Ed and I got married in May 1998.  Like many newlyweds, it wasn’t long before we started talking about adding to our family by adopting a dog.  We bought a dog breed book and tried to determine what breed would be the best fit for our lives, especially since we lived in an apartment at that time (this was before Google, and yes, that makes me feel old). We decided we wanted a beagle puppy and started watching the ads.  It wasn’t long before we answered an ad for beagle puppies in Fuquay-Varina.  We made the drive to meet the little bundles of fur and enjoyed playing with them and watching them tumble all over each other.  They were all adorable but the one they called “Spike” (because of the white streak on his forehead) was the one that captured our heart.

IMG_4868 When he was 6 weeks old, we renamed our puppy “Copper” and proudly brought him home to join our family.  The name “Copper” seemed appropriate for three reasons. 1) His mom’s name was Penny 2) we loved Copper from Disney’s “The Fox and The Hound” and seemed doubly appropriate later after we went to 3) Copper Mountain resort in Colorado where I learned to ski with Ed’s family.  His full name was actually “Copper Mountain Page” and his kennel boasted a sticker from the ski resort.


The Dog Breed book had been replaced with a “Caring for your Puppy” book and so we felt pretty proud of ourselves that we were ready that night with a great kennel filled with soft blankets, a big stuffed animal, a ticking clock, and even a hot water bottle.  We played with Copper and snuggled him to tell him goodnight and went off to bed secure in the knowledge that we had tired him out and his decked out kennel would be everything he needed to settle in and go to sleep.  Wrong.


The pitiful crying and whining started before we even made it down the hall.  Still, we didn’t want to spoil him by reacting right away so we got ready for bed and thought he would settle down.  Wrong again. We finally relented and brought him to bed “just for the night” because he was a baby and was missing his mama and siblings.  My sweet Copper curled up under my chin and went to sleep.  Of course, he never made it back to his kennel for bedtime and continued to sleep with us for the next 15 years until his health got to the point where he couldn’t get on and off the bed anymore.


We enrolled Copper in puppy training and he successfully graduated knowing the basics of sit, stay, lie down, and heel.  Of course, since beagles are ruled by their noses, the heeling was pretty much limited to the confines of the training facility. Once we were outside, he just wanted to pull ahead to follow all those fabulous smells.  We also taught him how to shake, give a high-5, dance, and roll over.  I was most proud of teaching him to not lick faces.  I HATE having a dog lick my face – lick my hands, my arms, my legs, just please don’t lick my face!

We doted on Copper and enjoyed taking him to the dog park, the beach, and even to a dog-friendly bed and breakfast.


IMG_4878 IMG_4877

Like all puppies, Copper loved to chew.  Shoes, papers, books, stuffed animals, nylabones, and most notably, our papasan chair cushion.  That was not a pretty sight.



IMG_4873 IMG_1974

As we started talking about having a baby, we decided that Copper needed a playmate.  Ed really wanted a lemon beagle so we once again watched the ads.  Ed found a 1 year-old lemon beagle mix that a family had decided to rehome.  We drove up and “Rosie” was standing on top of her dog house.  I think we probably fell in love right then.  We brought Copper along to make sure they would get along and “Rosie” immediately got down on her belly and slid on her belly towards him.  She was submissive and sweet from day 1 and she was excited about her new friend.  We renamed her Daisy and since the names sound similar, she had no problem learning her new name.  Copper and Daisy were great friends and never aggressive towards each other.  We have lots of pictures of them curled up together in the papasan (before Copper ate it) or on their dog bed.  More often than not, Copper was resting his head on Daisy’s back.

sweet puppies 20140612-162822-59302640.jpg

The next addition to our family was Hailey.  We again took to books and read that you should take a pillowcase to the hospital to put on the bassinet mattress so that is exactly what we did.  We kept it on overnight to get Hailey’s scent on it and then Ed took the case home to the dogs.  Daisy was always happy-go-lucky so we weren’t concerned about how she would react but I was concerned about my first “baby” and how he would take not being the center of my attention.

