Friday, September 30, 2011

In Remembrance

When you type "define remembrance" in Google, you are told it means "the action of remembering something or someone." I guess I could have figured that one out on my own.

Last night our dear neighbor, Herald, passed away.

This morning I made sure I had a picture of at least one of the blooms from the many flowers and plants he helped me plant this past summer.

In remembrance

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Or in my case, it’s a half-marathon but you get the point.
I have spent the last couple of months training for a half-marathon run. Training for a run means I get in a lot of miles throughout the week. And for me, miles mean time to think, make lists, and process and plan.
Last week I ran nine miles without stopping. This is huge for me, the girl who before signing up for this half-marathon hadn’t gone for more than five miles at a time. We added a mile a week to our runs and ta-dah, I can run nine miles!
Okay, it’s not really like that, there’s no ta-dah. Running for that amount of time and distance doesn’t just happen. It has taken a lot of dark, early mornings, a lot of figuring out how much water is enough water without being too much water, and a lot of planning to work in runs throughout busy weeks already filled with work, school, and family.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? I feel like everyone could say to me right now, “(insert your current project here) has taken a lot of planning, sweat, stress, and time, and not every single minute has been fun.”
I was getting pretty tired halfway through my run this morning when this Robert Frost line popped into my head – “and miles to go before I sleep.” Sometimes I get frustrated when things don’t happen as quickly as I want them to. Some days I don’t want to have miles to go before I get to stop running or stop working or stop talking or stop studying. I sometimes forget that the things that take the most planning and work end up being the best. It truly isn’t as rewarding to complete a project you threw together. Anything that comes with an easy ta-dah doesn’t usually end up being worth it to me. I am not as proud or as satisfied with the things that don’t take “miles to go” before they are done, the things that you can accomplish in a sprint instead of a marathon.
I just hope that at the end of whatever marathon you are running, you get to say that “yes it has been a lot of work, and not always fun, but wow – that was worth it!” I will think back to these mornings and think that yes it was cold and dark when we started each morning, but wow, I saw more sunrises than I had ever seen before! And yes mile 7 might always be my toughest mile, but wow, I got past it every time! Those things should be the real ta-dahs!

On a side note, having miles to go before you sleep also warrants the purchase of new running shoes! This is my first pair of shoes that are actually made for running! I figured if I am running about 20 miles a week, I should probably own running shoes. Sorry Nike.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Reading

Have I ever said before that I had the best weekend? Well, this weekend was another one. Friday night David and I got a little confused about the plans with the cute siblings-in-law and ended up at Zona Rosa alone. I miss my siblings-in-law terribly and was disappointed we didn't get to meet, but David and I had a great little dinner at our favorite pizza place, Minksy's and then came home early and got a great, much-needed, night's rest.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and hit the ground running. My friend and I ran nine miles, nine beautiful miles early in the morning. It was encouraging and exciting, and a little exhausting. We ended our run at her three year old son's flag football game and then had a huge breakfast all together. I'm convinced that I can do the half-marathon in a few weeks. I felt wonderful and strong on these nine miles. It's so exciting to me that I can do - I never knew that I would be able to run so far. It's an odd and exciting feeling.

Later that same afternoon David and I sat outside at a Bluegrass Festival and drank Sierra Mists (okay, he had beer, but I wanted to say farewell to my favorite drink of summer) on the lawn. I love our hometown, and little festivals like this constantly remind me how wonderful it really is. I challenge the next person that says "there's nothing to do in this town" to call me. Seriously, call me and I will tell you something exciting to do that day.

Okay, so I know I'm rambling and acting like this is my diary, but I just love these weekends. After the festival I went to a movie with my mom and Sister #1. We saw I Don't Know How She Does It. I think it was adorable. And then, right from there I met David and some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the MU game.

