Finn’s Fighters: Spring for SIDS

by Desiree Miller on March 19, 2015

Sometimes everything can change with the blink of an eye.  Forever. 
My sister-in-law knows that better than anyone.
Her son died.  He was just two months and four days old.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS, took him from her forever.
Her life changed drastically that day, and the ripple effect took its toll, too.
That was eight years ago now.  And she’s done a good job of putting her life back together.
But she wants to be sure other parents don’t have to go through what she did, so she’s taking part in an annual fundraiser called Spring for SIDS.  
Honestly, this is her story, so I’m going to let her take it from here. Word for word.  I hope you can find a way to help.
From Kelly-Marie Miller, dated 3/19/15:
I am trying to once again raise money for Spring for SIDS.
This year I would like to get $1000.00! That seems like a lot but if I have calculated this correctly (and it is me so more than likely not :) ) that is $7.40 per person in my address book. I know some can give more, some less and some not at all. So as always please pray, think, meditate or happy dance about your donation and then please click the link below.
To lose a child is to lose part of yourself that you can never get back. If I can help prevent that for another family….
Please remember SIDS can not be cured, but with enough research and studies it can be eliminated so no other family needs to go through what mine did.
It has been 8 years now since I held sweet Finn in my arms, but every day I hold him in my heart and every step I take I dance with him on my feet.
It took me 8 years to be able to write this…and I share it with you now and pray it will be enough for you to say I can skip my coffee today and donate to Finn’s Fighters.
God Bless and thank you for your love and support (regardless if you donate I appreciate you in my life)

I sat and wrote everything I remembered from January 18th 8yrs ago and was going to share it…as my New Year’s resolution to “leaning in” but I think I lean in more when I share what I do not remember. I dedicate this to all the parents who are living this hell right now and truly think it will never end. My friends it does not end, it changes and take the good with the bad and you change with it.

I don’t remember….

I don’t remember the first time I laughed, truly laughed, but I have

I don’t remember the first time I did not wear my pain like a badge, but I don’t

I don’t remember the first time I stopped being so angry, but I’m not

I don’t remember the first time “I’m sorry” no longer sounded like a curse word, but it doesn’t

I don’t remember the first time I said “it’s ok, thank you” and meant it, but I do

I don’t remember the first time I said I have 3 kids without feeling the need to explain, but I don’t.

I don’t remember the first time I said I have 2 girls without also saying and a boy, but I don’t

I don’t remember the first time I said I have 2 kids to a perfect stranger without feeling guilty for not mentioning Finn, but I don’t.

I don’t remember the first time I held a baby without crying afterwards, but I can

I don’t remember the first time I heard someone tell me they were pregnant and not feel jealous, but I don’t

I don’t remember the first time I saw twins without thinking that’s not fair, but I don’t

I don’t remember the first time holding a baby boy and not thinking what if, but I don’t

I don’t remember the first time I walked with my girls and their boy cousin thinking this is how it should be or there is one missing, but I don’t

I don’t remember the first time I was able to buy a “boy toy” without thinking I should have a room full of these, but I can

I don’t remember the first time I stopped being offended when someone asked me what SIDS is, but I’m not

I don’t remember the first time I thought its ok, but it is

I don’t remember the first time I said I am stronger now, but I am

Powerful stuff, right?  I hope you decide this is a cause worth supporting.  And thank you, Kelly, for allowing me to share this with the world. 

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The Coolest Job Ever: The Hugger of Aruba, Audrey Gage

by Desiree Miller on March 17, 2015

The Professional Hugger Audrey Gage

Audrey Gage came to Aruba to buy a white one-piece jumpsuit. 

That was nearly 50 years ago, when she was in her 30’s…

She’s now 78 and calls Aruba her home base.

She’s smart.

She measures her own water and electricity use and produces more than she uses of both.

And she’s kind.  Incredibly kind.

In fact, she says her ‘job’ is handing out hugs.

No. Really.

She’s such a great representative for this place known as ‘one happy island’ that they named her an Ambassador of Goodwill back in 1989.

She still earns the title each and every day.

Just listen to how.

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#MakeitZero

 

When someone mentions sex trafficking, there’s very little part of me that thinks it’s a problem America needs to think about, especially not Atlanta, Georgia, where I live, but I’m wrong.  Very wrong.

In fact, Atlanta’s underground commercial sex problem is a very big one, with a large market for street prostitution, according to studies on sex trafficking and sex work in U.S. cities.

According to The Urban Institute, Atlanta far outshadows most other cities around the country when it comes to the illegal sex trade.  Some say the popularity for street prostitution could be due to the major highways running through it, coupled with demand from the suburbs.

Pimps bring in more than 32-thousand dollars on average each week, compared to 12-thousand in Dallas or 17-grand in Miami.  The price increases as the age of the prostitute decreases.  Many times, those young girls—and boys– are recruited into the business by pimps who seek out vulnerable children at the local mall.

There are people trying to put an end to this.  Not just in Atlanta, but around the US, where 100-thousand children are trafficked for sex each year.

The ‘Make it Zero’ campaign goal from Wellspring Living is to end the problem: to have zero victims of sex trafficking.  Forced prostitution is the biggest problem of sex trafficking.  At a recent luncheon on the issue, we were told one investigator talked with a girl who was forced to have sex 40 times in one day.  She couldn’t stand when the day was done.  The FBI and GBI are training law enforcement to look for the signs for the victims so that they can help victims who might otherwise go unnoticed.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is also involved.  Web sites where predators connect with the pimps are being monitored.  And in this day and age, even YouTube videos are being screened as pimps turn to this popular video channel to advertise to their clientele.

