LysMarie Photography

•January 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I am writing to encourage anyone who loves photography to check out the Facebook page for LysMarie Photography. I can not say enough about the beautiful, striking pictures on this Facebook page. And as for the artist taking the pictures, well she is truly spectacular. Notice, I said artist….not photographer. Granted, she is technically a photographer, she is studying photography in college and trying to start her own business. But the way she sees the world, is through the eyes of an artist. She is a true original, a young woman with a zest for life and a love of nature and beauty. I am blessed to know her, and I have no doubt that she will be successful in all her pursuits. I know the world of photography, like any art is a competitive world. And much is left open to interpretation. What one person sees as beautiful, another may see as horribly uninspiring. I wanted to write this post, because I believe in her. I think one of the greatest gifts in life that you can give someone is just your belief in them, your encouragement. And it doesn’t cost a thing; yet it can make all the difference in the world. I don’t have any connections to anyone famous, I don’t know any great photographers. I have no way to help her get connected. But, I can write. I can encourage and hope and pray that the right person will check out her FB page and give her the break she needs. Everyone who either owns a business or who became famous in some way, needed that first “shot” or that first customer. I know this girl has what it takes to be big! I hope you see her pictures and believe in her too! She is young, and just starting but I know given the chance she can take this world by storm. And the images she will create will inspire and stimulate your senses. So, please if you do nothing else, go check out her Facebook page LysMarie Photography and give her a “like”. Facebook.com/LysMariePhotography UPDATE: She now has her rates established $75 for a single person photo shoot $125 for two or more people portraits. She also does a lot of nature photography, give her page a look! This young lady is going places!! Have a blessed day!

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A letter to our Government

•September 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The purpose of this writing is to provoke thought. On a personal level, my family is grateful for the services that we do benefit from. But the benefit is a short term band aid, and that is where the frustration comes from.  No one should be relying on these services just to be able to feed their family. There has to be a better way! It shouldn’t be so hard to navigate and try to find assistance to better your life. The government agencies should be equipped to help you find long term solutions. For example if lowering your mortgage would help, they should partner with banks to help you achieve that goal. If you could grow a garden or raise livestock to feed your family, then they should partner with groups like Heifer to help. If you need a better paying job, then they should partner with businesses, schools, etc to help make it happen.  If solar and wind power will help you, then there should be those services available.  My point is simple, we should want all people to have the opportunity to be successful.  There is indeed enough success for everyone. We should be helping our fellow man to rise out of poverty & build them up!

First of all, I don’t vote. Many have criticized me for this decision, but I have yet to meet anyone who has inspired me to want to vote. Everyone who runs for a political office is a liar. I state that as a fact, because it is. Even if you were someone with strong convictions and a healthy moral compass, who wants to do the right thing, the moment you make a campaign promise you are a liar. Because you truly have no real power or authority. The government is ruled by special interest groups that grease the wheels to what they consider justice, with their endless supply of money. We have members of congress that don’t have to give a crap at all for it’s citizens because their job is secure, their healthcare, their retirement; all paid for off the backs of hard working Americans. Everyone wants to criticize those who have to rely on food stamps and welfare (and yes, there are those who take advantage), but I’d say those who serve in political office, those who are members of congress are the TRUE LEECHES upon society. They sell to us hopes and dreams for a better America, and they give us nothing.

I am a stay at home mom. And this was a decision carefully thought over with my spouse; and it’s the right decision. We are low income. We’ve tried hard to make the right decisions in our life, but we’ve also had some really tough times and things happen that we’re out of our control. We are both middle age, and we have a young child. Currently we are accepting WIC, food stamps and Medicaid for our child. We’re doing this out of responsibility, while we try our best to figure out a solution to get us on better financial footing. It’s very humbling to have to accept this help. And it’s something we don’t want to have to do on a long term basis.

Here is what I have learned through this experience. It is wonderful that these services exist. But, it’s also just a band-aid and it’s really not a good service. The issue I have found that they have no answers for people like us, people who want to rise above poverty. They provide a service, not a solution. That is what society should be complaining to their government about. People, all people need help sometimes. There is nothing to be ashamed of. But what we really NEED are solutions.

