Sunday, February 26, 2012




Yesterday, Saturday the 25th of February was the “REVEAL” of Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2012 at the Foster Family Farm House Homework Club for Kids. The day was everything I hoped it would be and more.

I was Surprised to see Michael O`Byrne host of CTV Ottawa's News at Noon there but assumed he was there to cover the story of the Extreme Makeover……I was wrong.

Michael was there to present me with the United Ways Community Builder Award.

I was overwhelmed and speechless but so very happy to receive it. Michael had a wonderful speech for me and I wanted to share it with you.

Good Morning, Everyone.

I`m Michael O`Byrne, host of CTV Ottawa`s News at Noon and a member of United Way Ottawa`s volunteer recognition team.

United Way is all about building community. One of the things that we like to do is recognize people who have made a real difference in the lives of others through their volunteerism and commitment to their community. These people truly demonstrate the ability to give, speak up and take action on the things that matter most to them. Today, we are here to honour Sonya Kinkade as an outstanding Community Builder.

As some of you know, this past week was Kindness week here in Ottawa. Kindness Week is a city wide initiative that encourages community members to choose to be kind and recognizes those who engage in everyday acts of kindness. For the past two years Sonya Kinkade has been a shining example of the kindness in action.

In her day job, Sonya is a formally trained Interior Decorator and Owner of Sonya Kinkade Design. With her keen sense for style and her attention to detail, Sonya can transform any space into something amazing. After hearing about Kindness Week, Sonya Decided to use her incredible talents to spread the kindness.

Last year Sonya launched Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition, a weeklong project that aims to redesign and makeover spaces for community agencies that wouldn`t normally be able to afford a makeover. Not only do they make the space beautiful, they make it much more functional. The first project that the Extreme Makeover team took on was the lobby at the Good Companions Seniors Centre. They took an institutional looking room and made it into a warm and inviting place for the staff and clients of the Good Companions Centre.

This year Sonya and the Extreme Makeover Team took on an even bigger challenge, here at the Foster Farm Community House. The Foster Farm Community House acts as a resource centre where a variety of services and activities are offered. One of those resources is a homework club for kids. Sonya saw a need for the kids to have the best possible learning environment and made this the focus of this year’s makeover. As we can all see Sonya and the Extreme Makeover team have hit it out of the park again this year, creating a beautiful and functional space that children will be enjoying for years to come.

What really makes the Extreme Makeover projects amazing, are that they wouldn't`t be possible without community involvement. They have ZERO budget, everything you see here today was donated by community members. One of Sonya`s biggest supporters has been her husband Daryl, not only has he been there to support her but his company D.E. Kinkade Konstruction LTD has donated an amazing amount of time and labour.

Sonya, it is my very great Pleasure to present you with a United Way Community Builder Award. The plaque reads: “Thank you for helping to build a stronger, healthier and safer community for all of us.”

United Way has a permanent display at City Hall, called the Community Builder Wall of Inspiration. Your name will be added to this display so that everyone will know the wonderful contribution you have made to this community for years to come. Congratulations!


Thank you to Everyone who was a part of the Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2012 Team. I received the award but you all played a part in making it happen and you make me look good. I love you all

“Coming together, sharing together, working together, succeeding together.”

The 2012 Dream Team:

The Designers

The Contractor

The Contributors



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Life, it is what you make it…..




I woke up this morning, being my 43 Birthday feeling a little sorry for myself. There were things that have changed in my life that I have been having a hard time with lately and being “one more year closer to death” as I always say, was not making me want to jump up and yell “Happy Birthday to Me!!!”


For one, a Gray streak now runs through my hair where my once red hair gleamed


My eyes were full of life and are now a little droopy and are showing the years with the bags, dark circles and a few little wrinkles… OK, maybe more than a few


With the pressure of my daily life for the last 2 years I have added on some extra baggage in all areas of my once not to bad body (picture was 2 years ago)…not in one spot, not in two but EVERYWHERE! at least I am proportioned…


Where there once was muscle from years and years of being a jock (that's me 4th in from the right) there is now bad hips, bad knees and boobs that no longer can be contained in a sports bra without slipping out and knocking me in the head….


I will never again get that morning call from My Mom & Moe wishing me a Happy Birthday…..something I never dreamed I would live without


My babies are no longer babies and the special hugs and cuddles are slowly fading…..


I have been married for 19 years now and can barely remember my husband and I looking like this… this real?


But then I turned on Facebook and twitter this morning and was reading all my Birthday messages from Old friends, new friends, business associates and my family members and something happened…..Like the Grinch my heart  suddenly grew 3 sizes…..and I had a look on my face like this…


And I realized…

  • My gray streak in my hair was a sign of years and years of learning and loving and being on this beautiful earth and I am alive and healthy…. ( and there is a thing called hair dye….halleluiah!)
  • My eyes that are puffy and droopy and showing the tell tale signs of aging are no longer naive and insecure but are now full of wisdom and have seen enough in my 43 years to give me the strength to be my own person.
  • My weight gain that creeps up on me is not from laziness but from having a job that I love that keeps me busy, that consumes my days…. but how many of you can say you are living your dream, working at something everyday that fulfills you….
  • My sore muscles and joints are a sign….telling me I have been living a full life and not missing a step along the way
  • My Mom & Moe are no longer here but I have grown into a 43 year old woman who has overcome many things in my life from the wisdom they gave my and the lessons they taught me and even though that phone call never comes….I still hear them….I still feel them…They are still here
  • My babies are growing but with that is a feeling of accomplishment, each day is new and each day they are growing into the person I am shaping them to be….my babies will always be my babies
  • My wedding dress may no longer fit and the white has faded but my husband loves me still today and I believe loves me more then on the 23 of January 19 years ago….yes we no longer look the same but we are growing old together and I am grateful for him everyday



Last but not least, I have great friends and family who love me and who have helped shape who I am today….I love you all!!

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