happening, which is why I always resonated with the ONE Campaign.  Our trip to Kenya was to share the success stories.  When we focus our thoughts on the positive then we will see more positive in the world.  My friend and fellow ONE Mom, Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks, recently included a video in her blogust 12’ post for Shot@life (please visit and leave a comment—one comment donates $20 for a child to be vaccinated for life—another example of positive!!) that brought back a flood of thoughts from Africa. It made me remember the slide show that she created—watch it and you will understand my emotions.

Still one year later I can hardly speak of our trip without tears.  These are not tears of sadness, but tears from experiencing pure joy and witnessing beauty in a “hopeful” place!  Not a day goes by that I do not think of Africa and the week I spent there—to ONE I will be forever grateful!

Coming Alive extra:

Each week I will be sharing news from the SPARK (the name given to our room of creative spaces) at the end of each of my Monday post.  These will be links to all that the Fox Family of blogs is working on.  Next week I will share how we decided on SPARK!

Yes, I know I am their mom, but when I read their blogs I am so inspired.  They make me think, show me beauty, and give me so many reasons to be grateful!!!

Neverland Effect




Dream Think Live It






I Am Copious

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