A Call to Awareness

It seems there is a trend this month that is creating awareness and teaching how to handle invisible illnesses; just like breast cancer, testicular cancer, ALS, heart disease, and all the other illnesses, we shouldn’t focus on that one illness for just one month and that’s it.* This post isn’t a call to attention about invisible illnesses, but rather a call to be more sympathetic and empathetic human beings.

We need to be more aware that we aren’t the only human beings on the planet and realize that everyone is going through something. There is a saying that I see posted in many doctors’ offices: Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always. How true is this? No matter how close we may be to another human being, we will never truly know what their fight is and how they feel.

My husband, Michael, is my best friend and makes up a huge part of my world. Since Michael works from home, he and I spend more time together than most couples. Michael and I seem to share a brain, sometimes; we like the same things and have the same beliefs, like most couples do, but no matter how compatible and close we are, Michael will never truly know how my illnesses affect me, nor will I ever truly understand how work, stress, and my illness affect him.

Every time Michael gets sick, he turns to me and says, “I don’t know how you do it. You feel sick every single day; I hate feeling this way.” I laugh each time because I truly do not know how he deals with me all the time; I have a very short fuse sometimes and don’t know how he can have the patience to look after me and tend to me being sick because taking care of him when he is sick is definitely not on my top ten favorites list.

Yes, I understand the irony that I am preaching that we have patience and compassion and I clearly struggle with it myself. Isn’t that part of it all, too? To realize that we, as in all of us, struggle? It’s a reminder that all of us are human, especially the author of this post. So what can we imperfect humans do? We can listen and be there for each other. We can try our best to be sympathetic and compassionate. We can take the time to learn more about each other and the struggles we face so that we, in turn, can become closer.

I am a perfectionist and don’t like to admit that I am flawed, but when I am with Michael, I know he appreciates when I am honest about my flaws. When I admit that I struggle, it must help validate Michael for the times where I complained about things he did or didn’t do. I hate saying I’m not perfect, but I know that when I do, that is one time where Michael and I do feel close, even though I am sometimes down on myself. When I admit I’m not perfect and that I need help, that is a time where Michael really is my hero. When I am real and vulnerable, he steps in to protect and take care of me. He may not understand fully what I am going through, but he is there to support me in a way that is different than the times where I “act tough.”

Remember that everyone struggles and their problems are real to them, even if they don’t seem like a big deal to you. Take the time to be compassionate, sympathetic, and empathetic. Instead of flipping off or swearing at the driver who just cut you off, pray that their day gets better and that they reach their destination safely. Take the time to listen to what another person is saying to you, rather than sort of listening and shooting out a platitude. Remember that if someone snaps at you and it seems like it is coming out of nowhere, there is probably more going on. If you are in a position to give a hug or a sympathetic ear, do that, but if that isn’t appropriate, you can always pray and wish them well (in your head or out loud, depending on the situation and relationship with the person), hoping that whatever is causing them stress will come to pass.

Take the time to be conscious that others have their own struggles and that no harm has come from a genuine smile and a caring attitude. Just having an awareness that everyone has their own struggles can really help make your every interaction with others that much more real and give you a sense of gratefulness for what you have.

*To clarify: I don’t think that people affected by these diseases just think about these diseases for a month and can change their focus like a light switch. Sometimes, I do feel these months are taken for granted and there isn’t necessarily an awareness for the illness as much as just a name for the month.

Simplify and Pray to Say Hooray!

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I posted on my blog. It’s kind of a surprise and kind of not that I haven’t had the heart to really sit down and write anything. I want to say that I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had the chance. If I think about it so many things have happened since July 2014.

