Just Cause - Floored & Happy


Yesterday I got this message, "I am in love with your precious daughter!!! Because of her my family is looking into Down syndrome adoption." 



Floored...

That message gives what I'm trying to do at Happy Soul Project such purpose...


Can't tell you how happy my heart feels. 








P.S- this also really makes me happy...
It's a "shhh-don't-tell-dad-eat-icecream-in-the-tub-kinda-day"...Love creating "secrets" with my hooligans...And Pip kept her mouth open like a little bird the entire time hoping Noal would plop some of the goodness down her little hatch...





Kick-It-Capes....


I will never forget when my best friend told me her little boy had cancer...I still feel totally surreal even writing those words...

I felt completely helpless but wanted to do something - I needed to find a way send all the love & strength I felt to him. So, I asked Happy Soul Project friends if anyone was willing to make and donate a super-I'm-going-to-kick-cancer's-arse cape. 

And because of the overwhelming response, just like that Happy Soul Project started a new initiative to give out capes to kids battling cancer...And what started out as a few kids, turned into hundreds - We have now given out more than 400+ Kick-it-Capes around the world.


AWESOME RIGHT?

We also found that it's not just kids with cancer that benefit from one of our capes - So we've been giving them to siblings who are going through their own struggles having a brother or sister sick, children facing any type of serious illness or vast difference that needs an extra dose of super-hero strength. 



So, because the need is so great, we constantly have children on a waiting list, we desperately need your help...

You can donate capes, fabric, moula, start a sewing bee, get friends or schools on board - Anything to help get a cape in our hands & wrapped awesomely around a kid who needs it. And to donate & buy a child, whether you know them or not, a cape click HERE. And for those that want to make and send capes see our FAQ below and thank you for helping make someone else's day a wee bit brighter. 





Who can make them?
Ummm, absolutely anyone...The more the better - More people involved, more capes going out, more smiles on kids faces. 


Where do I sent them?
Please mail them to:

Happy Soul Project
Taylor Kidd RPO Box# 20014
Kingston, Ontario
K7P 2T6
Canada



What colour, size, pattern do I use?
I want our capes, like Happy Soul Project to reflect and celebrate differences...So just like every kid is different, so than should our capes...There is no set pattern - This is your chance to get creative. Make a cape that you love and know that someone receiving it will love it too.


I can't sew but want to help?
Glad you asked because help is what I need...Here's some ideas:

  • Donate moula - just a wee bit...It would help with shipping cost and other items we add to care-packages for some kids who receive our capes. You can do that HERE
  • Organize an event, party, or something in which people must donate a cape to attend.
  • Rally a local sewing club, school class or all the crafty people you know to get involved.
  • Umm did I say send some moula? Ya that would be cool and help to buy some of these kiddos a little something extra to send with their capes.


Can I nominate a kid to receive a cape?
YES YES YES...We want to help as many kids as we can and the more personal the better. To nominate a kiddo either:

  • Email me at t@happysoulproject.com and in the subject line state it's a nomination. Make sure to give me the child's name and where the capes should be sent to.
OR
  • Leave a comment here on the blog


When do you need the capes by?
This will be an ongoing initiative for Happy Soul Project...Whatever capes we receive I promise I will find a home around some little kiddo's neck who needs them...So send them now, send them later, send them whenever you want and can.



What else can I do?
You can share some of these pictures to help spread the news about what we are doing...More and more I am seeing the power behind social media and you never know who can help and who sees what. So share, share, share and hope that whomever sees this finds a way to help.




Okay sweet friends, I want to absolute thank you with everything I got for having kind and generous hearts and helping to add a bit of happiness to the planet...




Dear World - Thanks for keeping me together...


It happens every time...Days of running on adrenaline, fear and worry....Too many Snickers than any one human should stuff down their hatch in 24 hours...The way my body physically aches for hours while waiting to desperately hold her in my arms...


You would think by now, Pip's 4th surgery, I would be better prepared to handle the stress and worry, know what to expect and excuse my language but get my shite {since living in Ireland this is exclusively how I say this word now - deal with it} together.


But this time it was almost harder than the last simply because Pip is such a little person now - She could tell something was going on, wouldn't let me put her down for a second without raising her arms up for me to hold her and kept nuzzling her neck deeply into mind...



This time I went just as crazy, actually if I'm being honest, maybe even a bit more so...Therefore I thought it would probably be a good idea to write a wee thank you letter to all those affected...






