Monday, November 29, 2010

Funny Little Story About Gratitude

Talking about Mason and a very busy holiday weekend:

So after a hot bath, teeth brushed and jammies on, I was putting Mason to bed - he was crying. He told me he didn't know why he was crying but he just couldn't stop. I tucked him in and was kissing him while explaining that we've all had a very full and busy weekend. I went on to say that sometimes you just need a release, a good cry to decompress. Just as I said that Mason farted. I didn't miss a beat and said, "Sometimes you release pressure through tears from your eyes or a fart from your bottom, you just have to let it out." He laughed...and cried (but laughed a little more) while I turned out his light and closed his door. I heard him softly say, "Good night mama, I love you." So much to be grateful for, everyday I have Mason, I have so much to be grateful for.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Grateful Turkey. Everyone had a tail feather for their place setting and were asked to write what they were grateful for. Everyone was grateful for family & friends, but some were appreciative of our military serving over seas, steady work, good health, and football. It's fun to share all we have to be thankful for! What about you, how do you express your gratitude? We do it so many ways, but this year, it was with out Grateful Turkey!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why Use Twitter?

Social Media is the new frontier and if you aren’t making your way to learn how to get involved, you’re being left behind. It doesn’t matter if you have a home-based business or a Fortune 500 corporation, you need to be using these resources, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn and more!

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most used social media sites yet they work completely differently. Facebook is like a networking mixer or cocktail party, you meander in, look around, see who’s there and reply to people who have left you messages, or as we say, written on your wall. It’s a leisurely pace. Twitter on the other hand is like a super highway, always moving and sometimes fast!

Twitter, for as many people as it has signed up, is a really small community of regulars. When you join in and start following people, you will see what they do, what they are doing, who else they are talking with and more importantly, building real relationships. Where else can you go and chat personally with CEO’s of major companies and A-list movie stars? Big businesses are offering specials and freebies only on these sites, they are hiring, and doing business with smaller businesses they can see are using these same tools and resoures. It’s not unusual for big business to take the Twitter opportunity to learn from the younger, more tech savvy generation of entrepreneurs – and their customers! Twitter and all the other social media sites are about connecting and making lasting connections, not only for business but also for pleasure. Twitter is the super highway of social media – Merge on, keep up, enjoy the journey, exit – Repeat often! Wonderful.

Follow me on twitter: @Kdpartak


Monday, November 22, 2010

Hickory Farms - Free Shipping To APO/FPO's!

Dave LOVES Hickory Farms meats and cheeses. Our holidays are not complete without these delicious snacks. When Dave was deployed, I sent him Hickory Farms products all year long. The products come ready to ship and with a little of everything in a box. I asked Dave if getting meats and cheeses all year long made them less special at Christmas, "Heck no!" was his reply. Our whole family loves Hickory Farms!

Dave will be the first to tell you beef jerky and everyday snacks are okay, but there are so many other things that make a Soldier smile! Send Hickory farms to service men and women by visiting

The Home for the Holidays Gift Box is filled with Hickory Farms signature beef as well as Italian Recipe Summer Sausage. An array of 4 cheeses and sweet hot, honey pineapple mustards and savory crackers bring it all together. Remember, this gift box, as well as all gifts found in the “Military Gifts” category of the Hickory Farms website, include free military shipping to military APO/FPO addresses on select products, allowing our troops across the globe to share in holiday traditions. If you find a local store or kiosk, pick up an extra box and you'll be ready when you have guests drop by...either for a snack or a gift!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a signature gift box from Hickory Farms to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kathy's "Curls of Wisdom"

"I'm going to bed to let the really wise Kathy work on this problem
while the can't sit still Kathy sleeps."

Sometimes you just have to stop working on a problem so the obvious (and likely best) solution can appear. Many times the only way I can truly stop, is to sleep. I wake up feeling less of the pressure and seeing more of my options, usually with one shining brightly!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Every Day Is A Good Day

Occasionally I hear on talk shows or amongst friends that age-old banter about what is best for young children; a stay-at-home mother or a full-time working mother. I have been on both sides of this argument, and the pros and cons of each have merit.

Without a doubt, leaving our three-year old son Mason to head to work is not always easy. There are days when Mason’s not sick, but maybe just not feeling emotionally up to preschool. When we have those days—which we all do—I struggle with wanting to call in sick and stay home with him, snuggle with him, revel in a play-day with no stresses. Just “Mommy and Mason” time. But I don’t. I get him ready for school and myself ready for work and we head out the door. I feel there is great value in teaching our children that we all have choices, and with those choices comes responsibility. I can choose to stay home with him, but he will miss out on valuable education and socialization, and I, in turn, will miss out on not only the accomplishments I achieve at work, but also providing a higher quality of life for our family.

I recently learned a valuable lesson about our perceptions of a stay-at-home mother vs. a working mother. I rose early, knowing it was going to be a full day that would require precision scheduling. Unfortunately, Mason’s preschool was closed for two presidential Monday holidays in a row; when this sort of scheduling conflict occurs, my husband Dave and I each take a Monday off. It was my turn to take Monday off, but I just had to be at work. Besides holding a full-time outside sales job, I also have a nearly full-time real estate career. That Monday, I had to be at my sales job plus had a full schedule of house showings for two separate families.

I reviewed my day closely and realized that I could schedule office time in the morning from home. I asked my dear friend and Mason’s godmother Dahlynn to meet us at the local mall at noon sharp; Mason would get to have a special afternoon out with his “Auntie.” While he was with Dahlynn, I could make three scheduled sales calls. Timing was everything.

Like clockwork, Dahlynn met us at the mall. I whipped through my on-site sales calls across town and then returned to the mall for a quick lunch with Mason and his auntie, who had bought him a yellow helium balloon and a teddy bear for Valentine’s Day. With kisses goodbye to his auntie, Mason and I then stopped at the real estate office to pick up my listings and lock box key and then headed home to freshen up. We used the potty, combed our hair and were out the door again in a matter of minutes.

The two of us showed several houses to my first set of clients. I was amazed to hear my three-year-old son showing the clients the size of the bedroom closets. After the showings to the first family, the plan was to race Mason home to have dinner with Dave, who would be home from work by then, and then I would leave again to meet the second family to show more houses.

On the trip home, I reviewed the day thus far. Guilt slowly started to creep into my mind; was this all too much for him? A busy morning at home, dropping him at the mall, carting him to the real estate office and then to the showings—did he understand all of this running and going, going, going, or did he think his working mom was crazy?

We pulled into the driveway at the same time Dave was getting home from work. Before I could say a word or even begin to express my concerns about feeling guilty, Mason yelled to his dad from his car seat, “Daddy, Daddy! Mommy took me to play with Aunt Dahlynn and look what she bought for me for Balentines day, a bear, Daddy, a teddy bear, with a balloon, we played and looked at toys and then Mommy came to have lunch with us and then we went to see houses and I helped Mommy at work with the houses, Daddy, it was the best, fun day ever!” He said all of this in one big, long, breath like only a three year old can do.

My guilt of being a busy working mom with two full-time jobs instantly subsided. I realized that regardless of my hectic schedule, Mason was truly happy. His running dialog to his father taught me that he likes being a part of my day-to-day life, whether it’s a very busy work day, a lazy Saturday, a good day, or even a bad day. But most importantly, Mason taught me that any day is a great day, as long as we can be together.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

School's In - School's Out

It's that time of year, as parents, we loathe and love all at the same time! School's in - school's out!

I love that Mason has time off during the holidays and I'm incredibly lucky because I work from home, so when he has minimum days and no school it's not so tough for me to adjust. This hasn't always been the case and when I worked outside of the home, it was tough to work out. I know stay-at-home moms who feel it's all very simple, you have kids, stay home and raise them. I guess until you are faced with the true financial need (to just get by, we're not living the life of luxury!), you may never fully get it. For me, I've always worked and sure, there have been times I've wondered if Mason suffered in any way, but for many reasons I believe we are all just fine.

I'll post a story that I wrote for Chicken Soup for the Working Mom's Soul on Friday. And for the record, whether you leave the house to go earn a paycheck or stay at home and don't get paid, if you are a mom, you are working!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kathy's Curls Of Wisdom

Kathy's "Curls of Wisdom"
(Cute, huh? So much cool stuff in my head, it comes out in red curls!):

We spend too much time worrying about things that in the end,
work themselves out and often times for the best.
Take action, but don't worry!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"All emanates from Source! ...You're not this body and its accomplishments. You are the observer. Notice it all; and be grateful for the abilities you've been given, the motivation to achieve, and the stuff you've accumulated. But give all the credit to the power of intention, which brought you into existence."
Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Balance In Business

This post has been on my mind for a while now and the time has come to write it. Every business owner knows how important it is to promote and grow their business, without doing so would likely cause the doors to close. Is it possible that too much promotion could turn people off as well? I think so.

Social media has opened so many doors for small businesses and entrepreneurs to reach the masses for darn near free. Sites like facebook, LinkedIn and twitter (to name just a few) are connecting average Joe's like me to CEO's of major companies and dialogue is happening. That's exciting! The problem as I see it, is this social media arena is still so new that people don't know how to do it. Oh sure, they can create an account and post about their business, but they don't know that etiquette applies in the social media arena just like it does in the face-to-face world. It's possible that it's even more important because it's so much easier (and faster) for someone to "unfriend," "unfollow," or disconnect from you. It's my opinion that you have to mix some of who you are personally with what it is you do for a living because if you don't why not just have a web site? The whole point of social media is that it's social - to me, that errors on the side of personal. As my good friend and social media expert Kevin DeSoto says, "You have to humanize your brand." How can you do that in the social media arena if you aren't getting a little bit personal?

The other piece of this equation for me is that people who used to be my personal friends are so caught up in their online presence, that they simply don't communicate with me on a personal level anymore. At first I figured we must not have really been friends to begin with, but that's not the case. There seems to be some prestige in the number of friends or followers that one has, but nary a "Hello! How are you?" comes across the line to those of us who really are their friends. A personal e-mail comes only to ask about a charitable donation, or to share with me how the class they have for sale is right up my alley! It only costs this many thousand dollars and of course, there is a commission to my "friend" when I register.

Here's my thought, why don't we have one online place for our business and another for our personal interactions? People who want to be a part of your business will be there and that's not to say they can't be your friends, too. When it's time to stop working, stop working - on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, at the restaurant, or at home on the phone. Put your iPhone away when you are sitting with live bodies who are there to be with you. Connect with these people and share something personal, something that you wouldn't necessarily share at your place of business.

Utilize these amazing tools to enhance and grow your business, but come back to the smaller, more intimate circle of the people you love. Finding balance in business is knowing when to go all out and land that big account and when to hang the "Closed" sign and go home - virtually or literally. Just my two cents.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Guess what today is? Yes, it's November first. What else? It's the three year anniversary of my first Intentional Winning In Life blog post! Can you believe it's been three years? WOW! It just goes to show you that time is passing whether you take action or not. We see it with ZipperBack Gloves. How many of you have an idea that you've had for a long time, that's still just that, an idea? We see it with people around us who have taken their fitness goals seriously losing weight and being healthier. The clock is ticking so isn't right now the time to do that thing you really want to be doing?

Looking back over three years worth of posts about things I feel are important makes me realize how glad I am that I do take action. My personal blog The Monday Motivator (you can access it by using the link to the right) is another great example, Mason's entire life is documented week-by-week. Can you think of a better gift to a child? It truly is amazing when you realize that just a few small actions each day will lead to years of happiness and even more joy to look forward to!

As an anniversary gift, choose one of the things you want to pay more attention to and do something today! One small action will lead to another, and another until you have something concrete! Do it, go, right now! Come back and share with me what you did. I can't wait to hear!