Tuesday, November 28, 2006

. . . Hear Us Roar

Wow, I was just blown away by some amazing statistics. Check them out for yourself:

Women-Owned Businesses Continue to Outpace Growth Rates for All Other Firms

Washington, DC – Women-owned firms continue to grow at twice the rate of all firms, according to the biennial update by the Center for Women’s Business Research.
As of 2006, the Center estimates there are 7.7 million majority women-owned firms (firms at least 51% owned by a woman or women). Between 1997 and 2006 the number of majority women-owned firms increased from 5.4 to 7.7 million, an increase of 42%, almost double that of all firms (23%).

OPEN from American ExpressSM is the exclusive underwriter of the 2006 biennial update.
“The number of women-owned firms has grown at around twice the rate of all firms for more than two decades,” said Marjorie Alfus, chair of the Center for Women’s Business Research. “Women business owners are significant players in the nation’s economy and their momentum shows no sign of slowing down.”

The new projections also show that there are 10.4 million businesses 50% or more owned by a woman or women that employ 13 million employees and generate nearly $2 trillion ($1.9) in revenues.

In 2006, majority women-owned firms are expected to generate more than $1 trillion ($1.1) in revenues and employ 7.2 million workers. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of all women-owned firms are majority women-owned.

“OPEN from American Express is an active partner of women entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses,” said Susan Sobbott, president, OPEN from American ExpressSM. “Our work with the Center for Women’s Business Research helps quantify the significant contribution women are making in the economy in terms of economic growth and job creation. And through our Make Mine a $Million Business program (www.makemineamillion.org) we are changing the lives of women entrepreneurs by helping them turn high-potential businesses into million-dollar enterprises.”

The fastest growing industry sectors for majority-owned firms (between 1997 and 2006) are wholesale trade (283%), health care services (130%), arts, entertainment and recreation (117%), and professional, scientific and technical services (83%). The largest percentage of majority women-owned firms is in the service sector (69%) followed by retail trade (14%).
The 2006 regional, state and metro updates of women-owned businesses will be released in late fall of this year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thoughts for Today

I have been thinking about what I have learned over the years at various trainings. This is what immediately came to mind. I hope it encourages someone today.

"Failure is an event, it is not a person."
"Action conquers fear."
"When the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, change will happen."
"I can't, but God can so I will."
"If it's to be, it's up to me."
"Winners do what non-winners won't."

I wish I knew who said all these great things. All I can do is share them.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Out Of The Mouths of Babes

Yesterday we had an amazing storm. We had high winds and rain. The streets were like rivers and I was dodging debris as I drove. Finally as the storm started to clear, there was an amazing rainbow. It was the most vibrant rainbow I had ever seen. In fact it made the who sky look pink. I called my boys and we ran out to enjoy one of God's miracles. We love sharing rainbows with each other. After a while the rainbow started to fade. My son David who is now 4 said "Mom, look the rainbow is disintegrating." For me I was amazing at the insights of my guys and their great vocabulary. They are like my little rainbows. Thank you God.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Too many choices and not enough time

Today I finally did it. I made a call to a business associate who has been trying to get me to join his group. After saying no several times, he sweetened the pot enough that I had said yes and then as the first meeting date arrived, I realized it was going to be impossible. For me it meant a substantial time commitment of more than 6 hours a month. I know I would have benefited both financially and personally, but I could not squeeze another day out of my already full life. So I did it, I called. Ah, there it is done. I must say I am relieved, yet sad at the same time. But I had to make a choice.

I also read an article about women who have balance in their lives. Today was a good start towards achieving that for myself. I have turned down this opportunity. I have also started a new bible study which will be a weekly commitment. I know that does not make sense since I said I had no time, but I feel it is important to make time for that. It based on my priorities. Now as I look at my calendar I have realized that I have time for my clients, to grow my business, for my spiritual enrichment and for myself. It's a start. Now I just have to work the plan.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Good Old Days

Today I had a personal revelation. I was getting dinner ready and washing some dishes while my mother-in-law was playing with the kids. She was helping Tom with his homework and David with a computer game. It was calm and there was just a nice energy in the house. I was not stressed about how to get it all done. I was at peace. What was different? Then I realized I was not alone. Now I know that I am never alone. Yes, for me the Good Lord is always with me, guiding my steps. But I actually had a warm body who also loved my boys in the house.

Then I thought back to my childhood. My dad was sick with cancer. He died when I was 13. I lived in a place that had a courtyard, in what was called garden apartments. In my complex lived my uncle and his family, my grandparents and my dad's cousin. As a kid, I never knew if my dad was going to be home and all right when I got home from school. There were times he was rushed to the hospital and someone else was there to take care of us. My mom never had to worry about help, it was a few doors down. The sense of family, the community that took care of each other, I guess the clan was there. So even though life was stressful, we took care of each other.

Now fast forward to today. Most families don't think twice about moving to other cities and even other states to live and raise their families. And now I ask myself, at what cost. I am here in my town, essentially alone. Because of who I am I have created a surrogate family but it's not the same. Having this precious time with my mother-in-law has made me realize just how much our generation and future generations are missing by the global movement. Thomas Hilton, the architect talks about creating villages in his work and I long for the village way of life.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

It's Official - I wrote them down!

What am I talking about. Today, I took a huge step for Lia-kind. I wrote down three aggressive goals for myself including deadlines and action steps. Yes, I am ready to go to the next level.

It all started because I was fortunate enough to participate in a program with a Marketing Coach, Milana Leshinsky (www.milana.com), that gave me a free goal setting session with Solution Box Coaching (www.freegoalsreport.com). In 5 minutes, I filled out an assessment and now I have a goal setting report that I can refer to. And I even set up an accountability component to this. Pretty amazing. So here I am saying "What have I done?" After all, now I have to do it. It's in writing.

The power of written goals is amazing. I will let you know how it goes. I should be miles ahead on January 7, 2007. Check in and see!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sometimes We Just Have To Believe

It has been a difficult 24 hours, for many reasons. First there was the news about the Amish School and it's tragedy. Who can be a mom and not feel agony as the horror unfolded. Then I was checking in with a friend, whom I am collaborating with to create an event for school. She was having a bad day. She had to have a mole removed that was suspicious and of course all the fear was right there for her. She has three young boys and she ran through all the worse case senarios. As for me, I was feeling like a terrible mom because I had went shopping with my two boys and lets say it was not a positive experience. And by the time I got home, my boys were grounded to their rooms for life (okay, I am exaggerating, it was just until I got dinner ready). And I took my time. As I went off to sleep, I prayed for everyone. It was a day filled with sadness and yes hope.

And then the morning came. On the way to school we saw a rainbow. It was a sign to me that God is still in control, even in the midst of these trials. We don't see the big picture, just our little frame. He does and we have to trust that he has our best interest in mind. And yes, he is not picking on us, he is picking us up.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It's That Time of Year Again

Yes, the results are in and the issue is out. Working Mothers Magazine has published it's list of the top 100 companies to work for. To check it out for yourself, just click on the article link: 100 Best Companies.

What I found interesting is what they measured. Seven areas are measured and scored: workforce profile, compensation, child care, flexibility, time off and leaves, family-friendly programs and company culture.

It is clear that companies are getting the message. Women are valuable employees and if companies want their contribution, they are going to have to create an environment that is women friendly, family friendly. Way to go Moms!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Where there's a will, there's a Mother

In the course of my day I do research on many topics. Usually it is to help a client, to understand their needs more. Sometimes, it's for me. I am always looking to see if there are people like me out there. And if so, how do they do it. I love to hear about success stories as well as the struggles. It helps me stay grounded. I recently stumbled across an article about how women are creating their own environments to enable them to balance family and career. They are looking for ways to be whole people who are parents. I wanted to share this with you because I found it encouraging. Enjoy. It's called: Career moms find new ways to make it work

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I Need a New Super Hero!!!

Okay, maybe not a super hero, maybe just a clue. Here is the question, how long does it take to get boys to actually hit the toilet when they urinate? (I guess I should have put on the potty talk disclaimer.) There are days when I feel like I could clean the bathroom on a daily basis and it would still smell like the stairwell in a subway station. I posed this question to the Financial Director at the school where my boys go. I was hoping for some encouragement, after all her boys are now older. Alas, she threw her hands up and said she's learned to just give up and not sweat the small stuff.

Maybe someone could invent a toilet that does cool stuff inside when the urine hits it. Like a magical bullseye appears as they hit the water. Boys are competitive, they would want to win. It puts a whole new twist to the term "pissing contest."

Maybe someone can create a toilet that when urine hits the outside sounds a loud alarm and magically releases wipes for the perpertrator to use.

I am not sure what the answer is, but I know that I long for a day that I have two bathrooms. One for "them" and one for me. In the meantime I dream of the superhero who can clean it faster than I can. In the book Captain Underpants the talked about creating "The Urinator." I think his time has come.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

How Do You Spell Relief . . . School!!!!

Yippee!! If you could hear me, you would hear the sounds of giggling and squealing with joy. Today as I drove to the school to drop off my boys, there was a great feeling of elation. The boys were so excited. They could not wait to see their friends. They hugged their teachers and got busy doing what they do best, have fun. I left feeling satisfied that they were in good hands and content. I then moved on to my next two appointments. Both went well. One actually went great. For a brief moment I was starting to feel that familiar feeling again, wholeness, competency. I know this sounds strange, but for me being part of something outside of me is important and what I do for a living really energizes me. As I sit with my clients I fill up with joy as I am able to help them. And then as I round up my boys, I am content to be with them. I actually had time to miss them. It was a great day.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Can you hear that sound?

Yes, it's the sound of the clock ticking. The back to school clock. It's only 47 hours until the official first day of school. Yes, I am counting the hours. I am also preparing a list of things I want to get done during my window of opportunity that the kids are in school. I am finding if I don't have a list, I don't get anything done. It's interesting the more time I have to myself, the less I get done so the list helps.

Don't get me wrong, I will miss my kids. I will also appreciate them more when I see them in the afternoon. I was talking to a fellow mom last night and we both agreed that 3 months is too long for summer vacation. The kids need structure and to be back in school sooner.

So I will be back on Thursday to let you know how it goes!!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Can You Spell Frustrated?

As I sit here seething with frustration, I feel torn. I had to cancel an appointment with a client today because I had no sitter. So I am angry that I cannot manage my business obligations. Yet, I want to enjoy my boys who will be back in school in only 13 short more days (but who is counting). I realize that the boys sense my frustration and don't know what to do, so they tend to argue and fight more. Finally, I relegated myself to the fact that I cannot work for the next two weeks. So we went upstairs, and I straightened up while the boys played. Shortly, we will go out and play in the back yard and then I will start to plan the afternoon. Alas, if I don't adjust, I will miss it all. So with all these feelings I must admit that frustration will pass but the boys will only be this small for a day.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ahhhhh I Love Vacations!!!!!!

Even though in the last 8 days we drove 3,000 miles with two children ages 7 and 4, I feel rested and relaxed. It's amazing what a change of scenery can do. We were up and down the East Coast. We bought Georgia Peaches in Georgia and ate boiled peanuts. We hung out with Pedro at South of the Border. We ate a Texas steak in North Carolina and spent the night in a Days Inn in Virginia. All in all it was a great time. Busch Gardens in Tampa was great and so was Chinese food in Ft. Lauderdale. But the best was spending time with my Mom and Dad in their home in Cape Coral and swimming with the boys in their pool and building sand castles and memories on the beach. This is what summer is all about.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What's a Girl to do? Argh!!!!

Have you ever been put in a position where you damned if you do and damned if you don't. Today, that is how I feel. I want and need a vacation more than anything. A vacation where I can really relax. You know the kind, get up when I want, sit by the pool and eat dinner at 8:00. All summer I have been looking forward to this vacation. It has been a beacon, a light at the end of a long tunnel. And because of the usual financial stresses I saw the light growing dimmer. Alas, I was feeling dismayed. Long story, short. I was given the option that if we could not go on my "dream" vacation that provision would be made for me and the boys. Of course I would have to make arrangements for my honey. I knew, in my heart of hearts, my husband would come to the rescue and find a way for us to go, but it was not before we had the very unpleasant conversation that turned into a major blow up. One like I can't remember. So I ask, what's a girl to do? I, of course, need to stand by my husband. And I will. Yet, my vacation is almost medicinal at this point. I can't be with out it. So if I go, it is with an unhappy husband who is going begrudgingly (albeit grinning and bearing it). If I don't go, well I can't even think of that option, let's just say Mom will be a very unhappy camper. There are times I just hate being a grown up. Argh!!

19 Minute A Day

This report is so staggering I had to share it with you. As I sit here in my home, fans a blaze trying to move the air from my one air conditioner and my boys play with paper and scissors, I read with disbelief. People place a higher priority on TV watching and sleep than spending time with their kids. What is happening to society.

Today, I have a fun day planned with the boys that include a play date at a bowling alley and a trip to get pretzels. Yes, I could be doing other things, working on the computer or cleaning the house. But, when all is said and done, will any of that matter. I think not. Read the report for yourself. 19 Minutes A Day

Friday, July 28, 2006

It's Amazing What Happens When I Get Out of the Way

Yesterday I had to have a little surgery. It required general anesthia and a bit of rest. So I was concerned how the day would go. As always, my family rose to the occasion. As it turned out, I was able to be home by 11:00. I slept till 12:30 and decided to make my way downstairs to rest on couch. My husband brought me lunch and had already handled getting the boys picked up from camp. The boys were brought home and Jim kept them busy all afternoon while I rested. To my delight we ordered in Chinese food for dinner - yummy. Then Jim got the boys ready for bed including baths.

Imagine my biggest surprise when I woke to find their lunches packed and their clothes picked out. He loaded the van with everything they needed for camp. All I had to do is feed them breakfast and we were off. All in all it has been a pretty good day. The hardest part was letting my family take care of me, but once I allowed that to happen, they were thrilled to do it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

When a hug is all you need!

Sometimes the simple things apply. Today, I went to pick up my boys from camp. They were clearly hot and exhausted. However, they would never admit that. They were a bit testy, in fact at one moment they were down right grumpy. My initial instinct was to take the boys home and banish them to their rooms till their dad got home and then make my escape. But as I headed home I realized they were just tired.

As I opened the door to let Tom out, I opened my arms and gave him a gentle, lasting hug. I could feel the tension melt. Within minutes we were one happy family again. Within a half our, my boys were rested, fed and ready for the rest of the day. I am so glad I took time to give a hug. All they wanted was to be loved and understood. Afterall, isn't that what we all want.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Thank Goodness for the Village

It is amazing what a few good people can get done, in particular a resourceful mom. I guess that's what a "streetsmartmom" is all about.

I live in a great town, but I am hours away from any family that can help me. So over the years I have come to depend upon a few good friends who have become my "village." Today was a great example. I had my first Get Clients Now! seminar. I was very nervous. On top of that, I had to be an hour from home at 7:45 am. My kids did not have to be at camp till 9:00. My husband was willing to help, but was concerned about taking time off because he is already taking Thursday off to help me. So in came Kathleen, my trusted villager. I got up early and had everything ready including the boys dressed, bags packed and car seats ready to go. Jim took the handoff and dropped off the boys to Kathleen. Then Kathleen carried on with the boys.

So what did this mean to me? I was off to my seminar and confident my boys were being well taken care of. Peace of mind, what is that worth! It helps me feel confident that I am in a position to take care of my boys who are loved and nurtured, and I can grow my business.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A 24-hour Vacation

Have you ever gone away -- overnight, and felt so relaxed it felt like you had been on a real vacation. Well, if not, you need to try it. We just came home after spending only 24-hours away and we felt thoroughly rejuvenated. We went camping with friends my husband has known since high school. Our kids played and we sat by the fire and talked. We ate, rested, swam in the creek, rode bikes, helped build a gazebo, slept in a tent and sat by the campfire. It was pure heaven.

The phone never rang, there was no TV, no running water, no electricity and no real amenities. Honestly, I did not miss them. Although I will admit that I took a shower as soon as I got home. And the mosquito's were out and seemed to have me as their favorite choice of food. But even with that, I had a great time. I recommend a one day mini-vacation. It does wonders.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summer - Argh!

