Preemies, painting, and pinot

There are a few things I am passionate about: writing, reading, and oh my GOD I am even boring myself with myself.

If you know me at all though, you know I am most passionate about raising awareness for prematurity. Our family of five, including our former featherweight, 31 week preemie twins, now THREE YEARS OLD, participates in the March of Dimes March for Babies walk every year, and I always hound everyone relentlessly during Prematurity Awareness Month in November. 

Recently Babs Haller from Austin non profit Hand to Hold contacted me to tell me about a fun event that I am so excited to share with you all.

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Hand to Hold is pairing up with Painting With a Twist for Painting with a Purpose, an opportunity for you to show off your artistic side and chat with your friends,  all the while sipping a little wine and raising money for charity. 

Did you hear me? Friends, wine, painting, and raising money to support a great organization. It doesn’t get much better than that in my book. Participants will have the chance to create their own version of this painting of the landmark Austin Motel (which if we ever get a night away from kids? This is where I want to go). 

Photo courtesy of Painting With a Twist

Registration is $45, with a whopping half of that directly benefitting families affected by premature birth, special needs, and loss through Hand to Hold. That’s incredible, people!

But what is Hand to Hold, you ask?

Hand to Hold is a local non profit whose mission is to provide resources and support for parents who have been affected by prematurity, have given birth to a special needs child, or who have suffered a loss at the hands of either. They match seasoned parents of preemies, called Helping Hands, with parents in need of support. Being a parent of a child in the NICU can be overwhelming, and these peer to peer relations “inspire hope and offer the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from someone who is uniquely familiar with the experience of preterm birth, life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a child born with a special health care need, loss of pregnancy and/or infant loss.” (

How amazing is that? Visit their website to read all about the wonderful work they are doing, and look at some pictures of ridiculously cute babies. 

The organization was not around when we endured our five week stay in the NICU; however, I would have jumped at the chance to have someone who had “been there” and could have held my hand through a lot of the frustrating and trying times, even after being discharged. Because after coming home, your preemies are still preemies and often follow a whole different rule book. I was very lucky to have had an amazing primary NICU nurse who was not only kind, but guided me through so much of the preemie process and filled me with tons of general baby care knowledge. I also relied heavily on my mothers of multiples club, many of them having been NICU graduates as well. 

But not all parents have that support system behind them. And for those parents, Hand to Hold is an invaluable resource.

So let’s remember the key words here: fun, wine, painting, wine, friends, wine, raising money for an awesome organization, WINE.

Did I mention you can drink wine???

If this sounds like your glass of chardonnay, then get shiraz over (sorry, I couldn’t help it…I’m a comic genius I tell you!) to the Painting With a Twist website and register for Painting With a Purpose, benefiting Hand to Hold. Tell your friends! No painting or wine drinking experience is necessary. Painting With a Twist provides cups and wine openers, but attendees must bring their own beverages.

The fine print: This post was not compensated by Hand to Hold or Painting With a Twist. I’m simply very passionate about prematurity awareness and support. Also, Hand to Hold is not a wine sloshing organization. That’s just me again.

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