Friday, July 30, 2010

Kasowski Twins Trip

I had a wonderful time with the Kasowski relatives going to the Twins games, experiencing the new stadium, trying all the food Target Field offers, being spoiled by my FIL... it was great.

The 2010 Crew: Dale (Dad K), Cousin Adam, Aunt Nancy and Uncle Al, Uncle Buck, Me, Grandpa and Grandma K, Cousin Nick, Uncle Mike and Cousin Ryan.

With Grandma Marian... we had one good pinochle game and a few really bad ones! Oh well, we'll always have our double rope/double pinochle legacy game!

With a view of downtown Minneapolis, this has to be one of the best stadiums out there.

Did I mention it was HOT? Like SC hot? Dad K and I are thankful for our cheap seats waaay up top that gave us some breeze.

Some guy that got Uncle Al the really good seats caught a fly ball and gave it to Grandpa! Wasn't that nice?! It has the Target Field inaugural 2010 season logo on it... it's pretty sweet.

Thanks for a great time family!

-Heather

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Mail.


It's not easy getting the mail these days. I got three of these yesterday.

Part of this blog is to give people a glimpse of life for those who have lost a child and especially for those who still don't have other children. Everyday things are often not quite everyday things for me. Getting the mail and finding yourself slammed with images of babies you don't have, signing out of yahoo and seeing articles for pregnancy or parenting, going grocery shopping and having to walk past the isle you don't get to shop in, watching the news and seeing commercial after commercial geared towards families, seeing the daddy and daughter holding hands as they walk into the doctor's office... things that you don't think twice about may roll around in my head for hours.

I may not be openly balling my eyes out but on the inside I'm still painfully aware as I'm reminded of what I'm missing.

"Knowing the Lord and His comfort does not take away the ache; instead, it supports you in the middle of the ache. Until I get home to heaven, there's going to be an ache that won't quit. The grieving process for me is not so much a matter of getting rid of the pain, but not being controlled by the pain." Dr. Larry Crabb

Again, if you have kiddos, please, please don't take them for granted today.

-Heather

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Flying Pig.

What's that? A pig is flying? Hell is freezing over? Is the pot calling the kettle black? Is the fat lady singing? Insert any adynaton or idiom here.

Yes, folks, I am going to sell something.

As a born skeptic and as someone that thinks people should buy less, save more... me selling something doesn't add up. I am not a salesman. I am also very cynical about direct sale marketing and pyramid schemes... using friends and family to make money just doesn't set right with me. And only seeing people as possible customers is wrong.

My friend Ashley is going to laugh because she said last year "I'm thinking about selling this stuff..." and I responded "You don't want to do that. Why do you want to become a sales consultant... that's dumb."

However, a few things have come together to push me over the edge and try this.

  • I am at home with no job and no baby. I need something to do. I know I'm not ready for a full-time job (even if I could find one in my field) and part-time jobs that are worthwhile are hard to come by. I need something to help me have a purpose because I'm not at home mothering Maelee like I should be.
  • I am trying to be environmentally conscious. My "living lightly on the earth" class in college is effecting me still. I think we should take care of what God created. So we have a rain barrel (you should get one, they are sweet), compost bin, garden... we recycle, try to limit our water usage, turn off lights, use earth-friendly products. Easy stuff, really. But I want to lessen our chemical impact.
  • I would like to help pay the bills. Greg works so hard to provide but I want to help. But since my goal isn't to make money, I don't have to shove this down anyone's throat.
  • I like to work. I miss it.
  • I am convinced: the product is great. It's mostly something people need anyway. And since the product is so good, I don't have to sell it really... it should sell itself (though I'm sure that's what every salesperson says about whatever they are selling).
So what is it? All of you from ND and MN probably know... I'm going to sell Norwex. What is that you ask? Well, in my words, it's mostly cleaning products that don't use nasty chemicals. Their ultimate seller is the enviro cloth which is a microfiber cloth that has silver in it... which is super antibacterial and kills bad germs. Apparently silver is what some ER's put on wounds because it's so good at stopping germs.

In their words:

Our line of cleaning products will save you time & money, improve health, and move towards creating a better environment. Norwex microfiber goes beyond "surface clean" with the innovative use of silver particles integrated into synthetic microfiber cloth ensure:
  • Single-celled micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, and viruses cannot survive or adapt in silver exposure
  • Surface-to-surface cross-contamination is eliminated
  • Rapidly drying cloths prevent bacteria growth in the cloth itself

Cleaning with water only produces a healthy outcome for us and the environment.

Laboratory tests have proven that Norwex antibacterial microfiber reduced bacteria by 99.99% in 24 hours!

Blah, blah, blah, I know.

