Subscribe: High Maintenance Aspirations...
http://highmaintenanceaspirations.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
back  business  day  didn  home  life  listening  made  martha  mary martha  mary  much  new  people  things  time  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: High Maintenance Aspirations...

High Maintenance Aspirations...



...low maintenance for now



Updated: 2018-03-08T10:16:34.682-05:00

 



Rebecca Mail... A Brief History

2016-04-24T14:12:23.764-04:00

Pinch me... Is this real???I am not even sure anyone really reads this blog anymore but I decided to write how "Rebecca Mail" came about so at the very least I would have a record of how this all started! Back when I first found myself out of M&M I had already signed up with another direct sales company so I just tried to pick up that new business and keep on trucking... The business is Kitchen Fair and they sell high end culinary tools made in the USA. I got the kit, started using the pans and loved them so I figured I'd go for it. But as much as I love the product and the fact that I got a chance to work with some amazing people who I adore it wasn't enough. I knew deep down I was ready for a bigger change but the need for immediate income overcame that feeling. Funny thing is, the Lord never seems to let me keep going in the wrong direction for too long. As hard as I worked, as many cooking shows I did I was not making any sales. I had some at first but then they stopped... By stopped I mean ZERO sales. People loved the products, wanted the product but in the end did not buy a single thing. It was crazy frustrating.Here's the thing, before the sales ended I spent a lot of time talking to a friend who is training to become a life coach. (She will be amazing when she is certified I will post her info) and our conversations kept leading me to starting my own business. I started really listening to what people were saying to me about what they missed about our team, what they missed about M&M, what they thought my strengths and gifts are and it led me back to what seemed like a crazy idea I had months and months ago, to start my own subscription box. But why call it "Rebecca Mail"? I didn't really want to, I had all kinds of cute or hip ideas for a name, but I kept coming back to the mane a team member gave the care packages I used to send to team members. In fact those care packages were a big inspiration for this whole venture. One former team member summed up why I should call it Rebecca Mail, she said every time she picked up her mail and saw she got some "Rebecca Mail" she immediately felt excited. It always felt like getting a hug in the mail and opening it always brought back that feeling you would get as a kid on Christmas morning. That is exactly how I want people to feel when they open their Rebecca Mail box. There were huge obstacles to getting to where I am today but I must admit I am SUPER excited and feel hopeful for the first time in a long time. I will explain more about my vision for Rebecca Mail and some exciting thing I have in the works but for now if you are interested in pre-subscribing (first boxes ship in early June) or maybe even investing in my vision check out my Go Fund Me site. Thanks for listening,[...]



My Big Reveal...

2016-04-21T18:25:57.591-04:00



A sneak peek just for you guys... I am launching my "Go Fund Me" campaign in the next 24 hours and open my web site up for subscriptions in about a week... 


I can't wait to share all the details very soon but the website is up in "test mode" so feel free to take a peek... Things (prices, terms, etc) are still fluid and changing but all the kinks should be worked out very soon. 

Thanks for listening,
(image)



Hint...

2016-04-18T17:35:44.195-04:00


Big things are happening...
Watch for my big announcement later this week!!



Thanks for listening,
(image)



Business Trouble... Part Two... The Event

2016-03-09T11:49:34.871-05:00

I keep trying to write what happened then ended in my leaving Mary & Martha suddenly but the words just don't come. After much prayer I realize there is probably a reason for that so instead of all the details I will share the "cliff notes" version.At the end of January was the M&M Leadership Conference in Arkansas. I was sad to not be going as a director but I was hopeful that it would re-charge my batteries and inspire me to move my business forward. I covered in the last post that I had a less then stellar relationship with the new National Sales Director, so I also hoped that this would give me a chance to try to mend that relationship. From a less positive aspect, I have seen some business choices being made that from a business standpoint led me to believe that the business might be in trouble and I was hoping to hear some things to indicate that things were in fact fine.I was among a small group of top leaders who flew in two days early to be in some company produced videos and got to spend some quality time with some good friends and even got to know one of the top leaders I had never had a chance to get to know. I was having a great time and although there were some moments that were less the fabulous I was still hopeful. The actual conference began Friday morning and it was all going great. We spent the day touring the DaySpring/Mary & Martha home office and then in the afternoon move to the conference center to begin the actual sessions.After the evening session ended I was talking to some friends when the aforementioned staff member pulled me aside and told me we needed to talk. She started by asking me if "I had something to tell her" and quickly started asking questions about my new business. She then told me there had been an accusation made about me trying to sponsor people for my new business at the conference. I assured her this was not true but it became clear she either did not care or believe me as I was informed I could no longer be part of Mary & Martha, I could not remain at the conference and I could not remain in the Mary & Martha sponsored hotel room I was staying in. A lot more was said but what it came down to is I was kicked out of my hotel room, the conference and the company based on an accusation without being given a chance to defend myself or even know the names of my accusers. I am purposely leaving a lot of detail out but suffice it to say since this all happened at about 9 PM what followed was one of the longest nights of my life. I was over 1000 miles from home and scrambling to make arraignments to leave the conference while dealing with the emotional turmoil of losing the business I had built from scratch and worked on for nearly eaves day of the last two and half years.Thankfully I had a dear bloggy friend right there in Fayetteville who I had already planned to vist at the end of the conference so I called Conny (from An Ordinary Hausfrau) and asked if I could come visit early. She and her whole family were GREAT and so welcoming... They made me feel right at home and gave me a place to heal and some fun distractions until it was time to fly out.Here are some pics from our explorations and "girl time" together... The face was because I was on my tippy toes as that face hole was really high! There is this gorgeous mural in downtown Fayetteville that says "Enjoy Local" I made Conny and her girlies pose in front of...Look... There they are! This is the original Wal-Mart in Bentonville, AR... I did not feel the need to get out of the car and go inside as it felt like a "been there/seen that" moment! We also got to catch up on some southern favorites I can't get here... Krispy Kreme, Sonic, Chick-fil-a to name a few! So clearly the whole weekend wasn't a loss...That being said, I have spent the last month or so picking up the pieces and trying to move on. Just yesterday I finally had the first contact with anyone from the home office and am hoping I can now find s[...]