  • I ended up getting a promotion at Nielsen to a Program Manager. That in itself brought new challenges and new time constraints to my already busy schedule
  • We’ve taken a couple of trips to California. Each trip provided us with some new life that only family can provide.
  • We started our own ebay business and it’s actually pretty successful. Sure we’ve made some initial investments but for the past four or so months our selling limits have increased.
  • We also started our own craft business. It didn’t take off quite as well as we thought it would but we eventually plan to merge this with our eBay business. It’s all in our master plan 🙂
  • I found out just how sleep deprived you can get.
  • We got to meet our new nephew, Aiden last month. Such a great nephew and very talkative and interactive. We definitely will look forward to seeing him more.
  • We got to see one of my good friends, Andrew Keller get married. Both him and Lauren looked like the happiest people on Earth and that’s how your wedding should be.
  • We hit financial bumps in the road and discovered medical bills aren’t cheap. Yes, technically we knew this beforehand but it became more prominent as Krista’s health continued to decline.
  • We got a chance to go to a world class hospital to get some much needed answers to Krista’s health conditions. The flip side of medical bills not being cheap is that if you have good insurance, once you hit that out of pocket maximum, it becomes significantly easier… if you kind of forget about how much it took to get you there 🙂
  • We decided we’re moving to California… for good.

So as you can see, there was quite a bit going on there. I kind of jumped from point to point but that’s kind of how the year seemed to me. So many things happening at different points of the year kind of threw us in a loop and oftentimes we didn’t know how to best handle it except to pray and hope God would guide us through. You know what? We’re still here and God continues to not throw us anything we can’t handle.

I really didn’t get a chance to slow down. Handling a full time job, helping with a growing business, taking care of KristaRose and Twix, all of that can be a handful. It makes my head just jump from item to item, hopelessly trying to check off the items in my ever growing list. If I were to really sit down and think about everything I want to accomplish and everything that I need to accomplish, well let’s just say it may take awhile to do..

If there’s anything that I’ve learned in the past year is to get through everything, you need to simplify your life. Even as I write this I have to chuckle to myself because it really is great advice that I’m writing down but I am not perfect in executing it. My main point is this though: Simplify and Pray to Say Hooray! It may sound funny but it actually is a good way to approach things.

Simplify where you can.

When you have an overwhelming amount of things to do, the only way you can get through it is to really take a look at what is important and try to simplify things as best as possible. You can definitely take out certain items on your checklist and prioritize better in order to make sure you accomplish what is really important to you. For example, take your own life and think about what’s important. Is it family? Is it friends? Is it being able to pursue your dreams? Is it a simple walk with your dog everyday? Is it building towards a goal like running a marathon? Is it work? These are all important things but every single person has a different priority they would give to each of these items. Determine what is important to you and try to eliminate some other things in order to give priority to the most important things that matter to you. I’m not saying to completely drop other items, just make sure you are happy with how your life is balanced and make sure the most important things are not being neglected.

Pray often and in your way.

I’ve often heard from so many people that you need to pray often. I think fundamentally the statement is right but in my opinion, you really need to have a conversation with God and to do this, you have to pray in your own way. For me personally, there is a certain calmness that comes over me when I sit down and have a conversation with God. It’s not just about saying certain prayers, it’s about really taking some time during the day to connect with Him and tell Him your worries, your fears and what is on your mind. I find it refreshing whenever I do get chances during the day to just sit in silence and just reflect and have a chance to lay it all down for Him. This is the way I pray and I find that it helps so much. You may need to have a different method. Maybe you will find some specific prayers that really help you connect with God. Maybe going to Mass on a daily basis will give you that special time with Him. Whatever you end up doing, consider giving up some time for God each day to try to center yourself and ensure that you are living life in the image of Christ.

Say Hooray!

Sometimes with so much going on, it’s hard to celebrate the wins in life. You get up when your alarm goes off. Sometimes it takes multiple tries and snoozes. You get dressed, you eat breakfast and then you go to work. You work hard all day. You come home, tired and exhausted and just want to relax. The next thing you know, it’s already time for bed.

For some lucky people, this doesn’t happen and their whole day is awesome. For others, you might start seeing this as your routine. You have to watch for this and make sure that you celebrate the wins in life and say “Hooray!” once in awhile. You don’t literally have to say it but what I mean is you need to add some good conversations or good memories. Have a dinner with your neighbors. Go play with your kids outside and teach them how to ride a bicycle. Talk with your kids about their days at school. Be like my dad and tell your son, your wife and your siblings that you’re proud of them.

