November 26, 2008

100th post: A very special house tour.

Mom has been sprung from the hospital. Your comments, emails, prayers and happy thoughts have been so kind, there really are no words. That, coming from me! Yes, my dear bloggy friends: You have left the wordy one speechless with your kindness. Nice work!

I started this post last week, and it seems all the more appropriate that it's (finally) up today, the day before Thanksgiving, at a time when I’m just a wee bit more thankful than usual. And always thankful for all that I have.

Behind this door you’ll find one of my favorite homes. Won’t you come inside with me?


This is
Hudson Cradle Home for Infants in Jersey City, NJ. Hudson Cradle was founded in 1991 to help alleviate the boarder baby crisis. Boarder babies are infants healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital, but do not have a safe place to call home. Hudson Cradle offers full, nurturing care to these homeless infants with special health and developmental needs, and counseling, education, and support services to birth or foster parents to prepare them to live as a family. Hudson Cradle welcomed their first infant resident in March 1992 and to date has provided nurturing residential care to more than 460 babies.

The babies live in brightly painted nurseries, designed to be functional but also as welcoming as a home nursery would be:



There’s a common space at the back of the house where the babies are fed, and group activities and one-on-one cuddling takes place. It’s a great room, and during the daytime sunlight streams in through the glass that encloses the space. I’ve sang many a round of Mary Had a Little Lamb in this room. And I had one baby who really enjoyed my rendition of Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Or at least I convinced myself she did. :-)


I’ve been honored to work on projects and volunteer there over the years. The people from the top down love what they do. The infant caregivers and nurses are among the most compassionate I’ve seen. They care for and protect these babies as if they were their own. Volunteers log hours and hours each week to rock, comfort, sing and play with the babies. It’s inspiring to watch infants who come in frail, often with a myriad of health complications, grow strong and alert under the attentive care and watchful eyes of everyone involved with the organization.

I’d like to say the house is empty, because that would mean there aren’t babies without homes, but it is filled to its 7-bed capacity and as soon as one baby leaves another is waiting in the wings for that crib space. And there’s the upkeep…carpets and ceiling tiles to be replaced, walls to be painted. That’s where the next part of my post comes in…


I mentioned in my header that this is my 100th post. So I’m doing something special to honor my favorite charity, and to thank you all for being such great “house guests” (even if only online!).

For each comment left on this post through December 1, 2008, I will donate $5 to Hudson Cradle. The company I work for will then match this amount – dollar for dollar.

I’ll go up to $500, so go ahead – empty my pockets. Do it! I double dog dare you. If I raise $500, my company match will take the donation to $1000. And that’s a lot of baby formula.

Hudson Cradle’s executive director is amazing at managing their budget – 93% of the money they raise goes directly to the care of the infants. This is incredible operational efficiency, so it is with my heart and head that I’m able to choose this organization as my favorite.

In celebration of my bloggy milestone, I’ve also got a week-long bloggeriffic party planned. I’ll be taking you on a tour of the house of two of my favorite people, who’ve created a wonderful “retroclectic” (take that,
Jonathan Adler - I can make up words, too!) home in the suburbs and are in the process of eschewing their traditional day jobs to follow their design dreams. Plus, it’s high time to share some shore house before and afters (well, at least almost afters). Now that the summer’s over we’ve gotten a few projects done, and I want to share! So stay tuned.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, which has grown a little bit bigger this past week thanks to many of you. Please support the local charities that work so hard to make a difference in your neighborhoods. And if you have a little extra coin left this holiday, consider making a donation to Hudson Cradle.

110 comments:

desiree@lookiloos.com said...

What a a wonderful post Laura. I hope lots and lots of comments come in. I love the Hudson House Logo. Being married to an ad guy I know how much thought went into it. Congrats on the 100th post! and Thanks so much for the kind words regarding Thanksgiving on my site. Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

How wonderful to be the first post on this FABULOUS 100th post for you, Laura! Happy Birthday!

So cough up that first $5, my friend, and get ready for more!

Loved reading about this fabulous charity and what you are doing with it. You go, girl!

Also glad that Shorehouse Mom is better {waving to Shorehouse Mom as I type).

Here's to the next $100 posts!

Much Thanksgiving love!

XO,

Sheila

judy said...

Posts like this one are why I'm such a holiday dork. Thank you!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Okay, Laura, cough up another $5 for this post because I was NOT the first one. Desiree snuck in ahead of me. LOL!

Can I make you do this twice???

