Why I'm Busting a Move

I've been giving some thought about the countless number of charities that are out there and why they matter and why I joined the Bust a Move event in Edmonton on March 23rd in the first place.

I mean, obviously, I want to dance and groove and workout with Richard, who wouldn't? But more importantly, here's the real reason why:

I want to share with you a recent letter I sent to many family members and friends and Facebook friends. I don't expect everyone (or even half) of the people to respond. I do, however, simply intend to at least put out there WHY we're doing what we're doing. Here's my take on it...I'm sure the other girls and their moms and aunts and sisters and daughters would all agree...

" Hi Family & Friends!

As you probably know from my non-stop posts on Facebook, my friends and I are taking part in a very important fundraiser for the Alberta Cancer Foundation and Edmonton's Cross Cancer Institute.

I'd bet all the money we've raised so far that everyone, in some way or another, has known someone that has been affected by cancer. I also know there's lots of people always asking for money and donations and whatnot. That said, we're getting close to our deadline and we've only reached about half of our goal. Because of that, I just wanted to share with you how important this is to us and to ask for any support you can offer.

(We are also in the process of putting together one final big raffle incentive for people as well so if you have anything to give OR know of any companies willing to donate any gifts in kind OR even have any cans and bottles you're willing to part with, please let me know.)

I'll be the first to admit that I always thought it seemed like breast cancer was the top disease being researched and was constantly in the "limelight" in terms of fundraising events and it [truthfully] used to annoy me. I felt that less attention was being put towards illnesses that affected those closest to me and I was slighted...I'm not gonna lie. I've come to trust though that the REASON it's in the forefront is because we are SO close to finding a cure that people don't want to give up.

So, if there's anyway I can help to prevent myself or my Joleigh or any of my friends and their little girls from having to worry about this blasted disease in the future, I will do just that and I will apologize now for harassing you all.

Thank you for your continued support, if you would like to give to us, please contact me or do so online at "

So there it is. This is why we move. This is why we harass you and beg for money and collect dirty cans and bottles and scour for gifts and give of ourselves and our time and our love...because the future of our moms and aunts and sisters and daughters depend on it.

Peace & Health,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Fluorescent Pencils, A Twenty Dollar Bill and My Faith in Humanity Restored

I often say its the "little things" in life that end up having the most profound effect on me. Thinking back on my life up until now, major memories that play out in my mind usually weren't that "major".

I mean, yeah, of course the day I married my honest-to-goodness best friend stands out. And of course the days my children came into this world will forever be earth-shattering, life-altering, mind-blowing days of my existence and by far, the very best moments of my life.


Many moments...very ordinary, seemingly trivial moments...also make my top ten list of moments that make my heart skip a beat.

One memory that sits in the back of my mind, and has since I was a small girl, is a day when the neighbourhood kids and I were all loading up at my neighbour's house to head to Gregoire Lake for a late afternoon of swimming, hot dogs and running from fish flies.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I've always been a bit of an introvert and even then, at the age of around 9 or 10, I never felt fully comfortable in crowds of more than 3-4 people.

I remember my Dad was working night shifts. He was just waking up for the day and came out in the afternoon sun to wish us farewell on our trip to the beach (and to give me a little present). The night before, the company he worked for were giving away these colorful, fluorescent pencils with their logo imprinted on the side. I know, big deal compared to all the iPads and jackets and big name "recognition" gifts the guys at site complain about now, right? Well, my Dad wanted to make sure he gave me a couple of those pencils before we headed out as he knew I would love them and he was excited that he snagged a couple of extras just for me.

Yes, I am a little bit of a nerd at heart. I'll admit that new stationery excites me. I can also admit that I care far too much about what others think of me. For many years, that day with my Dad bothered me...not because I got awesome new pencils (because THAT rocked) but because I specifically remember none of the other kids being as excited about "stupid pencils" as I was. As I've grown older, however, I've learned to appreciate how absolutely amazing that moment was and to be thankful that I have such an amazing Dad who really just "knew" me...ya know?

Fast forward twenty years and the place I call home has, quite honestly, been wearing on me. A couple of years ago, my Mom and Dad moved out of town. Years before that, most of my Aunts and Uncles and my Grandma did, too. Feeling like anyone was around who really "knew me" anymore was a slim chance. My spirit in this community and that "warm and fuzzy" feeling I used to get when I would drive down Beaconhill on return from an out of town trip, with the lights of the city sparkling and that sense of calm and peace...

...were pretty much gone.

Until I received an email from a random gentleman named Mickey. He was replying to a Kijiji ad I posted looking for donations of cans and bottles for a fundraiser a couple of girlfriends and I are participating in.

He emailed to tell me that he had a couple of bags of recycling and, while it wasn't much, I was more than welcome to take them and use the money towards our goal. I took him up on his offer and so, address in hand, I set forth with directions to the bag of empties that would be on his front porch since he was at work.

I feel I should validate all of this by explaining to you the complete cynicism that ran through my head while I was driving to his house. The google maps on my phone basically pointed to a general area around a popular gas station in Timberlea. My immediate thoughts as I was in the turning lane were, "What if he just gave me the address to a dumpster behind the gas station?" "What if this isn't a house address at all and I'm just a fool?"

I actually thought this...

Until I arrived at his real-life house and could see a couple of recycling bags on the step. I walked up and noticed a piece of white paper folded inside a zip-loc and tied to the handle of one.

When I returned to my car, that warm fuzzy feeling I had been missing for quite some time, was back in an instant and immediately my heart was warmed.

I don't know you, Mickey, but I know you're a decent man who single-handedly restored my wavering faith in humanity this past few months. So thank you.

If you're interested in helping our team, Besties4Boobies, please email me! We are participating in "Bust a Move for Breast Health" in Edmonton, AB where we will shake and groove with the one and only, Richard Simmons, in hopes of raising much needed funds for the Cross Cancer Institute and the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Peace & Health ~ Jen

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone