SAFE Hearts… why it’s so important!

Sharing Awareness for Family Empowerment”

The SAFE Hearts line from Damsel in Defense has been a big hit since it was unveiled this last summer! We recently added some new products to it with the launch of the Spring/Summer 2017 catalog and I am so excited! I think my favorite new SAFE Hearts product is the family board game.

I’ve been 100% on board with this product line since day one, but it hasn’t been as popular for me as for others. I’ve been playing it off as “I don’t have kids so it’s harder for me to sell…” Well that’s some BS, and I’m calling myself out! 

Just because I’ve never been in that situation doesn’t mean I can’t invest in helping those who have. You don’t have to be a parent to know that children deserve safety. They are so impressionable, which means there is no better time to teach them how to handle tricky situations and to make it clear that no matter who hurts them or makes them feel uncomfortable, there is ALWAYS someone they can speak to. 

A couple weeks ago, in my seemingly innocent little hometown, a gal I knew in high school was arrested on some pretty serious and shocking charges. That’s when it all became real. I know there’s nothing I can do to change what happened, but I certainly can do something to make sure that more young people don’t fall victim to the coercion of tricky people. 

For the longest time, these were just statistics. Just numbers, sad numbers, but just numbers. Until now. You always hear that childhood abuse usually comes from someone the victim knows. It’s been proven, but up until now, it didn’t really sink in. You just NEVER know what someone is capable of. 

We’re not out to scare kids, or preach stranger danger but rather to empower children to take charge. They know what makes them uncomfortable, and there is never a reason for them to feel ashamed for  standing up for themselves. Everything about SAFE Hearts is family oriented, uplifting, and just good fun, with an important message.

I recently attended a women’s self defense class where they repeated over and over, “No is a complete sentence.” I believe with my whole heart that our children should be taught this, when it comes to the safety of their hearts and bodies. 

I absolutely love that the SAFE Hearts line is for the whole family! It encourages everyone to get involved and to learn, maybe even heal together. I think my favorite part is that Damsel has joined together with Stitch Counseling Services to make resources available to families who need them.

Damsel truly has something for everyone! I’ve been a part of this company for 3 and a half years, and I’ve never seen the mission waver. Equip. Empower. Educate.  Every single product or service this company has created is precisely in line with those 3 verbs.  I’m a pretty lucky girl to be a part of something so rewarding!! 

Visit my website to learn more about the mission or to contact me! 

 

6 months later…

It’s been 6 months today since we said goodbye to Mom. The holidays have come and gone, and guess what? I’m still here! I made it. I handled it. Gracefully? That depends on who you ask, but still, I did it. 
Yes, I still cry myself to sleep some nights. Some days I just start crying for no reason it seems. And then there are days where I cry out of thankfulness. I know that sounds weird, so let me explain.

I know someone whose mother suddenly went into the hospital, and then this young woman was tasked with “pulling the plug” a week later. My heart shattered for her, but at the same time, mine healed a little. I know the pain she feels, but I can’t imagine having had to make that decision, nor can I begin to understand how it must have felt to deal with that in a hospital room. I am blessed to have been able to hold my mommy’s hand as she took her last breaths. She slipped away so peacefully, in the comfort of her own home, no machines, wires or plugs. I’ve had some awful flashbacks in the last week, of those last 24 hours, but if I think about it long enough and from a different perspective, my experience was actually quite beautiful. 

I have found so much strength in the tiny little smiles that come from the smallest little memory of Mom. The little grins spread across my face much faster than the tears flow, though sometimes the tears do make me feel a bit better. 

I’ve found a couple other blogs that I really enjoy reading, written by people who have been through situations similar to mine. We seem to help each other by letting the other know that they are not alone, and that we know exactly how they feel. That common thread is a remarkable thing. It’s funny how life works. Some of my friends (they’re all amazing) but some of their efforts have just been astounding since Momma left. Isn’t it crazy the way some relationships flourish during the darkest times in your life? 

