motherhood

Endings and New Beginnings

After a quarter of a century with AT&T, Mad Dog is shifting gears and will be moving his talents to a new company.  To all the family and friends who have remained loyal to the brand throughout his career, we appreciate you.  

Click here to see the announcement:

Welcome to AND Agency, Mad Dog!

We are Florida bound! 

It is hard to feel completely at ease moving during a pandemic, but we are taking the longview knowing in our hearts it is where we are meant to be; close to family, long-time friends and saltwater breezes. 

We have already found our Amelia Island home.  We can’t wait to be so close to the beach!

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Welcome to Siesta D!

When your life has revolved around one company for so many years, it is a lot to digest as the magnitude of leaving it behind settles in.  Mad Dog and I have met some of the most incredible people that we are lucky to call our friends. We are so grateful they will continue to be a part of lives as we move forward.

All this nostalgia got me thinking back to when I first met Mad Dog. Initially, I often wondered if we were compatible.  He was a quiet yet intense go-getter poised to crush the business world.  I was an empathic social worker intent on saving the world one troubled soul at at time.  Mad Dog sensed this divide, too.  At one point I remember him considering a leadership position with the American Cancer Society.  I knew the non-profit sector wasn’t where he belonged, but it made me love him all the more for his thoughtful consideration of this.

As I watched him earn his promotion as the youngest (at the time) GM of a call center, I started to see firsthand the scope of his leadership impact.  He expected excellence on the job, but he also encouraged accountability across all facets of life.  One of my favorite stories regarding this career-defining time of Mad Dog’s life, is how he mentored one of his coaches into becoming the first college graduate ever in her family.  These types of exceptional stories became the norm.

That’s when I knew we were meant for each other.  We both valued making the world better than how we found it.  It may have presented differently for both of us, but the theme of lifting others up was the common thread that ultimately wove our lives together.

For me, the debt of gratitude I feel for AT&T knows no bounds.  Not only in the beautiful life it has afforded us, but because of the outstanding medical benefits provided that allowed both our boys to have top-notch eye care and sight-saving surgeries.  I won’t go into detail, but if you would like to read more about these experiences, click the links below.

Eye Am Thankful

Once Legally Blind, Our Son Now Sees 20/25

The video below (Mad Dog starts speaking around the 3:40 marker), is the full circle culmination of where it all started for Mad Dog as he helped re-launch a high-tech, revitalized Chicago North call center.  This is the moment I am the most proud of in his career. The way he speaks to our experiences with our boys and their vision challenges as well as our gratitude for AT&T says it all.

 

While it is hard to say goodbye, as we look back it reminds us of all that has happened we never imagined would. That is why we can take this leap of faith with confidence.  In this new phase if we encounter even a fraction of the kind of awesome people and experiences we did with AT&T, then we are certain the road ahead will be paved with more wonder than we ever dreamed possible.

Thank you for reading and see you at the beach!

 

motherhood

Clean Up in Aisle Crazy

As I gather my boys near me and look at their sweet, unassuming faces, a part of me is in disbelief I am having to spout this same, tired monologue:

“I am only going to say this once and after that, I will not speak of this again.  I will simply observe your behavior at lunch and the grocery store.  If at any point I notice nonsense, when we return home you will lose all electronic and tv privileges for the rest of the day.”

At least there has been an evolution.  Oh, I still get frustrated as all get out when they act crazy at the grocery store, but now I have a solid course of action if things go off the rails.  This planning phase allows me to take a step back from attempting to control their behavior and puts the outcome of the day squarely on their shoulders.

It helps.

They really are gifted at finding things to nitpick about and causing mayhem in general.  Who drives the cart?  Who runs over their brother?  Who can’t find the hawaiian rolls even though their mom explicitly outlines their location?  Who narrowly misses the darling, elderly woman perusing the dairy isle?

Who? Who? Who?

Despite all this, we made it.  At times, dare I say, my boys were helpful.

As we meandered to our car post-shopping, an argument ensued concerning the return of our grocery cart.

“You take it back,” said Full Speed.

“You take it back.  I was in charge of pushing it in the store so you have to take it back,” said T.Puzzle.

“No, no.  It’s the law of cart-a-nomics.  Those that take it must give it back.”

Hey, while you’re at it T.Puzzle, take your brother with you.

Mommy out.

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T.Puzzle looks gleeful here because he is squatting down to make himself look short.  His subtle rebellion against posing for photos.

 

 

motherhood

It’s Been a Really Moving (to Texas) Year: Highlights of 2018

The first part of the year found T.Puzzle winning his school’s spelling bee.  As a fifth grader he went on to place ninth out of thirty-six at the county level with mostly 7th and 8th grade competitors.

