Heartbreak… Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Maybe you were dumped, diagnosed with a life threatening illness, suffered loss, financial downturn, or simply gave in to fear. It’s that moment when you feel completely numb, isolated and alone, desperate for something or someone to give you faith. My own heartbreak and battle with heart disease led me to create Voices To Share… Healing Hearts One Voice at a Time. Together we'll banish self-pity, and invite prosperity in all matters of the heart. As a Heart Coach, I will share: inspirational stories that will give you courage, tips to shift your fears into love, recipes and products to live a heart healthy life.


In Memory of Joe...

Thanks to Jodi for emailing me this photo of her and Joe!  It's exactly how I remember him senior year.

I couldn't sleep last night.  I figured after a fun dinner out with another couple, my high school newsletter would do the trick...  Instead, half way through I sat up in bed and gasped!  Every thought went through my mind.  Are you sure this is for real?  Hadn't I searched his name on Facebook when I was checking up on all those past loves (yeah I'll admit it, and I'm sure my husband will too!!)?  How could this be possible?  Joe Terrasi, my hot carpool driver that became my love interest for a brief period in high school was dead!  I spent an entire year dreaming about that guy.  While I have a feeling he was more interested in his BMW than in me, there was just something about Joe that took my breath away.  He was older, cute and he wore black gloves while driving.  All things that are very important when you're in high school!  Even though he drove like we were on a race course, I was never scared.  Joe always made me feel safe. 

Last year when eliminating clutter from my life, I came across an ethereal rectangular glass jewelry box with a painting of an angel.   Over the years, the silver butterfly broke off and there was a small chip in te glass.  I remember looking at that box and thinking of the moment Joe gave it to me, and how my heart dropped.  Last night I envisioned that box and thought about the fun and crazy memories I shared with Joe.  Then I thought about how grateful I am.  In this amazing game of life, I was given a second and third chance.  The doctors didn't know if my heart failure would improve when I was initially diagnosed.  Then I was dealt another blow after my first daughter was born.  But I survived.   Joe, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky.  He died of thymic cancer at 34 years old.

If you need a wake up call, there it is right in front of you.  You never know what life has in store for you.  So stop living just to pass time.  I challenge you to try something you always wanted.  Be adventurous and leave work on time, start writing that children's book you've been talking about for years, call up a past love and say hi.  I've always wanted to drive a race car... Without getting a speeding ticket!  It's the perfect tribute to Joe.  Anyone know of a good race track or where I can find a pair of racing gloves?  Thanks for the memories Joe!!


Meredith's Voice

Last week we got the cutest cocodot invite for a 3 year old Milk + Bookies birthday party.  What a cute name and great idea... I had to learn more!  I immediately headed to the Milk + Bookies website.  Meredith Alexander and her partners are not only inspiring parents, but they're teaching young "future philanthropists" the importance of giving. 

Read!  Give!  Grow!
By Meredith Alexander

As a new mom, I didn't want to spend EVERY weekend going to birthday parties and soccer games with my kids.  I was hungry for meaningful experiences with my small children, experiences that would reinforce the values that our family feels strongly about (like giving back and reading).

In 2004, I decided it would be fun to throw a party, which I named "Milk + Bookies", at the local children's bookstore, Storyopolis, and invite all our friends with kids.  Once there, we asked the kids to choose a book that they would want to give to a local child without any bedtime stories.  We then asked the young guests to inscribe a bookplate (most of the kids could only scribble with a crayon), stick it in the book and then drop that book into a box for a local recipient group.  

We had milk and cookies and story readings - it was fantastic!  When the check out line had a 30 minute wait to buy books, I knew I was on to something and that other families were looking for theses kinds of experiences as well.

Zoom ahead four years.  After hosting Milk + Bookies parties biannually, I knew it was time to grow.  I brought on two of my smartest friends, Laura Zimmerman and Heidi Lindelof.  Luckily for me, they had no idea what we were getting in to so they said yes to sitting on the Board of Directors.  We applied for a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt statues, built a website, created models for birthday parties, class projects and book fairs.  Then, we went national!

The Milk + Bookies mission is to recreate the experience (choosing, inscribing and giving) as much as possible so that kids get switched on the amazing power of giving and how great it makes them feel.  We hope that it will set them on a path to a life of giving/ helping/ sharing in ALL ways.  The exciting by-product of our movement is getting thousands of books into the hands of kids who really want (and need) them.  

To date, we have raised over 20,000 books and inspired over 4,000 young "future philanthropists".

Read!  Give!  Grow!