Finding Something To Do When There’s Nothing You Can Do About It

I shared my daughter’s story a few weeks ago.  The response was amazing.  So many people in the community stepping up to donate yarn, money, or their time, to make scarves for the homeless in our community.  It was a burden that could have only come from God.


I’ve had several people in my network approach me about taking it further – start a business? Start a non-profit? Do it as a hobby so they’re no pressure?  For me, having the goals in mind is what helped us to make 120 scarves in 5 week (not including 25+ were donated to our goal).

She wanted to take it further, but we really didn’t know what it looked like.  Until now.

At her bible study this week, she was informed that a classmate was diagnosed with cancer.  11 years old… my heart broke for the family, and I pray for healing and comfort in this time.  Samantha is a sensitive soul, and didn’t quite know how to process this news.  She was young when my father was sick, but has seen the toll it took on his body.  She struggled with how a middle school child gets such a scary disease.

Instead of dwelling on the sadness of it, we prayed about it.  We prayed for healing. We prayed for peace.  We prayed for the words to say when we see this friend.  And for God to give guidance.

It struck me, while in the car, coming home from church.  A local group, The Victory Center.  I’d had a meeting there, seeing how I could help with a marketing endeavor a few years ago.  I remember sitting in the waiting room, and there was a “giving tree” with hats.  I mentioned it to Samantha, who’s face lit up.  “Can we make some?”


Making hats is not like arm knitting scarves – they take more time and attention.  But of course I said yes.  We have some yarn, and we have some looms.  This weekend we’re going to attempt to learn to crochet.

We don’t have a goal in mind, yet, but again God has placed this in our hearts… How could we not answer.

Some Goodness in the World

Have you ever just looked at the world around you and though – yuck.

However, we have a future to look towards, and prayers are the only thing that can get us through.  We must find some goodness in every day in order to get by, because the world is so full of ugliness.

I look to my children.  My beautiful children.  I feel so blessed to be able to be their mom.  Kids will be kids, they all have bad moments  (we all do) in which they need to learn from.  But overall, I’ve been blessed with some amazing kids.

Today I’m going to share a story about my eldest daughter.


At a young age, I could see a sensitivity to her; a gentle heart, an empathetic spirit.  A person of those qualities are precious, but can be broken so easily.  I should know, I’m one of them.   I’ve found it important to give her opportunities to let those traits develop, because there is a fine line between leader and a boss; a fine line between caring and giving, and being taken advantage of.

When she began middle school this year, I encouraged her to join every club she could.  Give a it a try, go to a few meetings, and she if it was a fit.  She’s loved everything that she’s been a part of.  Particularly, she’s found great friends and connections in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the Sylvania Community Action Team, Junior (SCAT Jr).

The FCA meeting is before school – 7:15am – and for a non-morning person, she quickly gets up and ready to go.  She was so nervous for the first meeting, didn’t think she’d have any friends there.  She was right, she didn’t.  But that meeting, a devotional about being the hands and feet of God, stirred something in her.  She began to invite friends to come to the next weeks meeting, and a few did.

A few days later she attended the first meeting of Sylvania Community Action Team, Junior.  At that meeting, they discussed was that they, even as middle school children, could be an impact on their community.  Kids mentioned giving money to charity, participating in walks/runs.  But she came home, and shared with the family her heart – to make scarves and donate them to the local homeless shelter, Cherry Street Mission Ministries.

As parents we were proud of her, but I was so humbled by her heart, and her listening to the voice of God in her ear.   She told us she had a goal of 60 scarves, but maybe 100 if she could get some friends involve.  All before Thanksgiving, 2 months away.

Then came the task of getting to 60 scarves. She knew how to use a loom and finger weave, but looms can take a while, and finger weaving can only produce so much of a scarf (mostly the infinity variety).  So we had to learn some new techniques – arm knitting.  Honestly, I can’t tell you which of the various YouTube tutorials made the process easiest to learn (casting on is tricky if being taught the wrong way), but once I figured it out, we took off running.

