Jenn Koren

Who Says I Can't?

I’m not an Epileptic..I’m a Person with Epilepsy June 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 9:30 pm

The first time I heard someone call me an ‘Epileptic’..my initial reaction was..’I’m a what?’

For those of you who are wondering, I am not an Epileptic.  I am a person with Epilepsy along with other things such as flat feet, freckles, dry skin, naturally curly hair and a hidden love for romance novels.

However, society feels the need to pick the ‘label’ that it feels best suits me as a person and use that to describe me as a whole.  I’ve seen this happen with other people as well and every time I hear the label, I cringe like I’m hearing finger nails slowly scratching a chalk board.  Yeah, it’s that bad.

Let’s see…there’s labels such as Diabetic, Alcoholic, Bulimic, Anorexic, Narcoleptic, Workaholic, Agoraphobic…..do I need to go on?

Who came up with these labels and why were they so selective?
Why didn’t someone come up with a label like ‘multitaskingfulltimeworkingmom..ic’?  I know that’s a bit much, but that would be much more appropriate to sum up the type of person that I am at this point in my life.

I know that people will still call me an Epileptic, and I will still correct them by saying the same speech, ‘I’m not an Epileptic.  I am a person with Epilepsy.  Epilepsy does not define me as person but is a small fraction of what has made me who I am today’….I annoy myself as I say this speech over and over again to the countless people who continue to label me.

I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll always be labeled as this and that most people will never truly get it.  I’m okay with that…sort of.

However, I thought this would be a good opportunity to come up with my own label for myself on what I think truly captures who I am as a person. Why can’t I, right?

It didn’t take me long to think of one.  I smiled as soon as I thought about the new label that I had given to myself and that small smile made me realize that it was right….even if it was just for me.

Since I don’t think it’s possible to come up with just one word to define what someone is all about, I came up with a short phrase.

Hopeful Dreamer of Endless Possibilities…..yeah…I like that one much better.

Have you ever been labeled incorrectly?  Do you feel like you have labeled other people without realizing that was what you were doing?  If you could create your own label that would define you as a person, what would it be?

 

Tips from Grandma Lucy May 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 7:40 am

Grandma Lucy all dolled up

I am not sure how old my Grandma Lucy is, and neither does she.  We all think she’s in her mid 80’s but if you ask her, she’ll tell you one answer one day, and then another answer another day.  I also am not sure of her birthday.  My Mom calls me every year to remind me to wish my Grandma Happy Birthday on a certain day, but always adds that we’re really not sure if that’s her birthday so make sure I call her the next day also.

As a child, I remember my Grandma as a little Italian lady with a size 5 shoe, who had a fantastic laugh.  She hasn’t changed much since I was a kid. She’s still a tiny Italian lady with the smallest feet I’ve ever seen and a laugh that can still make you forget everything else going on in the world.

I saw her this past weekend at a wedding and spent my usual time catching up with her.  She’s always so excited to see me and is never short on things to tell me about and advice that she thinks I need to follow. For some reason I never seem to forget all the things that she has told me as a kid. It made me think about a few tips that I have carried with me since I was a kid.  I felt the need to share these with everyone so here they are.

