Tag Archives: love

If it’s to be…

“One of our favorite activities as a family is watching old home movies.”

Photos and Videography….the first time around I was so rushed and anxious to get to the party, I didn’t stop to take the time to get photos you can look back at for years to come. I was so anxious I didn’t remember the vows I spoke or the moment we shared that special kiss. At the end of the day, the camera doesn’t lie and whether you want staged pictures or candid moments the person or people you hire need to have an open and often unspoken communication with you at all times. If your not committed to the moment, no photographer or film crew can photoshop you in it.

A New Beginning

Allen Kee: A proud father who is passionate about his work as an advertising and editorial photographer. Allen took time from his busy schedule working primarily for ESPN to photograph our simple family on our special day. 

Allen had come into my husbands small auto detail business only a couple months prior to our wedding to have his car detailed.  My husband came home and said, “I met this great guy today and he is an awesome photographer.”

I immediately started checking out Allen’s work always thinking outside the box, I discovered this amazingly talented photographer working in the fast paced world of sports and falling in love with his still and loving photos of his daughter.  I knew he was exactly the type of photographer I was looking for. We needed empathy for family and the patience for my high energy and he had already established a genuine connection with my husband it all made sense. I asked my husband to do only one thing and that was to call Allen and ask him to photograph our wedding and he did. Allen said it was his honor,  he had found inspiration in our strength as a couple taking the non- traditional route in life getting re-married to each other. We not only had a true professional but now a friend who’s life we touched and that clearly advocates for human kindness. I encourage you to check out more of his work and I am honor to share we have been able to continue to work together: http://www.allenkeephoto.com/

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Chip Dizard:  A passionate teacher, father and husband. His videography speaks for itself in the work he produces.  I met Chip online threw a Facebook club called “Never Settle Club”, hosted by Mario Armstrong.

Chip and I made a connection via social media, sharing our passion to find a sustainable future doing what we are passionate about in life. He took the time to get to know me, reading my story about finding 365 Days of Joy. I found myself inspired by Chip’s dedication as a teacher and the work he does with his students. Throughout the course of the club online Chip shared his wedding videography and my decision to hire him had already been made.

When Chip came all the way up to our small town, he got to know my family. He spent time passing the baseball in the backyard with my husband and son. He spent time teaching my daughter how to use the camera’s connecting with her as he would with his own children and students. The crew he brought with him, were professional and acclimated themselves with the area we lived, scouting out arial views that would encompass all the things we love about the town we live. I cry tears of joy each time I see just the trailer that he completed of our wedding day. You can see more of his work at:  http://chipdizardweddings.com/

I know these are major expenses and for us we consider them is an investment in our future. I often say, when I look back at my photos it reminds me of the love I have for my husband and my family, by the expressions on our faces.  I have absolutely no regrets in investing in quality people my photographer and videographer. I consider them my friends for life…

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No Greater Gift

I am one of the many members of “St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church” and have been for over twenty years.  I have now officially been married twice here, to the same man. Baptized two beautiful babies and celebrated while my husband and our two children had their first communion at your alter. What I want to say is that none of this would have been possible without you, “the people”, of this church and I am grateful.

Many of you probably don’t know this about our family, but while we celebrated all these wonderful moments in our church lives our home life and first marriage to each other had fallen apart.  Two years ago, after our first marriage ended in a divorce my husband and I thought we lost everything…and we found ourselves at the doors of this church.  I would like to think, God answered our call but I know his hands were stretched far wider.

I know church is a place where all should feel welcome and sometimes that’s not very easy. A church is still a business that has salaries and bills to pay and at the time, leaning on these doors was a far stretch for even my own faith to reach, but I can tell you today it was worth it. It’s important to know where your consistent charitable donations are being spent and what your selfless time and dedication keeping these doors open means. You are changing the lives of people when they are in need and I share that you are making a difference.

After two years of hard work, support and counseling the “Episcopal Church Diocese” of Connecticut, gave my husband and I their blessing to re-marry and we did on September 13, 2014, here at this church.  This parish the staff and its administration opened its arms and embraced my family in a time of need. The music director played “No Greater Gift” while empowering our children to find their voice. The church administrative officer, not only helped me put together a program that celebrated my life, but include the lives of all people who celebrate joy in forgiveness and believe in the covenant of marriage. The alter guild gave me strength as I anxiously walked toward the alter. To the Reverend Steve Domienik…we are eternally grateful for your leadership, counseling and continued faith in a God which has empowered me to share how great it is to believe he exists.