Okay, well I am not really complaining. I am just sitting here in my house with several fans running and wondering when I can get my house work done. My husband, very lovingly, commented yesterday that it was a disaster. I know he didn't ask about if I was out of bon bons, but I couldn't help but wonder if he thinks that is what I do all day.

As I think about my days, which include getting my boys to camp, working with clients, running errands, helping my husband with his business, shopping for food, preparing meals, getting boys cleaned (daily?), fitting a shower in for me every now and then and whatever other duties as assigned, I wonder when will have time to thoroughly get my house clean up. So, I will continue to ponder as I sit here and figure out how will I be on a 2:00 conference call while I am supposed to be picking up my boys at 2:00. Hmm.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ode to Summer Camp

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Did I say thank you? Yes I am grateful for summer camp. My boys are thoroughly played out and they really had a good time. I actually had time. Yes, 5 hours of discretionary time. Yes, they were already booked, but they were mine. So what can I say, but Thank you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'm tired . . .

There are times when all I want is a good nights sleep. Oh, how I miss the carefree teenage days when I slept in until noon and then slowly moved into my day. Today I was able to sleep in until 7:30 (oh the ecstasy). At which time I hit the ground running with two little boys who are ready to face the day with great big smiles on their faces. Oh, where are the sun glasses.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

When sorry isn't enough

No matter how much I grow as a person, I still find myself stuck as a child in this one place. It is so frustrating to be in this place, over and over. I know I am not a victim, so somewhere along the path, I make choices to behave badly. My question is why? Why can't I get passed this? I don't know if this happens to other people, but for me I seem to not learn a particular lesson. The worst part is that by not learning my lesson, I find the consequences much worse than if I had behaved differently.

It is like when we are talking to our boys when they don't tell the truth and find that the consequence for not telling the truth is worse than telling the truth and dealing with the consequences of the original behavior. When we ask them why do they do this? Their usual response, through the tears, is "I don't know." How much like children we parents can be? Or at least I am. So the question is when will I grow up? What is the pay off for behaving this way? And what would be the gain for changing? Oh I hate growing pains.

Friday, May 26, 2006

It's That Time of Year Again . . .

Summer!!! So the question is what to do with the kids. Argh!!! Mine love the structure of school and their friends. I honestly don't have answers. My main plan is to work as much at night as possible and play with the boys. I also hope to share a sitter with a fellow mompreneur. This girl is greatly in demand so I have to get my order in early. The good news is that I cannot wait to spend time with my little dudes. The pool is calling and so is the gym. I think it is going to be a great summer.

Monday, May 22, 2006

When the going gets tough . . .

I start a business. Some might say what are you thinking? It's going to be summer and your kids are going to be home from school. How can you build a business now? My answer, that's who I am. Today was a perfect example. I worked in my home office this morning for three different clients and also for myself. Then I took time to have a cup of coffee with a friend. Then it was off to pick up my youngest from school to go have a play date with a little buddy of his. While David and Evan played, his mom (my client) worked for two hours. We both had moments where we looked at each other and said, this is what it is all about. We talked, strategized and planned while we heard giggling and playing upstairs. Tammy's husband, who also runs a business, was on duty as a giant playmate. It just doesn't get any better than that. I ask you, how could I not start a business? Be stuck in a job from 9 to 5 while my kids are parked somewhere? I think not.

Friday, May 19, 2006

See a Need and Create a Company

It's amazing what can happen when a women sees a need. You hear it over and over; here is a good example. One women realized there are women who are highly successful and capable individuals who have chosen to stay home and raise their families. They have a lot to offer but limited time. She created an employment agency for these women. That's how the Mom's Corp. came into existence. Check it out.

Monday, May 15, 2006

So there are some good things to look forward to

The good news is that moms who juggle work and family tend to be thinner and healthier when they get into their 50's. It must be the constant juggling of schedules, running from meetings to soccer games. I am actually surprised because I assumed that busy women are forced into eating junk food on the run. Feel free to check out the article yourself. Working Moms Healthier, Thinner Than Stay at Homes

Saturday, May 13, 2006

So it's True!