So where is the reading in all of this? I know, I know, this blog is supposed to be about reading and writing. Woops. Well, my weekend reading consisted of my new Better Homes and Garden magazine and cookbooks. Okay, so we argue in our Tech Comm class that cookbooks should count as technical writing. I mean, what is more technical than deciding what the heck the difference between mixing, beating, or stirring is. And then, don't get me started on trying to figure out what a pint of sour cream is when my carton is labeled in ounces. So anyway, now I am sitting in my big comfy chair watching the Chiefs (lose) and not reading because I am exhausted from decorating and cooking and baking.

Today after church we went to the store to get all the ingredients to make pumpkin bars and enchilada casserole. I made these both, for the first time, following recipes. I'm impressed, aren't you? Just say yes. This is pretty big for me.

Pumpkin bars pre-oven. Isn't this pan cute and Fallish? It's from one of oldest friends, Sarah D.

Pumpkin bars, post-oven, post-cooled, and post-homemade, cream cheese, icinged

Chicken enchilada mixture. I baked the chicken, shredded the chicken, and then simmered (yep, didn't know what that word meant necessarily) the chicken in taco seasoning and added beans.

You add that chicken mixture, the enchilada mixture (not posted, but I made it with sour cream - 1 pint - cream of chicken soup, green chiles, and salsa), and some cheese to a tortilla...

Stack them in a pan....

And spread the remainder of the enchilada sauce over them.

Sprinkle with cheese. I made two - one for tonight with our chips and queso and one for the deep freeze (either for us for later or for my adorable friend who is having their baby girl ANY TIME now!! Watch for Baby Girl P on

And finally, one of my favorite views. Dishes washed and sun shining in my open kitchen window.
In case I haven't said it before, I. Love. Fall!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy First Day of Fall!

Or, if you are my fifth grade teacher mom, you would answer your phone, pumpkin spice coffee in hand, with a, "Happy Autumnal Equinox!" I don't know where I get it.

Tonight we are celebrating this amazing midwest Fall weather with an outdoor dinner and concert with my cute siblings-in-law. Tomorrow I have my nine mile run early in the crisp morning before watching my friend's three year old son play his first football game.

After that I'm going to grab my pumpkin coffee, dress in snuggly clothes, light my pumpkin and pecan candles, and plan my list of supplies to make some Fall goodies and crafts. Then after my house has magically cleaned itself since I can't decorate a messy house, I get to run to the craft store with Sister #1 and then later see a movie. Such a fun weekend ahead.

When is a girl supposed to do homework when her head is filled with these cute ideas?
(Yes, I've become, like so many others, a Pinterest addict!)

Wreath from cinnamon sticks for our back deck

Wreath from indian corn for our front porch

Spray painted pinecones (I would use different colors) for our mantle

Sugar cookies!

I hope you all have a wonderful First Day of Fall (and mom, I hope you have a wonderful Autumnal Equinox).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Work - Ya Like It or Ya Don't

Our main character in The River Why is doing his own research to settle a family feud - this research is on Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler. Besides figuring out that deciding whether his mother or father is right about the content of the book is a useless fight, our character decides that he will take away from the book that "a truly compleat angler ought to angle more completely."

Last Friday I left work feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious. For the past year I have tried to not be that person, but I am in a career that makes this nearly impossible (add in my personality and you have as useless of a battle as our character is fighting). But yesterday it hit me. Do I want to do this job and do I want to be the best person for this career or not? Do I want to show everyone that I can turn this stress into productive work or do I want to complain that it's a little stressful? Do I want to do this work or do I not?

I do. I want to be a complete angler for this work. I don't want to come to work and just kinda do my job. And I don't want to do a different job. So to me, there are a couple of options and once you decide on one, move on it.

I think you can decide to like your work and do your work completely. Or I think you can not like your work and find a new job - and then do that job completely. When I look at it this way it's so easy. I want to be here. I want to do this work. And I want to do this work completely. It's exhausting not to.

