How I Know I am Married to an Entrepreneur…

The other night I was cuddled in bed with Chris and we were watching one of our favorite shows together, Community. It was the best episode to date! It was a spoof of Law and Order. Before I could catch my breath from laughing so hard, Community was off the screen and Shark Tank was already playing. We used to have quite a few shows that we loved to watch together, but now we are down to a measly three. Only three that are queued up every week, and Shark Tank is one of them. I started to think, seriously, how have I not been tasting the Kool-Aid that Chris has been serving me?!?!?!
Here are a few other clues I have been missing lately:

1. Not only is Shark Tank on, but my adorable hubby is sending Mark Cuban tweets about how he can help Shark Tank businesses.

2. I hear the phrase, “I just need to send one more e-mail…” more than, “I’m hungry”.

3. The word start up is a complicated word that my brain will never fully understand.

4. I don’t understand 95% of my husband’s status updates on Facebook any more.

AND….

5. Fake Grimlock is the new awesomesauce in our home. My husband talks like him, shares his wisdom and wants his posters hung over my unborn baby’s crib. If you really want to know more about fakegrimlock go to http://fakegrimlock.com/

So, more proof in the pudding that my husband has been transforming without me noticing. I still love the robot dinosaur, Mark Cuban tweeting, start up talking man!

Life as an Entrepreneur’s Wife

On May 17th Chris and I will be married 9 years! These 9 years have been amazing. I never imagined I would be where we are today with two amazing girls and another on the way. I never in a million years dreamed that we would both be gallbladderless (yes, it’s a word), and he would be an entrepreneur. I am beyond astonished by Chris’ talents, strength, charm, character and love. It is hard for me to believe that he and his partners in crime have ventured into business together. But, then, I look back at my life with Chris even before we were married, and the writing was on the wall, I just didn’t look close enough…

I seriously think that Chris has been secretly grooming me for living life as an entrepreneurs wife. Starting eleven years ago, when I met Chris he was working 2 jobs. Soon after we officially started dating, he was working 3, oh and going to school full time. He worked as an RA, he was Ralphie (CU’s mascot) (wait, he was the dude pretending to be Ralphie online for the ever popular “Ask Ralphie” section of CU’s website, not the dude standing in the mascot costume at football or basketball games.), and worked for the CU Police Department as a student community service aide. This last job was pretty sweet. He got paid to stand on the roof tops of almost all the buildings on campus and watch for suspicious activity. The one not so cool part was that it was at night, and he didn’t get home until 3:30 AM.  Between all 3 jobs he literally worked all the time, and somehow managed to go to most of his classes, write papers blindfolded that got him decent grades and date me! Oh, and his senior year, he added on an internship with the Colorado Avalanche where he shot t-shirts out of canons to the fans, helped with the intermission hoopla, and was paid to hang out with the AV’s! If that was not an Intro to my Mrs. Entrepreneur’s degree, I don’t know what would have been!

I should have smelled the kool-aid powder back then, but I was enamored with this tall, deep voiced, handsome young boy who still had time to spend with me after working so hard at everything else he did. Then, we graduated from college, got married and moved to sunny Phoenix! The kool-aid powder was just the beginning to the sugary concoction that was in store for me!

 

Draw Something – Conrey Family Style

So, I know you all know about the new hotness that is, Draw Something. Well, Conrey and I play it every night before snuggling and drifting off to sleep cuddled in each others arms. I really mean, before I kick him to his side of our King size bed, surround myself with my fortress of pillows, and if he dares encroaches on my side I kick him! Well, I have added a a fun twist to our games. At the end of each of my drawings, I add a monster eating whatever it is that I drew. It is the highlight of my night, and yes I do giggle uncontrollably as I draw the monster eating a head with blood spurting out of its mouth! When Chris see’s the monster at the end, he giggles too.

Earlier this week, Conrey put a spin on our games by taking it away from the iPhone. If you didn’t know already, he loves to leave me love notes in silly ways around the house every so often. One of his favorites is to draw on our bathroom mirror. The other morning he drew this on my side of the mirror:

Draw Something on the Bathroom Mirror

Don’t you just love Conrey’s work? Well, he has been disappointed that I have not “guessed” what he drew as of yet. So, today I thought of the perfect response. Here it is, Conrey:

Of course the monster is eating Conrey & not me!