Lastly and most importantly to my church family, you have given me the opportunity to share how wonderful this church is with so many people and to teach our children having faith can make a difference, in the lives of others.

I’m not crazy…

“We are what we pretend to be, so be careful about what we pretend to be.”-Kurt Vonnegut

I suffer the disability of having a mental illness and I am not ashamed to share this with you, because I am ok and happy to be exactly me.

Society sadly prejudges us for our past mistakes and behaviors breeding fear and anxiety for those suffering with any illness or disability. I think this prevents many from getting help sooner in life and finding the happiness they deserve.  I had to show the people who loved me and most importantly myself that I was deserving of happiness, which takes time and patience.

On September 13, 2014 I got married again. I didn’t just get married again to anyone, I got married again to the same man I had married eleven years ago. I married him because,  I believe I deserve to be loved, trusted and forgiven. I also want to share that I survived and it is possible for people to change and make a difference in the world, leading by example and from the heart.

Today, I surround myself with positive people who share my passion for life and are cheering with me to live a life filled with #365DaysofJoy. We celebrate one another and all the simple accomplishments, hurtles and goals we achieve. We all deserve happiness and as human beings that requires compassion and empathy for others. You never know what battles someone is facing, so be mindful of that when you teach your children and when you walk out into the world everyday.

I am eternally grateful that I have been given the courage and strength to share this message with you all and in sharing, my hope is that it will inspire others to get the help they need and find the happiness they deserve.

http://www.zip06.com/article/20150218/NWS10/502179997/1122/madisonlatest

365 Days of Joy

I had never imagined that I would still be here sharing the simple moments in my life that I celebrate #365DaysofJoy.  I am truly humbled by all of you, who listen, read and share my story. This journey has led me to be inspired by wonderful new friends, amazing opportunities and most importantly a new found “hope” my children will grow up and share my enthusiasm and passion for life. The greater good has always been for all children to have empathy and gratitude for not just themselves but for those they meet throughout their lives.

This weekend I re-marry the love of my life, again. Thirteen years ago when we first married, I didn’t know what it meant to be married. I was not prepared or ready to make the commitment it takes to have a life long partner. I was selfish, immature and insecure. We were clearly uneducated on what the covenant of marriage meant. I share with you today, “I’m ready” and I know my future husband is. We have both done our homework, finding our self worth and that’s allowed us to make the commitment to being one love. I honor us and our vulnerability to trust one another, the patience needed, the work required, the ability to forgive and have empathy and compassion for our differences. That’s what will sustain our marriage as we face the future ahead.

On July 1, 2001. My wedding day…It was a “fairy tail”. The big white dress, the tiara, the ring, the parties…I guess you could say I ended up suffocating myself in tule while drooling over cake tastings. This was suppose to be, the beginning of the future of all the things I had imagined would validate “me” in life. What I didn’t realize is that no amount of stuff or anyone person could validate me, only I could do that for myself. We came home from our honeymoon, expecting our first child. We moved into the new house we had to buy to raise our children…We got so caught up in making believe that when reality set in, we couldn’t afford the life that brought us nothing more then “fleeting happiness” nor were we equip to handle the underlying problems that had gotten us there to begin with.

In December 2011, we got a divorce. My ex and future husband likes to say, we made the most expensive mistake in our life. I say that’s true, but had it not been for that mistake and the pain it caused; We may not have been here today.

On, September 13th 2014, I look forward to the future with a new found hope and gratitude for the love of my life as husband and wife, sharing #365DaysofJoy till death do us part.  Amen 2 That!

Embrace the Character

I will admit I am rather torn writing this because I alone am not the solution. We tend to highlight what it is we are doing rather then who the person is that is doing it.  I would like to shine the light on all those people that are out there and aren’t being heard who do make a difference and are valued. I am also going to express gratitude for all the people who do recognize the bigger issues and work everyday to “shine the light” on what we can do better.

