Ben’s Bells

I was so thrilled when a college friend posted to her FaceBook about spearheading a Phoenix chapter of Ben’s Bells. It’s an adorably simple concept: hang bells around town for people to find. Ask them to take the bell home and remember to practice kindness when they hear it ring.

The charity’s namesake, Ben, was a precious three year old living in Tucson. He awoke with croup like symptoms but seemed to be feeling ok. Like every mom would, his parents waited and watched his condition. In a flash, his airway swelled shut and they were unable to get him the help he needed in time. His parents began Ben’s Bells as a coping strategy that has blossomed into a beautiful tribute to his memory. And it has touched the lives of other tragedy victims including those in New Town Connecticut.

We were gifted 7 bells to distribute around town. We took them to our regular haunts and waited patiently  for them to be discovered and taken home. We realized later that people were a little confused as to whether they were supposed to take the bell, leave it for someone else or take it and then put it back out to be found by someone else. So after a few educational conversations with friends and aqaintences, all of our bells were found. We asked the friends that we knew to spread the word about the project. We’ve since bought a few more from the website as gifts and a few to leave for others to find too.

They make the cutest gifts for any occasion so order some up for you, friends and strangers: https://bensbells.org/shop

 

Leaving one at swim lessons – someone was not pleased about posing…

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I couldn’t tell that sweet little face that we weren’t allowed to “find” one, so it is hanging outside their bedroom door

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T-Town Bound

We made a quick trip to Tucson this weekend and had a ball. Normally I am opposed to overnight trips – they’re just too much work. Packing up the kiddo’s stuff, bedding and “just in case” supplies is a pain in itself, but I have to find someone to check in on the BearMeister, pack myself and PW…it’s just a lot of work for 24 hours. Not to mention that this weekend we had stuff scheduled on both Saturday and Sunday so we were litterally zipping in and out of town. But to my big surprise, it all went very smooth and was a ton of fun!

We arrived with enough time before dinner to walk around campus. It was so much fun to see The Phi, Peter’s fraternity house (which is currently being occupied by another fraternity and caused PW to hold back a few swear words), buildings that we each attended classes in, our favorite resturants, our respective dorms…the list goes on. It was amazing to think back and realized how much life has changed in the last *cough* eight years since we graduated. The campus has changed so much, yet all the amazing memories are still there. It’s even more fun that PW and I were there together so it wasn’t me showing him, but rather getting to tell each other our favorite memories. At one point Baylor sighed and asked when we were going back to the “HO-teeeellll”. Apparently memory lane was not as exciting for her.

Ah The Phi. I lived in the window right above the “Alpha Phi”

Next we were off to dinner with the family I babysat for while at UofA. It’s scary to think that Madi is now graduating high school and headed off to college herself! Amazing how she’s grown and I haven’t aged a day…to say that it’s wonderful to catch up with the L family is an understatement. They are truly amazing people and even when we haven’t seen each other in years, it’s like we just talked yesterday. Dinner was at one of our collective favorites: Rosa’s. I had forgotten how amazing the refried beans are and I said a little prayer of thanks that the morning sickness has passed so I could enjoy every stinking last bite of my enchilada and tacos!

After dinner it was the UofA baseball game – PW’s reason for planning the trip. The team has moved off campus to Hi Corbett Field which turned out to be awesome. The stadium was packed, they served beer and there was a jump house, what more could you ask for? Oh yeah, a win! We got that too.

Pretty sunset

We had to teach Baylor not to cheer for the other team. She broke out her signature “dirty look” instead.

PW and BW

The Super Moon! The camera phone didn’t do it justice.

We headed back to the “ho-teelll” after it was looking promising that the Cats would pull off the win. We were impressed with The Lodge on the Desert. It was close to the hotel and campus, full remodeled and a nice price. Bay was excited to try out her new Pea Pod sleep tent and it went swimmingly. If you have any traveling to do with a toddler soon (especially one that sleeps in a crib but has out grown a pack and play) then I highly recommend the tent. It has an air mattress, is one piece that folds flat and doubles as a play area. It was perfect way to divide a room for her and us so we could do crazy stuff like brush our teeth and watch TV without waking her up!

We’re already talking about another slightly longer trip later this summer to one of the resorts. Sure there are two world famous resort just down the street, but there’s something about getting out of town, visiting places you haven’t been to in years and a long drive that make a trip even better.