20 Apr 2014

This is 35.

1 Comment Adventures, Everyday, Personal

This is 35: I will survive. I turn 35 in one day. 35. I am old. Or am I young? I’m 35. I think that this is going to be good age. A little crazy. But all so worth it.

I once read an article that said 45 was the “eye of the storm”. If that is correct, then 35, which is not TOO far away from 45, but still on the horizon, could be considered the start of the most intense years of our life. It seems that, just like a hurricane, this is the year where we are just in it. Life is busy. Life is fast. Life is intense. Life is swirling us and before you know it, you are 45 and in the eye of the storm. Then you can relax…for a while at least.

This is 35.

At thirty-five, “I Will Survive” has become my mantra. I wake up busier than the day before. I am a professional juggler: kids, career, friends, husband, marriage, friends, self and trying to keep every ball in the air and never disappoint. I am trying to justify that I am doing the right things for my children, because these are the formative years and if you mess those up, then OMG! I try to remind myself that they are only young once. Yet, that seems to come a day late and a dollar short. I know that all these crazy stages shall pass, but when one is weathering the storm, it seems like these “phases” will never end.

Thirty-five is being able to say, “I’m not that old!” I feel the vibrancy of life and want to embrace it! I am still young enough for H&M (on occasion) and J Crew & GAP and think still got it when I walk into a room fully together (which isn’t often, but when it is, WATCH OUT!). I could train for a triathlon tomorrow and a marathon too. Why not? Because I am 35 and I am still young. I can do anything (at least for a short while longer.)

Thirty-five is thanking your parents everyday for what they did for you when you were a child. You are re-living your childhood (and seeing exactly what they had to go through for you). You see the value of being an active involved parent and pray that this amazing childhood, that is making you crazy trying to create, your children will cherish forever.

Thirty-five means having the confidence to sort through life and figure out what really matters…to you and prioritize. Between, career, kids and husband, thirty-five means finding out about what makes you tick. And being ok with whatever it is that fuels your life. You also have the power to know that this is the time to change the course of your life. It is still not too late.

Thirty-five is intense. Busy. Crazy. Chaotic. Never-ending. Tiring. Happy. Sad. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. The days are long and they years are short. You realize that there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish what you need to accomplish. You stay up late. You get up early. You get it done. You rise to the top. You just keep going.

Thirty-five is building dreams on the hard work of today. We work harder, longer in hopes that in 10 years, we can relax. We pass on vacations, yet we try to make moment we do have on vacation the best memory ever! We constantly say, “When the kids are older…” We hope that the work we put into things that are happening right now, will pay off for the future. We are tired. All the lugging around to gymnastics, baseball, swimming, and the 10,000 extra activities we involve our kids in, hoping that it will get our kids into the best colleges, teams, etc and set them up for the brightest of futures. These little league and dance recital days are the days of hard work we hope will pay off for our kids. And when it does, we can then sit back and relax from the fruits of our labor.

At 35, we face fears. Head on. We learn that some things we just cannot change. We handle. We figure it out. We realize it. We move on. Quickly. We don’t have time to sit and dwell. Time is of the essence. Life is moving fast and if we stop to blink, we might miss the next opportunity. But if we do, there should be alternative opportunity looming in the distance we have not stumbled upon yet. It’s not too late.

At thirty-five, the forks in the road are plenty. Stay at home with kids. Have more kids. Work and stay at home part-time. Work full time and have help. The options are over-whelming. And no can tell you what to do. Or if what you choose to do is the right thing. And the right thing for who? You, the kids, your career, your family? You must decide. Quickly. And have the confidence that you chose the right path for you. But at 35, we have come to the realization that we must do what we know is right for us. And having the confidence to choose for yourself is half the battle.

Thirty-five is definitely the point in life where my emotions are as intense as they have ever been. You are the Mother Lion. You stand up for what is right. You protect your loved ones from harm. You stand vigilant to make sure that every move you make will not bring harm to those you love. You are known to be slightly crazy. You do not cave to peer pressure. You do what you need to do to get “it” done. You let the little things pass and the littler things take center stage as you know that sometimes they mean the most. You love deeper. You know that time is seeming to slip away. You finally become aware of this life that is yours. You can look back, but change nothing. You look to the future with hope. And know that the future still has time to be rewritten if you so choose.  Again, it’s not too late.

