- My mom, her wisdom, love and faith. How no matter how tough things are in her life, my problems are important to her and her belief that we can lift them up to God and that he cares
- Sitting in the hot tub on rainy days with the kids and looking at the stars
- Kristina’s soul, she has the most amazing heart and is so beautifully sensitive
- Coffee with double chocolate powder in the morning
- Sean’s affection and humor, his intensity and brightness
- Camping on the islands with the family, s’mores over the campfire
- Julia’s personality, brains and leadership, she is wise way beyond her years, put together and incredibly kind
- All my customers but especially the first one’s who made such an impact on my future: Steve Ramirez, Scott Flagel, Gavin Landry and Phil Jackson
- A husband who loves me, cooks, has a sense of humor and is a wonderful father
- Tina and Jeff LaPell who make me laugh so hard I cry
- Pool parties, screaming children, floats, cookouts and bbq’s, happy chatter
- For soccer games where I can scream and cheer for Sean and his friends
- Zumba with Lisa and Jen, who smile while they get every last ounce of energy out of you and how great you feel because your doing it
- My sister Pam who is childlike in her joy and exuberance when surprised and brilliant and detailed in business and keeps me together there with her wisdom
- My sister-in-law Liz whose help with our landscaping has resulted in a backyard I love
- For the millions of flowers divided and given to me from my mom in my garden
- For Kristina’s artistic eye and how her photography captures light in the most spectacular way
- For an incredible community of friends who I can count on and who can count on me to help with watching, transporting and caring for our kids, who lend an ear when things go wrong and don’t judge and cheer for my kid as if they were theirs
- For my brother, and that he met a wonderful woman who he might marry and in Peru no less! and the fun we will have celebrating at his wedding
- For my dad and the depth of his love for me and the twinkle in his eye when we talk
- For music and dance parties with my kids, I love to watch them breakdance
- Tony Flores and his love for everyone and everything, his generosity and his Heart and the valves and a successful surgery. For how he took me in so many years ago in Spain and for the memories I have of Europe from living in Spain to Italy and Mark and my epic backpacking trip through Europe.
- For Belen and our friends in Spain and the kindness and friendship they extended to us at our visit
- For the time with my family in Paris and London and the experiences of a lifetime
- Walks at the ocean, stepping over Jellyfish and looking for shells
- The sunshine and a cool breeze
- Customer Hugs – the customers who come into the office and offer a hug instead of a handshake because we are that close.
- For my oldest sister Cheryl and her thoughtfulness, and kindness, her glitter and her sparkle, her family for being able to visit them in NYC even though I don’t often. For how it feels when you are in her house, for the walk around Prospect Park
- For being healthy and having healthy children and a healthy husband. For surviving car crashes and an ectopic pregnancy that almost killed me – for the support of family in these times.
- Chocolate Pot of Creme, chocolate pudding and chocolate chip cookies
- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the joy of gathering with family and friends
- My IPhone and the reminders which usually get me there on time
- Sea salt on everything but especially on buttered popcorn with yeast, cause that means we’re having fun
- Doris for being one of my two bestest friends in the world and for teaching me how to play poker
- Theresa and how it always feels like yesterday
- Stuart Weitzman shoes and boots
- Jeff Klein and Ian Hartten for getting me involved in the digital masterminds group
- Lake George, the water, the village, Bolton Landing and the memories in, on and near the water
- For sunsets anywhere
- For Michelle Brodt who keeps the circle going
- Mary Goetz and her exuberance, constant positivity and joy
- Mutti and in-laws that I love to be with, a father-in-law who helped us when we were struggling financially and 136 Ottawa
- Having a brother in law who is a lawyer
- Amazing teachers for my kids – especially Mr. Hendersen who made Sean’s year special last year
- The Galapagos and a trip I will someday take with Sean and the family
- My future Herpatologist, for turtles and turtle farms, his love of reading books and all things science
- Snuggles at nighttime and cuddles in the morning
- Rainbows and how the light shines after a rainstorm, the smell in the air and for stumping in the puddles
- A cozy home
- Winter concerts, teachers like Miss Conti who inspire, make you laugh, make you cry and inspire children to be kind and believe
- Mr. Verheyn and his encouragement of the kids musical abilities
- The Adirondack Theater Festival, movies, plays and musicals
- Time to jump on the trampoline with the kids playing silly games like hashi hashi poopi poopi
- Marco polo at nightime
- Champagne toasts, Valentine’s Day and Neighbors I really like
- Jaime Murphy who has bailed me out more times than once
- A pancake griddle – it saves sooo much time
- Skiing, snowboarding as a family for watching the kids as they try new things and yell – “Watch this mom!!!”