Grandma Lucy’s Tips on Life

  1. Don’t wear your glasses all the time because it will make your vision worse. I got glasses when I was in 6th grade because I was nearsighted.  I couldn’t see far away so I had to start wearing them in school.  It was hard getting glasses at that age and most people were supportive and said, ‘you look great!..blah..blah’.  But Grandma Lucy would constantly tell me to take my glasses off.  She convinced me that if I wore them all the time it would make my vision worse and then I’d have to always wear my glasses.  I would tell her that I couldn’t see without them and she’d say, ‘sure you can, just use them when you need to see far away’.  I obviously didn’t listen to her and am now have to wear them every day.  She’s in her mid 80’s and doesn’t wear glasses to see.  So I either think that I was a fool not to listen to her or that she really can’t see but rather have blurry vision then be caught in glasses.
  2. Cod liver oil gel caps make a great face cream. When I was a kid my Mom used to make me take Cod Liver Oil vitamins that were in a form of gel caps.  I know she made me take these because Grandma Lucy made her take them when she was a kid.  I am still not sure what the point of these pills were but I know they smelled awful.  I remember one day when Grandma Lucy was in my kitchen she asked my Mom for some cod liver oil vitamins and she broke the gel cap open and applied the oil to her face.  I stared at her like, ‘EWWWWW?’.  She then proceeded to put some on my face and then my Mom joined in and we were having a cod liver oil skin party.  At the time, I wasn’t convinced that these vitamins were necessary to smear on my face, but if you look at Grandma Lucy’s skin now, you’d be clearing the shelves of cod liver oil at your local vitamin store.
  3. It’s okay to wear your shirt backwards. Grandma Lucy always wore very relaxed clothes and seemed very comfortable in her own skin.  You never commented on anything that she wore because even though it may have seemed odd, she was very confident about everything she did so there was never a need to question any of her decisions.  One time I saw that she was wearing her shirt backwards.  There was no mistake about it.  I saw the tag indentation in the back of her shirt and that it was on the wrong way.  I asked her, ‘Grandma, did you know your shirt was backwards?’ and she replies, ‘Yeah, I know’.   Enough said..never mentioned the backward shirt again.
  4. Eat fresh food, everything else is JUNK. Grandma Lucy is a great cook.  I remember going to her house as a kid and she would just whip something up for me.  Even now I see her over the stove at my parents house or cutting something on the cutting board.  She could throw together a full course meal with whatever she had in her fridge and pantry.  She would make sure that we always ate good and that we never ate ‘JUNK’.  ‘Everyone eats so much JUNK’, she’d say.  ‘Don’t feed your kids, JUNK’, she’d tell me and ‘You know what’s wrong with everyone today?  They all eat so much JUNK!’  I realized that to her, JUNK, was defined as anything with more than 2 ingredients in it.  If you had to buy food out of a can, it better just be in there for storing purposes and have no other JUNK in there.  If I had a snack on me, she’d snatch the package out of my hand and say, ‘What’s this JUNK?’ and she’d start reading the 500 ingredients off the package label…then she’d throw it out.  I make sure that every time she see’s my kids that she knows that I don’t feed them JUNK and I think she’s proud of me since she always says, ‘Jenny, you better not be feeding these kids JUNK!’
  5. Don’t wait to have kids until you’re financially stable…cause you’ll never be. As soon as I got married, she hounded me about having kids.  As soon as I had my first daughter she hounded me about when I was going to have a second kid.  I tried to explain to her that we were waiting until we were more financially stable to have more kids.  She looked at me like I was crazy and firmly instructed me that this was ridiculous because I would be waiting forever.  She said, ‘You’ll never be financially stable enough to have kids so just have them when you’re young.’  We waited 5 years in between our two kids…and she was right.  We were in no better place financially 5 years later.
  6. She has Crazy Person radar. You can always tell when Grandma Lucy thinks someone else is crazy because her eyes will get REAL big when you’re talking with these people.  She’ll do it when they aren’t looking, like you’re in some secret club and only you can see the reaction on her face.  We’ll all be standing in a group of people talking about something not so important and she’ll look at me and give me these BIG WIDE eyes like, ‘run away, this person is crazy’.  She’d then quickly compose herself when they would turn around and talk to her and she’d would continue on with the conversation…then would reach for my hand as if to guard me from the crazy person and make sure they don’t snatch me away.  It is hard to have conversations with her when people are around because she always seems to have the ‘crazy person radar’ on and it’s hard to keep a straight face when she gets a vibe and goes into alert mode.

I grew up with my Grandma in my every day life and now live about 3 hours away from her.  When I saw her this weekend it was at a wedding and she looked beautiful in skirt suit and dazzling jewelry.  You would never guess that behind that beautiful suit she had a life of struggle growing up as single Mom.  You’d never know that she was in an almost fatal car accident a few years back which resulted in a tracheostomy (she still has a small tube that helps her breathe).  I don’t think we’ll ever really know ALL of Grandma Lucy’s struggles since I have never heard her complain a day in her life.

Every time she see’s me her face lights up and she smiles at me like I am her favorite person in the world.  I don’t see anything past her smile and all her memories that she’s given me.  I’m glad that I have such a clear vision of all our time together and all the things that she has done and taught me.  I look forward to all the tips that she’ll give my children and all the laughs that we still have left together.

What are your most vivid memories of your grandparents?   What tips did they give you that may have seemed crazy as a kid but as an adult make perfect sense?

