Category Archives: New Jersey Robyn

What’s Next?

 

It’s been ages since I posted and this year has been filled with twists, turns and unexpected trials and triumphs.  With my son moving up to 1st grade and my daughter going into her last year of nursery school, I found myself at a crossroad with no idea of the next direction I would go.  Being a stay at home mom for seven years was a gift that I am lucky to have had.  I started my role as “Mommy,” “Mama,” and “MOM” after teaching 1st grade for eight years and loved my new identity.  Time has flown by and I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been home almost as long as I was in the classroom and can’t imagine jumping back into a teaching career when I’ve been out of practice for so long.  So…where does that leave me?  I’m no longer a first grade teacher, an identity I cherished and was proud of, but I’m also not a mommy of babies and toddlers anymore which is what I came to love even more than my previous role.  I felt like I was slowly becoming NOBODY.

Bigger kids means bigger financial needs and the strain of a single income was becoming apparent.  The obvious solution would be going back to teaching.  However, there are no words to describe the anxiety I felt when even thinking about returning to teaching.  Being out of the classroom for so long makes it that much harder to imagine going back.  If I had taken a maternity leave and gone back right away my kids wouldn’t know any different and neither would I.  Problem is I know how much I love bringing them to school and picking them up.  I love “Mommy and Abby days” when she doesn’t have school.  I couldn’t imagine giving it up.

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Conflicted with finding an answer that would be best for our family I had one of those MEANT TO BE experiences that has changed the path from uncertainty to determination.  I have always believed that certain people come into our lives for a reason.  There is no doubt in my mind that Tracy was one of those people.  My husband went to high school with Tracy and we have been facebook friends for a while.  She lives in Georgia and was a marine biologist, but is now a division leader with lia sophia.  For those of you who are not familiar with lia sophia it is a direct sales company that offers gorgeous jewelry at affordable prices (Think Tupperware party, but with jewelry)!  One day Tracy sent me a message asking me if I would be willing to host a facebook virtual jewelry party so she could show her team that it is possible to connect with friends from out of state and build your business through technology.  I thought about it and mentioned it to my husband and he said to me, “Maybe you should talk to Tracy about selling lia sophia, she was a marine biologist and is now really successful doing this and is home with her kids.”  That was it…I talked to Tracy once and signed up!  That was two months ago and boy has my world CHANGED for the BETTER!  Through friends and family who volunteered to host parties I have been able to get my business started and already recruited a customer to join my “team”!  I am on my way to promoting to Unit Leader and am still in awe that this practically fell into my lap.  Tracy has guided me EVERY step of the way and has been my biggest cheerleader.  It is AMAZING to work for a company that encourages women to be their own boss, set goals and attain them, and live their dream.  My dream has always been to be home with my kids.  My fondest memories are of my mom being home with me and my sister.  I completely understand that this is not an option for many and that there are many women who even if staying home was an option would choose to continue with their career.  The choice we each make does not DEFINE the type of mother you are.  It does not make one of us better than the other.  It is simply the path that each mother takes on the road to raising their children to be the best they can be!

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In the past two months I have gained a new level of confidence and am proud of the work I have done to build my business.  Dressing up my “Mommy” clothes with all of my new jewelry has added an element of fun to my days.  I LOVE being my own boss, making my own hours, and helping our family out with finances.  People do come into our lives for a reason…Tracy came into mine to be the light on this exciting new journey that I am on.

Visit my business Website!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Dream Big, Finances, Good Life, Hard Reality, Inspire, Life, Marriage, New Jersey Robyn, Relationships, Self Image, SelfImprovement, You

Handprint Memories

I try to do a handprint/footprint project with my kids for each HoLiDaY or SeAsOn.  I started them shortly after my son turned one and have continued since.  It is FuN to look back and see how their hands and feet have grown and the projects make great decorations and gifts.  You can find tons of great ideas just by doing a simple Google search for holiday handprint projects.  Have fun CrEaTiNg great memories!

I made this wreath last Christmas using my son’s handprints for the wreath and my daughter’s tiny feet for the holly!  I wrote the little poem myself!

I made these little snowmen out of their feet last January!

~Jersey Girl~

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Put On Your Big Girl Panties And Deal With It

Growing up I was extremely lucky as far as my weight was concerned.  I was able to eat whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted and never gained a pound.  I didn’t worry about my clothes fitting and I didn’t think twice about wearing a bikini to the beach. By age 25 I got married, my metabolism had started changing, and the weight started creeping up.  Over two years of infertility led to more weight gain and I delivered my son weighing 67 pounds heavier than I was on my wedding day.

After Nicholas was born I decided to join Weight Watchers to help take the weight off.  Knowing that getting back to my pre-baby weight was NoT A ReAliTy, I set a goal that I thought I could maintain.  Losing the weight was the easy part…keeping it off was another story.  Over the next year and a half I watched the scale go up and down until I reached my goal weight for the second time only to find out a week later that I was pregnant with my daughter.  WoO-hOo, not only was I shocked and elated that I was pregnant without having to go through the grueling infertility struggle that I went through for my son, but now I  had a FrEePaSs to eat whatever I wanted again.