XO,

Sheila

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Laura, what a sweet post! I knew you were a special gal, but now it's confirmed. Those babies really need you and how great that this is one of your charities to give time and $$ to. So special. Here's hoping we empty your pockets completely!

And wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving, dear friend. Still not sure when we are coming up, but will know more after Thanksgiving & will keep you posted on meeting up in NYC, if possible. Here's to 100 more posts!

PS Glad your mama is feeling better too!

Blondie's Journal said...

Bless you! This is the 1st time I viewed yor blog and I somehow feel there was a reason. Congratulations on your 100th post. Wow! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

sallie said...

Thank you, Laura. All your kindnesses are much appreciated.Give my get well thoughts to your mom.

desiree@lookiloos.com said...

So sorry Magpie. Does this also count for another $5 bucks??? Happy Thanksgiving all!

≈desiree

MaryBeth said...

Send the five in for me and please note that I will be making a private donation directly to them, why should you have all the fun. I love hearing about places like this but am also very sad that they need to exist. The blog world is a wonderful place because of all the great people and great ideas like this, So on this Thanksgiving Eve, thank you. xo, MB

heidi said...

Happy 100!!!!
Wish I could rock a baby over there right now!
xxooh

Mary Jane said...

I think it is wonderful that you thought of this ingenious way to raise funds.

Mariano said...

My Aunt is very proud of Hudson Cradle. Thank you for thinking of them. Happy Thanksgiving1

Orlando said...

Thanks for helping the babies of Hudson Cradle.

Mom Sallie said...

Best to you on your 100th post.How nice of you to celebrate by helping the Babies of Hudson Cradle.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Laura,
What a wonderful cause! That is so generous of you!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have really enjoyed getting to know you and your friendship!

Andy Guo said...

wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving, dear friend.

pve design said...

100 posts since the birth of your blog! Congrats!
So good of you to connect with that charity - I would love to be there to see those little sweet bundles, burp them, change them or feed them.
Hope your Mom is all better now!

Joyce said...

How many times can I leave a comment for you to raise money?

This is a wonderful thing you are doing!!

Happy 100th!! ...And many more...

Many blessing my friend and may your Thankgiving be filled with warm memories for tomorrow.

Pat said...

Hi Laura

So glad your Mom is home in time for Thanksgiving!

Hudson Cradle sounds like such a wonderful place to volunteer! I wish I lived closer as I'd volunteer there too. This is such a wonderful generous way to celebrate your blog's 100 posts -- I hope to spread the news on my blog in the next post I do so you reach your goal.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Hugs, Pat

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

What an amazing place! Congrats on your 100th post, and a such a special one at that!

It is wonderful that your mom is home!

Thanksgiving blessings to you and all you will touch with your generous spirit!

Melissa

bea said...

thanks for donating

muralimanohar said...

Okay...so you DID manage to top the 99th. What an inspiring place. Add in another $5 for me!

Lauren said...

Happy 100th Post!
Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for Laura and her generous kind heart.
I am thankful that my babies (teenagers) have a good home of their own.
I am thankful for great biopsy results!!!

heidi said...

oh. Did I comment already?
MWAHhahahahahaaaaaa.
:-)

Courtney said...

oh. are you trying to make me cry, Laura? cause the tears sort of want to come. I love the Hudson House and love that you have volunteered there over the years. not to mention I love that you got your company to match your donation. you go girl! and btw, so glad your mom's doing better. :-)

thelaundryisneverfinished said...

Sob!
Laura, you are so amazing! I don't have words, but I do have tears...I hope that says it all. :-)
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you at the shorehouse. :)
Jen

Renovation Therapy said...

Do you know how incredibly hard you rock?????

itsjustme said...

What a great place and post!

vicki archer said...

Well done you - what a generous way to celebrate 100 posts. May there be 1000 more and $1000's more for Hudson Cradle Home for infants. xv

Aimee "Roo" said...

Wow!!! You are doing a wonderful thing for an awesome place.

Glad to hear about your Mom being home.

Thanks for always visiting and commenting! :) Happy Thanksgiving!

violetposy said...

Happy 100th Post!! What a wonderful post and idea :) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Maureen said...

First, I am so happy to hear about your mom.

Second, you ROCK, ROCK, ROCK!

I just love this post, love your idea, and love that you do this.

Thank you for being an inspiration - today and every other time I log onto your blog.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for putting the GIVING into today.

Maureen

Liz said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

judicreations said...