The results are in! Someone actually took time to figure it out. Most of us already knew, all they had to do was ask us. I am just sharing this with you for your reading enjoyment.

This year, Salary.com compensation experts have come up with a job analysis and these price tags for both categories:

• Stay-at-home moms work an average 91.6 hours a week. That should be worth $134,121 annually.
• Working moms also put in 49.8 hours a week on the job at home. They should get $85,876 a year.

The compensation analysts figure the lowest paying parts of a mom's job are housekeeper, laundry machine operator and janitor. Higher paying categories include computer operator, facilities manager, psychologist and family CEO. The Salary.com numbers are sure to stir up controversy. But this is not debatable: Moms simply are priceless, and nothing could compensate them properly for all they do.

Friday, May 12, 2006

So Is Boarding School The Option?

Today was a tough day. One of those days. As I was talking to another mom, we discussed what life would be like when our kids became teenagers. And suddenly the other mom got a far off look and said, I wonder when they are building the dorms for the boarding school. We both laughed. There are days when that seems to be an favorable option. And then I got home with my boys and had a nice evening that included a bath and lots of giggles. Argh!! It's exhausting. It's fun. I feel like I am at a movie, but it never ends. I laughed, I cried and I slept. And then it was another day.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

You can hardly open a newspaper, browse the web or watch the news without hearing about the "Mommy Wars." Here I am writing about it. To me it seems counter productive to be pitting mothers against mothers. We are all mothers, first and foremost!!!! It does not matter whether we go outside the home to work, we have a business we run from the home or we make our home the business. We are all mothers. My thought, for what it's worth, is let's ban together and help each other. Let' support each other. We all make choices of how we live for our own reasons. Usually the choices work. More often than not, the kids turn out all right. I don't care what choice you make, there are times when you might feel like you did not make the right choice. Then there are times when you know the choice you made was the only one you could make. But the most important thing is not to dilute the reason we are making choices. Because we are individuals who are mothers. I say, give peace a chance.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Doctor is there anything I can do?

Okay, it's not that bad, well sometimes it is. I took David for his four year check up. It's always exciting! This is when I get to hear how big my boys have grown and where they fall in the percentile. They get weighed and measured. The nurses carry on how cute the boys are as they poke and prod them, and then they give their little arms a hug (take their blood pressure). After we go through the usual questions with the Doctor, yes he can jump, run and speak. He asks, "Is there anything you are concerned about?" Hmm, how do you ask a question when you know you are not going to like the answer. I said "Yes, any suggestions on how to work with a child that is full of energy and a bit challenging." There, I said it, out loud. And then I waited, as David rode the Doctor's stool around the examining room, for his words of wisdom. "Well, Mrs. Allen, you just need to be tough. When you say A, you must do A and don't get weak and give in to him. It the battle of the wills." I must say it was disheartening. I was looking for something a little less exhausting. So, as hard as it is to do, I must the be the "mean" mom until he gets over it. And I guess that's when they go off to college.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

When one door closes open a window

So when last I wrote I had just come off my high of helping create a new event at our school. We are already planning the next one. It's going to be bigger and better and this time it will be in the fall so our moms can start there holiday shopping early. We also have had Spring Break, some holidays and got through Winter. The big news was last Monday when I decided to shift careers and re-think my business plans. I realized I was not living my passion. My work became that, work. I loved helping my clients, yet it did not seem to fit me. Then two things happened, one of my associates shared some insight he had with his prospects which gave me a glimpse of an idea of a need. And, I met with my "mastermind group" buds. They really showed me I was missing the boat. I was wasting all my talent. So here I am again, about to head into Summer and launching a new business. Hmm, so what was I thinking. Yes, I closed the one door, but that's okay, I am already climbing out the window. And yes, I am reaching for the stars. I'll keep you posted!!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

It was even better than I imagined . . .

It is hard to believe that this all started with an idea on November 10 and tonight we actually pulled off an amazing event at the school. When I got home from the event there was an email from a mom saying what a great event it was. I am thrilled.

Based on my observations, there was tons of socializing happening and lots of money was exchanging hands. The vendors were engaging and happy and the moms were receptive and excited about the opportunity to see new things. We had a good mix of services and products in a variety of price ranges. There was lots of food, especially deserts. And we had message therapist there performing wonderful messages for our moms. What more could you ask for.

