fabulous friday #19

Happy Friday, everyone! This week seemed to go by simultaneously slow AND fast to me — does that ever happen to you? Whatever your plans are for today and this weekend, I hope they are filled with love!

Here are 5 things I’m loving right now:

1. Tonight I’m going to see Les Mis with my grandparents! I’ve only seen the movie version of this musical, so I’m really excited to see it on the stage. It is one of my Grandpap’s favorite musicals, and he’s been singing the songs all week around the house.

2. Speaking of singing… I love rocking out in the car as I’m driving. I am not gifted with a great singing voice, but I don’t care — when I’m by myself driving, I sing with zero self-consciousness! If one of my favorite songs comes on the radio {currently: Pompeii, I Choose You, Girls Chase Boys, Dark Horse, Rewind, or pretty much any T.Swift song} I feel like I’ve won a prize. Yesterday I drove down to San Jose and back for a dinner-and-a-show date with Allyn, and the drive flew by thanks to my solo karaoke session. {And also maybe because I was a tad excited to see him.} ūüôā

3. My nightly routine of climbing into bed with a book, sipping on a mug of this huckleberry tea I got in Seattle, and reading until I feel sleepy. Such a peaceful and relaxing way to end the day.

huckleberry tea

4. Easter! This time of rebirth and renewal always makes me feel hopeful and rejuvenated. I’ll be spending Easter Sunday serving meals at a church in San Francisco, and then in the evening my family is getting together for dinner. My grandma is even making her famous-in-our-family eggplant parmesan.

5. This quote from the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

marquez quote

RIP Marquez, who passed away yesterday at 87. As my friend Corey wrote on Facebook: “Thank you for it all.” He was one of the best.

Questions for the morning:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for Easter weekend?

 

a year of Wooden: week 12

Happy Monday, everyone! Time for this¬†week’s¬†year of Wooden¬†challenge! This month¬†we are focusing on Coach Wooden’s creed to help others.

a year of wooden

  • January:¬†Drink deeply from good books.
  • February:¬†Make friendship a fine art.
  • March:¬†Help others.

Last week, the challenge was to help a family member. Sometimes, we are so focused on helping others outside our family that we forget about the people that mean the most to us, those who do so much for us every day. I helped my grandparents with chores around the house, gave my brother a shoulder rub after his long car ride up to see me, and had a long conversation with my cousin over mugs of peppermint tea.

This week, the final week of March, the challenge is to help someone less fortunate than you are. Some ideas: volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen; donate books, clothes or toiletries to a shelter; give blood or join the bone marrow registry; give a sandwich to a homeless person. What other ideas do you have?

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from my friend and mentor Wayne Bryan:

wayne bryan quote

Have a marvelous Monday, friends!

Questions of the morning:

  • Have you ever had a meaningful experience¬†volunteering to help someone less fortunate than you are?

goals for the week {a day late!}

Hiiiiii friends! Wow, can you believe that tomorrow is already Christmas Eve? Time is flowing by crazy-fast! This past week has I think been one of the busiest weeks of my entire life. One of those weeks where every day feels packed-to-the-brim with important, meaningful stuff.

I’ve been able to meet up with a number of dear friends for coffee dates and dinner dates and hiking dates … special time to talk-talk-talk and catch up with people I love and don’t get to see nearly enough. The fam and I watched some of our favorite holiday movies: Serendipity, Love Actually, and It’s a Wonderful Life. {<– my all-time favorite movie EVER.} I was honored to teach writing workshops at three separate schools {one elementary school, one middle school, and my alma mater high school} in addition to my Winter Writing Camp on Saturday. Nothing inspires me quite like being in a room full of young writers writing!