A few weeks ago I listened to a sermon about working hard in our careers. The pastor asked what we would all work like if we recognized that God is paying us to be here. It's God's money after all. You see, it's not quite fair to come to work and not work hard. God has blessed you with your career, your work ethic, and your salary. When I think of it like this, there's no way I feel right not working my hardest each day, there's no way to not work completely.

So today I hope if you are a Complete Teacher that you are teaching completely. And if you are a Complete Editor you are editing completely. And if you are a Complete Caregiver you are caring completely. If you are a Complete Student you are studying completely. I think that we could all try a little bit harder to do whatever it is that we are doing more completely.

Monday, September 19, 2011

7 Months Already?

Doesn't it feel like I was just going on and on about our six month anniversary? I'm tellin' ya, it's going by too fast. Today is already our 7 month anniversary! I can't believe it's already been seven months - seven months of marriage to my very best friend - the funniest, most considerate, and hardest working man I know.

I thought back today to one of my favorite blogger's post. I grew up with her young children - her children who are now in college and a senior in high school. Although I don't get to be around her or talk to her as much as I would like, she is and always has been somewhat of a mentor to me, and absolutely a friend. In this post, she talked about our wedding and about how fast time has gone by, but how exciting our futures are. I wanted to share her post with you today.

Happy Monday. And Happy September 19th. And thank you for being, as the post says, a part of our past, present, and future.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"When You Loved Each Other the Least"

Last night we went to the most beautiful wedding (again, like last weekend). This wedding was filled with so much love I could barely hold myself together. Last year I worked at a company with some great friends. Among these friends was the beautiful Lindsay. Lindsay and I had known each other for a long time, but it was over that year and a half of working together that we got close. She is the most caring and generous friend.

Last night she got married. At the reception her dad gave the kind of father's speech that every daughter either totally understands and knows her dad feels the same way or is totally jealous over. It was wonderful. He thanked his beautiful wife, his new son-in-law, and went on and on about his daughter that he so obviously adores.

It was a wonderful night filled with dancing, laughing, crying, and celebrating.

He ended his speech by telling Warren and Lindsay that he only hoped that one day they would look back at this day and know that this was the day that they actually loved each other the least. What a wonderful thought.

Friday, September 16, 2011

White to Black

What makes me almost as excited as a new school bag? That's right, a new work bag. I loved switching my white summer purse out for this shiny black bag to carry to work today. This is the second version of this bag actually. The first one had a handle break within the first two days of carrying it. Cross your fingers that this one lasts because I do not have the energy to fight with the mean Dillard's workers again because I don't have the tags (I usually take these off to carry the bag!).

I am also excited to pull out my big comfy boots. On the way to class last night I really didn't want to wear flip flops, but I wasn't quite ready to pull out the fuzzy boots. I will give my classmates one more week. After that, I will not be embarrassed to be the first one wearing my MWSU hoodie and fuzzy boots to night class.

The River Why

I wrote a post and didn’t post it because this blog is not so much a diary to me, but a social place. The post I wrote talked a lot about a book I was excited to start and why I was excited to finally start it. And this made me realize, in not posting, that I forgot to tell you that I’m starting a new book! I started the book The River Why by David James Duncan. This is a favorite pick of Sister #2 who has been suggesting I read it for years. I don’t know what my initial hesitation was – maybe I thought it was too complicated – but I am absolutely loving it so far. And I just found out there is a movie so now I can read the book and then see the movie! You know how I love doing that. Popcorn for dinner anyone?

Back to the book, I am loving a few things about it that I think are important to note. First I have to say that I’m not too far into it yet, so most of the things have little to do with the actual book. However, I can already tell that I love the author’s writing style. He challenges his readers to stay engrossed and uses a vocabulary that I can only dream about having one day. What I also love about this vocabulary challenge is that I get to see Sister #2’s annotations and definitions. I think there is something very powerful in recognizing someone’s handwriting, especially in a book that she lent you years ago declaring it as one of her favorites. I get to wonder what she was thinking about when she underlined something and which definition she chose to use as explanation. I love it. (And I also think I would miss this feeling if I use an electronic book).

