Tuesday, February 8, 2011

That's not a "real" job

That's right--it is not a 'real' job.  It's a real business.  A job is one of those 9-5 "just over broke" type of things.  It's the having to answer to the boss, punch a time clock, hope for a yearly raise, asking for time off and waiting to see if it's approved or someone with more seniority already asked for that same time so you have to change your plans, hope that the kids don't get sick and need you type of things.  That, to me, is a job.  The day in, day out, don't be late things.  So ya, I don't have a 'real' job.

OK, yes, you can tell....it annoys me a bit at first when people say that to me.  I know what they are really saying.  You don't have security, you don't have steady income, you don't have that reassurance of a stable position.  People have told me that they would rather have a 'real' job than take a chance on their own home business.  They want that security of a steady check, knowing that if they put in 40 hours, they will get paid exactly that--40 hours.  Nothing less, but also...nothing more.

Well, I say "REALLY??".  I'm very curious as to why some folks think, especially with our current economy and unemployment rate, what true stability and security is.  I've seen people work for the same company for 10, 15, 19 years only to be laid off at a moment's notice and that security has been ripped right out from under their feet.    There really is no such thing as job security out there right now.  So then the question begs:  If there is no 'job' security, why not a home business?  Because.....in the last 8 out of 10 years since I've been working from home, I have made 2 1/2 to 4 times the amount I did at my BEST paying job.  I make in one month the same that I did at my first job in Tennessee in a year!  Not to boast, but to prove the point of what makes a job 'real' and better than what I am doing?

Because I've been not only to make that income (6 figures a year) but also have been able to do it while being a Cheer Coach for the last 3 years, volunteering at my children's activities, carpooling for other moms because I can, and having the flexibility of being home when they leave for school and when they come home, being able to eat dinner as a family every night, taking vacations when we want.  I've been able to take my children to Canada, California, Arizona, Florida, the Bahamas.  We have been able to go to Dollywood, SeaWorld, Knott's Berry Farm, Disneyland, and (of course) DisneyWorld.  They've seen things already in their life that I had only dreamed about.  And we are just getting started.  We dream as a family, set goals as a family, and then celebrate as a family.  My children have never had to experience their mom working outside of the home.

And if I work 40 hours this week, I will still be getting paid for that the following week, the week after, and then years to follow.  I'm still getting paid on what I did within the first month I started my business.  Residual income.  Nope, not 'steady' income, but residual.  Getting paid month after month, and then year after year for something I did years ago.  I love residual income:)

I guess that is the benefit of not having a 'real' job.  I don't have the secure income, just residual:)  So....if that is the difference in wanting a 'real' job versus the home business, I will take my business any day.  It's given me a different life...one that I did not think I would be able to have, but thankful every day I made a choice to think outside of the box and take that chance on myself:)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Magic

A Disney Fan knows by just those 2 words what that really can mean.  The magic--it is something that you can't put your finger on but lives in your heart.  I would like to say it's simply Tink herself that makes the magic.     But I know that is not really the ONLY thing that makes the magic, just a big part of it for me:)

I admit it.  I am a HUGE Disney Fan.  I know there are others like me, some even bigger fans than I, but I know I am not alone.  It makes my obsession not so crazy:)  My family took the most amazing Family Vacation in December--the "Dream Vacation" we called it.  It was, in so many ways.  And it's not like we haven't been to Disney before.  It's always been a favorite.  And each time, it's just as magical, if not even more so.  And it centers around small creatures that you would normally set traps for, fairies that sprinkle dust, and all sorts of other "things" that would not normally make much sense UNTIL you set foot in a Disney park.  Then all of the reality of your life seems to drift away and you are transported to THE MAGIC.  The magic of Disney where you really do feel like a kid all over again, but when you go with your children, it's even better.

What makes up the magic?  I'm not quite sure it's any ONE thing but all things rolled up in one.  It's the attractions (rides for the Non-Disney speaking folks) that make your heart sing with joy, fright, or nostalgia.  It's seeing the happiness in your child's eyes when they step onto their flight with Peter Pan, or the ups and downs with Dumbo or hopping with Tigger.  It's watching their eyes get wide and the smile that follows when they see Cindrella's castle light up at night and then the fireworks that follow.  It's watching a parade and having that one character turn to you and wave or blow a kiss and you feel like it really was meant just for you, regardless of whether you are 4, 40, or 64.  The magic starts when you watch the park 'open' and take the first step in the turnstile.  It's seeing Main Street and no matter how many times you have seen it before, you feel that pleasure of Disney spread thru you.