In addition to all of this, we celebrated my brother’s birthday yesterday {happy 24 Gregburn! I love you!} and threw an absolutely lovely and fun bridal shower for my cousin Julie. Plus the typical holiday cookie-baking, card-writing, present-wrapping, etc! Here are some photos from my week:

family with gramps

The girls with Gramps before Julie’s bridal shower.

cupcakes

I made two dozen cupcakes for Julie’s shower … a dozen chocolate with peanut butter frosting, and a dozen red velvet with cream cheese frosting!

loving murray

Murray lovin’!

brothers

Brothers!

And now … on to my goals!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals for the week of 12/15:
– write 10 pages of new material {yeah, this didn’t even come close to happening this week…}
–¬†take cookies & cards to the nursing home¬†{doing this tomorrow!}
–¬†exercise at least twice
–¬†finish reading¬†The Tea Rose {less than 100 pages left}
order holiday cards
teach a fantastic Winter Writing Camp
throw a wonderful bridal shower for my cousin Julie
connect with two friends

And here are my goals for this week:
– soak up time with my family and friends!
– journal/reflect on this past year
– set my goals for 2014, wooooohoooo!

I’ll be back tomorrow with the week 51 year of kindness challenge!

This post is linked up with Menu-Plan Monday.
MPM-Winter

year of kindness challenge: week 27

year of kindness button

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you do anything fun to celebrate the 4th of July?

Last week’s Kindness Challenge was to volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. This was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had so far in my #yearofkindness endeavor. I spent a morning working at a local food pantry: stocking shelves, breaking down boxes, and helping to distribute food to clients. Everyone I encountered was so friendly and genuinely grateful. I will remember one woman in particular who was beyond excited to get a package of ground turkey. She was nearly jumping up and down with excitement. Many of the clients were women who came in with their children. This food pantry also distributed diapers, baby wipes and baby food.

The experience made me realize what a gift it is to be able to go to the store and choose what I want to eat. The clients who came to the food pantry were entirely dependent on what the donations had been that week and what was available. For example, this week the staples we gave out were red onions, yellow squash, corn, canned peaches, rice, instant potatoes, tomato sauce and grapefruit juice, as well as a selection of canned soups, crackers, boxed pasta dinners, and a limited number of perishables such as milk, yogurt, and lunchmeat. I was surprised how in-demand beans were, canned beans and dried beans. We ran out of beans quickly. In the future, I will always be donating beans to the food pantry!

I’ve decided to become a regular volunteer at the food pantry for the rest of the summer while I am home. I’ll be working there once a week. I feel really grateful and blessed to be able to help out my community in some small way!

The Week 27 Kindness Challenge is to send a card or care package to someone in the military. Here are some great links:
–¬†http://www.give2thetroops.org/
–¬†http://www.military-missions.org/care-packages/
–¬†http://www.operationgratitude.com/tag/military-care-packages/

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚Äď

year of kindness archives:
–¬†week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
–¬†week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
–¬†week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
–¬†week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
–¬†week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
–¬†week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
–¬†week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
–¬†week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
–¬†week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
–¬†week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
–¬†week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
–¬†week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
–¬†week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
–¬†week 14 challenge: donate books
–¬†week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
–¬†week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
–¬†week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
–¬†week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
–¬†week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
–¬†week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
–¬†week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
–¬†week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
–¬†week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
–¬†week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
–¬†week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation

year of kindness challenge: week 26

year of kindness button

Happy Monday! This week marks the half-way point for our Year of Kindness Challenge! Can you believe it?? How is the challenge progressing for you? Any neat stories or insights? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

This past week, my entire family was filled with immense gratitude and awe over the kindness of our friends, family, and strangers — my dad’s Kickstarter project to fund the publication of his new book Wooden & Me reached its full funding goal!! Thanks to all of you for your encouraging words and support. I could not be more proud or thrilled for my pops! The book is now scheduled to be released later this summer. More info is available on my dad’s website. He was also a guest last week on the TV show Sports Central! Here’s a photo my brother snapped of him with the two hosts, Kristine Leahy and Gary Miller:

dad sports central

So cool! The project was a blessing in so many ways and reminded me again and again of how fortunate we are to share this world with such big-hearted, thoughtful people. We were astounded by how many people reached out to my dad and our family with amazing kindness and generosity.