Life isn’t just about surviving, paying the bills and worrying about the future. It’s about celebrating with your family, your friends, with God. It’s about creating memories, not only joyful ones but sad ones as well (Yes, I am thinking of the movie Inside Out right now). If you are able to simplify and pray, you should be able to say hooray every single day of your life.

That’s where my life is right now. It’s the constant struggle of trying to figure out what to do next, what needs to be checked off on the list of things to do, etc, etc, etc. But as my wife’s smile always reminds me, none of that really matters in the long run. Work to simplify life to make sure you enjoy it. Pray often so that you remain humble and hopeful for the future. Say hooray so that you can pass on your joy to others. That’s what life is really all about. Memories, smiles, challenges, family, friends, God. Not chores to check off of your list.

Warm Regards,
Michael Lerma

P.S. – Just to let everyone know, I am working to simplify the blog a little bit as well. Both KristaRose and I are so full of ideas but I think I started to get away from the purpose of the blog in the first place which was to reflect and to motivate and inspire others.  While some of these ideas were great, the most impact comes from writing about experiences. This is the focus going forward and we hope that you will be along for the journey!

One Year Down, A Lifetime To Go

Yesterday, KristaRose and I celebrated our 1st anniversary. It’s a big milestone, it marks that even after a year, KristaRose hasn’t gotten tired of me and has decided to keep me! All jokes, aside, it is a big milestone to me but it’s just one of many milestones we will have in our lives. I wanted to take some time today (and I was starting to reflect a bit on it yesterday as well) to really think about what marriage means and how we’ve really grown in the past year.

The past year has been a journey for the both of us. I think there are really two main themes to the year and I think it coincides with our wedding theme as well.

Love is Patient.

Krista has gone through a lot of medical challenges and it’s been a learning experience for the both of us. I’ve personally learned the importance of keeping track of everything. I’m talking about medical bills, prescriptions, even the summary of your doctor visits. I don’t think that in the past year there was not a week where there wasn’t a doctor visit of some sort whether it be for a specialist, for physical or occupational therapy or for an acute visit. We’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals and there are a lot of times where I had to stop what I was doing either work wise or personally in order to take her to the doctor. It has given me a new sense of what it means to be patient. Sometimes you just have to wait your turn in the hospital. Sometimes you have to wait months for a new medicine to either work or not work. Sometimes it’s just a big waiting game in order to figure out what you have to do next in life.

I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to slow down and you just have to have faith that everything will turn out correctly. I think it’s one of the things that we all struggle with. We all worry about the future. We all worry about what’s happening in our lives right now. We all still worry about things that happened in the past. The truth is, you can’t really control a lot of it. It does not help to worry about what has already happened. You can’t change that. It does not help to worry about the future. You can think you can change it but in the grand scheme of things, no amount of planning will lead to a perfect day. God will direct the future as he sees fit and you can be certain that he will make sure you can handle it.

All of the medical complications have really strengthened me. It has made me realize that we need to be even more grateful for the love and support our family and friends have given us. We need to be patient and steadfast in knowing that God will lay out the path for us and we should not worry. Through all of this, we have each other. Love is patient.

Love is Kind.

One of the reasons I married KristaRose is because she is such a kind person. She might not believe it all the time but there are a lot of little acts that make up who she is as a person. I remember there was a time we were in Chicago and we passed by a homeless person. She had just purchased a blueberry oatmeal from Jamba Juice and was more than willing to give it up to the homeless person. It was a selfless act that I still remember to this day. This is just one example but I see it all the time. She might not be able to do as much because of all the medical limitations but her heart has not wavered. She will still help out people as best as she can.

I think the biggest thing though is how she helps me to be kind. I must admit that I don’t get a lot of sleep. Between work, trying to develop myself personally, doing chores around the house, taking care of Krista, taking care of Twix, there’s just not a lot of time that I can have to sleep. It’s harder than you think to have a consistent schedule especially if things happen late nights or there is an unexpected doctor’s visit. Because of the lack of sleep though, I may have developed a bit of criticism when driving. I notice a lot of things more often but Krista is always telling me to be kind on the road and reminding me that we shouldn’t be spreading negative thoughts on the road. It’s a difficult thing to do but her love is always kind and always helps me to bring me back to where I need to be.

Love is Everlasting

Finally, as I conclude my thoughts, I just want to make a comment about marriage in general. I think that in this world, there is not enough love. Even in marriages, how many times have we heard that a person is getting a divorced or that they’re going into their second or third marriage? How many times have we been kind of been beaten in the head that divorce is ok? It seems like the media and really the world is migrating more towards thinking that marriage and relationships are only fleeting. I personally think that we need to take a look at why people get married. For me it stems from the spiritual component and the connection you have to God.

When I got married, I decided that I was going to become one with KristaRose. That’s what happens in a marriage. Through thick or thin, through sickness and in health, you stick by that person for the rest of your life. You don’t give up with the going gets tough. You don’t just leave because you get frustrated with your wife or husband’s point of view. I knew going in that things weren’t going to be easy. We were going to have a lot of difficulty. But together with God, you become one unit and you grow together. For me, this is so very important. Without that connection, the marriage is meaningless.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone else’s marriage isn’t valid. I’m simply saying that you need a connection with your spouse. It can’t be superficial. When you say your vows, you have to mean it. You have to know that you will stick by that person to the very end. You have to know that person will help you along and make you a better person. You have to go into it always thinking, this is the one, there is no one else. Otherwise, what’s the point of a marriage? Why even go into it if there’s even a chance that you’d consider a divorce?

I know why I went into this marriage. I am looking forward to many more years where I can share my love. I’m looking forward to continuing to be more patient and more kind. I am looking forward to more smiles, more laughter, more tears, more struggles, more triumphs. It’s about that connection. I know it has gotten stronger over the past year and will only continue to get stronger for the rest of our lives.

Where Have All the Smiles Gone?

I don’t mean to paint a bleak picture but everywhere I go, it seems that people are unhappy. We are being dominated by technology and I think it is having some negative effects. People look down at their phones, stare at a big screen, spend all day in front of a computer. Don’t worry, I know I’m in that trap. I’m in it right now as I stare at my computer. I feel that a lot of us have gotten out of touch with how to interact with one another, with how to feel proper emotions. A smiley face on a text message doesn’t equate to a smile in real life, nor should it ever. We actually feel emotion and live it when we interact with one another. When we see someone that we haven’t seen in a long time, a smile will appear on our face. When we receive a physical package or letter in the mail, a small smile may appear. When we get excellent service at a restaurant, smiles start to appear across the table. Smiles are around but they stay hidden until something prompts it.

I ask the world, why does it have to be like that? Why must we have to experience something in order to smile? Why must something positive be the impetus to turn that frown upside down? Why can’t we just smile every once in awhile? Why can’t we savor the present because that’s the only thing that is guaranteed? Why can’t we dig up past memories in our heads and reminisce and smile about the feelings we had at that moment? Why can’t we actively put ourselves in more situations in order to smile?

I can tell you it is tough to smile when you have a lot going on in your world. If you spend all day worrying about your big to-do list and you keep chipping at it, sure you’ll get through the list but will you be happy? Will you feel satisfied?

Life is never easy and everyone goes through a different set of problems. There are times it just sucks. There is no other word to describe the situation. The one thing that I’ve learned though is that you have to keep hope alive and you have to smile.

You have to smile in order to make yourself feel better.

You have to smile to make others in the room feel better.

You have to smile because even through adversity, there is always a lesson to learn, a person to thank, an end result that teaches you.

You have to smile because you are alive today.

You have to smile because you have a chance to live tomorrow.

You have to smile because you have a chance to keep changing people’s lives and making a difference.

That’s why even when the day is bad, you just have to smile.

I hope that you smile today!

~The Lermz

Spreading Inspiration One Postcard at a Time

It has been a busy time for KristaRose and I as life has really gone by fast. Between doctor visits, work and everything else, it has just been an absolute blur and wouldn’t you know it, it’s almost July! That means it’s almost our one year anniversary! Now that is a crazy thought! Maybe I should go start planning for it right now 🙂
Anyway, we are actually really excited to be telling you all about our latest project. We have always been believers in giving inspiration to everyone that we see. Whether it is your server in a restaurant, a homeless person on the street or a coworker that has been extremely helpful. It is just a good thing to do. It feels good everytime you say something positive and it inspires a person to either be better or to pass it on to another person.