Then came the expense of the yarn.  We made several scarves and sold them to purchase more yarn, some donated money for the cause, and some donated yarn.  We were so thankful for it.

Between Samantha, her sister and I, we made 60 scarves in about 4 weeks, 15 were donated by friends, and another 10 were made by friends of the girls at a knit-in that we hosted.  85 scarves in all were donated on November 8 to the Cherry Street Mission.

But the story doesn’t end there…

Samantha’s goal, her mission, has had an impact on many who have heard her story.   Thanks to friend and neighbor, the Sylvania Arts Commission (who donated a large amount of yarn) put a plea out to help Samantha reach and exceed 100 scarves before Thanksgiving.  Samantha’s story had been shared dozens of times in only 8 hours, and our community has stepped up to make her “small” goal into something bigger than we ever imagined!



Disclaimer: I received this product at a discount for my honest review.

I don’t travel much, especially air travel.

But I do have for kids, one under the age of 2, and anything to help me keep my life more organized is very helpful.

So when I saw the Angel Baby Travel Case, it intrigued me.  Instead of just tossing a stroller that just rolled through mud into a heavy-duty washable bag – where has this been the last 10 years?  Why am I just now finding this!  The Angel Baby Travel Case has been very helpful.

It is a bit larger than I need for my umbrella stroller, but not quite big enough for my full size stroller.  It’s been very handy.

Books, Books and More Books

books books.png

I’ve always loved to read.  Always.  As a kid, I’d be able to read a couple books a month.  Perhaps even a week.  I’m glad to have passed a love of books to my kids.  The problem that I’m starting to face is finding books that are age appropriate, but challenging for my kids.

My daughters were both reading before kindergarten, and now at 9 and 10 years old read at 8th and 9th grade levels.  So the challenge begins.  There are plenty of books available for them at their age group, and do read them – quickly.  But finding a book to challenge them that’s age appropriate – not so easy.

So here are my opinions on a few of the popular books being read in middle and high schools these days.

My eldest came home from school a few weeks ago with a permission slip to read The Hunger Games.  I laughed.  Are you kidding me?  Kids killing kids, and graphically!  I’d read the books years ago, but thought them to violent for my young lady.  She’d read all the Harry Potter books, and there is some violence and death… but somehow it’s not the same.

She read the first series of Percy Jackson – I liked that the characters were closer to her age, and educational at the same time as entertaining.   Not sure about the whole “send-12-year-olds-on-life-threatening-quests-without-adult-guidance” thing, but hey, it’s fiction.    As a Christian, there were a few concerns about the fact that the Greek gods parented all these kids with different partners.  When she read it, I don’t know that it quite stuck in her head.  At the same time, she has friends who have divorced parents, so maybe she just assumed that was the case with the Greek gods and their children.  The second series The Heroes of Olympus, however, I would not let her read.  The characters were older, all in relationships, and some behaviors a 9 or 10 year old girl doesn’t need to be exposed to yet.

She came home with another book request – Cinder.   So I read the whole Lunar Chronicles collection over a few weeks.  I enjoyed them – I’ve always loved a different perspective on fairy tales.  But I’m still not sure if it’s OK for my girls.  A few offhanded references to “escorts” and quite a bit of graphic (werewolf) violence make me nervous to let her read them.  Maybe just the first one – maybe.

I’ve reached out to teachers and librarians.  There were a lot of “Let me look into that” comments.  But so far, nothing that has peaked her interest that would also challenge her.     I’m always open to suggestions – so please send your kids’ favorite books my way!

Well, nothing recent.  More on the classics later.

Bring on 2016

welcome 2016

So here we are, 2016.

2015 was filled with a lot of ups and a few downs, but I can say, 2015 was a blessed year.

My husband finally got a job in his desired field – an hour away.  But 6 months later, got an even better opportunity in his desired field, 15 minutes from home!  Praise break!

I however, lost my job.  It hurt – a lot- because it was not handled in the manner that someone who gave their entire adult life to an organization should have been handled.  (Not gonna lie, the worse part was none of my friends reached out after, either)  However, I had been in prayer and was seeking guidance to step down from that position anyway to be home more with my son (since you know, more than half my income went to child care anyway).  So, clearly, God was tired of my lack of action and allowed for that door to be closed.

