Monday, January 24, 2011

Two Weeks after Paying it Forward

...Five dollars. Or ten. Or fifty. Or one.

Two weeks has passed since my Paying it Forward post. For those who don't remember, and who don't want to click on the link provided, I'll give you a bit of a background. I stumbled on a blog less than a year ago of a super strong mother named Kelle Hampton. She is such an amazing photographer and writer, and like many now-a-days, has chosen to document her life through a great blog, "Enjoying the Small Things". Immediately following the birth of her second daughter, Nella, she wrote an amazing blog post about that day that changed her so much, for the better. Nella was born with Down Syndrome. This post went viral (take that, surprised kitten video!) and that is how I stumbled across it, on a post on a random moms group bulletin board.

I have been a reader ever since.

This past Saturday was Nella's First birthday. In honor of her birthday, her family set up donations to the National Down Syndrom Society (NDSS) through "Nellas ONEder Fund" linked in a post on Friday, January 7, "Pay It Forward...Rock the ONEder Fund." The original goal was to raise $15,000 before Nellas Birthday in two weeks...

Well, this is a quote from her blog today... I'll let her share it in her words.

"I am thrilled to announce that the total online and offline total of Nella's ONEder Fund surpassed our $15,000 goal. It surpassed our $47,000 goal and our $63,000 goal. I'm excited to report that you all have helped us wish our girl a happy birthday and spread love to thousands of families. Friends, together we raised $101,144. 

...and it's still growing. (Thank you to Dana Wainstein who spun off her own fundraiser to help Nella and raised over $6,500). Thank you to every one of you for giving and for sharing. I never dreamed it could happen like this. But, then again, I never dreamed a year ago that a little moment could change my life so wonderfully.

That's Right People, $101,144...and growing...

The Mission of the NDSS is to creat a culture that fully accepts and includes individuals with Down Syndrome.

So, if you were one to pay it forward.  Thanks.  There are lots of people who are thanking you for your support.  

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Monday, January 10, 2011


We had our first prenatal appointment today, and got the surprise of getting to see our little prune! Almost a lime!

Here (s)he is!

10 weeks 5 days

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Paying it Forward... Even if it's only Five Dollars...

I cried this morning.

It could have been my crazy pregnant hormones, but I'd like to think that it's because I read a post today from an amazing blog that touched a piece of my heart. And I'd like to share it with you.

A little less than a year ago, I found this Blog post of a woman who had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Nella, who has Down Syndrome. Her name is Kelle Hampton. She is a Photographer, A Wife, A Mother, and an Amazing Writer. It was composed so beautifully and filled with so much emotion, that I read it many times, and have been reading it ever since. I really do thank her for documenting this year so well and allowing the world to learn and grow with her.

This morning on her Blog,, I read her words.

"When I sat down to write this post earlier this afternoon, I intended to make this about Nella. But, I've learned something more this year. I've learned to look beyond. While yes, the rawness of loving my own child and imagining her almond eyed, milky-cheeked, tiny-toothed grin on the face of every other child with Down syndrome is what initiated my purpose in this new world, it has become more. I care not just because my daughter personally connects me to this greater world but because I have learned to see their hearts, their capabilities, their spirit, their determination, their love."

And then she gave her readers a challenge.

"So, here's the deal.

I'm going to ask you for something. And it's really important to me. To a lot of people.

I'm going to ask you to think about what you've taken from this space this year. I have felt incredibly inspired by not only the feeling of community here but by this productive push toward good that arises simply from the understanding of the power of a group of people connected in a small way on the Interweb but, more importantly, in a much greater way within this vast world. And so, I'm asking you again, have you gained anything from visiting this space this year? A smile, a thought, a connection, the encouragement to dig deeper or let your own voice speak out. If you have, I'm asking you to give back today. Please, pay it forward.
In honor of our girl's first year, we are asking you to give back to her. And the 400,000 other individuals living with Down syndrome in the United States alone.

The mission of the NDSS is to create a culture that fully accepts and includes individuals with Down syndrome.
Let me say that more clearly. The mission of the NDSS is to create a culture that fully accepts and includes our little girl. Our Nella."

And this is how you can do it... you can donate to the National Down Syndrome Society through Nella's ONEder Fund. Her goal THIS MORNING was to raise $15,000 in the TWO WEEKS from today to Nella's Birthday. That goal was passed in about 12 hours. So, now she has doubled it. 30,000 in two weeks.
It just fills me so much hope and happiness that so many people would donate, even small amounts, $1...$5...$15... to such a great organization that is dedicated to making people's lives better.

I would love to live in a world that fully accepts people living with Down Syndrome.

And that's why we paid it forward today too. And here is some more... getting the word out. :)
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Year 2010 in Review, Leading to a New Year...

Last Year started with a lot of this....

Injections, ultrasounds, pills, and LOTS of money spent every month, but we kept seeing this:

Cooper and I decided in September of 2008 to start trying to have another baby... after trying, trying trying and trying, we went to the doctor, and tried some more. Then, we went to another doctor, tried again, and in the fall of 2009, I was diagnosed with PCOS. Normal ovaries should look like this:

Mine on the other hand, look more like this:

The big circle that contains all of the little black circles is an ovary. All of the little tiny black circles inside of that are cysts. I have quite a few... I think the last ultrasound I had that counted my cysts there were about 35 in EACH ovary...

The problem with trying to have a baby while you have PCOS, is that it makes it very hard for your body to ovulate on it's own. That is why we ended up using injectable FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) to make me ovulate. After a few tries of doing that, we stopped and took a break in March 2010.


While taking a break, Cooper and I started the Atkins Diet and we both ended up loosing some weight! Always a plus! We started a "Low-Carb" recipe blog, called Faux Pasta.

The "baby break" we had was such a blessing... we could let loose and have some fun without the pressure and stress of people asking, "are you pregnant yet?!". We enjoyed life.

Working too hard...

Celebrating Birthdays...

Ben's Birthday, February 2010

Playing with Friends and Family...

Juls, Milo, Katie, Me and Hazel, when Katie was here March 2010
Katie, Me, Kate, and Charlotte Peeking out from the Hallway, Summer 2010
Marcus and Milo at the Dinosaur Museum, April 2010
Minnie, Marcus and Maddi, Disneyland, June 2010
Me, Juls, Katie and Lacey, at Katie's Wedding, Spring 2010

This Year, Melanie turned 23, Cooper turned 27, and Marcus turned THREE!

Marcus and Cooper at the Blue Bayou, in Disneyland, October 2010
And for My Birthday, We added to our Family... A Kitten! We named her Mao (that is how you say "cat" in Cantonese!
Mao, July 2010

We Played in Laguna Beach...

Maddi, Marcus and Grandma Stori, Laguna Beach, June 2010

Visited Sun Valley...

Me and Cooper at the Kneadery in Sun Valley, November 2010
Marcus, November 2010

And Finally Made it to Denver...

Great Grandpa John and Me, Denver, December 2010
Me and Candace in Denver, December 2010
Marcus and his Grandpa John playing on a swing that Grandpa John BUILT him while we were there!

Christmas came and went, We spent it in Sun Valley with Cooper's family.

Cooper, Me and Marcus at the Lights at Temple Square, December 2010

After we came home from Sun Valley, we spent the first New Years Eve at home. Ringing in the New Year in front of our house watching a fireworks show by our next-door neighbor, Rich Goade and we had LOTS to be grateful for...

Good Health.
Great Friends.
Amazing Family.
Fun Adventures.
And the Multitude of Blessings from this year.

Including our newest blessing...

In August, we will be expecting a new baby!

A year ago, we didn't expect we would get this surprise, especially without the injections, ultrasounds, pills, and LOTS of money spent every month ... but we did.

Here is to 2011.

We Love you.

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