Hi Laura
I came here from a beach cottage..what a lovely blog. The Hudson House looks sooo welcoming ... so bright and what a wonderful spot for little ones. Congratulations on your 100th post. Oh my I can't imagine you are willing to donate so much money...that should be an inspiration to us all. I hope you get a lot of comments.
Thank you for sharing this story and your generosity.
Come by for a visit sometime when you do have some time.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family
Judi

Skyesmom said...

What a wonderful program and a great way to celebrate your 100th post. Good luck and I hope you get all of your posts!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. Just found this blog while browsing online.

Sue said...

You are one terrific person to do this...Dad Siggy grew up in an orphanage in Hudson County so I know about children with no home to call their own. If I was in Jersey now I'd be over there painting and rocking and whatever else needed to be done. You just never think in this day and age that there are babies with no place to live.....Thank you for doing such a good thing...Glad the "Mom" is home...Sue.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Back again, and look at the numbers climbing! If we can post more than once, count this one, too, and if we can't I'm just here to cheer you. Laura, you go girl!

XO,

Sheila

shopaholi said...

What an amazing, heartfelt thing you are doing...I applaud you! The Hudson House must be very proud to have a volunteer like you. Children are our future and I pray they have much success in everything they do.

James said...

times like this I'm super-proud to be your friend..

Jenni said...

Here is another comment for the babies.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful thing to do.

You've inspired me to make a donation to the local organization in my town that does the same work.

Amanda Conley said...

Really awesome and very inspiring!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

♥♥♥, You are my favorite today!!! I knew nothing of this wonderful charity. Thank you for opening my eyes. Congratulations on that 100 post milestone.
♥, Susan

Anonymous said...

Stumbled onto your post via Cottage Magpie. What fortunate timing! Congratulations on your 100th post and for sharing Hudson House with us.

Barbara from Alabama

Meg said...

You are doing the most important work.

Mr. Bad Example said...

As your brother, I am happy to be involved in anything that empties your pockets. Oh yeah, and Hudson Cradle's a good cause, too.

Linda Kowalski said...

What a beautiful organization.

Anonymous said...

Great work by Hudson Cradle, which could not be done without people like you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing me to such a worth while project. May the blessings of Christmas be with all the volunteers and workers.
Margaret

Habitat for Humanity
Hudson County

Anonymous said...

It is truly amazing how one person can make the difference in so many lives..thank you Laura for taking part in such a wonderful cause..and happy 100th post!

Joyce said...

Laura-

I hope it is OK to post again. I at least waited a few days in between!

This is a gift for sure that keeps on giving.

Hugs....

Hayley said...

I think you're quite amazing for doing this Miss Laura. I wanted to volunteer here for a while, but was told there is a waiting list?
I'd like to give you a little $$ next time I see ya to pass along for me too! What an inspiration!

betsy said...

Thank you for your support. I am very proud of my niece and all those who take care of the children.

Jersey Girl in DC said...

This is so great! And it's so great to have you (and your Mom!) back. We've missed you online! :)

story girl said...

Thanks for doing this!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

One potato, two potato, three potato, four! And if you think that's all there is, just think, and think some more. ;-)

That's twenty dollars worth of my posts and counting, girlfriend.

XO,

Sheila

Anonymous said...

Hudson Cradle is a magical place creating a loving haven for the most innocent little ones. Thank you for this ingenious way to provide support.
Happy Holidays to everyone, Lynne

Shawn said...

laura,

glad I could help in this great cause.

Shawn

Fifi Flowers said...

That is WONDERFUL of you to do! Congrats on your 100th post.
Fifi

Janet said...

What a wonderful place. I wonder if there are similar places in other parts of the country?

Anonymous said...

How wonderful! Glad I can help!

Happy Holidays from Iowa!

Anonymous said...

Blessings from Indy with Love

Anonymous said...

What a wonderfule idea. I'm delighted to post for this. Hopefully some day I'll be able to volunteer!
Thank you!
Klee

Mrs. Buck said...

That looks like an amazing organization. Props to you for supporting them in this way!

Anonymous said...

Does December 1st count? It said through? God Bless and Good Luck!

Kathy said...

I'm with Anonymous (above). Is it too late?

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

You're 100th post! Woo-hoo! That's great. I think I've read at least 90 of them. :-) I think I speak for all of us when I say we're glad you joined the blog world. It's always fun to see what you're up to.

