Finding “momME” — From Me to Mommy

Once upon a time, a little girl wanted nothing more than to be a mommy… and her wish came true!


From the time I could talk, “mommy” was at the top of the “What I want to be when I grow up” list.  And now that I am a mommy and loving it, I’m happy to say that I’m also discovering my “momME” as well.

So what do I mean by “momME”?  I doubt I’m the first to use this term, but as with many things, there are multiple interpretations around a similar theme.  I am talking about being the kind of mom I wanted to be (a little “granola,” child-centered SAHM), but finding a balance that allows me to be “me” as well.  My daughter comes first MOST of the time, but I am acknowledging that in order to be the mom that I want to be, I have to be selfish from time to time and create times to simple be “me.”  Every mommy has different expectations and wants for their “mommy” experience, but we all know that a happy mommy makes it easier to be a “good” mommy.  We each give-give-give, and we need to take moments to refill before we can give any more.

So, what’s my story, and where had I gone?  At 28, I met my husband and it was love at first sight.  He was wearing armor, how could I not fall instantly in love? (more on that another day)  I married at 30 and had my daughter 2 years later.  She was our gift for our first anniversary.  Before that, I had a successful career as an autism interventionist and program director.  I had a lot of time to find the things I enjoyed and a lot of time to be selfish.  When I had my daughter, my life changed as I knew it… not because it had to, but because I chose to.  My life revolved around my daughter.  Her needs were almost, if not completely, 100% ahead of my own.    I loved this life because it was the life I’d always dreamed of, or at least it was the life I thought “mommyhood” was supposed to be.  Then one day, I sat down at my vanity and didn’t recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror.

What’s your story?  Are you a mommy?  Have you found your “momME”?  Have you ever wanted something in your life, but then realized when you got there, you wanted it to be a little bit different?   Have you ever gotten lost and had to find yourself again?

Coming soon: Stuck in a Dream and Finding “Mom-ME” — How I Unmasked My Radiance and Awakened My Sparkle

Life is a story. What’s your story?

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to read books.  Then one day she realized she could write her own…

Over the next few months, I will be sharing more of my story with all of you.  Who I was, who I am, who I want to be, how I got here, and how I plan to get where I want to go.  We each travel our own journeys in life.  We win, we lose, we learn.  I have a pendant that I give to my Rodan + Fields business partners that says “The journey is the reward.”  I know what my goals are and regardless of whether or not I realize them or if they change along the way, I am loving the journey as it unfolds.  The best part has been meeting new and fabulous people, connecting with them, and hearing their stories.  Some share a lot, some share a little, but I find that I can almost always relate to it in some way.  I’ve learned so much about others, and myself.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve found a long-lost sister because our stories are so similar.  Other times, I find that I can look at something in a different way because of someone’s story.  So while I’m still putting my words together to tell my story, my question to you is this:

Got Birthday Cake?? Do you wish on candles?

Once upon a time, there was a birthday without a cake and candles to wish upon.  But dreams and wishes can still come true.

It’s my birthday week!  I’m now 36.  Ugg, I said that out loud.  I’m now officially closer to 40.  I’ve lived away from home just as long as I lived at home.  Now that could upset me.  That could make me feel old, especially with a husband who has yet to turn 30… but it doesn’t.  I’m excited to be 36 because I’m excited for what 36 holds for me.  I have some big dreams I plan to realize this year.  And not looking 36 helps a bit too (as I sit here in the middle of an anti-age facial).

I’m happy to say that I’ve taken the past week or so “off” of my regular internet travels.  But, before this unexpected break, I read a few great posts about wishing and dreaming, not to forget the fabulous book by one of my mentors (“The Effortless Yes” by Julie Steelman) in which she discusses action vs. dreaming and “dusting off your moxie.”  I don’t know how it happened since I was surrounded by my hubby, my princess, my bestie and her family, my mom, and my cousin (not to mention a day out with friends the next day), but I survived my birthday weekend without a cake or a song… and without candles to wish on. Sitting here a few days later, I realize that I don’t need to wish on a candle.  What I need to realize my dreams is a belief in myself, a belief in the products I represent, a belief in my mission to help others unmask their radiance, awaken their sparkle, and create the lives of their dreams, and the knowledge that what I DO matters more than any “birthday wish” I could make.  I also believe that positive thoughts can realize positive outcomes and putting it out in the universe in the correct manner does help.  So for all of you who didn’t have birthday candles to wish on this year, I offer us this:

What are you wishing for and what are you planning to do to make it come true?  And like the Genie in “Aladdin” says, “No wishing for more wishes.”