We Interrupt This Message...

2016-03-07T17:33:33.507-05:00

I know I said I would post "the next day" but it is taking me longer to write the next installment then I had first thought... I will post it this week. Until then here is some memes that have made me chuckle or shake my head "yes" this week... (Hint... Apparently this week I think pictures of inanimate objects that appear to have faces if funny... You were warned!)Thanks for listening,[...]



Business Trouble... Part One... The Cause

2016-03-05T17:47:44.037-05:00

Warning... This will be a wordy post and it is the first of three I will be posting. It is all written from my perspective so keep that in mind. It is the first part of what led me to no longer being part of Mary & Martha... {Spoiler alert: I did not choose to leave.}Back in the late summer my husband and I were taking a long hard look at my Mary & Martha business. His summary was I was spending a lot more then I had in the past and that more then once I spent almost as much as I made. We both agreed this is not sustainable so we took a long hard look at what was working in the past and how it was performing now and made some plans to move forward in a more economically feasible way. Sounds like good business right? Yes, on paper, but without my constant influx of cash my company numbers plummeted. In direct sales you live or die on two things PV (personal volume = your personal sales numbers) and GV (group volume = the total of your sales and everyone in your immediate downline) and when your number go down you stand to lose your title and with your title your status in the company. These new numbers were more accurate for the current state of my business but not a good sign overall. I tried redoubling my efforts but it seemed like no matter how much I poured not it, and how creative I got my number stayed at a lower level. I could see everything I worked so hard for slipping away and if I started to feel that sense of panic you can sometimes get when you don't understand why something you worked so hard for was no longer working.Of course we spent quite a bit of time discussing what may have caused the decline and like all things it wasn't just one thing but many factors. Maine has had some tough economic hits in the past year or two and people here are more hesitant to spend on non-esstential items then in the recent past is one reason. People seemed to be unwilling to book parties because they were having a harder and harder time getting their friends to commit to coming to one is another. The recent boom in the direct sales industry means more people then ever are "selling" something and there is a bit of a direct sales fatigue forming, especially on FaceBook and other social media. This is exasperated but excited entrepreneurs with little or no marketing savvy basically spamming the world with their business made gaining new customers difficult. Mix all of that with some product decisions made by the Mary & Martha home office that did not create an excitement in my existing customer base to host parties nor inspiring repeat sales business. And to add to my issues there had been some major changes in the home office and their policies... One of which was a major overhaul to the compensation plan that basically meant a significant cut in income for me. In short my business was in trouble. I spent a lot of time chatting with other people in direct sales in my area who operate in the DS field full time and I started to see a trend. Almost all of them were consultants for more then one company. Diversification seemed to be the answer.I was hesitant to jump right into another business... I wanted one that was complementary to my Mary & Martha business (so I could use them to build each other) but I wanted to be sure it didn't compete with M&M either. I wanted a business that the market is not flooded so I had room to grow. I also wanted one that was something people could find a need for because M&M has such specialized,  boutique style items I didn't want another line that fell into that same niche' market. I wanted one that was not faith based so it would appeal to a broader market in my very liberal part of the country. I also did not want one that required I buy and/or maintain an expensive inventory. I explored a lot of companies but it was when I reached out to my former mentor with M&M and heard about what she was working on that I felt I found th[...]



Enough for today...

2016-02-27T15:49:02.011-05:00

This is by far one of the most true statements I know...


I have found myself smack in the middle of a hard battle myself lately... One I want to tell you about and I know I will but just not yet. I literally have 15 drafts of posts I start (some even complete) but don't post. This new battle has brought a lot of stuff to light and made me see some people in a much different light. 

But for today I want to share this pot of chicken soup I made with each of you... Wishing you were here so we could chat over a steaming bowl of it and catch up.



And share the following verse with you that was given to me by a good friend the other day: 


I once again found myself trusting in chariots & horses for a minute but in the end the Lord caught me and dusted me off and restored me in a way I could not have predicted. 

More to come...
Thanks for listening,
(image)



