Our Little Hummingbird Story

This is a true story and every event actually happened.  I apologize in advance for the length, but it is worth reading, I promise. Written by Erica George and edited by myself for this post.

I am posting this story for my granddaughter Carly and her family and so that everyone can share in “Our Little Hummingbird” miracle.


In Traditional Native American culture, a hummingbird symbolizes timeless joy, freedom and energy.   It is a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.

The hummingbird is thought to be a messenger of love and joy.  It teaches a person about self discovery and healing.  The hummingbird being the tiniest of all birds is thought to bring “special” messages.  It teaches us to adapt to whatever life may hand us.

We don’t seek them…they find us. 1

Our Story:

When my daughter Monica found out she was pregnant with her second child, we were thrilled. Early on the in pregnancy she began spotting and we began to worry.  Monica came over to my house to relax and get a little moral support.  After a few minutes she realized she had left something in the car and went to get it.  As she approached the car, there was a little hummingbird fluttering right at the trunk, almost as if it were waiting for her.  Monica froze and watched as it floated there for what seemed like forever and then it flew away.  She felt a rush through her body and ran back in to tell me about it.  We looked at each other and smiled. We both felt the spirit of my mother (Grandma Inez) who was a big influence in Monica’s life. Could it be? Was it a sign to let us know everything would be okay.  From that day forward we called Monica’s belly “Our Little Hummingbird”.

A week or two passed and again while visiting my house, Monica was greeted by the hummingbird and again it was right by the trunk of her car. Coincidence?

A few months had passed, all was going well and Monica took her other daughter Holly shopping at the Disney store, a trip they make quite often.  While Monica was concentrating on the clearance rack (that’s so Monica),  Holly casually walked up to her and said “here Mom-Mom” and walked away.  Monica lost her breath was she realized Holly had handed her a little plush blue hummingbird (Flit) from the Disney Pocahontas movie.  Now it is important you know that Holly is only 2 years old, has never seen the movie nor did she know that character.  Of course Monica purchased the bird and  hung it above her desk at work, where it still flies today.  Monica had never seen Flit at this particular Disney store before that day, nor has she seen it for sale since. Coincidence?

Flit from Pocahontas

More and more time had passed and Monica was having a wonderful uneventful pregnancy, all the while referring to her belly as her hummingbird.  One day at work, co-worker Betty asked why we referred to her belly as her hummingbird so we proceeded to tell her our story.  After the story,  Betty looked at us with a special look and told us that she has collected hummingbirds for years and had decided to sell some of them.  Later on, I approached Betty about buying one as a gift for Monica after the baby is born and asked Betty to choose anyone that she thought was special.

We thought it was very odd that of all the figurines to save, she happened to save hummingbirds and that she had just recently decided to sell them off. Coincidence?

The day had finally arrived and Monica went into labor.  We were all so excited to meet our little hummingbird.  Monica had invited myself and my other daughter Erica to experience the birth with her, so Erica made arrangements for her daughter, Reese to go to her other Nanny’s house and spend the night like she so often does.  One of the things that Nanny does when she babysits is they do crafts together.  Gail has a big craft room.

The following day Gail brought Reese home and proceeded to tell Erica about all the things they did and handed Erica a bag of all the crafts they had made.  She said there was a special gift inside that Reese had made especially for me.   As she pulled it out of the bag, a rush of heat ran through Erica’s chest as she held back the tears.  It was a blue piece of construction paper with three hummingbirds glued to it and draped with pearls.  Gail was puzzled at Erica’s reaction.  You see, Gail did not know the hummingbird story and what were the chances she just happened to have hummingbirds in her crafts and that Reese would choose them.  Coincidence?

Three hummingbirds

The night Carly Inez was born was one we will never forget.  It was filled with many highs and lows.  When Carly was born there were complications and she was rushed to NICU, at the same time things were going wrong with Monica and she began to hemorrhage and they couldn’t find the cause.  We were devastated to think that we could lose both Carly and Monica, it was unbearable.  Very quickly they realized that Carly needed to be transferred to Riley’s Children’s hospital and Chicago had no beds so she was being transferred to Indianapolis.  It was storming so they were unable to send the helicopter so we had to wait two hours for the ambulance to pick up Carly and drive two hours back to Indy.

By morning Monica had stopped hemorrhaging  so we stayed with her and Jody went to Indy to be with Carly.  As soon as Monica was released Jody came back to get Monica and pack their bags because they were going to need to stay with Carly in Indy for an undetermined length of time.  Before they headed out they stopped by the office and I decided it would be a good time to give Monica the Hummingbird figurine to help cheer her up.  Jody encouraged Monica to bring it along because they could put it near her crib in NICU.

Hummingbird Figurine watching over Carly

While driving to Indy they got a call from Ronald McDonald House saying they needed to get there ASAP because they had one temporary room available but they needed to sign in by 8:30.  They hurried to get there and made it just in time.  The room was small with just a bed, a deck and a chair.

While Monica was getting settled, Jody noticed a spiral notebook on the desk.  It was there for guests to write in, tell their stories, thank yous and words of encouragement.  Emotionally exhausted, he pick up the book and opened it to the first page.  He stopped, began to tear up and could not believe what he saw.  On the very first page someone had drawn a hummingbird.  Up until that moment Jody really did not truly understand the whole hummingbird thing.  He looked at Monica with tears and said “I understand now.  Carly’s going to be okay – I know it now”.  He handed Monica the notebook and they both cried.  Coincidence? We think not.

Notebook page 1 in the last room available.

The very first page of an ordinary notebook in the last available room.  What are the chances?

It was that moment that Monica knew in her heart what had actually taken place.  The hummingbird that came to visit her at the trunk 9 months earlier had stayed with her throughout the pregnancy and birth to help her get to that final moment.  Carly’s guardian angel? Maybe.

