If you are looking for stilletto recommendations, you are in the wrong place. I need to be able to run after my kids without falling on my face. Want to know your smartphone's metapix? Sorry. I only write about whether it can survive 5 minutes in the hands of my kids.
While Valentines’s Day is loaded with sweets, it reminds me of some sweet moments in my life. Meeting my husband, getting married, giving birth to my children, and the everyday little moments I have with my kids – the first smile from my baby or a hug from my toddler.
One of my sweet memories, however, was the day I found out I was having a girl. It has almost been a year since my baby gender reveal party, but I still remember the moment as if it was yesterday. Even though I chronicled my party here and here, my baby gender reveal party was a pink and blue theme: pink and blue plates and cups, pink and blue drinks, and, of course, pink and blue candy. I had a big bowl of pink and blue Hershey M&Ms, and another bowl filled with Hershey’s chocolates and Hershey’s kisses, to fit the theme, so people could nosh before their baby gender guess. To this day, when I see this picture, it reminds me of a sweet moment in time before the big reveal.
What about you? What is your sweetest memory? (And if you would like to see my post on a great Hershey’s Kiss Recipe, click here!)
Image Credit: My own and Hershey’s (used with permission.) Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. I did receive two bags of Hershey’s Kisses. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I cannot believe the year 2013 is upon me. While I didn’t take much stock in the world ending on 12/21/12, it is nice to know we are still around. Apparently, however, that date was an interesting one.
As I understand it (which is rather sketchy) the Sun aligned with the Milky Way (not the candy) and with some sort of ecliptic plane for the first time in 26,000 years. As the Alex and Ani blog stated, this “cosmic cross” meant that “the transformation and renewal possible in 2012 is the highest promise of any Great Cycle ending.”
Errr…I’m not sure what that means, but it may explain what happened to me in 2012….and what decisions I have made for 2013.
Winter 2012 | Tired and Tests
The year 2012 didn’t get off to a great start. Five days into 2012, I was sitting at a table with a box of tissues and a genetic counselor to discuss the possibility of a down syndrome pregnancy. By the end of January, I was in the clear, but the first month was a precursor of things to come.
Spring 2012 | Anger and Anxiety
The spring led to the baby blues. I was mad from April to May and miserable because of it. Looking back, it was because I was tired. The pregnancy was taking a toll and a two year old toddler was the trigger. I struggled alone. Naps were rare and insomnia-induced nights were the norm.
Summer 2012 | Lost Opportunities and Lost Friendships
The birth of my daughter was frightening, but three events that summer in my business life left me reigning from shock and hurt. I was thrown into a state of sorrow, just days after a traumatic birth experience. (Apparently they didn’t read my blog.) Those series of events, to this day, still leaves me in tears. Yet my body was so tired, that the tears often didn’t flow. While the spring was the beginning of the end, the summer was the end of the beginning.
Autumn | The Rise and the Fall
The fall brought more news that ended the little composure I had left. A diagnosis that would result in surgery and life changing decisions. I battled the ability to work with my need to pursue my dreams. I was passed up for events or I needed to pass them up. It was a new status quo where I struggled to adjust. I juggled giveaways with giving in to sleep. I missed emails and meetings because I researched my diagnosis or fell asleep while nursing or reading an email. In reflection, it would have been a balm to have had empathy from those that mattered to me, but it was clear that I did not matter to them. Bottom lines and ledgers or ambassadorships and analytics, often take place of such relationships, but I was in a dark place where it didn’t even matter.
Winter 2012 | A New End and a New Beginning
I tried desperately to maintain my composure, professionalism, and happiness in 2012, yet I was too tired to do it well; my relationships, whether business and personal, suffered. The year of 2012 will always be special because of the arrival of my miracle baby. Yet, it will be one of many, many regrets. If I could have a do over, there would be too many from which to choose.
2013 | Looking Back
In fairness, I wasn’t in the right mind to be working. It was peaking when I was crashing. In the blogging field there is no maternity leave, but I should have taken one anyway. It would have prevented much heartache that still aches today. I watched others handle similar situations with dignity, ease and grace. I tried so, so, hard to it all and do it well. For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to handle it the same way. There were casualties along the way, which still causes me much sadness. I began to suffer with the reality of what was to be.