Facing Fear: A time to freeze or a time to sparkle?

Once upon a time I decided to try something new.  Then I realized how scary that really is.

A good friend called me this week and told me she was scared.  Scared to move forward, scared to reach for the dreams she’d set for herself and her family, scared that she was out of reasons to put off those next steps.  And this left her not knowing what to do next.  I realized that I feel very much the same way.  We’ve both caught ourselves saying “I’ll hit the ground running when…” or “Once I ___, then I can really start running.”  What happens when there’s no longer anything in your way but yourself?

Change is scary.  The unknown is worrisome.  I can’t help but picture a friend’s baby girl, standing and thinking about taking that first step.  She’s on the verge of something new, something exciting, and something pretty scary to an 11-month-old.  Sure, it could could go horribly wrong.  But what if it goes incredibly right?  At what point do we decide that the fear of missing out on wonderful is more frightening than the fear of what could go wrong?  What if you were to acknowledge that anything bad is a part of the journey to great?  Would that change your willingness to take that next step?

I attended a fabulous seminar a couple of weeks ago.  Brilliant and Bankable Live with Julie Steelman and Lisa Steadman.  I went there because I need to work on getting out of my own way.  There were so many empowering take-aways, but here’s one that continues to stick with me: “Do you want to live the same great year 99 times, or would you rather live a great year 99 different ways?”  It made me stop to think.  There are many stories of our top earners in Rodan + Fields about how things were tough (almost a sense of desperation at times) and that motivated them to run to the top with this business.  I look at my life and while it could always improve, I’m pretty happy with it the way it is… and I think that makes it harder.  I want to retire my husband in the next few years like I know is possible, but that desire hasn’t yet been enough to overcome my fears.  I want the lifestyle that I can achieve, but I let fears keep me from doing what I need to do to get there.  So back to living this year 99 times.  I love this year, but I want the 99 different ways… and THAT is where I will find my motivation to move through my fears and to the life that I and my family deserve.  I’m ready to sparkle and I want to teach others to do the same.  So many of us stay where we are because it’s comfortable and change is not.  But what are we missing out on?  How much better could life be if we are willing to be a little uncomfortable as we grow?

What fears stand between you and your dreams?  When will you decide that fear of not reaching your dreams is bigger than the fears that are in the way?  And if you’ve already moved past this point, what tips can you share for those of us still in the struggle?

“but I don’t have time” — Time-stealers and Choices.

Once upon a time, there was a fork in the road… only no one saw it was there.

“I wish I could ___, but I don’t have the time.”  Do you ever catch yourself saying this?  This came up several times in the past week or so and I meant to blog about it sooner… but I “didn’t have enough time.”  Truth is, I was extremely busy preparing for my husband’s graduation and party, but I did find time to play a few games on Facebook.  I made the choice, whether purposeful or not, to do things other than write a blog post.   I needed mindless, and that’s what I got.  Now I need to be productive, so here I am.

I find myself saying “I wish I had time to ___” more times than I care to admit.  But last week, I ended up reading blogs and getting into conversations about choices.  And what we all came to agree upon was that “not having time” had nothing to do with the finite hours of the day, but in our choices in how to manage our time and what we choose to prioritize ahead of those things we “don’t have time for.”  It’s also about the time-stealers that we don’t see coming and often underestimate.

Have you ever taken an accounting of the time choices you made in a day?  It might surprise you to see where you are putting in your time.  Toggl is a great site I found with a free time tracker.  It’s so easy to lose time when you jump online.  How many times have you gone online to check something specific and been side-tracked by emails, games, checking friends status updates, etc. only to find that an hour later you still haven’t pulled the information you intended to gather in the first place? As a WAHM (work-at-home mom), these time-stealers can make or break us.  How many potential customers could you have called instead of tending your online farm?  How many emails could you have drafted in the time it took for you to locate something because your work area was disorganized?  Or how many books could you have read with your child instead of randomly reading status updates?  I’m far from judging those who do those things, because I do them too.  But, I think we all need to be aware that everything we do is a choice of that activity at the expense of another.  We need to be more aware of our choices and be purposeful in what we choose to do.

So the next time you catch yourself saying “I wish I had time to ___,”  stop and think about what you could take off your current priority list so that you now have time to do what you really want to do.  Maybe that online farm or cafe aren’t quite at the top of your priority list when you sit down and write it out… and if they are, then that is your rightful choice.

What did you “not have time for” in the past week?  What did you spend time on that could have been skipped?  My challenge to you is to think about this every time you say that you don’t have time.  It’s my challenge to myself as well.

