The past couple of years have been tough, but I’ve made it through. I’ve been stretched and pulled in so many directions and at times felt like I was spinning out of control. But through it all, I’ve been so incredibly blessed to have met people who have changed me. I’ve reaffirmed long time friendships and I’ve formed some new ones. I’ve learned things about myself and have been challenged by the beliefs of others. I am a different person than I used to be, and that’s good.
I want to acknowledge some people, places and things that have changed me and helped me grow. I hope that my words will encourage friends and possibly lead some of you to new things that have shaped me and are pushing me forward. For the people mentioned, I want you to know that your gifts to me have not gone un-noticed. I want to thank you for helping me through. For all of the other great friends that I’ve been blessed with, you too are not forgotten. Please know that you’re all a part of making me, “me”.
This post is personal and isn’t at all like what you’re used to reading, but I need to write it. I don’t think we ever really take enough time to recognize the people, places and things that mould us and shape us each and every day. So, today, I’m choosing to do exactly that. Next year, I’ll write another list.
As much as they drive me crazy sometimes, or do things that I don’t understand or even necessarily agree with, I wouldn’t change any of them. I love that even though our lives are getting busier and we’re not spending as much time to together as we used to, that things are still pretty much the same. It’s nice knowing that there’s always a safe place to land or a helping hand when needed. I truly have been blessed with great parents, great siblings and great foster sisters. Things aren’t always perfect, but we’ll always have a place to go home to.
Kristi. My fabulous partner in crime from KeyLime Clothing. I have throughly enjoyed working with her and getting to know her better. She has been a great encouragement to me and an awesome sounding board. I can now say that I actually enjoy going to “work”, and love that somehow we manage to accomplish a lot while laughing hysterically. I so appreciate her and I am so thankful to be able to call her my friend. Thank-you for taking a chance on my business and letting me join you in yours.
Natasha. She is the voice of the Natural Urban Mama. She has taught me about things that I didn’t even know existed. She is a strong, passionate and intelligent woman who challenges me in my thinking. I admire her willingness to take on things and attitudes when other people won’t. She is a Crunchy Mama, but she still loves me in spite of my non-crunchiness. Thank-you for listening to me and giving me words when I had no more. Thank-you for being my Go-to Guru.
Nicola. The Sprogess. I am so thankful that a stranger challenged our ability to be friends. Without that push, I never would’ve sent the email that began our friendship. I love her sense of humor and her ability to make everyone feel comfortable. I admire her entrepreneurial spirit and her drive to do things better. She is good people. Thank-you for always making me laugh and for working with me, not against me.
Brandon & Deborah. They are actually old acquaintances that became excellent friends over the past year. They’ve been loyal and caring when other people weren’t. They’ve been an encouragement when encouragement was desperately needed. They are exactly what real friends should be. Thank-you for loving me and my family.
Kerri, Wendy & Connie. Thank-you for letting me be a part of Urban Infant magazine. I love that I’m able to share my life and Mom experiences with the world. Thanks for letting me be exactly who I am, a run-on sentence, grammatical nightmare of a writer. You are so appreciated and I wish you all much success in your ventures.
*I included links to their businesses as I love them and what they do. Please consider it as a shameless pitch for my friends, and NONE of them knew anything about it.
My Husband. Thank-you for standing beside me as I continue to work through all of these crazy health issues. Thank-you for being both Mom & Dad on the days that I could hardly function. Thank-you for letting me whine endlessly about things that hurt, how sick I feel, how much I miss bread and about all the doctors and dentists that scare me to death. Our family would not have survived these last 2 years without you. I love you. A lot.
Shandra. What to say to someone who has endured way more than I can ever imagine but still manages to smile and encourage others. No matter what you’re thinking or feeling, YOU are a light in a lot of other people’s darkness. You’re an awesome Mom, and an awesome friend. NEVER forget that. Thanks for being my strongest “constant”.
Tracy. Thank-you for being a loyal friend and for loving my family as your own. It’s nice knowing that if I ever need anything, or need someone to “have my back” that I’ve got you and your awesome husband. We are all very blessed to have you in our lives … exactly as you are.
“Places or Things.” (I’m fully aware that I really can’t “thank” these things but they have changed me, without question).
Bumblebee Baby. The purchase of this business completely changed my life. It opened new doors, new connections and new opportunities. I am so thankful for Sonya and her decision to let her “baby” go, and let me have a crack at it. Things really do happen for a reason … she’s living her dream and I’m living mine.
Facebook. – I love my friends, connecting with present ones and re-connecting with old ones but Facebook has helped me grow my business more than anything else has. It really is one of the best marketing tools that I’ve put to use yet.
Bossy Mama. – My first introduction into a “women in business” group. It’s a great support network and an awesome place to meet other Moms in business and is spearheaded by a super cool lady.
Social Circlet. – A fabulous group started by 2 even more fabulous women as a means of promoting local business and working together. I consider myself blessed to be a part of it.
My Blog. – Yes, I’m responsible for making this one happen but I’m so thankful that I have the opportunity to write and share my heart. I love that people actually read it and are being inspired to try new things or look at things differently. I don’t claim to be an expert in anything but love that my mistakes and experiences might make a difference in someone elses life. I love that.
Twitter. – Without Twitter, I never would’ve met or shared with many of the people who I now consider Friends. For that I’m grateful.
This group of tweeps get special mention as I’ve never been so challenged in all of my life by a group of ” complete strangers”. Not in a bad way as such, but in all sorts of ways. I’ve interacted with people who I never would’ve met otherwise. My ideals, faith and morals have been questioned numerous times, and just as often, I’ve questioned others. But through it all, I love that we’ve usually been able to find a happy medium and a shared respect for each other. I’m hopeful that as these “friendships” grow that we’ll be able to speak into each others lives, in ways that were never before possible.
I now challenge you to recognize the people and places in your life that matter. Your words may be exactly what they’re needing at this very moment.