How we work

We are an online community of kind-hearted individuals who directly donate gently loved children's clothes to mothers who could use a little kindness. The wonderful donating mothers lovingly box up the clothes that they once loved their own kiddos in and send them for another mother to love on her children via the US Mail - Parcel Post. If you are in need, know someone in need or want to help by donating, please contact us at If you can't do any of these but would like to spread our message - thank you kindly! ~ Elizabeth & Heather

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Everyday Miracles

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

This morning on I was reading a story about a little baby who was a Christmas Eve miracle just one short year ago. The young mother died during labor giving birth to a stillborn baby, but both were revived back to life just minutes later. The mother went into cardiac arrest so the doctors had to take the baby by emergency c-section. Luckily both survived. The delivering doctor said that its rare for a woman to suffer cardiac arrest during pregnancy and far rarer for both mother and baby to survive. The father has his own explanation. He believes that it was truly a miracle. Read the full story here.

Another story I read was about a Wisconsin man who had been unemployed for the last 18 months and living with his parents, won $1 million dollars in the McDonald's monopoly game.

I too have a miracle that I experienced. Several years ago I was driving back to Dallas when my car hydroplaned next to a passing semi. My car luckily bounced off the truck instead of getting sucked underneath it. However, I went airborne and went nose first into the ditch and spun out into oncoming traffic on the other side of the highway. I was somehow completely unharmed; not a scratch on me. The car however was completely totaled. The police officer that came to the scene was in absolute shock that someone wasn't killed or atleast injured. I was truly blessed!

Maybe this Christmas you haven't received some major miracle such as one of these above. But know that the gift of life and love are miracles of their own. Everyday is truly a miracle. The lyrics to this Sarah McLachlan song put it so perfectly.

It's not that usual when everything is beautiful
It's just another ordinary miracle today
The sky knows when its time to snow
You don't need to teach a seed to grow
It's just another ordinary miracle today
Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own
Isn't it remarkable
Like everytime a raindrop falls
It's just another ordinary miracle today
Birds in winter have their fling
And always make it home by spring
It's just another ordinary miracle today
When you wake up everyday
Please don't throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a apart
Of the ordinary miracle
Ordinary miracle
Do you want to see a miracle?
It seems so exceptional
Things just work out after all
It's just another ordinary miracle today
The sun comes up and shines so bright
It disappears again at night
It's just another ordinary miracle today
It's just another ordinary miracle today

What everyday miracles have you experienced? Is your child or marriage a miracle? Is your health, your home, your job a miracle? Tell us your EveryDay Miracle and share in the miracle of the Christmas season. We look forward to hearing your story!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

In love and kindness,


Email Heather and Elizabeth

Monday, December 13, 2010

And the winner is...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Thank you to those who participated in sharing their most memorable Christmas stories. We really appreciate it when our community shares with one another! Many of these stories were so touching in very different ways. All of them truly special and memorable.

Now, for what you have been waiting for! We wanted to formally announce by random drawing that our winner is ...... drumroll please ......


Congratulations Erica on receiving a $50 gift card! We hope that this comes in handy right before the holidays! Please send us an email with your mailing address so we can get this mailed out to you right away!

Thanks again to all who participated and please continue to share with us any thoughts or ideas on our blog or facebook page about Pass It On, Baby! How can we better help others, any topics you'd like to see us talk about, thoughts on how to reach more people - we want to know!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

In love and kindness,

Monday, December 6, 2010

The best gift ever...and GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Time sure does fly by! I want to apologize for the lag in posts but it's sure been hectic with Thanksgiving and now the holiday season among us. It seems like this time is busier than ever. I tend to get lost in all the things that seems so necessary to get done -  getting christmas cards out, shopping done, santa visited, baking goodies, attending christmas parties,  keeping up with the house, oh and not to mention working. I am overwhelmed with the whole to do list right now as it seems never ending. However, I read this wonderful quote the other day that reminded me what this time of year is all about...the best gift ever - LOVE!
"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." ~ Dale Evans Rogers. 
I remember some of my most exciting Christmas'. Those when I got that special gift or a time when my family enjoyed themselves in an extra special way. One I can remember most is when my sister and I got a Nintendo. My parents made it so fun by creating a scavenger hunt. We spent atleast 20 minutes figuring out the next clue, running through the house, excited to see where the next clue would take us. We were sure it was something big. We giggled and laughed and enjoyed every moment together. Those memories of love and excitement are truly the times that warms my heart the most. Especially since my sister is no longer with us. When I think of her and that Christmas, it's not the Nintendo that I still think about (although it was an awesome present), it's the love that we shared. It's a gift that will forever be in my heart.

The presence (not to be mistaken with "presents") of Love to me is truly what makes the spirit of Christmas so meaningful. It is the BEST gift we could give ourselves and those who are closest to us. To allow love to flow in us and through us and outwardly to all those around us - in how we think, feel and act at all times. It is the best gift ever. You don't need a lot of money to give that gift, just an open heart and the mental awareness.  LOVE is all you really need.

In the spirit of Christmas and giving, we would like to giveaway a $50 gift card from Pass It On, Baby! Just a little thank you from us to you for being apart of our community of love. For giving love, receiving love, and feeling the presence of love that is here. We hope that you can use this to give a gift to someone special. Whether that be your child, neighbor, friend or even yourself. Tell us about that most memorable gift you received or the most memorable Christmas time you shared. We want to know. Please respond by Sunday December 12th and we will announce a randomly picked winner next Monday.

"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." ~ Dale Evans Rogers. 

In love and kindness,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Notes of Thanks.... How Appropriate! =)

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

It sort of comes with the territory, but many times it seems like Heather and I are always asking for help instead of thanking you for how much so many of you have already done. So, how apropos that as Thanksgiving approaches we share some of the MANY notes of thanks we receive. As we are well aware, our words are hardly as touching as those who have actually received some help - so read along and feel the warmth of human love and kindness.... =)

"Oh thank you so much thank you thank you thank you, again thank you really even if you're not able to help just the idea of people out there trying to help others really touches my heart."