2013 | Looking Ahead
As 2013 looms on the horizon, I see the end of many things that I began in 2012. The end of a pregnancy and the birth of my miracle baby. The end of my child bearing years, and the beginning of a new family. The end of acquaintances and a beginning of friendships. The end of a blogging naivety and, sadly, the beginning of jadded one. The beginning of dreams and the end of them too. My decision to take a business blogging break for awhile is a beginning in its own way. This end, however, is a beginning of other opportunities and dreams: less sponsors and more stories; less pitches and more passions; less computers and more cuddles with my kids.
I’m not going to worry about numbers, statistics, likes, follows, reach, and metrics for awhile. I want the same fun I had with blogging when I had my first child – the online friendships and the sharing of adventures, struggles, and triumphs. I’m tired of jumping through hoops to make an ambassadorship work, the life or death feeling when I don’t get one, hoping a high-end blogger will RT me, or getting reprimanded because a company (that pays me pennies) didn’t like a tweet.
I wouldn’t sell myself out when I was working in my previous industry, and I am not sure why I have spent the past three years doing it in this one. In 2013, I’m still going to do some work for The Toy Insider, MomTV and Savvy Source, as well as a few select companies. I’m also looking forward to some ventures with fellow Bloggers, and still posting on my blog, but I’ll work when I want to: because it is something or someone I believe in, or something that brings me joy – not unique visits.
I’ll spend more time commenting on other blogs rather than worry about giveaways on my own, spend time videoing my own kids and less time videoing some product, entering memories in a baby book rather than worrying about a blogging event, or just passing the time having conversations on Twitter rather than shilling for my sponsored posts. Perhaps when the snow starts to melt, when I finally get to sleep through the night, I’ll pick up the pace again with a renewed focus and mission. Yet, for now, I want to enjoy just writing; sharing my life, my days, my own adventures.
The saying goes that when one door closes, another one opens. As 2012 closes, I am looking forward to the grand opening of a new year. It will begin with surgery, but hopefully the surgery will lead to renewed optimism and hope. I hope it is something we can share together, but if not, many, many thanks for sharing 2012 with me. It has been one heck of a ride.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, when you are pregnant the second time around, you don’t get a baby shower. While I did host a baby gender reveal party, all the awesome gifts were given to charity or as a giveaway during our #pinkorblue Twitter party. So needless to say, I was so happy to get a shower after all.
One day, I went to mailbox and saw all these envelopes in there. That weren’t bills! or election materials! Just lots of cards. Just for me.
I loved opening and reading every single one. However, these were my favorites. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like a super hero and know that you can tackle those swollen pregnancy ankles?
The inside of this card says: “But when life hands you a load of crap, don’t make anything.” As a Mom dealing with potty training for a two year old and about to start cloth diapering a newborn, truer words have never been spoken.
I love this card. It is hard to see, but for once, a pregnant woman on a card is not smiling. (Love the accuracy.) When you open the card, it says: “Then its the baby’s turn.” (And for at least 18 years too.)
The card below is a funky, modern card with a lot of wine bottles and wine glasses. As someone who hasn’t had a glass of wine since September, this is the closest I can get, and I’ll take it.
After I got carded by all these awesome cards, I turned to my Twitter friends and Facebook fans and asked if they liked paper cards over e-cards. (Huge thanks to them for answering!)
Hands down. Paper cards won.
So if you know someone who would love to get a card shower, then check out Hallmark new service where you can shower anyone with cards. Invite friends/family/co-workers through email or Facebook, and specify the date you’d like the honoree to receive his or her shower of cards.
The people you invited respond to the invitation, buy a card on Hallmark.com (or in the store) and send their cards on the specified date. They also can invite more people themselves, increasing the size of the card shower. The honoree then receives a shower of cards! The honoree can be anyone: a teacher, a friend who lost a loved one, someone going overseas, anything. So while I like to think I’m special, anyone can get carded. (Get it? Hee, Hee.)
Card Showers from Hallmark also features the ability to set up reminders and track sending online. (A nifty feature for those of us that have preggo-brain…………wait, what was my point again?) But seriously. Very cool. Lots of fun. And Mother’s Day is around the corner. Maybe think about card showering a Mom that you admire.
Even the pregnant-soon-to-be-mom ones. (Hint, Hint.)
Many thanks to the Hallmark PR team for sending me the cards! Eileen, Angie, Amy, Deirdre, Erica, Kelsey, Liz, Gina, Jon and ‘J.T’! You rock.