Friday Funny... Irony

2016-01-07T23:49:28.508-05:00

I clicked on the "Humor" link on Pinterest and scrolled down... I was chuckling and sharing the pics with my girlie when I added the word "Irony" to see what would pop up...Few of what I found were actually ironic but many made me laugh out loud... I thought I'd share the ones that made me chuckle, giggle, guffaw and/or belly laugh with all of you.Not really "ironic" but defiantly not a good example of "Freedom of Choice" either.  Again, not ironic but not a good grip on the word definition... Literal and probably made me laugh too hard... Possibly because I searched "Irony" and this was the fist picture that popped up. Gramatical Irony... Possibly the cutest irony I found! Hmmmm...Oh no you didn't!As UN-Breakable at the Titanic was UN-sinkable... This particular movie is full of irony...Or not...A tv show about a man with OCD... I see what you did there! Not so much ironic as cruel...Brings the phrase "Freedom isn't Free" a whole new clarity...I guess someone decided 100 years was enough of that...I wonder if he saw that coming?I found a lot of "dog training" irony... Makes you wonder who trains who...Not so much ironic as extremely accurate...Maybe they just want you to appreciate the product when you can finally use it...Again, not irony, but defiantly a poor name choice! Except this...See... Now that is irony... This is possibly the most ironic picture I found...Ever hear the phrase "Those who can't do, teach"?Don't look now, but it looks like someone is trying to kill us...It could only be more ironic if it added "especially at dinner time"! Hmmmm...I wonder who will do the repairs...At least upon delivery you know what you are getting...Maybe they should have used one...Not ironic, just the best truth in advertising I have ever seen! And you wonder why your car still pulls to the left...So adhesives aren't any better then fasteners...Everyone except that guy...Except bells I guess...I wonder if this is in Pisa Italy? I guess it would be in Italian... Irony & a little free science lesson for you...I wonder where they could get something to fix this problem... I hope some of these give you a giggle too... Happy Friday Everyone!Thanks for listening,[...]



Today...

2016-01-07T18:02:44.986-05:00

So it's an ordinary day... Nothing special happening, just life... Isn't that grand! We finally have snow here... It took a long time but we finally have some. That being said, my husband assured me the El Nino effect on our winter is not over and most if not all of the snow will be gone by Monday... Bummer!We got the Christmas stuff all packed away and stored this week and I am doing my normal switch up of picture, etc as I once again have blank slates to work with. I will post pictures as I complete things. My girlie is headed back to school Sunday. I will admit having another adult in the house full time has been challenging but I will miss our late night chats and her infectious laugh.She has worked at this ultra cute shop in downtown Camden since about a week after she got home. It is called Jo Ellen Design and the couple who own it are as sweet as the shop is cute. She designs beautiful hand hooked rugs, bedding and illustrates books, he is a retired school teacher and they run the shop as basically a family business. Here is a peek at the shop window for Christmas this year... As you can imagine, I have gotten into some trouble in that shop, but I was just supporting my daughter... Yeah, that's my story and I am sticking with it! Well, that's kinda it... Nothing overly interesting to say. Mary & Martha is having a clearance sale so I will try to remember to post the sales flyers tomorrow so you can snag a bargain or two but other then that life is feeling blissfully normal. Thanks for listening,[...]



Resolutions...

2016-01-01T15:10:01.373-05:00


Thanks for listening,
(image)



My Word of the Year...

2015-12-31T11:23:53.212-05:00


"Dwell" is my word for 2016... I love this Emily Dickinson quote... So hopeful. My verses for this year both offer peace & rest when we "dwell" in the right things...

Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty."

Psalm 23:6 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

This year I will dwell on possibility by dwelling on the Lord first in all situations. HIS plan shall be my only goal for 2016!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Thanks for listening
(image)



(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday... Meme Edition

2015-12-30T12:18:25.961-05:00

You guys know there was no chance for me to be "wordless" unless I go away again! Here are somethings that I have seen online this week and saved for one reason or another... I thought I'd share. This plays into my new word of the year... 2014 was "Joy", 2015 was "Real" so come back Friday to hear this year's word. I don't know if I have ever been as happy as this sheep but just looking at this pic makes me smile!Our weather has been crazy this winter... Super warm and lots of rain... Until yesterday! This made me laugh way too hard... I posted it on FaceBook a few weeks back and then had to explain why I found it funny... It made me realize Goobie isn't the only quirky one around here!  I an taking a little "time off" so to speak and this is totally how I feel about everything this week! I have a whole bin of lids and four containers... How????I am sending this to a few special people today and wanted to challenge you to do the same. With all the negative, and competing and comparing the cyber world inspires I want to spread a few smiles today. Here is my challenge for you, copy this and message and/or email it to someone (or a few someones) not in tour immediate family... Let's spread a few smile together! Thanks for listening, [...]



Our Christmas...

2015-12-28T23:04:15.243-05:00

Christmas at our house this year was a very laid back restful event. We tried to selectively pick what we would do outside the home to keep stress to a minimum. I got out voted on the candlelight service but we did many other fun and meaningful things to celebrate. Christmas morning is the most exciting when you have a kiddo in the house and this year Goobie understood what was going on and her excitement level grew with the days. By Christmas Eve she was so excited it was hard to get her to nap and nearly impossible to get her to go to bed. We didn't take a ton of pictures but I will share the ones we took. Here is Goobie after opening most of her gifts. She is actually posing for this picture and the next few... This is a big step for her. Like many toddlers on the autism spectrum she does not speak but her understanding of what we are saying is above average. That being said, she is somewhat decent at eye contact if she knows you and is fully rested but she is not great at looking at the camera so we usually have to try to catch her looking at it so these "cheese" pics are very special to us! She was VERY excited for about the blocks and Allie told her to "Say Cheese" and even though she didn't say the word you can see she knows what we meant by it. Just because she currently struggles to communicate verbally she is incredibly effective at non-verbal communication if you take time to get to know her and her quirky ways you can have whole conversations with her. Goobie has very specific like and dislikes. Many of which we discovered before we knew why she interacted with toys differently. She does not "pretend" play but likes items like blocks, stacking toys,  "spiky" (or sensory) balls and books... ESPECIALLY books. We didn't even notice until later in the day she had not received any electronic toys for Christmas. I even bought batteries in advance this year! On a side note how cute are her Christmas pjs? I love new pjs on Christmas! We did something new (to us) this year and Paul & I bought each person just 4 gifts. The now Pinterest famous "Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read" and the girlies and my mother were asked to buy Paul and myself and each other just one gift each. We did not do stockings (although we will add one in the future for Goobie) and kept to our budgets. After all was said and done we all agreed we liked it much better. Since we were limited in the number of gifts we could buy we all put a lot more thought into the ones we bought and we all had plenty to unwrap and truly loved each item.Allie got the rain boots she has wanted for about a year now and opening them she gave that same squeal she did as a kiddo and didn't stop smiling for at least an hour. I wonder if she will ever take them off! Katy hates this picture and I will admit it's not her best angle but Allie surprised her with some earrings from the shop where she works and they got a "full dimple" smile. Here is my mom with the special Swedish lotion she loves. She is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for! Santa brought Goobie a mini trampoline. She jumps and bounces all the time and had a tiny one when she was smaller so she was/is thrilled with this gift. As a note about when she was smaller, these pjs are a bit big but also a SIZE FIVE! Yikes!! Yes she is super tall for a 2 year old. She also got a tee pee and the abacus she saw at the store and her eyes lit up. She had the same reaction on Christmas morning seeing it and can sit there and play with it for LONG periods of time. But what she liked best were her books. She must have 250+ board books in her growing collection. She spends hours everyday "readin[...]



