Monday, March 22, 2010

A Bitter Sweet March

I've been trying to understand the deeper meaning behind why I've been sick for most of the month of March. There was about 4-5 days of good health in between the two illnesses, so I've spent about three and a half weeks very sick.

I have been pretty frustrated because bed ridden is not a true option for me. Brady (my 10 month old son) is addicted to mommy. If he knows she's in the house, he wants nothing to do with anyone except mommy. And when you're that sick and that weak, what's a mama to do?

It's times like these that I wish I had my family near by. I would have him go to grandma's house, OR I would go to grandma's house to get some rest. That hasn't been an option for me, so that could be one reason I haven't been able to fully shake this bug.

Another reason could be that I'm burning the candle at both ends. I'm not sleeping much. I'm pushing myself hard to get it all done and be everything to everyone. I'm also facing my fears and putting myself out there more and more every day. That's stressful! That stirs up anxiety. I try to keep it under control and in perspective, but that is definitely easier said than done.

There's cool stuff happening in the midst of all this sickness. Momentum is building in so many ways, but my body is saying NO, SLOW DOWN!

I was recently interviewed by a reporter from Naperville Magazine to be mentioned in a story for the May - Mother's Day issue. He wants to say a few words about the Naperville Moms Network. That makes me very happy! Hopefully, someone that needs a place to connect with other women will discover NMN when she reads that article.

That same day, I attended a Tribune event in downtown Naperville and met the who's who of the Tribune! That was pretty cool, but what was even more cool is that I was asked to become a contributing columnist, submitting stories based on my blog. I have to say, I'm still shocked and a little in disbelief. But, I'm very honored and excited to do so.

I've met some amazing people lately that share the same passions that I do. They want to help women. They want to impact families in the community. I'm recognizing how these developing relationships have so much potential to make an incredible impact. It's such an exhilarating feeling to have a vision for what's possible if we all come together!

I've had a lot of major ups as well as some real downers this month. One thing I'm realizing for sure, I can't make anything happen for anyone until I focus on getting healthy. I suppose that needs to become my top priority. I'm not any good for anyone when I'm sick!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Make It Happen Mom - The Beginning

I can remember thinking Life is really good, and then immediately thinking, uh-oh, I think all of that is about to change. And boy, did it ever!

I was living in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL in a small condo overlooking the Sawgrass Village golf course only a  few blocks from the beach. I always dreamed of living at the beach as a child, and finally, my dream was my reality.

I was feeling great about my career, moving up the ladder and feeling blessed by the friendships I had and the relationship developing with the man I would eventually marry. I don't know that anyone ever feels that their life is  perfect, but I can remember a moment in time where I felt, Wow! My life is pretty amazing. I am so blessed!

One month after my engagement, my fiancĂ© (now husband) told me that he was offered a promotion within his company which would result in a move to Chicago. I had never really been to Chicago, but my college roomie (born and raised in Naperville)  let me know that it gets ridiculously cold  and snows for way too many months out of the year! Being the beach girl that I am, I knew the snow and winter thing wouldn't come easy for me.

I was in love, so I decided to take a leap of faith and walk away from all of the things I loved; family, friends, my career and the beach lifestyle!

I remember driving up to Chicago over the course of a couple days with my two dogs and cat. That's a trip I'll never forget! I remember staying over night at the Motel 6 because it was the only lodging option that allowed pets. Sleep? Are you kidding me?! Not a chance. Let's just say, there's a lot of activity throughout the night at the Motel 6.

I remember rolling into the AMLI at Seven Bridges after and my fiancĂ© saying, "Home sweet home!"

Can you believe that? I let him select where we would live without seeing the place first. Looking back, even I am amazed! I must say though, he did a great job! It was the perfect place to start out.

I was grateful to my company, a national IT consulting firm, for allowing me to transfer to the Downers Grove office in the same role I had been recently promoted to in Florida. At least, I thought I was grateful. It was a tough start and my friendly, happy-go-lucky attitude was less than well received in this dog-eat-dog Chicago market. People told me time and time again, "You're too nice. No one will ever respect you in business when you're as nice as you are."

And I can remember thinking, but that's exactly what got me to be the leading sales person (out of the recently promoted) in Jacksonville.

It didn't take long for me to realize, this was a different ball game and it wasn't meant for me to play.

As a super social and friendly person, I was surprised to find out how difficult it was to make new friends and figure out where I fit in. Thankfully, the Young Professionals of Naperville opened a lot of doors to new friendships and new career opportunities.

After fourteen months in Naperville, I finally had some friends, an exciting new career path, got married and bought a house. Things were looking up! Once again, I remember thinking, okay, life is pretty great! I am feeling so blessed! ...Uh-oh!

Of course, nothing stays calm and consistent for very long. Four months after we were married, the shock of our life: We're Pregnant!

Stay tuned for that story! It is sure to make you laugh!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Trib Local Naperville

I'm sitting at my kitchen table with tissues plugging my nose (second illness this month), trying to think of what to write for Trib Local. All I really want to do is write about the fact that I'm still in disbelief that Trib Local would like for me to submit some of my blog posts for their weekly newspaper distributed in Naperville. 

(Wait, was the tissue part too much information?!) I was going to vlog today, but I'm way too stuffy to be in front of a video camera.

Anyway, last Thursday, I went to a Naper Tweet-Up which doubled as a Trib Local community event. I had heard of Trib Local before, but didn't fully understand how it worked. It's an insert to the Chicago Tribune that is distributed weekly covering community happenings in each suburb. There are a few articles included by Tribune staff, but the paper is primarily content that has been submitted online from various people in the community. Honestly, it's a brilliant way to increase interest and readership. I can't believe I wasn't aware of what a huge resource this is for the community. How crazy is it that an average joe like me can submit information about my Naperville Moms Network events and possibly have my content show up in the paper?! I think that's pretty awesome!

So, the real dilemma is that although I realize a few eyes might glance over this blog randomly from time to time, I don't really promote it or list it out there to get lot's of attention. I'm just not sure I'm ready to put myself out there like that (yet). So many of my posts are crazy embarrassing. This is sort of my dumping ground; my place to sort of look in the mirror and laugh at myself and my life. I don't know what the distribution for Trib Local Naperville is, but I'm pretty sure that's A LOT of people!

I told my dad the other day about this. I was kind of excited to share that the paper was interested in having me submit some of my stories (not sure which ones), but whoa! My dad was immediately like, "You're not actually going to do that, are you?" I was like, "What? Why would you say that?" Basically, he thinks that I would just be opening myself up to judgement, criticism and misrepresentation. Here I was, all excited to share this with him and he totally burst my bubble.

I guess dad might have a point, which is probably why I'm a little freaked out about actually submitting something, BUT I'm on this journey, trying to step out of my comfort zone, put myself out there for a greater purpose. That might sound a little cheesy, but I just feel that there have to be others out there that can relate to me on some level. There's nothing worse than feeling all alone! When you realize that there's someone out there walking in your shoes...or she's worn yours before, it's immediate comfort and validation. You feel like you can breathe again and move forward.

If I can positively impact even one person, then I suppose it's worth it. I think I'm going to do this!