Maybe it's that Disney does everything just better than anywhere else.  The special touches that are done that make it go from good to great.  The hidden Mickeys you can find wherever you go, the ultra clean swept park, the friendliness of the cast members (that is known as employees).  Maybe it's that everyone there (for the most part anyway) has been touched by the Magic as well.

I know, I know--I haven't talked about the characters really.  Is that what makes the magic?  The idea of seeing your favorite friend come to life, give them a hug and then capture it so you can relive the moment.  Knowing that it's not really Tinkerbell standing in front of you but you can't help the tears coming to your eyes anyway.  Nothing can beat meeting your favorite character.

And I haven't touched on being right there in "the World", where nothing else matters but being on Disney property because it is a world of it's own.  And all the touches that each park has, it's own flavor and flair.  The special themed restaurants that make eating an experience and not just a meal.  The shows that are all things Disney.

Or the special things that happen that are totally unplanned, even by Disney itself.  Like the day in Animal Kingdom when we kept looking for the tigers.  The kids were up at one of the windows, trying to see one.  I turned for a moment, only to then find my children stuck to the window, eye to eye with a tiger on their haunches, kind of playing with them.  It brought tears to my eyes that they were all there to enjoy that moment that can never be repeated the same way again.  Or the time the ostrich started to 'attack' us on our tour.  Or the hippo that ....well, let's just say we saw how he can clear a room and I don't think I will ever see THAT again.  And even though it was pretty gross, it was still one of those memories that we can go back to and laugh about.  Creating memories with your family at the most magical place on earth:)

So if you haven't ever been touched by that magic, it's addicting when you do.  It's one of the things that motivates me to do more with my business, so that I can have that "Dream Vacation" repeated.  It's the Dream of owning a Disney Vacation Club membership (darn house in Havasu) one day.  It's the dream of having that magic combined with a cruise because what could be better than a cruise ship all things Disney??  It's the dreams of going back for more, doing different things and also doing the favorites over and over again because no matter how many times we go, there is always the Magic!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I hate the sound of sirens. Used to not bother me. Pull over, hope they get to where they are going safely, and move on with the day. Now, I feel like I can hear the sirens from far away, and as soon as I hear the sound, I have to tell myself not to panic, and not to cry. Every time. I guess you don't really know or understand until you go thru something that changes your life. And then you are never the same.

June 2, 2004. It started off as such an incredible day. We were in Lake Havasu and my brother and sister in law along with 2 of their children were there, my uncle Richie and 3 of his boys, my 'nana', myself, my 2 girls, and my mom. We decided that after a long day of moving furniture into our vacation home, we were going to go out and enjoy the lake. We left to go rent a waverunner for the day, and left my mom and nana at home. After we got the waverunner, we found a place to hang out. I left to go get my mom, and everyone else stayed to enjoy the sun. On the way back to the lake, an ambulance zoomed by. My mom sucked in her breath, as she always did when that happens. I remember telling her "Mom, it doesn't mean it's someone we know. You always do that." We continued our way to our family. When we arrived, I remember asking how long my Uncle had been out on the waverunner. The adults were taking turns with the kids out on it. My brother told me he had been out for a while and that my uncle was a little nervous to go out since he had never rode before. He had one of his sons and my nephew with him. As time kept going by, we started to get a little nervous. What if they turned it over and can't get back? What if he got lost? What if now they ran out of gas? What if he hit a boat??? Shortly after nervousness turned to sheer worry, the boys came running up to us. RUNNING up to us. Why? Why were they not swimming to us? How did they get on land, but not near us? And then almost at the same time, a cop came to us and asked if we were with the people on the waverunner. There has been an accident and we needed to follow him to the hospital. All of us ran to the car after throwing our stuff together and followed. No details were given to us. What kind of accident? Why were the boys not with him? Was he seriously injured? What was wrong???? You know, as you go thru the motions, you are trying to give yourself answers to questions that you really don't have answers to, and you don't think logically. Afterwards, you think "I should have known". But at that moment, you just don't think.