My "REAL" Christmas Letter...

2015-12-23T02:15:39.057-05:00

I see I haven't posed since June and there are lots of reasons for that... I am sorry I am literally the worst blogger and bloggy friend in the world, but as I sat to write our annual "Christmas Letter" I realized if I left out all of the stuff people don't want to read about at Christmas time it would be a remarkably short letter... So I gave up and just had a photo collage printed up super quickly to include in our cards. Here is what the "real" letter would have said...Merry Christmas Friends & Family,We hope this letter finds you well and that you are enjoying a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. We have had a year of many ups and downs and wanted to take a minute to catch you up on all that is going on in our little corner of the planet.Allie finished her second semester at Montana State this spring and came home for the summer. She really loves college life but while there momentarily forgot she wasn't a trust fund baby... I don't know how she so easily lost track of her middle class roots but upon arriving at home we had a few reality check conversations. She quickly found a job at an incredibly cute shop in downtown Camden for the summer which is owned by an amazing christian couple who seem to adore her. She then made the very hard choice to stay home for the fall semester. I would love to say this decision was made souly to allow her more time to save up for school, but remember this is the "real" letter so in reality this decision was made by a combination of tough love (on our part) and procrastination (on her part). She has grown and matured A LOT this summer and fall and is very excited to get back to school next month. We will miss her but we are very proud of her too.Katy is in court as I type this finalizing her divorce. This has been a long, hard, bumpy road but she has navigated with much more grace then I think I could have mustered in similar circumstances. She does still suffer from occasional anxiety but for the most part she has come a long way and has even gone out on a date or two this fall. She is in absolutely no hurry to get into a relationship but it is good to see her moving on and embracing this next chapter of her life. We made the decision as a family for her to wait until after the new year to get a job. This was to give her maximum time to heal and to allow our grand baby the same. We have an AMAZING lawyer who got Katy most of what she wanted and although like everything in life there were compromises overall we are happy with the decree and are prepared to leave this chapter behind us.Goobie turned two in June and continues to be the joy of our lives. We noticed some behavior changes in her back in the early part of 2015 but it wasn't until this summer we started to discuss them openly and began testing. She is currently being tested for Autism Spectrum Disorder and although we are awaiting the formal diagnosis it seems pretty obvious to most everyone in her life that it will come back positive. I hate calling this a "disorder" as that couldn't be further from the truth. She just views and experiences the world differently then the rest of us, and in the end her world is pretty cool. Although there have been some real challenges she is such a happy, loving, sweet spirited little girl that she wins everyone over with her sweet, quirky ways. Because of this and the fact that it just seems to work for us we have made the decision that Katy & Goobie will continue to live with us for the foreseeable future. Because Paul & I work from home we will adjust our schedules to accommodate Goobie's care when Katy gets a job so she will have the consistency of being home. There was a lot of discussion and adjustment of expectation a[...]



Two Years In A Blink...

2015-06-24T00:05:06.429-04:00

This past Saturday we celebrated our Lilly's 2nd birthday. I can't believe it's been two years already! We decided on a preppy whale theme in pink & green for no real reason other then it was super cute. Here is a peek into her big day... We ordered cupcakes and added a little Mary & Martha flair...Some super cute bottle labels and rainbow straws...The bakery went all out on the cupcakes! We mostly set up on the deck this year...I think the little fabric bunting we had from last year's back drop looks adorable around the deck rail.{Side note: I have been wanting to get a new patio set for the past two years but every year my husband convinces me we will be moving soon and we can just leave this one behind and get a new one when we get where ever the Lord is taking us... I am starting to think he is just stalling me...}I ordered deli trays to make life super easy... I love deli trays for a party!I grabbed these paper lanterns on a whim at Target and had no plan for them. Katy came up with the idea to put them on the umbrella and I think they look cute.We had all these little personalized details we ordered... They made decorating super fun and easy. Including this cute banner And the little tags we put on the "Goodie Pails" We had a fun time setting this party up. We kept it low key and that made it much easier to enjoy our guests. Paul & I got her this little retro kitchen set for her birthday and she loves it. The thing she loves most is being allowed to open and close the cabinet doors as much as she wants. No child locks or anyone telling her to "close it"... It's toddler heaven.Here's the Birthday Girl with her mom.She is getting so big!Here she is hugging her beloved auntie... She is going to be so sad when her auntie goes back to school in the fall. She was super excited about the cupcakes and just wanted the fuss with the candles over so she could have her promised cake.And she REALLY enjoyed it...Really, really enjoyed it...She would give us this look whenever it was suggested she "share a bite"! Let's talk about the dress... It is one of the coveted Lilly Pulitzer's for Target finds. We did not know the frenzy that line would conjure so we didn't get to Target until noonish the day they came out... You can imagine our surprise to find all empty racks, but we did find this dress tucked on a rack in the toddler section. It even has a cute little pineapple on the zipper. When my girlies were younger I used to get them a new Lilly Pulitzer shift every summer so it was fun to see the tradition move forward. Anyhow, after the cupcake she did a quick wardrobe change to open gifts... She could badly keep her eyes open by that time and mostly just let her mom do all the unwrapping.It was a super fun day and we could almost forget all the drama in this little girl and her mother's life for a little bit. Thanks for listening,[...]



