Monday, September 28, 2009

This N That

I am so extremely exhausted right now, but am having the urge to write again.
So I just returned yesterday from a Lia Sophia business rally / leadership event. As always, I am pumped, excited, and feeling like I can accomplish anything. Fantastic. I’ll get back to that later.

Anyway, baby is kicking like crazy, and letting us know that she’s doing well. What a blessing! We have decided on a name, but according to Mike, are keeping it a secret. At least that part is done.

Next, we have officially transformed our office into Aristana’s new “big girl” room, with the “big – big girl” bed (we moved her to a twin bed). She has been so excited ever since we told her that she’d be getting a new room. She got to pick out her paint color at Home Depot. After learning that Home Depot was “all out of” bright red paint, she chose a bright pool blue color. It took some getting used to, since the room used to be a forest green color. However, I think the color really does fit with her personality.

I just left her room, to let her fall asleep on the first official night in her room. We still have to do a few more things…but it’s livable at this point. Now, to bring the crib back up to the nursery, and get that all set up.

After these adjustments, the house is feeling like it is three times smaller now. The office was our catalyst. Need a pen? Office. Need a folder, envelope, piece of scrap paper? Office. Need to use the computer? Office. Mike’s closet? Office. Now, it’s our room, Aristana’s room, and the nursery. The house is closing in! Andrew & Julie…you feeling this way yet?

Okay, now back to some Lia Sophia thoughts. One of the many reasons I love what I do, is knowing that I am setting a good example for Aristana, through confidence, independence, and happiness in what I’m doing. Last week, I could hear her talking in the bathroom to someone (she has a ton of imaginary friends). I peeked in, and saw her holding up one of my necklaces and nodding. She said, “Yes, this is a very pretty necklace. It is long and blue. Do you want to try it on? I’ll show you,” and she put it on. Next she held up some bracelets and said, “This is Mimic. This one is Wild Side. You can wear them too.” My little girl went from having tea parties, to having Lia Sophia parties! She opens her kids laptop, and says she’s looking at her Lia Sophia online. She told me last week that she has five shows this month.

Today, she sat in her new bed, with her laptop, and two order forms, and worked on her Lia Sophia orders for 45 minutes. Hello? Her attention span is no longer than 45 seconds. She is so fun to watch! I am so proud of her. As amusing as it is to see her in action, I thank God that I am able to provide a positive example to her. This business, as I have said many times before, has changed my life so much! I hope to share this with friends, and others who might need a change. More money, a night out, networking, self confidence, a fantastic group of friends, and the knowledge that unemployment is not around the corner. You control your own future (with God’s help, of course)!

Thanks for listening. Now for my goals. I like to post these…more accountability...

*Bookings: 20 Shows between September and November. I have four submitted and nine more on the schedule. Only seven to go, and I can get there. I agreed to this goal, based on an incentive from my friend in the business. When we started, I had two on the books, so this is awesome! I am sharing this goal with Erin and Tammy on my team, since we all needed to kick it up a notch. They are doing a great job as well! (Note: now is the time to book, since I am offering a ton of free stuff for hosting, so I can meet my goal. If you’re interested, contact me…you’ll be surprised at what you’ll get! …even out-of-towners or out-of-staters)

*Sales: September - $2500 in sales / October - $4000 in sales / November - $7000 in sales

*Team Building: 16 team members by the end of the year. I have nine now, and really feel like I can accomplish this one, with a lot of stepping out of my comfort zone. Again, I can speak from my heart on this one. People are many times not wanting to leap into something like this, since it is unknown territory. However, all I ask for is five weeks, five shows, and then take it or leave it. However, in those five weeks, you will have: $1000 of jewelry for $150 (Starter kit cost). All the hostess benefits from your starter show. A chance to earn $600 more in free jewelry. $300 in free jewelry for anyone who wants to start with you. Based on average sales per show, you will have earned $1000 in commission. Best of all, you own your own business. You are your own boss. You decide when you want to work, and how often. What a fantastic deal! Yet, you have every right to walk away if you don’t want to continue…oh, and keep it all.

*Company Trip: Earn the trip to Cancun by the end of November. ($25000 in personal sales, and $25000 in team sales. I’m almost there!)

Promote to Unit Manager by January 2010! I am confident in this one!

Okay, enough of that. Have a good one!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In regards to the news of our AHS schoolmate, spreading like wildfire...

