So this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you all about me. Where do I begin?? Bio’s are so scary. So, here it goes.
I am the middle of 3 girls. We grew up in a small town in Idaho. You know one of those towns that’s just the size that everyone knows everyone. I’ll get the depressing junk out of the way and end on a high note. 😉
When I was in the 3rd grade my dad got very sick. He had ulcerative colitis. He was in and out of the hospital A LOT! He had to have multiple surgeries and met with a lot of doctors. This was when my mom started talking to us about death and not to be afraid of it.
One time he was in so much pain they rushed him to the emergency room. The doctors on call couldn’t find anything wrong with him. They ended up calling his surgeon (yep fresh out of Med School) who was on vacation and had him come in. He looked at the scans, talked to the on call doctors and told my dad he had to open him up to see what was happening. One of the incisions from a previous surgery to his intestine popped causing shit to spew out into his stomach. His intestine was developing gangrene and they had to get it all out or he would die. Yep, it was a close one.
To see my dad in this state as a young girl was just unimaginable. He was the one that got on the floor, tossed us around, had tickle fights with us until we said we were going to pee our pants. He was a builder, a fixer, a story reader, a firefighter, a mechanic….he was our hero. And for him to not be able to do a lot of those things, to see him in a weak state, it was tough.
By 4th grade my dad was better, but now it was my mom’s turn. She would always get lumps during her period, but they would always go away…..until they didn’t. She kept thinking, it’s fine, I’m busy taking care of my girls, my husband is finally better, I’ll just monitor it. I don’t even know how long she waited, but by the time she finally got it checked, it was too late. Stage 4 Breast Cancer. In true fashion she asked, okay so what do we do? She never showed us the tears, she never showed us that she was scared. Ever. She just did what she had to do to try to get better. She took us with her when she got treatments if we didn’t have school. We would make a day out of it. Go shopping, get lunch, and see the doctor. She was always honest with us from what I remember. She even had us meet with her oncologist to ask him any questions we might have, and she sent us to a psychologist so we had another ear to talk too.
Mom would get better off and on. But then she would get sick again. The cancer became a beast and just took over her body. It spread and hung onto everything it could. She had double mastectomy, bone morrow transplant, her hair fall out, sores in her mouth, and just very tired. She spent many nights in the hospital too, which is where she ended up dying. The final autopsy was a blood clot in her lungs from all the treatments.
The day she died, it’s just one of those things I will never forget. I know where I was, who I was with, what I wore. I even remember my grandpa telling me, “Where are you, I need to come get you?” And then me looking at my friend saying, “Chelsea it’s my mom, she died.” She passed away on August 18th, 1992. She was 35 years old.
By 18 I moved out on my own. I was going to school and holding down 2 jobs. Oh yeah, and I was engaged. Even at 19 I was wondering what the hell I was doing!! There was so much more to me as a person, so much more life out there I needed to live and I knew I couldn’t do that where I was. By 20 I said “peace out” and left. I moved to Seattle.
I lived in Seattle until I was about 26. I learned so much about who I was there, and what I wanted, well what I thought I wanted. I made A LOT of mistakes but learned from them too. I was again working 2 jobs. One in the technology sector or financial sector and part time at a tanning salon. When I was in the financial sector, they told me I was an up and comer. They told me to finish my college degree and then I could have any job I wanted. Heck if they are going to pay 100% of my school, of course I was going to take them up on that offer! After I graduated the company moved me to the Philadelphia office.
When I moved to Philly I didn’t know a single person, and my job required an obscene amount of travel. I was working 15 – 18 hour days. I was gone more than I was home. So new city and I had one office friend. I committed to 3 years in Philly and there was no way I could be here if I didn’t have friends. I missed my girlfriends so much and was afraid I would sink into a severe depression. I got online and signed up on a dating website. I talked to a couple guys and some I was like, oh hell to the no!!! Then I met Ed. He was different. He was smart, really nice, funny, and genuine. When we finally decided to meet and go out he picked me up at my place so we could go out in the city. As soon as he walked around the corner…..I was done. I thought to myself, “oh shit, looks like I will be here longer than 3 years.” This was June and by November we were living together.