"hi i received the clothes for my son today .. is there a way to personally thank the mom who sent them to me? she included a note about her tragedy and it was very heart warming .. i truly would like to thank her personally from the bottom of my heart for doing this for my son knowing what i now know. she is a true angel .. if its not possible for me to thank her.. can you pass the word on for me?"

"I got my donation today, I have to say I do not cry much and today after I got this package I was in tears, The mama that sent the donation also sent along as special note with a little about her life she explained that she has a little boy at 3 years old pass away It really made me cry today because I had a daughter 3 years ago this Dec that passed away from SID it was so special to me that this mama shared this with me and I really for some reason felt so connected with this person I do not know, This mama that sent me the donation has no idea how much this will help us, We love everything and now she has some stuff that fits her perfect so I wanted to really thank you for running this program and connecting moms in need with moms willing to help this so amazing of you all to do, My family thanks you."

"I found your blog after a friend wrote into you about my best friend who was featured on your blog in XXXXX. I am amazed at all you do. I just wanted to thank you for your help. My best friend is going to court for the custody case on Thursday and I will be able to present her with the two boxes and gift cards I received for her because of your blog. I am sure she feels like no one cares and I have proof because of your blog that she is deeply cared about. I cannot tell you how much my faith in people has been restored. Thank you soooo much."

"Thank you so much. After your last email I felt much better. But now I feel like dancing again. You have made me so happy thank you again this really means so much to me."

"Yes, she is in 3-6 months, It makes me cry to actually come across some people with big hearts, It means a lot to My little one and myself, Thank you again for everything.."

The above notes are all from a two week window...that's how much you loving people are out there influencing and touching lives...not just the mother, but a family - and little eyes are watching the joy that is spread by such acts of kindness. Just as many believe that children are influenced by the violence that they witness, so too are they influenced by the kindness and joy that they see.

Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours!! Enjoy this special time of togetherness. Whatever your struggles, lay them down for the day and find some appreciation in whatever you do have. To those that are hurting, hang in there - people do care. For those helping others - thank you from all of us. May this be a wonderfully, happy holiday for each of us.

In love and kindness,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

True stories of families in need...

It's that time of year again. The weather starts to turn colder (more cold for some of you than me as I live in Texas). And families start wondering how to make sure their little ones stay warm. I must say some of the stories we've received lately just break your heart. It surely makes me realize how many blessings I have and not to take those little things for granted. Both Elizabeth and I really felt that it was important for our community of readers to read the words that have been sent to us. We do protect identities, however, we know that for people to be compelled to action, sometimes it takes reading and feeling the same cries for help that we have read.

 To Whom it may Concern,
      I am a desperate woman. I am due to have my first child in Feb. My Mom thank God for her has helped me as much as she can. I live with her and my sister who has 2 kids of her own to take care of. We are all on very limited means. I am not working because the town we live in doesn't like to hire pregnant women. They still are stuck in the stone age. My Mom has tried and gotten me some things and so have the few people that have a little extra but that is limited and hard with the holidays right around the corner. The hardest thing for me to do is ask anyone for help. So this is very hard for me. But I am having a little boy and still need a lot of things like bottles, clothes, stroller, bassinet and a crib. I need help with everything.  After he is born I will be able to get a job and things will be easier on all of us. It is just these things that keep me up and stressing at night. I know it isn't good for the baby but what can you do when you can't get the stuff you need and there isn't any place in the town you live in to help you. If you can or know someone that can help me please contact me.  Please, please, please help me. ~ Kentucky Mother 
My daughter Michelle Lyn is going on 2 months old and the only thing she has to her name are some night/spring clothes and a bassinet, We don't even have a baby bathtub for her so I have to take her into the shower with me and it's hard trying to bath a 2month old and yourself all at once.. I feel bad for her because she has no toys no swing NO winter clothes nothing the only thing I do is leave her on her stomach on the floor with a blanket for tummy time then back in her bassinet so I can do things around the house. I use to live in Michigan but a year ago I moved out to Wisconsin so I really don't have any money to get her anything at this time and I feel bad for my baby girl.. I'm not really asking for anything I'm just wanting to see if anyone would please try and help us out in any way possible with anything they might not be using.
If not then I understand and I soon know that God will give us what it is we deserve. Just have to sit and wait it out and all will come together, but thank you for even reading this. May God Bless your family in everything you do! ~ Wisconsin Mother

Greetings and thanks in advance for your kindness!  A friend told me about your blog, what a great way to share kindness with others, I will pass along your story. 
Now for the requests.  I have been working with a young woman for about 18 months, tutoring her as she works toward getting her GED and mentoring her as she takes positive healing steps in her life.  She started life in an orphanage in Brazil with her brother and sister.   When I met her, she was in a residential two year program for women who have survived lives of violence, addiction and prostitution.  
She decided to break free from her lifestyle when she found herself in jail and pregnant.  She has more than 2 years “clean”, is a graduate of the residential program and is working towards full custody of her daughter.  Recently, she helped her sister leave a difficult relationship with her two children.  The two sisters work hard to make ends meet and support their 3 children. Please help me to help them with clothing for their children. ~ Tennessee

I have a mother and son who need help. The father has been abusing her for a while, and recently started with their 5 year old son. The dad broke the childs collarbone when the child was trying to stick up for his mom. Needless to say she finally left him, but not before he cleared out the accounts so she has no access to money, and she is currently unable to work but looking. When she left she literally left with the clothes on her back, and the clothes on the boy. Because of no current income and no money to live off of, they are living in horrible conditions. I am wondering if you or anyone you know have any 5t clothes that you can spare for him? This family is in desperate need. She is very embarreassed. Let me know if you have anything that might help. Thanks! ~ Friend of mom in need

i am going through a really tough time right now, and could really use help with clothing for my daughter as it is getting colder out, and she has barely any warmer clothes. its hard being a teen mommy and raising a little girl, while trying to keep up with school, no job, and having to worry about bills, only being able to pay what i can from what i get from my financial aid. thank you so much for your consideration and i look forward to hearing form you. ~ Florida mother

These are just a few of the heartbreaking stories of families who are hurting. Families who could use our help - YOUR help. Can you do something small, even if it is just 1 or 2 outfits out of your own childs clothes that could help ease the burden of a family in need? If you don't have any clothing to provide, do you have $5 or $10 to help ship a box? A gift card for a family for a couple of outfits? Can you share this blog post with any family members or friends, church groups or schools, or any other organization that can help spread the word? Anything you do will help. I can promise you that. 

