Called to Serve

About a year ago I came across a post from a fellow LuLaRoe retailer named Jessica. She shared this amazing story of her mission trip to Haiti. I literally sobbed as I looked trough her photos. And it wasn’t because the photos were of heart wrenching starving children or poor, broken people. Jessica was smiling and laughing with the people of Haiti! You could see and feel the love in these photos. The spirit of the people was strong. And I knew in that moment that I had to be there. 

Throughout the last year, Jessica and I have conversed via phone and Facebook. Her excitement for this trip is contagious. She’s shared her stories and it further solidified my decision to go. Many obstacles have popped up over the course of this past year. Times where I questioned my sanity and what in the world I was doing traveling to Haiti. But that feeling has never dissipated. In fact, it’s stronger than ever. 

So today I’m boarding a plane to Port-au-Prince, Haiti where I will serve in my very first Mission Trip. I’ll also meet Jessica for the very first time face to face! I’m excited, nervous, and overwhelmed to say the least. Never have I been so called to do something so far out of my comfort zone. But you know, I have prayed about this for a very long time. I’ve longed for a way to give back. To help others. To grow on all levels. And here it is. 

Something tells me this week is going to do more than that. While I’m the one who’s going to Haiti to serve, to make a difference in the lives of others. I know I’m going to walk away the one changed. And for the better. 

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My Big Decision

Let’s go back a little bit so I can catch you up on what’s happened in these last few years. I went back to work for the State of Maryland after my 8 weeks of leave when I had Jace. I knew at that time I needed more.  I didn’t want to be in an office setting and I knew I wanted to spend as much time with my baby as I could. But I didn’t know what to do. 

We were fortunate enough to have my mother and mother in law watch him which helped immensely. Every parent out there knows the cost of child care is insane and I was not ready to work just to pay for that. Or let some stranger raise our child. That just wasn’t in my plan. 

So I decided to pray. I prayed for guidance. I prayed for a sign. I asked the universe for help, to show me the way. I needed something to help pay the bills and had a flexible schedule. I loved the people I worked with and the job I was doing. I was able to share my story with coworkers who battled cancer or had just been diagnosed.  I watched my story help them have hope through their treatment. I gained friendships through this that I’ll be forever grateful for. But I had come to a point where I just wanted to own my time. I know far too well how precious that time is and I needed to make a change. And quickly. 

I went on working for about a year before I found it. I had kinda stopped looking for it to be honest. But there it was. A friend of mine added me to this group on Facebook called Fancy Pants. I had no idea what it was all about but soon discovered they sold Maxi skirts! I was in love! I live for skirts in the summer and was excited when I found stylish and affordable Maxi skirts! Plus they have a nice way of flattering the mom pooch. 😉 

It wasn’t long before the packages started coming to the house every few days. First skirts. Then these crazy soft leggings, and then dresses. Chris finally stopped and asked “What is all this stuff you keep getting?” I replied comfy clothes that make me feel good! I explained to him how they only sold items on Facebook or at these things called Popup parties. Having worked his own retail business for many years he asked if it seems like a lucrative business. I decided to look into it. 

I scheduled a meeting with a local consultant to discuss what this business entailed. We had so so much in common and really hit it off! I went home that evening and filled out the paperwork! And on October 17, 2015 I became a retailer with LuLaRoe. 

If you’re not familiar with LuLaRoe, the company makes tops, skirts, dresses, coverups/cardigans, leggings and some children’s clothes. The styles range from XXS-3XL in most and there really is something for everyone. Which for me was the selling point. I could still help people by way of making them feel comfortable and beautiful at the same time! 

I had done it! I had finally found the missing piece to our puzzle. And in July of last year I left my full time job to pursue LuLaRoe full time. It’s truly been a blessing for our family. Being able to be home with Jace is amazing. I get to go to his nursery school functions, play dates with our friends, impromptu trips, and I don’t have to worry about how much leave I’m going to use to do it. My time is now mine. We’ve learned to weed out the things in life that we really don’t need and just live comfortably. We’ve also been able to go on trips and vacations that we couldn’t do in the past. Making memories is so important! 

I never thought I would ever leave my state job. However when this opportunity presented itself I knew it was time to take the leap. It was absolutely scary diving into the unknown. All the “What-ifs” hanging in the balance. But that’s no way to live your life. We only have this one. And I for certain don’t want to get to the end and regret all the things I didn’t do. 

So here we are. Living a happy life. We have our struggles too.  Don’t think it’s all sunshine and roses. But those things don’t really matter at the end of the day. And they shouldn’t for you either. Remember to be grateful for all you have. You are blessed. You are here. And you are important. Don’t ever forget that!

Link

About a month and a half ago I received a call from a young professional at Capital Style Magazine. Elisha Sauers informed me that she had come across my blog and found my story interesting and inspiring. She asked if I would be willing to do an interview with her for an article in the October issue of Capital Style. I quickly told her that I had done an interview with the Capital Newspaper last year around this time and didn’t want to beat a dead horse. She let me know that she was aware of the previous article. However she was interested in sharing the whole story much like my blog, and bringing it full story to our son. I agreed and we made the necessary arrangements and set up a time for the interview.

I was nervous and afraid because I don’t want to come across as someone searching for attention. I’ve never hunted out the media. After all, people have heard my story. And is anyone really listening anymore anyway??? Well, I guess they are. Which in a way makes me really happy. All I’ve ever wanted was to tell my story, reach people who may be going through the same situation or have a family member going through it, and make a difference in how they get through it. The fact that I might actually inspire someone was not a thought. But it turns out that’s what has happened and it is truly humbling.

Check out the link below to read the full article. I was very pleased with the outcome. Thank you to Elisha Sauers for thinking of me. I hope my story continues to reach people and help those who find themselves lost in either of the situations I’ve gone through.

http://www.capitalgazette.com/capital_style/ph-ac-capstyle-amber-blose-1019-20141019,0,319549.story?page=1

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Back to Cancer, On a Good Note!

aamc article

aamc cover A few months back I had the pleasure of being interviewed for the AAMC Blog. I was then contacted by their media personnel who wanted to conduct a photo shoot as my interview would be featured in the upcoming fall edition of the AAMC Magazine. What an honor! Not to mention the shoot was a lot of fun. At the beginning of September I was informed that the magazine would be coming out at the end of the month. They also sent me a preview pdf copy. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the attachment and found not only the article, but I had been selected for the cover!!!! Holy Cow!! Very exciting news indeed. Since the magazine has come out, I have been stopped numerous times by not only co-workers and friends, but complete strangers. And each time they have told me what an inspiration me and my story are to others. This is by far the most amazing compliment I could ever receive. The fact that somewhere my story is making a difference to someone is the reason why I am an open book and will continue to tell my story to anyone that will listen. Here is the link to the article and I’ve included a copy of the photo and article as well.

http://aamc.flippublication.com/Issue/2C9A2173-AC60-0C4D-6E401C1614904643/Fall2013/index.html

Ladies and Gentleman……May I Have Your Attention Please

Our appointment with Dr Sweeney went well on Wednesday. I’m healing just fine and pretty much back to normal after surgery. Everything is in place as it should be. The shot wasn’t too bad. I expected to be sore afterwards but, no pain at all.

The best news however came when the ultrasound tech asked us if we wanted to know what we were having. We said yes in unison and she informed us that she would try but at 16 weeks, it’s still pretty early. First things first, she needed to check all of babies limbs, organs, etc to see how they were working. It’s amazing to me that you can actually see their kidneys working! Modern medicine is amazing! After we were reassured that baby was measuring on target and at this point all systems were working as they should, she began the search.

It didn’t take long, as baby was very cooperative. And there it was.

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I believe Chris’s exact words were “I see it”! We began to laugh and then the tears started to flow. I looked over to see Chris’s eyes all red and filled with tears. He got up and kissed me and I could just see how incredibly happy and filled with joy he was in that moment. I could sit here and say it didn’t matter boy or girl, we just want a healthy baby. And that is true. The baby’s health is most important.

However, rewind to 2 years ago, finding out we were having a boy, preparing for him, all the hopes and dreams you start to think of for him, all taken away in a blink of an eye. So yeah, when they told us that this baby is a boy, it was like a second chance. My husband was going to get to make memories like all dads dream of making with their son and have his last name carried on. And by no means is this baby boy a replacement to Cameron. That could never happen. Cameron’s legacy is so strong and powerful in my heart and Chris’s heart it could never be replaced. Everything that I do and all that I am today is because of our little angel, positivity, prayer, and a higher power. Cameron changed our world and something in me says he had a hand in bringing us his little brother. I just feel blessed.

This baby is more than just our little boy. He’s our miracle. He’s hope, love, joy, strength. He is life. Many of you may not understand what I mean. But if you’ve ever stared death in the face and ultimately realized or grasped what it means to be alive, you may understand. A year ago this Monday, I was given that horrible diagnosis of CANCER. The scariest time of my life. So many aspects of my life and future hung in the balance. So to be here where we are today, blessed with a baby, the most precious gift life could give. Wow! I know that I will never take any of this for granted because I am fully aware of how fast it can all disappear. For now, I will live in this moment of happiness and the joy of being pregnant.