 

Communication 101 – Mom Style May 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 8:16 pm

We recently had a concrete patio installed in our back yard.  This was an exciting event for us since whatever backyard we did have in our end unit town home, had been destroyed by our 2 dogs.

There were so many patio options to choose from, none that I really cared out since my husband usually takes care of all the renovations around the house.  I’m glad to not have another thing to plan and organize.  I try to do this a few times a year convincing myself that it’s good for my health to learn how to not NEED to be involved in everything.

He decided on a stamped concrete patio that would cover the majority of the backyard along with some landscaping that outlined the yard and an electric dog fence that would keep the dogs out of the landscaping.  We won’t go into the reason on why we need an electric fence for a few feet of landscape….staying out of it..not getting involved…

Patio people come and start their work.  In the end we’re not happy with the work…or should I say, I AM NOT HAPPY and my husband is less than happy.  To me, the patio looked sloppy and the concrete wasn’t level throughout the whole backyard.  There were dips and small craters that I felt would be hazardous not only to my kids but to my husband and I during, tiki torch lit, margarita nights.

We went back and forth with the owner, (who I call Patio Guy), and his ‘assistant’ who I was tempted to ask for a copy of her job description since I’m convinced that she needs to review it to make sure she understands how to do her job.  In the end, Patio Guy’s response to our complaints, ‘It looks fine to me’.

Trying to stay out of the situation, I vent my frustration to my husband who assures me he will get it taken care of.  He comes home from work early on a Friday to meet with the owner and talk ‘business talk’ to him, making sure the issues were fixed before we gave them final payment.

I see them outside casually talking…..casually talking?  Why are they casually talking?  Why isn’t my husband putting his foot down and telling Patio Guy that they screwed up our patio and they are going to fix it now or not get a dime from us!!!!!  I sat down at my computer and tried to focus on my work when I saw my husband walk by the window on his cell phone.   His cell phone?  He’s now working when he should be laying down the law with Patio Guy??!!!!  He waves at me through the window with a happy, ‘Hi Honey’. I immediately go into meditation mode and start breathing…in..and out…in..and out…

Now I’m somewhat hyperventilating and approach my husband as he walks in the door.  He starts explaining to me how Patio Guy said that he was going to ‘try’ to fix this and come back later and ‘maybe’ fix that.  I immediately expressed my displeasure in Patio Guy and how I feel like he was making excuses and not doing what we asked and how I just wasn’t happy with his answers.  My husband then suggested that we go out together and talk to Patio Guy who had not yet left.  I was trying to stay out of it and let the men deal with this, however, my husband did ask for me to go out and talk with him, so since he asked, right?

I was working from home that day and was still in my sweats with my hair pulled back in a bun..definitely not a ‘shower day’.   But I didn’t care.  I was simply going out there to listen and make sure they had everything under control.

I stood silently as my husband talked to Patio Guy very calmly and reiterated how he felt confident that Patio Guy was going to fix the repairs and handle the situation appropriately.  He went over some details pertaining to what needed to be done and it all sounded grand and almost like they were buddies and ready to go grab a drink after work.

My husband then turned to me and said, ‘sound good?’.  I didn’t say anything.  I just stared at him and the owner in disbelief that they were both taking this so lightly.  They both looked at me in somewhat confusion waiting for me to answer.  I looked my husband, then Patio Guy, then my husband, then at Patio Guy again.  My mouth was open as if to say something but I couldn’t get anything out and only could stare at them with annoyance about how they were handling this with such ease.

‘Well, go ahead, get it out’, my husband told me, obviously realizing that I had something to say.  So then I said it, in my pj’s and all.

‘I don’t understand how you think this is okay?  As an owner of a business, you honestly can look at the work and feel proud of what you did? And your communication sucks!  You and your assistant who never returns phone calls or answers an email. I mean, it’s ridiculous!  I paid a lot of money for this and I’m not happy, but obviously you think it’s okay and I’m supposed to just leave it at that, right?  Aren’t you embarrassed by your work? Don’t you look at the patio and think you could have done a better job?’  I am not sure what else I said.  I went on and on about how disappointed I was and walked away…and then came back…walked away a few times more..and then came back.  All the while both men staring at me like a deer in headlights.

