Monday, February 24, 2014

When We Say We Will, We Do!

We are just a few weeks away from out next big fundraiser and Mason and I have been handling things all on our own. With that said, I don't have much to share today except to leave you with our family motto (one of them anyway) that Mason is coming to know very well, When we say we will, we do. It's not always convenient, and sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate - here is a shot of Mason and I on Friday, in the pouring rain in front of Save Mart, handing out flyers and selling tickets to the Celebrity Chef Challenge coming up on March 6th. Neither of us wanted to go, it was miserable outside, but what do we know?  When we say we will, we do. Have a great week!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy President's Day!

Mason serving appetizers
It's Monday and it's a holiday for most of us. Dave and Mason are off, but I'm working. I'm not complaining though, we all slept in and had a leisurely morning.

Mason and I are working getting prepared for the next big fundraiser we have coming up on March 6th. We are asking for donations for the raffle and auction, and something special, we are handcrafting cake plates to be included as part of the "Bake Sale Raffle." We will back goodies and instead of just raffling off a paper plate of cookies or cupcakes, they will come on a handcrafted cake plate. Just what is that? It's a pretty plate with an ornate candlestick glued to the bottom to make a cake plate! They are super inexpensive to make and really build the value in the bake sale. Pretty neat, huh? This photo is from the fundraiser at Bootleggers last Monday - it was a huge success!

Other than that, just business as usual, physical therapy for my ankle, I have to visit the dentist for a broken tooth, and Mason and I have to deliver some thank you notes to retailers who donated water to Mason's football team. What are you up to this week?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Let It Go Already!

For those of you who know me well, you know I don’t like to be late - technically, on time is late. I’m a “get there 10-15 minutes early” kind of gal and that goes for posting my blog. There are times in life when we just have to let go of the rules and regulations we impose upon ourselves and let things be. On Monday, there was no school but I had to work and Mason and I had lots to do to get ready for his Early Valentines Day Dinner fundraiser at a local restaurant. Mason did some fundraising and one of his targets is a local auto dealership (a big one) who is the big sponsor for the Auburn Rodeo. We learned this year that the rodeo will not be happening this year so Mason and I decided to see if the auto dealership would allocate some of those sponsorship funds to his kitchen project. We stopped in on Friday and the manager was not there but he asked that Mason come back today. We went back and wouldn’t you know, we missed him again! Well, our day would not wait so we headed off to get Mason prepping at the restaurant for dinner and no sooner did we get to work, the manager called and asked us to come back. We did and Mason gave him a very cohesive presentation, he made a point of noting that they have extra money due to the rodeo canceling - the manager found this quite impressive. As it turns out, this gentleman is an Auburn native. His family still lives here and he attended Alta Vista school when he was little. He told Mason to please call him back on Thursday and he will have good news for him! How cool is that? Mason had a little bit of time to relax before the big night and then it was time to go. We were hoping to sell 100 tickets and at $40 a ticket, that was proving difficult. We changed that plan to 50 and by Friday, we were only at 30 tickets sold. We decided to move ahead and as is usually the case, we had 48 people in attendance and it was a lovely, lovely evening. Several kids from school were there working serving appetizers, salads, and main courses. We had 3 kinds of chocolate fondue for dessert and live piano music. In the end, we made $1630 for the school kitchen in addition to a $500 donation from one of our guests - an evening generating $2130 for the AVCCS Kitchen Project was a resounding success.  I will post pictures when I get them back, but for now, we are gearing up for fundraiser number two, the Celebrity Chef Challenge coming up on March 6, 2014.

Did I share with you all Mason’s speech to one of our local Rotary Clubs? He did a 30 minute speech which I edited down to just over 11 minutes, it’s clear he is a natural public speaker. If you want to watch, here is the link.

I’m working like crazy trying to generate business selling real estate. One of the things I have been doing is writing a column for our local paper. My column is called “Love Where You Live” and I touch on all kinds of real estate related topics, such things as Am I ready to buy my first home? VA Loans, and Help for Homeowners. Interestingly, there still is help for homeowners in terms of loan mods, principal reductions, incentives to short sell, and more. With that, time to get the next article written and go sell some tickets to the next fundraiser. Have a great week!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Why Not Me? Why Not You? Why Not Us?

Welcome to Monday! 
I am certain we are always harder on ourselves than other people are on us, but let me ask you, how much confidence do you really have in yourself? Watching the Super Bowl, Russell Wilson said (and the story was told about him many times yesterday) that his dad asked him, “Why not you Russell? Why not you?” He could have said, “Because I’m too small, because my arm isn’t strong enough…” he could have said to his father all the things his critics were telling him, but he didn’t. He held on to his dream and let his father’s voice echo in his head, “Why not you Russell?” This in turn became, “Why not me?” To his team, “Why not us?” So who are you? Are you like Russell Wilson or are you the one who caves in to the critics. Dave suggested that some people succeed to spite their critics. Okay, I suppose the "Tell me I can't and I'll show you I will!" isn't a bad thing, but why are we not all simply lifting each other up? I preach to Mason almost daily, "Are you a friend people want? Do you lift your friends up by encouraging them, or are you being the kid who will say, "Yours sucks, mines better!" Well, the truth of the matter is, he's a boy and a very competitive boy at that, he has to work to remember to not compete but to lift his friends up. It is my hope that by starting this message with him now, by the time he gets it, it will have shaped him to be someone who lifts others up and encourages them to ask, "Why not me?"
I’ve been the one who listens to all the people who say things like, “You can’t be an actress, you are not the right type, you are not tall enough, you are not thin enough, and you are not like a model.” “College isn’t really for you, eh, er, I mean, you are not really the college type.” “It would just be good if you could follow something through, you never follow through.” “Oh no, she has an idea, you know what that means, it’s gonna cost me money.”  Where does one find the strength to not listen to those naysayers while still loving them, and still have the gumption to ask, “Why not me? I can do it, I can be it, I’m enough.” Do you feel like you are enough? I don’t. I also don’t think that many women do, especially women who are wives and mothers. As women who feel so much responsibility for the lives of others, it is incredibly difficult to focus on anything else. Heck, truth be told, we can’t focus on any one thing because there are so many one things to do, how is it possible to focus on just one at a time? From keeping up with the housewifery, the kids school work, after school schedules, medical and dental appointments, grocery shopping, in my case, real estate that I am trying to do more of while working for another top producing agent, and more…so I’m told to drop some of these things and focus on me, my business, what I want. Really?
And where does talent play into this equation? Dave brought up the example of the people who audition for American Idol, the people who can not sing. Is it a good idea to encourage these people and set them up for failure? I would say in life, this example is more an exception than a rule. We live in a society that is not one of encouragement but of competition and the belief that we can make people stronger by continually knocking them down - some people, yes, others, no. And to the singing point, certainly not everyone can sing, as I well know! But could we encourage one to sing for pleasure yet say, "Singing may not be your professional calling - how can you craft a career around music so you can be in the environment that you love and feel successful?" Again, it's all in how it's done, and keeping the message positive.
So let me be very clear, I am not complaining. What I am hoping my message will come across as is this, if we really see big things and lots of potential in someone, why don't we focus on growing that? Let's not focus on the failures, or what appears to be shortcomings, let's focus on continuing to encourage the ideas for success - no matter what someone else might judge or evaluate. Many will say without failure, success is impossible. I don't know if that's true, but I can attest to plenty of failure. Russell Wilson held on to the voices that were encouraging him and he dismissed those that told him he wasn't good enough, big enough, strong enough, or enough enough. Let's all take a moment today to first acknowledge that we are enough and can be anything that we want, and second, find someone else to lift up and encourage - really make it matter, touch them, look them in the eye and make sure you have their attention and lift them up. Be the voice they can hold on to next time someone tells them they are not enough. Happy Monday.