Over the Bridge We Go..

Over the Bridge We Go..

So many emotions run through my heart and my mind on our final Bridging Day at Sunflower Creative Arts, but this is the first of many bridges we will cross I’m sure. Sunflower has meant so many things to us since we first discovered this community.. this family.

For some, Sunflower is a safe haven. A space to go where no matter what else is wrong in the world, it can be made right, right here. On this safe playground ALL feelings are allowed, ALL opinions are respected, ALL people are welcome. When the world’s playground doesn’t seem fair, the lessons we all participate in daily at Seedlings have a way of making it much clearer and easier to understand. There aren’t any distractions, there won’t be any sugar-coating. All feelings are met with loving arms, listening ears, compassion and grace. My the things we can achieve with hope, kindness, and an open heart.

Sunflower Creative Arts

For others, Sunflower means a second chance. A chance at a childhood lost too soon, the remembrance of play for those who’ve forgotten. A safe place to land after the world has chewed you up, and spit you out. When dancing to someone else’s tune hasn’t yet worked for you, and you need to remember your own song. Here is where you go to realize what you’ve been missing, or rather, remember who you are.. Maybe you never knew yourself, but on this playground, it’s impossible to ignore.

Sunflower Creative Arts

For a select few, Sunflower is simple. It’s all you’ve ever known in your home life growing up, and you couldn’t see living any other way. You’ve seen what the world looks like, yet it doesn’t quite make sense since you already know how compassion and community truly work. It’s a way of life that is familiar, and necessary.

Sunflower Creative Arts

Sunflower has meant all of this and much more to me. The lessons we’ve learned here have shaped us as a family, and we will forever be indebted to the kindness that was shown to us. It reminded us how to live, and how to love. Now that we have these roots, it’s time to use our wings. We have the opportunity to spread this message of community, and bring it with us wherever we go. Using the skills we learned on this playground to change the world, one seed at a time.Sunflower Creative Arts

Well done Sunflower, you haven’t just prepared our family for Kindergarten, but prepared us for life. You prepared us to change the way people see the world.

Sunflower Creative Arts

Thank you.

Essentially yours,

Erika


Sunflower Creative Arts is located at 227 N Dixie Blvd in Delray Beach, FL. You can visit their website, or call them at (561) 501-6615.

Be The Change, Be The Match

Be The Change, Be The Match

This post was written in partnership with Be The Match.  Real patients like 11-year-old Kamryn are currently searching for a life-saving marrow donor. Learn more and sign up for the Be The Match Registry® at www.join4kami.org.

There is no bond like that of a parent and child. From the moment they are born, the overwhelming love is unmatched by any other experience in life. We do our best from the very start to ensure we are doing our best to keep them from harm, keep them healthy, and protect them at all costs. I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like to not be able to protect them from a debilitating disease that is attacking their body. We count our blessings each day that we have two healthy and active boys. Although, that just doesn’t feel like enough at times.

Essentially Erika

I remember being a young teenager and feeling helpless, watching the doctors scour our family members asking for blood. My dad was involved in an accident, and desperately needed transfusions. At the time, I didn’t know my blood type, and I was unaware that I was a match for his rare O-Negative blood type. This has always been a deep regret of mine, and has always effected me. My father would eventually succumb to his injuries, and our lives were forever changed.

Adolescence

The moment I turned eighteen, I made a few very important adult decisions. One of those key decisions was to donate blood as quickly as I could. I wound up donating platelets as well. Seeing the need for my blood type and having been through my own experience with my father, I began to dive more deeply into donating in different ways. Changing the lives of real patient’s like 11-year-old Kamryn, suddenly became a possibility.

Joining the marrow transplant donor list was one of the most profound decisions I could make as an adult. Be The Match makes is possible for donors like myself can have a profound life-changing effect on people’s lives like young Kamryn. Marrow transplants can provide life-saving treatment for over seventy diseases. It may be hard to believe but most marrow transplant patients don’t have a match within their own family, and rely on organizations like Be The Match to help connect them with their donor match. While I am older now, I am glad I signed up when I was young. The younger a person, the healthier their marrow, which means they will more likely be a match for more patients, and change more lives.