Father's Day... Keeping it Real...

2015-06-22T15:17:31.127-04:00

This is going to be a very long and not so upbeat post, and I just want to say upfront that I am married to an amazing man who is an amazing father. He loves his family with a devotion only second the Lord. He is a bright shining pillar in a life full of tarnished father images...You see, Father's Day is a tough day for me... I had a distinct lack of strong father roles in my life. My father was born without a father. His father died before he was born. This sunk his mother into a deep depression leaving my father and his older sister and brother to be raised by his grandmother. She had also lost her husband so it was a household without a strong male influence. My father being the baby and the fact that everyone felt sorry for him was doted on and spoiled. He grew up believing his needs were all important and this made him very narcissistic in his adulthood. In other words he grew into a very selfish man. When I was less then two years old he brought my mother, brother  and I to his grandmother's house under the guise of a visit then informed my mother he was having an affair and he wanted to marry the other woman so she could stay there or go where ever else she wanted but he was not taking us home with him. He then married the other woman about a year later and somehow he managed to forget to ever mention to her that he even had children. (She found out after they married when he eventually took her to visit his family.) He was not a totally horrible person and anyone who met him generally liked him. He was the life of every party and people constantly tell me I get a lot of my outgoing nature from him... It's hard to tell since I only saw him about five or six times from that time he left us until I was sixteen and I moved to Tennessee to live with him and my step mother. Let's just say of that two year period, that not much had changed and his world continued to revolve around him. He passed away in 2000 and since he never bothered to visit me or my family and didn't even try to have a relationship with his grandchildren I didn't go to his funeral. (Ironically, after he passed away I reached out to my step mother and we now have a pretty good relationship and she has been a very real part of my daughter's lives.) Ironically he was a leader for "Promise Keepers" for his region. A movement of Christian men to encourage them to put God first and their families second only to the Lord...My mother remarried when I was eight. My step father is more then twenty years older then she is so when she remarried at 37 he was almost sixty. He was widowed and has five children all much older then I am. (His oldest is only a year or so younger then my mother.) He had grand children older then my brother and I, so he was past his "parenting" years. He made attempts at being a father figure in my life but he was an alcoholic and also very self centered. (Apparently my mother has a type.) He informed my brother over and over that he married my mother, not us. It wasn't long before we (my brother & I) started spending long stretches of time home alone. When he was home he tended to see us as a free labor source and I think believed that keeping us busy doing yard and house work was the best way to keep us out of his hair. He constantly compared us to his children from his previous family and we were always found to be lacking in some way. Ironic since his adult children describe him as a absentee father who when he was around was so overbearing they avoided him. They had the advantage of a stay at home mother to act as a buffer, but my mother had a career so we had little buffer. We were always in a catch 22... We were mocke[...]



Too Cute Not To Share... AND A FREE GIFT!

2015-06-11T18:12:30.467-04:00

Yesterday's post was really heavy so how about something lighter? Check out this super cute "Celebrate You Plate" Mary & Martha just released:It says: "You are special, loved, adored. A gift from God, a sweet reward. Your smiles light up every day. You bless the world hip, hip, hooray! You're fun to be with, fun to love, a happy treat from God above. So thankful He created you, let's celebrate with much ado!"Even the back is cute... It says: "He will take great delight in you. He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:37 (NIV)This beautiful ceramic plate is 9.5" and the perfect way to celebrate both big events and everyday accomplishments. I have a friend who uses her celebrate you plate to reward her family for all kinds of everyday events. She has six kiddos and they each look forward to using the celebrate plate for dinner but she also uses it to reward everyday events. If one of her kiddos gets 100 on a math quiz, cleans their room without being asked or shows uncommon kindness to a sibling they just might find the celebrate plate at their place on the dinner table. She stresses that her kiddos can't "earn" the plate, it is a surprise reward that always makes for a special direr for the recipient. This adorable design is only $26 and only available in June! To order go to www.RebeccasBlessedHome.com and click on the "shop" link. I am currently trying to reach a HUGE goal this month so everyone who reads my blog and orders one or more of the "Celebrate You Plates" this month will also receive a FREE surprise gift from me in the mail! Just order the plate online then comment below that you ordered based on this post and I will look your order up and send your free gift! (And my gratitude for helping me reach this milestone goal!) Don't need one? Think about what a fun gift this would make? Think about one for the new grandparent in your life to use when their grands visit... How about the parent's to be? Even newlyweds would love this. I also think the would be a fun, unexpected baby shower gift that would last long beyond the infant years! Imagine filling it with treats and delivering it to a older relative or neighbor to just let them know they are loved and thought about! I have a customer who is ordering two and intends to keep one and create a "pass it on" tradition in church. She plans to fill it with goodies and include a note saying to enjoy the goodies then refill the plate and pass it on to another member of the church family, so on and so on... How fun is that? The ideas for this plate are limitless...  Order yours today and when you comment below let us all know how you pan to use yours! Thanks for listening,[...]