I need to vent. I’m not sure why my heart just can’t let this one go…

Many of you, who graduated from Ashwaubenon High School, are aware of one of our former schoolmates, and the horrible legal trouble they’ve recently been in, regarding sex crimes. For those of you who are not aware, I am sorry, but I am writing this strictly from my heart, and not for any gossip purposes. I will not reveal the name, but refer to them as “he.”

I decided to write this, after receiving numerous texts, facebook messages and emails regarding this story.

I have heard/read different stories and allegations, and am only certain that he has been officially charged. I am also aware of the extreme sadness his actions have caused the victims, as well as the victim’s families. I understand all that. Please know that this blog is in NO WAY defending his actions.

However, I feel an extremely strong desire to talk about it. We are told in the Bible, that we are not to judge one another. A sin is a sin, no matter what. In the eyes of God, the only one who matters, the crimes this man committed are no worse than the white lie I told this morning. Someday, I will die, and be judged. He will die and be judged. Only then, and by God, will his journey from there be determined. Don't forget the most important thing of all. Jesus died for us, to take our sins away. We all can live, by the grace of God! We are all equal!

The devil knows our weaknesses. He exploits them, uses them against us, and ultimately desires to place a small wedge between us and the Lord. Unfortunately, we cannot always find the strength to fight these desires and feelings. The wedge gets bigger, and we lose our self control, and strong relationship with God.
In high school, when my parents divorced, I blamed God, and questioned His motives. The wedge was placed. I fell away from the small relationship I had with the Lord. This person however, not knowing me very well, reached out, and invited me to Bible study. I went, and will always be so thankful for that day. I know my life has been blessed tremendously, just for knowing this person. I know many others can say the same. Many lives have been blessed by this person in the past. Which is ultimately why I’m writing this entry.

Instead of name calling, gossiping, and telling everyone we know about it, how about we say a prayer. Pray of course, for the victim(s), for their families, for his family, both immediate, and extended. Most of all, say a prayer for him. Say a prayer to God, asking Him to hang on tight to this person who needs him so much right now, and help him become a better person once again. This is a tragedy in so many ways, but there is no doubt the goodness that lies within this man. Those of you who know who I’m talking about…I know you can’t deny that.

If you are about to tell more people about it. Ask yourself why. What do you gain by gossiping? Being the bearer of bad news does not make you a better person. Giving the family some respect, does.

If you are name calling. Ask yourself. Have I not sinned? If you can say that you are sin free, then put him down. But since we are not to judge, I believe that in itself would be a sin.

I don’t mean to offend anyone by writing this blog entry. Again, this is my view… and I don’t claim to speak for others. However, I know in my heart that my journey to finding Christ may never have begun, if it wasn’t for this person. As much as I am saddened by the news, I will continue to pray for EVERYONE involved.

Thank you for your time, and respect of my opinion.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good Old “Native-American” Summer

I am amazed at the absolutely beautiful weather over the past week. Despite repeated reports of four straight days of rain, here we are, warm temps, hot sun, perfect breeze. Unfortunately, kids are back in school, docks have been brought in, and cottages closed up… However, lets praise God for this great opportunity to get some outside activities in, before the summer closes up shop for good.

Last weekend, Lauren and I sold our mom’s art at the Parallel 44 Fall Harvest Fest, in Kewaunee. Again, a perfect day. We ate, drank (well, not me the pregnant mama), took in the grape stomping contest, and watched fine wine connoisseurs sampling the vineyards finest blends. More fun though, was watching the non-fine wine connoisseurs getting progressively intoxicated as the hot sun and 33% alcohol content took over their bodies. Good times. If you go to a wine fest for the fest, and not the wine, go for the last few hours. You’re guaranteed to hear some smashing glass and a few Whoo! exclamations coming from the crowd.

Yesterday, Lauren met us at our house, and she, Aristana and I headed out on a short road trip. We met up with our crazy uncles Gary, Mike and Pat, at Wilke Lake. These were the guys who lived out there most summers, so reminiscing was great. Lauren hasn’t been there in a while, so it was nice to get her caught up.
From there, we grabbed some lunch at “The Cedars,” on Cedar Lake. Good food, a perfectly clear lake, and public beach access. It was fantastic. I ate a ton of food, and topped it off with homemade cheesecake for dessert. Wow!

We all went and played around in the water for awhile, and Aristana got soaked. I love to see her enjoying the pure fun of being a kid. Her favorite “Pink Guy” got to take a swim too. Beautiful!

