Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Faye's Cake Pops...Next Level?

Happy Halloween!!

Kristy Faye - Chief Baker
Cake Bites

For those of you who have followed my random blogs over the past couple of years, you know of my many health ups and downs, as well as the emotional ups and downs that go along with my health. So about a year ago, I tried making a cake pop. I was inspired by a sweet friend, Suzie, who made them and brought them to my baby shower right before Andrew was born. They were delicious and so cute!! Anyway, I started playing with them, and they were tasting good, but looked pretty silly! But there was something very calming about the baking and the decorating. I loved every second of it, and my kids loved eating them, it was a win win! Over the past year, I would make them on the weekends to enjoy with friends and family, and every so often I would get a real order! In the last couple of months I have had an order each weekend. Usually pretty small, but it was fun for me, and forced me to get more creative with recipes, as well as decorations.  
Andrew under my work cart
As seen above, Andrew tends to stay attached to my leg, and when I am working at my cake pop table, he sits underneath it and drives his trains up and down my leg! This makes it a little tough to work for long periods of time, but I still love every minute of it! Especially when he approves a new flavor!
Official Taste Tester

Last week I got a pretty huge surprise when I was contacted by Liza, the creator of Style Blueprint, to see if she could do a feature on Faye's Cake Pops. The timing was amazing, because that week I had been wishing that I had enough cake pop orders to be able to make a difference to my family and our debt.  I love being at home with Andrew so much. I also love being able to drop everything when Isaac needs me, even if it is just to run his football jersey to school. I can't imagine ever working a 9-5 again, and I would just love to go gang busters with something I love.  And I love love love baking! So anyway, I couldn't agree to the feature quick enough!  I have been over the moon for the past week, but yesterday I was overwhelmed with anxiety. I realize that by doing this feature, I am opening myself up to criticism and failure.  This opportunity could really blow Faye's Cake Pops out of the water. Or it could do nothing, and although it wouldn't change who I am today, there is a part of me that will consider that a failure. The email feature will go to over 10,000 subscribers.  On average, it is clicked through by 4,000 people.  If I can't sell cake pops with that kind of  publicity, I won't ever sell cake pops. As much as I believe that God always has a plan for me, I would really like a successful company for me to be a part of His plan!  With that said, the email will go out sometime between now and tomorrow morning. I don't know what it will say, what pictures they will choose to use,  or what effect it will have on my future. But just in case, I have a new email address -, a new twitter - FayesCakePops and of course the Facebook page. 
I am nervous, I am excited, I am anxious, I am blessed and more than anything I am loved and supported by my family and friends. I couldn't ask for anything more today. But tomorrow, I will ask for a bit of grass roots success, and if it doesn't come....Well then I will probably catch up on the laundry and go to the gym with a very good friend!  And at the end of the day, I will say my prayers and be thankful for everything that comes my way.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What a week!

So many times this week, I have thought to myself "wow, I need to blog about this!" And then another day, another event and another day, another event. But now it is Sunday, so let's wrap this week up!