Another thing I already love about this book is the poetic way the author wrote it. I haven’t read anything else by him, but I looked up some quotes and figured out that he always wrote and talked this way. His writing is very poetic.

For instance, today I found this quote and thought it was a good one to share before the weekend. I hope this weekend you can see the world as a gift and allow it to open your heart wider even when it’s scary.

“[There is a] kind of all-embracing universality evident in Mother Teresa’s prayer: “May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.” Not just fellow nuns, Catholics, Calcuttans, Indians. The whole world. It gives me pause to realize that, were such a prayer said by me and answered by God, I would afterward possess a heart so open that even hate-driven zealots would fall inside... [My] sense of the world as a gift, my sense of a grace operative in this world despite its terrors, propels me to allow the world to open my heart still wider, even if the openness comes by breaking—for I have seen the whole world fall into a few hearts, and nothing has ever struck me as more beautiful.” ― David James Duncan

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Crockpot Cooking On My Mind

When I got home from class last night, some of my siblings and I talked trash while finalizing our Fantasy Football picks. I was in my favorite grey sweater and shivering under my blanket. This morning I woke up and layered on all my running gear for a cold, 45ish degree run. All of this, school, football, sweaters, and blankets, tells me one thing: Time to pull the Crockpot off the top shelf...It's finally Fall!

Now, someone please tell this crazy Midwest weather to stick around and not spike back to 90 degrees at random times...I did not appreciate that this past week. How am I supposed to drink my Pumpkin Latte in that heat?

Anyway, I was searching around for some new recipes and found the cutest blog all about easy Crockpot cooking! This blogger did a 365 days of Crockpot cooking theme. I already found four or five that I can't wait to try. This Sunday I'm going with the Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup. Here's the blog if you want to check it out for yourself.

Happy Fall Everyone!

Check out A Year of Slow Cooking for fun new ideas:

Monday, September 12, 2011

"These are the days"

Last night David and I drove home from Kansas City, from a weekend packed completely full with the people we love and wonderful memories. A couple of years ago Sister #2 had me listen to this song that has been on repeat in my head for the past week, and last night was on repeat on our drive home from our wonderful weekend. One of the parts I love the most goes like this:

"We're making moments we won't forget
We fill in ones that haven't happened yet
Whooa, whooa, whooa, whooa, whooa
We can't forget these are the days"

As you can tell from my last few posts, I am so busy loving my life right now that it's hard to take any time to even pause and write about it. But this weekend deserves a post. And if what they say is true and a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe you will cut me some slack and not make me try to explain the happiness this weekend filled my heart with - you can see it in all these pictures anyway.

It all started with a surprise from one of my dearest friends - this is the friend that had to move the day after our wedding. She flew back with her tiny baby to surprise our other dear friend at her baby shower. I can't describe what this did to my heart. I am a big ball of emotions these days. Look at the joy on these faces.


My beautiful mom with the beautiful momma-to-be!

Sister #1 molding a baby themed sculpture with my mom and mother in law - ask her what she made.

How gorgeous is this woman?

Surprise! Our Kimi Girl!

The baby shower hostesses.

And then, right from this shower, David picked me up so we could rush to KC for the beautiful Bahrke/Diederich wedding. It was a night filled with family, friends, dancing, and so much love I could barely handle it. This group of friends is a constant inspiration to me.

Sister #2 and cute David

Sister #4 and me enjoying the wonderful dinner.

Absolute joy.

And then, from the wedding we woke up early and headed to the Chiefs game. The game was on 9-11 - the ten year anniversary of 9-11 that is. We were able to take some time before the game and remember, pray, and celebrate everything that 9-11 means to our country. The ceremony was very emotional and somber, but at the same time, the stadium was filled with love and hope. You could honestly feel an entire body of people praying and remembering together. It was beautiful and I will remember this ceremony as a precious moment in a very sad time.