Help me rise out of poverty. TEACH ME, provide resources for me to become better. My spouse was considering trying to be a real estate agent part time to bring in income; it costs over $2k to get started and you have a monthly fee of about $45 to get on the MLS.  She also thought about being a real estate appraiser, it’s a 2 year internship. She thought about being a notary, that’s several hundred dollars to start. I’ve considered getting into data entry or medical billing and coding, that requires a degree and also high speed internet. We’d love to expand craft equipment and start a home based business, that requires money for supplies and money to become a legitimate business. We’ve asked for help to get any of this going or ideas of where to start. There isn’t any help that we can find. The people at the government agencies are just there to file your paperwork and give you the food stamps, etc.

When we bought our home (mortgage), we thought for sure we’d be able to get some help to start as beginner farmers. But, the government only considers you a beginner if you’ve already had years of experience. And although our home is very small and a fixer upper, the USDA that I read about helping rural people, has decided we have too much land. We have a terrible loan, it has an ARM, and we n Ed to refinance as soon as possible. If we can get into a better mortgage it would help us out a lot. But to get into a better loan will costs us about $3k income n closing costs. That’s money we don’t have. And sure we could get it put into the loan; but that doesn’t help, does it?

Look, people can read this and think we are just complaining. Or people can think we’re lazy. Or they can think whatever they want; honestly there is nothing I can do about what people think. The true reality is that most of Americans  are a paycheck away from being homeless. Over 78% of Americans do not have any money in savings. And even those who think they’ve planned for retirement, wouldn’t be able to recover if hit with a major health crisis or job loss. So, before getting on your high horse of judgement, just let that sink in for a minute.

We do the best we can. We try to cherish every day and live it to the fullest. We challenge our way of thinking and try our best to find solutions to our finances. I apply my spouse for jobs, but even ones she’s over qualified for, there are no responses to. Age discrimination is a very real possibility. But we do our best to stay positive and move forward. It is our ultimate goal in life to not only support our own family comfortably; but to be involved in philanthropy efforts to help others, especially our veterans.

Here’s what we need to realize as a society. The government is not looking out for us at all. The majority of those who are homeless are those who once served our country through their service in the military. The country they served, forgot about them. The majority of those who have to use services like WIC and food stamps, are people not too different than my family. We aren’t looking for hand outs, we really just want a hand up. Help us to find solutions to get out of poverty. Teach people how to do couponing, to do freezer meal prep, to can and preserve food, to create a budget, etc.  The government needs to be part of the solution; the government is supposed to SERVE the people, not the people SERVE the government.

Even programs to help with utilities are a joke. So, you have to ruin your credit by not paying your bill; in hopes to get help with your bill? Why not just allow budget billing? Or why not just help to lower utility costs by helping to make the homes more efficient? Hell, I’d love to have some solar and wind power hooked up to my home. Why not provide solutions? It infuriates me. We should help our people to become successful, to rise above their current status.

It makes me really think about the goals I would hope to achieve if I was ever blessed to be in a better state financially. And I know that my energies would definitely be geared more towards helping people out of poverty, versus just letting them live the way they are. This isn’t about free handouts, this is about community and the government serving its people. This is about providing a better way. About partnering with companies and having services available to help people get better jobs, loans, grants, etc to make a better life for them and their families.

As Americans we need to expect businesses to invest in our country. We need to continue to make products and services here in America. We need to export more than we import. We need to have leadership on all levels of government that believe in our country and our people. And we need to hold our government accountable. And those who serve in government, to serve the people, should not be granted better healthcare services than any other American. We need to stop worshipping these people who are living off the backs of hard working Americans; they are not serving us.

Mental Illness is a Sneaky Bitch

•August 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

LIFE. IS. BEAUTIFUL.

I can say this and ACTUALLY mean it, versus just saying/doing what I think is socially acceptable. I’ve struggled most my life with anxiety and depression, but I wasn’t always aware of it. I’m not sure if it’s a result of brain damage caused by Epilepsy or if how I was raised, or a combination of factors. And I’ll probably never know. But I do know now, that I’ll be ok. It’s ok to have bad moments, and it’s also ok to be happy!

