When I started this blog, I wanted to be sure that I stayed true to it’s purpose. And that is to develop a community of women who want or need to be more mindful with their money. I used to have a family blog. Remember those? Just a way to update everyone in my family on our lives that became obsolete when my grandparents finally learned how to use facebook. It was pretty basic, some stories and pictures. And then, life changed in the biggest possible way. On October 29th, 2013 my son Kellen passed away in his sleep unexpectedly. My family blog became a therapy session for me. A way to write out my emotions. When you’re a control freak like me, and you find yourself in a situation that feels entirely out of your control, getting it out onto paper, or, in my case, a screen feels like the only option at times.
So the idea for this blog came about and I had to decide ahead of time the tone I wanted it to have and the feeling I wanted to leave readers with. It’s challenging because I have had my moments where I doubted that I could ever have my joy back. But as time has passed I came to realize that the legacy I wanted my son to have was not one of sadness, but of showing the world that you can experience one of the worst possible things and still live a joyful life. That it is OK to be happy again, and that your life doesn’t have to forever have a cloud over it. So I decided that writing a grief blog was not for me. There are plenty of great ones if you do some research. And if any of you reached out to me personally I would be happy to answer any of your questions. It’s just not a subject I wanted to focus on with this blog.
Make no mistake, I had a dark season. I still have my moments. That will probably always be the case, but I can say that I have found my joy again and that I have a happy life. But if I’m being my authentic self, this event was the most life altering event of my life. When I think of time, I think of it in terms of before Kellen and after Kellen. I go through an internal battle every time someone asks me how many kids I have. I’m now teaching my other son about his brother and seeing the confusion on his face when he asks where he lives.
All of this is to say that while the focus of this blog won’t be grief, it is a huge piece of my life.
Even in our most difficult seasons, it was important to us to still give. We’ve always budgeted 10% of our monthly income for giving. We usually give to our church. That’s something that’s very important to us and they do so many wonderful things in our community and around the world with that money. But if there’s another cause that speaks to us, we are happy to give.
So in the effort of remembering our joy, I wanted to start something in our Money Mindful Moms community. Every Thursday is going to be Thankful Thursday. Every Thursday I want to highlight an organization that is doing great things for this world so that you might have the opportunity to give. If we become so obsessed with money and how we can keep as much as possible, we’re missing the point. No matter where you’re at in your financial life, it’s safe to say you’re much better off than most people around the world. Let’s never lose sight of that.
I wanted to kick off our Thankful Thursdays with an organization that is near and dear to my heart called Knox Blocks. It was created by a mom whose beautiful son Knox went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
“It was while walking through this horrific pain that we realized there was something we had to do to try to help prevent other families from feeling this agony. If anything positive were to come from this it would be that our Knox could help other babies. Knox’s purpose was to do great things, even if it is from heaven instead of earth.
If we would have had a way to know, to be alerted, when he stopped breathing there is a very good chance that he could have been saved and he would still be with us. After a lot of research and speaking to other parents we found that a device exists that monitors infant heart rates and oxygen levels while they sleep. The device alerts you if the levels are abnormal. This device is the Owlet Smart Sock.
Our mission for Knox became very clear to us very quickly. We need to get as many Smart Socks on as many babies as we can. A lot of parents have no idea that a monitoring system like this exists, or maybe they do but are not in a position where they can buy one for their baby.”
Donating to Knox Blocks gives deserving moms peace of mind and could potentially save a life.
So for our very first Thankful Thursday I’m asking you to consider giving $11 to this organization. Why 11? If you can give more, please do, but I know for many of you giving anything at all may be a challenge for you in this season. 11 was my number for my son. He passed away when he was exactly 11 months. He was born in the 11th month. And after he passed I kept seeing the number 11 everywhere. I still will check the clock and see 11:11 and say “Hi Kellen!”
I’m heading over to their website now to make my donation and I hope you will consider doing the same. If you do, please share this blog post on social media using the hashtags #kellen11 #bigthingsfromheaven and #knoxblocks to bring awareness to this great organization.
There’s so much attention being brought to people doing bad things in this world, let’s be the people that focus on the one’s doing good. Thank you Knox Blocks!