Dear World,

Thank you to my husband who knows me so well - He knows I'm totally opposite of those "I'm-too-stressed/sad/worried/etc-to-eat-anything" gals...He knew bringing home a burrito the size of my upper arm the night before her surgery, would be spot on. Bad call however on the chipotle-burn-my-lips-off-sauce. Please note for her next surgery there Chief...



Thank you to the Target Lady who remained calm and kind even though I could tell you thought I was loco...Coming in 10 minutes before closing, panicking and then demanding to know why there was no warm onesies pj's with feet anywhere in the store, might have been a bit much...Especially considering the entire store was stocked for summer...You didn't know that all of a sudden I desperately felt like I needed to get Pip new pjs for the hospital, or that I cried all the way there and cried all the way back.



Thank you to the McDonald's drive-thru dude who didn't laugh when I had to make sure there was extra extra big mac sauce on the cheeseburger I absolutely needed after my cry and failed pj mission at Target - Sidenote: Yes I am a total binge-eater when stressed, I dare you to judge me.



Thank you Big Girl for once again letting me cry on your steering wheel - letting me howl like I needed to knowing no one could hear me except you...I hope...And if that's not the case, thank you to whomever, if you heard me and chose to ignore me...Good call!



Thank you to the hundreds, sheesh thousands of people who took time to send me a message, comment or share a picture of Pip or send one up above to whomever you believe...Reading and seeing them before I went to "bed" - laid there pointlessly while stalking/watching Pip sleep and begging God to keep her safe - really lifted me up and brought much needed strength.



Thank you to two strangers who have fallen in love with Pip and did something to show me how very sweet and kind the world can be...Who took the time to make Pip a stunning cape and an adorable blanket for the hospital was above and beyond awesome.



Thank you to my wonderful, amazing boobs...Yep that's right - I'm going there...Thank you for nursing Pip way back when, for getting her through heart failure and feeding tubes and for having that moment, the "last feed" at 3:30 am when it was just me and her...



Thank you to the lady at reception in the hospital at 6-bloody-30 in the morning for being cheerful and commenting on how cute Pip was...You even went as far as asking if you could give her a present and then gave her an adorable little bear...You don't realize how that helped start a dreadful day, so thank you.



Thank you to the old man who pointed out that Pip only had one moccasin on in the waiting room and didn't laugh out loud at the reason why. Getting her ready at 5am in my mix of exhaustion and craziness I needed her to wear a "lucky" outfit - So that of course meant two of my fav shirts with the quotes "Though she be but little she is fierce" and "All you need is Love"...Obviously right? But then she also needed lucky star leggings and my absolute favourite moccasins but I could only find one...So with one we came...



Thank you to all the nurses who were extremely kind and fell in love with Pip like everyone does. Thank you for treating her gently and trusting my judgement in allowing me to put the drops in her eyes because her and I are use to me doing it. Thank you for caring and treating us like a momma and her babe and not just patients.



Thank you to the operating team who didn't laugh when the Anesthesiologist told me to talk or sing to Pip while they put her to sleep and all I could think to sing was bloody Row Row Row Your Boat...All I kept thinking was, "My God, you idiot, you couldn't think of anything else, you gotta commit to this, the doc keeps telling you to keep singing so go for it, row that damn boat".



Thank you to the nurse who held me while I had to catch my breath kind of sob after Pip was put out and I was led out of the operating room. And thank you to the stranger who caught me crying in a hallway and stopped to ask if I was okay.



Thank you to the waiting room people - This time I wasn't nearly as annoyed with everyone near me...This time I actually found comfort in other momma's scared smiles and small chit chat.



Thank you to whomever makes my favourite stress reliever Snickers...The fact that before 8am I was eating one, two, three, okay the number doesn't matter but you get the point...You help me...



Thank you over and over and over again to Pip's eye doctor - She's shown such professionalism, care and kindness Pip's entire little life. I can't imagine doing all that we have with Pip's eyes without this woman.



Thank you to whomever designed the hospital so that the recovery room is a quick trot away - This being Pip's 3rd surgery there, when they told me I could go see her I bolted and made myself at home. Having her back in my arms is a feeling like nothing else and one I truly can't find words to describe. Or maybe it's one I actually don't want to try to describe - It's such a sacred moment of sorts and the thoughts and gratefulness going through my head are kinda better left in my heart instead of in words.



