Where Have the Years Gone

Twelve years…..twelve years ago today at 6:29am to be exact I became a mom.  Wow, how fast time flies……it seems like yesterday in so many ways as I remember that day so vividly.  Here we are twelve years later, having weathered many storms, celebrating the little girl who we were told would not survive birth.  Here we are celebrating another year of life when throughout my entire pregnancy we were told she wouldn’t make it home from the hospital even if she was able to survive birth.  Where have the years gone?  They have gone by so fast and yet so slow at the same time.

Today, we celebrate a little girl whose eyes sparkle like the stars.  Whose laughter infiltrates joy into our soul.  Whose smile melts our hearts.  A little girl who although 12 years of age is still very much a young child (which trust me can be really good and really bad all at the same time).  Her innocence, oh the innocence of childhood is still there.  She sees the world and people through rose-colored glasses; never seeing evil, harm or danger.  She looks at everyone like they are her friend, she knows no hate.  There is so much about that I am thankful for.  There are some things about this that are difficult as well……I truly do still have a “toddler” in so many ways and she definitely has a mischievous side to her, which I have to watch closely!  But, she is the smile in my heart and the joy in my soul.  She has taught me so much, so much I would never have learned had it not been for her.  I have learned to be humble, kind, to put others first and to forgive.  I have learned to let things that don’t matter fall to the wayside and cling to those things that truly do.  I have learned that there is always something to be thankful for, even in the most difficult of days.  I have learned to notice others pain, heartaches and challenges and validate their feelings.  I have learned that even when all seems hopeless, it isn’t.  I have learned that you will have bad days but joy comes in the morning and that no one and nothing is more important than what is in your four walls.  I have learned it is okay not to be okay and that through suffering God comforts us so that one day we might comfort others enduring difficult days.  I could go on and on but you get the picture.  Today I celebrate another year that we were told we would not have.  Today we celebrate the most amazing little girl who stole our hearts 12 years ago.  A little girl who captivated us then and still does today.  Today, we celebrate Hannah, my greatest gift and biggest blessing.

Hannah, you are so full of personality.  You love Andy Griffith and watch the same episodes over and over and over again; laughing hysterically.  You love all genres of music but especially Southern Gospel (The Gaither Vocal Band and Sandi Patti) and Country (Carrie Underwood and Toby Keith) among others.  You love Rock too and have jammed many times to “Port Chuck” and their remakes of 80’s rock and Emily Reeves too.  You love Charles Billingsley and Evidence.  Your favorite foods are spaghetti with pesto sauce, green beans, acorn squash and ANYTHING sweet (especially “vanilla white ice cream” as you call it) and chocolate popcorn (thanks to Mike and Allison Delaney).  You love bacon more than anyone I know (this is new and you want it every morning for breakfast).  You love to read books and flashcards, play Barbies, play doctor (and your favorite patients are real life people).  You think anyone who comes over needs a check-up and has “broken knee caps.”  HA!  You LOVE Lyndsay Simmons like she is your sister and Mrs. Coppedge (Simons) too.  Your speech therapist, Mrs. Deb is one of your favorite people on the planet and you always look forward to their weekly visits; as does mommy because they are real and dear friends to me.  You know every different text tone on my phone and who it belongs to especially Unc, Dr. Kim and daddy!  You love police officers and your favorite thing to do is go visit “Mr. Steve” in his office at the FOP.  You adore “Mr. Eddie” our neighbor who is a motorcycle cop and every time you hear his motor you say, “I love you Mr. Eddie.”  You are content to play all day in your playroom and enjoy picnic lunches on a beach towel on your playroom floor.  You ask daily to go to “Uncle Bill and Aunt Adrienne’s house” because you want to swim in the pool and you love Aunt Adrienne’s cooking (I mean, who doesn’t)?!  You tell me daily that “fevers go away, feel much better, Hannah back to school, Hannah back to church,” and my heart breaks just a little when you tell me that each day.  That is my prayer sweet girl…..one day, Lord willing, you will be all well and be able to go back to school and back to church too.  Until then, I am so thankful for this time that I get to spend with you (even though there are days I need a break and if truth be told you need a break from me).  You are my best friend, my greatest teacher, my every heartbeat, my motivation to keep going and my greatest joy.  No matter how difficult some days are for us both there is nothing better than waking up every  morning to your sweet voice, big hugs and kisses.  I will forever cherish you, love you and take care of you.  God has something special in store for your little life and I am so thankful I was chosen to be your mom.  Happy Birthday baby girl…..I cannot believe you are 12 years old……where have the years gone?

