Thursday, December 6, 2012

Last we spoke...

Last we spoke – well, last I wrote – I painted you a picture of my life.  My words drew an outline of a happy family; a household that struggled but overcame unimaginable odds.  The pencil sketch wasn’t perfect but the lines were strong and ambition was real.  Since my last entry, I found the passion I shared with each of you starting to wan.  Life became complicated and I watched our drawing change before my eyes. (FYI -this is not related to Aiden’s health; he is doing great.)  Thick black lines began to blur and varying shades of gray emerged.  I found myself desperately trying to erase the past, but – no matter how hard I tried – the faint impression of old memories was imprinted on the paper.

I know that I drew each of you the most perfect-imperfect picture you had ever seen.  I had no intention of actually doing this, but – nonetheless – that is exactly what I did.  I did not give myself an opportunity to grieve or fully process the hell that we went through.  I just cheered about how we were starting fresh and loving every second of our new normal.  In truth, I only allowed myself to focus on Aiden and his health.  I felt immense guilt for becoming upset about anything else; concerns regarding my marriage, family, friends, career, personal happiness were pushed aside. I worked hard to stockpile all my prayers, hopes, and dreams for the health and happiness of my child.
"The pencil sketch wasn’t perfect but the lines were strong and ambition was real"

Though I will never stop praying for the well being of Aiden, I do realize now the err in my ways.  Aiden’s health and happiness does not exist in a vacuum.  He is impacted by all aspects of life and looks to Chris and I as examples on how to thrive; it is our job – as parents – to rise to this occasion.

**Photo courtesy of Kristen Gardner Photography**  Being a good parent is remembering how to be a kid again

The “complications” I mentioned earlier, surround a fragile marriage, disheartened friendships, arduous move and now ill-fated job change.  Weaved throughout each complication, though, is the fear and anxiety that always exists surrounding a sick child (even when the child is all better).  I was not able to wrap my head around any of this because it was all too, well, complicated.  The thing is – I don’t live in a vacuum either. 
Chris and I are committed to each other and our marriage.  We are rebuilding our union, which was put on hold for such a long while during Aiden’s treatment.  I am attempting to open communications with friends and trying, though excruciatingly difficult (for me), to let some lost friendship go.  The move back to our home is OVER so I can at least cross that one off my list.  Chris and I will never again, though, attempt to move, repaint our home and renovate our rental property in the span of two-week’s time.  
**Photo courtesy of Kristen Gardner Photography**  It's been six years now; we have been through so much, but know that true love will persist
Last but not least, my job.  I recently started a full-time position with a company that I hold near and dear to my heart.  Shortly after arriving, though, I realized the position was not a good fit for me.  I so wanted this decision to be the right one.  Fortunately, though, it was not.  This wrong move was the catalyst I needed to finally do something I really love.  

One December 1st 2012, with the love and support of my husband and the inspiration of my son, I started my own business as an independent marketing consultant.  Aiden is a Gaelic word which means “Little Fire” and out of that FIRELIGHT CONSULTING LLC was borne. To me the word fire symbolizes my son, my passion, and my unwavering commitment to all that I do.  It is true, every idea – in business and in life – beings with a spark.

I created this document back in college while taking a transition to workplace course; my career summary has changed a bit over the years, but note my long-term goal (bottom of picture)
Okay, okay…taking my marketing hat off for a moment…

I think that I am finally okay with this ever-changing picture of my life.  I have decided to cut myself some slack and let go of guilt.  This is easier said than done, though, so I will continue taking baby steps.  Instead of shutting down when I get overwhelmed, I am going to pick up the phone and call a friend or go outside for a brisk run or write out my feelings. Here’s to living life in full color and re-painting your own picture whenever and however you darn-well please
**Photo courtesy of Kristen Gardner Photography**  Laughter and love go hand-in-hand

 With all the being said, Hello Sunshine is back! I have so much more to share and plan on making writing a priority in my life.  I hope you decide to hop back in my car and – again – come along for the ride.

 Well, this is "my ride"; albeit a dirty one :)


  1. what a fantastic post Les. Whether it's starting your own business or becoming a writer, you'll be great at both.

    ps... your car needs a bath!

  2. In so many ways, you're an amazing inspiration. I am so proud to know you and so excited for you as your begin this new journey! I am confident that your business will be a fabulous one.
    You all are always in my thoughts and prayers.
    Hopefully we can find time over the Christmas holiday to get together and more importantly get the boys together :-)

  3. Thanks again, Kere! :) xoxo

    Thanks as well, Liz. I would LOVE to see you guys when you are visiting so please keep me in the loop!! xoxo

  4. thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing you and your family with all of us. You always have a way of bringing me back to reality and along with that the realization of what is important and real. Thank you Leslie. Much love and light
    Aunt Patty

    1. Aunt Patty, You are the best! Thank you for all your support and for sharing our story. It means so much to me. We are so grateful to have you in our lives. Much love!

  5. LOVE you. You have grown up to be such an amazing mom and wife and daughter. It hasnt been the easiest road but you made it -- all of you made it. Now look forward to all the fun that is to come.

    I have so much more I want to tell you -- to share with you about moving past struggles, about walking away from friendships you thought weee forever-friends, and starting over with your spouse. And I will share those with you.

    Right now, I just wanted to tell you that I am so proud of you and so happy that you and Chris and Aiden have a chance at life once again.

    Oh, and I just started my own event company so we can walk that line together in 2013!!!

    1. Jaime - Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. :) You too are an amazing person whom I look to for inspiration. I would love to get together when we both have time. Congrats on the new business! If you need any marketing help, let me know (haha)! Seriously, though, congrats; you deserve it. xo

  6. Leslie - I always love to read your posts. I am glad you, Aiden, and Chris are doing well and finding your way in a "new" life!

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Sara! You have been such a great friend and supporter over the years; it really does mean a lot to me. :) xo