But I’ve started new ventures, and returned to old.

When little Liam will sleep, I spend time crafting and cooking, leading to the creation of Arts & Glass by Cindy, as well as becoming an independent demonstrator for Uppercase Living. It’s fun!Arts & Glass

I also am doing some freelance marketing work, busting out the old Sociably Cindy name tag and business card was fun.  I think it’s time for a re-design, though.

I’m looking forward to writing more, being more involved in my community and church.  Oh, and the JBQ season is about to start – 2 kids in juniors, 1 in beginners, it’s going to be crazy!

How to Behave Around A Pregnant Woman Part 3

Sometimes people have a hard time reading others, so often times ask the wrong questions without knowing that it’s inappropriate or an uncomfortable topic.  Others, just don’t care…

Now again, this is just my opinion, with input from some friends, but I think most pregnant women would agree.  Here is part 3 of my list.
Don’t Ask  “Are you going to quit your job?”  Wow, so just because I’m a mom I can’t work?  I was a stay at home mom for a couple of years, and it was ok… I loved being home with my kids, but didn’t have any other stay at home mom friends at the time, so I was lonely.   Stay at home moms need adult conversation, which they don’t often get.  Since I wasn’t outgoing, making new friends was hard.  When I went to work part time I was able to be a mom, but also help support my family and feel like a productive adult at the same time.  Now, I work at home doing freelance work (and trying to blog).

Don’t Ask “Is this your last?”  Why is it any of your business?  I’m very proud of how my 3 children are maturing and developing, and I welcome the challenge of adding 1 more child to our family.  While the fear of having another scares me because of all the complications, if the Good Lord shall bless us, I’ll welcome the new baby with love.


Don’t judge a woman’s birth plan.  If I could have all natural home births, I probably would try it.  But my pregnancies have each had their complications that I feel safest in a hospital.  What works for one mom doesn’t not necessarily work for the next.  If she wants an epidural, she’s getting an epidural.  If she doesn’t, she doesn’t.  If she’s having a scheduled C-Section, or being induced, there are reasons for it.  If you can’t say anything nice or encouraging, don’t say anything at all.

Don’t Ask “Are you going to breast feed?”  I cringe when I hear that question, especially around guys.   Can’t you use the term “nurse the baby” instead?  But again, that’s a women’s choice.  And nursing a baby can be really difficult!  I wasn’t able to nurse my daughters for more than a couple of months.  I was given extra resources when my son was in the NICU, which really helped me be able to nurse for 9 months.  But seriously, I’m the mother, the baby will be fed in a manner that works for me, and for him/her.

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my list

How To Behave Around A Pregnant Woman, Part 2

How To Behave Around A Pregnant Woman, Part 2

As stated in a previous post, people now need baby-step by baby-step instructions for everyday interactions.  Especially around pregnant women.Now again, this is just my opinion, with input from some friends, but I think most pregnant women would agree.  Here is part 2 of my list.

Having a baby bump does NOT give you permission to rub my belly.  I know I mentioned this last post, but here are a few other reasons…

Babies in the womb are asleep 20 out of 24 hours a day… so you’re probably just feeling my belly.
Germs.  I don’t know where you’ve been, and you don’t know what my other kids have sneezed and coughed all over my mid-section.  Stay healthy, keep your hands to yourself.  It’s a nasty cold/flu season right now… I CAN’T get sick!

If you see a pregnant woman trying to dig her car out of the snow, help her.  I mean, common courtesy should dictate that if you see ANYONE stuck in the snow, you should help.  And a husband SHOULD have already dug his pregnant wife’s car out, and made sure the driveway was clear for her. But in the case that the snowplows pack 18 inches of snow at the end of a driveway, help a girl out!

If you see a pregnant woman walking quickly in the general direction of a bathroom, don’t try to stop her for a conversation.  I mean, common sense, if anyone is rushing to a bathroom, let them be.  But if you see a pregnant woman walking rather quickly, she’s either about to be sick or just got kicked in the bladder and really can’t stop to chit-chat.