I'm coming a little late to the party, but I'm glad to hear your mom's home from the hospital, and I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

I loved this post. What a wonderful charity to devote your time and money to! And what a beautiful way to celebrate your blog's milestone.

j.cro said...

Nice work Laura.
Much Love to you!

Anonymous said...

this is wonderful.

Neomi said...

Keep up the GREAT WORK Salle and staff!!

Jonathan M. Metsch said...

thanx! for supporting Hudson Cradle!
Jonathan Metsch

Nachelle said...

Hi my name is Nachelle Searvance and I'm the Social Service Provider at Hudson Cradle. I been with Hudson Cradle for almost 9 years and I love it. I love all of my staff and all the babies that come through Hudson Cradle door.

The Chairman said...

Laura, You are a very special person for all you do for Hudson Cradle, Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Rue said...

Hi Laura :)

I hope I'm not too late posting here. What a wonderful cause and another reason why I think you are so special :)

hugs,
rue

ceil said...

Hi Laura,

The babies told me to give you a big "THANK YOU" for doing this for them. All 7 said if they had a computer they would post it themselves so I'm doing for them. Does it count 7 times for the $5?

please sir said...

Oh so glad I didn't miss this post - amazing house and efforts!

Cherry's Jubilee said...

That is the neatest sweetest idea Laura! I am glad I am not too late! Cherry

Lauren said...

I will surely add one more comment!! Kisses for the babies!!

Caren said...

What a wonderful idea...I'm a little late on commenting so I'm glad to see you extended the deadline. Happy Holidays.

Lynsey said...

what a great idea... and a great charity.

ehopper said...

How wonderful you are! :)

thelaundryisneverfinished said...

Come on, come on, come on 100! Let's spend Laura's money. :-D

Anonymous said...

Is it too late?
Go for the Kiddo's!!

sallie said...

Thanks, again, Laura.

Linda Lou said...

Woops-must have missed reading this wonderful story of your generosity and volunteering for this incredible organization...God Bless You and I hope you reach 100 posts even though it is Dec. 2

MaryBeth said...

i am commenting mb (2)

RH said...

Hey! Am I too late? I'm just waking up today....

MaryBeth said...

I am commenting 3

MaryBeth said...

I am commenting 4

MaryBeth said...

I am commenting 5

MaryBeth said...

I am commenting 6

MaryBeth said...

I am commenting 7

MaryBeth said...

I am commenting 9

MaryBeth said...

I am commenting now for the 10th time. I will be back if no one else comments. xo, MB

Sha said...

Hi Laura, good idea!
love, Sha

sarah @ a beachcottage said...

i know I'm late...what a great place and a fantastic charity, there *is so much good in the world

S

Anonymous said...

Your Special!!

Sue said...

Hi Laura....my second post...gotta get you to 100...

Sue said...

Me Again....This one is for Dad Siggy!!! 100th. post!!!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, no! Someone beat me here! I had computer issues, and I wanted to get one more under the wire. But look at this! Tis wonderful! Congrats!

XO,

Sheila

heidi said...

so sorry... my finger slipped. Did I just comment AGAIN?! xoh

Marilyn said...

What a wonderful thing, Laura. Late, but hopefully still helpful!

eclara said...

Wow, what a wonderful organization. The whole place seems so comforting and friendly. And 93%? That's dedication. You're doing a wonderful thing, and for a great cause (not that all causes aren't great :])! Thank you very much for your generosity. So many people will benefit and appreciate your donation. ♥

Ceil said...

Hi Laura,

It was good to see you and Mike last night. After leaving the event I stopped by HC and guess what?? There's 2 new babies. I told them what was going on and they said to tell you to count them in!!! They are twins and their exact comment was "You rock, Laura!!" Oh and I guess you can count me in again.

Ceil

Pat said...

Hi Laura!

Yay you've reached your goal and I'll add another post to really make sure you are over 100! This is such a nice thing you are doing. There are so many great causes in the world but it's extra special wehn you are connected to the charity and will actually see the benefits.

Hugs, Pat

Anonymous said...

I think you've reached your goal, but since I stopped by to check on it, I'm commenting again just in case and to congratulate you on a wonderful cause and a wonderful job well done.

Barbara

Ms. Tee said...

I can't believe I missed this post! What a sweet thing you did (and are doing),and what an amazing place. I think it's great how you celebrated your 100th post. Congratulations on that, too!

I hope your mom is still doing ok. Have a great week :)

Jonny said...

Well, thanks!

Anonymous said...

great job
Kim