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Flaunt Your Cause

16 May 2012

Words cannot describe my excitement.
Today is finally the day for the Flaunt Your Cause link-up.
My vision is to spread inspiration around the blogosphere...
to find out the many ways people donate their time and money...
to something bigger than themselves.

In fact, I'm so excited that I decided
to record a little welcome greeting.

Every year at our big family Christmas,
we have a massive feast,
and then gather around to open gifts.
Every year, the biggest stack of presents would sit in front of my grandma & grandpa.
Each of us wanted to express our love to them; however,
we reached a point in time where they simply had no need or want,
for more stuff.

Out of this dilemma, was born my favorite Christmas tradition.
You see, my grandma and grandpa decided they'd love to receive
donations to the Heifer Project charity instead of gifts.

And what started with my grandparents,
has now spread to Aunts and Uncles,
nieces and nephews.

Allow me to pause for a moment,
and explain more about the Heifer Project.
Actually, scratch that,
let me allow this dude to explain it in 60 seconds.

Thanks, 60-second man.
{first and last time I'll ever say that!}

Now I'll add my two-cents.

Things I love about The Heifer Project
1.) They change entire villages, not just single families.
2.) They provide tons of training & education to each family who receives an animal.
3.) The animal is a "living" loan, because the family agrees to gift the offspring to another family.
4.) The mission is simple: to end poverty and hunger worldwide.
{and, yes, they do charitable work in the United States, too!}

Loeun Thit, 54 years old, holds a chicken in Meanchey Village, Cambodia
Photo by Russell Powell, courtesy of Heifer International

You might be surprised that a vegetarian like me would support this kind of charity,
because, YES, they do (under certain circumstances) eat the animal's offspring.
However, I'm happy to support Heifer because I believe it's a privilege to choose to be vegetarian.
When you're living in poverty and hunger, your only choice is survival.
Also, I tend to donate goats and water buffalo (instead of pigs or cows) because they are used more for their milk and labor, respectively.

Photos courtesy of Heifer International

So every Christmas, I donate a goat ($120),
or go-in on a water buffalo ($250.)
What's even better?  My company has a dollar-for-dollar gift matching program,
which means my donation is doubled!
AND I always receive several Heifer donations in return, from other family members!
I love the feeling that our family is able to help others in the true spirit of Christmas.

For more information on Heifer International, go to
{they also have many $20 donation levels}

Thank you SO MUCH for reading about my cause.

Now, please link-up so I can read about your cause!
The link-up will remain open for one week, so help spread the word.
On May 23, one charity will be randomly selected for a $50 donation!

Emmy June blog

The rules are simple:
1) Follow both HOST blogs (the first two linked below)
2) Grab the button code above
3) Write or vlog about your charity, using the following prompt:

Tell us about your favorite charity.
What inspires you about the cause?
How do you donate your time or money to help?


Thursday, May 17
Link-up hosted by Lindsay & I
We cordially invite you to share the inspiration.

Click the button below for details!  #FlauntYourCause

Flaunt Your Cause

Please write your posts and plan to join in!
I look forward to reading about each of your causes.
And, remember, one lucky charity will win a $50 donation.

See you tomorrow,
same place!

Saying Goodbye Sucks

15 May 2012

If I had it my way, I'd go quietly into the night.
I wouldn't belabor my goodbyes, wanting to see each person that 'one last time.'
I wouldn't say 'of course we'll keep in touch', when I suspect we won't.
I'd let it be.
I'd respect it for what it is.
I'd be brave enough to say 'it was nice knowing you...have a great life.'

But, alas, a goodbye never seems the appropriate time to assert my deviance from the social norms,
to leave a bad taste in someone's mouth,
to force my will upon others.

