Zac walked across the living room, passing his father with a brief message.

“I’m just going to run down to a friend’s house, I’ll be right back.”

Andy almost said, “Be careful.” But he didn’t. He knew his 18-year-old son Zac was always careful on his motorcycle. He always wore a helmet. He never sped. He was a safe, responsible young man who just celebrated his birthday. Instead, Andy said, “I love you.”

Those were the last words he would say to Zac. It was the last time he would see his son alive. Zac was killed on his motorcycle less than a mile from their home two years ago.

When Andy went with Zac to get his driver’s license, Zac asked his father if he should be a donor. Andy didn’t hesitate, he simply explained to Zac that he had been a donor his whole life. So Zac agreed.

By saying ‘yes’ to being a donor, Zac was able to save 4 lives – his kidneys, liver and pancreas were donated along with his corneas and tissues.

I had the honor to sit down with Andy Gillespie this month at Lifeline of Ohio to listen to his own words about his son’s bravery. Zac was a very unique young man who thought outside of the box. He had a serious girlfriend, a loving father and a younger sister. Through his loved ones, and his decision to become a donor, he still lives on.

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Did you know more than 14,000 people are currently on the national waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant? One donor could potentially save 8 lives. There are a lot of myths surrounding organ donation, such as being too old or too ill to be a donor. Another myth people have heard in the past is a person will not get good medical care if they are a donor and that’s simply not the case. Medical professionals are most concerned with saving lives and donation isn’t discussed until doctors have made every effort to save the person’s life.

It’s easy to become a donor. Anyone who has a state driver’s license, permit or state issued ID can register.
– It’s a minors decision at 15 1⁄2
– Until the minor is 18, a parent/guardian can amend/revoke decision at the time of death
– At 18, the decision becomes a legal authorization
• In Ohio you can register by saying “yes!” at the DMV or BMV, filling out an enrollment form, or visiting https://lifelineofohio.org/.
• Anyone out-of-state can go to www.registerme.org to register.

April is national Donate Life month. Spread the word.

Are you a donor?

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Andy Gillespie stands outside the Lifeline of Ohio Memorial where Zac’s name is engraved.

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I enjoyed meeting Andy and hearing Zac’s story. 

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Zachary DT Gillespie saved at least 4 lives two years ago. 

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Zac and his longterm girlfriend.

Tick, tock… it’s not yet 5:00 and I am out of everything! Milk, bread, eggs, you name it. Oh, how I wish I could wait until my husband got home from work to go to the grocery store. I also wish it was super easy for me to snag a sitter while I stock our fridge, but that’s not a reality for this busy mom of three. Sure, I look forward to the day when my children are old enough to help me out at our local food spot, but until then I do believe I’ve mastered some grocery store tips and tricks without losing my ever-loving mind.

We are frequent Kroger shoppers. There is a Kroger about 1 mile from our house and it’s crazy convenient. Not to mention, I save money on food and fuel. So, hi, I’m a busy mom and I’m addicted to Kroger.

Here are 10 of my grocery shopping Mom Hacks:

