Family

A Wedding Anniversary

WOW!  It doesn’t seem possible but six years ago today, I married my amazing hubby.  For those of you who know our story, sorry for the repeat but it is a true tale of unconditional love which lasted over time.

Rob and I dated the summer BEFORE high school – I was from OTHS and he was from Neptune. A strange mix during those years, I mean our schools were rivals.  He walked into my house with a friend of the family and our eyes met.  The rest was history.  There are some pictures which along with some stories have helped me to remember.

Opposite schools, different backgrounds – not a great match.  I caved under peer pressure and the desire to fit in my first year in HS.  We broke up and never spoke again. He went his way and I went mine.

In July 2001, I received a note in the mail from him. He said after a year of searching, this was his last attempt to connect with me. The search for me started because of a roadside memorial said “HOPE”. He wanted to make sure it wasn’t me.  The easy thing would have been to reach out to my dad but who does things the easy way, right?

When I saw the note, I smiled but then there was a look of amazement across my face. Belinda was like Who is this? Tell me more? She had no idea who he was nor did she know much about my high school days so she was curious.

I wasn’t looking for a relationship.  I was content for it to be “Belinda and I” (or you and me kid) till she went to college.  Little did I know, God had other plans for us.  Rob and I emailed for over 3 months sharing all aspects of our life.  I shared tales of my past as did he.  We connected but I never let him believe we would be anything more than friends – I wasn’t interested.  My heart was opening up but “love” just didn’t seem to be in the cards.

On October 12, 2001 after working the midnight shift, Rob drove to EHT to spend the day with me at a craft show.  Yes, a craft show.  He knew I would be there all day and it didn’t matter.  He walked in the door and our eyes met – my heart skipped a beat.  NOPE!  I wasn’t looking for a relationship.  The day was busy with lots of kids, I was making American Girl doll clothes back then.  At the end of the day, he helped me pack up everything and we went back to my house for dinner.  Belinda was spending the day with friends so we spend hours talking and reconnecting. He showed me a picture of me from the summer we dated which he kept all of those years.  It was the first of many trips Rob would make to EHT over the next 5 years. He traveled to EHT to spend his days off with us every week.  He traveled to cheering competitions, sat through practices, and went to craft shows.

One year later, at Christmas, Rob proposed and I accepted! Yes, we were engaged for almost 9 years before we got married. He was concerned about Belinda. He didn’t want to change her life as she was in high school – a competitive cheerleader, active in church and EHT was the only home she had ever known.  They had their ups and downs.  This was the first man in her life besides my dad and her best friend’s dad.  He would give her the world. She is the daughter he never had.

When Belinda left for college, I sold our home in EHT and moved to Brick. Not an easy move for me, Miss Independent.  I had been in my own home for about 20 plus years and had built a life there. Once Belinda became a resident of North Carolina and was in her final year of college – the wedding date was set. I was calm and just thought it would be a routine kind of thing.  I mean could a piece of paper and a ceremony really make a difference?

I was a nervous. Why?  It was a simple ceremony with a few close friends and family. As my dad started to walk me down the aisle, the reality hit. This was really happening – I was getting married. I almost passed out walking down the aisle and the pictures show the slight look of panic.  It passed as I saw Rob, just as nervous standing with Pastor and Belinda smiling at me. It was an amazing day – the weather was beautiful, our families were there and we got to celebrate with those who mean the most to us.

I wouldn’t change a minute of the last 16 years. We have had our rough spots but we have worked through them. Health issues about the last few years have taken a toll on both of us.  Rob’s unconditional love has helped me to grow as a wife, a mom and a person. We are definitely opposites but we do compliment each other – opposites attract, right?

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, my hubby. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Happy Birthday Baby!

Belinda copyAt 7:57AM exactly 28 years ago my baby girl was born – Belinda Joan Heldreth Steinel.  I am sure she is cringing at me calling her my “baby” but she will always be my baby no matter how old she gets.

When I found out I was pregnant, there were a whirlwind of emotions. Belinda’s dad opted to leave us since he “wasn’t ready to be a dad”.  Was I ready to be a mom? Probably not.  This fun-loving, workaholic, partying women thought “I can do and have it all”.  Whatever “all is” right?  Reality quickly sunk in as I was banished to bed for most of my pregnancy.  I will admit I was a party girl – drugs, alcohol, late nights and not eating healthy all contributed to high blood pressure and being toxic during my pregnancy.

Life was a little, okay ALOT, crazy but I knew we would be okay.  I had family and friends who were there for me.  I searched high and low for a book on what a busy career woman could do when she became a single mom – YIKES!  There was no book, no script and most of my friends had never had a baby so tips were few and far between.

The morning Belinda arrived, I was due for a stress test because despite the doctor’s prediction, she was NOT early nor was she a preemie!  When I called the doctor to tell him I as in labor, he was like “I will see you for the stress test”. NO WAY!  Within an hour, the pain was unbearable so off Elsie and I went to the hospital.  We arrived at the hospital and admissions said “we need paperwork”. REALLY?  I was here and did it already.  I just want the pain to stop – NOW!  I was having contractions but the doctor said it was too early for pain meds.  By the time the doctor came back in it was too LATE for pain meds.  Yup, 100% natural labor along with a vow I would NEVER had another child.

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It was always “you and me kid”.  You were the reason I got clean during my addiction.  I picked and chose my battles while you were growing up.  Some things just weren’t worth it.  I was blessed.  You were basically a good kid.  A gymnast (thank you Edythe & Grams).  A field hockey player.  An All Star Cheerleader.  A hard working girl at the age of 16.  You always said “I never want to disappoint you” and I can say you never have.

Yes, I had tremendous support from my mom and the rest of the family.   But at the end of the day, it was “you and me kid” snuggled in our mobile home getting through life with the cats and Tinkerbell, the dog.

Do you remember the first time the realization hit you your “baby” was a grown up? Was it when they went to HS? How about when they got their first job? Or was it when they got their driver’s license?  Most will say, it was when they went off to college.  For me, the realization came as Rob and I walked her down the “aisle” to the waiting arms of her finance.  Yup.  It took that long – just one year ago.  I was not ready for the flood of emotion I would be hit with as we drove back to Jersey after the wedding.

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Belinda, you have grown into an amazing woman.  I have always been proud of you.  I love your giving heart.  I love your energy.  I love your self-confidence.  Yes, I even love your lack of tact when telling people how you “really” feel.  You have inspired others to reach for their dreams.  You have fought for those who could not fight for themselves. You have blazed a trail advocating as far as Capital Hill for the things you believe in.  You stand up for what you believe in even if it goes against the norm.

Our family has grown – Rob became your step-dad and Ashley your wife. And we are blessed to have them.  They love us for who we are – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Yes, mom is shedding a tear or two as I write this.  We are not physically together today but our hearts will be bound together forever.  I wish you a day filled with love and happiness.  I hope all of your dreams come true.   Happy Birthday Baby!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Party Ideas, Thirty One Business

Thirty One’s June Hostess & Customer Specials

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OMG!!!!   It’s June… last weekend was the “unoffical” start of summer.  Alright, so maybe I am pushing things BUT it was the start of the tourist (AKA shoobie) invasion at the Jersey Shore.  This month is full of graduations

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and end of the school year festivities.

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I know, you are thinking… “I have NO time for a party“.  Money is tight with end of the year expenses.  What if I told you that YOU could reap all of the benefits of a “home party” without the work?  What if I could meet you at the ball park or in the parking lot at work?  What if you just carried a catalog with you and sent all of your friends to an online Facebook party that was fun?

I know “too good to be true”, right?  The truth is I have a party to fit your lifestyle this month.  And WHY am I willing to do this?  This months’ Customer and Hostess Special is WAY too good to pass up.

#1 –  June’s Customer Special is AMAZING!

Thirty One’s Customer Special for June is the MEDIUM UTILITY TOTE AND the STAND TALL INSERT for the medium utility tote!  Have you never heard of this product? Well, once a year it comes out for a limited time.  The BEST part is the addition of the Stand Tall Insert.  The perfect way to let your tote stand on its own.  It also adds pockets to the inside of your tote.

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#2 – Be a hostess and the gifts just keep on coming…..

For just $200 in orders, YOU can have a qualified party. Did you know that only 6 orders of $35 will get you a $200 party?

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BUT if you jump to a $600 party which is MY party average, here is what you can get:

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#3 – Now, what if I told you that you could EARN extra money while chauffering the kids to activities or sitting on the beach?  What would you do with that money? Maybe you could pay off some bills. Pay for the kids summer activities.  Maybe it would just give you a chance to hang out with your friends.  Do you want to know the details?  Here is the inside scoop:

For just $99, you get over $350 in FREE product

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PLUS with $600 in orders, every month for the first 4 months, you get to pick ONE of these AWESOME bundles.  That is an additional $600 in FREE product during your first 4 months in our StartSwell program.

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PLUS you have the chance to earn DREAM REWARDS…. Collect points from May 1st – September 30th and you can earn up to a $1,300 gift card!

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PLUS, if you collect $1,000 in PV during your Startswell, you will receive the Away We Go Roller for FREE!

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Yes, you read this right….FREE product, gift card AND commission.  YES, you are going to get paid to have fun and collect all of these FREE perks.

