Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lifetime Friends II

Christian the Lion was on the TODAY show again today. They had an interview with the two men, John Rendall and Ace Bourke. Again, they talked about the interaction between themselves and the lion.
In addition, they talked alittle bit about Christian's legacy, as they put it, the wildlife conservation that they are involved in now.

Click here to learn more.

It was a great interview. Plus learning how moved these two men are about the response they are getting more than 35 years later.

Such a moving story that I am obviously drawn to.

Also to all you nay sayers...I checked it out on snopes. True!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye is never easy. Whether it is to a child as you go off to work, a sibling who is leaving to go back home which happens to be far away from you, or someone who you've known forever and grown up with that has passed on. Yesterday my big-brother-in-law's Mom passed away. She was a wonderful lady who always treated me and my sisters almost as her own kids.
We met her when I was still in high school, actually early high school, and she has been in our lives ever since. I posted this picture of Hammonassett Beach State Park here too because she LOVED being at the beach camping. Plus this is how I will always remember her. Her camper at the beach, smiling as she told Gordon and I how to park our camper on our site.
Another thing I will never forget is how she always signed cards "love, the "Elder" Dortenzios"...loved it!

Click here to read her obituary.

I will truly miss you Mrs. Dortenzio!

Friday, July 25, 2008

OT and the Small Things

So as many of you know I am an occupational therapist and I work with children with all kinds of special needs in the public school setting.

Being an OT is so much of who I am.

I am dedicated to my work and to the families who look to me for advice, treatment, and results for their children.

I think as OT's we do things that are seem very small or something we think are so basic, but are so huge for a child or a family.

So remembering to appreciate the little things is huge.

Remembering to look at how you change the world one small thing at a time is huge too. That way you appreciate all the other small things around you, and at the same time it encourages you to see all the cool things in life you do.

This post is based on some great advice I got from a wonderful OT. Thanks Lisa!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lifetime Friends...

So, I saw this yesterday on another blog, then it was on the Today show this morning, so I wanted to share it with all of you. In case you haven't seen is worth a watch. Christian the Lion on YouTube.

(of course I cried...)

Monday, July 21, 2008



Well, I have been inspired to help. "Help" is such a powerful word. How can we help each other, help the world around us, help ourselves, etc. etc. etc.
Gordon and I are invited to a wedding at the end of the summer and the couple has a gift registry at Macy's. Now that is not all that remarkable. Everyone has registries. But theirs is different. If we buy a gift off their registry, there is a donation made to a charity. WOW! Can I just say how impressed I was with that feature? The charity that they had chosen was Girls Inc.

I went to the website and it got me thinking about how I can help.

There is another campaign that I have given to and been inspired by, that I would love for you to check out too. It is the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and Self Esteem Fund. Having a daughter of my own and knowing that there are so many beautiful women out there that don't believe they are beautiful. Dove has started these campaigns to help. I'm sure you've seen the commercials/videos. Check out "Onslaught". How can I help Charlotte truly believe in how beautiful she is?
Another charity I've been involved in, as most of you know, is March of Dimes. There are so many great charities out there, I can't possible list them all.
You don't have to give money or donations to help. You can donate time, a listening ear to a friend in need, a shoulder to cry on, a smile to a stranger on the street, and many more. I don't want this post to turn into a soapbox for charity. I just wanted to spark something in each of you reading this to reach out to someone in need.

As many of us know the economy is not doing so hot. I for one am feeling the pinch this year. Maybe it is because I was off on my maternity leave for four months, or maybe it is because I have chosen to take this summer off to be with Charlotte and Ian. Neither of these I would change, but it does make things alittle tighter around here.
So if I am feeling the pinch, I am sure charities and those in need are feeling it too.

So here it is. I am going to add some features to my blog that could offer help and search for other ways to help too. I have so many friends and family who have been helping me not only in the last month as I started this blog, but also through the many hardships I have faced so far in my life.

There are so many ways to help. How have you reached someone today?

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Rose

In loving memory of someone who always found inner strength and appreciated the small things.
Miss you Mrs. Fongemy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Books, Books, Books!

A few weeks ago I took Charlotte and Ian to the town library. Charlotte LOVES books. From the time she could speak, one of her favorite sentences was "Read da book". We decided that this was a hobby that we wanted to foster in her. She can't get enough reading. She will ask us to read and re-read the same book so many times that she memorizes it and then "reads" it to her dolls. This is actually how I found her bed this morning when she got up:

Yup! She even has to sleep with her books. It was too cute that I had to take a picture. Her big girl bed used to be filled with stuffed animals and such, now books are there instead. At night, after she is in bed, we can hear her reciting (her form of reading) the books to Darla, who is her favorite baby doll.
So we went to the library and she got her first library card. We took out three books, one of which was a huge hit. I'm sure many of you have heard of it, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff.
To learn more click here.
She loved it so much, that when we went back this week, we took out If You Give a Pig a Pancake, also by Laura Joffe Numeroff. I think we will have to get them all eventually. Every time we finish this one, she says "next time we have to find the Moose one". There is a picture of it at the end of this book. It's called If You Give a Moose a Muffin. I want to get this one too. :)

Here's my small thing from that trip to the library...
Charlotte made a friend when we were there!! As some of you know, Charlotte is so quiet in new situations. When she gets comfortable, she opens up to the talkative little girl that Gordon and I know. Anyway, another little girl was at the library too. She went up to Charlotte and asked her her name. I cringed because I thought "oh no, she isn't going to answer and the little girl will move on". To my absolute delight I heard her respond "Charlotte". The little girl continued on and asked how old she was..."Two" she replied with a smile.
As the tears rolled down my face (no surprise here), the two were off playing together in the library playroom.
One small thing that made me smile!