In this post, I’m going to address a certain period of time in my life.  It’s a pretty significant part of my life. And I was probably the most unstable during this time in my life. It was when I worked at the Walmart store in Chesterfield, MO. It’s significant because some of the people I’m closest too, I met there.  I also witnessed and experienced a lot of heartache while working there.

First, I’ll start with my unhealthy attachment and idolization of one of the managers I worked with. I don’t know exactly why, how or when; but I basically lost my mind at some point. I literally was hanging on by a thread, and often fantasized about suicide.  I was seeing a fertility doctor and trying to conceive when we arrived at that store. One day, I just lost it. I was bawling my eyes out! And the manager pulled me aside to talk to me. That’s it…. I was “hooked”!

The thing about my mental illness back then was my lack of self esteem. I felt so unworthy, and really didn’t feel much kindness shown to me throughout most my life. At that moment, that person seemed so sincere; and I appreciated it so much. From that moment on, I would of done anything for this person and his family.  They were a “replacement” in my life for my brother (lost to suicide), a father figure (too many issues there to discuss), and someone I idolized.  And to be honest, I can’t really explain WHY I felt all of those emotions. Except for he was kind to me in a moment when the world felt so cruel. I am no longer friends with this person, of course I don’t think we ever were friends; due to my instability.  I think what I had was an unhealthy, one sided obsession.  He was just a normal guy, who I attached BIG emotions to. I think I caused him a lot of undue stress in his life. And I truly couldn’t see it, and really meant no harm at all.

Well, I have to say, work places are not much different than high school really.  You have all the clicks and such! I don’t miss being in the workforce at ALL!! I feel things too deeply and I couldn’t understand people who were my friends, but then would shun me at work.  I was their “closet friend”, like they were embarrassed of me. But, it’s part of life I guess. And some of it was due to my work personality, I’m sure. Work Millie is not the same person as “real life” Millie. I’m a very driven, focused and OCD person with work. I don’t work well with others! But, I guess I expected my “friends” to be honest with me and clue me in. In my state of mental illness at the time, I’m not sure if I would of heard them; but they could of tried.

I quit taking my medicine for anxiety/depression back then, cold turkey, because I was trying to have a baby. THIS is not a good idea! When getting off medication, it should be done with your doctors support and it’s important to have in place a new, healthier way to deal with your illness. I had nothing, I just jumped off the cliff!

Well, if I went through the list of all the people from that store who impacted my life, I would have to write an entire book. Right now, my son is getting impatient with me and I need to get him ready for his nap. He has healed my heart and my soul in so many ways! I am not even close to the same person I use to be. Even on my worst days, I can still see that there is always HOPE.

For now, I’ll end this post. I’m sure I’ll continue it some other day. The point is this…. mental illness is indeed an illness. But it’s sneaky and sometimes it blinds you, and you can’t see what’s right in front of you. I was very sick back then. And I’ve definitely struggled through the years and have had manic moments! The be done things and I’ve known at the time I would regret it; but I did it anyway!

There are people from my time at that Walmart that they consider FAMILY. And I always will. They are people who looked past all the “craziness” and accepted me. I’m grateful for those people. They are the family God has provided for me. And every single one of them is special and a true treasure in this harsh world. I love them.

I see life differently now. I have to BE DIFFERENT now. I have to be brave. I have to be happy. I have to be open to life. I don’t want to pass my “baggage” on to my son. He deserves a clean, healthy slate in life. It’s his ADVENTURE to live, the future is anything he wants. And I’m learning to let go of anything that doesn’t work for me anymore. That includes, self reflection and discovering my responsibility for my past. The way I dealt with life, was unhealthy! So, I’m learning to live differently now. I’m doing my best to be my best. The best mom I can be. The best spouse I can be. And the best friend. Peace and love is what I strive for each and every day.

 

 

My only wish…

•August 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment
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My Family

I am blessed with a beautiful family; my spouse and our son. This picture represents hope, love, faith, perseverance, dreams, and God. We were on the infertility merry go round for many, many years; but everything in life happens in Gods time. I am blessed to be a stay at home mom and get to enjoy our little blessing 24/7 and it is a gift that money cannot buy. Neither is the love and support, the true friendship I have with my spouse; it is a rare and beautiful gift. I am so grateful; I am so thankful.

Despite all this, I still have ONE WISH.  This wish is something I think about constantly. It keeps me awake at night, and at times it breaks my heart. My wish is for FINANCIAL STABILITY.  Money…sigh, the one thing we have been unable to get control over. It’s something I just can’t grasp, and I don’t know why. My spouse and I have spent our entire relationship talking over what we would do if we ever won the lottery.

Number one on the list is always start a nonprofit of some sort, we’ve always been charitable minded people. Number two on the list is always to pay back all our debts and put money in savings for a rainy day.  Number three is to give anonymous gifts of money to friends and family that have been supportive to us emotionally through the years. That’s it, that’s our big plans. We have no plans to go buy a bunch of cars, to live in a lavish home or to throw crazy parties. We would love much like we do now, except without the ulcers that come with our financial woe.

I want nothing more than for my spouse to be able to be a stay at home parent as well. I want us to be able to run a home based business and just enjoy our life with our son. It literally kills me that she has to be away from him so much; and worse yet that her sacrifice of time is still not enough to provide for our family financially. I don’t understand why we can’t just seem to get a break! Every time we think we’re on the track for something great, the walls cave in around us. I believe if we didn’t love each other so much, we would of parted ways years ago.

I don’t really desire fancy things or material possessions. I just want us to be able to pay our bills, our debts and live a fulfilling life. I want our child to look back and know how much we love him, all the sacrifices we made; but most importantly, I want him to remember all the fun times we had together as a family. I don’t want him to grow up not having enough time given to him. I don’t want him growing up with the cloud of stress all around because we don’t know if we can afford propane for the winter.

Today is a bad day for me. For some reason I feel truly despondent. I feel like a failure. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like no one cares or understands. I feel alone. But there is also this tiny flame inside me that feels there is always HOPE! There is always a reason to believe the future will be better. My family’s picture is proof that miracles do happen. That God does have a plan for my family. My family is my every reason for breathing.

I just have this one wish! This wish that we could just breathe a little easier. This wish that we could take care of our own without so much worry, stress and sacrifice. I wish we could just have the startup supplies and assistance to start our own business. Or that a Franchise would be gifted to us. Or someone would realize my spouses worth and what she brings to the table & pay her accordingly. I just want to not always struggle. I want to be able to help others achieve their dreams too!!

Why you should hire my spouse

•May 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Source: Why you should hire my spouse

Why you should hire my spouse

•May 8, 2017 • 2 Comments

DEDICATION.  As a business, I think this would be the number one trait to look for. You need someone who is dedicated to helping you achieve your companies goals. Someone who believes in your message and core values. A person who will treat your business, as their business. There is no one I’ve ever met, that is more dedicated than my spouse.

RELIABILITY.  Running a business you need someone who will be there, to take care of business. My spouse was raised with old fashioned values, and does everything in her power to fulfill her obligations. She prefers to be early whenever possible! If you need someone who has your back in a crisi situation, then you want a reliable person, like my spouse.

ADAPTABILITY.  Sure, she’s got years of experience in merchandising, retail, inventory, setting planograms and just LIFE experience; but she also has a drive and desire to learning new things.  She’s not one to be stuck in the past or old ways of doing things (except for when it comes to morals & respect); she knows the value of change. If you need someone who can take on various roles and adapt to changing priorities, then you should hire my spouse.

ETHICAL.  You will not find a soul more honest than my spouse, even to her own detriment at times.  She will definitely look out for the welfare of your company. Where some see the gray in the rules, she sees black & white, especially when it is something that affects profits or the reputation of the company.

DRIVEN.  My spouse is driven to excel. She holds herself to a very high standard and loves to achieve great results.  Whether it’s merchandising, setting a planogram, customer service or a new skill, she loves to outperform herself and others.  But it’s not just about speed or sales, it’s also about thinking outside the box and achieving a great result.