Essentially Erika

Signing up is as simple as a three-second cheek swab to get you in the system and see if you are a match for anyone like Kamryn, who currently doesn’t have any match just yet. The procedure can be simple and painless, or require a bit of recovering in a few cases, a small price to pay for saving a young life,  like Kamryn’s. You can learn more about her story and sign up to join the registry at join4kami.org.

Essentially yours,

Erika

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Three Dating Tips for a Happy Marriage

Three Dating Tips for a Happy Marriage

Marriage, along with parenting are by far the best choices I’ve made in my life. Nothing has challenged every part of me to grow in such a way as marriage and motherhood. Having kids is like walking around with an emotional mirror all day-long, constantly showing you parts of yourself you need to work on. But only marriage offers you that wonderful internal compromise on a constant basis. It’s one thing to sacrifice your ego for humans you’ve created and carried in your body for nearly a year, but to experience this with another human being who can test your will power and endurance on a daily basis is some of the hardest work I’ve encountered.

Golf Date

Dating Never Ends

Dating is exciting because you are just getting to know a person and all of their quirky ways. By making a commitment to keep dating while married and sharing new experiences together, you create lasting memories and provide yourself with more to relate to. The exciting experiences that led you to fall in love in the first place. By never giving up on dating, you are vowing to always practice learning more about each other, and enjoying these moments for years to come.

Tip #1: Schedule in Advance

I know it doesn’t seem romantic now, but scheduling these day dates (which are tough to come by) is essential. Life is busy, there are drop-off’s, pickups, laundry, and groceries. It can get pretty overwhelming, and this necessary time with your partner can easily fall by the wayside. So since it is necessary, just like dental visits, you make plans in advance. You can even plan out the next couple of months if you’re so inclined. Besides, life’s struggles can seem a bit easier when you have something awesome waiting in the wing, it gives you something to look forward to.

Tip #2: Learn Something New About Each Other

Golf

My husband used to golf all the time before we had kids. But with limited days off and a family to raise, his dreams of the golf course have slipped through his fingertips. So on a recent day together, I went golfing with him. He was in heaven enjoying getting back out there. We laughed as he tried to teach me a few moves, and I got a kick out of watching him find my shanked balls. It was a ton of fun, made only more fun with Gran Reserva Wines that we brought along with us. Their Sauvignon Blanc was perfect for our golf date experience. It was light, cool, and crisp. Plus we stored it easily in a thermal picnic backpack that was gifted to us years ago. We sat a laughed about our new adventure at a little picnic on the course. Creating these new memories will sustain us during those rough patches that life inevitably throws your way.

Golf

Tip #3: Remember Who You Were

 

Kids change things. It’s a fact. Becoming a mother has changed me in many ways, mostly for the better. However, when you are constantly in a state of “go, go, go” you can forget how to relax. So enjoy yourself, you know, the way you used to before you had kids. Remember how fun it was when it was just the two of you, and relive that a little bit. This time works wonders for your connection together. Remember, this is what helped you fall in love in the first place.

Dating

Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon paired wonderfully with our little golf picnic spread. We especially enjoyed the chocolate hazelnut spread with strawberries, it really brought out the nuttiness in the medium body Cabernet. A fun and refreshing afternoon was just what we needed to tackle the rest of our week. If we keep enjoying days like this, we can handle anything the world may throw our way. Now that’s a hole in one! See, I’m getting the hang of this..

Golf

You can enter the golf sweepstakes here to win one year of free golf!  That’s a whole year of fun dates on your favorite course – good luck!

Essentially yours,

Erika


Golf

You can enjoy a $25 credit on a round of golf at major golf courses nationwide courtesy of Concha y Toro Gran Reserva by finding a specially marked bottle necker at your local retailer. 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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