I love you Conrey. Life is never dull with you. You keep me on my toes, and I hope I keep your life just as interesting!

Who Knew…

I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I have always wanted to work with children. I have always loved the idea of being pregnant. I love my two girls more than I can explain, and I love being a Mommy. There isn’t a better career for which I’m suited. This is my passion and my bliss. It is also my worst nightmare at times.

Who knew that being pregnant and having babies would cause me anxiety, panic, and severe depression? I absolutely love being a Mom. I can’t wait to see what Amie comes up with next, and see what new words Emma is going to learn everyday. I love watching my girls grow into kids and I love guiding them to be the best they can be everyday, no matter how hard that part of my job is. It is just sad that for portions of my Mommyhood I have been, basically, in a depressed daze not being able to function as a person, a friend, a wife, and especially not as a Mom. I have weeks (sadly, months too) that I can’t remember what I did or how I did it.

Today, as I was driving Amie Lynn to school it dawned on me that I am not alone in this struggle and I am okay. We all have rough patches, we all find struggles in the things that we are most passionate about. I am no different. I just need time, a counselor and a psychiatrist to help me find my way out of the darkness. For the past two months…almost three…I can’t tell you what I have been doing. I guess I have been in bed or on the couch. I can’t remember conversations that I had with people, and sadly, I don’t know what I was doing with my girls. I know that a few months out of their whole childhood will not scar them, but somedays it hurts to know that I was just getting by. Today, the darkness is fading more, and there is light. There is excitement when I wake up about my two girls and the sprout in my oven!

Motherhood is hard. It is the hardest job I have always wanted to have and succeed at! I just hope that these phases in my life will shorten, and I begin to see the patterns faster. I hate not being able to function. So, even though my body doesn’t do well with pregnancies and my mind follows suit, I am hopeful for better, happier times ahead!

A Little VUURR Love

As many of you know, my husband along with three other very smart and talented men, Jonathan Kressaty, Scott Yacko and Chuck Reynolds, started a company about nine months ago named, VUURR. I have been in awe of VUURR since the day Chris called me to tell me about a conversation he had over a beer with two guys that I kind of knew from Gangplank. I had no clue what was on the horizon!  It struck me the other day, that without Gangplank and its vision of collaboration VUURR most likely would not be a company. VUURR was created because an opportunity arose for 4 guys to join forces doing what they do best, instead of doing it alone, with the backdrop of Gangplank cheering them on!

You know the old saying about 2 heads being better than one, well 4 heads are infinitely better than one. VUURR didn’t create a new amazing product, they are not going to make the new biggest hottness on the interwebs or your iPad. They are 4 guys who were doing their own 4 different things and when the timing was right they decided to join forces to make place where clients could one stop shop in order to get amazing results. So, far, VUURR has delivered to many different clients. They collaborated, and have not regretted their decision to this day. VUURR has synergy, amazing amounts of synergy!

Another amazing quality about the guys at VUURR is that they are not willing to break from a high standard that they have created. They are not out hiring just any developer, SEO strategiest, or ADWords consultants. They have high expectations, and they are not willing to bend those expectations. They are not afraid to tell clients, no if need be. If that means that they upset some people, that is okay, because they are willing to live dangerously and they aren’t scared about anything!

Without the backdrop of Gangplank, would VUURR exist? Would my husband be on this new adventure, and loving every moment of it? I don’t think so. So, thanks to Gangplank and pushing people to live dangerously every day.

Today’s Frustration – Education

Today, I have been very frustrated with our education system. It all started with seeing that this week is parent teacher conferences at my daughter’s school. She goes to a Pre-K through 8th grade school. So, yes this preschool does parent teacher conferences in the Fall and Spring. I immediately remembered the promises that the teacher made to my husband and I in the Fall about challenging my daughter, and sadly, those promises have not been kept. Yes, I have continued the conversations with her teacher about those promises. And, the day went on from there with me contemplating our whole education system, teachers, parents, and my frustrations from both sides of the table as a former teacher and now a parent.

I taught for 3 1/2 years in Higley USD and then in Florence USD. I was an aide for a year then I was an intern and a student teacher on top of that. I have always loved education. I have worked in day care, and I babysat starting at the age of 12. I love children, I love watching their “ah-ha” moments, and helping them through challenging situations. I love watching them grow socially, and seeing the joy on middle schoolers faces when you read them a story in their science class.