This new book i've been reading is about the purpose of relationships. The main point of the book is that the purpose of ALL relationships is to help the other person be the best version of themselves and vice versa. How can you help a family from Pass It On, Baby! be a better version of themselves? How can you, your kids or your family be a better version of yourselves by helping? That is our goal with Pass It On, Baby! Whether it be with our little soap boxes - discussing the evolution of ourselves personally - hoping it touches you in some way to betterment. Whether it be with the stories of hope, the stories of giving, the stories of struggle - we hope that Pass It On, Baby! is helping readers, donors and recipients be their best version.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing.

In love and kindness,

Email Heather & Elizabeth

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Fun of the Season....

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Happy Halloween to all! I hope each and every one of you had fun with your own trick-or-treaters, or with some that visited you! I just love Halloween. Having kiddos means getting to relive your own fond memories of Halloweens long ago, all over again. It means letting loose a little... Letting the kiddos stay up later than usual, eat more candy than they should and run from house to house just getting to be themselves. Adults in my neighborhood are as excited as the kids. We all love to see the fun costumes, to see neighbors that we haven't in awhile, to catch up with new births, new additions, and new happenings. Halloween means not being annoyed with people who stop by, sharing what you have, buying extra to have some to share...just a fun holiday all around. For me it means baking for school festivals, running to all kinds of outside activities with the kids, and a rekindling of that sacred family bond that each of us holds so dear, but that sometimes gets jeopardized by our hectic schedules.

I've had fun all day looking at so many of my friends children dressed up for costume parades, community activities and the like. Each one of them is so happy and excited for the present moment that they are in. As I was talking to my own kids about Halloween, I was shocked that they couldn't decide between Halloween, Christmas and Easter as their own favorite holiday. Here, we as parents, spend SO much more money on Christmas than either Easter or Christmas and my little kiddos don't know what their fav holiday is??!! What?! I guess its because of the family time that each holiday brings. No one ever TRULY feels loved or cared for by material possessions, like them as we may, its the together-ness. The hunting for the costumes, the parties, the fire pits blazing, the s'mores roasting, teasing Dad over having his fav candies, carving pumpkins, decorating the house....that's what its all about. This year I truly felt it too.... Yes, it was busy, but it was SO good for the soul. It was such a happy time.

With that happy time passing, means the beginning of another season, Thanksgiving. The season of truly being thankful for what we all have...even if it isn't much. Make it your mission to truly FEEL your blessings and where you can, to share them. For my family, Thanksgiving means putting together an entire meal for another family we will never meet via a local organization in our area. We all head to the store together...Daddy in charge of picking the turkey, Mommy the vegetables (no one else would tolerate that role!! ha ha!), and diving the desserts, potatoes, stuffing, drinks, etc amongst the kiddos. They each set out with their list and are so happy to be preparing another meal, just like I do for them. I have to tell you, this moment is one of my favorites of the season. I hope you have one just like it that brings your family together while teaching those lessons that each of us hope to instill in our kiddos....Do unto others...Be the change you wish to see in the world.....said so many ways.

If you find that you can help another child with clothes...reach out. Make this season as magical for another as it already is for so many of us. Embrace the thankfulness and love of the season....there is another on the receiving end that you will have forever made a difference. Really, is there anything better? Please reach out to friends, neighbors, anyone you might know that can help a child. We have so many beautiful little ones in true need right now....

In love and kindness,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A tribute to cheerleaders and HAIR BOW GIVEAWAY!

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Many of you know that Elizabeth and I sit many times here on our soap box, trying to convey as many positive messages to our readers the best we can; all at the same time trying our best to continue to help families in need receive clothing. It's nice to be able to do something fun every once in awhile and also hear from another voice and point of view other than our own.

This special blog post is from Anne. Anne is what my circle of friends like to call "Super Mom!" She's a wonderful wife and mother of 3. She is also the most creative person I know! She teaches sewing classes to friends and makes all kinds of neat stuff like personalized towels, baby hooded towels, custom flip flops and the cutest hair bows!! She recently started her own company called Puddin Pie Designs! I am also linking her facebook page here as well so you can "like" Puddin Pie.  Check out her page and her website to see all the cute, custom gifts she has. Here is a special blog post by Anne from Puddin Pie Designs and her hair bow giveaway!

A Tribute To Cheerleaders

cheer-lead-er, n.   1. An enthusiastic and vocal supporter
When we think of cheerleaders, we usually think of pretty young girls, jumping and tumbling, rallying up support for the local football team on a Friday night. But when I think of a cheerleader, I instantly think of all of the amazing people I have met in my life that have been enthusiastic and vocal supporters of me. Not of my athletic abilities per se, but of my talents and even more importantly, my goals.

I don’t think anyone can be a truly happy and successful person without a “personal cheerleader” or two. Whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, we need someone to pat us on the back every now and then, and look us sincerely in the eye and say, “Go for it!” Whether that “it” is running a marathon, or making a tough life-changing decision- a cheerleader can give you the push you need to kick-start your goals, or stand strong and be tough in your resolve. They are invaluable in showing us that we have something to give and share with the world that has worth.