People want closure.
I know.
And don't get me wrong, there are some people that certainly require a goodbye.
There are some people I couldn't just leave without a good hug {and a good cry.}
However, the vast majority of goodbyes are with my customers...
doctors and nurses that I like and respect,
and whom I'll likely never see again.
And with them, I find the month-long goodbye process exhausting.
Exhausting, but necessary.
As much as I'd love to, I simply cannot leave it to my successor to break the news.
I imagine a grumpy doctor looking over his glasses, sternly questioning, "Who are you?"
And the new rep, standing in the entryway, stammering, "Well, I'm your new rep.  You see, Emily went back to the USA without saying goodbye to you.  Surprise!"
Okay, they probably wouldn't say surprise.
But still, that wouldn't be very nice.


So instead, I wearily make my way to my customers and explain that I'm leaving.
I try to say goodbye.
They suggest we setup a time to meet before I leave, to really say goodbye.
So we schedule a date and time to have a coffee.
Over coffee, we discuss my future plans, how I liked Australia, and the length of my to-do list.
We finish our coffees, and stand up to leave,
at which point, invariably, my customer will say that I should stop by one more time before I go.
I smile, and half commit, saying that I'm quite busy and can't promise anything.
In my mind, I know full well I won't return.
I mean, how many goodbyes must one say?

At the risk of sounding 'woe is me', saying goodbye sucks.
It's lovely to have people who care about me and want to wish me well,
but I have over a hundred customers...
and it's exhausting.

But on the bright side, it's almost over.
My best friend will be here in less than two weeks.
In less than three weeks, we'll kick off the Big Adventure.
Given the circumstances, I truly don't have much to complain about.
Nevertheless, I can be a little self indulgent from time to time ;)

How do you feel about goodbyes?

Happy Mother's Day

14 May 2012

This post is brought to you by:

This Thursday, May 17
Link-up hosted by Lindsay & I
We cordially invite you to share the inspiration.

Click the button below for details!  #FlauntYourCause

Flaunt Your Cause

Sending love from afar, 
to all my favorite mothers,
on this Mother's Day.

you nurtured my love for horses from such a young age,
you helped me move my life cross-country to California,
when I bought my first place, you were there to help me paint.
Two years ago, you walked me down the aisle.
For these big reasons...and so many little ones in between,
I love you, and I'm so glad you're my my mom.

You taught me how to be strong and independent, 
through your own example.  
You showed me how to be tenacious,
and never give up on a problem that needs solving.
You encouraged me to study hard and work hard.
For these big reasons...and so many little ones in between,
I love you, and I'm so glad you're my mom.

I love you, Mom!

My sister, Becca, and one of her (two) boys.

I admire how seriously you take the role of stay-at-home mom.
You're always planning creative crafts,
and science projects,
and fun activities for the boys.
You volunteer in the classroom,
and take an active role in all your kids' hobbies.
It's so fun to Skype with you and the boys.
You're a great mom, and I love you.

My sister, Beth, with her two boys.

I admire how you've so gracefully fit parenting
into the demands of your life.
You prioritize the time with your boys,
and yet you also live by a great routine,
that keeps things fun, but also running smoothly around the house.
I love being at your place and getting to participate
in bath time, story time, and bedtime songs.
You're a great mom, and I love you.

My mother in law, Gail, and I in 2009

I'm so happy to have you as my mother-in-law.
My mom was never really the "care package" type of mom,
and I always envied that about my friends.
As it turns out, I got a "care package" mom later in life,
when I married Jeff!
I love that you're always thinking of us,
and sending sweet little emails,
or greeting cards,
or care packages {with Reese's Easter candy!!!}
You're a great mom, and I love you.

Happy Mother's Day!

Spiritual Sunday

13 May 2012

"In India we like to speak of God as Mother Divine, because a true mother is more tender and forgiving than a father.  The mother is an expression of the unconditional love of God.  Mothers were created by God to show us that He loves us with or without cause.  Every woman is to me a representative of the Mother.  I see the Cosmic Mother in all.  That which I find most admirable in woman is her mother love."

-Paramahansa Yogananda
"Man's Eternal Quest"

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