Don’t ask “Are you sure it’s just 1 baby in there?”  The average woman should gain about 30lbs when they are pregnant.  Some “pop” earlier than others; sometimes the baby rests a certain way and for that moment Mommy looks bigger than she did 15 minutes earlier.  Especially if the mom has posted pictures of her 1 beautiful baby’s ultrasound, don’t ask if we’re sure we’re not expecting 2….  Women are vain (sorry, it’s true), and Mommyrexia is unfortunately a growing trend.  Help the mommy-to-be’s that you know to feel comfortable in their ever changing body: watch your words.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

How to Behave Around A Pregnant Woman Part 1

“Common Sense Isn’t Common Anymore” is a phrase that I hear and use almost daily.  What use to make perfect sense to everyone to do or not do is not the case anymore.  People now need baby-step by baby-step instructions for everyday interactions.

Especially around pregnant women.

Now, this is just my opinion, with input from some friends, but I think most pregnant women would agree.  Here is the start of my list

Having a baby bump does NOT give you permission to rub my belly.  I mean I could go on and on, make this whole post about it but here are a few of the big reasons

  1. Personal Space.  I get it, some people are just touchy-feely and will find any excuse to hug your or whatever.  But you wouldn’t want me rubbing your non-baby belly, so why should you rub my belly.
  2. Maternal instincts.  We are growing a little human in our wombs.  That is my child.  Don’t touch my child.
  3. Sensitive Skin.  Did you know that some women actually experience sunburn like symptoms on their bellies due to the stretching.  Yea, it hurts. Don’t touch.

Don’t Call A Pregnant Woman “huge”.  We’re women.  We can be vain.  We are suppose to gain about 20 to 30 pounds in a pregnancy.  We develop swelling in random places, carry water weight and have a hard time maneuvering with our protruding bellies.  We already feel huge, you don’t need to point it out. And husbands, calling your wife fatty or even “phatty” is NEVER acceptable.

Don’t Ask “Is this your first?”  Such an uncomfortable question for so many women.  There are those who have had many miscarriages, or lost a child, that the question is just hard to answer, and it is hard for the other person to hear the answer.

Then there are those who have multiple children, and people give really weird looks when you say “It’s my 4th,” like you’re some kind of side show freak.  I hate when someone responds with “Ever hear of birth control,” or even more inappropriate “Ever think of saying no.”

Children are miracles from God, a blessing to their families.  Whether in our arms or in our hearts, every baby is precious.

Are you still sick?  Have you tried ____?” If you have HG like me, the answer is always yes.  And sometimes that’s hard for people to understand.  And then they list off things that they tried to deal with their morning sickness.  When you’ve been dealing with it for 20+ weeks, don’t you think a women would spend hours online looking up home remedies and old wives tales and try them all, just to feel better?  You really think telling me to drink Ginger Ale at 22 weeks is going to make me say “Oh gee, why didn’t I think of that?”

Don’t offer to help if you’re not going to help.  If you offer to make a pregnant women or new mom a few meals, or to come help with chores, or to watch the kids so she can sleep, and she accepts – DO IT.  If you’re not going to follow through, DON’T OFFER.  And, if she doesn’t accept – DO IT ANYWAY.  Call and say “I made an extra dish of lasagna for dinner, can I bring it over to you?”  As a mom of 3 with Hyperemesis, and a husband who works 50+ hours a week, making dinner and household chores are hard to get done.

Veggie Lasagna… takes 5 minutes to put together.

Make one for someone!

And P.O.T.S. Returns

December 2013

Had a bit of energy this week… I decided to try to make dinner myself.


While attempting to put a pot of taco meat on the table to make tacos for the kids, the room started spinning.  I had enough time to get the pot on the table and get into the living room before things went dark.