Monday was just a busy day, wearing all of my different hats... I wake up as a mom, then I have a call with an advertiser that Mere Bulles has a contract with, in order to get all of the details and add it to the analysis. Then I am off to the doctor, although it isn't bad this week, as I only had one dr's appt on my calendar for this week! Late afternoon, I had a meeting to go over all of the wedding advertising opportunities for Mere Bulles, with Steven and Megan. And finally, back to mom mode! All in all, a busy, but good day!
Tuesday was mostly consumed with Isaac's orthodontist appt. It is crazy when I think we have been driving to Goodlettsville for these appointments for 6 years now! Anyway, after I got Isaac to school, I went on with my day, until I was rear-ended. A simple rear-end is not a big deal to most people, but for me, it almost always results in one more concussion.  And another concussion is always one more too many. We just don't know how many more shakes this fragile brain can take... But to top it off, I got out of the car and suggested to the lady that hit me that we pull over to the side in order to exchange insurance info and what not.  So I go back to my car, pull over to the shoulder (we were at a 4 way stop), check on Andrew and when I turn around, that jerk face is gone! Who does that?? Not only did she hit and run me, but she had two kids in her car that she was setting an example for, a little girl, probably 6, and a little boy, probably 8 or 9.  Needless to say, Tuesday was rough for me! I had to get home, take some alleve and lay down.  The headache and fuzzy brain that accompanies a concussion, even a small one, are just lame!
We can skip Wednesday... no need to bore you with the nuances of my regular day.
Thursday should have been a very laid back day, until I got a call from the CPA Football athletic trainer letting me know that Isaac took a pretty good knock to the head. He plays football, he is a left guard, he gets hit...a lot! So a call letting me know, is not a good thing. Then the fact that I got a couple more calls in the 10 minutes it took me to get there, more reassurance that the news wasn't good. But I get there and go talk to the trainer and Isaac. The news isn't surprising, Isaac got a concussion. I let the trainer know that I know concussions all too well. I don't let him know that I probably know more about concussions than he does. I'm still not too concerned, I knew this would happen one day, my son plays football for goodness sakes.  So we get home, feed him, get him some alleve and put him to bed. He is out at 7:30, I check on him at midnight, he is breathing, all is well, time for me to get some rest.  But on Friday, I can tell that this is no simple concussion for Isaac. He is really out of it. He can barely walk through a doorway without hitting the frame. He can barely make eye contact.  He tells me stories that don't make any sense at all. He asks me questions, a few times.  By noonish, he just continues to get worse, so I finally call his pediatrician. They get us right in, check him out and confirm that he has a severe concussion and they are a little worried that it could be more. So they send us to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. On days like this, I love that I live in Nashville, if for no other reason, than I can take my kids to Vanderbilt when they are sick.  Anyway, it confirmed again, that Isaac indeed has a concussion. No regular concussion, but a severe concussion, and they want to do a CT scan to make sure there isn't anything more severe such as bleeding on the brain.
Of course I have been through all of these tests, more times than I can count. And I have considered what it would be like if Isaac got a concussion. But I never could have imagined, what it would feel like to see this
It was scary to say the least, although I was certain he would be okay. Mostly I just prayed. I prayed and prayed and prayed. Finally, we received the CT results, they were negative.  I was so very grateful for that. But on the flip side, living with the issues I have from concussions, I was saddened that I allowed something to happen to Isaac, placing him in the same pain I have often. To hear him say "everything is all fuzzy", "I have such a bad headache" and "I can't really focus". These are things I understand all too well, so all I can do for now is love on Isaac and make sure he continues to rest and not use his brain until the swelling goes down.  On the upside, I decided that there is a sports concussion center and a BRAIN group that will work with Isaac and his school to watch for any delayed effects that can be caused by a concussion,  and those things used to be completely ignored.  The progress that is being made is fantastic, and now I know!
Saturday was a day I have dreaded for months and months, it is the day my brother was to get married. I don't need to get into the drama the past months have held, but in short, the boy who was once my best friend, hasn't talked to me in months or let me meet his daughter that was born in March. It has been a very rough road.  So in knowing that this big day for him was approaching, my stress level has been at full capacity.  But indeed I survived.
It is Sunday... I am living and breathing, and still wearing my pajamas, even though it is 4pm! I feel like I deserve a day off, at least from all of my roles except mom. So today I will play trains with Andrew and watch a movie with Isaac. And tomorrow I will start over again. It will be a new week after all!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trust that you are doing the best you can!

I had an amazing birthday celebration this weekend! I could not have felt more spoiled by my husband than I did. Not only did he get me floor tickets for Carrie Underwood, in the 20th row, but he gathered some of my good friends together for a day on the boat and a night out on the town.
He also helped me realize something incredibly important, and that is that he loves me more than anything. And sometimes, oftentimes, I forget that key fact.  I think that we just get so very busy with work, kids, household, extracurricular activities and stress, that we don't have much time to show our love to each other. So we both just need to remember that this is where we are in life today. We do have 4 kids, he does travel almost every Mon - Fri, I am trying to sell cake pops, create marketing ideas for the restaurant, pick up serving shifts and make sure everyone is where they need to be, on time, in clean clothes and with a full belly. But I am not trying to work on my run on sentence skills, just in case you were wondering! I am grateful to spend almost all of my time with Andrew. I am so lucky to be able to be where ever Isaac needs me to be, whenever he needs me. But to do those things, Rob has to be on the road. And when he isn't on the road, he is working late into the night to catch up on all of the work he didn't get done while he was on the road. I am so grateful for the life he allows us to live!
So, that is what I learned during my birthday celebration...Life is so busy, I may feel unloved. But needing to be so many places for so many people, should remind me how loved I actually am!  So if I get a little whiny once in awhile, feel free to remind me that I need to live in the moment, and although my moment is controlled chaos, there isn't anywhere else I should be.

On a different note, orders for Faye's Cake Pops are really starting to come in. Which is pretty cool since I haven't done anything to promote them except start a Facebook page and feed them to my friends! I really do love baking and playing in the kitchen. It is a little tough with all of Andrew's help, but still fun.  This weekend I will be making an order for Regions Bank, a bachelorette party and a Spider-Man themed birthday. I am actually letting cakes cool as I type and while Andrew naps.