But that is just who I am these days. The crazy thirty-five year old lady, who’s busier than ever with a life that is some what controlled chaos. I’m owning it. Because I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know there will be a time when I long to be back in the trenches. We earn our stripes here. The eye of the storm of life will be upon us ever too soon. It will one day be calm. And I will think that the storm has passed, until the other side of the storm hits later in life.

TampaMama.com

TampaMama.com

Life is but a dream. A very short dream in the grand scheme of things. I am thankful to have made it to thirty-five.

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18 Mar 2014

The BEST Big Brother EVER!

No Comments CAH, Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting, Personal, Raising Children

An article I read the other day got me thinking about a gift I never knew existed from my son, the big brother of three younger sisters. It was a gift I had never thought about until I read the article.  I wanted to write this piece so that one day my girls will know that Jake, their big brother, gave them a gift I could never have given. Read more

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14 Feb 2014

Easy DIY Valentines Day Ideas for Kids

No Comments Everyday, Holidays

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16 Jan 2014

Small Steps For Abby Gene, Big Steps for Mama

No Comments Everyday

The day has come. I knew it might be a long road, but I never knew that it would take this much to get here.

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17 Nov 2013

5 Things I Have Learned In One Year

1 Comment Lifestyle, Uncategorized

I’m laying in the very same spot I was at one year ago today… At Girl Scout camp sleeping in the great outdoors with Mia. I can’t help but think of ALL that has happened in one year… 365 days have gone by. What have we accomplished? What has changed? What have I learned? How have I grown? I guess it’s king of like a report card…I can grade myself on the growth that I’ve seen or haven’t seen. It feels like no time has gone by, yet it does… Minute by minute, second by second, time elapses and we are not able to realize it’s gone until we can reflect. Here are my 5 top things I have learned and why I feel I am a better person because of them.

1. Baby Steps. Everyone does things on their own time. No need to rush. If and when they are ready, they will proceed accordingly. Don’t rush. One must not always crawl before they can walk… If scooting is easier, go for it. Baby steps are the key to a successful foundation of greatness.

2. Perfection is wearing. Enough said.

3. You cannot do everything, so stop trying. Speaking the truth will set you free.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

5. Storms will come and go. You will always remember what happened during them, but will be much better prepared for when they come again.

12 Nov 2013

#InspiredBy My Husband…The Honest Man

1 Comment Adventures, Everyday, Lifestyle, Random

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

This week the Today Show has been talking to people that inspire. I love inspiration. I am a dreamer. I am a doer. I am a person who does find stregnth from people that inspire me each day to do better, reach for more, live for more, and help me realize that I am fortunate enough to live the life that I live in so many ways.

But today, I am inspired by my husband. He much like many other men in America. He works for his family and loves us unconditionally. He is hard working, honest, caring and loving, and today I could not be prouder of him and feel more inspired by his actions. Today he will received, what I think, is one of the most prestigious awards. A citizen award from the Tampa Police Department. He helped catch a few “bad guys” in our neighborhood and because of him, a few of them are no longer stealing from our neighbors. He did the right thing. He didn’t make it a big deal, but I think it is a huge deal. He’s not the spotlight kind of person…that’s just him. And all the more reason he inspires me.

Chance inspires me because from the moment I meet him because he’s always wants to do the right thing. Family values are the highest of priority for him. Because that’s what matters the most. He has taught me that above all, it is family that should be put first. He has a strong set of values I hope our children will carry with them through life.

Today, we will watch him be recognized for something that he did because he knew it was right. A lesson any parent wants to teach their children: right from wrong. I am inspired by his humbleness and his willingness to always do the right thing. He has done it for many years when no one was looking. This inspires me to make sure that I am living my best life, but I hope my children will remember today too. It might make their road of life easier to navigate if they is always honest. We can show our children how we’d like them to behave, but we can only pray for our children to do the right thing when the time comes for them to make decisions without us.

So that’s my daily dose of inspiration. I hope that you find inspiration from people around you too. The people who are in my life, those who I call friends and family, I am inspired by each and everyone of you in simple ways that you probally don’t even realize. Thank you for keeping me going. I know you are in my life for a reason and I am so glad you are there too.

