05 March 2015

The Beauty In Honoring Your Non-Negotiables

Let's talk non-negotiables, shall we? What are yours? Water, sleep, time with your loved ones, creative time? Do you stick to them no matter what? Do you cling to them above all else? Do you honor them in the day to day hustle and bustle?

A few years ago I took an end of the year Holiday Council class (Which I completely recommend! Such a marvelous way to wrap up your year and prepare for the one ahead! It has become a tradition and my gift to myself!) from the ever lovely and fabulous Molly Mahar of Stratejoy. It came up during those interviews and calls the importance of finding your non-negotiables and honoring them. And for the life of me I cannot remember who exactly introduced me to this notion, but I want to hug them regardless! It makes sense. It gives you something to focus on. I think sometimes it can be a habit to fall into putting too much of your energy into what you don't want in life, as opposed to making a list in your heart and honoring it. When you take the time to pinpoint your non-negotiables, it frees up space to let all of that other stuff go.

My non-negotiables lately? (And this is key! Your non-negotiables will ebb and flow like the different seasons of your life sweet one!) Sleep! Shut eye is a huge one. My whole body functions better when I'm well rested. I find that if this one facet of my life is taken care of, so many other aspects fall into place. Or if there is tough stuff happening? I'm better equipped to tackle it. Connecting with Sookie and Rory is another crucial non-negotiable for me. Love is what life is all about. My family is the core of my story and making memories with them is an extremely massive chunk of my heart.

Obviously my eye drops and other medications are on my list of non-negotiables. I wouldn't be here or have my eye sight without them. Two major things. ;)

Music. Ah, where would we be without music? I'm listening to Patty Griffin as I write this and I'm always comforted by her voice. Also, see that gorgeous black planner up there in the photo above? It is from Danielle Laporte and you need one. No, this is not an ad. I simply adore this planner. It is unlike anything you've seen before. It does have space for to do lists, but it assists you in focusing on how you want to feel, goals, gratitude lists, monthly checks, things that felt good, things that didn't go so well and how to grow from these lessons and move forward. I'm telling you...GOOD STUFF.

If you're feeling pulled in a million different directions lately (Who me? No way! Ha.) You might find it helpful to sit down and really take a look at where your energy and time are going. Pick 5 to 10 ideas that are non-negotiables that are critical to your happiness. Then, start working on shifting little pockets of your day to honor them. It truly works!

This post brought to you by organic sour gummy bears and my writing mix on Spotify. ;)

What are your non-negotiables that you stick to in order to live your best life? I want to hear about them!

25 February 2015

DIY Kids Puffy Paint

Our girl is such a blur of energy these days! I'm grateful for her health and her boundless zest for life! Also for when I find activities that entertain and inspire us both. Yesterday afternoon I found this idea for DIY Puffy Paint and we jumped right into creating.

This puffy paint activity? Loved it. So simple. So fun. So easy. So inspiring. Just up her alley!

You probably have the ingredients already handy in your kitchen. :)

Now make some of this fabulous stuff and have some fun with your kids! 

Happy Wednesday! :) xoxo.

25 January 2015

The Future Is Wild. And It is Ours.

On her last Sunday as a 4 year old, the training wheels came off the bike. I was beaming for her and with her, as the glee in our eyes matched, the tears came unexpectedly and oh so raw. Once upon a time I didn't know if I would be here to see such milestones with her. And now that I am? The future is wild. And it is ours.

14 January 2015

Create Your Own Sunshine

Winter blahs? Sometimes this post holiday time of year can be a little bit of a bummer. The other day we were out running errands and Sookie said, "I miss Christmas mom." I do too Sook, I do too. So, I thought it would be fun to have a sale over in the Today Is A Miracle shop! Today only, get 20% off your entire purchase with code WINTERYAY

Sale does not affect donation amount. $5 from each item sold will always be donated to cystinosis research. We have a brand new tote design and a new Alice In Wonderland inspired tee in honor of a very special anniversary of my sweet friend Laura's kidney transplant. I'm so excited for it all! :)

22 December 2014

A Kidney For Shea

This Christmas season I'm praying and hoping and wishing for miracles for people who are dear to me. People who have stolen my heart with their compassion, kindness, and zest for life. Shea is someone I am hoping gets a Christmas miracle. I'm sharing this today because all it takes is one person. One person to step forward to save a life. 

Shea is someone I have grown up with over the years. Cystinosis brought us together, however we have had many memories and laughs together that are stronger than any disease. He is one of the most caring people I have met in my entire life. He desperately needs a kidney. This will be his third kidney transplant and because of that, finding a donor who matches him is proving incredibly difficult. 

The following is from the Kidney For Shea Facebook page. This is from Shea's dad, Jack.


My son Shea was born with a rare genetic disorder called Cystinosis and a life expectancy of 8 years. He was connected to pumps 24 hours a day, survived several near death episodes and more than 30 surgeries/ experimental procedures during the first 10 years of his life. He toughed it out, pushed on, and beat the odds. Colleen donated a kidney to him during High School and I donated the second when he was in college. Shea's kidney failed last summer and he has been on dialysis since then. 80,000 people require kidneys today, only 17,500 will get them this year. The wait at MGH (without a donor) is 5 years. Only 31% of the people who stay on dialysis will live, while 81% will survive with a transplant. Donating is a lot easier than you think, We both healed up very quickly, and I deployed to Afghanistan 18 months later. Colleen and I gave our spare kidneys, so we are out, so we now need your help. Please share this page with everyone you know, We have set up for possible transplants at MGH, Johns Hopkins (DC), and Florida Hospital (Orlando). The contact info to look into donating for each site is below. Thank you for helping to make our Christmas miracle come true.

If you are interested in being tested to see if you are a donor for Shea, please contact one of the 3 centers below. Shea's blood type is A+ and his kidney donor must have an A or O blood type.

A good living donor candidate is someone who is healthy, well-informed and makes a voluntary decision to donate one of their kidneys. Living donors must be over 18 and usually under 70 years of age. They must be in good general health, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 30, a non-smoker, with no evidence of significant high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease or hepatitis. Living donors can live in any state and it is important to know that all medicals costs are covered by the recipients health insurance. As you might imagine, donating life to another is a remarkable gift that takes a great deal of thought that can only be obtained by being well informed.

Massachusetts General Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts
Donor Intake Coordinator
Patient: Shea Hammond

Johns Hopkins Hospital – Baltimore Maryland
Donor Intake Coordinator
Patient: Shea Hammond

Florida Hospital – Orlando, Florida
Donor Intake Coordinator - Gladys Malouf R.N.
Patient: Shea Hammond