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T.Puzzle has always been a good student and leader, but in many ways, he is more content configuring Legos or playing video games.  However, with our move to Texas, he has come into his own.  With his academic load increasing in amount and rigor, he is exceeding all our expectations.  Mad Dog and I have been amazed at his growth and maturity.   But do not worry, his unique brand of humor remains fully intact:

No Lie

Isn’t That Great?

Full Speed’s first year participating in track had all sorts of life lessons woven into it.  It provided great fodder for WFAM, but truly, it helped him learn about honoring commitments and to not take life too seriously:

On Track for Stardom

Over the summer he attended a three-week high school honors class at Northwestern University.  He received high marks and a glowing summary report from his instructor.  It was a growth opportunity not only for him, but for me, too.  Letting go of your children in any capacity is never easy:

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Three Weeks

Full Speed’s transition into his new school has not been without challenges.  But really, even in the best of circumstances, is the life of a middle schooler a breeze?  It took a bit, but he is finding his way.  It helps he is now a team basketball manager.  At a recent tournament, he was gifted the championship trophy by his team and his coach:

 

Mad Dog continues to demonstrate exceptional leadership within his new role at work.  It may have taken a while for his title to reflect the scope of his responsibilities, but this never hindered his passion and commitment for lifting others up to their highest potential while making a positive impact across the globe.  Despite all this awesomeness, on occasion, he still needs to be supervised:

When Left to Their Own Devices…

I would happily follow Mad Dog anywhere.  Even though I mean this, moving to a new city and state has been quite the shake-up for me internally.  Now that I feel like my boys are in a good place, I think I can finally exhale.  My only goal for the new year is to make sure I appreciate the blessings I already have.  If I stop and soak in the prayers already answered, I could not ask for one thing more.

Not one thing.

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May your 2019 be filled with all the love and adventure you seek and may your dreams, if not already here, find their way to you as quickly as possible.

Happy Holidays, Y’all!

dogs, humor, motherhood

Blaze of Glory

Change is not without challenge.  When you are a senior citizen, this sometimes amplifies your resistance to change.

For the record, I am referring to my senior dog, Little Guy, and not myself.  Yes, I had to clarify as my children are certain I am quite advanced in age.

Little Guy turned fifteen this summer.  He has lived a long, healthy, happy existence and is still enjoying life (well, at least the parts he doesn’t sleep through).  However, with all this change surrounding us, eating was no longer a favorite activity.  He began to reject all forms of meticulously prepared kibble and such.  He preferred treats and began to beg for table scraps.

This went on for many weeks.  He began to lose weight and started to lose some of his zip.

Finally, in a last-ditch effort (yes, the situation was becoming quite dire), I stumbled upon a raw food diet that he adores.  I don’t mind one bit that it’s super fancy.

He’s little.

He’s old.

He can have whatever his heart desires.

Since he began his fancy food, he is a much more content, happy boy.

He loves his life again.

In essence, he is reverting back to his natural heritage of being a carnivorous beast.

He’s going out in a blaze of glory.

Just make sure you heat up his food for twenty seconds in the microwave before you serve him.

He’s not a complete savage for goodness sakes!

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humor, motherhood

When Left to Their Own Devices…

T.Puzzle needed me to sign a paper in his folder.  I use the word ‘folder’ loosely here.  While my occupations as a stay-at-home-mom and writer/dreamer/blogger have their busy work, I often have very little need for folders.  Therefore, when I saw T.Puzzle’s ‘folder’, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was seeing:

Apparently he ‘stores’ it at the bottom of his backpack.

This may be where all paper-based products go to die.

Speaking of dying, this segues nicely into our little family weekend adventure.  I have to preface this by saying that of my three boys, Mad Dog normally requires the least amount of supervision.  I may have to change this policy to preserve his safety.

On Friday, Mad Dog had a routine root canal.  He seemed to have the pain mostly managed and overall, had everything ‘under control’.

Shortly after when he took the allotted four ibupofren to manage pain, he realized he accidentally ingested four of his antibiotic pills instead.

He should have taken 300mgs, but decided to go all out with 1200mgs.

To save you time, here is what Google said:

1200mgs is the very top of what a doctor would prescribe and only in a dire, life-threatening bacterial infection kind of way.  It said nothing about ingesting the 1200mgs as a way to threaten your own life in a general, absent-minded way.

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Taking too many antibiotics?

Thankfully, Mad Dog made it safely through the night.  Unfortunately, he nows move to the top of the list as being the most supervised of my three boys.