Growing up we were cheered on for everything- using a spoon, tying our shoes, counting to 100- but it seems like that unwavering voice of praise got quieter and quieter as we grew up. It became our own job to pump ourselves up and not rely on others to make us feel good about the things we had done. But I think it is at this time in our lives when we need cheerleaders the most. Who hasn’t been scared to submit a resume to a great company, or what new mother hasn’t sat in the rocking chair crying along with her new baby thinking, ”I can’t do this!” Times can be challenging, and we could all use someone who stands by us, holds our hand and says, “You CAN do this.” I am so thankful to have so many of those people in my life.

We all have something we are good at, and we all have our own little (or big!) dreams. My own personal cheerleaders have been instrumental in not letting me demean my talents, but rather how to put them to work. I have always been a creative person- and as I have grown older, I have used those talents for my friends and family by creating custom gifts for them, which then led to me designing items for them to give to others. Their support and positive feedback have given me the confidence to turn my talents into a business. While it may be small- it is something that I love doing. I love having some time just for myself to relax and enjoy the creative process during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Even still, there have been so many times when I have stopped and thought: This is so silly. I am not curing cancer or putting men into space, I’m making hair bows. How trivial. But then I can see the smile on my friend’s daughter’s face when she gets a box of “Miss Anne’s bows” or receive a kind note from a new mom who loves snuggling her baby up in the towel I made just for her and I think, I have given those people a moment of happiness. It may be small, but it’s real.  What’s better than that?

So I’d like to add to the definition of cheerleader: A great listener. An enthusiastic encourager. A dream booster. A thoughtful friend who will say little prayers for you and then call you later to see how the meeting or deadline went. Someone who can laugh with you when something turns out horribly wrong, and will sing your praises to others when they turn out really well. A giver of sound advice and constructive criticism.  Provider of hugs and high-fives.

So to all of my cheerleaders, I raise my megaphone up and say “Thank you!!!” I can only hope I am as supportive of your goals and dreams, as you have been of mine.

To keep the shout-outs going, leave a comment here at Pass It On, Baby about who is your biggest cheerleader and what you’ve accomplished with their support and we will select someone to receive either a Halloween or Fall bow (your choice).

Thanks Anne from Puddin Pie Designs for the support of Pass It On, Baby! and this awesome giveaway! We look forward to your comments and announcing the winner on Monday October 25th!

Have a great day and as always - Pass It On, Baby!

In love and kindness,

 (and Anne)

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

This message goes out to those in need as an explanation and a truthful commentary on our system of donating. Heather and I are pretty fortunate. We have lots of friends that are willing to donate clothes to our little outreach and at times our storage areas are overwhelmed with tons of clothes in various sizes from friends, neighbors, family and kindly strangers. Those that live close to us come over frequently and drop off those items their kiddos no longer need. And we appreciate every single one of them. With all the clothing that we have, when we have a need that we cannot fill with donors, Heather and I send out the boxes. But, just like each of you, we have a budget - and so we feel guilty when we are not able to send more boxes to help. We are going to continue to do what we can where we can, but please be patient with us. We truly care about each one of you and want to help. If you find yourself unable to wait for the normal processing time, we always allow someone to write and "jump" the line by covering the shipping cost of the box. Just an FYI to those whose need might be absolutely immediate and cannot wait in the order in which Heather and I send out, this seems so formal, right? It's just us trying to explain that we have SO many sizes of clothes, but can't possibly send out 20+ boxes a month... =) Send good wishes for us to figure out some way to send more boxes and help more people!

There is so much I want to share today! Heather and I have come across some AMAZING people running their own charities and we are so fortunate to have been able to "meet" them. We LOVE to share about others doing good deeds and so if you know of someone you'd like to introduce to us, email us! I know hearing about others making a difference inspires me and hopefully it will to you too! This week, meet "Project Head Start 2010" from Victoria who reached out to us. Here is how she describes her organization:

"Every other month ( six times a year) I will be mailing out a box of goodies. This box could include a few outfits, toys, diapers, etc for the mother and child. I want to give people who cannot give their child "everything" but wants to. This is not a pity party, it is a true genuine charity. This is not for people who cannot afford ANYTHING for their child, just a little added something to help a little bit. The box is not large or full of expensive clothes, toys etc but it provides people with a little extra umph."

LOVING THE CONCEPT!! And what's better - she's a college student! Hooray for young people caring enough to make a difference. You can find them on Facebook (like us). Wishing them HUGE success as they set out to help mommas also!

You know, though, you don't have to run a charity to make a difference. This past weekend, I was outside a grocery store with my two middle boys, who are Boy Scouts, selling their annual popcorn at the troop's designated selling location. We tried to approach everyone kindly and politely and very aware that sometimes people just don't want to be bothered as they are doing their weekly shopping trip. My kids were cute with their selling routines and I tried to jump in when they were getting long-winded or high-pressured...(I swear, my 7 year old must have been born a telemarketer!) Several people were very patient, but just simply didn't want biggie. One of the women paused and said she would think about it while shopping. After she walked away, I gave my boys a break and gave them a few dollars to go in to the store and get a treat to keep their interest up and the monotony away. As they were checking out with their goodies, the woman who had just said she would think about it, stepped up to the register and told the boys she would be buying their treats. They were SO happy and SO thankful, and as they ran up to me to share their happiness, I used it as an example of goodness in the world and how easy it is to make a difference in someone's day. She didn't want the popcorn, but still wanted to make my boys feel special. She did exactly that and through her they learned an important lesson about spreading joy. I think we can all think of little ways to add little bits of happiness to another's world. Especially if you find yourself in a bad mood, getting outside yourself and affecting someone else's life can be just what the doctor ordered. It actually affects two people's lives.... :)

I hope all the mothers out there, especially the ones struggling, know how much others care. Heather and I and our little community all come together with the one common interest of helping up those who are struggling. Victoria and her crew do the exact same. People care... So hang on and hold your head high. There are lots of kind people out in the world today. Here's hoping you run in to some today! And if not, who's to say that you can't be that person for another??