Thank you to God/Fate/Whomever for keeping my darling girl safe - One thing I've learned in all of this is learning to let go and let be...I have absolutely no control over things on surgery day and believing in something greater than me, the doctors or the procedure has helped. Believing that Pip is here for a reason and her time on earth is planned out as it should be kinda helps...



And thank you of course to Pip for being the fighter you are...For showing me daily what strength means, what hope feels like and what it means to live life with such a purpose...With each surgery I am in awe of you and the people you are inspiring.



So another one under our belt and until the next one, big thanks world for all you did to keep me together.









P.S- Just a few hours and maybe a tad bit high Pip was her funny little self again...


Cadbury you kinda make my Easter....


It's funny the memories you walk away with in life...Some you choose to remember and some are just a part of you and you have to carry them along...


Growing up, Easter holds many for me...


Getting a new Easter outfit to wear to church, feeling so fresh and pretty while singing, celebrating and rejoicing with others about God's love...Down right epic battles with my brother over our egg hunts and wanting my parents to hide the eggs over and over...Shrimp rings, scalloped potatoes, perogies and ham for dinner...And the chocolate, oh the chocolate - Cadbury Creme & Mini-Eggs, I mean really is there anything better?  


Easter now however holds even more meaning as it is my responsibility to create memories to walk with my hooligans throughout their life...


To give them the same goofy grin when they think about looking for eggs and finding a path of chocolate the Easter Bunny left...To remind Noal that when he was two and he found a path of chocolate he was utterly shocked and said, "oh oh Bunny so messy"...


To create that same sense of feeling fresh or pretty or re-newed...Whether that's in a new spring outfit, playing dress-up or walking hand and hand seeing a tulip...


To pass on the same addiction I was given by my mother...Chocolate...To celebrate the very beauty of one of the most brilliant things on the planet...To not worry if they ate too much that day - to let them over-indulge and celebrate it like it should be.


To leave them with sweet moments of happiness, good food, hugs galore, friends a plenty, funny games, traditions, playing outside, snuggles, laughter and most of all just feeling so very, very loved... 


Happy Easter friends hope your days were filled with love, chocolate and memories too...








Be Awesome Today - Just 1 of the 33 Things That Have Made My Life Special....


I'm 33 today...33...

My life is almost opposite of what I pictured it to be when I lived in the land of la-la in my teens/twenties...If you ask most girls, I'm sure they wouldn't daydream about becoming a blogger, risking it all opening a business and raising two babies back to back, one with special needs. 


But I have to say my life is something else...Something pretty damn special...


And after this past year seeing my little girl face surgery after surgery, finding out my best friend's little guy has cancer and having a friend get murdered, I am nothing but grateful to be given these 33 years...


And with that I leave you with...






  1. Be honest. 
  2. Kiss your babies every night and as much as you can...Even though by bedtime they are driving you mad, snug them, love them, just be with them.
  3. Say thank you - It means a lot to people and you should appreciate what others do. Even if that is passing you a coffee in a drive-thru window - Thank people.
  4. Cherish those you love - Maintain friendships that are important, call your parents, love your siblings.
  5. Have an open mind to ALL things...Trust me, life is so much more interesting that way.
  6. Be silly - If riding the grocery cart like a skateboard to your van makes your two year old laugh outrageously, who cares what the woman parked next to you thinks.
  7. Make things happen - Take risk - You only have one life to try.
  8. Read novels - Get lost in a book, it's good for your soul.
  9. Be interested in people...Really interested - Barbara Walter's them so that you hear their story.
  10. Apologize if you need to - If you're a twonk, recognize it and fix it.
  11. Drink wine, beer or gin.
  12. Flirt...Not in a sexual way but in a charming way.
  13. Realize life is never going to be what you pictured it and that's a good thing, a really good thing.
  14. Get angry, mad, sad or whatever at God/Fate/Karma or Whomever...Shout if you have to, cry if it helps...It's okay to grieve things before moving on.
  15. Help others...Do things for other people...Try to be the change the world needs in simple ways.
  16. Eat dessert...ALWAYS!
  17. Be genuine and real.
  18. Realize you're body, those wrinkles, that baby ponch is all a part of you now...It's not going away so learn to embrace every wrinkle as a laugh line, dress to fit your body so that you feel good & if ya can do a crunch here and there.
  19. Do things that you normally wouldn't or that make you uncomfortable - Live abroad, join a new group, do something creative - Sometimes the very best of things come when painting outside the lines.
  20. Embrace, recognize and celebrate the differences within yourself and in others .
  21. Believe....Whether that's in God, Miracles, People, the goodness and hope that's out there - Whatever it may be just believe in something greater than yourself.
  22. Trust your momma gut when it comes to your babes...From how you parent them to how you fight for them medically...Trust what's inside to be the best momma you can for them.
  23. Be grateful for the life you've been giving - Live thankfully everyday.
  24. No Judging - EVER- literally...Who cares what other people do, love, believe, etc? Focus on living your life and that alone.
  25. Find your purpose...It's life changing when you do.
  26. Love your Home Team more than anything else on the planet...Work to always be the best Home Team you can be.
  27. Realize life can change instantly - so chillax, take each day, each moment one step at a time.
  28. Fight for something - stand up for something you believe in, advocate for people who need it or join others in a cause that's dear to your heart.
  29. Work hard at whatever you are working at.
  30. Let go sometimes and just be.
  31. Laugh...Laugh...Laugh...At yourself, others, anyway and time you can.
  32. Dream Big....Why not? Strive for things outta reach - A book, Ellen, more projects why not?
  33. And lastly be the type of person you'd like to be friends with - Be Awesome Today and Everyday... 