‘Just fix it!’, was the last thing I said as I walked inside shaking my head.   A few minutes later my husband came inside and we started to get dinner ready.  He looked at me a few times and smiled, but didn’t say anything.  A few more minutes went by without anyone saying anything. ‘So..was I a little crazy out there?’ I asked him.  He broke out in his little humorous laugh that he always gets when he knows I made an idiot out of myself.  These things seem to amuse him a little too much.  When he stopped laughing he explained how I scolded Patio Guy like I was his Mom and how they were both accusing the other of being in trouble with me after I left.  He told me, I went on all ‘Mom’ on him.

In the end, Patio Guy is coming back to fix the issues and I still don’t see how I went all, ‘Mom’ on him.  He didn’t put enough pride in his work and was giving me lame excuses for why things weren’t done the way I wanted them.  I needed to point out these failures and make him accountable for his actions…what else was I supposed to do?

 

Advice that Changed My Way of Thinking May 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 7:48 pm

I have been given a lot of great advice over the years regarding both my professional and personal outlook on things.   I have learned to really listen to all advice that comes my way and use it to help make me successful in all areas of my life.

I will admit that when I was younger, I may have come across as arrogant and not very understanding to other people’s concerns when it came down to how I work.   I was always a hard worker who gave 100% to every job and moved up the ranks very quickly.   Management saw me as a valuable employee who they could utilize to make sure the work got done.   I was promoted to my first management position at the age of 18 and found myself with a large amount of responsibility and people that depended on my decision making skills.   This was my first taste of management and I immediately thrived and enjoyed working in a fast paced environment where I could manage workflow and produce positive results.

Even at such a young age, I always thought I was a great manager.   I was good at what I did and I knew it.   I knew it so well that it put me in the category of being border-line arrogant….okay, not border-line, I was down right arrogant.   I would have continued on this path and most likely failed professionally if someone didn’t pull me aside and give me a good wake up call.

I still remember the manger that took me aside one day and gave me a huge reality check.  I thought we were having our normal weekly management meeting, but he had another agenda.   I was 20 years old and felt like I was well on my way to great things in the management field.   After giving me my normal compliments about how dedicated I was to my job, my boss proceeded to tell me that I had the management part all wrong.   He told me I was a good worker but didn’t relate at all to my staff.   He said that I had put myself so far above the people that were working for me that I had now lost sight of what being an effective leader was all about.   He suggested that I get in there and ‘get my hands dirty’ so I could see things from their level and never lose sight of what it was to do their job on a daily basis.   He basically told me that my head had gotten too big for my own good and that I would soon find myself out of a job if I didn’t make a dramatic change in how I approached people.

Of course, all of this now sounds like common sense to an experienced manager and leader, however at the time his words sounded harsh and cold.   I wasn’t sure how to take it and even thought that it was time for me to move on and work for someone who truly appreciated my way of managing.

I was still learning how to deal with constructive criticism and this was the first time when I had really been called out on something that I was doing incorrectly.   I am still not sure what it was about this conversation that made me wake up and take notice, but I did.

Thirteen years later, I still remember that conversation and the advice that was given to me as a young professional.   I’m grateful to him for putting me in my place and presenting me with the challenge of improving my way of thinking.   It has helped me accept new challenges with the knowledge that I can continue to improve myself if I keep myself open to constructive feedback. 

At 20 years old, it was hard for me to step outside and look at things from someone else’s perspective.  At 33, it’s still hard, but I realized that the more I open myself up to feedback the more tools I have to help better myself both professionally and personally.   

Have you had a turning point in your life  that you feel has shaped you into who you are today?  How have you dealt with constructive criticism in the past that you didn’t agree with at first?   Did you step up to the challenge or chose to go in another direction?

 

Why I’ll Never Be Like My Mom May 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 9:39 pm

If you ask my Mom, she’ll tell you I was a good kid. However, over the last decade or so, I think she has suffered from what I call, ‘The Mom Fog’ and all of my negative childhood memories have disappeared.