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"In the Strangest of Places if you Look at It Right"

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

I have mantras.....things that reignite my faith and my faith system. They help to focus my thoughts in to positive energy and a positive outlook. So, here goes....Today, I am thankful. Thankful for the fact that when I get overwhelmed (like I was a few posts ago) that every day is a new day with new hope and new promise. I believe in destiny. I know that I am in the exact moment I am supposed to be at each and every moment.....even if it won't make sense until years later. I believe in kindness. And I believe in karma. Not in the weird eye for an eye sense, but the kind that says putting kindness and goodness in the world makes for a better place for all of us.... I love that letting those thoughts in means feeling so much more than the daily tasks, the takes you to a place of infiniteness and wonder.

Strange things happen to me. Sometimes they just seem so normal that I just don't question it. I know that they aren't really coincidences, but little pushes to get me back in the right direction. Today when I went to the gym, there was a new woman, whom I have never met or seen, working in the child's care area. She commented on my daughter and how "girlie" she looked and I made a joke of it saying after four boys, I was ready for some estrogen and some girlieness in the house. She sort of hesitated and said I have one boy and one girl. She quieted her voice so that only I could hear and said, "We are struggling. Everything is hitting at once. We just bought a new house." She began to tell me a story about her son having a fit last evening and her opening the door and for the first time looking at him dressed in clothes that don't fit. It broke my heart. She then asked me for any hand-me-downs I might have. She has no idea that I run a little charity regarding clothes, she doesn't even know why she mentioned that to me today. She doesn't have to....I know. I know that I was in that moment to remind me that the people among me are sometimes the ones struggling too. That there is goodness and kindness to be shown anywhere you go. She asked me because she was supposed to ask me, and I am supposed to help her. No questions, no judgment....just help. And while in the physical sense, it will be me helping her...she will have helped me too. Brightened my day because she trusted me, reached out....and reminded me of what I need to be doing in this exact moment. So again, today I am thankful.

Heather and I have kept this blog for awhile. Sometimes you glance at it to see what we have to say. Sometimes you see our updates on Facebook. It is not always your turn to help. Sometimes you can't. But you can always keep an eye out for those that are struggling out in our world today and likewise those that would love to be a part of this because it makes them feel good - just like it does for me. I want to ask you today to remember that each size on our right-handed sidebar is a child. A child doing without. A mother struggling.

I've said it a hundred times, but I have kiddos and so therefore, I have kiddos clothes. This is how I can help. Some of you are just like me. Some of you just can't help in that way. But you can help by just simply showing kindness. By talking to those who look like they are struggling. By smiling. By reaching out and letting them know they are not alone -- even if you can't say those exact words.

I'm not always the girl that randomly strikes up a conversation with anyone. It's not that I'm standoffish or anti-social, but sometimes I struggle with small talk before I've met or know someone. The other day, though, I was reading an article about homelessness and one of a previously homeless person turned director of a help group was talking about the hardest part of being homeless. Surprising to me, he said it wasn't the struggle for shelter, food or clothing. It was the fact that people didn't look at you, didn't talk to you, they dehumanized you. That was the toughest part for him. For this man, the smile, the kind word meant more than the money for panhandling. And that's something that regardless the others ones situation, we all can do.

Right now, lots of people are talking about the horrible bullying that has been going on for kids today. Boiling it down to the simplest level, it all starts with kindness. Respecting another human being. For what? For being human. For being a part of this journey with you. Because it truly says more about you than it ever could about them. Focus on yourself. Judge less, look inward more. And make sure to teach our children that as well. Each child is a perfect little person. But subjected to hatred, judgment, ridicule and worse, makes for a damaged adult. Be careful with our little ones and make sure to teach them by your example - not just your words.

Little tiny acts of together to slowly change not only ourselves, but our world.

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Defining your role...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

It's nice to know that there are other moms and families experiencing the same struggles that Elizabeth and I are experiencing at times. This little world of Pass It On, Baby! is so important to us but sometimes life just truly gets in the way of giving it even more. We have allowed it to be what it is for the time being and hope to continue to help and support as many families as humanly possible for two crazy busy moms! :)

One thing that my husband and I have been struggling with the past few weeks since I have been freelancing full time is defining our roles. Now to some that may seem crazy and to others right on point but when I've been home more, my role was more or less to care for our son Cade, work part-time and do a majority of the cleaning and shopping. Now that I am unable to take on that role, we notice that aspects of our life are suffering. The clean home, the prepared (or stocked) food, a scheduled child, and so on. We have noticed that our roles have had to change.

I am not one to say that a woman's place is in the home but I will say that my husband and I have to designate our roles better. I see families that I envy where one parent knows that their job is the kids, the house, the home manager and the other knows their role is to provide an income. Although one isn't easier than the other and they both can be difficult in their own way, I must say there is some comfort or stability in knowing what role you are to play.

My husband works from home so he is now finding (even for this short period) he must re-define his role in this family, this home, our life in order to keep us sane. No longer are the days that our house is spic and span or food is fully stocked or meals are already planned. He is now taking on that role. And in the meantime, I am having to learn how to re-define mine. Learning how to let go of some of those things and be the breadwinner so-to-speak for these few weeks.

And when this freelance is over - we will once again - need to redefine our roles in order to make sure that our lives run as smoothly as it can and all of our needs are met to the best of our ability. I must say I do not envy the single parent families who must play all roles. It's difficult enough for me to play one or the other. I can't imagine the constant juggle and have much respect and compassion for those who must do so.