Once we arrived at the hospital, we all ran into the waiting room. I remember trying to sit the boys down so we could go find out what was going on. As I turned to go with my mom and brother, the doctor had come out of the ER. I walked up just as he was telling my mom that my uncle didn't make it. He had suffered a massive heart attack. I remember my mom's face, her motions. She was in her bathing suit which seemed so out of place in the hospital. She had a wide brim straw hat on and I just remember seeing that hat turn to fall on my brother's shoulder as she broke into sobs. I instantly thought of the boys and didn't know how much they heard. As I ran over to them, it was clear that they knew. I think that they already did long before we did. They huddled together as brothers and started to grieve for their beloved father....a single father that had been bringing up his boys full time. What were they going to go thru now? Their dad was all they knew.

After a few minutes, I realized that my nana was back at our house, completely unaware of the last 20 minutes. Someone had to go tell her. Who was going to offer to do that? This was HER baby boy. They lived together, raising the boys together. They took care of each other. Who was going to tell her?? I decided that I needed to do it for my mom. She wasn't going to have the strength to go to her mom and tell her. So my sister in law Connie drove me over as I started to make phone calls to the 4 brothers. I remember my Uncle Mike. He just didn't hear me. He didn't WANT to hear what I was saying. My cousin had to take the phone and ask what was going on. I was crying and trying not to. More phone calls as we made our way. Once we arrived, I remember trying to gather my own composure. I couldn't go in sobbing like I was. So I prayed for strength to get me thru one of the most difficult things I knew I had to do. I will never forget having to sit Nana down on the couch, trying to tell her just as delicately as I could. It broke my heart. Her grief will be branded into a painful memory forever in my mind. She left the room and I found her in the garage, sobbing on my car, hands folded, head bent and just great sobs leaving her body. It was heart wrenching.

Later, you realize that the cop never had his lights on when we went to the hospital. That is when you realize that they already knew but just couldn't officially tell us. Had we been thinking clearly, maybe we could have prepared. But can you ever REALLY prepare for something like that?

Now, even today, sirens can bring me to tears. Those memories come flooding back. As loud as the sirens are in my head, so are the memories. I don't like what it could mean for a family like mine, the pain and the agony that someone may go thru. I hate the sound of sirens.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just another Surgery

People deal with so many things in their lives--the good, the bad, the ugly, the joyful, the amazing. All rolled up into this miracle of life. And so as I sit and think about tomorrow, I have many emotions, and they are mixed. I start with the 'great, another surgery' feeling. Brody's first surgery, but not the first for this mom. Now, I have had quite a few surgeries in my lifetime. Thankfully, nothing too serious. But I'm not thinking about those. I'm thinking about the ones I go thru as a MOM, watching my children go thru surgeries. Amanda had the same surgery that Brody will have tomorrow, but she was about 4 years older. The 'simple' T & A (did they name that on PURPOSE?)--tonsils and adenoids. Now I know that this used to be done even more so years ago, but anytime your child has to be 'put to sleep' with medicine and cut open is a bit scary. There are always risks. So now here goes my little man, only 3 years old, going in for his first surgery. And as he does, I can't help but be brought back to 8 years ago, when my little girl had to have her first surgery. But hers was not of the simple type, no. And since then, she has had to have 2 more surgeries--one for a lump in her wrist, the other for a lump under her arm. Thankfully, just simple removals and nothing more from there. But nothing has come close to the surgery 8 years ago when she had to have open heart surgery. How, as a mom, do you even try to prepare yourself for that??? There is no preparation. Back before her surgery, I thought I had been doing pretty good. Then, just 2 days before the scheduled date, it actually hit me. Hard. Then I realized...I wasn't 'dealing' with anything up until that point. I was stuffing any type of emotion so that I didn't have to think about it or deal with it. Have you done that before? I'm known as a 'stuffer' in my family. I was raised with the direction of my father of "Stop crying before I give you something to cry about." You learn to 'stuff' emotions pretty good (I mean, have you seen my Dad???). So I was just stuffing all the pain, the nervousness, the concern, the panic that I was feeling. And then BAM! It hits you because now you have to deal with it. I think this is when you see people finally just break down. They are forced to deal with something that they had probably just not wanted to. So I hit my wall. I lost it. I mean, come on....open heart surgery on a 2 year old?? Then the doctor explains to you what will happen. And even though I knew she was going in for it, I had never really thought it through. So now I get to hear about the machine that will keep my daughter alive for several hours, the blood donations that we made and how they will use those due to the loss of her own blood, the fact that they have to saw open her chest and will try to leave her with a scar that doesn't show too bad. Oh, forgot the scar--let's worry about all the other things I just heard. It reduces you to a small ball curled up in your bed, praying and crying, and asking why her?? It is one of the scariest events that I have ever gone thru. And I would have jumped up on that table and taken her place in a split second, if I could have. And then after surgery--no better. Your daughter laying there, can't move because of the risk of her wires allowing her chest to come open. seriously??? The tubes sticking out of her belly, draining the blood that is collecting in her little bitty chest. The medicine that we have to hold her down for to make her take. And her not understanding what is going on. It was one of the most traumatic things in my entire life (probably THE most traumatic). And you feel helpless as a Mom. You want so badly to make it better for her and you can't. You just have to wait for her to heal. And time does heal all wounds. I know that. But during that healing process, you feel so much heartache yourself.

