Last Thursday and Friday I had the privilege of traveling to Oregon with some wonderful women for a “Help Me Grow” conference.  It was big, their vision is big…much bigger than I had ever imagined.  Even though I had heard that there were people from other states involved with “Help Me Grow”

I didn’t get it.  Even after I designed the blog for “Help Me Grow” Utah, even after I was in their flyer with Halle, and even after I helped fund it for the past few years and been involved with their events put on for the community.

“HMG” is the vision of  Dr. Paul Dworkin and his multiple team partners in Connecticut. He will be visiting the state of Utah in January of 2012. We are thrilled to have him come.

One individual in our state that caught the vision was Barbara Leavitt.  I didn’t realize I would be somewhat of a spectacle going to this conference.  No other people that help fund the program go to brain storm with the group of people that are involved in implementation, but there I was.  I had to listen really hard with my stuffed up sick ears to hear and translate what all of the people were saying.  It made sense to me, but I am used to business talk, and social reform sounds a bit different.  In the end, I learned a lot about what everyone was trying to accomplish.  Many states have already or are in the process of implementing statewide systems of “HMG”, some being Oregon, California, Washington and Colorado.  The state of Utah has a pilot program in Utah County and is working towards building a statewide system.  Barbara was key in implementing “HMG” in Utah.  She saw the vision and pulled together teams of people at United Way to support the cause.  *Now that takes vision and guts*.  She didn’t have funding from the state like everyone else but she still believed that it could someday happen.  Everything she has done has been through her own blood sweat and tears, and the support of United Way and people that believe in her and this cause.

Help Me Grow is hard to explain.  It is basically a system developed to bring a database of community resource information and a personal helpful touch to parents.  Through supporting together physicians and community providers of services for children, it creates a one stop shop for parents that need help (and don’t we all have questions as new parents?)  In Utah County you can call 2-1-1, ask for Help Me Grow and be directed to care coordinators such as Robin, Deb, Kami or Barbara who will answer your call and direct you to resources in your community. Nothing is too big or small…worried about your child’s development in social, academic, or physical needs?  Give 2-1-1, ask for Help Me Grow.  2-1-1 is actually nationwide, though it may vary who will answer in your state.

“Help Me Grow Utah” is putting on a community event on Saturday the 29th of October where you can bring your children and participate in a parenting surveillance tool called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire to see your child’s strengthens in develop and  see if they are on track. Once completed HMG will send with your permission this to your primary care provider.  This will help all the players in your child’s life become involved in helping you connect to resources.  Not only will it be informational, it will also be lots of fun for the kids with games!

There will be Halloween-themed children activities, free development screening tests, a child development specialist, and information on how to support your child’s growth and learning. It is for infants to age three and everyone can come dressed up in their cute Halloween costumes.

Don’t forget to connect to the Help Me Grow blog and FaceBook page!

This is an easy way to help support the cause!


So there you have it!  Looks perty fun huh!

And if you feel like you would love to go and would love to meet me, I will be there!  It is always fun for me to talk to people that read my blog and already know so much about me.  I would love to know you as well!


We left early Thursday morning last week to get to Oregon and arrived just in time to find somewhere great to eat lunch.  And we did indeed!!


The crepes here were so yummy…*I think I just heard my tummy growl*

Just seeing this first restaurant made me want to move to Oregon for good!  It was so artsy and unique, a far cry for all of the chain restaurants my my house.



This darling girl offered about any crepe you could imagine!

and by golly, we ran into the cutest little vintage store I ever did see.  And when I say ran, I mean ran.  I was shopping that store real quick like because it was DARLING and I knew I would be so sad if I didn’t find what I needed in there.  But don’t  you worry an ounce, I found exactly what I wanted!  They had such cute stuff and for great prices.

I bought some red shoes from the 1940’s for Lizzy, a jacket for Kinley that is SO cute, an old grandma dress for me, a pin for my scarves, and….I think that’s it?  I’ll have to upload some pictures of that stuff later, cause I just don’t have time tonight!

Bur really, if you ever find yourself in Oregon I highly recommend you make a visit if you like vintage stuff at all.


and then, even though I was still breathing hard from so much excitement of finding old vintage stuff that I loved for great prices…we headed to the conference.  I just knew I would love this building “Kennedy Elementary” when I noticed this little man living in the bushes.  The whole building was like this, surprises everywhere!

From left to right: Robin Lindsay, Barbara Leavitt, Colleen Murphy, Deb Weiss, and myself.

The school was adorned with pictures all over the school.  Some were funny, some beautiful, and some old photographs of kids that went to school there a long time ago.



 During the conference, I had to snap a few photos.  I think I caught Deb off guard.  Oh, and by the way, that Deb? She presented an awesome bit on Social media and how it ain’t going no where.  Right?  You ain’t goin’ nowhere.  Blogs are here to stay, facebook is here to stay, and thousands of other social media sites we don’t even know about yet!

And when it was the right time, I told them about you…and how you read all these words for who knows what reason, but you do.

 Oh Oh and just look at her cute antique necklace we found for her !!

and notice the fabulous notes that were taken at the meetings.  Feel free to contact me if you want to give to Help Me Grow in any way.  Time, money, we need it all!


Overall the trip was fast, furious, and fantastic!

Thanks Ladies for being so inspiring.  The work you do every day makes such a difference in this world!