That last one pretty much sums up everything I try to teach my hooligans on a day to day basis...Our amazing team Tricia & Sara from our Painting Outside the Lines Collection made me this sign and I simply, absolutely am in love with it. 




We have in proudly hung above our front door so that every time you leave our house you are reminded to go out into that big, bright world and be awesome today...


What is Down syndrome? Google Search you will NOT define my daughter...


I'm thankfully & constantly asked by students & teachers to be a part of school projects, assignments or teaching lessons...I love that Happy Soul Project is somehow influencing young minds and hopefully showing them to think outside the norm...


That being said in the last week or so, Happy Soul Project has been included in over a dozen school project's in which students interviewed me about Pip and Down syndrome...While I think this is beyond awesome, it has also made me think a bit more about the whole Down syndrome side of Pip...In day to day life I kinda forget about that piece of her.


One question asked all the time is "What is Down syndrome?" - A simple enough question right? So to find a correct definition I of course did a Google search and I gotta say I'm kinda bummed with the outcome:
  • Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that is associated with intellectual disability, a characteristic facial appearance, and weak muscle tone(hypotonia)in infancy. 
  • People with Down syndrome may have a variety of birth defects. About half of all affected children are born with a heart defect. 
  • With appropriate intervention, most children with Down syndrome live active, productive lives into at least middle age.
  • Individuals with Down syndrome have an increased risk of developing several medical conditions. 
  • Usually, children born with the condition have some degree of mental retardation, as well as characteristic physical features. Many of these children also have other health problems.
  • A congenital disorder arising from a chromosome defect, causing intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities including short stature and a broad facial profile. 
  • A birth defect that allows a person to have eyes that look swollen, fingers that are a little meatier than usual, and they might have difficulties learning.
  • Down syndrome(or Down's syndrome )has replaced earlier terms, such as mongolism  to refer to the disease and Mongoloid  or Mongolto refer to the affected person, all of which are now considered offensive.
  • Down syndrome causes mental retardation, a characteristic facial appearance, and multiple malformations.
  • Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by an error in cell division that results in an extra 21st chromosome. 

Almost everything after these definitions states something like Down syndrome can be detected or even words like "prevented" in pre-natal testing. 


Kind of shocking - I mean if I was a new momma and had pre-natal testing done and found out my baby had Down syndrome and did a Google search and came up with all of this I'd be scared, real scared..."Error, malformations, intellectually impaired, medical conditions, physical abnormalities, swollen eyes, meaty fingers and live until at least middle age". 


So new momma, yes Down syndrome is and can be quite scary but it also can be so much more...Like anything in life it can be what you make it to be...


Yes Pip has a lot of what these definitions state but she is not defined by it. She is more than low muscle tone, heart defects, and facial features. She is not an ERROR, her cells divided but not by error - she is exactly who she is made to be and she is here for a purpose, extra chromosomes and all...

















I hope somehow, someway when you Google search Down syndrome you don't get bogged down like I just did in the definition...I hope you find Pip and others that are showing the world what else Down syndrome is - Breaking out of the mold and creating a new definition.