 

Until next time………

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My Journey……My Shoes

If you are a friend of mine whether personally or on Social Media you know by now that I share it all.  The good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent, the happy, the sad….well, you get the picture.  That is just who I am.  I am on a much different journey than most people I know and there is little that I don’t share (although trust me, there are things I don’t, believe it or not).  This is MY journey.  These are MY shoes in which I am walking.  I am not on your journey or in your shoes and you aren’t on my journey or in my shoes.  With that said I would NEVER begin to fathom something I have never experienced.  I would NEVER say to someone how horrible their feelings are or how I would do things differently.  I would NEVER in a million years criticize anyone for how they handle their particular journey.  Do I always handle my circumstances perfectly, HECK NO!  There are days (many of them actually) that I fail miserably in my life.  There are days where I am barely able to put one foot in front of the other (by the grace of God I always manage but it isn’t always easy).  There are days when I want my circumstances to change, where I wish for a different journey or “gasp” perhaps the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes (because it looks better from the outside looking in).  The fact is, I am not perfect and I have never claimed to be but what I am is this:

  • A mother who LOVES her little girl more than anything
  • A mother who will walk this journey I have been given until the day I die
  • A mother who sheds tears and yes, at times, needs encouragement
  • A woman who rarely gets out and has “socialization” with friends
  • A woman who is by nature an extrovert (so you can imagine how difficult the above bullet point might be for me)
  • A wife who fails miserably most days (ask Dennis he will probably confirm this) but it isn’t from lack of trying to do it all
  • A Christian who prays, reads her Bible and has shed many tears for others, for my child, for my husband, and for my family and friends
  • A Christian woman who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that although this earthly journey is difficult and the road I am traveling is long and hard at times that one day Heaven is going to heal all those hurts, pain and scars that I have.
  • A woman, wife, mother and Christian with FEELINGS THAT MATTER AND DESERVE VALIDATION INSTEAD OF CRITICISM.  A heartbroken, sinful, often times sad and lonely woman who never intends to hurt others but shares from the heart so others might see they aren’t alone

The above bullet points are who I am…..good, bad, ugly…..I share it all.  I guess there are people in this world that only want to hear about unicorns, rainbows and flowers and you know what, that is okay.  BUT, that is not who I am…..my life is not rainbows, unicorns and flowers….don’t get me wrong, I have been blessed with so much and God continues to bless me far more than I deserve, but on a daily basis my life is a rollercoaster of emotions, feelings and frustrations.  I would venture to say that most people are like me….all on different journeys, doing the best they can walking in their own shoes.  Some people though choose not to reveal it all and that is okay.  Some, like me talk about it all and you know what?  That is okay too.  There is no right or wrong here. How you choose to walk in your shoes on your particular journey is YOUR CHOICE but BE KIND ALWAYS.  You have no clue the heartache, heartbreak, loneliness or sadness someone feels.  Even those people (like me) who reveal their heartaches, you will never know the depth of it.  Everyone has a journey……in fact, you might be the person who will either encourage them on that journey or be the one that pushes them over the edge causing them to never be able to climb out of the pit.  Remember that……be kind……if you can’t, please remove yourself from that person’s world…..you will be doing both of you a favor.

My heart hurts most days but I always rise above it.  I am thankful for my army of friends, encouragers, supporters and prayer warriors.  Life is too short to be unkind to anyone.  We all have this one life to live……live it in love; loving yourself and loving others.

Until next time…….

 

Today My Heart Shattered

Today my heart shattered.  It may have something to do with the decline I have noticed in Hannah over the past week or two.  A slow, yet steady decline that we thought was (hopefully) just hiccups along the road and this journey we call PANDAS.  Last night, I realized…..yeah, this isn’t just a “hiccup,” but to spare you all the details I won’t divulge exactly why and how I came to that determination.  Let’s just say it was crystal clear to me.  Then, upon waking this morning a full-blown PANDAS flare hit me (almost literally) dead in the face.  To say I am surprised would be a lie; heartbroken is more the word and then later on this morning my heart literally shattered.

I am thankful for a Pediatrician who is a dear friend who understands this journey we are on and does every thing in her power to make this as easy as possible for me to cope with it.  At least, like many other parents, I don’t have to fight our doctor to understand or get things done and I am so very thankful for that blessing.  So many PANDAS families are struggling just to get doctors to treat their child.  Hannah has an infection.  We think it started in her kidneys and now it has caused the inflammation in her brain to spike and go haywire.  She is in a PANDAS flare all because of some bacteria/germ/infection.  Now before I “hear” it from some insensitive person about Vasayo, let me say this.  Vasayo never claims to heal anyone and I never claimed that any of Vasayo’s products would heal Hannah.  I have stated that they have helped her symptoms tremendously and from what I can tell with this flare so far they are continuing to make the symptoms less and contain them.  There is NO product on the market that will keep Hannah from flaring. IF there were, I would be a millionaire right now from selling it.  But, our products can help and are helping to offset the horrific symptoms of a flare.  As of right now, I know for a fact that the insomnia has not come back and the Renew is definitely helping to lessen the inflammation.  This definitely isn’t our worst flare ever and for that I am so very thankful.  A flare is a flare though and mild, moderate or severe they are no fun, hard, heartbreaking and frustrating for those living it.