Carly was discharged as a healthy baby girl 11 days later.

Whether you believe is special messages or not, there are miracles happening everyday all around us..we just have to take a moment to notice them.

1 Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_do_hummingbirds_symbolize#ixzz1BA64MEtr

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I cry every time I read this story.

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 9:56 am  Comments (14)  
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Flanagin Fairies – Not for Hire (or are they?)

Misty Greengarden

Got a call today asking to hire the Flanagin Fairies for a birthday party.

I explained that there are several reasons we don’t do birthday parties.

She explained that her little daughter carries around our pictures all the time.

She met the Fairies at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk.

I think we might be doing a birthday party.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  As a child, we opened our Christmas presents on Christmas Eve and our stocking on Christmas morning.  When I had children of my own, we open everything on Christmas morning.

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm  Comments (5)  

Saving $1,000,000.00

It all adds up

At the beginning of 2010 I started keeping track of how much my customers saved in postage by using our services. This figure was determined by what their actual postage was vs mailing the same piece with USPS first class stamps.

The answer was quite surprising.  For 2010 we saved our customers $684,819.26.

The most dramatic saving was for a customer that mailed just over 17,000 8″ x 10″ calendars.  The actual postage was $6030.56 but they saved $24668.29.  Had they been a non-profit business, they would have saved even more. The heavier the mail piece the more dramatic the savings will be.

My job is to get the word out to as many people as I can, that there is big money to be saved by using a mail service.  Even on jobs as small as 200 pieces you are going to save about 40%.  No gimmicks, pure savings.

My goal is to save our customers $1,000,000.00 in postage for 2011.

Stop back at the beginning of each month to follow our progress.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Only one of my grandparents was still alive when I was born. How sad that I never got to know them.

Every Business Has One


Every business has one. Your business has one, my business has one and  even Disney has one.

That one question they hear over and over in their business that really isn’t the question at all.

For Disney, the question is “What time is the 3:00 parade?”  How do you answer this?   Hint, the answer is not 3:00.

The proper answer lies in understanding the guest.

For our company, the question is, “How much does it cost to mail to all Porter Co?”

This question is rarely what they actually want to know.  The underlying question is how do I get started, how much will it cost to mail to some people in my area?

What is your company’s 3:00 parade question?  How have you trained your staff to handle it?

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I started outside my comfort zone with blogging.

Raising the Bar (code)

A New Look for USPS

Starting 2011 we launched the use of the new USPS Intelligent Mail Bar code.

Beginning May 2011 the old postnet bar code and discounts that go with it, will be obsolete.

Must stay ahead of the game for my customers.

Making progress is not an option in my business, it is mandatory.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  My father was a part-time police officer in our home town.

My World Stood Still Today

Our Little Hummingbird

We thought it could be the flu.

Called the doctor and they wanted to see her right away.

Doctor said it was serious and she needed to go to hospital right away.

At that moment the world stood still, nothing else matters. The work, the phone calls, the appointments just don’t matter.

It’s always sad when an infant is sick, she is only 8 months old and she is our “little hummingbird”.

There was an intestinal blockage but  it was not intussusception was first suspected.

Still waiting for test results. Praying that all will be fine.

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Needed to post this for myself. I fall apart inside during a crisis.

Published in: on January 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm  Comments (9)  

Exceeding My Expectations

It’s always nice when someone exceeds your expectations.  When WordPress sent me this email, they did exactly that.  Are you able to exceed your customers expectations? Although I am a little concerned about “where did they come from” obama-scandal-exposed.co.cc, ??  What the heck is that?

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 50 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 128 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 47mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 27th with 85 views. The most popular post that day was Was it Fate? A Flanagin Fairy Story.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, twitter.com, valpolife.com, obama-scandal-exposed.co.cc, and jinked.net.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for disney institute, duckburg activity, disney institute communication activity, duckburg, inc. activity, and disney institute communication exercise how to.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Was it Fate? A Flanagin Fairy Story August 2010


Say it with class December 2010


Disney Institute – The Front Line July 2010


Disney Institute – Leadership July 2010


Not Just an Employee November 2010

Have a wonder-filled 2011,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I went to school in Lansing, IL with CBS’  anchor Harry Smith.  He played in the school band with my husband.

You Can Count on Us – Forever

Peel off stamp, and use in an emergency

How to stay connected

How much is a new customer worth to your business?

How can you stand out from every other business that wants that  same customer?

Do you give them a promotional gift, a pen, a chip clip or an engraved widget?

Is there something different you can do?

Inspired by “We have some lovely parting gifts” by David Balentine (click here)

New visitors to our office will receive one.

The stamp is real, usable and symbolizes “Forever”

Just a little something different from the rest, a lovely parting gift,  if you will.

“You can count on us” to stay focused on you “Forever”

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me: I enjoy being organized.

Previous blogs (click here)

Lost and Found in Cyberspace

The following is one of the last tweets I received for 2010.

@LCPLweb #ff #Porter Co. Tweeps I hope to meet in person in 2011: @bulkmail4u (luv your blog), @mytnameischris (aka @ValpoLife) #nwindiana

For those of you that don’t know what a tweet is, it is a post on twitter.

If you don’t know what twitter is…….Click here. (Caution, it can be addictive)

I am @bulkmail4u.

@LCPLWEB will never know how much that meant to me unless I tell them.

Thanks @LCPLWEB, you made my day.

Thanks to anyone that stops by my blog for a short visit.  YOU ARE APPRECIATED.

There are literally millions of blogs floating around in cyberspace, it is a miracle to be found by anyone.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me: I was giving a slide show presentation to my 6th grade classmates the day JFK was assassinated.  What were you doing?

Published in: on January 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm  Comments (12)  
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