Updates, , ,

Blog Update 4: Happy Halloween! New Changes Coming, and Q&A

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Usually, I start this kind of blog with a quote about leadership, confidence, or pride. Since we just celebrated Halloween (and my most favorite time of the year), I thought I would start with a more “seasonal” quote.

I want to thank you so much, once again for being here on this blog. I never in a million years thought it would have the reach that it did. I don’t mean the numbers game and views. The amount of love my family and I have received has been tremendous- even from the very beginning of this strange and unique journey.

I am also surprised how many people have reached out to me with questions regarding a new diagnosis, a surgery, or even just asking who I would recommend for a therapist. Which is one thing I will share more about on this new update.

Happy Halloween Spooky Scary Skeletons! I know it was last week, but since this came out today… it’s only fair to say it again. Especially since a lot of people have started decorating for Christmas already (or they will in a few days)- No judgment. I just want the cold weather and hot chocolate. I hope your Halloween weekend was safe, fun, and filled with a bunch of candy and hopefully the kids slept through the night. For the record, Mark was up at 4:00 am and I was with him. So let’s get this update started shall we? Before my coffee gets cold and with 30 minutes to spare.

As I mentioned, I was super surprised with how many people have reached out asking for advice or opinions or sharing stories of their own. It has been overwhelming, but so refreshing. It is a constant reminder that I have a bunch of other people out there who have been in a similar position and have managed to survive. This means I can do the same too. I’ve also received a ton of questions, asking for a referral- if you will. For that reason, I have decided to start a resource page for this blog. I think I have mentioned this Update 3, but it is still in the works. There will be a tab on this page for both local and national resources that can provide services or support. This is a work in progress so please bear with me as much as possible. I would be forever grateful!

A blog post of mine was recently featured in JacksonvilleMom.com! Let me tell you how wonderful that felt. To have 2 articles published with them give our story the chance to reach a little further. It allows other parents to feel like they aren’t alone. On top of that, it helps build a community that is stronger than any of us could ever imagine, especially when together. So please, be sure to check out their blog page too! Tons of incredible wisdom and stories that bring you a new perspective on parenting.

Speaking of JacksonvilleMom, I have graciously accepted the generous offer to become an official contributor for JacksonvilleMom.com! This means I am officially a writer and in addition to maintaining this blog and sharing our journey, I will also be writing exclusive content for them as well! So again, if you haven’t checked out that incredible community of women, I highly suggest you do. There is something for everyone and people from every walk of life. It is a fantastic way to get to know our Northeast Florida families and all the cool happenings in the area!

In October, I decided to join a community called HeyMama, and I am extremely eager to see what I can learn from this group of incredible and hardworking women. Through these connections, I am also wanting to learn how to build this community. Not in terms of internet fame- I couldn’t care less about that. I would like to have community partners share Make Your Mark’s vision and help me provide assistance within our community for families in the NICU, and for when they finally get to go home. If it doesn’t happen, oh well. I tried. That is just it though. I am going to try and I am going to give it my absolute all. Why? Because our community deserves it.

Everyone has a story. Everyone has a journey. We all have our problems and some of us choose not to express these concerns. Some of us bottle them up. Some may feel afraid to be seen as a burden or fear judgment from those who have never walked a day in our shoes. We may not know where to turn or what to do next and we may be too proud to ask for help, or we might feel shame. I know I have felt every single one of these emotions. The only difference is that I am making myself- forcing myself to be vulnerable and so I made this blog. It is still very difficult for me to share my story- even more so to ask for help.

Our story, the fears I have, the challenge of my vulnerability mixed with the number of comments and messages of outpouring love and support have inspired me to do something even more difficult. I have decided to do a little Q&A. With this being said, please send me your questions and I will be sure to look them over and answer them as best as I possibly can.

There are parents who have been in the trenches of the NICU. Some of my dear friends are in there now. Not to mention the countless members of our community who have a child or children with some form of special needs. Between getting asked a bunch of questions and wanting to expand our reach simply to help, I encourage you to send me questions. Any questions you may have pertaining to this blog, interest in becoming a community partner, looking for a resource that may be available or a service you or your loved one may require. I would be happy to help as best as I can. If for some reason I cannot, I will definitely get you in touch with someone who can.

If you have questions for the Q&A, are interested in becoming a Community Partner, or have a suggestion for our upcoming resource page, please complete the form below.

Thank you so much for being here every week and for the outpouring of love. I am grateful that you show interest in our journey and want to learn more.