I didn’t gain as much weight with Abby’s pregnancy as I did with Nicholas’, but I don’t think having a toasted coconut donut and a large dunkachino every day from May to August was a smart move.  My weight fluctuated for the next year and a half until it got to a point where I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror.  There were many people, friends and family included, who would say, “You are small you don’t need to lose weight.”  I was already upset and stressed about the way I looked and when I heard things like that it made me feel like what I was going through WaSn’T ReaL to anyone else.  I got to a point where I was eating and eating ridiculous amounts of snacks and sweets and I wasn’t fitting into any of my clothes.  I was my highest non-pregnancy weight and just couldn’t get control of it.  As NuTtY as it may sound, I decided that taking a picture of myself in the mirror wearing my bra and underwear was going to be my motivation.  I loathed and hated the picture.  The girl in the picture was so far from who I wanted to be and it was a huge WaKe-Up CaLL.  It is one thing to stuff yourself into clothes and cover up with a big shirt or sweater, but it is another to look at yourself over and over again with nothing sucking you in or hiding the skin.

I joined Weight Watchers again in January 2011, but this time I did all of my weigh-ins online and downloaded the Weight Watchers app on my phone.  I followed the plan, but allowed myself to ChEaT a little on weekends.  By June I had lost 20 pounds and was thrilled with my success.  I’ve struggled since June to keep the weight off, but am trying to make peace with myself and accept the ups and downs that come with weight loss.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas right around the corner I know the next month is not going to be easy.  I know denying myself treats like sweet potato casserole and Christmas cookies will only make me depressed so I will allow myself to indulge in the things that I love, but at a reasonable helping.  If I notice the weight starting to CrEeP back up, I know I have my trusty camera and can stand in front of the mirror in my bra and underwear anytime!

~Jersey Girl~

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Thank God For All I’ve Missed

As I look forward to CeLeBrAtiNg my 9th wedding anniversary next week I ThAnK GoD for every step and misstep that led me to the life that I live ToDaY.  My husband and I met on a Friday the 13th 10 years ago.  It was a CoMpLeTe ChAnCe MeEtiNg and I truly believe that we were DeStiNeD to be together.  Over the years I’ve thought about how lucky we are and I try my best not to take a second of it for granted.  We have TwO BeAuTifuL ChiLdrEn, a house that we love, wonderful memories, and hope for an ExCitiNg FuTurE. 

While driving the other day I heard the Darius Rucker song titled, This.  The lyrics talk about all of the events that happen in life that lead you to where you are right now.  “Thank God for all I’ve missed ‘cause it led me here to this,” is a lesson that I think so many people can learn from.  Too many times we get stuck in the mentality that when things don’t work out the way we plan we have failed.  Maybe they aren’t failures, but just StEpPiNg StOnEs to the life that we were meant to live.

~Jersey Girl~

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Filed under New Jersey Robyn, RANDO•RAMA, Videos

Christmas Card Display

I was SeArChiNg the internet and local stores for something to display my ChRiStMaS cArDs.  I have a little basket for most of the cards, but I wanted something that I could use to display the picture cards that FriEnDs and FaMiLy send of their kids.  Everything I came across was either too small or too expensive.  Not willing to spend $75.00 on the one I really wanted, I decided to MaKe My OwN. 

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I bought a plain wood frame at my local craft store for $8.00.

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I painted the frame green to symbolize Christmas and because it matches the décor in my living room.

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I sanded areas of the paint off and stained it to create an “older” look.

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I used a staple gun to fasten ribbon to the frame.

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Finished!

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Bring on the holidays!

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Great to display sight words for your kids!

~Jersey Girl~

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UNEXPECTED INSPIRATION

About a year ago I discovered Lara’s LeTTeR BloCk ShOp while searching Etsy.  I quickly became a huge fan of her work and started collecting block sets for each season and holiday.  Lara was always so CheeRfuL and FriEndLy in her messages and I became InsPiReD when I read that she was a teacher turned stay-at-home mom who opened her own shop.

Growing up I loved doing crafts and was always starting my own LittLe BusiNeSSes.  I sold potholders, friendship bracelets, and hand painted shirts to my family.  Fast forward about 25 years and I started thinking, “If Lara was able to open her own shop then why can’t I?”  I was also a teacher turned stay-at-home mom and was YeaRniNg for a way to turn my CrEaTiviTy into something I could be proud of and call my own.

I had been making banners out of felt for my own home for the holidays and with each new one I designed my mom would say, “You really need to sell these.”  With a leap of faith RoByN’s NeSt was opened on Etsy this past February.  I was honored to have Lara as my very 1st customer and am currently a few sales away from my 125th sale!

When trying something new or doing something you’ve always dreamed of…remember that InSpiRaTioN is EveRywHerE!

~Jersey Girl~

P.S. Visit my online shop www.etsy.com/shop/triobyn

 

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Sweet Treat

Do you ever find yourself BaRgAiNiNg with your kids to get them to behave, clean up their toys, or finish their meals?  If you answered yes…I’m right there with you!  My 4 year old son had a really good day today and my husband and I wanted to ReWaRd him with something special.  I wanted the reward to be immediate so that he would make the connection that he earned something SpEcIaL because he was a great listener TODAY.  I didn’t want the reward to be a toy or anything that would cost money because I don’t want him to start expecting toys for doing what we ExPeCt of him.  I went into my baking cabinet and pulled out a box of CoOkiE mIx that I had bought at our local dollar store.  After I put my daughter to sleep I pulled out all of the fall sprinkles and we got to work!  We had a great time making the cookies and my son was so proud that he got to put the sprinkles on all by himself.  It truly was an EyE-OpEniNg night for me because in a pinch I found an inexpensive way to show my son that we were proud of him and realized that rewards don’t need to be elaborate, they can be as simple as some YuMmY cOoKiEs and time alone with Mommy and Daddy.

~Jersey Girl~

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