Soo, 6 months. Seems long, seems short, I don’t really know, it’s kind of a blur. I’ve kept really busy between my day job and my dream job. Some days she’s easy to think and talk about, others not so much. 
I definitely feel like two different versions of myself most of the time lately. Someday I’ll figure out how to blend the two. For now, I’ll just keep pressing on, I’ve got too many big exciting plans for 2017 to lose myself between the two, or to let myself drown in a pool of sorrow.

Dear Mommy…

Christmas has come and gone already. It was quite different this year. I woke up at like 6 am on Christmas Eve, you know me and Christmas lol. I wanted so badly to call you, like I always used to. So, I cried a little, then did the next best thing, I put on your Christmas music and took some time for myself, and of course, cried some more. My heart aches when I think about you missing all this fun, but my heart also rejoices in knowing that you are in all of our hearts, and you’re having the most glorious Christmas up there in heaven. 

We went to Grandpa and Grandma’s this year instead of your house, I think that made it a little easier on all of us. Aunt J lives with Gma & Gpa now, I’m sure she’s told you. I’ve seen Gma at least once a month since she moved in, so that’s been nice. We went Christmas shopping together, the 3 of us, and oh my gosh Mom, the mall has changed so much! The pretzel place is gone, but a new one is coming soon. Aunt J said they’d be at my house at 10, they showed up EARLY and I wasn’t ready!! I told them it was your fault, I’m so used to you saying you’d be here at 10 and then calling me at 10:15 to say you’d just gotten on the freeway haha. I gave them your Christmas tapestry throws to put on the couch to help decorate. Dad and Aunt J went up to Cedar Lodge and cut down a beautiful tree for Gma’s house. I’m sure you heard all about that too. Of course Gma had her candles and birds on the tree, but she skipped the angel hair this year! You would have loved it.

Uncle M & Aunt D were here of course. It’s so wonderful to spend time with them. I feel like we bonded a lot with them this summer while you were sick. I really feel like we know each other now. Perry and Aunt D are just adorable when you get them together, we had a lot of good laughs. They got us the cutest pair of double sided fleece pillow cases, one side is GB, one side SF! They are soo comfy and the kitty cats sure love how warm they are. Uncle M & Aunt D are always just so thoughtful and generous. I know you know how great your family is, but I just thought I’d let you know that they’re for real. Nobody has changed since you left. I almost feel like they’re loving me more since you left, if that makes any sense.

I think my favorite part of Christmas Eve this year was that Brian came home. We didn’t get to see T and the baby, but Brian stayed with Dad for a couple days and I think they had a good time. He said my sugar cookies were really good. Everyone said they were just like yours! I was so stinkin proud of myself for actually pulling it off! I even cut the butter all by myself! Thanks for organizing your recipes in those binders, it makes my life soo easy! I know you did it for yourself but… 

Since Brian doesn’t have Facebook, he hadn’t seen my tattoo yet. So I showed him, and everyone else. They loved it. That was when the tears started flowing. I knew it was bound to come out, since it was Christmas and our first time really being with him since July. He hugged me and we both cried, and it actually kinda helped. 

I thought about you so much all week long, especially while I was baking your treats. I even made rocky road dream bars! I messed up the first batch, but the second batch was perfect! Perry’s parents let me use their kitchen all week, and he helped me decorate the sugar cookies. They also got me this beautiful pendant urn, so I can always keep a little bit of you with me. Isn’t it perfect? My Guardian Angel Jenny Rose… 

Oh Mommy… I have been so incredibly blessed by so many wonderful people since you went away. You sure picked some pretty amazing people to call friends. They’re really good at checking in on Dad and me. 

I mostly wanted to tell you how Christmas went without you, but I also wanted to say thank you. Thank you for always being there for us kids. For giving us such AMAZING Christmas memories and traditions to carry on with our own families. For instilling in me a deep love of Christmas, not just the lights and the music and the nativity and the presents and, but the whole thing. Christmas with you will forever be one of my fondest memories. Christmas without you will get easier as the years go on, at least I hope it will. I’m not gonna lie, this year was rough. I don’t think I’ve ever been this openly emotional. But the memories of you, and your smile that could light up a room, and your laughter, I can still hear it… They make me smile and laugh, and it makes my heart happy. I know if you were actually reading this, you would cry and say, “oh Potatie…” followed by some motherly words of wisdom… This letter isn’t really for you though, it’s for me. You always like to read my thoughts, and I’ve noticed that it really does help with the grieving process. I’m not a great writer. I write like I tell stories, jumping all over the place and taking forever to get to the point, but it comes out on paper like it would if I were telling a story. I find it easier to just write it, that way there’s no need for conversation, and I don’t get caught crying while trying to talk.