  1. Create a Digital Account – This is really step one to unlock all the savings. It’s really simple to sign up! Head on over to Kroger.com and register. It legit takes 1 minute, even a busy mom can do that.
  2. Get Organized – In my single days, I could walk into a grocery store and know exactly what I needed without a list. With my mom brain moving 10,000 miles a minute, I need to be organized and have a shopping list prepared before I step inside the store. You can create a shopping list on your smartphone’s Kroger App. Just click on the “more” tab at the bottom right side of the homepage… it also estimates your total, which is an awesome feature when on a budget.
  3. Get Social – Speaking of the Kroger App, I downloaded it about a year ago and absolutely love all the savings! I’ve never really been one for clipping paper coupons, plus I know they’d get lost in the storm of our stampeding children. Having it digitally loaded on my smartphone saves me time and the headache of keeping track of one more piece of paper.
  4. Be Loyal – This is an obvious one, but do sign up for the Kroger Plus Card. Did you know that the Kroger Plus Card has more than $400 in digital coupon savings? Not to mention it helps you keep track of those pre-loaded manufacturer coupons. If you forget your card, you can simply type in your phone number. Also, make sure your address is up to date, so you don’t miss out on exclusive promotions offered to Kroger Plus members.
  5. F R I Y A Y (Kroger Free Friday) – Don’t even pretend like you don’t like getting things for free. The awesome thing about Kroger Free Friday is you often get to try items you may not typically purchase, which saves money and it might introduce you to a new staple item for your kitchen.
  6. ClickList– oooookay, I’m going to be completely honest and tell you I hadn’t taken advantage of this service until recently. I know, weird. But one rainy Monday I decided to take the plunge and try out Kroger ClickList and I’ve never looked back. It’s not as intimidating as you might think! You simply place your order online, pick a time for pickup, pull right up to your local store and let the fine folks at Kroger do the rest. My kids can continue watching their DVDs or nap, and I don’t lose any more years of my life as I stressfully steer giant shopping carts through the aisles. Pro tip: ClickList will tally up your total for you and waive your first three online order fees to help you stay on budget. After that, the online order fee is $4.95.
  7. Home Delivery: say whaaaaat?! Coming to a Kroger near you SOON via InstaCart. I do believe the skies have opened and I actually hear a chorus of Halleluiah ringing out. I actually didn’t realize this was available in my area until recently. Delivery of your groceries in one hour or less. Also, your first delivery is FREE! Yep, I’m loading up my InstaCart right now. *check to see if your Kroger delivers here: InstaCart
  8. Digital Coupons and Customer Mailings – I actually have this tab open on my laptop as I’m writing this blog post. I scanned through the more than $400 of coupons and simply loaded the ones I’d use to my loyalty card. Next time I check out, those coupons will be honored, saving me time and money. Also, make sure your address is up to date. As a loyal customer you will receive additional savings in the mail.
  9. Fuel Points: Every dollar spent at Kroger is typically worth one fuel point. Points do reset every month, but that’s not really a problem for a busy mom who’s constantly taxiing kids to dance, soccer, swim lessons, play dates and school. Check the bottom of your receipt OR check your app to see how many points you have saved up. Here’s a fuel breakdown:
    100 fuel points = 10¢ off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at participating gas stations (i.e. Turkey Hill and Shell).
    100 fuel points = 10¢ off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at a Kroger store.
    200 fuel points = 20¢ off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at a Kroger store.
    1,000 fuel points = $1 off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at a Kroger store.
  10. Try the Kroger Brand: We actually love the Kroger brands, especially Simple Truth Organic. That’s the brand of milk you’ll find in our fridge. My oldest son is slightly obsessed with their white cheddar popcorn, it’s something always stocked in our pantry. We also have a lot of products from Kroger’s premium line: Private Selection. I typically buy their crackers and cheese when I do get a chance to entertain other people than my kids.

You might already be familiar with these hacks, but hopefully you learned something new. Either way, I promise adding at least one of these hacks to your next shopping adventure will save you some grey hairs and possibly add stress-free years to your life.

*This post is a paid partnership with Kroger.*

Shanisty Ireland (Kroger App- shopping list)

Using the Kroger App to make my shopping list. Believe it or not, I meal plan every week so making a list is a must-do.

Shanisty Ireland Kroger (Instacart)

Delivery is coming to a Kroger near you, via Instacart! Woot!

Busy Mom's Guide to Grocery Shopping

We are big fans of the Kroger brand, Simple Truth Organic. We find almost all of our groceries in the naturally grown aisles.

Shanisty Ireland Kroger App

Finding additional digital savings on the app.

Busy Mom's Hack to Grocery Shopping

A successful day at the grocery store deserves a pic. Especially when shopping with Stevie Wonder, a cat lady dressed in fur and an 80-year old man in a Members Only jacket.

 

The Midwest didn’t get the memo that Spring has sprung. Would you believe we actually had snow on the first day of Spring? I know my friends in the Northeast are dealing with a lot more than our dusting, but still, cold is cold is cold.

The kids’ Spring Break is next week. If I didn’t have a busy week, I would totally pack them up and ship out to Florida for a few days. Hmmm…. excuse me while I see if I can switch some meetings around and make this happen.