Monday, July 14, 2008

True Friends

(photo courtesy of Andrew)

Well, this weekend Gordon and I (and the kids) spent time with some of my truest friends. Friday night, Saturday and Sunday...three (actually five, including their hubbies) true friends. It was definitely what I needed. Thank you guys! I love you all!

Recently there was a comment on one of my posts about what a true friend is. My brother-in-law posted a story, that if you didn't read it went like this:

So there's this guy who falls into a hole. The walls are so steep he can't climb out. A priest walks by and he calls up, "hey father, can you help me out?" The priest writes out a prayer and throws it down to him. Then a doctor walks by and he calls up, "Hey doc, can you help me out?" The doctor writes out a prescription and tosses it down to him. Then a great friend walks by and he calls up to him, "hey buddy, can you help me out?" His buddy jumps down in the hole. He says, " what the heck are you doing?!?!?! Now we are both down here!" The friend says, "yeah but, I've been down here before and I know the way out."

You can always count on your real, true friends. (Thanks, Chuck!)

How do you describe true friends? What does the word friend mean to you?

As many of you know, the relationships that I have in my life are extremely important to me. I know all too well, how quickly they can be gone. A friend to me is someone who I can call at at time during the day or night, any day of the week, or any day of the year and they will be there for me. I feel lucky to have these kinds of people in my life. I can think of a number of friends who I feel like I can call them about anything, and I will not be judged or anything. I think I will call one right now!
These friends are a "not so" small thing that definitely gives me inner strength.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Wow, I have some pretty amazing friends and family out there. The support has been unbelievable, both in comments on the blog itself and separate emails and phone calls. I am truly blessed to have each of you in my life. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting me, and giving me a chance.

Since yesterday I have been thinking alot about this blog and what it means to me and to anyone who might be interested in what I have to say. To say that I have come up short is an understatement. I know that I want it to be a place to self-reflect, but also don't want to get so deep that I bore you all to death too. So, what's a girl to do.
Well, I just got back from running some errands, and in the car I was faithfully listening to my iPod, which has a number of playlists on it. One song in particular came on, that always strikes a cord in me. The song is "You Gotta Be", by Des'ree. Now I know some of you are laughing to yourselves, thinking "where the heck did that song come from". Well, it has been like a mantra of mine for many years. (see something not alot of you knew about me).

Check it out: Des'ree "You Gotta Be" video on YouTube

This song was released in 1994 and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard music charts. It also stayed on the charts for something like 80 weeks. Somehow it has become like a theme song for me. I know there was a show or something that talked about choosing your own theme song (Linda, if you are me out here). If I had to choose one, this is it. These are just some of the lyrics as to how the song begins:

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don't be ashamed to cry

Things I need to try to remember...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it. " — David Starr Jordan

This was a quote that was sent to me today...odd huh?
So today is the day that I will send out the link to this blog to all my family and friends. I will hope that all of you reading this post have come to visit, support, and help me to find that inner strength. I truly hope that all of you will visit often, comment when you can, and just help me through whatever this is I am going through and hoping to get out of starting this blog.

I love you, Gordon. You are my rock!!
Thank you for giving me the strength to try something new.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." Mother Theresa

Ok, so I am starting to blog. Why? To be honest, I'm not really sure. I have been thinking about it for years, and never found the courage to try it. I have many friends and family members who have started blogging as a way to connect to people who live far away, or to showcase their talents, or just "talk".
While I may use this as a way to do all of these things, I think I will mostly use it as a way to reflect on my self and the world around me. I am not sure if I will stick with it, or what will happen, but I am going to try it out.

I chose this title because there are many times in my life that I am unsure whether or not I have the strength to be a good wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend, co-worker, OT, etc., etc., etc. I use this quote as an inspiration to always remember the small things in life. Not to always look for the big things. More often than not, there are things in life that we miss because we are too busy or whatever. There are so many things to be thankful for and so many blessings that are in our lives that we miss. Finding faith in the small things, is a way I find my inner strength.

What are the small things that you sometimes miss? A few weeks ago, Gordon, my Mom and I had a conversation about blessings, signs, or messages that we might miss. God sends us blessings or signs or whatever you believe in everyday, we just need to open our eyes and see them. There is a s story I recently heard that there was a desperate man who was praying and asking for God to reach down and touch him. To help him find his inner strength. At that moment he became annoyed at a butterfly who was trying to land on his shoulder. A sign? God talking to him? I don't know for sure, but I believe there are so many things that we miss each day.
Another story...My Mom and I were going into see a movie and there was a man coming out of the theater dressed in jean shorts, a plaid cotton short sleeved button down shirt, and a Redskin cap. For those of you who know my Dad...a sign? Was he around us? Who knows for sure, but my Mom and I believe.

So, here's my blog. A way for me to "talk", reflect, showcase talents, reconnect with friends and family near and far? Who knows. So here I go...jumping in with both feet (or both hands, as I type). Join me in finding faith in the small things to find our strength.