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

1 Comment 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.

29 Apr 2013

I Would Sell My Soul.

No Comments Adventures, CAH

Have you ever made a deal, plea or promise to the greater powers for a wish to come true? You close your eyes tight, talk out loud and pray to see a sign that your wish will be granted. You wish with all your body and soul. Your heart hurts because you know that your wish HAS to be granted.

You wait. You pray. You promise ANYTHING if it would grant you your wish. I would sell my heart and soul if I knew that my children would be kept out of harms way.

And I did. Last night. I made promise after promise about what I would do if my wish was answered. There was no negotiating. I offered up everything I had, begged and pleaded.

My wish, our prayers have been answered. Jake is doing so much better. We are talking, laughing, crying and planning. Planning all the things I said we would do. Or that I would do… For him, for them.

As parents, our most prized possession is our children. We do anything it takes to keep our kids happy, healthy and here, where they belong.

29 Apr 2013

The Perfect Storm

1 Comment Adventures, CAH, Everyday

The perfect storm consists of everything in my most darkest nightmares to happen at one time. Today was that day. I knew that it was always a possibility but I didn’t think I would see it happen for a while.

Both Jske and Shelby are resting in ICU from an adrenal crisis. It was the stomach bug, low sodium, low sugar and other levels that were thrown onto a spiral that I could not control.

With 2 kids side by side in the ER at 5am, my world came to a stand still. This is what it feels like to have your heart torn from your body. We waited for both kids to be transferred to the ICU where we wait. We wait to see the damage caused by the perfect storm we couldn’t prevent.

CAH is the condition that we live with daily. It’s not something that is common. Nor something you would even be able to know the kids have. But when it is time, it comes out with a vengeance and makes sure we know it lives with us.

My disaster relief team is large and strong. They come in packs, doing everything to help us get through this tough time. I lean on them for support and for honestly do not know how I could make it through some days without them. I hope they know I would do the same for any of them on any given day.

But now we wait. We wait for Jake to show us signs that he is ok. Shelby is doing much better. Resting but here. I do not like to sit still, but when you are in the eye of the perfect storm, that is what you have to do. Sit still and wait for the storm to pass to see the rainbow.

23 Apr 2013

Now I Can Rest.

No Comments Adventures, CAH

I type by the light of the ipad.

In a room the size of a closet, shared by another family.

On a couch the size of a toddler bed, harder than a rock.

I try not to move or to make a sound.

I try not to wake The baby as she rests and partying that the baby next to her does not wake her.

I am thankful that we have made it to Tuesday. I didn’t think I could make it. I have waited for today for 12 months.

12 months ago, I knew that today would come. I was pregnant and knew the next steps. We had been through them before. The dexamethasone, the weight gain, the insomnia, the visit to New York, the surgery. I calculated the days, the months and tried to plan it out in my mind.

****

So here I sit, at 3:30 in the morning, typing away as I do what I do best. Earning another badge on my parenting uniform, that I wear so proudly each day. This is what I do because it is what we all do as parents for our children. We do the best that we can.

***

But now it’s over. The trip is almost finished, the recovery has started and now I can rest. I can rest knowing that her father and I have made every decision for her with the best of intentions. We have the best doctors looking after our daughter. I would have it no other way and neither would you.

But now I can rest. I will rest knowing that my daughter is healthy and will go home soon. It’s been a long road to get her but for now, it’s time to rest.

19 Dec 2012

Lucky Number 7

3 Comments Adventures, Holidays, Random, Tampa, Wordless Wednesday

I have never really thought of birthdays being special. They are for the kids, but for me, it’s work. The presents, the party, the friends…It’s another birthday that I have to make special for my kids. I love it (and them) but it’s a birthday and that means work for me.

But today, and from now on, I think birthdays are something so much more. They are magical…special and are so important.

Today we are celebrating my daughter’s birthday…her 7th birthday. Lucky number 7.

It’s a random year, not too big of a milestone, but a birthday none the less. And THAT, to any 6 year old turning 7, it means the world.

This year, the meaning of the age 7 has changed for me as well as many others.

My daughter will get to BE 7.

We will not only get to celebrate her 7th birthday but we will get to she her be 7 for another year. She will loose more teeth, she will ride her bike, play with dolls, get better at reading, spelling and math, she will excel in gymnastics, and run and play as free as any 7 year old would do.

She gets to BE 7 and I get to watch her be 7 every day.

***

I usually wake up in order to get a little silence in before the chaos starts. But the silence has not been broken yet this morning. It’s dark, it’s quiet. My house will soon be a buzz with the sounds of life. It can be overwhelming and I get frustrated. I tell (or yell) at them to BE QUIET! I want everyone to be quiet because the baby is sleeping. I want the peace and quiet. I want the crying baby to stop crying. I want my oldest two to stop arguing. I want my 3 year old to stop whining. They get louder. I get louder. But then the sweet sounds come too. They laugh. They giggle. They help each other out. Four kids make noise loud enough to resemble a 24 hour house party when given the chance.

But it’s the silence I crave and the silence I fear. I could not imagine the silence forever. I want to hear “row row row your boat” 4, 578 times…in a row. I want to hear them. I love their sweet little voices and couldn’t imagine not hearing them ever again.

***

So today the silence will break as it usually does. I will welcome it. I will welcome all that goes along with my 6 turning 7 year old, and the rest of the crew to celebrate this new day. Because today is a birthday! And day that she will run out of her room screaming “ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” We will celebrate her 7th birthday like it’s 1999, and hug and kiss and smile like it is the best day in the whole world! Why? Because to any 6 year old turning 7, it is.

But for me, I will try to hold back the tears when my bouncing 7 year old enters the rooms and screams with pure joy. I will hug her and thank God that we are special enough to see this day. This is a celebration about a new year and what is to come. The 7th birthday has come for her and she will go on being 7 like she is supposed to. I will take her fresh age of 7 and cherish it as the greatest gift that anyone has given us. To all the parents of 6 year old little babies in Sandy Hook, that will not get to see theirs turing 7, I will think of them and what they will miss. It is not fair. In so many ways, it is just not fair. The memory of what happened will be with me each year I get to see my daughter turn another age.

I think the reason many of my friends and I have come to take this harder than some is because we see 6 and 7 year olds each day. Another Mom put it best when she wrote, we know what 6 is. Because we do.

***

Happy 7th birthday to the most amazing daughter…my first little girl, who’s taught me about all the joys that little girls bring to life. I am so excited to see what the next year brings.