So just in case she forgot, I thought I would recap my Top 5 for her:

  1. The time I drove her car into the side of our garage on the second day that I got my license
  2. The other time that I drove her other car into the back of a stopped vehicle.
  3. The time that I lied and told her that I had a job but was really taking the train every day from NJ to NY to go to Bar Tending school, which I invested $500 in to become the next famous Bar Tender.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think she ever really knew about this one.  I guess she knows now.
  4. When I dated ‘that guy‘ who, at the time, was the love of my life. And who, after 2 weeks of knowing me, tattooed my name on his body and later stalked me to the point where my Dad had to put the fear of God into him (more…)
 

My Life on the ‘Sorry Train’ May 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 11:30 pm

While living with Epilepsy for 15 years I was faced with a lot of “I’m sorry”.  As soon as people heard the word ‘Epilepsy’ the look on their face would turn to pity and their immediate reaction would be, “I’m so sorry”.  This irritated me to no end and forced me to stop talking about it all together.  People could know me for years now and never know that I had Epilepsy because I would never mention it.

I felt categorized and ‘different’ and this never sat right with me.  I never wanted people to look at me and feel like I wasn’t capable of doing something just because of my condition.  I didn’t want to and refused to be defined by this.

Over time I dealt with it and since I didn’t publicize my condition I didn’t have to be subjected to the fearful stares and the ‘not knowing what to say’ expressions.  And when the questions came, I answered them with short and quick responses.  I always corrected people and let them know there was nothing to be sorry about.  I chalked it up to people not knowing how to talk to someone who wasn’t just like them.

When my infant son was diagnosed with food allergies to egg, wheat, soy, milk and peanuts, as well as severe eczema, I received a lot of, “that must be so hard for the both of you.”  When his eyes started to cross at age 2 and he needed glasses and patching I heard a lot of, “poor thing.”  When he wasn’t talking at 2 1/2 years and started seeing a Speech Therapist twice a week, I received a lot of, “do you think he’ll be okay?”  Because of his allergies he’s a ‘mouth breather’ and constantly drools, which leads to a lot of, “how awful.”

If I had a penny for every time I heard, “I’m sorry” or “poor thing” over the last 3 1/2 years, I’d be a rich woman.  If I had a penny for every time I almost lost my temper on the people who said these things, I’d be even richer.

My son has to be the happiest little boy I’ve ever met.  His smile is contagious and his ability to just be ‘free’ is so overwhelming that I get choked up just watching him take in life so fearlessly.  My ‘condition’, if that’s what we’re calling it, is hidden and can be easily disguised behind my appearance and secrecy.  My son’s bifocals w/ patch, his daily packed lunches with allergy alert stickers, his drool soaked shirts and his jumbled speech give him away every day.  He’s a target for people that feel the need to notice and stare and see him for only what’s on the outside.

My son and I battle these small issues on a daily basis and its hard to constantly remind myself that people don’t know any better and they really mean no harm.  I think about the people that deal with far worse issues than we do and wonder how they react to the same questions and statements. Right now, I’m speaking for myself and maybe some others that I know that have felt the discomfort of the stares and endured the ridiculous questions.

Maybe next time you encounter someone that you think is less fortunate than you, you’ll think twice before saying, “I’m sorry”.  Maybe you’ll remember that they probably don’t think or want to feel like they are any different from you. Maybe you’ll know now that they probably fight on a daily basis in a way that you’ll never truly understand and because of that, they are stronger than you think.

Now when I hear, “I’m sorry”, my next words are, “for what?”  My response is usually met with a slow smile of embarrassment as they realize that, “I’m sorry,” isn’t always the best thing to say when you don’t really know what to say.

Have you ever been on the other end of the ‘sorry train’?   If so, did you use the moment to educate or did you chose to ignore?

 

Sticking to My Priorities April 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 6:39 am

If you ask anyone that knows me they’ll tell you that  I’m addicted to my work.  I have to work and keep myself busy in order to keep sane.   I’m also a Mom to an 8 1/2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old. I had my first child at 25 and I made the decision to leave my full time, well paying job, to stay at home with her and work part time in the evenings and weekends.

As I look back at this decision and compare myself to friends who are stay at home Moms, I still don’t know why I chose this direction.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my children but I’m definitely not in the same category as a lot of people that I know who have also chosen this path.  I don’t get all crazy over the smell of a newborn and definitely didn’t look forward to having yet another person in my house that I had problems communicating with.  I’m not the ‘sing along Mom’ or the ‘arts and crafts Mom’ and if you lived in my house for one day you may think that I run it the way that I run an office.  Things are in order, we have deadlines and we always stick to a schedule…yes, I am slightly crazy.