15 Aug 2013

Life With CAH

1 Comment CAH

Life with CAH

What you don’t see is this….

You don’t see the tears, or the look of pure torture in their eyes begging you not to do something. You can hear the screams through the lobby. You can feel her pain through the screams.

The begging and pleading was too much this time. I broke down. In front of her. You aren’t supposed to do that. You have to remain stoic and tell then that it won’t hurt. It will be all over soon. Smiling through your tears, that you must hold back. I just couldn’t do it.

I have been dreading today for along time. 4 yrs old they know the difference. They know fear. They can tell you they don’t want to.

Life with CAH has been alot of work. I know it will get easier. Jake is a rock star with blood draws, but he has been 9 yrs in the making. And this is life with CAH. I understand it. I have my WebMD and will challenge most doctors to talks about the ins and out of this condition, with my children or as a pregnant mother.

I will push back the memory of today and only return to it in another 3 months when we have to do it all over again. This happens often.

I tell myself it will get better. Stay strong. They will someday understand. They will appreciate my strength as a parent. They will know I never wanted to hurt them. I would give anything if it could be me and not them. But it could be worse.

We get to go home. We don’t have daily shots. We don’t have long hospital stays. We get to live our life outside the hospital walls. As normal as everyone wants. And with family by your side, everything will be ok.

This is just a part of life with CAH.

12 May 2013

Life is Good Today

No Comments Adventures, Everyday

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As the saying goes, you never know what you have till it’s gone.

Every Saturday night, I go to bed thinking of what happened that one Saturday night, when everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. I think about what I could have done, should have done or would do differently. Yes, I know…don’t beat yourself up.

But life is good today. Today was the first time in two weeks I saw MY Jake. I never realized how much your child is your child… in every which way. Mannerisms, personality, look, smell, touch. In conversation with a friend, I said, I knew I had to be patient. But I didn’t want anything but MY Jake back.

Again, it’s been two weeks and life is good. We are back to normal. Normal is AMAZING! Jake is back to being more happy. He is his back to sports, back to helping his little sisters, back to smiling and being the Jake that I have raised to be Jake. He finally has the sparkle back in his eyes.

This has been a trying and growing adventure. I have grown as a parent and on this Mother’s Day, I could ask for nothing more than what I have. Life is good today. Life is good today.

11 May 2013

The Best Job Ever

No Comments Adventures, Marketing, Professional

About a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon a freelance position for some marketing in my hometown. I was introduced to GoGo squeeZ, a healthy applesauce, made for people/ kids on the go. Little did I know, that my relationship with the first person I met at the company would be such a perfect fit for what I wanted to do. It is hard to be a full time working Mom as well as the Stay-At-Home-Mom that I also wanted to be. But this job has been the most perfect job ever for me! I absolutely LOVE what I do, I LOVE the brand, the people and what the future holds for me at this company. My reason for this post is because we are hunting for a few more people in Orlando and South Florida to fill similar jobs, like the one I have in Tampa.

I know I have meet some amazing people through Twitter, Blissdom (That is @EcoChic and I at Blissdom from the GoGo squeeZ suite!) and other places, that might be PERFECT for this job, so I am hoping this post will get a few of you to respond or pass it along to someone else who might be looking for a perfectly balanced position that has great potential too. Feel free to contact me directly too! I’d be happy to talk! The job is below as is how to apply! See you all on the playground!

Tampa@squeezsquad.com

Market Manager (Markets- New York City, Orlando, South Florida, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles)
GoGo squeeZ Squad 
Materne North America
Contract, Part Time

If you are:


Playful

Energetic
Adventurous 

Down to Earth

Imaginative

Outgoing

Entrepreneurial

Passionate

A Kid at Heart

Keep reading, we’re looking for someone just like you…

About Us:
We’re a company called Materne, makers of GoGo squeeZ Applesauce on the Go. You may have seen us at your local grocery store, in the hands of a child at play, or enjoyed by an active family. We work every day to give fruit a little GoGo!
Our delicious applesauce is sold around the world, and we’re pretty proud of it. Once you get your hands on your first pouch of GoGo squeeZ, you won’t want to keep it to yourself either.

