WT Moms

11 May

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 10.49.08 AMWe never get breaks
We rarely get a thanks
We operate like military
Without any special ranks

Endless nights of feedings
Potty training and bad dreams
Always offering a snuggle or kiss
To mend the broken seams

110% percent is given
Nothing less will suffice
A shoulder to lean or cry on
And always our best advice

We’re patient and understanding
We love unconditionally
But we also scold and punish
And sometimes put you over our knee (maybe not in today’s day and age)

We spend our days running
With a schedule like no other
We didn’t realize what was required
When we took the job titled “Mother”

But looking in those eyes
And seeing the love they feel
It fills your heart and wells up tears
‘Cause there is nothing that’s more real

Their little laughs and giggles
Make you smile with all your heart
In this play of life
I’ve chosen the very best part – “MOM”

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there.  I hope your day is filled with love, laughter and all the things that make you happy.  Thank you to my Mother who will always be my best friend, my biggest fan, my mentor and my savior.  I love you today and always and I am who I am all because of you.  Love you Momma.

–WTHayley

 

 

 

 

 

WT Brotherly Love

29 Apr

When I was pregnant with my second child and found out I was having another girl, a little piece of me was sad that my older daughter wouldn’t grow up with a brother.  Having a brother was the only sibling relationship I knew and I worried about the sister rivalry that might occur.  More importantly though, was the loss of not having the brotherly figure in her life.  From the time I was a little girl, all I ever wanted, was to be ‘cool’ like my big brother.  He had a paper route, I wanted a paper route.  He knew how to ski, I wanted to know how to ski.  He liked Led Zeppelin and Beastie Boys, I wanted to like Led Zeppelin and Beastie Boys.  He smoked weed, I wanted to smoke weed.   He was a pervert, I wanted to…..  Some might say that I am who I am because of his influence.

To know my brother is to know me and vise versa.   I often tell people that he’s me, except he has a penis (and some body hair).  We have a relationship that not many siblings have with each other and one that during the years of beating the shit out of each other, I never imagined we would have.  But my mother always used to say, one day you will love each other and be best friends.  YEAH RIGHT!  Well… of course, mother is always right.

I’m not sure when it actually started – maybe sometime around 5th grade when he thought it would be cool if I dated his girlfriends little brother so we could go on a double date together to go see The Outsiders.  By the time we got to High School he accepted that I wanted to go to the same parties with him and drink Old ‘E,  dive down flights of stairs, other stuff I wont mention and watch reruns of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  My parents trusted him with my life, for some odd reason, and left us alone for 3 weeks while they travelled to Spain.  Needless to say, we spent all of our spending money on the way home from dropping them at JFK and then proceeded to fill our house with paraphernalia and party for the next three weeks.  I’m actually shocked we ever made it to school during that time and that all of our friends (most notably Stein) made it out alive.

One of the saddest days of my teenage years was when he decided he was heading out west to finish up his last two years of college (which actually took him another 4 years and graduating 2 weeks after I did).  I ate tubs of ice cream and played Going to California by Zeppelin over and over and over again for weeks.  It was a breakup like no other.  But even 3,000 miles couldn’t put a damper on our relationship.  Visits to the Del Mar apartment, San Diego Zoo, Board and Brew, Concerts at SDSU, Los Gatos, road trips to LA and many many more awesome times were had.

By far, 41 years is the longest relationship with a man that I have ever had… and we are closer now than ever.  We only get to see each other and get our 4 girls together a few times a year, but the trips are priceless and we make the most out of them with visits to electronics stores, home depot and some other place to get some other part to try and fix some other thing.  He’s the only person that could convince me to give up meat for a year and I’m probably the only person that could convince him to do a Tough Mudder.

Today he turns 44 and while I know he’s aware of how much I truly  admire, adore, support, trust and love him, I wanted to share with everyone else.  Although he is not perfect by any means (no man is for that matter), he’s the most amazing brother any girl could ever ask for.

