Many of you have followed me for several years. You knew me when I just had Aubrie and Everett and decorating was my passion. You saw that shift big time in 2010 and you prayed for my pregnancy and you really prayed for me as I handed Ollie over for open heart surgery. You have loved on my family immensely and I'm ever grateful for you!
You have also watched me dive into fitness after Ollie was completely healed from her surgery.
Things you may not have known were some of our larger struggles that I was far to embarrassed to write about at the time, but perhaps you suspected anyway. I had a pride issue and was far to proud to admit we needed help at the time. I was completely unpaid on my maternity leave and our income was cut in half - we live in a new home we had built & I had a relatively new car - it was bad. I had a very very gracious employer who kept me on health insurance through Ollie's surgery and never allowed me to reimburse them for my premiums - my company and bosses were amazing! But aside from that we really struggled. My best friend put together a baby shower where we were given gas & visa gift cards. With our hospital 2 hours away we drove a lot and Ollie saw doctors weekly if not more than once a week. We had hotel stays, food on the road, and co pays of roughly $400 or more a month by the time we would see all Ollie's doctors.
On top of a baby in heart failure, fear of bills is a lot to handle. It was kind of to the point where you really don't care about money too. You say eff it right? Or I did.
We were forced onto public aid, social security disability to be exact. Jade & I felt almost as if we were pimping out Ollie's diagnosis to get a check to help us survive. I know that isn't true, but when you have worked so hard for everything you have and it crumbles so quickly and you are forced to do the necessary it's just a kick in the gut - I don't know how to compare it to anything else unless you have been there yourself.
Ollie got better. We started seeing less doctors. I started sewing & making jewelry - anything to help us make $20 at a time so we could get more groceries. We just couldn't get ahead and didn't know how. I knew I needed to be a stay at home Mom. Ollie needed home therapy and I didn't want to hear about her progress or delays second hand. I knew I needed to be home. So I officially quit my job, my good job, gave up our insurance, and we went on medicaid. Yep it was worse than before.
But an opportunity opened up for me August 2010. Through my personal fitness journey I became a coach. I was hoping to find my way out of the body I had created through stress and anxiety. I was trying to find something each day to do that was mine, that would make me confident in my own skin again. And I did find it. But I never expected to find an opportunity to make more than $20 at a time. However, I found it. My coach led me into growing a business. A business that in 3 months time helped us get off of social security disability. A business that planted the seed of a dream in my heart again that I COULD have more. That would could take care of our family without state aid. That dream made me dive all in with a passion of helping other people because you see, by helping other people that is where my personal success was found. You can't be successful if you don't make a positive imprint on the lives of others.
My first full year of coaching in 2012 I earned $20,000 - half of my old income - but I had generated it in a few hours a week working from home - helping people and helping myself. I was confident. I had friends that supported me and loved me and understood my trials because they had been there themselves.
This past year has been a whirlwind. I really committed to helping a lot more people and helping my friends, that became coaches alongside me to find success. I had the ability to share my story on stage in Vegas in front of 7,500 people. And it was more than my story it was an opportunity to tell the world my child has Down Syndrome and is a rock star. The crowd cheered! It was a huge shift from two years ago when I'd say my daughter has Down Syndrome & people responded I'm so sorry. To advocate for her on that grand of a scale was truly God given. I have ended up ending 2013 as a 5 star diamond, Elite coach which I know means nothing to you but it's a big accomplishment for me. I also ended ranked 85 out of a company of 150,000 coaches in less than 2 1/2 years. I have done it by sharing my families story, changing our health, and helping others.
It's truly all given to me by God but it blows me away every day that I'm on my way to a 6 figure income, at home, at a desk in my living room, with 3 kids around me on a snow day, all by changing lives and loving on others!
Thank you all for your prayers and support - I know I don't blog enough and I'm working on changing that in 2014 but I wanted to share with you what our last 3 years b/c girlfriend is almost 3 - what's been going on!!