Okay, I’m back. Ain’t gonna happen.

So, we’re making our own Spring Break, complete with cheap pink flamingos, sunshine and waves. Don’t hate on our spring break, and we won’t hate on yours.

This week was “Water Safety Week” at Goldfish Swim School, so they had to practice swimming without their goggles. Fact: if your child is in danger, the chances of them actually having their goggles on is slim, so it’s important they know how to get to safety without them.

Since spring is here, whether mother nature wants to acknowledge it or not, it’s a great time to enroll your little ones in swim lessons.

Next week (March 25-31), Goldfish Swim School’s has their Jump Start Clinics again which are specially designed for families looking to get their kids water ready in a hurry. The clinics are 5 consecutive days of 30-minute swim lessons focusing on fundamentals and water safety.

Here are a few benefits of teaching your kids to swim:

  • Building confidence.
  • Learning how to stay above water.
  • Treading water (mine aren’t to that level yet, but it’s so important!)
  • Getting out of the pool safely.

So whether you are heading to the water this spring break, or pretending in your living room…summer is right around the corner, and it really is a wonderful time to enroll your kids in swim!

*This post is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School. All opinions are my own.*

Goldfish Swim School

Eden floating during her lesson this week.

Swim Safety Week

Luke didn’t use goggles this week for “Swim Safety Week”.

Our spring break is lit.

Our spring break is lit.

I admit, February is my least favorite month. The cold weather is alright for the holidays and the New Year, but by the time February rolls around…I’m like a 70-year-old snow bird flying down south for some sunshine.

Kidding. I wish I could fly to Florida for the entire month. #goals.

In the meantime, I live vicariously through Luke and Eden as they swim on at Goldfish Swim School during their weekly lessons. Are you itching for spring and ready for your little goldfish to learn how to swim? Summer will be here before we know it.

Good news!

Goldfish Swim School’s unique Jump Start Clinics are specially designed for families looking to get their kids water-ready in a hurry. They’re a great way to introduce kids to the fundamentals of water safety, take full advantage of school vacations, get peace-of-mind before a water-centric vacation or even start the journey to an Olympic gold medal. (I admit, we didn’t watch one second of the winter Olympics. But summer….we’re all in!)

Jump Start Clinics include four or five consecutive days of 30-minute swim lessons that focus on everything from the teaching the fundamentals of water safety to fine-tuning stroke technique. These clinics are so effective, we guarantee you’ll see significant improvement in your child’s swimming skills in just four or five short days!

Registration begins March 1st, TOMORROW!

Here’s the link:

https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/dublin/

https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/westerville/

swim kids

low key post about where they’ll be spending Spring Break

Something interesting happened on Wednesday at our weekly swim lesson at Goldfish Swim School. 

We were running late, per usual. We arrived 5 minutes before class started. I rushed to the changing area with all 3 kids in tow. I helped Luke and Eden change into their suits right before class was starting. When the announcement was made to enter the pool, they walked over to their instructors and hopped into their separate lanes.

I sat behind the glass with Adam as I do every week and observed the kids working hard in their lesson.

As I’m sitting there watching lanes 2 and 5 while juggling a baby on my lap, I noticed something I haven’t really noticed before. Luke can swim. I mean, he can actually swim. I’m not talking doggy paddle or float on his back or tread water, but he can do windmill motion strokes and swim from the entire width of the pool with very little help.

Listen, I’m not a braggy mom by any means. My kids are just as normal as the next 5 and 3 year old children…but it’s an amazing feeling to watch your child swim for the first time ever.

It got me thinking about our 2018 goals when it comes to the water. This March will mark an entire year of weekly swim lessons at Goldfish. I understand this may not be for everyone…but if you’re even on the fence about swim lessons, I really encourage you to try Goldfish out. I am truly AMAZED at how far Luke and Eden both have come over the course of a year.

We are signed up for another entire year at the school, and I’m so excited to watch them learn, grow, move up in classes, build confidence and continue to learn life saving skills.

*Thank you Goldfish Swim School for sponsoring this post.*

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