I love you B.  Happy happy happy birthday.  Wish I was there.

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WTHayley

WT Cupid

14 Feb

WT Cupid.

WT Cupid

14 Feb

Why is it that Valentine’s day is about flowers and chocolates and romantic gestures?  These are things that make most people, not just women, happy 365 days a year.  Don’t wait for February 14th to go out of your way to show your significant other that you love them.  On a day that has been touted as a Hallmark holiday and one that men all over the world dread, here are a few thoughts on making not just today special but practices that we should try to incorporate into our daily lives as much as possible.

Giving.  It doesn’t have to be a $150 bouquet of long stem roses or a box of decadent chocolates. I recently gave someone half a bag of Dove chocolates (I kept the other half) and every time we opened one, we sent the other person the sweet message that was under the wrapper.  The sentiment lasted for weeks and those little love messages were even better than the smooth creamy chocolate inside.

dove

Partnership.  One of the biggest things I’ve learned in marriage and in being an Entrepreneur is that if your partner isn’t a partner, then you are better off going at it alone.  Everyone could use an extra ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, another set of hands.  Not just when it comes to work but also when it comes to a relationship.  Know your partner – how to speak to them, how to listen to them, how to react to them and most importantly, understand them and what they need from you as their partner.   Last year I wrote about the 5 Languages of Love – look them up, figure out what your partner is and learn to speak their language.  Thank me later.

Respect.  The way you speak to each other and treat each other…. alone and when other people are around…. says so much about your level of respect for each other. Treat each other the way you want your kids to treat other people.  And remember that your actions speak a lot louder than your words.

Adoration.  Remember in the beginning of your relationship when you truly went out of your way to make your new love feel special and loved.  You may have sent them sweet notes, walked their dog for them, shoveled their driveway or picked up the phone in the middle of a chaotic day just to say hi and hear their voice.    Maybe you had a cute name for them like pookie or cupcake or baby.  Start again… let them know you adore them with little gestures….. use your pet name for them again if you haven’t in a while, leave them a little love letter.  It will bring back memories of the early days and maybe create a new spark.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 11.18.28 PM(card courtesy of http://www.elumdesigns.com)

Reflect.  Granted we were a lot younger and dumber back in the 80’s and early 90’s when it came to relationships but remember when you didn’t have a cell phone in your hand 24/7?  Remember how you had to communicate when you couldn’t send a text and you actually had to call someone and talk to them with the spoken word?  We are all busy these days and caught up with our phones, computer and ipads and the endless amount of shows we have access to thanks to Netflix and AppleTv. Try to take a few hours a week (I initially wrote day instead of week and then realized how much that would be asking) without technology and focus on the person in your life without the constant interruptions.  Enjoy the moment that you’re in without having to share it with the world on a social media channel.

Happy Valentine’s Day from WTHayley

WT Hamsa

28 Jan

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Last Wednesday night I hosted an event at my house for the UJA in which one of the Rabbis from my synagogue spoke about bringing Judaism into your home.  This post isn’t about being a super-Jew so just keep on reading.

Going into the evening I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My Synagogue is reform and very family/community focused – (nothing like the one I grew up in where you feared the Rabbi or Cantor when they looked in your direction).  The Rabbis are down to earth and up on the times.  The head Rabbi reads his sermons on the high holidays from his iPad and our services are broadcast live over the internet.  They are on FB, they tweet and blog and one, if not both of them will probably read this post.

The evening was truly special, invigorating and further justified (not that I needed it) my love for the community I live in and the people that make it what it is.  Rabbi D didn’t come in preaching about saying prayers three times a day or mandating to us that we obey the rituals of Shabbat. What he did talk about were the little things, spiritual things, we can do daily or weekly, traditions we can start establishing now while our children are young and how we can use the basics of Judaism as a foundation for the things that are important to us, not just as Jews but as human beings in general.