Spilling it...

2015-06-11T01:06:55.853-04:00

I have alluded to it, but haven't shared too much publicly but there is no reason to hide. In fact the very process of keeping things quiet has allowed others to control the headlines, so here goes...Last August Katy came to me just before we left to take Allison to college and told me her marriage was in trouble. She tearfully told me that things started to go down hill towards the end of her pregnancy and that she didn't know what to do. She shared that he was angry all the time, that when they were alone together he was cruel (verbally) to her, made fun of her, would yell at her and "blow up" over tiny things, would not allow her any access to any family money, but most concerning her was getting increasingly rough with the baby. As the baby became mobile and would get into things he believed it was his job to implement discipline and even started spanking the baby at only six months old. She spent a lot of her energy making sure the baby didn't annoy him in any way but that was exhausting and that deep down she was growing more afraid of him. She said he had never hit her but felt like it was only a matter of time at that point.We were of course alarmed and deeply concerned. We believe in the sacred covenant of marriage but didn't want our daughter or granddaughter in a bad situation. We had seen some troubling things and had been concerned for sometime but it's hard to know what is the normal growing pains of marriage and what requires intervention. The fact that she was truly worried for their safety we decided (prayerfully) to suggest she and the baby stay here at our house while we were gone to take Allison to college giving them time to cool off and pray. Then when we got home they should go to marriage counseling to work on his anger and any other issues leading to it.He reluctantly agreed to this plan and they saw very little of each other while we were gone. When we got home we pushed for a couple weeks for them to get into counseling and were hopeful when they found someone. It became apparent early on that he was just going thorough the motions. He was spending more hours a week with his personal trainer then his daughter or his wife and he would mock the therapist at every opportunity. Long story short, Katy tried three times between late October though November to move back into their home, each time to end up back here through a series of escalating incidents. The last one in late November, they left here and in less then two hours a terrified Katy called her dad and asked him to come get them. He had become so enraged because she said she was having a bad day that he yelled at her and proceeded to punch in the side of their vehicle (so severely you could no longer open the passenger side door). It was the final straw, she told him she couldn't do it anymore and thought they should get divorced. (On a side note, he was also not supporting her or the baby financially in any regular way and she still had no access to family funds.)About a week and half later she got a call from his close friend telling her that he had caught Jed and his wife together and they confirmed they had been having an affair and they were "in love". The other woman left her husband (and their two young children) and moved her into Katy & Jed's home. Katy was not shocked (which is another story) but did have a hard time wrapping her mind around it. So her dad took her over there while he would be at work. Thankfully no one was home but in fact all the other woman's belongings were there.On a side note, Jed was still leading worship all this time at church even though we ma[...]



#NoCompareDare

2015-06-08T10:07:01.074-04:00

My husband and I were talking yesterday about a time in our lives when we lived in a more urban area and it seemed like the social norm was to "keep up with the {generic name}" but the goal seemed to be to be better then them... Anything short was considered an embarrassment. Having people over for dinner required weeks and weeks of prep time... It was overwhelming and only feeling accepted because of how big and beautiful you house was, what you drove, what you wore, or even what foods you served was exhausting and you could never win...Here's the thing, "winning" should never be the goal of friendship. There is no trophy... If you find yourself feeling this way feel free to just stop. Seriously, be real... Be authentic... You will figure out pretty quick who is your true friends are and they will probably be relieved.For the month of June Mary & Martha is doing the "#NoCompareDare" we are asking you to spend a month trying not to compare yourself with anyone else... And one way to do that is to stop trying to portray your life as perfect and flawless to others... When you just stop, take a breath and reveal your true authentic self you will not only feel less stress but others around you will feel free to do the same. This "#NoCompareDare" thing is the perfect chance to get off the fake perfection hamster wheel! I dare you to take the first step. Tonight I am having people over and other then some minor tiding up I am having them over to my "real" house... The tiny, frequently cluttered, place we call home. And I am not going all out for the food either... No pouring over Pinterest for the menu, no desserts in individual mason jars (although those are fun), no fancy at all... I love to throw parties and go all out but there is a time and a place for that and that is not on a Monday night after an extremely busy day! Join me... I dare you!  allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/RGSAdpcYlmo/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RGSAdpcYlmo?feature=player_embedded" width="320">Thanks for listening,[...]



What I am loving these days... Gigi Edition...