Sister #2 and her fiance!

Dine and Dish Chicago, me, and Sister #2

Mrs. Diederich and a wonderful friend!

I hope you also had a wonderful weekend with the people you love the most.

Disclaimer: You might notice that Sister #1 and I didn't sneak in one picture together this weekend. Urgh.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I was 15

“Oh beautiful, for heroes proved,
In liberating strife,
Who more than self, our country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America, America, may God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain defined.”
There are some things that I simply can’t write about or talk about. September 11th is one of those two or three topics. So I am not going to try now necessarily. All I can ever really do once I start thinking about not only this one day, but what it did to all of us over the next ten years (wow, 10 years) following it, is pray. I can now get through an entire prayer. My prayers on these few topics are similar actually. In these prayers I apologize and ask for forgiveness, ask for peace and healing to those who are hurting because of it, and end with all of the thanksgiving I can think of – I thank God for whatever good I can think has come from the tragedy and ask Him to show me what I’m missing.
So ten years later, I still can’t really make sense of it, but I can thank God for our strong soldiers and nation, pray for those who are still hurting and always will be, and remember all of the brave people who were lost.

Fall Back

Maybe you’ve heard me say this before (for Summer, Spring, Winter..) but this is my very favorite time of year! Fall has to be the most beautiful time – especially when you start your morning with a run on Ashland. I can’t explain everything I love about this time of year. It has a little to do with crockpots, open windows, hooded sweatshirts, and the Chiefs. But all of this would mean nothing to me if it wasn’t for all of the memories that go with these things. Fall reminds me of two years ago this time, when David would drive up on the weekends to see me in my little Plaza apartment, when I would run around the Plaza after work and then sit on my favorite bench, and when Sundays were spent at Chiefs games or at the little sushi place across from our apartment drinking bloody mary’s and watching the game. Fall reminds me of my wonderful mom’s Birthday and Halloween, a baby shower for Sister #1, the Plaza with Sister #2, and watching Sister #4 dance at the football games of my beloved Griffs!
I remember the first time I really saw David after knowing I had my huge crush on him. It was a beautiful day at a Chief’s tailgate and I could barely even make myself talk to him (this is an understatement of course, you might need the real story from Sister #2). And here’s the crazy part, this was only two years ago. Two years ago Sister #1 was pregnant with little Eli, Sister #2 and I were living on the Plaza, Sister #4 was dancing and turning 21, and David and I weren’t dating, engaged, or married. Two years have flown by.
And this is the part where this Fall starts to make me nostalgic. I remember thinking that it was weird how grown-ups talked about time flying by so much. I thought, come on, two years is a long time! Now I look at the pictures in my cube which was not my cube even a year ago and see a picture of me with my best friend pregnant with her now 6 month old baby, of David and me the day we picked out our house, my second nephew (that one we had the Fall baby shower for two years ago) standing by a big 1 that will now be 2, and a picture of my happy grandparents who are no longer here. I remember last year at this time running on Ashland and going over and over in my head what I would say at my interview – my interview for this job that I have now been with for a year. This year has flown by.
I’m not sad about any of this. I love each of these memories. And I know that this Fall will bring even more wonderful memories with it. Memories filled with a lot of firsts for us. This will be our first Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hunting season, Chiefs season, and Christmas as a married couple. Nothing makes me happier than making these memories with David. But there’s a part of me that knows that it will go by too quickly. And that a year from now I will sit here and look at pictures of David and me at the Chiefs home opener, my sisters and mom wedding dress shopping with Sister #2, a college graduation picture with Sister #4, and a picture of Sister #1 with her husband and my nephews in Halloween costumes. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for these new Fall memories, but I also know that Fall flies by too quickly. So for now, I think I can just wake up early each morning and enjoy this short season on Ashland, and drink a cup of coffee with my husband while thinking about that wonderful Chiefs morning two years ago and what wonderful memories we will make this Fall. And I can accept that next year when I look back at these pictures from right now, I won’t be the same person I am now, and I won’t be in the same place that I was when the pictures were taken, but that it will be wonderful and exciting, and that the Fall of 2012 will be filled with its own memories just like this Fall will be.

