Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm Going To Blow Your Minds, Or At Least Make You Feel Guilty For Eating Chocolate

I think I'm a nice person.  I would never buy or sell a person, regardless of the fact that I only have $6 left to spend between now and Monday.  It would be VERY difficult for me to willingly cause cancer in someone.  I don't even think I could do something simple like take all of some one's money just so I could have more than I already have. 

I can make that $6 stretch people.

Clearly all that means I'm just super.

Unfortunately, I tend to get absorbed in my own world.  I try to care, support, and love my friends and neighbors on a daily basis, but I consider that to be an extension of me, not necessarily going out of my way to change the world.  I really would like to buy a Coke and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony....but I can't even pee alone or schedule my annual ob/gyn appointment. 

I have a lot of excuses.  I'm busy, I'm overwhelmed, I'm tired. By the time I get the kids bathed, fed, and tucked in I want nothing more than some mindless television or a blank computer screen on which to dump my thoughts, emotions, and ramblings.  I barely feel motivated to read through my friends' Facebook status updates, much less watch the news so I can be depressed.

Today though, I'm a little inspired.  I'm a lot inspired.

I thought I would share some of the sites I've enjoyed the most lately, and I really feel like you should be reading them too, since you probably are all set on hearing me talking about my gym class and parental exhaustion. 

(If you aren't, I'll probably have more tomorrow so do not panic.)

An Inch of Gray
I am telling every one I know to go, read, and care about Anna See's blog An Inch of Gray.  Anna lost her 12 year old son, Jack about six weeks ago in a flash flood.  Reading about her journey is heartbreaking, brave, and so painfully honest that it is impossible to not love her, her son, and the entire See family. 

I know a lot of people think that it's just depressing, but it is so much more.  When I read about her experience, her pain, I feel that it is a profound, truthful look at grief that so many parents have gone through. It is an honor to pray for her, to honor her son's life by being inspired and moved by his short but impressive life, and a joy to cheer for the whole family to walk through this grief to a happier time.

Read it.  Don't think it doesn't affect you.  We should all be a little affected by her journey. 

Rage Against The Minivan
Kristen Howerton consistently finds an amazing balance on her blog, Rage Against The Minivan, between sharing experiences on every day life as a Mom to four kids and thoughts on bigger picture issues like adoption costs, health care, and her most recent post on chocolate.

Read her posts on the cocoa industry and it's impact on child slavery and trafficking and you won't want to go out and buy your Hershey's bar any time soon...and if you do you're a total asshole. 

Don't be an asshole.

One of the things that has gone so wrong with our country is a complete apathy of anything outside of our line of vision, but the truth is that the wrongs of the world are our own.  As Kristen points out, we would never balk at paying twice the amount for a Fair Trade chocolate bar if we were witnessing child cruelty to harvest cocoa right in front of our eyes. 

Just buy the alternative choices she points out.  We do have power as consumers, we just have to take a few minutes to learn which choices are helping the positive and not fueling the evil.

Noonday Collection
Jessica Honegger started this accessories company a little over a year ago in order to help fund her adoption and it's just blown up from there.  She's changing lives that lady.

She's not only selling amazing accessories, apparel, and home goods, but she's giving women around the globe a pathway out of poverty.  Sometimes I simply feel lazy when I talk to her, but I make myself talk to her since she's so great.  I spent a few glorious hours with her today and it just makes me happy.

Check out the Noonday website and blog and be inspired.  Jessica and her husband, Joe, just returned from Rwanda with their little boy Jack, and the whole journey is chronicled on her blog.  It's beautiful.  It makes me want to adopt ten children. 

OK, that's a total lie.  I don't necessarily want to adopt, but I definitely want to support families that do.  I also want to help support something that is giving women a way to feed their children and send them school so that they no longer have to live in a hopeless state of poverty.  I also enjoy looking super stylish while doing it.  Win-win.

Side note:  Two blogs are currently having giveaways for Noonday stuff so go enter and start changing the world.  Finding the Beauty and It's Almost Naptime

Charlie Rose
I abhor watching the news.  I know, it's lazy of me.

I love me some Charlie Rose though. 

To be honest I've been totally clueless about the whole Occupy Wall Street thing, which is right where I like to be on anything like this...but after watching this earlier today I feel more informed and well, I liked it.

I don't know what any of the answers are to the bigger problems of our country right now, but I do know that it's good to have some information about everything that's happening.  So, if you are clueless you should watch this because it's easy to follow, interesting, and no one is shouting at one another or trying to ridicule the person they are talking to....a breath of fresh air to me.

The Mommy Therapy
What?  I could change the world.

And finally, because I am feeling so kind.  I am willing to share with you the one tip that my cleaning woman, Maribel....moment of silence for me no longer having her clean my house....shared with me on her last day here. 

(Read the post after she left.  I loved her.  Not just because she cleaned my house.)

Right before she left she walked me to the kitchen sink and said, "Leslie, you have to take the black drain cover out and clean it. All the food sticks on there from the garbage disposal and it gets very gross."

Oh Maribel, you are so wise.  I wish you could come back to me.

I did it tonight and every time I do it I marvel at how I never knew this before she showed me.  I'm worried that there are millions of people that never even touch this part of their sink drain.  Check it out people. 

Go clean that shit off your drain RIGHT NOW!

You are welcome.

I feel sort of mean and heavy.

How about a photo of Stella hiding behind the curtain in my bedroom last Saturday because she found a lollipop in a random bag on my floor and wanted to eat it? 

Am I forgiven? 

I mean, that's insanely cute.  She's even carrying a lampshade with her to add to the ridiculousness. 

You should have seen her when we took it away a few moments later. She actually went over to an empty laundry basket and lifted it up and pushed it over.  Baby girl can rage when she has her sugar taken away. 

No one tell her she's only going to be able to have Fair Trade candy or smashed fruit from now on or she will go nuts.


Mel said...

I will definitely check out the blogs. AND the freaking sink drain! What the hell is THAT? And why did I never know this either?
Also, baby girl is adorable;)

Cheryl said...

Yeah, the cocoa industry makes me want to vomit.
And thanks for the shout out.

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

I found Anna's An Inch of Gray a few weeks back. I had a discussion over the events of Anna and her son with my mom and we both cried. I feel like God gave her the ability and talent to write so beautifully to help her find a way to release the pain. Her words pull everyone of my emotions to the surface. Your readers should stop by her blog if they haven't already and when they do should have a fresh, big box of tissues.

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

Holy shit! I can't even properly comment now because all I want to do is go check out my sink drain. Thanks Leslie like I need one more freaking thing to clean. What are you doing to me!

Ps Stella is cute, so it kind of makes up for making me want to puke. Kind of.

KSK said...

Stella is SUPER cute!! :) And a lampshade? I'm sure she was probably planning to put it on her head and dance around after she was finished with that sucker...

I'll have to check out some of those blogs.. and my sink. ..ugh. I don't want to check my sink. That's going to be nasty. Fine. I'll do it.

Two Normal Moms said...

I feel the need to don shoulder-length gloves and clean my sink... *shudder*
Going to check these blogs out now...

Anna See said...

Dear Leslie,
Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog! It is so helpful to know we are not on this journey alone. Love, Anna