20140612-173044-63044214.jpg 20140612-173048-63048521.jpg

The thing that sticks out in my mind is that he was so out of control hyper and excited that we had to put on his head collar (what was the equivalent to him of a “cone of shame”).  It fit over his muzzle and then attached to a leash.  He could still open his mouth and eat and drink but it was designed to make dogs not pull on the leash so much (remember, beagles are ruled by their nose and will just pull you along for the ride). This contraption humiliated Copper to no end and not only did he immediately calm down, but he positively sulked.  It was pretty pitiful.


Copper loved to sleep.  He almost always slept curled up next to me and would paw at my covers until I lifted them high enough to let him under. When he got older and his sinuses started acting up it was a maddening cycle.  He would paw at the covers, crawl under, turn around, start hacking and sneezing, get out from under the covers, then turn around and paw at the covers to come back under.   We used to joke that copper thought he was a cat.  He would wait for me to get settled somewhere and then he could jump up and put his head in my lap or on my leg.  If I was on my side on the couch, he would jump up on my side or lay behind me and put his head on my side.  If I would nap on my stomach, he would nap on my back. He loved to be close and I loved having him right there with me.



Copper also loved visitors.  He would dance and prance around for attention and for someone to rub his ears. His favorite visitors were my mom and dad.  He couldn’t wait for my mom to sit down so that he could climb in her lap and he couldn’t wait for my dad to slip him some food!  When my mom helped me at the house when my girls were born, Copper was thrilled to have her there so that he had someone to give him the attention he thought he was lacking.

Of all of his favorite things though, nothing compared to food. That dog LOVED to eat. I swear that his passion for food is the only thing that has kept him alive these lst few years.  He literally LIVED to eat.  We didn’t give him table food often but pizza crusts were one of his favorite things in the world.  He knew that pizza smell and would bark and bark and bark long after the pizza was gone.  As long as the aroma was still there, he assumed we were holding out on him and demanded that we share.  Popcorn was another treat he enjoyed and I enjoyed throwing it in the air for him to catch.  Until his eyesight failed him, he was a master at catching food mid-air.  I think he was motivated by not letting any of the other dogs get to it first!  When we knew his stomach was feeling uneasy, Ed would make him rice and he would gobble the whole bowl in a couple of bites as if afraid that we were going to change our minds and take it away from him.

Copper was also very, very sneaky when it came to food.  It was never a pretty sight to come home or wake up in the morning to a knocked over trash can.  He would also knock over the bin of dog food by the back door that would not only allow him to eat himself sick but would also more often that not block us from being able to open that door.  We came home once to white powder EVERYWHERE…a Visalus shake mix bag must have been too close to the edge of the counter.  We heard a crash one day and he had gotten ahold of the strap of the insulated pyrex carrying case and brought down (and shattered) a pyrex dish of blueberry cobbler. Thank God he was okay because he was scarfing down that cobbler as fast as he could, glass and all.  He is also fortunate to have never been killed by chocolate as the girls found out the hard way that if they left their Halloween candy within his reach, he was going to find and eat every bite.  We also lost multiple Thirty-One thermal totes because they were left in his reach after school with leftovers still inside and he ate right through them to get to what was inside.  In fact, he once ate through one of my display thermals even though it had NEVER had food inside.  He must have been really hungry that day.  I have endless stories of Copper getting into food he shouldn’t have but my favorite is the day that we came home and he had gotten into the pantry (he would paw at it until it jumped back enough that he could get his nose wedged in and open it.  We had to start propping something in front of it to keep it closed).  That day he ate part of a box of Zatarains and OPENED and ate a CAN of refried beans.  It had a pop tab but still…that dog was 15 years old and managed to eat through an aluminum can!

Every time we brought home a new rescue cat I felt like Copper gave me a look like, “really? another one? what did I do to deserve this torture?”  However, Copper had an unusually sweet relationship with Fred and it was the main reason I hated having to make Fred an outside cat.  Whereas Copper had no use for Penny (our other beagle-mix that we got as a puppy after Daisy passed), he and Fred the cat would curl up next to each other to sleep.


We have so many great memories of our time with Copper and I sometimes feel guilty that my selfishness at not wanting to let him go meant that he struggled more and more over the past few months with getting around, with seeing and hearing, and with incontinence.  I hope and pray that he wasn’t suffering during this time and I am thankful for the fact that I had more time with him than I expected to have.  Although he hasn’t been that same puppy who slept under the covers with me and followed me around, he still got all excited at the sight of a milkbone and barked like crazy at the smell of pizza.  I gave him lots of treats today, including a peanut butter sandwich and a cheese stick for old time’s sake.  I only wish I had thought to order a pizza.