I was still traveling an insane amount and the only friends I had were friends of Ed’s. It was hard for me to meet people when I was never home. 2 years after dating we were engaged and another year later we were married. In February the following year I was pregnant. Everything just kind of happened really fast. We talked about kids, we were both getting up in age so we agreed that if it happened, great, but we never really tried, tried.
After Joey came, I was struggling. I still didn’t have any friends. I didn’t want to quit my job, but my job wasn’t really going to work with a new baby at home. When I went to quit, I bawled. I didn’t want to give up my independence. I made a deal with my boss. I didn’t have daycare lined up because we agreed that I would stay home. And the day came to make that decision official….I emotionally couldn’t do it. My boss and I worked out a deal where I could work from home doing the admin side of my job and then go into the office a day or two a week. This worked for 3 months. By that time I was finally okay to quit. Still didn’t like the idea of it, but I was more at peace with it.
Here I am, at home with my new baby and very few friends. That’s when I joined Gymboree to go mom date. I met some wonderful women whom I’m friends with still. And after Katelyn was born almost 15 months after Joey I started to meet a few more mom friends. Now that my kids are older, I have even more friends. I wouldn’t say I have gobs and gobs of friends. But the friends I do have, I cherish each and every one of those friendships.
When Joey was 18 months we had him tested. He wasn’t socializing well with others, his language started to regress, and I really just wanted to make sure he was reaching all his milestones when he should be. It was more of a sanity check for me. By August we had Speech, OT, PT, and ECE all scheduled to come to our house or his school to work with him. They had some concerns. They also wanted me to meet with a Psychologist at the Children’s Hospital. Being totally oblivious I kept putting the appointment off. When I finally went I walked in there and said, “I just want you to tell me how to get my kid to sleep through the night and to go to bed without it being a 3 hour process….. My child is not autistic, he just doesn’t sleep.” I walked out of that office that day with numbers to call and tears rolling down my face. She told me my son had autism. I called my friend who is a Speech and Language Pathologist and she literally gave me the best advice. “Maria, don’t let the diagnosis get to you. That’s not who Joey is. Use the diagnosis to get him services. We will get you into the best people and together we will get him the help he needs.” She was my savior that day.
By October we added another OT to Joey’s schedule and by his 2nd birthday in November he was going to ABA Therapy. His life consisted of therapy and school. His sister’s life consisted of naps and being in the car. By January we pulled Joey from school and just focused on his therapy. It was the best decision ever!! Joey got some services at home through Early Intervention, but his Private OT and ABA were located 30 minutes away, and ABA was a 3 to 4 hour session.
Katelyn and I lived in the car, at a park, or at Starbucks. It totally sucked. Therapy was too far away for me to drive home and try to accomplish something because I would have had to turn right around to drive back. Not to mention the gas I would go through as well as time sitting in traffic. I was constantly looking up part time jobs in the area just so I had something to do besides just sitting around. But, let’s be honest, who would hire someone to work very specific hours and for only 2 ½ to 3 hour shifts?? Wasn’t going to happen.
That’s when Direct Sales landed in my lap. Work when I want to work. No parties. No inventory. I can be home with my kids. All I need to do is sell right from my phone or computer. For me, it’s the perfect fit.
Joey is now 5 and doing AMAZING!! Katelyn has a language delay but we are working on it. Both my kids are sweet, crazy smart, intuitive, and just fantastic. It’s the end of 2016 and I am OVER IT! I am over being miserable. I’m done. 2017 I am on a mission. I want to be better. I want to be happy. This blog is about my journey to feeling better. It’s about my products, products I love, my journey with my son and moving back to Idaho. I hope I can inspire others to find their own happiness, their own better.
“Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys us, and rebuilds us.” – Shonda Rhimes