We have worked in the past couple of months on products that do just that. I don’t want to put a shameless plug in here for our other products because I want to focus on one where we don’t care if we make a profit. We like to call it project #RandomInspiration.

What is #RandomInspiration? To put it simply we want to inspire everyone, including random people we don’t even know. We are creating postcards that remind a person how awesome he or she is. It’s a simple gesture but it means a lot especially in this day and age where getting mail is kind of rare and exciting again. The front of the postcard contains the inspiring message and then the back explains why we’re doing this. We encourage anyone who receives the postcard to post a picture to our Facebook page and tell us how they felt when they received it. For just $1, we will send out two postcards to completely random people. We won’t include anyone’s name except the recipient. If a person really wants to send it to a specific address, we’ll do that. We are pushing ourselves to send out as many as possible. We’ll start the count at 33 since our first batch just went in the mail.


If you have ever wanted to spread inspiration and asked yourself how you can do it, this is a great way to achieve it! Think of how many smiles random people across the country will get when they receive this postcard. They may be inspired to send some postcards to others too!

If you want to support our project, please think about purchasing some #RandomInspiration. Regardless of how many donations we get towards the project, we will continue to send as many as we can each month and will soon put a counter to show how many we have sent out. We want to inspire the world and we hope that some others will be there with us for the ride!

Store URL for #RandomInspiration: http://kreeations.storenvy.com/collections/754188-our-inspirational-projects

Facebook URL for KrazyKreeations: https://www.facebook.com/KrazyKreeations

~The Lermz


Chasing a Dream

Everyone has a dream or perhaps many dreams that they want to accomplish in their lifetime. Perhaps you might even have a bucket list of items such as climbing Mount Everest or going skydiving (btw those two are not on my list :D). With how busy life can be sometimes we push aside those dreams to focus on other immediate things. It is a shame though because you can look back at your life and feel regret about not chasing after those dreams. Sometimes in life you just have to force yourself to allocate even the tiniest bit of time towards something you believe in. For me, I think I’ve done just that and that’s why you haven’t seen us quite as active on the blog as in the past.

If you haven’t heard yet, KristaRose and I opened our own online shop. We wanted a place to give out inspiration to others and help them encourage those around them. We came up with the concept of “Thank You” mini-cards that allowed you to at first compliment waiters at restaurants or others that have done a great job for you. We have since expanded to be broader and allow you to hand these cards out to others who have just made a difference in general. It could be for a person who just opened the door for you or maybe it’s for someone that helped you move to another place. They’re meant to be something that is relative inexpensive and inspirational.

In the future we plan on expanding the use of the cards even more. We realize we can specialize who they are for. Think of the possibilities: teachers, parents, family members, dentists, police officers, those who serve in the military. There are a lot of people in this world that deserve our gratitude and this card can help. We’re also thinking of making full sized cards and postcards so that it is easy to mail someone and tell them your gratitude as well.

In addition, we’re adding some fun hobby items as well. We’re both pretty crafty so we’ve both made some pretty unique things.

The biggest part of our store is giving back to the community. We’re donating 20% of all our profits to a different charity each month. It is very important for us because we want to make an impact on people’s lives. This dream isn’t about us making money, it’s about us getting more people inspired and smiling. Trust me if I had all the money in the world, I would give away a lot of these items in our shop!

This was an important step for us to take because sometimes things get too hectic in our lives. When things get hectic, you start to lose hope and you start to give up on your dreams. We’ve refused to do that. Even if this venture fails we won’t look back at it with regret. We shouldn’t either, we’ve made a few sales already and our inspiring words and thoughts are no doubt making at least a few people smile somewhere. My advice to everyone else is to make sure you don’t give up on your dream. Take small steps to make it a reality. It won’t happen overnight in most cases but if you at least keep the dream in your peripheral, you will be energized by it.

If you would like to check out what we have on our shop, please go http://kreeations.storenvy.com . If you support what we are doing, feel free to make a purchase or tell a friend about it!

