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

Pin It
14 Feb 2014

Easy DIY Valentines Day Ideas for Kids

No Comments Everyday, Holidays

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
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.

30 Apr 2013

The Best Day Ever

6 Comments Adventures, CAH, Everyday

My Jake is back.

He is talking, up, alert, reading, smiling, and being Jake. The improvement is vast considering where we were 48 hours ago.

Thank you, thank you thank you for everyone’s prayers. Knowing that everyone has been thinking of our family has been overwhelming.

We are still watching Jake in the ICU.

The brain/ body is an amazing thing not to be taken for granted. Chance and I have learned more about the kids condition and what lies ahead of us for the kids and how we can better take care of them when they get sick.

We are blessed that Jake has come so far. All signs point to Jake making a full recovery. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back the years back I lost since Sunday morning.

So kids your kids, kiss your loved ones and be thankful for today.

Jake earned the game ball on Saturday. Life moves fast and furious. It can change in a matter of moments. Today I am thankful that Jake is back, Shelby is healthy, Mia is happy and Abby is recovering from surgery beautifully! One day at a time. That’s all I can ask for. I’ll worry about tomorrow later.