What Makes You Happy?

DSC05450“‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?'” And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something,”

-Steve Jobs

A good friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook the other day. It immediately made me smile, because I’m in the middle of a pretty big life change.

If I would have asked myself the question above on my 35th birthday (which was this past January), the answer would have been “NO!”.  I had recently returned to working full-time after having my 3rd son. Although I LOVED Discovery Education, adored the people I was blessed to work beside, and honored to work with compassionate educators across the nation to help transform teaching and learning, I was not happy. For me and what I want in MY life, it was too much travel. I loved my job, but I love my husband and my family even more. I was so stressed, and I didn’t have the confidence to have “the talk” with the leadership team at work to tell them I was drowning. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to upset anyone, and I’m also the type of person who doesn’t like to admit I can’t “do it all”. So I put on a front and pretend everything is “A-OK”. I avoid the crucial conversations and instead cry and pray in the privacy of my own home for courage and strength. I lie to myself and tell myself that this is just the kind of stress that all full-time working moms deal with. I surround myself with friends and family every weekend who lift me up and give me energy to face another week.

Luckily, God often times takes the wheel when you are lost and guides you along the right path when you need it most.

Two days after my 35th birthday, I received the news that my position at work was eliminated as a result of a reorganization. Let me first say that I 100% AGREED WITH AND SUPPORTED this decision. I knew a change was coming and was hoping it would place me in a position where I was traveling less. The position I was in no longer made sense for the team I was on. I knew it, I felt it, and I agreed with the decision. I was in the wrong seat on the bus.

There were other seats available on the bus, however they also required a significant amount of travel, so in the end I made the decision not to pursue any of those seats, and I left.

I could say I was excited, happy and relieved when I left, but that would be a lie. I did feel that deep down, but mostly my ego was bruised. I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and angry. Laid off? That doesn’t happen to me.

I was pretty upset the first few weeks. I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone outside my inner circle. Luckily I have the most amazing family and friends, and they lifted me up and reminded me that everything happens for a reason.

A few weeks after I left, I flew down to Florida to visit my parents for a week with the boys. We got to the condo we rented on a beach outside of Tampa just in time to see the sunset. My 2 older boys kicked off their shoes and ran to put their toes into the ocean for the first time.

As the sun disappeared behind the Gulf, a man (who had been standing in the ocean playing his bagpipes when we arrived) played Amazing Grace. Now, of all the places in the world he choose to play, God placed him right in front of me. If that’s not a sign that I’m on the right path, I don’t know what is. My dad hugged me and I held back tears of joy. I knew in that moment that I would be ok.

Fast forward a few months to yesterday, Mother’s Day. About a month ago the idea came to me to launch iMoveU on Mother’s Day. It was more of a symbolic launch, and I wanted to celebrate with family and freinds. That little voice in my head said “You should call it The Gift Of Time.” I likedimage (1) this name because time is a gift, and as a Mother of 3 boys, there is no greater gift than spending time with my family. The SAME DAY I had this idea, my middle son came home with this picture he had made at school. Getting chills yet? Yeah, me too.

About a week after I chose to launch iMoveU on Mother’s Day, I also decided I would use the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds. It’s a wonderful children’s book that teaches kids how to “make their mark” on the world. I recently gave it to my friend Jessica who wrote her first novel.  (It’s called The Rooms Are Filled, and it’s amazing. Go buy it. Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. ) Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Peter in person, I had the opportunity to listen to him talk during a virtual event while I was at Discovery and I was really touched by his own story. He’s an amazing man with a passion for helping kids (AND ADULTS) make their mark and share their inner art with the world.


The SAME DAY I decided to use this book in my launch, my middle son (who rarely draws anything- normally he’s busy playing with his cars and planes) drew this picture, which looks almost identical to the cover of the book. HE HAD NEVER SEEN OR HEARD OF THE BOOK!!! And why, of all the things he could draw, would he draw a big dot? Yet another sign….

These are just a few of the “signs” I’ve received along the way over the course of the past 3 months. These signs give me courage, hope and excitement for the future of iMoveU. I’m not doing this for attention, to prove anything to anyone, or to make a ton of money. I’m doing it all out of love. I’m doing this because I’m HAPPY. And I want to help other people be HAPPY.

Tomorrow I’m hosting my first “Happier Hour” for a group of amazing women where I will be cooking some of my favorite healthy apps and fresh juices, and I’ll be talking about companies, resources and products that have made me happy. (If you live in the NW Chicago burbs and you want to come please let me know!)

One of those products is Nerium. About 2 months ago my best friend and college roommate Megan called me to tell me all about “this amazing, all natural skin care product” called Nerium. I thought she was crazy and almost started avoiding her calls and texts. I’ve never spent more than $30 on face cream and I just lost my job, why would I want to spend money on that? However, because she is my best friend and because I love her, I listened.

I’m SO glad I trusted her when she promised me it would change my life.

I’ll save the details for a later post, but let me just say that Nerium has transformed my skin. Not just my face, but also my stomach (which I’ve had very loose skin since my second child), my neck, and my chest. I worked hard to loose the baby weight after each child. But after gaining and losing 30-40 pounds 3 times, my body has been through quite a beating. I am proud to say that I did it the right way. I didn’t go on a crash diet, I exercised daily and ate well. However, I was embarrassed by the loose skin on my stomach and was sad that it looked the way it did. I even thought about getting a tummy tuck because society is constantly yelling at women that we have to look perfect. (Which says a lot, because I even refused epidurals for all 3 kids in large part because needles scare me. The thought of my skin being cut off makes me cringe.)

After only 5 weeks, my stomach looks drastically different. Don’t get me wrong, I still have loose skin. I HAD 3 KIDS! You should see what my stomach looks like in high plank position if I don’t have a compression top on. Not pretty. But it has made such a huge difference, and it’s made me feel more comfortable in my own skin.

I’m happy to privately send my before and after pictures to anyone interested. Maybe in time I will post them publicly on on here and Facebook, but for now just send me a message if you want to see my real results.

I’m such a firm believer and supporter of Nerium that I also signed on to be a brand partner. I’ve never sold anything in my life, but I believe so strongly in the product AND the organization. I’m proud to represent Nerium and can’t wait to share it with my friends and family to see the difference it can make for others. And the best part about it is, you receive Nerium for free when you refer 3 friends. The company believes so strongly in helping people live better lives that they literally give the product away for free. They also give 30% of their profits to cancer research, which was how the product was discovered. It’s gluten free, and does not contain anything artificial or harmful for your skin. As a brand partner, I am blown away by the leadership and commitment to personal development this organization provides. Nerium is giving me access to amazing tools and resources that will help give me the skill set to build iMoveU.

If someone would have told me on my 35th birthday that I was going to lose my job, start my own non-profit, sell skin cream and have a new stomach (without having to get a tummy tuck)  within the next 3 months I would have slapped them across the face and called them crazy. But when you drown out noise of the world and listen to what’s in your heart, you never know where God will take you.

Here’s to being HAPPY!!


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