~The Lermz

Love from a Man’s Best Friend

For one reason or another I was checking my Facebook today and I happened to click a link that told a story about a Veterinarian who was wrestling with the decision of whether or not to put down his own dog. His dog was already 15 years old and it was discovered that he had some small internal bleeding that would escalate into a larger issue. At that point there was nothing he really could do for his dog except try to give it some good days before it was his time to go. In the end, he decided to put his dog to sleep in order for him to not feel the pain that was coming.

It was a sad story and the thing is that this happens all the time. It’s one of the worst things about being a pet owner. The realization that one day you might have to make a tough decision like that and potentially will have to see your best friend put to sleep. Honestly, I’m not sure what I would do in that situation. Twix is like a son to us. I know it might sound weird if you haven’t been a pet owner but I think if you have owned any kind of pet whether it was a dog, cat, fish, etc, you get this emotional attachment. Your pet is dependent on you, much like a child would be. In my honest opinion, a pet has the potential to be the most loyal thing in your life.

Twix, for example, is always very happy to see us when we come back home from the store or from shopping. He would always come up to the door with a smile on his face and his tail wagging in all sorts of directions. (Maybe I should take that back, with older age he sometimes can be lazy and just wait for us to get to the bedroom before greeting us). He is dependent on us giving him food, water, and love. He seems to know when we’re having bad days and will cuddle with us when that happens. He can be a troublemaker but you just know that he loves you with all his heart.

It makes me sad to think sometimes that I yelled at Twix. For the times that he’s gotten into the trash or barked like a crazy dog at other pets. There were plenty of times but you know thinking about it.. it’s probably not fair to Twix. You have to be able to shrug things off sometimes. You just have to because you never know when that day will come that your friend isn’t by your side.

It might be bold of me to say this but maybe we all need to be more like dogs. Maybe we need to have that unwavering loyalty. Maybe we need to be happy every day and be grateful to see another day. Maybe we need to know when to comfort someone and be there to do that.

Maybe we need to love like a dog.

I think that’s what we need in our everyday life. More love. More smiles. More loyalty. That’s what makes this life worth living. That’s how God meant us to live our lives.

LCBD: Why Did I Have to Change?

Change: it happens to all of us, and our human nature is to be unsettled by change. However, it seems that everyone preaches “Change is Good!”

When my husband and I met, we had an instant connection.

  • We were Disney lovers, math nerds, Filipino, computer geeks, book fans, gamers (video & board), and best of all, strawberry ice cream lovers…everything he liked, I liked too  –  two peas in a pod! (Later, we would also find out that our parents have the same names!)
  • Of course, we also had our differences. I’m loud, energetic, spontaneous, and talkative; Michael is pensive, calculative, calm, and spares his words. I love the outdoors, and he prefers to stay in. I prefer dogs, he grew up with cats. I’m a die-hard for the Lakers…he roots for the Spurs *shudder* – nevertheless, he’s the Yin to my Yang.

They say that in marriage, or any relationship, there are compromises that are made. As our relationship got more and more serious, I’ll admit my strong-headed temperament allowed for me to make less compromises. I influenced him to open up more, try new things, be spontaneous and for my 22nd birthday, he even got me our precious pup, Twix! So, of course, I figured I would be slowly introducing him to things I loved and he never did; he was slowly start to like, and even love, some of the things I really loved. After all, aren’t relationships supposed to help each other become better versions of themselves? That’s part of why I started “Little Change, Big Difference;” little changes made for the better can make a big difference down the line, for ourselves, others, the whole world. However…

I never thought that I was the one who would have to change.

In August of 2011, Michael and I finally lived in the same city after two years of long distance. I started to feel tired and physically exhausted all the time; my job is a house manager (guest services manager) for a performing arts center, so I worked weird, inconsistent, early/late hours. Naturally, we blamed my hours and the physical aspects on my job were taking a toll. Still, I didn’t really understand or believe it.

I worked entertainment at Disney, sometimes standing up with little relief and wearing heavy equipment for 6-10 hours.From Disney Entertainment, I moved to hospitality in the hotels and the job was surprisingly more demanding than standing the whole shift carrying over 15 lbs of equipment. Those past two jobs were more physically demanding than my house management job, yet I kept having physical pains and started to lose strength in my hands.