I guess Rob was right when I said I wanted to retire...He responded with "until you find something else you love to do". I love making cake pops. I also love making a marketing pitch to get more events in the restaurant doors. But i'll be honest and admit that what I love the most is taking a nap with Andrew and feeling his sweet soft head under my chin as he snuggles up to me.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things worth leaving behind and things worth going back to find

It has been a long time since my last post, and so many things have happened since then. Some good, some not as good, but each a part of the lessons I continue to learn in this great thing I call life!
In 2 days, I will be ending the 39th year and beginning the 40th. I can't believe I am turning 39. The last few months have been full of ups and downs, and in an effort to not let the downs pull me far and let the ups continue to lift me, I have been thinking about what is important daily, and what isn't.
So here goes...
Things worth leaving behind:

  1. Trying to do everything for everyone
  2. Changing me to try and make others happy
  3. Not speaking up for myself
  4. Constant fear of forgotten memories
  5. Conditional relationships

Things worth going back to find:

  1. Church activity - Sunday attendance, scripture study, Family Home Evening, Tithing.  God promises us so many blessings, but he can't bless me for covenants not kept (a great friend reminded me of that today). God isn't judging me harshly for my mistakes, I am. He is just waiting patiently for me to return to him
  2. Healthy Eating - Enough said :) 
  3. Continued exercise - I realized a couple of months ago that I wasn't going to get back on track unless I was accountable to someone. I am extremely grateful to my friend Megan who agreed to run the Nashville Women's Half Marathon with me, therefore requiring that I get my runs in every week.
  4. Journaling - I have to keep track of the good days, not just the bad. I have a habit of journaling when I am upset and not when I am happy. My kids need to be able to look back one day and read about the wonderful days that I experience as well as the tough ones.
  5. Spending time with good friends - I am still suffering with social anxiety, but I feel so much better after I have spent time visiting with good friends, I need to do it more often.
I have done somethings better than others, don't we all? So my goal is to make a real effort this year to prioritize my day. There are some things that have to be done, some things that can wait, and somethings that are just more important than others. I want to know that at the end of the day, I at least got done what was important to me. I do a pretty good job of getting done everything that is important to my husband and children, but I am pretty crappy at doing what is important to me. So I am going to create a little checklist for myself and look at it each evening to see how well I did. I am curious to see how my mood will correlate with my checklist success. I am guessing that the results will not surprise me.  Feel free to join me on this exciting adventure, because something I am going back to find is my blogging voice!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The New Plan in a New Year

Sixteen Days ago, I saw the white light.  The one that I thought people made up.  It isn't made up, it exists.  It is bright and warm and peaceful.  I was there.  I later learned that my heart rate was in the 20's, my blood pressure 30/13.  I shouldn't have been there, I made a mistake.  But I survived to tell the tale.  My best friend in the whole world told me the other day, that I have been given a second chance, and all be darned if she is going to let me take it for granted!
So here I am.  I spent some time in CCU.  I spent some time getting tests, and getting help.  We learned that I am in fact not "above average" anymore.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't born smart, that is my son Isaac.  I was born with above average drive.  I have spent my life trying to beat the odds.  Trying to break the cycle.  Trying to go farther in my life than family members of my past.  And in all honesty, I did a pretty good job.  I studied like crazy, I took serious notes, I did everything in my power to make it.
And I did make it!  I had a fantastic job in the NHL.  More CEO and company owner contacts than I knew what to do with.  Then I married my soul mate.  The most handsome man I have ever laid eyes on. I gained two beautiful daughters, and everyone knows how badly I always wanted a little girl ( I got 2)!
Then when it was time for me not to work so much, I got another great job as the Director of Sponsorship at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.  Many times I heard "things just fall into your lap".  Which isn't true.  I am a firm believer in Success = Opportunity + Preparation, and I have always done everything I could to be prepared.  And with that, I will discontinue focusing on the past.
What I learned last week is that I am indeed suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury, due to concussions.  What that means is that the "roads" in my brain don't work very well.  And the "roads" to my memory is currently out of order.  I took hours worth of tests to get these results.  They didn't surprise me at all.  But what they did do, is let me loved ones know that I am not making this up.  It is an honest to goodness condition that can progress to EOA (which I also won't be talking about anymore until further results come in). For now, what we know for sure is that I am about as smart as a lower level high school graduate.  If only I could stop paying my student loans now and pretend I didn't go to college for a million years! Regardless, there is some good news and that is what this blog will focus on in the future...
There is a type of occupational therapy for my brain at Vanderbilt.  The goal is to open up the "roads" to my memory and hopefully reduce the number of speed bumps on my cognitive processing "roads".  Currently the speed bumps are doing a great job of slowing down my processing, but that's not the life I want to live!
With some prompting from my best friend, Karlee, and  a lot of support from my husband, I am planning to kick some butt in my brain classes!  She reminded me that people haven't loved my because of my degrees, but for who I am, and I need to find that person again!  I am going to learn to love who I am, no matter how I do on tests and no matter how smart I used to be.  I plan to be the person who progresses so well in brain class, that doctors have to say "results not typical" when I take part in their studies :)
I won't pretend that I am not scared.  I am.  But a little fear never killed anyone.  I am ready to regain as much of my memory as God sees fit.  I also plan to be the best mom, wife and friend that I can be.  This is a journey I call life, and I plan to do my best every single day with this second chance that I have been given, for I am truly grateful!