Monthly Archives: March 2014

So Proud of You

proud of you

Last night my boys went to the NJ Devils game with my dad. When they got home, DJ said, “Drew, are you going to tell mom what you did at the game tonight?”  I replied, ‘Uhoh, what…” and DJ said, “No mom, it is good!”  We all laughed and Drew got embarrassed and told me this story,

You know how I always go up to the glass for warm ups?  Well, I went there tonight and I was hoping that a player would toss me a puck after practice.  There was this kid standing near me who had special needs and he was wearing a Toronto jersey.  He reminded me of that girl we saw at The Newark Bears Game.  That was the kind of special needs he was.  Well, he wanted a puck so badly but he didn’t get one and I guess he got tired of standing there because he and his dad went back to their seats.  Then, I got a puck and I went over and gave it to him instead of keeping it. The kid was so happy!  Later, the dad and the kid came over to our seats and thanked me.  At the end of the game, I went up to where the referees leave the ice and NJ, (the Devils mascot,) tossed me the game puck!

I was so proud I nearly cried.  DJ was just nodding his head the whole time telling me that really happened.  My dad told me how proud he was of him.  I had to share it – I was so filled with joy that he had done such a generous thing.  For anyone who knows him, he is a collector and giving up a puck was probably not the easiest thing for him!!  I shared the story on Facebook before I left for work this morning.  I got home this evening and found that there were just under 200 likes and almost 50 comments about it!  Comments saying others were going to pay it forward today after reading it.  Comments about how he is growing up into such a kind young man.  Comments about how Dave and I “must be doing something right!”

He and I just read the comments together and he is embarrassed – self-conscious perhaps, but I can tell he is pleased with himself.  It is so nice watching him grow into such a kind hearted boy.  Many of the comments mentioned “great parenting.”  I had great role models to follow, and now my children are following in those footsteps as well.  We talk all the time about how easy it is to do the right thing and last night, Drew demonstrated that perfectly.



Today I went to 9:30 mass.  I parked in the lot and saw a sign for a blood drive and as I walked into the side entrance, I saw a sign on the doors reading, “Blood Shortage.”  I have never donated blood before but thought what better act of kindness than to do this today. I have always been a bit nervous about it but I am not sure why.

It was almost time for mass to start, so I went to the room where they were doing the drive and asked what I needed to do to qualify.  The woman told me I had to have eaten breakfast and that I had to be older than 17 to donate.  Perfect.  I told them I would return after mass.  I figured after all the blood work I went through last year with my headaches, how bad could it be.  Plus, by going in and talking to them before hand and promising to come back, I figured I would have no reason to chicken out!!

After mass, I headed back down to the blood drive.  I recognized a few of the volunteers working there and chatted with them for a bit while I signed the forms.  There were so many questions!  Questions about time spent out of The USA or if I have eaten meat from another country. Questions about whether I am taking medication for blood thinners or have every used needles or drugs!  Fortunately I could answer no to all of them.  A good thing I thought.

That is until I went up for the second step of the process where a medical attendant goes through all of the information and registers me in the system.  Question 1 is what got me rejected.  It was, “Do you currently weigh more than 120 pounds?”  Well today….no.

I had a goal this year.  My goal was to weigh under 120 pounds by my friend’s wedding, (which was last week.) I am only 5’2″ so that is not an unrealistic goal.  It has been a long time since I saw the scale at a number under that number and now that I have been working hard to eat better and work out several days a week it has happened.  Honestly, it is only a pound or two under and depending on the day, it could even be back at 120.  It just happens that today, I was under.

The woman was so nice.  She told me that the amount of blood they took was equivalent to almost one pound and that taking that much could adversely affect me, even if it never has before.  I pleaded with her that it was only a pound but she said no.  I even told her, I’d go home and eat a big lunch and come back but no.  Rejected.

As I left there and the man I had been chatting with in the beginning said, “leaving so soon?”  I told him I couldn’t donate today and even he seemed surprised but obviously, it is better to err on the safe side.  I know that, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

I am torn right now.  So pleased that I have met and maintained a goal I have been working to reach for awhile, yet really bothered by the fact that  because of it, I cannot do something as simple as donating blood.  I FINALLY get up the courage to do it and I couldn’t.  It has upset me quite a bit.  Probably more than it should, but it has!

I guess what I can do, is promote awareness.  There is a shortage and blood is needed, so if you see a drive in your area, and you are able, please donate.  It could truly save a life.

Has Spring Finally Sprung?

optimist spring

Today the temperature rose above 60 degrees!  After such a miserable winter, you would think it was a holiday the way people were out celebrating the day.  Dave and Drew were finally able to get outside and build the kids’ new basketball net.  Neighbors are gardening, children are riding bikes down the street and dogs are frolicking in the yard!  Yes, frolicking!  Our dog included.  She absolutely hated this winter – maybe even as much as I did!  A few of the storms brought snow deeper than her!