2015-06-08T00:32:36.971-04:00

 Now that Katy & my sweet Goobie are here full time my life is filled with all things toddler... Not that I mind so much... Take a look at that face from an outing this past weekend...We were outside at an event and she was so happy...There were animals and some of her favorite people... Mix that with festival food and getting to be outside all day... She was in heaven!It took me awhile to get back into the swing of having a toddler around full time but now we are all settled in. The products these days are so fun and so much more advanced then they were when the girlies were toddlers... So here are some of the things that make life with a toddler more fun these days. First off, lets start with those shoes. These adorable little Keens are a cross between a sandal & shoe. They are super durable and easy to put on! These things are a summer time lifesaver...And also that stroller she is in... When you live in a rural area and one day you are going to the farmer's market, and the next you are off to take a walk around the block, then you are headed down a bumpy dirt road to explore the beach you need more the the garden variety stroller... Meet The Bob... This baby set us back a pretty penny but it is worth every one of those pretty pennies! The next one is a "Goobie Specific" need... Meet "Chick Chick"... Hers no longer looks like this one... You see Chick Chick is her "lovie" and hers is dingy and smells bad but a day can not go by without him!Now that summer is here I have been in the market for things that Goobie can do outside. She love splashing in the dog's water dish so I decided to find her a "water table" and it turns out there are A LOT of them on the market. After much research I decided on the Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas Waterpark Play... It is sturdy, not likely to tip when a two year old decides to climb onto it (and they will), and most importantly, she could play with this thing for hours! Allow me to introduce "Duck & Goose"... These two cute characters are a favorite around here. Our Goobie knows where the book section is in almost any store we frequent, even if it's way in the back. In fact the closer we get to the book section the more excited she gets and she picked one of these cute books one time and now she gets super excited every time she sees a new one! Last fall our little Goobie decided she was too big for her crib so we needed to find a toddler bed. We had about three to choose from when my girlies were little... These days there are dozens to choose from but when I spotted this little beauty on the Target website the search was over. We wondered how she would take to it, but we needn't have worried, within moments of Paul assembling it she hopped on and has loved it ever since. I know I have been pretty close lipped about why Katy is back home with the baby but it has been very traumatic and still some days are worse the others for this sweet toddler. Those days this bed almost seems like a magic safe spot to her. There are about a million other things she loves or make our lives easier, but I will stop myself here for today! Thanks for listening,[...]



Meet Callie Mae...

2015-06-03T02:42:29.516-04:00

My girls have been bugging me for a few years to get another dog. We love dogs but Paul & I were predicting an empty nest and were not sure how a dog would play into that...

As it turns out, our nest is anything but empty and that was also a concern. If you recall, we have a tiny home and instead of our nest emptying, people keep coming back to stay. Where would we put a dog? We have almost always had golden retrievers but I was sure we didn't have room or time to train a puppy. I reluctantly promised to pray about it and keep my eyes and heart open for the right dog for us. 

Then last week this photo showed up in my FaceBook feed...


Meet Callie, a five year old beagle who was left at the local shelter. She is incredibly calm, loving, quiet (surprising for a beagle). She likes cats, small children & is fully house broken. She does have some separation anxiety issues. She gets physically ill when locked inside a crate and has panic attacks when left alone for long periods of time. Thankfully for her, we are also a little neurotic and there is rarely a time when someone isn't home. 

Plus, look at that face!!

We brought her home for a seven day "slumber party" last week and made her adoption final yesterday. She is a perfect fit for our family! She came with the name Callie but Allison decided to add a middle name, hence, Callie Mae! 

Thanks for listening,(image)



Mary & Martha Takes Me To Cancun...

2015-05-26T12:32:23.508-04:00

I earned another trip!!! WooHoo!! This one was to the lovely Secrets Playa Mujeres Resort. Paul was not able to go with me because of issues going on at home so my good friend Alisa agreed to be my "plus 1" for the trip. Since she lives in Montana and I am in Maine we both flew to Atlanta the day before the trip to meet up. I wish I had pictures from our stay in Atlanta... We had a beautiful room and everything but the effort it takes two moms to leave home for a week was so exhausting that we both stretched out on our beds for a nap at about 3 PM and I woke up at 1 AM and turned off the lights! We had to be up by 4 AM to head to the airport anyhow so I am glad we were rested! It turns out Alisa does not enjoy flying so it didn't matter that we were in first class... This is how she spent most of the flight! But after we got through customs & immigration (we both got green lights and if you have ever traveled to Mexico you know what I mean) and found our driver she was all smiles again.Exiting the airport in Cancun makes you feel like a sheep walking through a crowd of hungry wolves. Mary & Martha had prearranged transport for us but there are dozens and dozens of people offering you a ride, a rental car or any one of a hundred things all at once. When you finally make it out the door you are greeted by about 100 drivers holding up signs and you are supposed to find yours. We were waiting a few minutes for some others to arrive from our group and I snapped this picture thinking it would show the total chaos but it doesn't show any chaos at all! Our resort was about a 30 minute ride from the airport and we were welcomed with champagne and cool towels to freshen up... Lovely but I just wanted to get to my room and get into cooler clothing since it was about 100 degrees, humid and little breeze that first day... (The weather was much better the rest of our time there.) The resort was beautiful! This was looking down at the pool from our room. If you notice the building across from us you will note it is at an angle... Ours was too so we looked out over the ocean and the pool area. Here is Alisa on our patio... The room upgrade said it had a "private hot tub" on the balcony... Well the bathtub in the bathroom was bigger then our private hot tub. I did tell Alisa I could get in and she could hop in on my lap but she passed... {kidding folks!} Being a Mary & Martha trip we of course for some swag... One thing they gave each of us was this this cool tote bag. Which is really more of a business bag then a tote so it is very functional here at home too!Our room was gorgeous and the people at the resort took very good care of us. They greeted us with wine and apples... We had a mini bar in the room that was complimentary so we were happy to find lots of bottled water. The first night Mary & Martha had a reception for us and it was lovely. So fun catching up with all my M&M peeps!Here I am with Kathy from Virginia and Anne from Tennessee...That night set the tone for what it seemed like we did every moment we were not by the pool or on the beach... Eat! It is an all-inclusive resort and they have several restraints to choose from so there was a great deal of discussion as to what and where people would eat each meal! Here we are at the French restaurant. At the head of the table next to me is Dawn who is my corporate mentor and friend. She is amazing and I could do a whole post about just her! In the[...]