My big takeaways were as follows:

Be Grateful:  Judaism says we should pray to g-d three times a day.  The first prayer should be said the second we open our eyes and we should be thanking g-d for giving us life for another day.  How many times do you wake up and say ‘ugh, please give me 10 more minutes’ or ‘kids go back to bed I’m not ready for you to wake me up yet’ or ‘I hate Monday’s’.  Whatever it is you are cursing probably sets your mood for the entire day.  What if… when you wake up tomorrow, you open your eyes and you say to yourself or out loud, something that you are grateful for and think about how that gratitude is going to carry on throughout your day.  Its been proven that people that write Gratitude journals and happier people.  With the exception of today, I have done this the past few days and have to admit that my days have been a whole lot better because of it.

Give Back: The prayer that is recited in the middle of the day is the blessing for daily miracles.  How often do you see someone struggling with a door and ignore them or pass someone that had just dropped something and you don’t say anything or the person in front of you doesn’t have enough on their metrocard and you give them a dirty look when they have to go back to the machine?  Next time, do something out of the norm – buy someone a coffee, help someone in need, say something nice when someone is having a shitty day or swipe your card and give someone a free subway ride.  Pay it forward or give back – either way, you’ll feel better about yourself and chances are you will have impacted that persons day and hopefully they will pass it on as well.

Life Lessons:  At the end of the day we are supposed to be reflect on our day and ask for peace  and that we may wake up the next day after a good rest.   Tonight, before you go to sleep, think about what you learned today that you can take with you to bring into tomorrow and what do you want to leave behind.  Go to sleep with a clear head.

Weekly Ritual:  Weekly we are told that we should stop and take a break.  Even g-d took a day to rest.  Shabbat is what that day is for. We didn’t focus on the importance of lighting candles, going to temple or having challah bread.  Instead talked about taking time to be with our families and people we love and doing something special – make Challah French toast on a Saturday morning, wake up and sing your favorite song with your kids or just do whatever you love that makes the time special between you and your loved ones.  Not so hard, right?  Put the phone down, stop rushing and take a break and just enjoy each other.

Bless Your Home:  I realize this one sounds more religious but the way we discussed it was more about writing a blessing for your home that means something special to you and your family.  Some people have a blessing that is inscribed in an Hamsa(the hand of Fatima) or in a plaque on the wall.  Rabbi D gave us a drawing of a Hamsa hand with nothing in it and told us to sit with our kids and ask them ‘what makes this house a home or what makes this home special to you?’  Take their words or have them write them on the paper and color it in and make it their own.  Frame it and hang it on the wall.  Each time you walk past it, you will remember the time you made it and the little people that made it with you.  Memories are what makes a house a home. (Hmmm, maybe I’ll put that in mine)

We each have things that make our home special or traditions that we have carried on from other generations.   These little things are what makes us who we are and sets the precedence for who hope our kids will someday be.  I truly hope that you can take just one thing from this post and bring it into your daily life – no matter what your beliefs are, we can all learn something from the teachers around us, like Rabbi Danny and Rabbi Z, or from the big man up above.

Spiritually yours,

WTHayley

WT Life is good

16 Jan

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It’s 12:20am and I’m torn between writing a post or going to bed so I can get up at 5:30, do an Insanity DVD so I can be done by 6:30 when my girls will wake up and stroll into my room for morning snuggle time before I become the 7:15 drill sergeant barking orders like ‘time to get dressed’, ‘eat your breakfast’, ‘brush your teeth’, ‘pick your snack’, ‘we have to get mommy to the train on time’, etc.  Clearly, the writing has taken precedence.  I am sure to regret it in the morning.

 

Tonight I attended an amazing event called ‘Making Moms Social’ by Mom Time Events.  An inspiring group of women got up in front of an audience of about 50 Momprenuers that live in town and talked about how to make our businesses more social.  The entire room was engaged and enlightened.  Not just by the speakers but by looking around the room at so many women that are passionate about business and about what they do.