So, there are THREE opportunities with Thirty One this summer:

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Which opportunity is for you? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

5 Years of Love

 

Five years ago, I married my soul mate. It doesn’t seem possible. Together for almost 15 years – WOW!  Our story seems like a fairy tale…

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Rob and I had what some many call a “unique” love story. Hang in there if you have already heard this…

We dated the summer before High School. From two different schools – he was Neptune and I was Ocean Township. Two competitive schools from very different backgrounds.  We didn’t care because we were happy until school started. I made new friends, joined clubs and found what I thought was a “new interest”. So, I ended our summer romance.

Fast forward 30 years to July 2000.  Rob is driving in the Monmouth/Ocean County area and saw a roadside tribute that said “HOPE”. He wanted to make sure that it wasn’t me. Really??? Well, he spent about a year hunting me down.  I get a note in the mail with an email address in July 2001. A little skeptical but I sent an email and as they say – the rest is history.

In October 2001, after 4 months of emailing, Rob drove to Atlantic County to visit me at a craft show. I didn’t want a relationship. I was content for it to be “Belinda and I” till she went to college. He was divorced and wasn’t looking either. We agreed to be friends.

Rob spent that day with me selling our hand made American Girl doll clothes. He helped me pack up and we went back to my house for dinner. We spent hours just talking and reconnecting. He even showed me a picture of me that he kept  all these years. Over the next 5 years, Rob traveled to EHT to spend his days off with us. He went to cheering competitions, sat through practices, and went to craft shows.  I am not sure when but we realized that God had brought us together for a reason…. to be a family.

Our second Christmas, Rob proposed! Yes, we were engaged for almost 9 years before we got married. He was concerned about Belinda. He didn’t want to change her life – high school, a competitive cheerleader, active in church and EHT was the only home she had ever known. She is the daughter that he never had.

When Belinda left for college, I sold our home in EHT and moved to Brick. Not an easy move for Miss Independence. I had been in my own home for about 20 plus years and had built a life there.

Our wedding day was beautiful surrounded by family and close friends. It started off a little shaky – Pastor got stuck in traffic.  Then my Mom was running late because of traffic.  Who would have thought that my daughter would be the picture of calm as my Maid of Honor. I was a tad nervous. Really, I was!!!

3 generations at wedding

As I walked down the aisle, the reality hit. This was really happening – I was getting married. I almost passed out and the pictures show the slight look of panic. It passed as I saw Rob, just as nervous standing with Pastor and Belinda smiling at me. It was an amazing day – the weather was beautiful, our families were there and we got to celebrate with those that meant the most to us.

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The last five years have been filled with tears of happiness and sadness. We have learned the meaning of “in sickness and in health“. We have learned the art of compromise.   We have had our rough spots but we have worked through them. Rob’s unconditional love has helped me to grow as a wife, a mom and a person. We are definitely opposites but we do compliment each other – opposites attract, right?

There is nothing that I would different and if Rob asked me again, I would marry him in a heartbeat.

Thank you for being there through the good times and the bad. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t love myself. Thank you for being my solid rock when I am ready to roll down the cliff. Thank you for being my cheerleader when I think I can’t go on any longer. I love you more than words can say and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without you.

Happy Anniversary!!!

Favorite Products

Unique Gift Ideas

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Happy Saturday! I along with LOTS of other people are at the Seaside Boardwalk – Walking for a CURE for MS.  I am blessed to have my good friend, Karen Peet walking with me.  I’m praying that the predicted rain holds off…

I love finding new uses for products.  Thirty One’s Fold and File teamed with a Zip Top Organizing Tote as a mobile office, right?  Business owners everywhere use it to ensure that they have everything they need at a moment’s notice when they are out and about.  It has saved many a direct seller from a business disaster.

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Did you ever think of using it for a baby shower gift?  The Zip Top Organizing Tote is the perfect diaper bag

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BUT who would have thought of adding a fold and file to it for a baby shower gift?  Why, you ask?  Fill it with file folders and label them with things like:

  • doctor visits,
  • warranty papers (swing, crib, etc.),
  • important hospital papers,
  • and the list goes on.

This way the parents have everything in one place. New parents love it.

Why we are on the subject of NEW parents, Mother’s Day is May 8th and Father’s Day is June 19th.

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What about as a house warming gift?

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June is the time for weddings so bridal showers are happening in the Spring.

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How about filling a Catch-All Bin with a personsonalized pillow for the happy couple?  Maybe a bottle of their favorite wine.  Maybe a personalized cutting board.  Be creative.  You don’t even have to wrap the gift – just a cello bag from the dollar store with a pretty bow.

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This AWESOME gift set is on special for the month of April…

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Wouldn’t it be fun to have a personal shopper?  Someone who you just call (or text) and they do all of your gift shopping – what do you think?  Let me help you avoid the “gift faux pas” this busy gift giving season.

What special occasion do you have coming up that you need help with? Share and let’s see if we can help you find some unique gift giving ideas.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!