I’m going to miss that dog.


Goodybe, my friend.  Thank you for being a part of our lives and our family for 16 years.  You will be missed.

DSC_0297 DSC_0292 DSC_0283 IMG_6275

Posted in Thirty-One | 1 Comment

Thirty-One Leadership Incentive Trip 2014 – Dominican Republic





Last year Ed and I earned the Leadership Incentive Trip and traveled to Cancun, Mexico.  I didn’t know what to expect and was beyond thrilled with every aspect of the trip.  We met some incredible friends who will now be like family for life, I got to snorkel for the first time, we zip-lined into water, we renewed our vows by the water, we ate incredible food, and spent hours upon hours sitting in the pool with friends. I can tell you this – once you earn one trip, you never want to miss another one!  We set our sights on the Punta Cana and broke the requirements down by month to ensure that we would earn our seat in the sand! Thanks to fabulous customers, family, team members, and friends, we were able to travel all-expenses paid to gorgeous Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  It was yet another incredible experience and the time spent with friends and each other was beyond priceless!
DSC_0068 DSC_0069 DSC_0070 DSC_0076 DSC_0080 IMG_2917 IMG_2922 IMG_2666 IMG_2668 IMG_2671 DSC_0093 IMG_2705 IMG_2696 IMG_2672 I'm a Rockstar! Welcome Dinner DSC_0121 Swimming with Sharks! Snorkeling with friends

As if the trip wasn't enough, these are the free gifts we received!

As if the trip wasn’t enough, these are the free gifts we received!

IMG_2968 Sunrise Worship on the Beach He was so cute!!

Posted in Thirty-One | Leave a comment

New Year, New Goal

IMG_4482For several reasons, I recently made the decision to throw out my prescription drugs and fight my fibromyalgia more naturally. I was diagnosed with fibro when I was 16. In the 21 years since, I have taken more prescriptions than I care to remember. I can’t even begin to think about the amount of money my parents and I spent on these drugs without feeling slightly ill…especially when you think of the fact that some of the drugs were to counteract the side effects of other drugs.  I have taken prescriptions for pain, nausea, migraines, reflux, insomnia, etc.  I have swallowed pills, gagged on liquid medication and received injections.  One particular migraine injection even had my youngest daughter down on her knees crying and praying that I would survive because I cried out from the insane pain and blood gushed from the injection site.  Side effects have been too numerous to list.  To say it felt great to say “no more” would be an understatement.  I am not against prescriptions.  They have their place and they are very much needed in this world.  However, they are not without drawbacks and dangers and I am happy to have them mostly gone from my life.  I say mostly because I will not rule out the possibility of taking prescriptions to get out of a particularly bad flare-up or to deal with a migraine but I am saying “no” to side effects and not feeling like myself mentally and “yes” to taking better care of myself as naturally as possible. I have chosen to deal with pain over feeling like I am slowly destroying my body physically and mentally. Eliminating the foods I am intolerant/allergic too has helped as has PRAYER and working from home on MY schedule. My biggest prayer is for energy. I want to be PRESENT in 2014. I want to be mentally and physically able to make this the best year ever! My family, my friends, and my Thirty-One team give so much to me and I want to be the best me I can for them and for me! 

Fibromyalgia is not an easy life long partner to deal with.  However, there is something about knowing that you are putting YOURSELF in charge and NOT your diagnosis.  Fibro does not control me. Never again.


Posted in Fibromyalgia | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thirty-One National Conference 2013

It’s been a week since the closing session of National Conference and I am still on cloud nine from all the excitement of the new products and the fun of getting to see my team members and friends.  One of the greatest highlights of conference this year (my fourth!) was getting to share the experience with my HOT (Husband of Thirty-One).  He is such a huge supporter or my business and my partner in so many ways that it made it all the sweeter to have him there with me!  How exciting for Cindy and Scott to have 16,000 consultants there to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Thirty-One!  I’m so looking forward to what the next 10 years will bring.  The best is yet to come!ImageImage


Posted in Thirty-One | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude of Gratitude

Our life group meets once a week in our home and it is one of the highlights of my week. Our conversation this week included talk about how to stay positive even when things aren’t going the way you think they should.  We all have a choice when we are faced with challenges. We can choose to wallow in self pity and spread our negativity to those around us or we can choose to have an attitude of gratitude and praise God that He is in control and thank Him for the blessings He has given us.  There are two sayings I have heard recently that I really loved.  One was questioned how we can expect God to provide us with more blessings if we haven’t shown gratitude for the blessings we have already been given.  The other was, “what if we woke up tomorrow with only the things we thanked God for today?”  Pretty powerful and convicting.