So, on that note, Merry Christmas Momma. The New Year is almost here. We survived our first holiday season without your beautiful face, though we know you are here in spirit. I love you Moo. ❤❤ 

Another day, another dollar… And a transfer?

August 29, 2003 – I got hired at my first real job!! It was going to pay my bills, and help me get through college. I was a functioning member of society and a responsible adult.

August 2005 – I was moving away to the coast for my last two years of college, and taking my job with me. I transferred to a new store, got a new job title. Things were working out great!

May 2007 – I graduated from college, and transferred back home for the summer. I was getting married in a few months and needed to keep working. We got married in July, and moved back to the coast!

April 2008 – I transferred again, took a new position, and was finally a full time employee. I had a set schedule! Life was good!

February 2009 – The company I worked for got bought out by an even larger corporation. We were lucky to be able to keep our jobs, and our years of service. The job title I held with my original employer no longer existed, but the new company gave me a new one. I was now a Shift Supervisor. Sweet!

June 2009 – My husband graduated from college, and we decided to move back home. Again, I transferred back to my home store. It was nice to reconnect with old coworkers. But there was a huge drawback to this transfer. I had a 50 mile round trip commute. It got old in a hurry, but there was nothing I could do about it. We needed the money, and I was comfortable with my coworkers and my position.

January 2011 – A shift supervisor position became available at a store only 20 miles round trip from my house. I jumped at the opportunity!

I remember telling my DM that I was never going to transfer again. I was happy at this store, and if I ever left, it would be because I had gotten a new job.

August 20, 2014 – I got called up to the manager’s office, and he told me that I was being transferred back to my home store. What!!??

I had no say in the matter, and neither did he. Apparently the DM decided that somebody needed to be sent down there, and since I had worked there before, I was the chosen one.

August 29, 2014 – Today is my 11 year anniversary with the company. I have 6 working days left at my current store. I start work at my new/old store on September 7th.

I’m looking forward to working with my old friends, but I am certainly not looking forward to the added commute and all the miles it will put on my new car. I will miss the friends that I have made at my current store.

I’m trying to look at this change from a positive perspective, but it’s hard, especially today. I never expected to be in this job, for this long, and then have it all change, without my consent.

At least I have a job, and it’s a good job. Thankfully I have my Damsel in Defense income to help supplement the negative changes with my day job.

Lucky Number 7

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July 14, 2007 – Turtle Bay – Redding, California

It was 105 degrees outside, and my dress weighed about 15 pounds. I had been planning this day for a solid year, but had envisioned it for as long as I could remember. The museum had been filled with pink and yellow everything, including the bridal party. The best men, and maids of honor wore pink, while the groomsmen and bridesmaids wore yellow. I never knew those boys could clean up so nicely.

Everything was exactly as it should be. I was surrounded by my dearest friends and family, and the man of my dreams was waiting, anxiously, at the altar.

The ceremony was short and sweet, very traditional, yet personal. We became Mr. & Mrs. in about 10 minutes flat.

We danced back down the aisle to Yes! by Merry Clayton and out into the blazing heat to take pictures on the Sundial Bridge. Jennifer Marinelli did such a great job of capturing the moments I really wanted.
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As soon as we were done with photos, we went back into the air-conditioned museum to party the night away! There were so many special moments throughout the reception, I couldn’t even begin to put them all into words!

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I can tell you that we (the bride & groom) were the last people to leave! We were just having too much fun, with all of our favorite people. The soles of his shoes fell apart, and my bustle was torn. It was a spectacular night!

