Energy burst or burst of crazy?

If you're energized and you know it clap your hands!

If you're energized and you know it clap your hands!

If you're energized and you know it then you'll plan a bunch of stuff and spend your nights cleaning, if you're energized and you know it, then you're me!

It's possible I'm totally out of my mind. I am fueled by this mystery force (probably a mix of hormones that's way beyond my comprehension) and this force has this momma-to-be completely packing my days, nights and months to come! I am riding this wave of stamina, hoping it doesn't peter out because I'm loving how much I'm accomplishing! However, knowing that I have a busy toddler and full-time job, a home that seems to easily get out of control, plus co-matron of honor duties for my best friend, I am thinking it's possible I'm a little nuts to take all of this on!

After spending the first trimester avoiding all kinds of food and napping whenever possible, the second trimester ushered in a whole new woman. The woman I used to be before I had Kanyon is back! Hear me roar (aka plan stuff)!

I spent the weekend Spring cleaning (nesting I guess). You know, doing all those yucky jobs you put off for a long time, hence they get more yucky. I hunted cobwebs, bleached things and finally organized my craft/gift wrapping stuff. I was up until 3 a.m. finishing my chores in the basement (don't worry, I took lots of breaks) and it felt so good to see a clean, organized space after months of looking at it all, thinking "I should really clean that up this weekend".

My next targets include Kanyon's closet, which is jam packed with all the grandma purchases he's grown out of and I've been eyeing my pantry and buffet table. They need help. I'm starting to plan out Kanyon's big boy room, so when the baby is ready for the nursery, he'll have a cool room to graduate to when it's time. That means painting, floor refinishing and lots of furniture moving to come for the Herzogs. Chris doesn't know it yet, but those weekends in June he thought were free are mine, all mine! (It's for Kanyon, hun).

Then... what's really been a cool side effect of this second trimester energy burst is the good that will hopefully come from my brainstorms!

I have been working with Lutheran Social Services to help foster kiddos. I am not in a place to be a foster parent right now with an impending houseful of handfuls, (even just Kanyon plus a full time job is plenty) but I wanted to help the kids in our area who just got dealt a crummy hand in life. So, I met with LSS and asked if I could help.

Luckily, the social workers are awesome. They totally get my ideas and are open to my help! We're kicking off the effort in May with a seminar for the foster kids and their foster parents on how to use social media appropriately and I'm hoping to do much more with them in the future! However, with news of baby 2 on the way, I knew I'd have to get creative to continue helping kids while I'm tied up at home with two little ones.

Drum roll, please...

The Fostering the Future Fund!

I am working with LSS to set up this fund so kids in foster care can have the stuff we all take for granted. Did you know some of them don't even have a suitcase or duffel bag to pack their stuff in when they're having to leave that home? Sometimes they're forced to use garbage bags. That's just not okay. And that yearbook you had everyone sign? Those senior pictures? Oftentimes, foster families just don't have enough money for the extras. I personally benefited greatly in my life from sports, speech (forensics), and other activities, but sometimes there's no money for the fees. That leaves the kids who may need that team building the most just don't get the chance. By creating this fund, I'm hoping foster parents will be able to say "yes" instead of "I'm sorry we can't" to those needs when they come along!

Here's an example of what this fund can do:
Earlier this year LSS had a special needs foster teen who loved his foster family. The problem? They needed another legal bedroom so he could stay. They didn't have the money to put in a basement bedroom and egress window, so LSS reached out and with a lot of networking and some wonderful people, we were able to make it happen for this child! He would have been sent to an institution. It just warms my heart to know he got to stay with a stable, loving family instead. Sometimes, it really does take a village!

So what is up my sleeve that's got me planning during pregnancy? I came up with what I think will be a super fun fundraiser this summer. Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 26. You're all invited to the "Pickles and Ice Cream Social"!!

It's for all women of any age, but I thought it was a fun theme! There will be an entry fee and chances to boost the fundraiser by bidding on a silent auction, sipping mocktails and having spa treatments on site! I've got the Action City banquet rooms booked and I'm hoping to see you there! I'll make sure you all get the fun details, but put it in your planners now! I know this will be a great fundraiser to get this wonderful fund off the ground! All proceeds will go to the non-profit fund.

I'm busy getting all the details lined out so this event becomes the fun night for ladies that I'm imagining. Things are coming together already and I cannot wait! It will fill my heart with joy to start building this important resource for the kids who really need something positive in our area.

Then, my fabulous general manager (who's also fully behind this Pickles and Ice Cream idea) decided we should give some of our charity softball game proceeds this year to the "Fostering the Future Fund"!! Hooray!! I'm also in charge of planning that event and I can't believe it's our 4th year already! Please mark your calendars for Thursday, August 16 for the WEAU 13 News Charity Softball game. The Eau Claire Children's Theater will also benefit from the night. (I'll be selling t-shirts since I'll be 9 months pregnant and about to pop at that time).

And it wouldn't be a crazy energy burst if I didn't have something else up my sleeve for area kids. I can't say much yet, but I'm in the early stages of planning something that will hopefully be a blessing to many families come the holidays. (Again, couldn't do any of this without a community-minded station backing me up)! Then, there's the scrapbook for baby 2 and that baby blanket I'm knitting. I'm pretty sure I'll get all this done (yup, sure Sarah) with time to spare. Ha! I'm a deadline-driven person and so -- here goes!

So thanks for letting me vent about all the projects to come. I hope you can come out to the fundraisers this summer! It's a warm fuzzy to know you can put a smile on a kid's face or maybe even help change the path of their tough life, just by helping raise a few bucks here and there. I truly think if these kids get some of the opportunities this fund may allow them, they will be better for it. I know one teen girl who really wants to go to a camp about oceanography because it's what she wants to do with her life, but there's no cash for that kind of thing. If she somehow gets to go, she'll never forget it. These are the stories that motivate me! I hope I've motivated you!

And... if you could remind me of how energized I am right now when I'm whining about being hot and tired come July, that would be great. (smiley face).



About the Author...
Sarah Stokes
When Sarah's not at work, she enjoys soaking up every minute with her children, visiting friends and family, taking scenic drives, reading and gardening.
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