When our kids grumble about the things they can’t have we try to teach them to put things into perspective and to realize just how very blessed they are.   Honestly, I would prefer that my children feel deprived than feel entitled.  (and by deprived I mean of the things that “everyone else at school has”, not basic necessities!)

We all have Negative Nellies and Debbie Downers in our life.  You know who I’m talking about.  You immediately saw a picture of this person in your mind, I know you did!  These are the people that need Jesus in their lives most of all. I can’t imagine how miserable your life must be to make you find something negative in every situation, to make you complain about everything from the weather to your co-workers, to how you slept the night before. You can give these people a raise and they’ll complain about why a bonus would have been better.  You can bring them a treat and they’ll tell you they are on a diet.  I’m sure I annoy the heck out of the Nellies and the Debbie when I respond with, “well, at least…”  Life is so much happier when you look on the bright side and search for the silver lining instead of focusing on the storm cloud or looking over your shoulder waiting for the other shoe to drop.

How do you respond to adversity in your life?  Do you complain and turn your back on God or do you have an attititude of gratitude and ask Him to walk with you and guide you to a better path?  

My sister said something to me recently that I had never heard before but absolutely loved.  She said (and I’m paraphrasing here) she had looked at the end of her book and she knew how her story ended and the ending was pretty awesome so the little bumps along the way just weren’t that imprtant.  When you are feeling stressed and unhappy and like nothing is going your way, give it up to God.  That’s what He is there for.  He WANTS you to lean on Him.  You are NOT in control and there is nothing you can do to take complete control of your life.  Give it over to Him, Pray, Step Back, and have FAITH that He is in control and that he LOVES you and will not fail you if you will just believe.  



Posted in Thirty-One | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


It has been awhile since I have written down any Haileyisms or Leahisms and that makes me sad.  I used to print a photo calendar each year and then would write notes on the dates which helped me to remember to document funny sayings and conversations.  It’s a shame that I got out of that practice.

Leah has this quiet, dry humor that sneaks up on you.  I really am not sure if she even knows how funny she is being at times.  Ed, Leah, and I were standing in the hall and Leah was talking to us.  Somehow we got off of what she was saying and Ed and I started talking.  Leah waited patiently but as soon as we were done she said in the funniest adult voice, “noooow back to me”.  I know that it doesn’t really translate well in the written world because you can’t hear how she said it so you have to trust me that it was hilarious!  And now it’s documented so it is a fun moment we won’t forget!

Posted in Thirty-One | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spelling Bee

So proud of Hailey for winning her school spelling bee! The county spelling bee is the 16th!


Posted in Family | Leave a comment

A Dream Come True – Part 2

In just a few short months, I will celebrate my fourth anniversary with Thirty-One.  For the past three years, I have been in leadership and eligible to earn the Leadership Incentive Trip.  The first year I was eligible, I didn’t think much about it because it seemed out of my reach and the Thirty-One lightbulb hadn’t fully turned on for me yet.  Although I was recruiting and loving the company and the products, I wasn’t having as many parties as I needed in order to make the sales volume to earn the trip and that was okay with me.  At that point in my life, having more than 1-2 parties a month was not a goal for me.  I was happy with where I was and had my hands full with everything else that was going on in my life.  I did, however, turn a little green when I started seeing my friends post about the awesome time they were having and starting seeing the gorgeous photos from Riviera Maya. I decided then that I was going to actually make it a goal to earn the trip the next year.  Although I didn’t make it again the next year, I was grew my business and my team and was able to cut my hours at my job to part-time.  Once again, I lived vicariously through my friends as they posted their photos and their experiences on Facebook.  The only difference was that by then, I had MORE friends who were on the trip.  There was NO WAY I was going to miss the trip for a third time in a row!!  With goals of being able to quit my other job completely AND make it on the leadership trip, I had to get serious…and I did.  Together with my Thirty-One sales coach, we worked through the steps I needed to take and the objectives I would need to meet in order to earn my seat by the pool!  The day I met the last requirement for that trip was a day I hope never to forget.  I was so proud of that accomplishment and so excited that I was able to take my husband on an all-expense paid trip to Cancun, Mexico! (and when I say all expenses, I mean ALL expenses…they even sent us pre-paid credit cards for any incidentals we might incur such as parking, taxis, or tips getting to and from the airport!)