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Here we are today, 7 years later! I think it’s supposed to be 106 degrees today. There won’t be a huge party with tuxedos and fancy dresses, a giant cake, or hundreds of guests. But there will be a man, and his wife, celebrating together. There won’t be a barrage of photos, but perhaps a selfie or two. They won’t physically be with us, but we will always be surrounded by the love and support from our friends and family. There won’t be champagne, but there will certainly be a toast, to many years to come.

It’s hard to believe that 7 years have passed already! Apparently time really does fly when you’re having fun!! There’s no one else I’d rather be growing old with.

Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you forever!

So you wanna party [plan]

 

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Party plan companies have been around much longer than I have been alive. Pick a product, you name it, there’s probably a party plan out there that offers it, or something like it. How do you choose which one is right for you? I don’t know how you decided, but I fell in love with the mission behind my party plan.

I never thought I would end up being an independent consultant, and I certainly never thought that I could be truly successful at direct sales. Get ready for life changing news folks! Damsel in Defense is a faith-based, mission-driven company. There is so much more to this company than just selling a product and making a profit!

I don’t want to discredit any of the other party plans out there, but personally, I am tired of candles, jewelry, makeup, and all the stuff people are selling these days.

I wanted to get out of the daily grind. I wanted to make money, but I also wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. As an Independent Damsel Pro, I have the opportunity to not only supplement my income, but also to make a real difference!

Damsel in Defense is about equipping women with the tools to not only keep them safe, but also to give them the confidence to know that they have a way out if they ever feel threatened. We are very excited about our affordable and adorable line of products. Whether you are at home or traveling, running or celebrating downtown with the girls, Damsel in Defense has the products and fact-based education that can and does save lives.

Our products provide peace of mind and a sense of empowerment. Sure, that candle smells really really good, or that jewelry piece is one-of-kind, but will they help you avoid a dangerous encounter? Will they keep your daughter safe while she’s away at college, or out with her girlfriends? Will that special moisturizer help you be independent and resourceful if your car breaks down? Will that extra cool baking dish save someone’s life?

I could go on and on about the differences between our products and those of other party plans.

To top it all off, and almost most importantly, every single purchase of Damsel product, means a donation is made to at least FOUR charities. Here at Damsel, we have three charities that we contribute to on a regular basis, internationally, nationally, and locally. Our co-founders choose a “Choice Charity” every month as well.

The 3 organizations that we give to every month are Wipe Every Tear, RAINN & Women’s & Children’s Alliance
To be a part of something as ground breaking and life altering as Damsel in Defense, is truly a rewarding experience! I have finally found something that I am passionate about. I can honestly say that what I do for a living, helps to save lives and make a difference!

 

If you are interested in becoming an Independent Damsel Pro, please get in touch with me! I’m looking to expand my team in all 50 states!

Visit my website!

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A mother’s love

As an adopted child, whose biological mother recently sent her a Facebook friend request, I felt I needed to blog today.

Today is a day to celebrate our moms for all of the things they have done for us over the years. They have made countless sacrifices, kissed our boo boos, sung lullabies, dried our tears, and calmed our fears. They have been our confidantes.

Mine taught me right from wrong, the power of strong work ethic, and how to be a responsible adult. She taught me how to be a loving wife, and more importantly, she showed me how to keep God at the center of my marriage.

With the recent contact from my biological mother, my mind has been reeling. I think I’ve finally made sense of my feelings, with a little help from a poem that hangs in the hall at my parents’ house.

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Sometimes I still have feelings of bitterness and resentment towards my biological mother, even though I forgave her many many years ago.

I realize now, that I need to be thankful for her, and the decisions she made. She may not have been prepared to be a mother, nor mature enough at the time to definitively decide how to handle the situation, but she loved me enough to actually give birth to me. She loved me enough to acknowledge that she couldn’t handle the responsibility of being a mom. She loved me enough to make sure that I ended up in a good home, with people who would love and raise me as their own.

So on this Mother’s Day, I just want to thank both of my mothers, for always having my best interests in mind.

Love your mothers friends, for all the things they do.

Happy Mother’s Day!