By January of 2012, I couldn’t even make a fist with either hand. I knew I had to see a doctor when my hands were so stiff that I had to call Michael to pick me up since I couldn’t grip the wheel. We had to have one of our friends follow Michael while driving my car so it wouldn’t get towed.

In May of 2012, just before my 25th birthday, I met with a rheumatologist and was diagnosed with Lupus (SLE). Since then, in addition to our 40+ hour jobs, it’s been doctors, labs, testing, and therapy every week, and almost every day, for me and Michael.  Having had been sickly, including severe asthma and allergies, my whole life, I’m fairly used to the process of going to specialists, physical therapists, and emergency clinics.

Today, we’re at two years and almost ten additional diagnoses. We aren’t even sure if we are much closer to a solution to help my illnesses be less disruptive to my work and social life. This is not written to have you pity me, as I do have a wonderful support system through my ever loving husband, my parents, my siblings, and my closest family and dear friends. I have my faith and optimistic attitude that has me rely on God, knowing that everything happens for a reason and that I can get through anything because I have God and my loved ones to help me through it.

Even with how hard I fight to stay healthy and active, I have learned there are many things I would not be able to do again, or should not do again. Yes, a lot of them are things I liked to do: camping, archery, go-karting, laying out in the sun all day. I have recently realized, dealing with this illness was to help slow down in life. I was running at life, at work, at dreams at full throttle and, though I know what is most important are family and friends, I was doing too much.

My illness has changed me, for the better, emphasizing what is important and bringing Michael and I even closer together, which we never thought was really possible, being as close as we already were. Through it all, God was having me to slow down to Michael’s pace and learn to really “stop and smell the roses.I thought I had all the answers: putting God and family first, doing service, appreciating how blessed you are, be God fearing, spread God’s word, do good (yes, good, not well), and always love and forgive.

This just goes to show that God really does work in mysterious ways; if you wanted to make God laugh, show Him your plans. God has helped me to learn how to truly appreciate all the things I enjoy and can do with my husband rather than pushing him to his limits to join me in other things I found fun. I thought I was changing Mike for the better (in my opinion), but God will always be guiding your life: His will be done. What does God want you to do today? How can you change for the better?

God Bless!

Krazy Kree


Becoming a Professional

For the past month or so, I’ve been browsing through jobs, and trying to grow my resume. I was startled by my lack of material. As we continue to grow older, we become aware of the plights of the ‘real world’. I’ve come to both appreciate and disdain the financial support I’ve continued to have from my family. Yes, it was nice going through the majority of my college experience without having to penny-pinch, but at the same time, I’ve damned myself as a viable candidate for many employment opportunities. Whereas my college profile is exemplary, my employment history is lackluster. Reasonably so, I was really kicking myself in the behind for it. But, recently, I was given some really good advice from a successful business professional.  He taught me that you should never look at yourself as a less-deserving applicant. His exacts words were, “So, you think the other person should get the job over you?” Of course, to this I passionately replied, “No!” We spoke for nearly an hour on the topic, and I came to realize that half the battle is mental state.

Confidence carries far. You have to learn to sell yourself. The key to any successful business is promotion and marketing. My advice: think of yourself as a business. What’s your objective? Do you want to fail or succeed? If you’re looking for success, then do you want to break-even, or be prosperous? These seemingly simple questions can make the biggest difference. Truth is, many of us don’t necessarily know which direction we want our lives to take, and that’s completely okay. Having a vague goal, is still a goal.

Ask yourself the right questions to get motivated for an interview or even while writing that daunting cover letter. Let your first impression be one that lasts and sets you apart from others. Take a break from your job search rather than spending hours working on applications non-stop, especially if you start seeing that negative mindset rearing its ugly head. Simplify, analyze, realign, and then resume.

One of the keys to the human experience is the interaction that we have with others. I hope that I have been able to help some of you by sharing my thoughts and experience.  I’ll leave you today with a hackneyed quote, “Keep calm, and prosper.”