It's pretty cool though and here's a few reasons why I was sold:

  1. Greg's Grandma Kasowski started using the stuff years ago. I adore her.
  2. Greg's mom, Mary, started using the stuff and I adore her, too... though I will admit she's sold on lots of stuff so I was naturally skeptical when she gave me the cloths for Christmas.
  3. My mom (who is even more skeptical and anti-selling stuff than me) is a natural Martha Stewart. After she saw Mary cleaning our house with the stuff in April, my mom started saying "maybe you should sell this stuff Heather." Insert image of me with completely shocked face.
  4. My tub looked AMAZING after Mary cleaned it. It's got this texture on the bottom that just invites scum and it was all gone.
  5. I don't get a migraine from using it! Greg had to start cleaning our bathroom for us and close the door because I got a migraine from every cleaner I tried. I have probably 20+ bottles of stuff that I've tried and couldn't handle. The cleaning paste has four ingredients (marble flour, chalk, soap, coconut oil) and doesn't smell. And obviously the cloths use just water so there isn't any lingering smell to avoid.
  6. Someday we are going to have kids (hopefully) and I don't want them crawling on a floor with bleachy chemicals... I'd must rather clean my floors and house with water.
  7. I don't like thinking about all the chemicals that are put down the drains, into our water. If I can prevent some, that's a good thing.
  8. We don't really know the long term effects of many of the chemicals we use to clean and the chemicals in the products we use on our bodies. I did a study in college on our country's regulatory system for the health and beauty industry and was appalled at how little testing is required. I've been wary ever since.
  9. The stuff works. Some of it probably isn't super, but the stuff I've seen thus far is good and worth it.
  10. Most of it lasts a really long time. The cloths last 7 to 10 years. The cleaning paste Mary used was her "old" one she had for a year... and it barely looked used. The laundry detergent will last for years (especially if you have a front loader 'cause you use like a teaspoon). I can stop buying stuff so often and save money that way. When I sell it, I don't have to be thinking "aha! I'll get them hooked and they'll have to buy stuff every other month!" since they won't need a new cloth for years.
  11. It's easy. Once you know what you are doing, you can clean most of your house with a cloth and a bucket of water. Our house is dirty/messy from me being gone and I'm going to attack it tomorrow with my Norwex stuff... and I'm sure it's going to take me much less time than before. And without a headache to boot.
  12. I understand part of the reason why Norwex chose direct sale marketing versus selling it at Walmart: you have to know how to use the product in order for it to be effective. You can't teach someone that just buys it off the shelf. I'm still working on understanding this one, however, since it doesn't take a genius to figure it out.
  13. I'm going to get to be around people! I like people.
  14. Greg emailed me his list of "11 reasons why Heather would be good at this" last month. He's on board and wants me to do it.
  15. Apparently people that host parties get more perks than any other direct sale dealy. My sister got a ton of free products for hosting a party where her sister-in-law consults. I like the thought of free stuff for people!
  16. Norwex came from Norway (I'm Norwegian), to Canada (where their North American headquarters are located), and is trickling down to the US... which is why not many people down here know about it yet and why many people in ND/MN do. I was convinced because random pockets of people I know told me about Norwex but they didn't know each other (showing me it's impressed various people in different walks of life). How 'bout that, eh?
Here's some of my hesitations:

  1. I don't like selling stuff.
  2. I don't like feeling obligated to buy stuff. I don't mind attending pampered chef/tupperware/jewelery/creative memories/etc parties... but since we aren't rich and really don't need much, I usually try to find the cheapest thing if I feel I need to buy something. Sometimes I'm happy with my purchase/the product and sometimes not. And attending parties like that gets old at times (though sometimes you get really good snacks!). So I don't want to make people feel like I often do at this stuff.
  3. I don't want my nights/weekends to be totally booked since that's when I see Greg.
  4. I don't like the idea of working for some big company that I don't know at least some of the big wigs personally.
  5. I haven't tried every product yet so I can't say whether or not they are worth buying. I'm going to have to do a lot of research/reading and then cleaning once I accumulate the products to make sure I still like them.
So there you have it.

I'm going to send in the paperwork next week and probably have a "party" sometime soon. I promise to you, friends and family, to not sell you crap and make you feel obligated to buy stuff or have a party or spend all the time talking about Norwex. If you have bad stories about the stuff, please let me know. If you like it and have good stories, let me know, too. I won't post much about this venture unless I feel I must wow you but I'll update you on how it's going once I'm actually a "consultant" (oh boy, that sounds pretty lame, maybe they'll let me make up a new title that doesn't sound so shady).

-Heather

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Minnesota.

I'm enjoying myself in Minnesota. I have photos on my camera from my sweet time with all the Kasowski relatives but I can't access them until I get back home. Until then, here are a few photos from Sunday. Ali and I made a little message for my dad on the driveway. I enjoy sidewalk chalk a lot... I didn't get to play with it much when I was a kid 'cause my mom thought it looked tacky and messy. (True to her nature Grammy hosed off our art the next day!).
It's nice to be around family but I do miss Greg. Being apart from each other makes us miss Maelee more... just that feeling that our little family isn't whole.
-Heather

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thankfulness.

