First, BABR stands for Biceps and Belly Rolls. Now I don’t have to spell it out again.
Next, wow. It’s been a minute.
Life has a pretty fantastic way of getting in the way, which is why I’ve abandoned boxing, dieting and taking care of myself.
Life also throws happy days, great opportunities to educate, learn and participate in the community and thankful moments in the way, too.
So, thanks, life.
Let’s focus on the good.
We dressed the toddler up as a puppy for Halloween.
He was literally a little puppy running around with his puppy lovey. (Thank you to my sister-in-law and her sweet boys for hand-me-downing this ADORABLE costume.)
I realize Halloween happened in October, not November, but this. kid. is. too cute.
Opportunities to Educate…
The Junior League of Wichita Child Advocacy Committee conducted a child abuse information panel with representatives from the Wichita Children’s Home (WCH), the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit (EMCU) and two foster parents to discuss the League’s focus area, child abuse prevention and intervention.
The goal was to inform the League about available resources in the community and their needs to assist with child abuse prevention and intervention.
EMCU detectives said the greatest need they see in the community is education. Other panel members agreed. Education not only on how to be a parent — one detective brought up the number of parents who don’t know safe sleep needs for infants — but also education in knowing what support is available to young parents in the Wichita community as well as what programs do for children and families.
Education is an area with which the League is familiar.
The League’s puppet show teaches elementary students about physical and sexual abuse, reaching 23,000 third and fourth graders so far.
In 2013, childabusewichita.org launched as a website designed to be a resource for Wichita to learn more about preventing child abuse and community programs.
In 2014, the League gifted $300,000 to the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County for its education and training wing.
And last year, the League took on a three-year project with the Wichita Children’s Home, granting $150,000 to help build up young mothers and their children through volunteering to mentor, providing necessary care items, such as diapers and formula, and encouraging healthy relationships and secondary education opportunities.
The Two Lives at a Time project is where my heart is, if not where my time is right now.
Top the contributions of the League with the individual contributions of its members, and this group of women shows itself as a force for change within Wichita.
Junior League of Wichita gets together for a General Membership Meeting (GMM) every (or every other) month for League announcements, project updates and some education of our own.
In November, Kaye Monk-Morgan, assistant vice president for academic affairs at Wichita State University, presented Living Our Values: Respect to the League.
I can’t speak for the rows behind me, but from the third row forward, she had women on the edge of their seats. Her insights were heartfelt. Her stories were full of heart — and hilarious.
How do we live our values? When the League comes to serve, Kaye Monk-Morgan charges us to do it with unconditional regard — respect — for ourselves, each other and the people we serve.
At the November meeting, hosted in the Child Advocacy Center’s education and training wing, League members also donated new and gently used professional clothing items to the Two Lives at a Time project with the Wichita Children’s Home for upcoming mock interviews aimed at preparing participating mothers for job and secondary education applications.
Special shoutout to some friends at work who helped grow this donation. Thanks, ladies.
I had a unique opportunity to participate on a panel with KMUW’s Engage ICT’s Democracy On Tap in November, too. The topic was #Activism, or social activism. Thanks to my boss who passed the recommendation to me.
You can watch the video of our discussion at http://www.kmuw.org/post/democracy-tap-activism. I hope I don’t sound dumb. There’s no way I can verify that I don’t sound dumb because there’s no way I can confidently listen to myself speak during this video…
…without it being awkward for me. I will not be taking one for the team here. My boss did. She said I didn’t sound dumb 🙂
November was a busy month for me personally and professionally. A true highlight of my month was spending time with family and friends.
First, a dear friend from high school travelled to Wichita for early Thanksgiving celebrations. It’d been three years since we’d seen each other, and it felt like we’d talked just days before getting together to catch up.
I failed to take a picture of our high school reunion with two other dear friends Friday night, but it was good to spend time with them and talk about our recent or current rewatchings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
And he met my toddler AND BECAME BEST FRIENDS IMMEDIATELY. **heart eyes**
Our formerly yearly Christmas-time get together happened at my mother’s house, where we played six rounds over two nights of cutthroat Pitch. Pitch is a traditional card game of ours. Cutthroat means we didn’t have partners.
He won three rounds. My mother one two rounds. I won only one.
Hey, I was tired.
We played with my great grandmother’s cards, a 50-year-old set I dug out of the junk drawer in my house. They still smell like her house. Smell, I hear, is the strongest trigger for memory.
My husband and I spent Thanksgiving afternoon enjoying family time and a trip to the park, and then went to bed early for the first time in NIGHTS.
Black Friday had a trip to his parents for an amazing lunch — of which my son ate rolls and cake, if you needed more proof that he is my son.
One of my favorite days of the season, Small Business Saturday, found me running up and down Douglas to work in some Christmas shopping.
I picked up a few books for the nephews at Watermark books.
Stops two and three on my #SBSICT run picked up some fun gifts at The Workroom and gift wrap at Love of Character.
Not to be excluded, I also got a cup of coffee outside The Workroom from Sunflower Expresso. It’s a coffee truck. **additional heart eyes**
I cut my shopping trip in half for lunch with girlfriends…
and we talked for like three hours, so I quit shopping and headed home to spend more time with my nugget.
I’m not usually this busy with the real-world. Usually, I’m just busy with toddler world. December isn’t looking any less busy.
Get ready for the next BABR update.