I am enjoying this shift in my role. It's allowing me to not only appreciate what I do have and what I am normally handling on a day to day but it also is allowing me to see my strengths. It is a reminder that I do have the skills to be successful and continue that if I choose. It's nice to see daddy handling some of those things mommy used to do and my son is gaining a new bond with him that he may not have had otherwise. Our roles in our family are important. Even if they don't seem so to you. Sometimes it just helps to define your role so you can accept and fulfill.

Have a wonderful day and Pass It On!

In love and kindness,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tales of a Worn-Down Mom

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

I LOVE that Heather and I get to handle Pass It On, Baby! on a daily basis. It gives us something that is only about helping others and completely allows us to step outside of ourselves, our families, our struggles and give back. But what happens to each of us when you give, give, give and have nothing for yourself? I think this will ring true for many of us mothers out there. I can tell you my story, but like everyone, let's suffice it to say we are busy. There are five of them, activities for each, all sorts of stuff we are involved in. Most of the time, I think that's great. I enjoy it! But, lately, I've been feeling each activity wear on me. The pressure of play dates, appointments, parties, training for a marathon....well, I've been feeling overwhelmed. Feeling like I am doing a pretty poor direction in every arena I turn....from keeping house, to remembering birthdays, writing thank you's, laundry - goodness, the list can go on and on. It wears on my self-esteem and I find myself wondering how everyone else seemingly keeps it all together. Heck, there are many days that just getting in the shower is a fete! :)

But here's the truth.....EVERYONE feels this way at one time or another. Your complaints may not mirror mine, but you get it. We all do. The problem is, once you get it, what do you do? If you keep avoiding the issues, do they go away? I can tell you they don't. Just like any situation in the world, if you don't meet them head on, they'll be there tomorrow and the next day and so on.

As moms, wives, friends, you-name-it, we give. We give to kids, to our significant others, to our extended families, to the schools....but what time is carved out for us? In the past, I've struggled with taking time away from my family because I feel guilty. Being a mom is what I do, so it seemed counterintuitive to take a break from who I am. But recently, I sat down and realized that being a mom may be who I am now, but there was a before that still exists inside me and needs caring for also.

My kids love to go to the park and play, it makes them feel alive and happy. We can all agree that that's great to nurture their little needs and spirits like that. It's when we turn that philosophy on ourselves that we can see how necessary it is for us as adults. When my kiddos don't get to go outside and run some energy down, play with other kids, they get stir crazy. They start misbehaving in the house, they are irritable, and they start to quarrel amongst themselves. Gosh that sounds familiar. When I haven't taken care of myself, I start to get irritable too! I start raising my voice to my kids more often, I feel confined and I find myself irritated at the smallest incidents. Funny how the logic of it all didn't hit me before.

Until very recently, I hadn't put much thought in to how to reenergize myself. At the end of the night after kids were in bed, lunches made, uniforms set out, I was just then starting a whole clean up cycle with laundry and prep for the next day. When all of that was finished, I was turning on some mindless tv just to veg out with my husband. The problem? Because there was no thought process involved, there was no real caring for my spirit, just kind of distracting it. Sometimes, we'd add a glass of wine in to the "relaxation" but still, the next morning as I was making breakfast, I could feel the exhaustion and the lack of energy about being home. That was leading to huge thoughts of failure and what was wrong with me? Here I am home with my kiddos and I'm mindlessly going through the day from one task to another and so on.....instead of enjoying the life I lead. Now I stop here and say I am BETTING that I am not the only one here. Many of us feel the same way from time to time. It's no secret, life is busy and most of us have many obligations and a lot less time for ourselves than what we used to. But the same way that you meet obstacles with your children, with your spouse, with finances - head on -- with a plan, several discussions, whatever - you need to meet caring for yourself in the exact same way.

What did I do? Well, it's hard for me to ask for help. To tell my husband that I really thought I was struggling everywhere and wasn't sure what to do about it. Then I talked to my family and shared how I felt. And you know what, it started to feel a little better as everyone kept saying, "We've ALL been there at one time or another!" And people started coming up with options. There were a few things that happened. First, it was so important to hear that people care. When you feel like you are drowning and you know you do have people to offer a hand - it helps. But in the end, I had to sit down and take a really hard look at myself. I had to look at my schedule and say to myself, "This schedule might not be more than others can handle, but it is more than I can handle." My husband and I also talked about what made us feel re-energized and how to carve out time for each of us in that manner. I had to ask for help where I needed it - whether from my kids, or whomever. We planned date nights, we talked about expectations and cut things out of our schedule. We started saying no to social obligations that overwhelmed instead of re-energized us. In some way, we took back control. We got back to basics.

So - I'm better. I'm taking things a little slower right now and actually making sure that I am present in each moment with the kids instead of just going through the motions. It's a work in progress as we all are, right? But again, I'm not the only one.

If you are like me and want to give back, but sometimes feel like there is nothing for yourself - you know, there is nothing wrong with calling a time out and getting yourself back together. Taking an hour to read instead of doing the laundry. Heading out for a solo shopping trip or a walk or a dinner with friends. Play some music and take a long bath. We need that. We can't take care of others when we aren't caring for ourselves. And likewise, if my children got older and had kids of their own and felt that they had to sacrifice themselves completely for their children - I would feel like I failed. I would feel like I never taught them that you had a two-folded to yourself, another to your kids.

So - its GREAT and IMPORTANT to be kind. Just remember that you need to be kind to yourself before you can be any help to anyone else.

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Right Perspective

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Today I was watching my favorite TV preacher, Joel Osteen, and he gave such an inspirational message for me that I really thought that everyone could benefit from such a message. It was all about having the "Right Perspective" in life.

Sometimes it becomes a little too easy for us as people to focus on the obstacles or challenges we may be facing or the things in life that we don't have. It can be easy to take for granted what we do have like our family, friends, job, opportunity, our health. We really need to start practicing to appreciate the gift of today. The reason we don't is because our perspective is off. If you were to put two people in the same situation or the same circumstances - one would be just getting through by enduring but another would be enjoying. The only difference between the two people is perspective. It's all in how they choose to see the situation.