Monday, September 5, 2011

3 Day Weekend Fun!

Since I have spent about seven hours reading articles and books for class this weekend. I decided to share the fun things I did in between reading and homework instead of posting about technical communication or my job this time. You're welcome.

So Friday David and I had homemade pizza night and wine. And yes I did still wake up at 6 and run 6 miles Saturday morning, pizza and wine and all. Hooray.

David preparing the pizza dough that you cannot see in this one but it really is above his head!

Pizza dough ready

Bo inspecting pizza dough (also please notice the hideous knobs on the cabinet. This will come up again in this post.)

David preparing the pizza and me doing my job: staying out of the way and drinking wine.

Our finished pizza! My side was all cheese and his was pepporoni and sausage. Yum!

Then Saturday after my run I had coffee on my deck with Sister #4 and then met Sister #1 at Target. It was a wonderful morning full of sister time. The only negative was that Sister #2 wasn't here, but I get to spend all next weekend with her (I promise a post on this after next weekend - a baby shower, wedding, and Chiefs home opener kind of weekend!).

Then, since David was spending some time with his friends I decided to start a few projects before going to a movie with my adorable mom. Project 1 was to remove ugly wallpaper border from our room. This was a fail. I worked for two hours and removed one tiny section. My mom has promised to come help me do this soon since this is obviously not normal. But then again, the border is not normal! Look at this, it drives me crazy every night. I lay in bed and wish it would disappear:

Project 2 was new cabinet knobs! Sister #1 suggested I try painting the knobs before investing in thirty new knobs. Here is a before and after. I'm thrilled with the results. I had to sand them and then spray paint them twice over a 24 hour period.



So between running, studying, reading, and cleaning, I was able to do some fun crafts, cook a few dinners with my husband, and prepare for a fun four-day week! I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend too.

Oh, and I had a few pumpkin lattes and then bought this pumpkin candle. I am obsessed with this cheap Wal Mart brand that smells great when you burn it - and their pumpkin scent is back! I love Fall!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Books of the Weekend

This weekend I will be reading quite a bit of technical communication articles, and so for breaks in between, I decided to give Suzanne Collins the chance to not re-break my heart. But I'm warning you, I will be done with her forever if she pulls a stunt like she did in The Hunger Games trilogy. I will also be removing the annoying 1980s wallpaper boarder from our bedroom. I will let you know which distraction works out better for me.