I don’t want to paint myself as this  crazy, controlling type of person, but over the years I’ve realized that the latter is probably true.  I do like to be in control of things and being a Mom and not raising my own children was really not an option for me.  I wanted to be the one watching out for them to ensure that I was there whenever they needed me.   So, I made up my mind and after my daughter was born, found all sorts of odd part time jobs that would allow me to stay home with her during the day.  I was able to bring in a consistent part time income working at jobs like the Gap stocking shelves at night, selling Pampered Chef, court transcribing, waiting tables..etc..

We then decided to move to PA for a chance at more property, a larger house and a better life for our daughter.  My husband was able to transfer his job out there with his same pay and I once again picked up odd part time jobs to bring in some extra income.

Six months after moving to PA my husband got laid off.  This, we were not prepared for. We had hardly any savings and started to accumulate a large amount of credit card debt.   My husband’s job field was hard to find and we suddenly found ourselves in every couple’s worst financial nightmare.  We decided that I had to go back to work full time.  Fortunately I found a good paying job and started shortly after he got laid off.  Soon after that, my husband got offered a job and even though it was a huge decrease in pay and very ‘beneath’ what he was capable of, he had to take it.  Now that we both were pulling in an income and our daughter was a year away from kindergarten we were in a little better shape to get our heads above the financial nightmare that we were in.

Then, I got pregnant.  So baby #2 was on the way and I was faced with the same issue of what I was going to do once this baby was born.  We were in credit card debt, along with our mortgage and did I mention that we had a new car that we bought prior to him getting laid off?  I didn’t see how I could stay home and give up my job at that point.  I HAD to work!

I remember thinking to myself, ‘I have no choice’. This angered me a great deal and the fact that my strong ‘maternal instincts’ decided to resurface at this time didn’t help the situation any more.

I refused to feel like I was being forced into anything, especially if it had to do with my children and how they were going to be raised.   I knew it had to be me to raise our 2nd child and I needed to find a way to make this happen.

Things were slightly different this time around since we didn’t officially make the decision that I would stay home with my son until right after he was born.  My job refused the proposal of keeping me on a part time basis or allowing me to have a flexible schedule.  If I didn’t come back to my normal full time schedule then I would not have a job.

So, 3 weeks after I had a c-section and gave birth to my 2nd child,  I quit my secure, nice paying job and was out looking for something new.   My first stop was a temp agency, whose first question was confirming that I was still not pregnant (this was a great way for me to stay my first interview).   My plan was to find something in the evenings and work until 4am at the latest.   Oddly enough, they had a client that called them that very same day looking for a customer service rep for their night shift from 10pm-4am.  But there were a few issues. The pay was only $9 an hour and I would have to be okay with working from home.

I am smiling as I type this because I still remember that moment.  The pay was ridiculously low, but I saw it as an opportunity.  It was like God pointed to me and said ‘there you go….it’s your choice’.

From that moment on I was working out of my home almost every night from 10pm-4am.  I had a newborn and in between calls would feed him and rock him back to sleep.  Soon enough my dedication and hard work was noticed by the owners and they offered me more hours  and pay.  I took on as much as I could.  I remembered one of them saying, ‘How many hours can one person actually take on?’ as if he wasn’t sure that I was physically able to do it.  But I took them.   I worked back to back night and day shifts and had a few hours off in between.  It definitely took a toll on me physically and emotionally, but it was my choice and what I needed to do to stick to the priorities that were most important to me.

Two years ago my family and I moved to Baltimore, Maryland due to a promotion and relocation that I was offered from that very job.  We have paid off all our credit card and car debt and I am no longer working night shifts but have moved from managing the entire call center to building and managing their online client community.  My schedule is still flexible and I have the choice of working from home or in the office.  There were lots of struggles that got me to this point and most importantly lessons that I learned that will last me a lifetime. This experience will always stick out to me as one that was the hardest but the most beneficial in my life.

My friends always say that I am so lucky to always find these types of jobs that allow me to be flexible around my family.  I tell them that it doesn’t have anything to do with luck.  It has to do with me making up my mind and being determined to do whatever it is that I have to, to make it happen.  I work hard at what I do and when I see an opportunity I take it and ride it as far as it will take me.

I put my son into full time preschool for the very first time this year, but I did it because I was ready to do it…not because I had to do it.