You can help, too, by going to Make it Zero and contributing to the cause.  There are ways to get involved, from contributing money to spending your time with the organization.  There’s even an action kit you can download on the Wellspring site.

I know I struggle looking at my own child knowing what other children are going through—each and every day.  I’m willing to #MakeitZero.  Are you?

 

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Turkey_PretzelBun_environment

(Note to readers: This post was written by me on behalf of RaceTrac. I was compensated for the review, however all views and opinions are 100% my own. #ad)

When you think of places to pick up fresh food fast, odds are a gas station one-stop shop isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s a real option at Race Trac stores now.  Yes, you read that right.  Race Trac now has Value Meal Deals that include sandwiches, wraps or salads made with fresh ingredients—ready for you fast—plus a choice of 1- to 2-ounce bag Utz or Zapp’s chips and a 20 oz. bottled Coca-Cola beverage—all for $4.99.

Print

It’s a special deal being offered from March 4th through April 28th.

There are actually several special offerings to choose from, including these featured sandwiches:

 Southwest Turkey Ciabatta flavor-filled deli-sliced smoked turkey breast, lightly spiced pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions and a creamy chipotle mayo spread with lettuce on a fresh-baked ciabatta bun.

Turkey & Swiss with Tomato generous amounts of turkey and Swiss cheese with fresh lettuce and tomato on a soft honey wheat bread.

 Turkey Club Pretzel crispy bacon and sliced turkey and lettuce with a flavorful basil mayo spread on a soft pretzel bun.

And there’s more than 15 other options available at all RaceTrac locations.

One bite will have you understanding their tagline: We just broke the taste limit.

 

I don’t know about you, but I like a fresh option when compared to the fried foods that used to be the only game in town when you needed your food fast.  Face it, when you are juggling kids, work, errands and everything else, convenience is king.  It’s good to have a fresh alternative in a pinch.

If you want to try some, we have a $25 gift card we are giving away on the blog.  Just comment below by March 24th with the sandwich you’re looking forward to trying the most.  You must also follow @RaceTrac on Twitter and Instagram and Like them on Facebook

Comment by March 23rd at midnight EST to qualify.  Good luck!

 

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Escaping the Cold with the 2015 Toyota Avalon-Review

by Desiree Miller on March 1, 2015

Toyota Avalon

Want to be your family’s hero?  Get them out of the cold, to some place warm–preferably some place warm and fun, too.

We got to do that recently with a trip down to see my family in Florida.  A flight wasn’t an option because we wanted to  deliver a pile of old toys, games and goodies to younger cousins, so we opted to take the 2015 Toyota Avalon that we were reviewing for the week.

You can read all about the car in the review I wrote for She Buys Cars, but until that’s posted, enjoy our video of the trip.

Here’s hoping you can hit the road soon to warmer places in a ride as nice as this one.

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2015 Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is Set for May 2nd at Fox Theatre

February 24, 2015

The 2015 Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is back with plans to be better than ever on Saturday, May 2nd from 11am until 2:30pm. This annual event has built a reputation as  THE event of the year for anyone expecting a baby or couples with little ones. The Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is held at the Fox Theatre ballrooms and is well-known for its fun, party atmosphere. There’s a fashion show, Cravings Corner, thousands of dollars in prizes and one-of-a-kind vendors with products and services that you will really love discovering […]

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pediped Spring/Summer Collection Offers Next Step in Baby/Toddler Shoes

February 20, 2015

There are lots of children’s footwear lines that are super cute, and plenty of others specifically designed for healthy foot development, but pediped®’s new Spring/Summer 2015 Collection provides both. The Spring Collection includes 20 new styles with Memory Foam Technology™ including the Sidra sandal and Angie ballet flat. Several styles are machine washable, including 20 new ultra-light athletics.  There are even six fully lace-up styles in sizes 29-36, the first lace-up styles ever offered by the brand. Best-selling Sahara is back with new color options and the Canyon offers a […]

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Why I’m Kicking Valentine’s Day to the Curb

February 13, 2015

I think I’ve finally hit my fill with Cupid and his Valentine’s Day crap. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I’m over it. Those of you who have your Prince Charming and life all full of sparkles and unicorns are just making it worse on those of us dealing with the real world. Because that ‘happy ever after crap’ where nobody argues and life is all sunshine and smiles is just a fairy tale for most of us.  And maybe, you’re just a really good pretender and it’s fake for […]

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Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Diamond Edition–Review and Giveaway

February 10, 2015

Remember how much you loved 101 Dalmatians when you were a little kid?  All those dogs…all those spots…and that super evil Cruella character?  Well, Pongo, Perdita and their puppies are back for fun-filled adventure facing off with Cruelle De Vil, in the release of 101 DALMATIANS DIAMOND EDITION, out now on Blu-ray™+ Digital HD from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. My family was sent a copy for review and one to give away to one lucky StressFreeBaby reader.  The girls decided to watch on a recent road trip to escape the cold […]

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Thank You for Breaking My Heart… Sam Smith’s Lesson in Love

February 9, 2015

“Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys!” Those were Sam Smith’s words while accepting the Record of the Year at the 2015 Grammy Awards for his song, Stay with Me. All I could think when I heard him say it was, ‘Hell yeah!’ THAT is a man who has moved on. He used his pain to his benefit. He channeled his hurt and created something amazing. And I love that! I have said all my life that the greatest revenge after a heartbreak […]

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