Ode to another inventive Mom

I’ve lately become somewhat “virtually” aquainted with a Mom who I feel needs a mention on this blog.  I was told about Jenni when I was visiting Dr. Morningstar’s office in late Spring.  She has come up with some really cute buttons that stick to the outside of the Tornado Suit – buttons that allow kids to enjoy their braces a little more.  Buttons she first came up with as a solution for her own kids (I felt she was a kindred spirit at that point alone!) 🙂  You can see these buttons here: http://www.theknittest.etsy.com

What really struck me about Jenni, though, was her team philosophy in her own home – it is truly inspirational.  She calls it “Team Awesome,” and it’s a mentality that has been in their home way before the onset of Scoliosis for her daughter – and it was and is a mentality that keeps them going in the hard times.

This is how she describes the “Team Awesome” mentality:

“Team Awesome was born out of the theory that no matter what you do  and where you go, you are part of a team. You need to work with that  team and strive toward excellence. If your team meets a major goal, or something really great happens, the whole team reaps the rewards. If you don’t complete your task, you  let the whole team down, and the whole team suffers the consequences. As far as a family goes, most people get that part-it’s putting the kids to  work, right? Team Awesome takes the team part to a bigger level than  most people probably are willing to. We all have a stake in how things  turn out around here, so we all get a say in what happens. I can’t ask  my kids to shoulder their 1/4 of the burden of Team Awesome without  giving them 1/4 of the say. We all get to decide the fate of Team  Awesome. Now, being the adults, the Captain and Lady Awesome of course  have final say on the biggies. But Kat and Lizzie have a voice that weighs pretty heavy in those decisions. We have made it  clear that our team’s successes and failures rely on all four of us. The skills they learn here in Team Awesome will take them through the rest  of their lives in any team they are on-sports, band, small groups in  school, and at work as an adult.

When our team was diagnosed with scoliosis, we literally made a circle, put our hands in, and let Lizzie know that we were all in this together. We would do that for anything that happens to any member of Team Awesome.”

Now, I say: THAT IS JUST PLAIN AWESOME!   Thanks for sharing, Jenni!

A few days to breathe

Whew!  We are finally back from our vacation, and over the exhausting two weeks it takes to recover from vacation!  I’m not sure which was more tiring – preparing to leave, the actual trip, or recovering.  Any way you look at it, though, I am happy we were able to take some time off.  This was the first time I really shut down EmBraced In Comfort for a full week – usually I’m only gone 4 or 5 days and can keep operations going.  But, after 3 years, we wanted to be gone a bit longer, and for good reason (described later).  But, I want to thank all of my customers for being patient and gracious during the time we were gone – instead of being frustrated by our delay in shipping out our T-shirts, Shorts, and Bodysuits to go under their Scoliosis braces, most customers responded with “have a great time!”.  It is great that we have such a mutual support of one another – I am finding more and more that the Scoliosis community is like a big family, one that I am appreciative of.
Speaking of family, the first part of our trip involved a 6 hour drive over to North of Chicago to see my baby brother (now 24) “graduate” from Navy bootcamp.  We are so proud of him, and all the other men and women of our armed forces!  We got to enjoy his company for 2 days in the Chicago area, before he was shipped off to his next location.  The second part of our trip was to our annual family reunion at Pokagon State Park in Angola, IN.  This was our 28th year of reunioning with my Dad’s side of the family.  We had fun, but BOY was it HOT!  Throughout the years, we’ve had all sorts of weather – sometimes it’s too cold to swim in the lake, sometimes it rains all week, sometimes we all get the flu and are laid up in bed (very bad year).  But, this was the first year I remember it being too HOT to swim outside…fortunately there is an indoor pool at the Inn where we stay, but we had a more difficult time doing all the outdoor activities we like to do (like hiking through the many miles of trails at the state park).  And, my daughter had an extra challenge during these hot weeks, as her brace is a little oven cooker for her midsection.  She is a champ, though, and rarely complains…she just soaks through her bodysuits and spends some time in the pool, then starts the process all over again.

I hope everyone had a chance to breathe a bit this summer – enjoy family and fun…in the sun…or shade.  Below is a photo of our family with my brother – so handsome in his uniform! 🙂