PEOPLE SKILLS.  My spouse is the baby of nine, so she has grown up surrounded by a multitude of personalities.  She has never met a stranger and can quickly relate and talk to anyone.  She is earnest in her dealings with people and they trust her.  She also uses her people skills when it comes to leadership.  Once she learns what motivates people, she is able to effectively lead them in a way that makes for a harmonious working environment.

Well, there are many more reasons than the ones listed as to why you should hire my spouse.  But, I think you need to meet her and see for yourself how amazing she is. I know reading this, you probably think I am biased.  But that isn’t true at all! I can love my spouse & think they are a horrible worker, a terrible slacker! But, thankfully one of the traits I find so appealing is just how wonderful she is in her business life, as well as her family life.

This is my spouses resume:

WALMART:  March 1994- December 2010- During her years at Walmart she worked in various positions and gained recognition of different District Managers, as well as Regional Managers.  She received numerous merit raises, employee recognition and was pursued to move up into higher positions in the company. (Positions she turned down because of her dedication to her ailing mother) The positions she did hold was: department Manager, inventory lead, stocker and she was chosen by District Managers for projects involving inventory control, store remodels and merchandising.

CROSSMARK: June 2011- CURRENT -My spouse started in this position as a Glidden Paint Representative, which mainly serviced Walmart. She traveled all over a district and even expanded beyond that as her Manager came to rely on her to get the work done. After some time, she changed over to be a general Merchandiser and travels to CVS, Walmart, grocery stores, etc to set planograms, perform merchandise audits and build merchandise displays.

DOLLAR TREE: November 2011- March 2012 – She was an Assistant Manager.

PETCO: November 2013- April 2015- She was an MPT and traveled the district setting planograms and helping with inventory management. The funny thing about her experience with Petco was, she went to interview for MPT and the hiring manager wanted to hire her as an Assistant instead. He saw the value of her experience, but she thought she needed to learn more about the animal business first, to be an effective manager.

GRAEBEL MOVING: January 2016- July 2016- She was a Project Field Manager and enjoyed the challenging work.  She was even able to complete some jobs ahead of schedule and under budget.  She traveled the USA, to lead a team to liquidate stores. She was laid off when the contract fell through.

BASS PRO: November 2016- CURRENT- She was hired on as an Order Picker.  It’s her job to pick mainly to replenish the retail stores, but also helps to pick catalog orders.  The job is challenging and fun and she enjoys the people she works with.

So, what is the purpose of my writing all this about my spouse? I mean she enjoys her work she does now! Well, unfortunately it revolves around money and the need for more of it.  I am a stay at home mom.  I am allowed to be one because my spouse knows how important and vital it is for a child to have a parent home with them. She is the sole financial support for our family. She is looking to find a truly rewarding job, that pays enough to alleviate the stress our family seems to be under constantly.

I’m praying that whomever takes the time to read this will pass it along & help my spouse find what our family needs.  Or maybe that a better opportunity with her current employer will come along. Our family has struggled for the last 7 years, trying to recoup from her leaving Walmart. We’ve had to borrow from family and friends (and unfortunately that’s caused some hard feelings), and we just want to be able to be self sufficient.  And we’d like to be able to afford to repay our debts, both personal and otherwise.

I know writing this up, I could possibly get a lot of SCAM responses, but I’m hoping not. If you are a legitimate company (and I will check the BBB and Glassdoor) that has a job you’d like to offer my spouse, please leave a reply.  Looking for employment in the Springfield, Missouri market, thank you.

 

 

 

I believe in Miracles

•December 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Well, it’s Christmas season 2016 and I believe in miracles; in fact I’m praying for one. It’s all I can think about, as a mother, it’s what I so desperately need. It’s…

Source: I believe in Miracles

Life is ever changing

•August 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

My life has been a whirlwind since our little miracle was born.  There have been days of great joy and love, and days filled with worry and despair; but still great love. When you become a parent, …

Source: Life is ever changing