I had to go to Publix this morning to pick up a new antibiotic for Hannah and this is when my heart shattered.  I picked up the prescription and as I was leaving the store I noticed a woman (probably my age) and her daughter (probably 12-14 years of age).  They were laughing as they were walking into the store and it hit me……it hit me hard.  I will never have that.  I will never have the mother/daughter bond where we laugh, carry on conversations, shop together, get mani’s and pedi’s, go on road trips, go to the movies, etc.  I have thought about that many times but this morning it hit me hard and I literally (no lie) felt my heart physically shatter.  It almost knocked the breath out of me.  Hannah will be 12 years old this month and it was almost like those hopes and dreams died all over again this morning.  I don’t know why it hit me so hard other than we are entering another flare and I don’t know how long this one will last (and it doesn’t help that I am out of my Vasayo Neuro which balances my mood and lowers my anxiety).  I feel it creeping up in me…..the anxiety, the depression, the wanting to scream because you can’t fix it or make it okay.  I hate watching Hannah suffer.  Today, she cried for a while and then bit her lip.  Then the biting became something she was fixated on (hello horrific OCD, the unwelcome guest) and even though it hurt, she kept doing it and wouldn’t stop.  Her brain wouldn’t let her stop.  No matter how much I cried and pleaded with her, she bit it more until it was bleeding and swollen.  Oh my heart aches.

PANDAS, if you don’t know about it, you can read throughout my blog more about it or of course google it.  But, it is a horrific, terrible, mind-altering disease.  I swear, I can’t even look at a Panda Bear anymore without getting angry (and I know it isn’t the bears fault, HA).  So, here we go…..another flare but this time with our Vasayo products to help us through it.  I believe with all I have they are going to help Hannah in the flare as much as they have out of a flare.  I guess there is nothing like putting products to the test……so, I promise to give you an update on how our Vasayo products work in a flare since this is our first flare since starting the products with Hannah.

Would y’all pray for us?  Pray for Hannah……please?

 

Until next time………..

Fear Of Failure

Fear  of failure, a very real thing that many people face; but not everyone is willing to admit it.  I have many “fears of failure” in my life.  Fear of a marriage failing (I already had one).  Fear of not being a good enough mom (this is a daily fear with me).  Fear of Hannah’s future especially if something were to happen to Dennis and me.  Fear of failing in my new business venture with Vasayo.  So many fears that I truly, if you think about it, have no control over.  Yes, I can do my best and put all my effort into my responsibilities but the fact is, I could still fail.  The way I look at it though is you will always fail if you don’t try.

One of my hesitations before signing up to be a Brand Partner with Vasayo was ultimately failing.  I mean, I had never been part of any kind of direct sales before….heck, I had never sold anything to anyone before so I just assumed I would be bad at it (I still might be, but it isn’t stopping me from trying).  I saw what these products did for me personally and THEN I saw what they did for Hannah and it was a no-brainer for me at that point to at least try.  It has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least since I signed up.  I mean, Hannah is doing so much better, I am doing so much better, I am building a customer base, I went to Vegas, spoke in front of nearly 7,000 people (twice), won a car, worked my backside off (burning my candle at both ends) and afraid (just last week) that this business wasn’t going anywhere and then BOOM…..I am about to hit Bronze with my company.  I went from Brand Partner to Executive Brand Partner overnight and now I am literally about 150 points away from hitting Bronze!  I know if you aren’t in this business you have no clue what I am talking about but for me, that is huge.  Here I was afraid of failing and so far (even on days where I thought I was going to), I haven’t and I am succeeding.  I have a long way to go still to hit my goal but I am closer today than I was when this journey began just 2 months ago!  I literally signed up as a Brand Partner in May and here we are 2 months later and I am hitting my goals step by step, day by day, slow and steady and the best part…..wait for it…..I AM HELPING PEOPLE!

I want to continue helping people and I am looking into finding a ministry/non-profit that I can help at this time.  I am going to take some of my earnings and I am going to find a ministry to support.  I don’t know just yet what that ministry will be but helping people is my #1 goal with this business.  Our products are amazing, this business is amazing, the people (my Vasayo family) are some of the sweetest, kindest, most compassionate and loving people I have ever met.  I am so happy to be right here.  Right here where God wants me to be sharing products I believe in, helping others and sharing the love of Jesus.

Am I still fearful?  Yes, I think I will always have the “caution flag” up (read my blog posts over the years you will see that I have major trust issues with other people and myself).  But, even though that caution flag is up, my head is clear and focused (thank you Neuro), my heart is in the right place, MY WHY is HUGE (Hannah’s continued improvement and Dennis’ impending retirement), and this company, our leaders, our Brand Partners and our products are the REAL DEAL.

I am so excited and would love to share more about my journey and more about our products and business opportunity with you if you want to know more.  If you want, research about our products and company on my website and then let me answer any questions you may have.

http://www.tblankinchip.vasayo.com

Until next time………..