At 3 1/2 years I was burned out. I didn’t even make it to the statistical 5 years for burnout. I lost my passion for teaching and today I figured out why. It is a hypocritical system that drains teachers, and administrators. I am not talking about good teachers vs. bad teachers, and good schools vs. bad schools, I am talking about the root of education, the core of our system. It is hypocritical and needs changing. The system is set up now to produce factory workers, and puts kids in categories of ages, educational abilities and social abilities to get them to a growth line that was determined by a bureaucratic system . It is designed to educate children based on an economic platform that has been changing and is drastically changing still today.

As a teacher, you have the system constrains in which you need to fit. The school, and school district tells you what they are, and how they want you to conform to those standards. But, as a new teacher you went to college to get your teaching certificate, and in college right now young budding teachers are learning about how to differentiate instruction so that you hit each student at their own level and pace, how to get students to problem solve, how to get students to collaborate and problem solve through higher levels of questioning, how to demonstrate their knowledge in more ways than just pencil to paper like creating songs or videos to show that they have learned x, y & z about said topic. When the two ideas meet in the classroom there is a big struggle that occurs. One side is saying, make sure that all students have made one full year of growth and that is done via standardized test and the other side is saying make learning fun, new, challenging and make them think out side of pencil to paper so that kids aren’t left behind. CRASH!!! BOOM!!!! And, you have the hypocrisy that makes teachers heads spin. Sometimes the two messages come from the administrators as well. I applaud the schools that are starting to get teachers away from teaching to the tests, but sadly, at the end of the day, it is all about the standardized tests.  This one test is what determines a schools rating (Yes, even schools receive letter grades now), administrators and teachers pay, job security and reputations, and most importantly how much money the school will receive the following year.

It is very stressful for a teacher, an administrator, and the kids. At the school I used to teach at, we had a mandatory uh-oh meeting one day before school because a teacher told students that their job security and pay was on the line so they better all do their best and show up for the test!. Even though it’s the truth, there was discipline and discussion about how that wasn’t right.

I was a kindergarten teacher. I didn’t have to worry about bench mark testing, but we were a guinea pig school for trying out a benchmark test for kindergartners so that our district could rate the kindergarten teachers. It wasn’t enough that administration watched us teach a few times a year, and was constantly walking in on us at random points of almost every day. We too would need to be held to the same standard as every other teacher. It had to be done fairly, so pencil to bubble. But, most kindergartners couldn’t read, so that meant pulling each child back for a 35 question math test and a 35 question language arts test. It took a full 2 1/2 weeks of testing to complete.

It is all hypocritical, and I did my very best to teach kids at their level. I pulled kids back to hit them at their level, challenge each one, and make their learning experience fun, because it was kindergarten after all! But, after my second child was born I lost the enthusiasm to get back in the classroom. Today, I am on the other side of the parent teacher conference table. I am the parent who wants more for my child. I want her to be challenged, and I’m not getting it. I see nothing but fights ahead of me to make sure my kids are not just a part of this factory system.

I love my husband and my mother-in-law, but today both of them told me that preschool is not real school. That right there is another problem. Well, then kindergarten is just kindergarten, and there will be more opportunities for students to be challenged, and so on and so on. I am sitting on the other side of the table, and I want more. I want my children to be able to leave my home and rule whatever industry they decide to join. I want them to see around corners and make forward thinking changes. It is a frustrating problem, and I guess I need to pray that my children are blessed with amazing teachers. How sad is that?

You disappeared, again!?!?!