Don't let the obstacles of today take away your bliss. Don't let the focus on the things you don't have to take away your joy. It's truly a choice in perspective. The foundation for a happy life is having a grateful spirit. The seeds of discouragement can not take root in a grateful heart. If you are feeling discouraged, or not happy with what is going on in life the solution is to start feeling grateful and to focus on the things that you do have - not what you don't have. Even if it's a lost job, lost relationship, ill health, etc. - it's all a matter of perspective.

There was a story about a man who complained about not having any shoes til he met a man that didn't have any feet. After that, his perspective changed. He decided that maybe it wasn't so bad not to have shoes. The truth of the matter is that somebody would LOVE to have your life! You have a roof over your head, you have food to eat, you have a job, you have your health, you have AC in your home, you have more than so many others! Be thankful for what you do have. Because so many others have less than you.

If you need to spark a grateful spirit - make a list of at least a dozen things that you are grateful for and put it somewhere you will look at it several times a day. When did something work out for you when you were sure it would not, when were you at the right place at the right time, when were you protected from an accident or bad situation, do you have healthy children, the ability to see or hear or think or move. When you have the right perspective, you release a sense of faith and a knowing that everything will work out.

If your perspective is off and you need to get an enthusiasm back for life - even amongst the mundane life routines - being thankful will spark a new happiness. It's all in your mind. Your life will follow your thoughts. Life is precious and fragile - it can easily be gone in a blink of an eye. Let's not waste any part of this gift of today or any other day being negative. When the obstacles come, re-read your list and shift your focus back to being grateful.

I don't HAVE to go to work - I GET to go to work. I don't HAVE to take care of these kids - I GET to take care of these kids. When tough times arrive and linger - remember this too shall pass. Atleast I am still alive. If you have your health, you have something that some people would pay billions of dollars for. Appreciate the simple things. I can dress myself, I can feed myself, I can see, taste, smell, touch. I can walk, I can work, I can breathe.

If you are having trouble sleeping - remember those who don't even have a bed.
If you are stuck in traffic - remember those who don't have a car.
If you are having a bad day at the office - remember those who don't have a job.
If your hair is turning gray - appreciate that you have hair. :)

If you are having a difficult time finding things to appreciate - think about the following:
1 million people per week die - you are still alive.
If you have a roof over your head - you are better off than 75% of the world's population.
If you have $15 - you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthiest people.

I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends. For the taxes I pay because it means that I'm employed. For the clothes that fit a little to snug becuase it means I have enough to eat. For my shadow who watches me at work because it means that I am out in the sunshine. For the lawn that needs mowing, the windows that need cleaning, the gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home. For all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech. For the space I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means that I am capable of walking. For the huge heating bill because it means I am warm. For the lady behind me in church, who sings off key, because it means that I can hear. For the piles of laundry and ironing because it means that I have clothes to wear. For the aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive. For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I'm alive.

It's all a matter of perspective - all in how we choose to see our experience, our life. How will you choose to see your day today? Hopefully with the right perspective. We all have something to be thankful for even amidst difficult times.

In love and kindness,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends"

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Like everyone, there are times when you begin questioning where you are headed. Does what Heather and I do make a difference? Does it make enough of a difference? Are we crazy to think we were going to be able to manage this on top of our families and all our other responsibilities ? Because, at times, I lose focus. Sometimes I worry about helping enough people....sometimes I worry about sustaining it all. Sometimes I simply feel selfish and self-pitying and well, you get the idea....

So lately, I've been that way. Having a pity party for one...feeling bad about how little time there is to get everything done....(can you hear the tantrum, now?) and just going through the motions without getting myself centered and remembering what this is all about. But, I'm lucky in that there is something bigger than me that is letting me know that this is what I am supposed to be doing. To be putting something out in the world, to be bettering myself along the way and learning a lot about the person who I want to be when all is said and done. So when I lose focus, when I start attending the daily pity party, something happens to let me know that I am where I am supposed to be. Today, that something is this article....and the reflections I had when thinking about the people in my life who bless it everyday. Sometimes, we all "get by with a little help from our friends." - take a minute to read it. It speaks to the power of acts of kindness and the fact that with each one that we are influencing our world, our future....pretty powerful stuff.

I think it's true....something like an act of kindness can change you. I've been going through something similar with a friend of mine. I only met her about six months ago but we have little girls the same age and have many of the same interests. We've spent some significant time together with our girls activities, with running together, etc. We became close pretty quick. Now, I've always looked at myself as a good friend, but she is the type of person that by her actions makes me want to be a better friend. When she is out at the grocery store, if she thinks I might like something, she picks it up. If she is making something for her daughter and thinks my daughter might look cute in it, she makes a second one. If I mention that I am losing focus in training for my marathon, she offers to come and run with me. If she knows that I am stressed on any particular day, she'll offer to watch the kids so I can get myself together. Now, I have a few amazing friends. My bestie will help me with anything (she basically helps me throw every kids party I have back home) and we have the luxury of having known each other for fifteen plus years, but unfortunately, living far apart, we don't get to see each other and talk on a daily basis. My new friend has taught me how to be a good friend on a daily basis.

She's moving shortly and I won't see her anymore on a daily basis. But, I know that the simple things that she did for me made such a difference in my life that I will now be a better friend to another because of her. I see in her who I want to be to others. And I think that is exactly what the article means to say. Once these acts of kindness affect you, they will affect you in the long term. Once you've personally had an act of kindness make a difference in your life, you too will want to share that with's the true power of good.