- Mark’s tradition of taking the kids skating on black ice and what a special memory that is
- Jumping off the cliffs in Lake George
- Galas and friends like Kristen and Anne to go with
- Mannix Marketing, the team, the teamwork, the talent and the caring people
- Having had Steven my magical nephew live with us for a while
- Go carts and laser tag with the kids
- Sean’s neighborhood friend Matt and how he is so polite and makes me laugh, he’s so cute and funny
- I’m thankful for the three scout leaders – Carole, Jaime and Courtney who dedicate so much time and patience to build self confidence, friendships, values and knowledge
- I’m thankful for swords and Nerf guns and how they get used daily in my life
- Christmas trees, the smell of wreaths, and Christmas lights that brighten the winter months
- How Lela and Kristina play for hours in her room, no electronics just imagination and they never get bored of each other. Their imaginations are endless
- For runs with Mark even though I don’t really love running and walks with Tina
- Giggling girls, is there anything better than the sound of a childs laughter
- Mother son time and laser tag
- A husband who gets me, who tells me when I’m out of line in a way that is kind, who cooks and helps with laundry because he can and is thoughtful and considerate
- For my mom’s birthday cakes, every year she makes the most amazing cakes for the kids and they are always so excited to see her creations. She makes them feel special and know they are loved with this generous gift of her time and talents
- Hikes and having the Adirondacks as our playground. I am thankful we live just 5 miles from a quick lovely hike that leads to views of the lake.
- Color me Rad runs, our first half marathon and mud runs with the children but most of all watching Mark run with Julia for their bonding and special relationship. For friends who inspire us to run like Jeff and Amy.
- Two smelly dogs who get so excited every morning when I come down the stairs
- Concerts – where we can sit back and be proud and entertained and for Miss Conti’s enthusiasm and energy
- Hot Showers, they are mini-vacations every morning, where you can close your eyes and enjoy the moment
- Massages, I love massages – from my husband, from my loving kids and giving them to the kids – we call that making pizza, and paid professional massages.
- Holding hands – I love holding my children’s hands, I love having two hands when three hands want to be held, and we have to get creative, I love when Mark hold’s my hand to reassure me, strengthen me or just to say I love you. I love how little children hold each others hands and swing them on the soccer field when they should be chasing after the ball but a new friendship means so much more my dear sweet Julia
- Double H Ranch and the work they do for children and families going through the unthinkable, for the love of the staff and every person that works there and the courage of the children
- For missionaries everywhere who give their time like my mom will to give food and medical attention to those that need it most. For all of those dedicated to ending hunger and poverty
- Stand Up Paddleboarding dates with Julia – may we have many many more. I love to watch her get more daring, try new things and her sense of humor mixed with challenge.
- My camera, I am blessed with a great camera that captures the most amazing moments that I want to remember forever.
- Hope, when things go wrong, for being an optimist and always hoping for the best
- August when everything is perfect from horse racing to the temperature of the lake
- That I never have to worry about Julia doing her homework, getting good grades, I never ask about her homework, quizzes or tests, because she works hard without any adult intervention, she has always been organized and she cares to do her best. This is an amazing gift she has given me as a parent so I can spend my time worrying about other stuff.
- Margy & Pam Mannix and Ed Ostberg – when we moved back I had no friends in the area and my sister-in-law was my closest friend next door and invited me to know all of her amazing friends – Evan, Melissa, Marjolaine…. and the time spent with these friends meant the world to me. Ed because in that same time he introduced me to the arts project, where I met John Strong, Ike Wolgin and Tina LaPell, these people I not only admire but love despite the fact that my children have taken me away from spending time with them. Pam Mannix for inviting me to her cookie swaps. I will always have a special place in my heart for this amazing group who helped me through my late 20 something and early 30 something days.
- Mary Brandt – she was my greatest mentor and the epitome of the female leader that I wanted to be like, for the time we had at West Mountain creating the crazy $10 Monday night couponless coupon nights and slush cup jump and the cardboard derby – for the opportunity to really spread my wings with marketing and go crazy with ideas.
- Ken Hoggins – Theresa’s husband – who cared enough to make sure I got the best insurance and finds the best wine for me
- A husband who buys me the most amazing dresses and how I feel when I wear them, a husband who actually loves me enough that he likes to shop with me.
- For Fort Lauderdale getaways – it’s a short 3 hour flight and I’m alone withe my husband at the beach and for my mom who babysits to allow us to have couple time that is so desperately needed when you have three very active children and a worrisome mom.
- Dick Taylor and Steve – for making me laugh, being the best clients I could wish for and for Dick for coming to Vegas with us when we were nominated for winning the US Search Award. For winning the US Search Award, that was exciting, such an honor for the company and to share that with Atlantic British and Chris and Dick and especially Nick, made it even more special.