It is the first day that I can look outside my front door and not see any piles of snow.  Windows and doors are open and fresh air is breezing though our home.  This morning, I woke to birds chirping outside of my window.  During Emmy Lou’s morning walk, two skeins of geese flew over our heads honking as they too seemed delighted with the weather.  I saw kids running around in shorts and women wearing flip-flops.  All of us trying to grasp at every bit of this wonderful weather.

I guess we should enjoy it while we can because although I hate to even put it in writing… and my mom would have said to me, “Bite your tongue,” more snow is expected on Monday!

#FMF Joy


Another Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo Baker.  Today’s word is JOY and to be honest, I looked this morning to see what the word was, knowing fully well that I had a really busy afternoon and evening and wasn’t sure I’d be able to get it done.  Usually, when I do a #FMF, I just check out the word and write.  Today, I thought about the word throughout the day.  Honestly, I feel joyous most of the time.  Today after school, we had a get together with our faculty.  I talked a bit about my blog and told them that tonight I was meeting some friend’s for dinner and that I had to get home to get my blog written before I went out.  We rarely stay out late, but I wanted to be sure it was done before we left.  I told them about today’s topic and we decided that each of my coworkers would tell me what joy means to them.  So today’s blog is written by all of us…..

“What joy means to us…”

  • Snuggles in the morning
  • Dancing
  • sleeping late on a Saturday
  • Great sex followed by chocolate
  • “Bar” modeling and popcorn
  • Colleagues that are also friends
  • Laughter
  • “Life is better when we are laughing”
  • Being at peace with yourself
  • Family
  • Friends

That really seems to sum it up!!  The joy we all felt tonight was evident as we sat around the table. We got to spend a few hours together today after school and it was so nice to see a different side from our “work side” and it was really a joyous and fun time.  My heart is filled with joy knowing that I am privileged to work in a place that makes brings me so much happiness –  and for that , I am grateful.

A Reason to be Happy

do what makes you happy

Not only is today the first day of Spring, but it is also the 2nd Annual International Day of Happiness. A day that recognizes that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well being of all people.  I wonder if it is a coincidence that it falls on the first day of Spring because I know that after this long, cold, dreary winter, I am very happy – more than happy…ecstatic I might even say!

#Internationaldayofhappiness and #happyfirstdayofspring have been trending all day on Twitter.  I didn’t realize it was International Day of Happiness until I got home from work today and saw it on the news.  Yet…all day, I was happy!!  I know it was because of Spring.  It was only about 50 degrees but I went to school dressed in pink – very “springy” and refused to wear socks or boots just to say, “Haha winter!  We made it and now we are done with you!”  I am trying to ignore the forecasters who are predicting snow next week.  I am not going to ruin my happiness day with those thoughts!

Today, my day started off happy, not just waking up knowing it was Spring, but when one of my students greeted me with a beautiful purple plant and a card that read, “HAPPY SPRING MRS. SINCLAIR!”  Tonight Drew and I are making homemade pizzas for dinner making us both very happy and are in our pajamas before 6 pm even more reason to be happy!  I love happy days.  We should celebrate this day more than once a year!!

So…..what makes you happy??

A RAK for me!

booker t washington

For Lent this year, I decided that I was going to do a Random Act of Kindness everyday for the entire Lenten period.  It is day 14 and I am still on track!   I have been trying to be anonymous when I do some of them – leaving little treats at work, for coworkers, so I am not sure of the reaction they are getting, but my hope is that it brightens the day of the person who receives it.

I have also brought some sweets and treats to friends.  Two of them were teachers at Viva Z, where I take classes.  Tonight, they took me completely by surprise when they gave me a bouquet of beautiful roses before class.  They told me it was a random act of kindness for me!  It made me feel so special.  That is my hope when I am giving out my own RAK everyday.  I hope that the person who gets one from me, knows that someone was thinking of them and that it makes them feel good and inspires them to do something kind for someone else in return.

This is the idea behind the project Roberta, (our school librarian) and I had when we began our Pay It Forward Program at school.  The kindness is already spreading!  There is a lot of excitement among the students and the parents seem to be responding positively.  It is so exciting watching the kindness grow!

Pay It Forward

pay it forward

This week, the librarian at our school and I launched a Pay it Forward Program.  We are so excited about it.  The idea behind it is that every child starts their very own chain of kindness. Each child has been given a laminated card.  Each of these cards is numbered and has directions on how to spread kindness and watch it grow.

When a student does a Random Act of Kindness, we asked them to give the card to the recipient of the RAK.  That person is asked to email us telling us about the RAK.  We will add all of the emails to a website so that our students can watch their kindness spread. After emailing us, it is our hope that the recipient takes the card and does a RAK for another person, handing the card onto them.  Thus, continuing the chain of kindness as they pay it forward to someone else and so on and so on….  Each card has a registration number on it so that the original card holder can follow it as it travels.

It is our hope that this project encourages positive acts that bring brightness to others, with the hope they will pass it on.   We cannot wait to see how far the kindness will spread and for how long it will continue…