Archives For Background

Thank you, dad

June 6, 2012

Triathlon transition

I was able to complete a triathlon after months of trying to keep up with a stronger, faster coworker who selflessly trained with me. He pushed me back into shape after my child-bearing days were in my rear-view mirror.

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Before I was a mom of three, I never knew what it was like to raise a little girl. I never had to guess what mood any member of my family was in because, before I was a mom of three, we all pretty much knew how to read one another. I never realized how fun it was to paint little toe nails. It’s an experience far more enjoyable than painting my own.

Before I was a mom of two, I never thought it was possible to give my love and devotion to anyone other than my precious first-born son. Before I laid eyes on my second son, I never knew what it was like to have a cuddly boy whose sole existence, it seems, is to make sure his mom is happy. I never realized my heart could swell to the point of bursting until he showed me what it means to give without expecting anything in return.

Before I was a mom of one, I didn’t know it was possible to actually be in awe of a child. I knew parents could be proud, but to feel a sense of awe is different. Before my oldest even took in his first breath, I never knew that God could intentionally give us our children in the exact order we need them. To bless us with a confident kid who helps us along the way and serves as a role model during times when we fall short.

Before having three children, I had two dogs. One passed and left me wondering why on earth we allow ourselves to own pets only to see them die before us. The other reminds me daily why we make that choice and never regret doing so.

Before I was a mom, I was a wife. I loved my husband and took the time to show him. I soaked in his strength and felt protected. I told him I would stand by him even if we led each other astray. I put my faith in him and not once has he let me down. I’ve seen him positively guide and discipline not only our own kids, but other youth as well. I know he loves me and would do anything to make me happy.

Before my husband stole my heart, I was a student and an athlete. The minute I knew what it felt like to be recognized for being good, I never felt pressured to be bad. I was complimented for being a leader and I never took that responsibility for granted. If I can leave this earth knowing I’ve impacted someone’s life for the better, I will feel fulfilled at the end of my days.

Before I was a student and an athlete, I was a girl who was loved and supported by her family. I did not need to be surrounded by material things to know my life was rich. What I didn’t recognize then was that the collective sacrifices of so many would help shape the person I am today.

Who were you before the person you are now?

What started out as a fun hobby between best friends has grown into a passion that now seems impossible for me to repress. Melissa and I’s first co-blog debuted in April 2009, branded with a name that no one could remember (marketing 101)… We boasted 15 devout followers and were overwhelmed by fan mail.

In December 2009, we were chosen to be part of a team of mom bloggers for the Omaha World-Herald’s, a social networking site “where moms connect.” We submitted our applications jointly and asked the editor to either take us both on or reject us as a pair. Fortunately, she chose the former and we’ve been blogging for the site ever since.

A radio deal followed in January 2011 that gave us the opportunity to chat every Thursday morning on the Pat&JT Show on Q98.5 FM. Later that year, I got paired up with a local dance professional and competed in “Dance for a Chance,” representing and raising money for Youth Emergency Services. It was on the night of the actual dance competition when a light clicked on in my brain. The social media channels I was part of (namely blogging and Facebook at the time) allowed me to raise awareness and a crazy amount of money for charity.

I realized then and there that social media involves more than sharing status updates and laughs. It is about building a community. A community of people who share your same interests and take your word for it if you say something is worth backing.

I just returned from the 5th annual social media for PR and communications conference last week in Vegas and my head is still buzzing. It was there when I heard one of the speakers say that, when it comes to social media, content is no longer king; context is. Yes, we have to continue to write well. But we must be extra mindful of how we are delivering our message because we are tapping into our reader’s already limited space. And if we aren’t relevant, there is a whole slew of competing messages that can snatch up our spot.

It is my goal with this site to be relevant in that sacred space of time I have with the reader.

Maternal Media is a phrase I’ve coined to describe the power and influence of moms in the social media landscape. You need not be a mom to participate in this blog.