It's nice to know that there are little angels around me. That catch me when I fall and help boost me up to where I am supposed to be. When I can't do it all by myself, they do it right alongside me. Not sure what I've done in my life to deserve these people, but I am sure thankful that they are here. The kindnesses that they have shown me, I in turn, want to share with another...keeping that whole circle of good we always talk about, connected.
In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Making the best of what you have...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Both Elizabeth and I sometimes have LOTS to say or to relay or share within our own personal experiences and other times not. Like she said last week, I am struggling with what to write. I normally have plenty to write or speak about depending on what's been going on in my life but not sure how to share what I've been experiencing or share it in a way that relates to Pass It On, Baby!

I own my own company and times were very very good for the first 5-6 months out of the year. Then, the freelance ended, a promise of a new job, waiting around and then here we are a little over 3 months later. Although business is starting to pickup again and another freelance project will be starting in October and another client coming on board in October, that leaves me figuring out how to float my family for the next few weeks. And of course, right now - everything is hitting all at once. 

My 2 year-old started his first day of Mother's Day Out today and albeit is was SUPER exciting - I struggled with how to do all the things for him that I had always wanted to do. New clothes for school, new things to take that he needs, haircuts, etc. I wanted to make a big deal of it. But our finances definitely put a huge limitation on that. I also have a wedding that I will be in at the beginning of October and although I am very excited for my friend and for going on a destination wedding - it couldn't have come at a worse time. Right in the middle of a drought for my company. 

Although I have so many expectations for what I want to experience and how - I came across this quote the other day that really hit home for me. 

"The happiest people don't always have the best of everything, they just make the best with everything they have."

This really made me think about Cade's experience for school. He was going to enjoy it either way, it was me that was struggling with the expectations that I had placed on what I wanted to experience. I didn't have to buy him anything new for him to enjoy the first day of school. As hard it was for me to realize, I knew that it was about what I did with the day and how I created it without all the "stuff" that I felt was important. I did get Cade 1 new shirt for the first day but nothing crazy - just inexpensive but cute. He didn't get a new haircut (although he still needs one). He wore his hat to school that he loves. I made his lunch with TLC and we talked for a couple of days before about how exciting it would be. My way of handling it I know affected how he experienced it. If I had been down in the dumps about not meeting all my expectations - he may not have been as excited or felt the same way about going. 

The same for everything in my life right now. I guess there are cycles in life for just about everything - including money. I have so many expectations in my mind about how I want to experience something and a lot of becomes dependent on how much or how little money I have and how good or not good that experience will be. 

For the wedding I am attending, it's been the same. I like to go over the top with gifts and have specialty items made that are personalized just for that person. I had wanted to do all the same things for my friend getting married but soon realized that I couldn't spend the same as in the past but I can do a lot for a little. I can put the same love into a gift even if it's not super expensive or what I had envisioned - it still came from the heart and she will hopefully feel that and appreciate it. 

So my lesson for this time in my life where money isn't necessarily flowing in abundances - is that it's not that I have to have the best but am I doing the best with what I have? Most of the time yes, but I definitely need to be reminded of this quote more often. So I will be putting this on my facebook status today as well as Pass It On, Baby!'s as a reminder to me and to all of us. 

And for Cade - his day went fantastic. He was super excited to put on his backpack and go to school. Although he quickly decided he didn't want to carry it.

Drop off was easy and tear free. He just played with the teacher and a new classmate and didn't seem bothered we were leaving.

And when we came to pick him up, to our surprise he was sleeping so soundly. It was adorable and truly amazing!

Here was to a great day making the best with what we had!

In love and kindness,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"The Days are Long, The Years are Short"

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Today, I guess I don't have much to say. I usually have plenty to say, especially when it comes to Pass It On, Baby! but not this evening. My mind is elsewhere. My kids go back to school tomorrow morning. Three of them. My preschooler starts a little later. But, I am sad about it and missing the time I had with them. Wondering if I did enough this summer with them, missing the constant interaction....all of it. Now, that's not to say that we didn't start to feel the lack of structure the last few weeks and I seemed to become a referee much more than I would have liked, but it's more change, and that - I just don't do so well with.

My oldest son is a freshman in high school tomorrow. I could tell you all about his preschool years, though, they seemed like yesterday. And they flew by. I'm trying to fight the thoughts that I've raised him for 14 years now and that I only have 4 more with him before he goes off to college. It's a frightening thought. We worry if we've taught him enough, loved him enough, given him the tools he will need in this world. And my husband just keeps telling me that we are a work in progress and doing the best that we can. That there will be bumps along the road, mistakes we will make and that as long as you pull them close, provide security, teach them all you know, that they will come out ok.

I guess that's true for a lot of things. The same certainly can be said for our Pass It On, Baby! We learn as we go. We make mistakes, we try our hardest, but we build it with love and caring and I guess that's all we can do.

Am I the parent I wish I were every day? No.... But by the same token, I'm not anything every single day of my life. The days I'm the best parent, I'm usually not as available as a friend. The days I'm an awesome friend, I'm probably less of a great daughter or my house is less clean, etc. Some days I'm the best I can be, other days I'm that work in progress that I was talking about. And for me, that has to be ok. I have to forgive myself and keep moving forward. It's all this delicate balancing act. No one can be everything at every moment of every day.

So tomorrow I'll wake up with my goals of what I want to accomplish with my kiddos, my ideas of how to most help with Pass It On, Baby!, where I personally want to grow as a person, who I want to be as a wife. One thing is for sure, I won't be able to do all those things at once in any short period of time. They will be goals I will hold for the rest of my life.

If you find yourself down about any aspect of your life, the beautiful thing about it all is that it's never too late to change. If the end result is too overwhelming, take the first step. You don't have to do everything, you just have to do something.

Tomorrow morning, we'll be up early in our home for a family breakfast. Talking about the year ahead, squeezing out the last little bit of sacred family time together. This year won't be perfect on any of our parts either, but it will be special all the same...and we will continue to grow as people and as a family. And really, isn't it all about the journey in the end anyway? =)

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather