Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I'm getting ready to go tuck myself in bed for a little nappie with the kids before we head over to my neighbor, friend, and CTMH team member's house (Melissa) for a NYE party.  It's nice to be able to just walk right over there and socialize with our neighbors!  I'm really looking forward to it, plus Ronnie is making his special spinach-artichoke dip!  YUM!  I don't like spinach very much, and certainly wouldn't eat an artichoke if it were on my plate, but, when mixed with mayo, Parmesan cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese, well, it just seems to slip right down!  LOL!  

Do you make resolutions?  I usually make the old stand by ones:  lose weight, be healthy, blah blah blah.  This year I am resolving to make real goals, not just empty promises to myself.  With resolutions I think I would forget about them fairly quickly, so 2009 is my year of goals.  Most of mine are business related, meaning Close to My Heart-related.  Since my long term goal is to quit teaching but not cause my family to lose our house (eekk!!) I have many small goals leading up to the end of my teaching career.  June can't come soon enough but I know it will take lots of hard work to replace my teaching income.  I know that it is possible, and I am fully committed to making it work for me.

I wish you the very best 2009!  Make goals, not resolutions, and put up pictures of them on your walls so you can see them every day!!  I have pictures on my wall of a cruise ship and the beaches of New Zealand-two of CTMH's current incentive trips!  I am one-third of the way to New Zealand!!! WOW!    What a trip that will be!!  Happy New Year!!!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas! The madness is over...

and we are relaxing.  Here's a before and an after:

Lots of fun!  Maggie's favorite toy was her makeup table (she's been beautifying herself quite a bit!) and Nate's was, of course, Thomas.  He got some new tracks and was just thrilled.  It took Maggie about 45 minutes to rip all the paper off, then she started playing.    Nate took about 2 hours to get all the paper off!  His biggest problem was that he'd unwrap one thing and run off to play.  Finally by the end of it all, I unwrapped a present and said, "Nate, look what Santa brought!".  A little anticlimatic, but we got it done.

Ronnie and I did not do presents for each other this year.  We put the entire budget towards the kids.  My brother in law helped us out and so did my parents and sister.  Ronnie hasn't been to work since October 14th!  It has been rough going.  I think many people are in our same boat.  I think he may be able to go back to work soon-I hope!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have you discovered Facebook yet?

I have just joined facebook! My sister had joined a long time ago, but I held out. Then people were talking about it everywhere-the daycare, at my school, so I thought I'd join to look at their pages.

I can't say I fully understand all of it-sending gifts and hugs and waves, but it is fun to see people who I haven't seen since high school, nearly 20 years ago. I recommend this to anyone who has a good 10 hours to kill in the beginning!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Busy week, crazy children at school, home parties

I always feel so guilty when I haven't had a chance to update my blog.  Sorry!  The week before a holiday usually makes the children at school go a little crazy, and this past week was no exception.  I really don't know what it is.  I remember being super excited about Christmas and breaks in general, but I didn't go off the wall like kids today seem to do.  It really makes me worry about the future of my own children.  Are they going to be badly behaved or do me proud and behave the way we taught them to?

So far so good, but I know I'm only at the beginning of this road.  

I am watching Real Housewives of Orange County-what trash!  But here they are having a trunk show at one of the housewives' homes.  It's like a CTMH gathering or a TS party, but prices  start at about $1000!  Too unreal.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Close to My Heart Winter Special: Key To My Heart

Here is a little peek at Close to My Heart's winter special for January's National Papercrafting celebration!  Featuring our four new gorgeous colors:  sorbet, tulip, creme brulee, and juniper, plus an amazing E-sized stamp set containing a large key, beautiful scroll work stamps, a journaling block, hearts with flourishes on them, a keyhole, and more! 

It is just beautiful and the paper patterns are exquisite too:  polka dots, stripes, plaids, and distressed flourishes in the four new colors, and of  course cardstock!

Beginning today and running through January 31st, you can buy this kit for just $47.95, or even earn it for free.  Also, it will be included in every new consultant kit starting January 1st.  Visit my CTMH website to purchase yours today before they're gone:  www.jennifercox.myctmh.com!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This is my WHY!


I was thinking about how much my kids mean to me tonight as I finished creating a little something for my sister Alex.  I can't go into too much detail in case she visits, but suffice it to say that I was looking at many photos and thinking about Maggie and Nate.

Nate turns two later today, he was born around 4:30 pm on December 14th after two days of laying around in the hospital after being induced.  Both of my kids didn't want to come out and I had to be induced both times.  Maggie was a quicker wait in the hospital, but a much harder birth.  She was stuck for quite a while and we almost had to "go in after her", as the docs put it.  But here they are, and I love them so much.

This is my WHY.  In direct sales, and really in anything you do, you need to have a WHY, or your reason for doing what you're doing.  I have no why for teaching school.  I am just there. But my WHY for Close to My Heart is pictured above.  I want to be home for them, be refreshed and not tired for them, to be the room mom, to attend all their school functions without fear that I will get into trouble, and just be the MOM.  That's my reason for working my CTMH business.  Of course, I want to control my income and give myself raises and go on fabulous vacations and socialize with incredible women! But, when it comes right down to it, I want to be home for my kids.  And I will be.  June 2009 is my last month of teaching.  I am so excited about it, I cannot even describe it.  I know, I know, the economy!  But, I say.  But.  The pendulum swings both ways, and my kids are never again going to be 4 years 8 months and just turned 2 years.  Never.  If I miss Maggie's kindergarten play, will I ever see her do it again?  No.  And if I miss Nate's baseball game when he's 11, will I ever get a chance again?  No.  Could I go back someday and teach again?  If I wanted to, sure.  But my kids' lives are too precious and the moments too fleeting to waste my time there instead of HERE.  