- Sledding right outside our door, and having hot chocolate with marshmallows afterwards, the rosy cheeks and the feeling of happy exhaustion
- Cousins to love and that my children know and love their cousins. For the example that Kathy and John have been to me as parents, for their wisdom. I’m amazed by their parenting skills and the result is so evident in their successful, smart, kind and accomplished kids.
- The hardest times of my life for they make me appreciate the best times of my life.
- For the funny things the kids say, for in vitro and for having a boy who tells the story of how he’s older than his older sister but he was just frozen for three years.
- For surprises – How fun it was to throw a surprise party for Julia this year and how completely surprised she was
- Sales, bargains, treasures to be uncovered – growing up frugal and without much, makes you appreciate the bargain, love the hunt, for shopping at Salvation Army on Black Friday instead of a Big Box store with the family – for Scrabble after the turkey dinner.
- For our extended family: The Patels, Inez, Anna, Christina Keding, Michela Gambini and the whole Gambini family and for growing up in a household where everyone from India, Italy, Holland, Germany and Brazil was welcome, where troubled children came to heal where my parents lived a life where extreme generosity and love was overflowing and for the many fruits of that amazing childhood.
Being a mom means… laughing when you pick up papers, only to find out you have super glue on every finger and every hand. Finding out that your daughter got freaked out when the glue got on her hands and totally forgot she left super glue everywhere.
Being a mom means not freaking out when you find that your contact lens case is filled with home made lip gloss, or when you find the melted crayons and a very colorful saucepan in the sink.
Being a mom means being able to decipher between bad behavior that is rooted in selfishness and bad behavior that is rooted in self consciousness, anxiety or stress and pouring on love when it’s the latter.
Being a mom means that you pick your battles, go with the flow and know when they really just need to be hugged, understood or have their flaws overlooked.
I met a girl today. She is part of my purpose – or at least the part of my purpose that relates to work.
She is a bright, intelligent, sharp young lady. She graduated college last May. She is working as a waitress. She said “I’m starting to get down on myself as I can’t find a job in my field.”
I want to employ her. I want to give her opportunity. I want to teach her and watch her take off with her wings
Not so long ago… I was frightened – frightened of competition. Frightened of someone taking what I had worked so hard to create. Now, I realize my purpose is not just in the company we built and those it serves, but it’s also to help people like the young lady I met today.
Ex-employees – what an ugly word – it’s like an ex-husband or ex-wife indicating something that didn’t work out or that was tossed aside. I love the term alumni. So many have gone on to achieve great things for others and I’m proud of them. My goal is to have many alumni. I also want to keep as many team members as long as we can keep them happy and growing. But it’s okay for those that go on, go on to something that is better for them.
One of many of my purposes is to employ. To give mothers and fathers freedom to be working moms and dads with life balance. In life, we are blessed to have many purposes, our greatest gift is the ability to give back. I remember the pain of trying to find that first job. I hope that one of the many ways we can help other is to be an employer and create learning and growth opportunities.
OK, I have to rant. As a mother of a ten year old, what is Disney thinking; what is the creator of Minecraft – Markus Persson thinking? Sell the rights to someone and start making money now. Today you lost one million dollars in sales, it’s before Christmas and every kid in America wants cool Minecraft toys and you guys have completely missed the mark! Minecraft.com is currently offline says the website. As a marketing person, I live to see people succeed online, grow their businesses and become successful through great online marketing. To see this opportunity blown – sure there are a few toys, swords, one Lego set, etc.. but this is a case of the people at Disney losing touch with their audience and the people at Minecraft being such super cool geeks but getting bad marketing advice. Kills me!
My mother never thought I was very smart…so she never told me I had to get high grades in school. She always just told me “do your best”. I’ll never forget the morning prayer “Dear Jesus, please clear the cobwebs from her brain”. Seriously, this is for real – clear the cobwebs from her brain. My best was a b average with the occasional c in history – oh how I loathed history! She never made me feel less than her other smarter and more talented kids – Jay with the photographic memory, Cheryl the natural artist or Pam the pianist who was super smart to boot. Because to mom success was doing your best, it was trying and that was all that mattered. Despite this she told me there were no limits in life, nothing I couldn’t achieve – and I believed her and still do, thank you mom.
But mom was right. Success is not about getting perfect grades, accomplishing something business, or being great period and certainly success is not about money. Success is knowing you did your best. You took that risk, that you tried. So many people live “safe lives” never going outside their comfort zones…
But you did. You tried something that was outside your comfort zone and whether it works or not. Now you ARE a success! Yes, you, you know who you are and I am so proud of you.
Success is doing your best, win or lose, you are a success because you didn’t cower from the opportunity or run away from things, you are a success because you jumped in and played the game.
(For the record, my dad DID think I was smart and told my mom she was wrong. They only fessed up on this once I was an adult and graduated college with summa cum laude - they would never admitted this to me otherwise, so please don’t tell your kids you don’t think they are smart… wait until they grow up and see what happens. )