Because miracles really do happen if you BELIEVE

Once upon a time, there was a sad, sad story.  But, there was a bittersweet ending.

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted a follow up to my last post and I promise to do my best to be here much more often.

The day after the last post was Allie’s celebration of life.  I can’t even put into words the emotions of the day, but what I can tell you is that there were smiles through tears, as I’m sure she would have wanted.  She had everything she ever wanted in her “Cancer Free” party.  I just wish she could have truly been there with us.  A friend of a friend was the photographer for the day, so please take a look at Allie’s celebration photos and see what an amazing person she was and how incredible those closest to her are.  Thank you to the photographer for the beautiful way she blogged the day.

Did you see the photos?  Did you already see the surprise?  If not, click the following link to see what can happen when enough people truly “BELIEVE.

And thank you to my incredible photographer hubby for this new photo of my little bit of sparkle.  (great pic, needs to be cropped to size properly, but you get the gist)

Cancer sucks, believe, a dream come true, and a little bit of sparkle

Once upon a time, a queen met her king, had a princess, and then was forced to face a fire-breathing dragon.  What follows is the roller coaster of the past few days.

I admittedly have a few posts that I started and couldn’t bring myself to post over the past few days.  Today I’m able to approach everything that happened with a smile in my heart and a little bit of sparkle.

Cancer sucks.  Tomorrow I will attend the memorial service and celebration of life of one of my mommy friends.  We met three years ago when our girls were newborns.  They were in Gymboree together, in a playgroup of “gymkids” together, and in dance class together.  Allie should be celebrating her 32nd birthday in a couple of weeks.  Instead, she lost her 2 year battle with colon and liver cancer on March 1st, at home, surrounded by her family and friends.  She leaves behind her amazing little girl, her incredible husband, and her loving family and friends.  To say I’m devastated for Brian and Riley would minimize what I’m feeling.  I look at my little girl and can’t possibly imagine not being here for her, or her growing up without me.  Things like this aren’t supposed to happen.  Cancer sucks.

Believe.  For two years, this is what Allie told us to do.  Believe in them, believe in her, and believe that she was going to send cancer packing.  And for most of those two years, I was sure she was right.  She never stopped smiling that contagious, beautiful smile.  She never stopped living and being an incredible mom to Riley.  She was there in the mommy & me dance class with her chemo pump on her back.  She was at the park.  It was only last week that I heard she looked sick for the first time.  On Monday morning, I learned that she was in ICU and not expected to make it.  By Monday night, we learned that she was home, unconscious.  Tuesday morning, I purposefully didn’t check my phone/email until I was at a friend’s house because I knew I didn’t want to check it.  I got to my friend’s for a private zumba class, and there it was… the email telling me that Allie lost her battle the night before.  I can no longer believe that she will beat cancer, but for her, I will continue to believe that all things are possible.  I won’t let the little things upset or discourage me.  Those times that my little princess is driving me nuts, I will hug her and love her because Allie can’t do that for Riley any more.  She has changed my life and the lives of so many for the better and for life.  We have a new angel looking out for us.  Believe.

Dreams do come true.  Allie’s dream was of course to beat cancer.  And when she did, she wanted to throw a huge party in a big red barn and have Brad Paisley sing.  His music has been what someone called the soundtrack to her life with Brian and Riley.  A video was made in attempt to get Brad’s attention to do something for Allie’s celebration of life (ideally to have him here live).  I’m happy to say that in less than 24 hours of that video being posted, Brad had not only heard of Allie and seen the video, but he had called Brian.  Dreams really do come true.

A little bit of sparkle.  Today I had the pleasure of hanging out with some new friends at a little home boutique.  Of all of the vendors there, and of all the jewelry that was displayed, this bit of sparkle jumped out at me and called my name.

The photo does not do it justice.  It is a beautiful lime green and clear crystal, sparkly bangle.  I normally would walk right by the green jewelry and head straight to blue (my favorite color) or pink (for my princess).  But today, the sun was shining, people were happy, and this beauty called to me.  It reminds me of Allie and reminds me of the type of person I want to be.  Green for her Relay for Life team logo and as her signature color, sparkly like her smile, and just plain beautiful which is what Allie was both inside and out.  I know that I had posted that my charity of choice for my Rodan + Fields business was the American Heart Association for both February and March, but in honor of Allie’s life and loss, I will be donating to her Relay for Life team.  Allie gave us all just that… a little bit of sparkle.

Allie, I am honored to have known you.  I learned so much from you about how to be courageous and how to truly live life to the fullest.  You will be forever missed.

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