Things to be thankful for:
  • I found a good doctor. He asked a lot of good questions, he knows his stuff. Different practice, different hospital so I don't have to relive bad memories.
  • Drugs. I had a little in-office procedure yesterday and they gave me drugs. I slept almost straight for a whole day (minus times to eat (which I did mostly with my eyes closed) and take more pills). I don't know how people endured pain centuries ago.
  • Beef jerky. It's seriously good stuff.
  • Virginia, our personal trainer. I'm still doing boot camp. I don't enjoy it but I'm committed to it and to Heather C. It's been almost 4 weeks and I haven't lost much weight but I have gained quite a bit of muscle. I can flex my arm and somewhat feel a muscle! Hopefully all my hard work won't go down the drain as I take the next 10 days off.
  • Friends and family. I'm so thankful for each one. We finally got our thank you cards printed and sent to us and now I'm working on writing on them. Every time I get a stack done I feel such a sense of humbled thankfulness, if that makes sense.
  • Spell check. One should probably not write blogs when under the influence of pain meds.
  • Air conditioning. How can you survive in this heat and humidity without one?!
  • I'm leaving for Minnesota tomorrow! The only bad part is Greg not coming. That's going to be tough. But I'm thankful he has a job and loves me enough to let me go have fun!
-Heather

Monday, July 12, 2010

TN.

We had a good weekend in Tennessee over the 4th. I wasn't feeling the greatest the first few days but overall it was a refreshing time away. On the drive up we noted all the cars going northwest like us were "mountains" and all the cars going southeast on the opposite side of the interstate were "beach"... it's fun to live only a few hours from each!

We went to an Elizabethton Twins game. They are the rookie league of the Minnesota Twins. We wore our MN Twins gear so we looked like we were big fans even though we'd never been there before. The Twins lost to the Cardinals but it was still fun... and they had a great fireworks show after the game so it was worth it.


The stadium has mountains in the background and a river that runs next to it. My camera phone doesn't quite do it justice.


The place we stayed had adorable little cottages tucked away in the mountains. It was so nice to sit outside on the porch and read for hours and hours... you can't do that in Columbia now!

Our chalet.

View from our porch.

We explored the property: saw a waterfall, walked in the mountain stream, hiked a few trails... with Maelee on our minds.


On Monday we hiked up to one of the highest peaks in the Appalachians and enjoyed some wonderful mountain views while eating sandwiches. I was working hard hiking up the steep incline and was feeling very athletic... until I saw a five-year-old in front of us doing just fine.

Greg is chewing his sandwich in this photo.

We spent time with our friends, the Parkers, while we were in TN and had fun connecting with them. We drove through the Blue Ridge Parkway for a few hours on the way home and enjoyed some spectacular mountain views. It was a pleasant trip, a needed break from our day-to-day lives in SC.

-Heather

Friday, July 9, 2010

Maelee Jewelry.

For birthday gifts for our moms and sisters, we got them Maelee jewelry. I just got the last one in the mail today. I still love to see Maelee's name and I so enjoyed opening the packages to see the various jewelry they picked out. As a side note, this is a wonderful, wonderful gift for anyone that has lost a baby.... and probably for any mother. These are from five different places - there are many web sites for personalized baby loss jewelry, sadly.

Mary, Mom, Jill, Amber and Amy... we know how much you love Maelee and hope you will treasure these. Your gifts will be coming to you soon... but here is a sneak peak!

Mary's necklace (with Maelee's birthstone charm):

Sherry's bracelet (M's birthstone charm and little feet charm):

Jill's necklace (lithograph of lotus flower on front, gMh monogram that stands for Greg, Maelee, Heather on back):

Amber's bracelet (pearls like the gates of heaven that Maelee saw):

Amy's necklace (M's birthstone and name on front, date on back):

Eventually I'm going to get stackable mother's rings for myself... with Maelee's birthstone and our first baby's birthstone (our first baby (lost to ectopic pregnancy) was due Christmas Day 2008).

On another note, I googled Maelee's name out of curiosity and found a website called "Maelee Baby" that makes high-end diaper bags and burp clothes. There are diaper bags around the US with "Maelee" written on a metal tag on the front of the bag. Isn't that neat?! The lady that started it used both her daughter's middle names (Mae and Lee) for the name. I actually emailed her to make sure the name was on the bags... If I ever get pregnant again, I may have to splurge and buy one so I have an official Maelee bag and can have her name with me/us wherever we go.

-Heather

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

10 years.

This weekend is my (Heather) ten year class reunion back in Williston, ND. Pretty crazy to think it's been 10 years. I scanned some old photos for a slide show they are having and I thought I'd post this one of two childhood friends and I... we all lost our front bottom teeth at the same time. The best part about this photo is that I had NO IDEA I was short until I got into grade school. I didn't know here that I'm like a head shorter than these two... and much dorkier too. It's so nice to be young and clueless!


We were planning to go to ND in July to introduce the baby to everyone so it's sad to think that's not happening. However, we are heading to Tennessee when Greg gets off work today to spend three nights in the mountains. Someone anonymously gave us a gift certificate to stay at a retreat center on Roan Mountain... thank you to whoever/whomever (Greg's not home to proofread this for me) blessed us with that!

Greg is not sick this time so it should be a bit more of an adventurous weekend. In addition, our good friends, the Parkers, live in Johnson City, TN so we will get to see them.

I'm really looking forward to the mountains and some good reflection/relaxation time... and getting to wear jeans and a sweatshirt!

-Heather