Collision of School and Work

Last night I had a great conversation in class that stemmed from the age old questions (if “age old” means since the 1960s) that arise from trying to define technical writing. This is a common and constant conversation in our technical communication community. Is technical writing writing about technical topics, or is it writing in a technical way? Don’t stop reading yet, I won’t attempt to answer these questions here, don’t worry.
What I think is interesting about this discussion came up later in the class. We got to talking about how this definition of the phrase isn’t the only area where technical writers disagree. Another major topic comes up when we start asking whether we make technology adapt to the consumer or the consumer adapt to the technology. For instance, my professor shared how within the department they thought about changing a course to fit in with another course but were told no because the system couldn’t handle that. What? We couldn’t combine two classes for credit because the computer system couldn’t combine them and make it work in the student’s schedule – not because it didn’t make logical sense or because the professors didn’t agree it would be acceptable, but instead because the computer system wasn’t set up that way. I hope we all agree that this isn’t fair – we can’t allow the technology to make those decisions for us. There I said it, and most of the people I work with would be gasping right about now.
Because this is where it leads to what I do for my career. Implementing an electronic medical record (EMR) and a health information exchange (HIE) into a clinic or hospital causes change. Providers have been practicing medicine for years, and doing a good job of it, before we walk in the door and drop this technology into their workflow. And here’s where, just like within the field of technical communication, professionals have differing opinions. Should we help the providers change their workflow, based on the best practices and lessons learned, to work well with the new technology? Or, should we implement this technology to enhance their current workflow and practices even if it means tweaking the technology at times? I will give you a hint, there’s no right answer.
However, since this is my blog I get to answer and you get to not tell my coworkers on me, I will tell you that I’m not a clinician (gasp) and I don’t know the first thing about what workflow works best in YOUR clinic. I am walking in to your clinic and hoping that I can help you, the clinician with the bright and shiny framed diploma hanging on your wall, use this technology to make your day to day work easier and make information more accessible to you so that you can save more lives. The bottom line is that I want you to be able to do what you do all day every day, but to do it in a better, safer, and easier way. If I stick with this process I am saying that the technology should adapt to you. I’m saying that we shouldn’t not allow for change because the technology doesn’t want us to change or won’t allow it. I think you can combine classes if you think it’s best for the student and not have to worry about whether the computer will allow you to do this. I think you can practice medicine the way you have established is best for your office, and just let the system help you to be able to see more patients and see more about those patients so that you can treat them. I think you have to allow for change so that you can grow, and the technology shouldn’t hold you back from this growth. And I think that near the end of a three hour class, when your professor asks if you want to cover one more topic or get out a little early, you should answer "get out early" without hesitation or else you will receive many glares from your fellow classmates.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Live United

Today I had the privilege to attend the 2011 Campaign Kickoff breakfast for the United Way of Greater St. Joseph. I will admit that when I woke up early this morning on what is usually my day off from waking up early, I wasn’t all that excited for the breakfast. My mood immediately changed as soon as we pulled on to MWSU’s campus for the meeting. You can feel the positive energy coursing through people, people that have to get things done because they love this community.
I wanted to take a minute and brag on our community and our United Way. One of the speakers today talked about how sometimes the only media coverage we seem to absorb is negative. I hear people talking badly about our community, the community that they are a part of, way too often. These people also seem to be the people that are sitting around and not doing anything to make it better. One speaker talked about how there are times that we as humans want to sit, but the times and feelings that make us want to stand are more powerful. For instance, when we are frustrated we usually stand, when we are excited we jump up and stand, and when we need to get things done, we stand. He asked us all to stand up and be frustrated for the children in our community that are living in poverty, be excited that our United Way uses 92 cents of every dollar for local programs and services here in our community (let that soak in – seriously, 92 cents of every dollar you donate goes back to your community!), and stand up to get things done here.
Do you know what the United Way does in our area? I have to admit that I didn’t know as much as I should have known about it until this past year. This year I served on an allocations committee and learned a lot about our partner agencies and what the United Way does. By supporting the United Way we support the education, health, and financial stability of our community and the agencies that are focused on those areas. I think it’s important to understand what your money and time are going to, and so I listed the 19 partner agencies at the end of this post if you are curious. The United Way supports these 19 agencies that you have probably heard of, benefited from, or know someone they have helped.
The campaign goal was announced today, and it’s a big one. I’m not going to tell you it’s not. But I completely believe we can get there. The United Way hopes to raise 3.3 million dollars this year - and because of the help of the companies that have already run their campaigns, an almost million dollar dent has been made in that goal! If you want to know more about how you can give to, advocate for, or volunteer with the United Way take a look at their website:
Here is a list of the 19 partner agencies the United Way supports:
American Red Cross
Bartlett Center
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Catholic Charities
The CENTER, A Samaritan Center
Children’s Mercy Hospital
Community Missions Corporation
Family Guidance Center
Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri
Legal Aid of Western Missouri
Northwest Missouri Community Services
Pony Express Council, Boy Scouts of America
St. Joseph Safety and Health Council
Salvation Army
Specialty Industries of St. Joseph, Inc.
United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Missouri