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If you looked at my report cards after kindergarten you would see a mediocre or below average student who never worked hard enough to meet her full potential never really applying herself. From school to school I would go as we moved quit often and that’s what the emphasis always was, Rachel isn’t applying herself. I was defined by my education and the grades I was achieving. I will say today that I was preconditioned to fail. In defense of the educators at the time we didn’t have the knowledge we do today about learning disabilities, or the empathy for those who suffer from them. I do think we need to re-define what makes a person valuable and be very cautious not to focus too much on what they do rather who they are their Character what makes them happy.

I will say that I am far from mediocre and far from perfect always a work in progress. I started paying it forward for my own kids by getting back to basics only a couple years ago. I hashtag #365daysofjoy because I am grateful I am here and have the courage to reach out be vulnerable to share what I know about being happy and what I have learned to sustain myself. I embrace the tenacity of my own Character to share with you here today.

My hope is that we can redefine what it means to be a success and focus on the Character. What inspires those who don’t know how to achieve it. Embrace the individuals sharing joy in their ability to make you smile or laugh. The American dream should be happiness and I think that we need to get “back to basics”. We can’t change the past but we can certainly learn from it.

We need more leaders who stop enabling failure by turning a blind eye and look Humanity in the face. Paying it forward by empowering others to do whatever it is that they are passionate about and it will continue to sustain itself.

I am happy that I have this amazing Character that is ambitious enough to hope I can make a difference with even one smile each day, sharing #365DaysofJoy

 

Sharing your story

Yes everyone does have a story and I am humbled to be able to share mine with you, thanks to social media.

I am genuinely transparent exactly what you see and read everyday. I am a human being who is imperfect has compassion and empathy for other human beings and simply seeks a simple moment each day, I celebrate my life.  I am giving back whatever I can and listening to those who need to be heard.  I am just a simple mom that wasn’t so simple-minded and started spreading #365daysofjoy in a hashtag.

I am passionate about being inspired by others and empowered to help others to find their voice in this often changing and very loud world of social media. I wanted to do something for those that aren’t as comfortable to share, or simply just haven’t been given the proper tools to find the right outlets or direction. What was my way of,  “thinking outside the box”, making time for myself as a mom, connecting with my kids online and seeking a sustainable lifestyle…Is now becoming the makings of a successful future educating not just myself but now others on how they can sustain happiness within their own life’s joy and passions.

I use my enthusiasm and positive energy to make a difference.  If we share what we are passionate about with the right people we will most certainly inspire success. There are no excuses or reasons to take the easy road or justify failure, we can all be successful and have dreams that are absolutely sustainable. I do believe “not naive” requirements are hard work, dedication, consistency and a desire to make a better life for your future.

Social media successful story telling is not easy. It’s simply a reflection of how we choose to live our life and the message we send to others that inspires them to want to share. It may be one follower, one like, one tweet but most importantly its one day at a time. I am always gratuitous to those that listen, care and share. We are all able and accountable to at the least try…

This is a healing process for me writing to you being relatable and showing a side of humanity that many people don’t often get to see or lack the courage to share. I hope you do find inspiration and courage, to believe that your story will inspire someone. I know mine has and I hope you take the time to value yours, because I value all that share with me.

I just love you because….

My Christmas miracle, my ex-husband who I have loved for the past 14 years asked me to be his wife again and I said yes. We married again this past September surrounded by joy and love and leading up to that day I found the following advise worth sharing…

We live in a world where we are pre-judged for our past. I often find we are so afraid to be hurt we aren’t vulnerable to trust in love for fear of the pain it will cause, or the shame we will feel if we fail. No one wants to be judged by others especially if they don’t succeed so they never take that chance.  In this life we need to be accountable to ourselves. Love ourselves so we can give true love to others. It’s really that simple…If you trust and love yourself you are capable of being truly loved by someone else.

Leading by example and listening to our hearts, surrounding ourselves with others who help us discover what makes us worth it. Pay your love forward to the children, they need unconditional love always and that’s the greater good. Have empathy for those who are not able to see or change out of fear, have compassion for them.

Sometimes there doesn’t need to be a reason as much as we want an answer the only answer can be, I just love you because…so stop looking so hard for an explanation and just receive the gift of love and leave it at that.