I challenge you to think of your why.  Why do you go to your work?  Why are you doing the things you're doing?  Really think about it.  I have, and it changed my life!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank you Thank you Thank you Colleen!

I got home late tonight from my CTMH  upline's house where we had a meeting.  My upline is Colleen, and I have written about her before, and I love going to her meetings and getting all pumped up again about Close to My Heart, which I am already pretty excited about all the time but I get even more excited!  

But tonight was different.  Colleen has just been accepted into a very prestigious program for school counseling at Rider University, and she was unable to continue holding unit meetings at this time.  While I am so happy for her, I know I will miss getting together with this group of women who share my passion and especially with Colleen, as she is very inspirational to me.

Colleen always gives out awards to top sales and new members of her team, and really gets us excited.  Tonight she gave me a very special gift but I didn't open it at her house, and I'm very sorry that I didn't.  As the first manager on her team, Colleen presented me with a beautiful silver necklace with a heart pendant on it, as well as a special CTMH bracelet that she wore or had with her the entire time she was earning the Alaska Cruise a couple of years ago.  She passed it on to me as I work my way towards the Western Caribbean Cruise that is our current incentive program.  Plus Colleen wrote me some wonderful words of encouragement that I will read every day as I travel on my journey to become a leader in this company that I love so much.  

I will take pictures of the necklace and bracelet tomorrow and post them, and I can't wait to call Colleen to thank her for her support and encouragement.  I think you're awesome Colleen!  And I can't wait to make you corn souffle!  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

STILL ON FOR THE FREE CRUISE!

So yes, it was true.  My hubby and I are going on a free cruise to the Bahamas!  We had to listen to a one hour presentation for vacation packages-not time share, but you buy 30 weeks of vacation and can use them any time and any way you want.  Actually it was interesting, but at the moment we literally have NO extra money.  

For our trouble, we did get the cruise.  We ended up laughing hysterically because the lady who did the presentation did a great job-I was very impressed with her sales skills-but when we said no, she brought in the first man.  He gave us a better deal, but we still said no.

Then we went in to see "Back Room Sal".  We have no idea what his real name was, but he was straight out of the Sopranos!  He chatted us up for about 5 minutes then cut the best deal yet.  I could feel Ronnie tensing in his seat, ready to say YES, but we said no one more time.  Then, faster than you can believe, he signed a form, flipped us a thin file with our cruise info, said to call this number if we had questions, and stood up.  Time's up!  We started to go back out the way we came, but he ushered us right out the back door right into the parking lot!  No losers parading through the fancy front room! Right into the lot!  We laughed ourselves silly!

But we got the cruise, and that was fun.  We got to have a night out with entertainment, then went to dinner and did some people watching.  The best table at Olive Garden was the three college students, two males and one female.  At first I thought it was a couple with the unattached guy roomie, then I decided that the unattached guy was gay.  Then as things progressed I thought I might have the wrong two people paired up.  I think I knew for sure who was the couple when the two men got up and went to the bathroom together!  Really!  We were giggling for awhile over that one.  We love to people watch!  


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yeah baby! I WON A CRUISE TO THE BAHAMAS!!!

So, I'm sitting in my first period class today, the kids working on their lesson, when my cell phone rings.  I don't turn off the ringer at school because I then forget to turn it back on.  I check the number, don't recognize it, and put it back in my pocket.

Second period I teach with a special education teacher who's awesome, so I told her I needed to check the message.  I went into the stairwell so I had coverage, and listen to the message.  Some lady says she has great news for me.  Call her immediately.  Okay.  I go get paper and a pen, back into the stairwell.  I call this woman and she confirms that it's me, then tells me calmly that I entered a drawing for a new Lexus, but that drawing isn't until February, but instead I have won a cruise.  I have 1 year to book it, everything is included, and it's to the Bahamas.  

Here I am, sitting on the floor of the very dusty and dirty stairwell, saying, "oh, okay, so the car drawing isn't until February?  Okay, so are you serious about the cruise?  What do you mean, I've won a cruise?"  And so forth.  Because I've never won anything in my life like this, you see, and it was a bit strange to get this call at school and then go on with my day as if nothing happened.

The catch is-of course, you knew there would be one-is that we have to drive up to Princeton tomorrow night to hear a one hour presentation and then we can collect the cruise vouchers.  I immediately posted on the Close to My Heart yahoo boards that I belong to, and their opinion was time share presentation.  Okay.  I'll listen to ya, but you aren't getting me to buy no stinkin' time share!  Not that I don't like the idea of them, we just have ZERO extra dollars to spend on time shares.  But I'll certainly sit attentively and watch the power point and look at the brochures and then go on a CRUISE!  WHEEE!!!!  

I will update you on the results of all of this tomorrow night or Saturday, and hopefully I won't regret putting that big cruise ship up on the top there!!!