Time Flies...

2015-04-16T23:45:02.348-04:00

Twenty-four years ago this week these two fresh faced kids said "I Do"I am pretty sure we had no idea what we were agreeing to beyond that we were going to face what ever it was together. I think that was enough at the time.We are not "fresh faced" anymore but I would say that "I Do" all over. Unfortunately I have had a stomach virus most of this week. But don't feel too sorry for me. I know I have mentioned before, but we have a resort right here in the town we live in. I have hosted events there, used their spa and pools, eaten many meals and even had out of town guests stay there but have never spent the night there ourselves... So, for our anniversary we treated ourselves to a little "stay-cation"This does seem like a nice spot to recuperate and unwind... Don't you agree? Thanks for listening,[...]



Moving Mountains...

2015-04-14T11:26:42.656-04:00

Okay, before I continue, let me just acknowledge that I am the world's worst blogger... I post once a month at best and read all of your blogs the same way... Late at night I will click over and scroll down your blogs until I get to the last one I read and sit there and read them in order until I catch up. This is a crazy method and means I feel way too "stalker-ish"to comment except on the latest post or two... Yes, I am nuts... Especially since I still consider myself a blogger! Anyhow... I was asked to speak on the Mary & Martha Leader call this past week and usually if I do that I will do a training or share some tips or something really business related but that is not what the Lord put on my heart... Since it is literally the first thing I have written in forever I thought I'd share it here too... (Disclaimer: I changed the ending slightly since it didn't really pertain to a wider audience the Mary & Martha Leaders, but keep in mind as you read this that is who I was writing it toward. Hopefully you get something out of it too.)I have struggled for two weeks now to know what to share with you today. It sounds easy… Share your big picture… But which “big picture” did I want to share, and was what I wanted to share, what the Lord wanted me to share? Every time I sat down to write I would have such a hard time focusing I would give up and when I would come back later and see what I wrote it was clear I was on the wrong track every time. Why was I so distracted and had so little focus you ask? Well 15 days ago I gave up all processed sugar. I did it because I finally believed I could… My exact thought was “if I put even 25% of the focus I put into my business into feeling better and getting healthy I can’t lose” so I quietly chose what I thought would have the biggest impact on my health but also what I knew would be one of the hardest steps because if I could succeed in that area, then the rest would seem easier. Well, It has been horrible, and amazing… Horrible because I realize how physically and mentally dependent I was on sugar but amazing because each day I literally have dozens of successes… Each time I say no to a craving I prove to myself that something I have believed for over twenty years now is wrong. I prove to myself that I DO have the “will power” to succeed and conquer my health and food issues. Instead of telling myself that everyone in my family is over weight and that this is just my lot in life, day by day, hour by hour I could see that there might be a light at the end of this tunnel and I just might be healthier one day.That is what the Lord kept leading me back to… Who do YOU believe you are? In Jeremiah 1:5 it says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” I don’t believe I was appointed a prophet of nations but I do believe the Lord knew me from before the womb and it doesn’t matter what this world has told me about who I am. This world will fill us full of lies about ourselves. But the Lord truly knows who I am and he made me in his own image, a special part of the body with unique gifts to serve the body and through that service, to serve him.When I came to Mary & Martha I believed a lot of things. Over the years I have tried several direct sales companies and would experience success for awhile but never could really get thing[...]



Snowed In...

2015-03-07T20:50:43.427-05:00

 It's March... And not much has changed in my neck of the woods...As I am sure you have heard on the evening news by now, New England is having one of the snowiest winters on record. Here in our little home town we have had well over 100" of snow and most of it since mid-January. This is what over SIX FEET of snow looks like in my front yard... That rail you see there is over my head when I am standing on the ground in front of it. Most of this snow came in blizzard after blizzard, storm after storm... Separated by about three days. Our lives for the second half of January and all of February went like this: Day 1 Snowstorm keeping us home, Day 2 Dig out/Snowed in, Day 3 Freedom, Day 4 Repeat. There was occasionally some variation as in it snowed for two days once (we got over 2') and it took us two days to dig out, but it was pretty much every 3-4 days we got a major storm. This is how I feel...It has slowed down a little bit now that March is here... It has snowed a couple times so far this month but it was 6" or less each time. I am hopeful I will be able to back out of my driveway without feeling like a kamikaze pilot since I literally can no longer see past the snow banks, at some point this month. I want spring so bad it hurts. I love snow but too much of a good thing will wear you down fast! There is good news... I have once again earned the Mary & Martha Incentive Trip and will be jetting to Cancun, Mexico at the end of April. In about 50 days I will be here for an all expense paid vacation for two!! I even get $1000 spending cash! This resort just opened in November of 2014 and since I earned it at the highest level we will be staying in one of their luxury suites. WooHoo! Look at the conspicuous lack of SNOW!!! This is the THIRD incentive trip I have earned in the last 19 months since I started with Mary & Martha! I also have gotten to go on THREE other business trips to San Antonio, TX, Kansas City, MO & Fayetteville, AR! Yes, that is SIX trips in 19 months!! When I joined in the late summer of 2013 I was just hoping to earn enough to buy their dishes for my family! I never in my wildest dreams imagined this would happen. Don't get me wrong, I work extremely hard, but the fruits of this labor are so much sweeter then I could have ever dreamed! If you want more information or want to join my team, just let me know! I am off to dream of palm trees and the green grass in that one photo... Oh how I miss grass!!!(PS. I updated my "About Me" tab up there if you want to take a peek... I'd love some feedback!)Thanks for listening,[...]