- I blogged a little bit about gratitude for Today's Parent, right before Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend. I never appreciate everything I have, like a home I can afford, the health of my family and the fact that I can stay home (even if I don't love being a SAHM all the time). Just being a part of the Today's Parent family is amazing - I pinch myself often because it is too good to be true.
- I was asked by Street Haven, Toronto's first shelter for homeless women and women at risk, to be an Ambassador for their Operation Soul Food fundraising campaign. I'm working with the shelter, other wickedly awesome Ambassadors and the media to help raise money for a new nutrition program they have started. Whole grains, milk and fresh fruit and vegetables are at the core of the new program - with the staff knowing that access to nutritious food is key to getting women back on their feet.
- Today I went to the emergency shelter in Toronto and met former clients who shared with me their amazing stories. Like one woman who was addicted to crack when she first entered the shelter. When she found herself unexpectedly pregnant, she quit crack cold turkey, birthed a healthy baby boy and now is a spokeswoman with a Toronto area hospital for HIV/AIDS awareness. All with support from Street Haven.
- As part of my Ambassadorship, I'll be running my first marathon on Sunday, October 14 in Toronto. I'm bib 4167 in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I'll be tweeting (@jenpinarski) using the hashtags #STWM and #operationsoulfood if you'd like to follow along. After meeting current and former Street Haven clients today, my little 42.2K jaunt is nothing compared the challenges these women have faced.
- It will also be my first overnight trip away - alone - from my kiddos and husband. I'm thankful for a lovely friend who has found me a place to stay close to the race site.
- I've picked up a sweet part-time job doing a little blogging for a local company specializing in social media, video production and website for the travel and tourism industry. It means just 1 day a week in an office, but 1 day a week that my daughter is in daycare. Today was her first day. I cried the whole time I was away from her. When I picked her up she was so happy and excited to tell me about her day. I'm proud of my little girl and so thankful to have found such thoughtful and kind daycare for her.
- Last but not least, October 19-21 I'll be heading to Blissdom Canada - kind of a big deal in the social media and blogging world. This conference (sold out at 500 women!) will see me hanging out with so many inspiring and talented people, from other bloggers, big brands and movers and shakers that I look up to. It will be my first weekend away from my whole family. And spent with strangers (who I know will become my friends, but I'm still scared). But I've hooked up with an awesome (and currently just a Facebook and Twitter pal) roommate. So it will be alright. Really. I'm told there will be wine.
I live a blessed life (I'm not religious - can I even use the word blessed?). Hug your families. Play in the leaves. Climb a tree. Go for a run. Be thankful.