After stopping in Manitowoc to see Mitzie & RJ, and a trip to the “Big Cow” for ice cream, we ventured back home.

Oh, and the absolutely best part of all of this, took place inside…in the bathroom, specifically. Aristana FINALLY went on the big girl potty when we got home!!! She was almost in tears, she was so excited. She kept hugging me, and giggling, and flail/dancing. She and I will be headed off to Wal-Mart this morning to get her the two Matchbox cars and nail polish she’s been working so hard to earn.

For the next week, we’ll be running around like chickens with our heads cut off. However, we are thankful for every day and every experience.

Till then…

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Half Way There!

Today, we are half way there! Our baby girl is doing well and so are we, at 20 weeks. She is kicking a bunch, and getting stronger. I can’t say enough about the feeling of the baby kicking in my belly, and not just the physical feeling. I love knowing that finally our miracle is strong enough to let me know that she’s there. I love knowing that someday soon, both Mike and Aristana will be able to feel it too. I love knowing that a baby’s kick is the one thing that only I can truly experience. Even when others can feel her, no one else will be able to feel it from my perspective. It’s something that only Baby and I will share. I don’t mean to sound selfish, but it’s just great!

Aristana is really grasping the Big Sister role well. She is always talking about her, wanting to buy her things, and has already named her. Baby sister’s name apparently will be Lightning, at least according to Aristana. I can hear her talking to her animals about her baby sister, and how they need to be nice to her. I am aware that things will probably change once Lightning is born, but it’s good to know that she at least has a positive attitude to begin with.

Last of the baby stuff… We have narrowed the real baby names down to four. For a short time, we had one chosen…but I can’t seem to love it yet. Of four names, I’m not a fan of Mike’s favorite. He’s not a fan of my favorite, and the other two, we are both “okay” with…but neither of us are overly-excited about them. So we tabled the subject for a few days, hoping each of our names would grow on the other person. I’m pretty sure people will be surprised by our choice, no matter which one we choose. One sounds like a name from the “olden days.” The other three are shorter, two-syllables, and better known. I personally wanted something more simple, that still sounded nice with Aristana’s name. Hmmm, we’ll see…

Off the baby subject. We went to Red Robin with Mike’s parents yesterday. As we were leaving, we saw Aaron Rogers! I’m not one to get star struck… but apparently the New Kids on the Block, and Aaron Rogers are a different species. Since his name was added to the Packers roster, I have been a huge fan. Even when there was no Favre drama, and we were all aware that Rogers was nothing but a back-up, I was a fan. As soon as the Favre/retired/not retired/playing for the Jets drama started, we chose a Rogers jersey for Aristana. Anyway…We made eye contact for a couple seconds, and I truly became giddy. What a dork! Here I am, with my husband, daughter, in-laws, and I am giddy that I saw the quarterback of the GB Packers. He even shaved off his crazy mustache, and looked really cute. Okay, I can move on… maybe. ( I think he looks a little like Mike, so that would explain my attraction) Didn’t I say I was moving on?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Commercial

So apparently my commercial is now on the air. I have honestly gotten about 25 phone calls, the same amount of emails, a bunch of texts, and Facebook wall postings, saying the people have seen it. That’s right, I’m a superstar…a media sensation, if you will… (please know I am TOTALLY kidding about that)

You know, it was weird. I didn’t take long to make up my mind that I would do the commercial. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people hide who they really are. I had no qualms with people knowing how big I used to be, or that I had surgery. I feel nothing but blessed that I had the opportunity to have the surgery. I have gotten my life back. The day of filming, I was nervous. Would my hair conform to my ideas? Did I have the right outfit? I had my makeup done at the Lancome counter at Younkers, knowing that I was no pro with that stuff. Oh, but I had no issues with my jewelry…I knew that part was great! The actual shoot was so much fun. The two guys I worked with were hilarious, and very good at making me feel comfortable, and not pressured. So that was a great experience.

However, my very first acknowledgment of the commercial was a text, on 8/31 at 7am, from my good friend Sarah. The instant I read that she saw it, my stomach and my heart switched places, and I seriously was seconds away from an anxiety attack. It was really happening now. All day I was contacted by friends, family, acquaintances, etc…and it hasn’t really subsided yet. It’s on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, and even airs during the Doctors and Oprah… It took a while on the 31st to realize that I couldn’t let it overwhelm me.

With all that being said, I thought I'd throw in a before and after pic. I don't have a ton of pics, so I'm sure there are better ones out there.


JUNE 2009

So, that’s that…