This week I also came across this post by my blogger friend Heather at For The Love of Kale, titled Kindness is Love in Action! I loved this post and I think you will, too: http://fortheloveofkale.com/2013/06/kindness-is-love-in-action/

Last week’s Kindness Challenge came from my lovely blogger friend Ashley at¬†A Happy Lass¬†{if you haven’t checked out her blog, you should hop on over!} and it was¬†to do something kind for people riding public transportation.¬†I left bus tokens at my city’s big public transport center, and I also put change in parking meters. Hopefully it brightened a few people’s days!

The Week 26 Kindness Challenge is to volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. 

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚Äď

year of kindness archives:
–¬†week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
–¬†week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
–¬†week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
–¬†week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
–¬†week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
–¬†week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
–¬†week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
–¬†week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
–¬†week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
–¬†week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
–¬†week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
–¬†week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
–¬†week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
–¬†week 14 challenge: donate books
–¬†week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
–¬†week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
–¬†week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
–¬†week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
–¬†week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
–¬†week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
–¬†week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
–¬†week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
–¬†week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
–¬†week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation

saturday upsides: special delivery to the nursing home

saturdayupsidesbutton

Happy Saturday, everyone! So we all survived the end of the world … hooray! There’s an upside right there. ūüėČ

Another upside: today is my brother’s 23rd birthday! Happy birthday, Greg!!

happy bday gb

We are going out to brunch, per our special sibling tradition, and we’ll be going out to dinner as a family. I’m excited to celebrate the birthday of my amazing brother! My first-ever memory is when he was born. I was two-and-a-half years old and I just remember standing in the living room of our old house, telling my mom to “Call Daddy, call Daddy!” My dad was at work and my mom was home with what she thought was the flu {it was two weeks before her expected due date} when her water broke … my dad rushed home and we just barely made it to the hospital in time! My family always jokes that I almost delivered my brother that day!

do good feel good

My final upside for this lovely Saturday is based on the idea “Do good, feel good.” There’s nothing like those warm-fuzzies you get when you feel like you did something nice for someone else — I find it especially powerful during the holiday season. It means so much to feel like I could make someone’s holiday a little brighter!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of my friend Jewell, who passed away two years ago in February. She was an incredibly sweet and compassionate person and I used to visit her at the local nursing home, where we shared many meals and long conversations. Here we are about a year before she died:

me and jewell

And here she is wearing a scarf I made her for Christmas:

jewell

I used to enjoy making Jewell homemade Christmas gifts and cards, and last Christmas {the first once since her death} I really missed her. This year, I had an idea: I could still give a gift to Jewell by doing something kind for others in her memory.

So I whipped up a batch of sweet treats {my butterscotch pudding cookies & holiday white chocolate pretzels!} and spent an hour making homemade cards. I used crayons, stamps, stickers, and markers to make my own designs, and I also “upcycled” some Christmas cards we’d received in previous years by cutting off the front picture and gluing it to a new piece of cardstock to make a new card.

more cards

more cards 2

I made sixteen cards in total. Then I packed up some treats on a plate, gathered all my cards together, and headed out to the nursing home for a Yuletide delivery!

special delivery!

I could feel Jewell’s warm spirit with me as I delivered the cards and cookies to the nursing home residents. They were so happy and waved and hugged me and said, “Thank you!” and “Merry Christmas!” I hope Jewell was looking down and smiling.

Want to do a similar project in your town? Here are some examples of notes I wrote in the cards:

  • Hope your holiday season is filled with joy and peace! Love, a friend
  • Someone is thinking of you this holiday season and sending warm wishes your way!
  • Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful season filled with warm memories, hope and love!

Now I’m off to finish wrapping Greg’s birthday gifts! ūüôā Have a fantastic day!