I am thankful that we haven't gone thru worse. I know that is possible. People deal with worse situations than that all the time. Amazing the strength we all have inside of us. And I've been lucky and fortunate that Katelyn is healthy today. Repeat surgery probably some day, but for now...she is healthy and without many limitations. I'm thankful that I've been able to take the time to be with my children during these times, without the stress or worry of the 'job'. I do have many things to be thankful for. So I don't miss that point, either.

So, Brody's surgery is considered 'minor' to what we have already gone thru. That I am also very thankful for. Last year when the doctor heard a murmur in Brody, I instantly went into tears, heart racing, and panic. Thankfully, Brody does not have the same condition as Katelyn. But he still has to have surgery and I feel like saying "another surgery, ok." I guess you would think that you become used to it, maybe even immune to it, but I don't think a Mom ever will. Too many memories, too much pain to ever think that anything could be 'just another surgery'.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just Mommy!

I am always amazed at the power of being a mom. All 3 of my children have had the benefit of my mom being here with us, doing so many things for them. She's the one that cooks, cleans, does laundry, does a lot of the running around playing taxi--all so I can do what I need for my business. Of course, I get to do the 'fun' stuff, but my mom plays a HUGE role in their lives. And yet, there are so many times when my kids just want their 'mommy'. Not their Grandma, not their Papa, not their uncle--just mommy! Isn't it truly incredible? The power of being a mom! From the little things to the 'big' things. My daughter does well in school and she wants to come home and 'tell mommy'. Trying out for cheerleading and who does my daughter want there for support? Her Mommy. Brody needs to go the bathroom and you think he could take his grandma who is right there? Nope, gotta go get my mommy (mamom for him, but same thing). Sick? Only mommy will do for that comfort. Can't sleep? Need just my mommy. Even as they grow older, and start going thru those 'tween' ages and stages, there are times that they will still coming running up to me, jump on my lap, put their arms around my neck and squeeze because they want their mommy. I cherish those moments. The ones I get to snuggle with them, still get to love on them, stroke their back or hair, and give them the mommy kisses. I am moved to tears by the strength, the bond, the connection that just a mommy can bring and give to her children. Being a mom has challenges, that is for sure. But when I hear the sweet voice of my child say 'I need my mommy', my world is complete.

Friday, September 24, 2010


OK, so I have been inspired by a friend of mine, Pink Warrior:) She writes these amazing posts on her blog. I heard her talk about it before, and then I start reading and think how fun it would be if I could do something like that. Really? Could I do it, why should I do it, and would anyone even care that I did it? Then it hits me, "Why can't I?". So I decided "Yes, I can." Funny, that seems to be my life motto but a good one to have!

Why can't I go to the college I've dreamed of? Why can't I just move to a totally different place? Why can't I work from home so I can be here for my kids? Why can't I give my kids what they want and need, even though I am a single mom? Why can't I?

And I was able to turn all of those into "Yes, I can!". So here is the next phase in my life...blogging about it:) I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I love living it. My kids keep me happy, young, and on my toes. I have blessings in my life that I am very thankful for. I have friends that keep me sane (well, for the most part). I have an amazing Mom that I will never be able to say 'thank you' well enough to, and a family that I love very much. I have tough times, have lived thru some things that I would not wish on anyone, but through it all, I am here--still feeling blessed, still very happy, and still knowing that "Yes, I can." REALLY!