It’s not just apples that make up our secret sauce… GoGo squeeZ all natural squeezable applesauce is simple, yummy fun, and it delights like a game of tag or a run through the sprinkler in the backyard. We believe in real fun foods that are easy, smart and fit into families’ busy lives, giving them freedom to say “yes” more often when their kids want a treat.

So, if you like the idea of working with a fun group of people that believe that sharing favorite vacation secrets or helping throw a first birthday is as important as quarterly planning… .Read on!!!

GoGo squeeZ & Materne might just be the right place for you!

About the Job: (In my personal opinion, the best job ever!)

The Marketing Specialist (squeeZ Squad Co-Captain) will spread the word about GoGo squeeZ through sampling and outreach to influencers and local moms. You’ll join a dynamic team of like-minded GoGo lovers that work part time getting GoGo squeeZ into as many hands as possible.

This role calls for the following skills:
Community Guru… basically you’ve been around the block ;-)
Proactive self-starter

Excellent attention to detail 

Planning and project management
Dynamic Communicator
Motivating personality

What you’ll be doing:

Overall:
· Assist GoGo squeeZ marketing with assessing potential opportunities and first-class event execution
• Opportunities include:
o Seeding influencers, media, venue partners
o Retail marketing support
o Handing out GoGo squeeZ to potential consumers
· Linking GoGo squeeZ national marketing initiatives with your Local Market including Sampling,
Media outreach, Social Media, Influencer Outreach and more.
· Create detailed monthly recaps to amplify squeeZ Squad activity and ensure continued growth.
Recapping activity monthly to create dynamic communication systems to amplify squeeZ Squad activity to SqueeZ Squad Captain (Eg.-Success stories and event recaps)
· Oversee/manage company resources including product, premiums, and event assets

Day-To-Day Management
· Weekly communication with manager to identify marketing opportunities and challenges, as well as ways to motivate, and educate consumers
· Manage local sampling opportunities and influencers

This is a part-time contract position home based. Candidates should be able to lift at least 30 pounds and provide their own transportation.

This is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a diverse international company, and a valuable member of a growing team.

Send a resume and anything that might tell us a little bit about you with squeeZ Squad in the subject line to squeezsquad@materne.us. Please include a fun fact about the place you live, and tell us three favorite childhood games. You may use video, photos, web-links, and any other digital media.. just be yourself.

02 May 2013

Was it a dream?

No Comments Adventures, Everyday

“Jake! Jake! I know your in there. Come on Bubba. Look at me. Talk to me. Say my name. Who am I? Come on Jake. Wake up. Please. Please squeeze my hand. Please.”

***

I said these words in my worst nightmare. Because that is what I am convinced it was. I’ve gone through the days that just past and it doesn’t seem real. But I know it happened.

Jake is doing amazing. He doesn’t remember much. He remembers playing in his baseball game on Saturday and earning the game ball. Not much after that. Wish I could say that I’ve blocked the next 72 hours from my memory too.

***

On Monday when the Nurologist came to talk to us, he said he didn’t like what he saw. He said we would have to be patient. Wait it out. But it didn’t look good. I think that was when things went surreal. This wasn’t happening. Not possible. I don’t really remember Monday either. I hadn’t slept in 24 hours. I had not had coffee. I didn’t care what I looked like or about much else. It was crisis mode and my body took over for me.

Hour after hour passed. He did start to show signs that he was coming around. I prayed. I made promises. We waited. I cried. I talked, but can’t remember to who. I saw improvements but didn’t know. Slow. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

***

On Monday at 6:30, I walked into the room and Jake said, “Hi Mommy!” Like he does every morning. Every morning of every day. Just like nothing had happened. I snapped out of the nightmare I was in and jumped into the dream I had that everything would be ok.

***

Being home. Having my family together. Carting all 4 kids places. Watching them play. Listening to their sweet voices. Reading bedtime stories. Tucking 4 kids in bed. Kissing them goodnight and telling them I will see them tomorrow. This is my dream. I didn’t realize that I was living my dream until I woke up from this nightmare. I have my dream life and I hope I never wake up from this sleep.