|These children are real. This photo is from a Shot@Life observation trip to Uganda.|
Dear Senator… Belle goes to the “Hill”
The Global Citizen
|Frank is my favorite person to heckle over the University of Louisville.|
Big Red Shoes and Tiny Little Hats
|Three of my very slender fingers fit in this tiny little hat|
My son weighed 7 pounds and 8 ounces when he was born 2 weeks shy of his due date. I was terrified I would hurt him, and he seemed so small. He weighed nearly 4 times what some of the super premie babies born or transferred to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center do. I can’t imagine having a baby that small and having to watch them fight for survival. It would heartbreaking. Thankfully Ronald McDonald Houses across the country provide a warm shower, cozy bed, and a hot meal to families of children who are hospitalized due to prematurity, illness, or injury. They help make the day a little brighter and easier, for so many families who are clinging to hope.
|Some of the women from our organization, Bluegrass Junior Womans Club and the only clown I would ever be around|
|A candid of me chopping veggies for soup, I diced nearly an entire bag of onions|
We cooked dinner for the residents of the house. It always great when you can watch a large group of woman work successfully together. The club chose Rachel Ray’s Chicken Orzo Soup
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa
Salt on a birds tail…
When I was younger my Paw (maternal grandfather, for those know don’t know me) would tease me about random things. I guess he never realized that telling a very curious and independent six year old tall tales might interrupt their evening and summer.
I grew up in rural southeastern Kentucky. I ran barefoot in the field, played in the “creek”, and I caught “craw dads” with my brother. I played with cousins and I was always the “boss”. I was the oldest of 7 grandchildren and 4 siblings. My curly blonde hair made it easy for me to convince my great grandmother and grandparents to be at my beckon call. I was rotten, and they made me that way. Apparently, I once called my grandparents without my parents knowledge (or permission) and had them drive 2+ hours to pick me up in Virginia. I wish I could remember the look on my parents and grandparents face when they pulled in the driveway to pick me up. I loved my childhood and growing up in a small town.
My grandparents live on the side of a mountain that overlooks the main road. We spent most of our summer afternoons outside under the shade trees watching the cars pass. My mom had taken my great grandmother shopping, and I stayed behind with my Maw and Paw. It was a hot and humid, July 3rd. Paw use to tease us. He would tell me that if you put salt on a birds tail, they couldn’t fly away. I must have been obsessed with trying to catch a bird (or any other animal). I couldn’t convince Paw to get me the salt or maybe I didn’t ask, I can’t recall. I’m not sure what exactly goes through the mind of a 6 year old. I do know, I went into the house alone to get salt. It wasn’t a good idea.
Maw kept the salt and pepper shakers in the upper cabinet next to the stove. I must have been too lazy to pull a chair over (or I wanted the opportunity to climb), so I opened a lower cabinet door and managed to stand on the countertop. Okay, so we all know this story isn’t going to end well. I don’t recall exactly what happened to make me fall. They assumed I tried to catch myself, which isn’t a good combo when falling from 3+ feet onto a hardwood floor with skinny little arms. I do remember looking at my mangled arm and thinking “boy am I gonna be in trouble”.
I know everyone is thinking, that had to hurt. I’m not sure that I should be thankful but luckily (or unluckily) the severity of my fracture had cut off circulation to my arm. I couldn’t feel anything. I guess that might be why, I thought I was having a bad dream. I was scared to death. I ran through the house, crawled into my grandparents bed, and covered up to hide. Luckily, Maw had heard a thump inside the house and came to look for me. She found me, crying and terrified in her bed.
Paw heard a scream from inside the house and came running. Maw was hysterical and my arm was a mess. They wrapped me in a blanket and we were about to start a very long series of emergency room stops on our way to the University of Kentucky hospital. I was scared and hurting, but I was also about to experience my first random act of kindness by a stranger. It was a monumental experience in my life and you will have to stay tuned for the rest of the story…
Tomorrow I can save the world, today I’ll just be a silly girl..
So after the initial excitement of being chosen as one of the GFWC ambassadors for the Shot@Life program began to wear off (well…. enough so that I could focus on something else), I started to plan (and panic) about what to wear. I know it is totally vain and silly, but there is a fine line between professional and frumpy. We all know a “belle” should never be frumpy and always abide by
“Never leave the house in sweats. A girl must be prepared to meet a dashing stranger or an old enemy“
And I know my luck, the one time my hair is in a ponytail with no makeup, I’ll bump into the one person I didn’t want to see me (but that is for another rant). It isn’t being ridiculous, it is an ugly fact about society. We highly value appearances. One of my college organic chemistry professors didn’t shave and rarely cleaned under her finger nails (this was a problem because she was an avid gardener). I refused to ever take her seriously because of her lack of personal hygiene. I will also never forget her either (and that isn’t a good thing because I can’t remember anything she taught me). I also work better and feel better, when I am “put together” as they say. I can put on my Burberry scarf, along with a coat of lipstick and mascara, and I am ready to take on the world!
My Southern roots go much deeper than my accent (or my haircolor). I like dresses, heels, and pearls of course! I reluctantly asked about the dress code for Summit, thankfully she reassured me I wasn’t the first to ask. She told me business casual, which stirred a new debate about what exactly business casual meant among some of the girls. It didn’t matter to me, I knew I would wear dresses, heels, and hosiery. I will publicly admit I have a new obsession with patterned hosiery (that my husband feels looks trashy no matter the brand or pattern). I think patterned hose are trendy and stylish, but I wasn’t sure if they were appropriate for Capitol Hill. I am also guilty of being one of those people that if they don’t know the answer, they google it. Yes, I googled if patterned hosiery was appropriate business wear… please don’t judge me 😉 I stumbled across a new wonderful blog in the process.
Capitol Hill Style (She has some wonderful fashion advice for all budgets and nice tips on hosiery!)
So I’m more than a week out from leaving for Washington D.C., and my suitcase is packed (it was actually packed yesterday but I was waiting on UPS to deliver my Cole Haan Nike Air heels today). My jewelry is packed in baggies by outfit/day. I will need to put my makeup and hair tools into my bag that morning, but I am prepared (at least physically).
Mentally, I am fussing at myself for being neurotic about my clothes instead of focusing on the task at hand. The next week I am going to devote to brainstorming so I have thoughts and ideas to share during training. I am also trying to meet all my new “teammates” because over the next year we have to work as a team to help advocate for Shot@Life. I am guilty of browsing everyone’s facebook page, so I can get a feel for who they are (feel free to browse mine back) . I also also interested in finding out about how everyone got involved in advocacy. We all seem to have a story to share. A special shout out to Myrdin for putting up with all my questions and pestering.. Also if you don’t like cameras or having your picture taken, I’m probably not the person to hang out with but I am sure if you browsed my facebook page you will realize that.
5 Facts you should probably know about me:
1. I have a THICK southern accent, if you don’t understand something I said, just ask me to repeat it I won’t be offended.
2. My brother was murdered a few years ago. I don’t mind talking about it, but it seems to startle others when I first tell them.
3. I don’t mind voicing my opinion but I also pride myself in respecting the opinions of others.
4. My son just turned 3 and we have never slept in separate rooms, and certainly never spent the night apart. My first time away will be in D.C., I might be a tad neurotic.
5. Always smile around me, you never know when I might be snapping a photo and you might end up in the frame!
I am so excited about meeting everyone! Congrats again and Good luck! See all of you in D.C.