I don’t know how long I was out, only a few minutes I think.  But I stayed on the floor for a while, with my feet up.  Suddenly baby was moving frantically.  I was so scared.  Thankfully my nurse was on her way.  My blood pressure was 85/55, heartbeat slightly irregular.  Definitely a NCS/POTS episode.  I hadn’t had one in months, and this was the worst.  I had to take antibiotics when I got the blood clot a few weeks ago, and from what friends and doctors told me, antibiotics can mess up the system, even weeks later… yay.

Kate told me to take it easy for the next day or so, since I’d be seeing the doctor that week.  She gave me my 3rd shot – she was right, one hip hurts more than the other!

At my appointment, I was informed that I’d probably have to go back on the IV.  Probably not long-term, not yet at least.  But enough to get me rehydrated.

I’d gained 1 pound at my appointment, a good sign.  But liquids are still a big issue, and I’m still getting sick daily.  With Thanksgiving this week, I really just want to rest and enjoy time with my family… maybe some time at Mom & Dad’s will get me back on my feet.

Surviving my first year with P.O.T.S.

December  2013

Surviving my first year with P.O.T.S.

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to eat healthier and run a 5k.    Who would’ve thought cutting out french fries and soda would darn near kill me….

I’d been diagnosed with NCS after the birth of my daughter Samantha in 2005.  I’d been exhibiting symptoms for YEARS, but because they came and went, and seemed ‘unrealistic’ to my childhood pediatrician, it was untreated.

I’d spent a few years taking Toporol and a variety of Beta Blockers, all of which were absolutely awful, and actually caused some pretty severe anxiety issues.  One morning I woke up and decided that I wasn’t going to allow the headaches and dizzy spells control my life, and I threw my pills away, in Jesus Name!

I’d been symptom free for about 3 years, a few bad days here and there, but nothing like it had been.  Then Pastor called for a church-wide Daniel Fast, and I thought it was a perfect time for me to cut my yucky soda habit.

And no, I’m not exaggerating when I say it almost killed me – started having my first ‘episode’ (considered by my neurologist to be seizures) while driving.  Not good, but I was able to pull over before things really got dark. 

I didn’t really realize what was going on.  I did a 48 hour detox water drink (water, cucumbers, lemon and mint), to help cleanse out the chemicals in my body.  It was supposed to last a week, but I couldn’t handle more than 2 days.

I switched to just water, no juice and NO SODA and still felt really dehydrated, like I was voiding more than I was taking in, when I knew I was drinking at least 70 oz each day.  Then other weird symptoms started to develop.  My word would slur, or I’d use the wrong word completely.  I’d lose focus, and would be extremely exhausted.  All this within a 1 week period.  I went to my doctor (who was a new doctor, fresh out of med school), who was testing me for diabetes, everything came back normal.

So I went to Facebook to lament.  I’m thankful I did, because a few high school classmates of mine had also recently experienced similar symptoms and had been given a diagnosis of POTS.  So I looked it up.  Sure enough, everything I’d been experiencing was right there.  So I printed out the information I found and brought it to my next appointment.  She’d heard of POTS, but was told in one lecture that covered it, that she’d likely never see a case.

As it happens, she’d had a patient come in earlier that day who also had already been diagnosed with POTS, and was picking her brain about her condition because her case reminded me a lot like mine.  My doctor told me that the brain fog and word jumbles were this other patients biggest hurdle, as she was a university professor.

The more research I did, the more people I spoke with, I realized that this was going to be another fun battle.  I needed to maintain my BP or the seizure would start again (Gotta love when the Doctor tells you to add salt and caffeine to your diet) and I needed to keep my stress levels low (Did I mention I have 3 kids?).

We tried some meds but I hated them.  The Beta blockers gave me anxieties again, and the BP meds made me exhausted.  I phased them out and trusted in Healing, because medications were not the answer.  I adjusted my diet, added salt (I honestly don’t use salt in my cooking) and enjoyed my tea and soda.  I also forced myself to drink more sports drinks (the zero calorie ones, which are gross, in my honest opinion).

I still have bad days, and I’ve learned from others with POTS and from experience what triggers can be such as antibiotics and dehydration.  I may have to deal with this condition from time to time, but I’m not going to ever let it control me.