 

Having just attended the National Retail Federation show at the Javitz for the past four days, I’m in what I refer to as a business high.  Taking time out of the office is never easy for a business owner but being surrounded by like-minded people, learning from my peers and making new contacts refreshes my brain and serves as a reset button.  I listened to some major success stories of start-up companies talking about getting their businesses off the ground and the obstacles they faced.  I wanted to share a few of the highlights that don’t just apply to retail or business but to our day to day lives as well.

 

Bert Jacobs, the founder of Life is Good  was by far the best speaker at the show.  He engaged the audience like no other.  Aside from his good looks and charisma, he believes in Superpowers – like fun, compassion, autheticity, courage and optimism – all key principles that his company is based upon and he lives by each day.  He’s met people along the way that have problems and have shared their stories with him.  He shared this story with us and I encourage you to view it.

With is success, his company began to get fan mail and he shard a letter that he received from 10 year old twin boys, born weighing only a pound and having to struggle their whole lives. One born blind and the other living with only one leg, they wrote to Bert and shared their story about their love for one another and the connection they feel to his brand.  Bert told us that at his company, he’s incorporated a new philosophy called “GET TO”.  Instead of going about your life saying ‘you have to’ do this or that, think of the people that may have to do their laundry or go shopping with only one leg or with no sight.  So next time you say ‘I have to’ go to the market, maybe you should be saying ‘I get to’ go to the market today and remember that there is someone out there that has it a lot worse off than you”.

Other great takeaways from Bert were:
– Focus on what’s right with the world to overcome what’s wrong with the world.

- Be Optimistic. As a startup, sometimes the bottom will fall out and you’ll be left with a situation that could put you over the edge.  Instead of focusing on the negative, pick it up and keep on going.

- Be Authentic – If you’re not, your customers will see right through you and tear you down. With Socia, your customers are now the co-authors of the stories that build your brand.

- Have Fun – try to blur the line between work and play.  If you can’t have fun and enjoy the ride, people won’t want to work for or with you.

- Be Courageous – pioneer new things and go places that might feel uncomfortable.  Remember when situations get you down or you feel like you have a disaster on your hands, what doesn’t break you only makes you stronger and wiser.  You will make mistakes and you will fail but take the lesson and use it to make your business or yourself better.

At the end of the day, what’s truly important is…. Do what you like and like what you do – it will mean the world to your customers, your staff, your friends and your family.

WTHayley

 

 

WT Thankful

26 Nov

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It’s been a while…. Sorry for being such a stranger.  I’ve written a bunch of posts that I just haven’t felt the need to publish.  However, tonight I was sitting with my daughters and we were talking about Thanksgiving approaching and I asked them what they were thankful for.  The answers were so sweet and adorable from the little one (4) and the older one (6) may have been trying to find the ‘right’ answer.  My youngest is thankful for: Ms. Jacklin and Marsha (her teachers), Evie and Lyla (her two best friends) and her toys.  My oldest was thankful for God (hopefully my Rabbi’s are reading this and are thinking about my wonderful influence) and for ‘the food we eat and the world so sweet’ (which is a song she learned at school).   They turned the question around to me and I told them that most of all, I’m thankful for them.  Feeling a little emotional that this will be the first time in 6 years that I will not be with them on Thanksgiving, I used the best possible outlet I could find and wrote this…..

My little angels
How I love you so
Those smiles and faces
And blue eyes that glow

My little angels
How I love thee
Your belly laughs
And huge personalities

My little angels
How you make me smile
Your adorable dimples
And your fashionable styles

My little angels
How you light up my soul
Your tender little kisses
And big hugs that console

My little angels
Never change your sweet ways
May you love and be loved
For all of your days

I’m also Thankful for all of you who read my nonsense, support my nonsense and come back for more.  You keep me writing… mostly about nothing but as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday.
Love always,
WTHayley

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