Mommies with True Moxie

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been hideous about starting this blog.  Why?  Well, I’m mom to a eight month old little boy (J3) that I love spending time with, I’m taking 15 hours of classwork to finish my degree and I’m consulting on the side, PLUS trying to start up a business.  Yeah, the blogging thing has taken a bit of a backseat.  Oh, and I should mention that a girlfriend of mine and I are now adding another dimension to my business, one that takes quite a bit more research and planning than what I had originally thought.  Sooo…it’s been at the end of the to-do list.  plus, most days I have the attention span of a gnat, which doesn’t help!

I did feel like I needed to start writing though because so much HAS flown through my head.  A couple of people have asked why I chose the name “Mommy Moxie”.  I don’t remember exactly where I heard the term “moxie” , but I liked how it sounded.  When I looked up the exact meaning, it said “guts” or “courage”.  Well, for anyone out there that’s a mom, you know being a mom definitely takes courage.  There are days where screaming kids threaten to send you over the edge, but that’s what being a mom is all about–the good and the bad.  Hence the name.

Part of my senior project is getting this business off the ground and a lot of that is research.  The part of my business that I have to present is my marketing plan, and the internet plays a huge part in that; after all, my target market is fun, savvy moms and let’s face it, (you’re) using social media!  I am a Facebook pro (never really cared for MySpace), but Twitter is a completely different world, as is blogging.  I started a Twitter account though, and have been trying to figure out how the whole thing works.  I am not one of those people that needs to know when Ashton Kutcher picks his nose, but seeing what other moms are going through in 140 words or less is pretty interesting.  It was on Twitter and through Facebook that I found a couple of moms that bring a whole new meaning to the phrase  “mommy moxie” and wanted to spotlight them here.  Now, these are just a few moms out there that are showing a tremendous amount of courage, but these two have captured my heart at the moment and that are giving me the push to get my business off the ground.

Julie Locke and her son Dax are the first ones that stole a piece of my heart.  One of my dear friends, Carol (Toftoy) Brotzman, had a link on her Facebook page to a Caring Bridge website.  I had no idea what Caring Bridge was, but one day shortly after I had been laid off, I clicked on the link.  Caring Bridge is essentially a website for families to keep others updated about what is going on with their loved ones that are in the hospital.  Julie and her husband Austin’s son Dax was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) in July of 2008, a month after his first birthday.  Luckily for them, they live fairly close to St. Jude’s hospital, and for the next year and a half they battled AML with everything they had.  Sadly, in the end, Dax lost his fight shortly after Christmas of 2009 and Julie blogged about it the entire time.  I will admit, I BAWLED when reading her posts.   When she posted that Dax had lost his fight 30 minutes after he passed, I almost lost it–how does a mother make it through something like that?  She has continued to blog since then about the emptiness and the loss she feels now that Dax is not with them physically.  She posted recently that someone IN HER GUEST BOOK of all places, commented that she’s just writing to gain sympathy.  I have some choice things I could write here about that insensitive ass, but instead, I leave them to karma and its amazing ability to give people what they deserve in the end.  Julie, keep the entries coming, we care about you!  Her motto is “Cherish Every Moment”, which I love.  Check out her Caring Bridge story here:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/daxlocke/ and donate to St. Jude’s to help them find a cure!

The second mom is another mother with a vast amount of courage.  Shanna Marsh and her husband Ryan are the parents of two year old Layla Grace.  She had been fighting stage four neuroblastoma for a while, and in mid-January found out it was back and winning the war in this precious little girl’s body.  After a long, hard battle, Layla lost her fight on March 9th, 2010.  I had been following them on Twitter (@LaylaGrace) for about a month prior and the news hit me hard.  In fact, that night, around 1 am, I woke up from a dead sleep and couldn’t get back down until about 3:30.  The next morning, Shanna and Ryan posted on Twitter that Layla had passed early that morning.  It gave me the chills-how can one become so connected with someone they’ve never met?  But I had, and felt as if my own little J3 had died.   I cried for three days after, and still tear up thinking about all they are going through, especially since they have two other girls, Jenna and Claire.  Shanna and Ryan are turning this into a positive though-the Layla Grace Foundation for neuroblastoma research is already under way.  So very few people have heard of neuroblastoma, yet it is the most common cancer in children under two.  I honestly believe that the Marsh’s will bring a tremendous amount of awareness to the disease and will not let anyone forget Miss Layla Grace.  The foundation is still in it’s infancy, but you can check out their progress at http://www.laylagrace.org.

One of the reasons that I wanted to start a business in the first place was so that I could donate money to the charities that I love.  With that in mind, once I get things going, there will be a Dax gown and a Layla gown in my line.  I will donate all of the proceeds to the Dax gown to St. Jude’s in his name, and all of the Layla gown to the Layla Grace Foundation.  I have no idea what the Dax gown will look like, but I am imaging the Layla gown as purple with butterflies and if at all possible “sparky” (Layla’s term for sparkly).  Maybe an orange daisy or two thrown in for good measure…if anyone out there knows of these two stories and has ideas, I would love to hear them!

As a side note, I am not normally serious and somber.  I’m more of the snarky, fun-loving, sarcastic type, but lately these two moms have really stuck in my head.  When J3 is testing his lung and vocal capacity, or he’s so fussy nothing makes him happy, I now sit back, take a deep breath and thank God that I have him with me, giving me snuggles and kisses.  On those trying days, I just pray for a little more moxie. 😉

‘Til next time!

Nicole

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