Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sharing What You've Been Blessed With...

Good afternoon All,

I hope this note finds you doing well and that you and your families are off to a wonderful 2013!

I don't usually send out emails like this, but bare with me because I feel God has placed it in my heart to spread the word.  As you know, my dad and I spent time at Tumaini Children's Home in Kenya in December 2011 and 2012.  Our first trip would have not been made possible if it wasn't for an organization called Heart for Africa or donations from family and friends.  Thank you to those who sent gifts and monetary donations so we could take Christmas to the children in Kenya! 

While Heart for Africa is no longer supporting Tumaini, they have expanded their services of spreading God's word to the people of Swaziland.  Janine Maxwell, President of Heart for Africa, now lives in Swaziland with her family and they've built a home for babies called El Rio Baby Home.  El Rio means, "The God Who Sees."  The mission of this facility to rescue and raise the abandoned babies of Swaziland.  You can read more information about the home by copy and pasting this link in your browser:

I keep up with Janine's weekly blog since I cannot be in Africa as much as I'd like to be.  She writes about the everyday struggles of life in Africa, keeps us updated on the latest happenings in Swaziland, and writes about the stories of the babies they are rescuing.  As you might imagine, each baby has a different story, but they all are tragic and heartbreaking.  Her latest post sent me over the edge and that is why you're receiving this email.  If you feel up to it, you can read her latest post titled, "It's Tuesday night:  Newborn dumped, a baby dies and mother tries to commit suicide - midweek post," by copying and pasting the following link into your browser.  (I must warn you before you do it, that it is a VERY disturbing story)

I know many of you have asked when my next trip to Kenya will be and while I'm not sure when it will be, I'm asking that you donate something to the El Rio Baby Home.  There is no amount too small and they can even set you up on a monthly debit plan.  I cannot express to you how important this is to me and if you also feel it is important- please act! 

Thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy email.  It means the world to me!  I know we cannot save the world, but we can make a big difference in small amounts.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Night Not Soon Forgotten

In my near 7 year career at American Funds, tonight, Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 will go down as the most humbling, most inspiring, and most memorable night of my entire career.

Tonight, we traveled from the Beverly Hilton to the Beverly Hills Hotel by bus to celebrate and award those who were retiring or were being recognized by their contributions to our organization.

Jim Dunton was recognized for his 49 years and 11 months of service to our organization, but more importantly to the millions of shareholders that he's helped over his career by investing their dollars.  He is a humble, southern gentlemen who gives all of the glory of this firm to us, the salespeople, not him- who has outperformed the S&P 500 over his working career by 3%.  It is the first time since the E. Graham Holloway has been awarded to someone who is not a salesperson.

We recognized 2 very hardworking wholesalers in Burke Patterson and Heidi Horowitz for their contributions over 2012 to our organization.

We also celebrated the 30 year career of Steve Reitman.  He calls this job his ministry.  It's his ministry to help people make a better future for themselves through investing in our organization.  He's now moving onto the next phase of his life which will include working with The Folds of Honor organization, a non-profit, that helps injured soliders go to school or the children of fallen soliders obtain an education.

We heard the inspiring story from a solider by the name of Ed who was injured by an IED, lost his leg, had major injuries, and nearly lost his life.  He spoke of his passion to protect our country, to never leave his comrades behind, and to fight to live.  He talked about speaking with God that if he survived, that it would not be a wasted life, he would do everything in his life to pay it forward and help those who were less fortunate.  He now works for The Folds of Honor.  As tradition, the salesforce makes donations on behalf of a retiring wholesaler.  Folds of Honor will be receiving 100k in donations on behalf of Steve's retirement.

What a powerful night.  I am humbled to know that I work for a fantastic organization and with some of the best people that have ever walked the face of this earth.  I'm also inspired by people like Jim Dunton, Steve Reitman, Burke Patterson, and Heidi Horowitz who were recognized for thier contributions.  And I'm grounded by people like Ed who have truly walked through the valley and have come back to have a brighter view on life.

Tonight, will not soon be forgotten.



This week finds me in Beverly Hills, CA for our National Sales Meeting.  Tonight's dinner was at Spago, an upscale Wolfgang Puck restaurant.  While the food was awesome and the company was pleasant, meeting a real chef was simply awesome.  Wolfgang made his way to our table and shook each our hands and thanked us for dining at his restaurant.  No pictures were snapped because I'm a firm believer that these people are normal people too and want to be normal for just once.  But I did snap a picture of the restaurant so I don't forget the experience.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The [many] Blessings of 2012 {a look back}

 We started out the New Year together in the valley on La Muneca Ranch with great friends.

 February brought us to the place we first me, the San Antonio Rodeo.  As you might imagine, this place holds a huge place in our hearts [even though it does smell like animal poo]. 

Franco's birthday tradition has become participating in the Mercedes Ranch Rodeo.  He loves this stuff and it scares the poo out of me.  I love watching him compete and kissing his dirt filled face when they are finished.  This year, they brought home a little bit of dough!  

Mama and I ventured out on a little vacation, just the 2 of us, in April.  We jumped on board Carnival's Freedom out of Fort Lauderdale, FL and cruised to the Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Aruba!  We spent most nights at the bar and made a lot of very good friends.