I had never been out of the country before so even getting my passport in the mail was a huge thrill for me! There were so many wonderful things about the trip that I can’t possibly name them all but among the highlights were going snorkeling for the first time, meeting some fabulous new friends, getting to personally thank Scott and Cindy Monroe for the trip and the coaching opportunity they provide to their leaders, and of course…the food.  Having food restrictions (I can’t have gluten, dairy, or eggs) made me a little nervous…it wasn’t like I could just run to Whole Foods and pick up something to eat.  I was BLOWN AWAY by how wonderful the resort staff was about my food restrictions and how they made it feel like I was doing THEM a favor by allowing them to make me a special meal.  The food was out of this world amazing…I even had one of the Chefs (Chef Alejandro) come out so that I could thank him and give him a big hug!

Thirty-One provides us with incentives and rewards to challenge us and encourage us to grow and sustain our business.  The great thing is that if you set goals and objectives and work your plan…the sky is your limit and you can have one of the most rewarding careers available!

Here are just a few photos from our amazing trip!  I am so thankful to my amazing team, my customers, and my family for everything they did to help make this trip possible…and to Thirty-One for providing us with a vacation that really was a dream come true!

Our goodie bag we received at check-in!

Our goodie bag we received at check-in!


Thirty-One added a little fun to our arrival!

A beautiful welcome!

A beautiful welcome!


Welcome dinner by the beach

Welcome dinner by the beach


Temporary but fun!

Temporary but fun!



Just gorgeous - taken from our balcony.

Just gorgeous – taken from our balcony.


After dinner with great friends!

After dinner with great friends!


Before leaving to renew our vows!

Before leaving to renew our vows!


We renewed our vows by the beach thanks to our friend, Robin!

We renewed our vows by the beach thanks to our friend, Robin!


My new vow-renewal ring!

My new vow-renewal ring!


Mayan coffee

Mayan coffee




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Dream Come True!

So…I’ve been a little busy.  My poor blog has been neglected once again.  However, thanks to some awesome news I have to share, I will hopefully be back to updating more frequently.

From the end of my pregnancy with Hailey until the end of my maternity leave, I remember sitting in front of the computer in our living room searching and searching for a way to make money from home.  It was a dream of mine to be with my new baby all day and I searched and reviewed and read countless websites.  Unfortunately, I never considered in-home sales.  I am not a natural salesperson.  Not only that, I had this image in my head of what a typical sales consultant would be like and how a home show would play out.  This is funny because I had NEVER gone to a direct sales party other than one of those crazy sales meetings they have at the hotels that seem solely focused on the recruiting and team building instead of the actual product.  I’ll just say it…when I thought of direct sales, I immediately thought “pyramid scheme”.  My thoughts and preconceived notions couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Although it would be easy for me to say I wish I had found the Thirty-One opportunity sooner, in retrospect, I can see why God led me down the path that He did and I know that His timing is perfect.  I started working as the director of a child care center right before Hailey turned 2 so I really had the best of both worlds – I had the financial security AND I got to be with my kids during the day.

As my children got older and I started to get more involved with Thirty-One, I realized that it was within my reach to build my team and my business and get to the point where I could quit my job and stay at home working my Thirty-One business full-time.  At the end of 2012, I knew that it was the right time for me to make this leap of faith. I am very excited to say that December 21 was my last day at the child care center!!  What an amazing feeling it was to know that I would be able to be there for my daughters even more as they reach the difficult years of middle school and beyond.

Stay tuned…I have 2 more “dreams come true” stories to share!

Posted in Thirty-One | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spread the Word – End the Word!

Spread the Word – End the Word!

Video | Posted on by | Leave a comment