I think what I liked best was meeting moms I would have never have met. There were moms from the upper, middle, lower and pre-school. It was great. And the teachers were there as well, which I think made it really special.

The only thing Becca and I need is a night off.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Have you ever felt like this?

Today, this was my life. And all though most of the day was exhilarating and productive, I took moment to pause and think, is it all worth it. I have to admit that right now I don't know any other way. So until I can come up with another way that I can have the lifestyle that I want that includes being able to pop in to school and help my First grader with Writer's Workshop or snuggle on the couch with my 3-year old and still make an income, this is what I will look like for a while.

Now if I can just figure out how to pick up one of those balls and still remain balanced. Hmmm.

Friday, January 13, 2006

We are not an island . . .

I received this from a client and thought it worth sharing. I always get back to we are not an island, we are not alone. It's about interdependence.

Build Relationships Of Trust
Life Moves Pretty Fast,
But In The End It's All About
Our Faith, Our Family, And The Relationships
We've Formed Along The Way.

.....Aim For The Heart...........

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What was I thinking????

This year I made a commitment to myself to take care of Lia. With this in mind, I thought it would be nice to have my nails done. After all I need to look professional for what I do and it is nice to have my hands look like that of a woman and not that of a child.

I must say I felt quite self-indulgent. And I also was surprised how hard it was to just sit there for the hour and a half it took to get them done. Hmm, something I need to work on. Then the reality set in. Have you ever tried to open you pants with sticks hanging off your nails. Well that is what it felt like. My youngest saw my hands and said "mom, don't poke me." I never expected to inflict fear on my children. And just sitting here typing is making me wonder, "what was I thinking?"

I must say in all fairness that I am going to try to stick this out. I believe in time I will get used to them and appreciate them. Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

So now that the holidays are done . . .

now what?? It's hard to believe that what took 6 weeks to prepare for, is over in 24 hours. Getting the house ready, decorating, putting up a tree and lights, our trains, the cookies, the holiday concerts, all the parties and visits. And then on December 26th, It's all over. And now it takes time to get the house back in order to resume normal life. But that's ok with me. I enjoy the process.

As I reflect back on the last two months, I find myself smiling and enjoying the memories. Yes it was hectic, and it was joy-filled. And we made a special effort not to forget why we are celebrating and preparing. After all, it's all about the Jesus and his birth. My favorite part of the holiday was lighting candles on a cake on Christmas day and singing happy birthday to Jesus. It was a tangible way to remind my boys why we do what we do.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Is it Friday Yet????

Today was a typical day in my life. I got the boys off to school and then I ran to my home office to check my email and pick up something I needed for my meeting. I got to the meeting a few minutes early, so I updated my calendar, made some calls, set an appointment. My meeting was very productive and we all left energized ready to conquer the world. On my way home I decided to make a walk-in cold call which produced a name and some inside information that might help me approach this person. I also stopped at the cell phone company to get my phone repaired. Once home I had an hour to eat lunch and catch up on emails and work on an ad for a directory. I then went to my son's school to help with their Writer's workshop (the highlight of my day). I then took my oldest home and picked up my youngest. Once home we did homework, played and made dinner. Then my oldest was off to Karate and I stayed home for some quality time with the little dude. So here I sit in the quite and blog. Isn't life grand.

Monday, January 02, 2006

2006 - How did that Happen?????

If you have been wondering where I have been, I have been right here. I just needed a break. I needed time to think through things, get through the holidays and re-prioritize. I suddenly wasn't sure why I was blogging. I wondered if anyone even read it or cared. So I just stopped.

The holidays have been busy and joyous. I have thoroughly enjoyed my family and all that the holidays bring. We were sure not to forget why we celebrate this holiday. It has been truly an awesome experience. So as I start to plan forward and partake of another year, I will cherish the memories of a great 2005. It has been a year of personal and professional growth.

If you do read this and enjoy my ramblings, thank you. I make a commitment today to provide entries on a weekly basis, if not more. I hope you and yours have a great 2006.