In May, our baby girl Ava, turned ONE!  


We also baptized her!
 For Father's day, I took daddy and mama deep sea fishing.  
We caught LOTS of Red Snapper and Atlantic Shark.

Thanks to the East's for allowing us to spend a long weekend in South Padre in their condo.  The Flores' joined us, it rained, and I drank WAY too much!

Since the river rules changed this year, we headed up to Fredericksburg to celebrate my 28th birthday.  
We spent the day at the winery's, the afternoon at the horse races, and listening to Aaron Watson  at the Gillespie County Fair. 

In September, we went out to Lajitas for Labor Day Weekend.  Pate & Bethany joined us and we had a great time.

 October was my 10 year High School Reunion that I planned.  We went to the football game, headed to Roper's afterwards, and then on Saturday, we went to the White House Cafe.  

December, December, December!  This has been the most memorable December on file!  First, we got engaged!  In Vegas!  Went to NFR for the first time, EVER!  
We stayed at Paris and gambled at Bill's Casino.  

AND as of TODAY, we bought a house together!  

Sometimes, it's easy to overlook all the blessings that occur in my life.  I know I've got my health, a wonderful family, and very special friends - I never take that for granted.  But, as I look back on all the things that are included in this blog, I realize that I've got a lot more than most people and I should be happy, proud, and honored.  God is [always] good!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I'm engaged!

To the love of my life!
To the man who knows me better than most of my friends do.
To someone who is my best friend.
He's seen me cry and makes me laugh.
He's been through my up's and comforts me through my downs.
He thinks I'm his princess and treats me as one.
He opens doors for me and kisses me goodnight.
He's always finding ways to help.
To the man who is a real life cowboy, but cleans up very nicely when it's date night.
The man who'll eat anything fried and then blame me for his few extra pounds.
Takes me dancing and is the holder of "my shit."
To the man who is a true romantic and knows it's the little things that matter most.
He cuddles up to me on cold nights and holds my hand while we sleep.
He loves my family and has a nickname for each of them.
Calls my best friend Prim, my sister "sister", my mama, "mama", and my dad, "big c."
He's never met a stranger and shows true class in all situations.
To the man that kisses me on the forehead and will make a zillion trips to the store with me.
I take him to Hobby Lobby, he takes me to Tandy's Leather.

I'm engaged to the man that God made for me and I'm incredibly blessed to be his wife!
Here's to us and our wonderful life together.  
Life is GOOD!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Last {we'll see} Travel Week 2012

This {last} travel week of the year was spent in Tampa, Homosassa, Naples, Ft Myers, and Cape Coral.

Some take-aways from this week:

Asked the question, "Can anyone tell me what the 2 most commonly used words, by media, to describe the stock market are?" at a shareholder meeting on Tuesday night.  For the first time EVER, I had an older man reply with, "BULL......SHIT!"  I couldn't keep my composure and laugh very hard right along with everyone else.

Just because you're old, doesn't mean you can't have fun.  I've learned that old, retired people are some of the heaviest drinkers, most foul mouthed, and generally happiest people I've met.  They know how to have a good time and aren't even opposed to hanging out at the Blue Martini until it closes.

Lastly, life is always being put into perspective.  I've been through many, MANY airports throughout my career and I've always noticed the on-site Airport Fire Department.  Maybe I'm blonde, naive, or just not that smart, but I assumed it was there in case a plane ever caught on fire.  What I witnessed today in the Fort Myers Airport at gate C3, put my life into perspective.  As I approached the gate, all of the patrons were gathering their stuff and changing gates.  It was because there was an elderly man lying on the floor while the Airport Fire Rescue team administered chest compressions on him for at least 15 minutes.  One day there could be a fire one a plane and I'm sure the Fire Department will be there to help extinguish it, but I now will think of the poor man, who was traveling alone, laying on the floor when I see the onsite Fire Department.

*God, I know you're watching over that man.  Please place a healing hand over him so that he may pull through..  I pray that his family is comforted in knowing that he was being taken good care of and that even though he was alone, there were people like me praying for him.  Amen.

Traveling definitely keeps you on your toes.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

By The Numbers...

I travel.  A. LOT.  

Growing up, you're always told, "get a good education, get a good job, and travel on someone else's dime."  

Well, I've taken that to heart....literally. 

So.  Here.  Is.  The.  Recap.  By the {numbers}

52 total weeks in a year.

47 of those weeks I'm expected to work.

22 of them spent on the road.

46% of my time was spent away from my home.[humph]

25% of time away from home is what my job description says. [sigh]

102 nights spent in a Marriott Hotel in Florida

10 additional nights I spent cheating on Marriott with Sheraton's, Omni, and the Drake in Chicago.

350 advisors visited over the year

2 1/2 vacations

and I'm glad to report, just

ONE more week on the road!

The feeling of coming home gets sweeter and sweeter, everytime.

For the record:
Marriott is the BEST hotel chain with the BEST reward program

Southwest is, hands down, the most economical airline, but more importantly, you matter to them and they feed you on their planes!

Hertz treats GOLD members like Kings and Queens

and Window seats will never go out of style!