Celebrating what’s special about people

This afternoon I saw The Fault in Our Stars with my sister.  We read the book last year at GiveForward as one of our only book club books.  I won’t give away the plot, but I am going to address some themes, so don’t read on if you want to see the movie with fresh eyes.

At one point, a character describes cancer patient as a mutational experiment gone wrong, and when you think about it…in the most callous terms, that’s true about all of us.  We’re all made up of nature’s mutational experiments.  But the purpose of this character saying this is to exaggerate the point that no one is special and everything is random and unintentional.

At the same time, there is another character who yearns to be great, to have his life mean something so that he is remembered.  Deep down, I think we all feel that way.  We all want to feel like our time here meant something more…otherwise what’s the point?  But the heroine of the story, Hazel, is content to be special to just a few people, to be loved deeply by the right people, which ultimately is the major theme of the novel and movie.

On our ride home from the theater, my sister and I were discussing the movie and our friend’s recent cancer diagnosis, and we realized that we have the most amazing jobs in the world.  We get to live in a space where every single day, people celebrate what is special about someone they love.  With each donation and word of encouragement, we help people live their greatness among those who care about them most.

Sometimes I worry that our competitors are growing too quickly or that we’re not making changes fast enough.  But it’s nights like tonight that give me a sense of tranquility and gratitude that we live in a world where GiveForward can exist.



5 Reasons Why Bed Rest in 2014 Isn’t So Bad

I’m going on day 7 of bed rest after a scary hospital stay last Sunday night.  The baby and I are both fine, but I’m unable to leave the house for very long, and I’m supposed to “limit stress,” which means working is pretty much out of the question–not so much because GiveForward is stressful but because every email reminds me of how I am unable to meaningfully contribute, which creates stress for my Type A personality.

But, I’m realizing how lucky I am to be living in 2014 with this mandatory rest.  Of course smartphones, Facebook, Instagram, Pulse are all awesome if obvious survival tools, but I also wanted to share some resources that are making my life insanely easier.

Here are my five reasons why bed rest is bearable:

instacart logo




Perhaps the greatest discovery of the year, Instacart has completely changed my stress about having healthy food around for my 2 year old.  Within a couple of hours, I can have anything from my favorite grocery store delivered…including fresh squeezed orange juice, vitamins, and beer for my husband.  I use the service at least twice a week, so I signed up for the $99 for free delivery for a year. Yes, they charge a little bit more per item (maybe 10% or so) but you end up spending less because you’re not picking up things from the shelf that you only want because you’re hungry and well…pregnant.

amazon logo




Two reasons I love Amazon:

  1. Prime: I can get most things I need delivered in 2 days and I don’t have to go to Target.  There were several last minute tasks I was planning on doing before baby no. 2 arrives, and I can do/buy them from my bed!  And it’s even better now that you can watch a zillion shows for free, including every season of every HBO series.
  2. Subscribe & Save:  You save 15% when you bundle several orders together in a month, and if you have Amazon Mom you save an extra 5%.  Because of this and the fact that there are rarely taxes on purchases sent to IL, I end up saving nearly 30% on formula, diapers, deodorant, shower gel, toothpaste…basically all the things that are annoying to run out of.

sanebox logo



This email tool is awesome for so many reasons, but I’m finding SaneBox particularly amazing right now being home.  It basically serves as your executive assistant for email and filters out all of the newsletters and unsolicited emails you receive so that only emails from people you know and care about get into your inbox.  The rest goes into a Sane Later box that you can peruse at your convenience. It’s awesome. The reason it’s so helpful now is that I can just look at emails from my team and I don’t have to deal with any of the clutter of outsiders in my inbox.

sittercity log



After a 5 week medical leave, my husband headed back to work last week.  My bed rest couldn’t have come at a worse time.  I can’t pick up Finn, so I can’t really be alone with him for any extended period of time. I don’t really want to acknowledge how much we’re going to spend on additional help over the next two weeks or after my scheduled c-section which will leave me in the same predicament.  However, the silver lining is that I do actually have help, and it’s easy for me to get additional help because of sites like SitterCity.  All of our nannies and sitters have come from SC, and I’m so grateful it exists…especially now.

homejoy logo



Having grown up in a home where we did our own housecleaning, I actually get some weird pleasure out of cleaning my own bathrooms and floors.  Because of this, we don’t have a regular cleaning person.  But because of awesome startups like Homejoy, I can just schedule one whenever I need it for $20/hour.  It’s pretty awesome.  It’s kind of like UberX for housecleaning 🙂

I would love to hear any other tips for things I can do, apps I can play, sites I can enjoy during my confinement.  Oh, and if you have any great books on getting ready for baby no. 2, I would love those too!