Yes, I have disappeared again. I am pregnant with baby #3, which is very exciting, but also very draining. After going through this 3 times, I have realized that the first trimester can go suck it! I don’t do well with being sick. Let me explain. I am not just talking about being nauseous and not feeling like eating, or a while after I eat I throw up, and then eat again. No, I am talking about feeling like I have food poisoning for days on end. Not being able to move my ass off the couch to take care of my girls and walking into the kitchen makes me puke just because it is the room that houses the nasty food that I don’t have a good relationship with at the present moment. At least this pregnancy I don’t have gall stones so the throwing up for 12 hours straight and going to the ER for much needed hydration and medicine to make it stop only happened twice and not 15 times! Chris is working on getting VUURR going, so telling him to get home cause I can’t do anything was not really an option. I willed myself to do the best I could with what I had. No one died, I think the girls will only be scared a wee little bit by the whole ordeal, and everyone still tells me they love me, and not in a, “if we don’t tell her we may not see tomorrow kind of way.”
But, the first trimester is past, and it will be my last first trimester. We are going to be a family of 5, and that makes me ecstatic! Three kids, lots of laughter, memories out the wazoo to make, three kids driving me crazy, three kids to clothe, feed, and put through college is everything I have wanted. I basically grew up an only child, and I have always dreamed of having a big family because of it.
So, now I am back, and ready to hit publish on my posts about all the little things in life that aggravate me, make me happy, or just plain dumb found me. The first one is all about people volunteering time. Who they volunteer for and why. Interesting questions I have from watching my husband give a ton of time to the community over the past few years.
I am back, and pending any other mental lapses, or physical for that matter I hope to stay a constant!

Where Have you Been?

You may be asking, Melissa, where have you been? Or you may be thinking, oh that’s right she started a blog last year and then stopped. Like so many others in the blogging universe I started a blog last year, and I stopped. I don’t know why I stopped, I mean I have drafts sitting on my Dashboard that I just never hit publish on. It may have been that I was working really hard on figuring myself out, and understanding my place in this world, that I got tired. I don’t just mean, oh look, Oprah is on, and her show is almost over, so I need to watch her instead of blogging. I mean I was mentally exhausted diving into the depths of myself and digging out junk that hurt. So, I am back, and this year there will be a post a week. They will not all be about me and my journey into sanity (HA HA, like that will ever happen, have you seen who I’m married to?). Some posts will be about my random thoughts of the day, and I will share small ways that I want to change the world, my love of cooking, my new found love of organizing. So, sit back, put me in your reader, or just book mark this page and visit how ever often you like. Oh, and Happy 2012 everyone. May this be the year that you start making others smile and stop worrying about why others aren’t trying to make you smile!

Godmother of the Gym!

Lifetime Fitness is a Godsend! Yes, the gym has given me a way to release my stress and focus my energy on being healthy. I can’t tell you how much having a place to go to relax, get sweaty, shake my butt to loud music looking like a dork but having a blast while doing it means to me. My daughters are well taken care of and they enjoy being there. Emma smiles up a storm, and the girls (and one boy) who watch the kids absolutely love her! Amie absolutely loves being there, and she says that she goes to the gym  to workout too because there is an actual gym just for the kids.

I never thought that a gym membership would have this affect on me. I have belonged to a few gyms in my life, and in college of course there was the student gym that I took classes at, worked out at, but I always took them for granted. I will never do that again. Me and Lifetime Fitness are tight. We are like peas and carrots. It is the cheese to my macaroni. I know that some don’t like gyms, such as Elizabeth Newlin. I on the other hand, love the gym. I kick people off machines and pump iron with the boys. They are not men until they can hang with me! No, seriously, I kick peeps off my favorite machine every time I go. Soon, people will see me coming and stop their reps, get up, & apologize for even attempting to use my machine! I already have the children’s center on speed dial to make reservations for Emma.  (The babies have to have reservations to make sure they don’t have 20 babies to 1 poor worker ratio. That one poor worker would be tied down to the play mat with one foot stuck in the bouncer and the other fastened in the swing faster than you can read this post!) And yes, soon, they will only need to hear my voice and say, “Yes, Mrs. Conrey, anytime you need us to watch Emma we will. They will deny other babies for me!  I will be the proverbial Godmother of the gym!

Here’s to getting healthy in 2011 and meeting a goal on my vision board!

Am I crazy?

So, these days I am constantly asking, “Am I crazy?” Chris has even instituted our house as a no “crazy” zone. That word is not to be spoken out loud when we are together. We joke about crazy stuff all the time, but right now, even the jokes make me wonder, am I? So, hence the “Go sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.” mentality.

I know that I am not “crazy.” What I am going through is due to my childhood, which I really didn’t have one, hence a lot of my issues.  I am learning how to deal with my reality as it is now, be happy in it, and not feel guilty that I am blessed enough to be at home with my sweet girls, do fun activities with them, have an amazing husband, have great friends and have hobbies!

Let me tell you, that is a lot tougher task than one would think. Boy, oh boy! Thank God for medication! I am so with Heather from dooce.com on this one! I can’t imagine how all over the board I would be without medication.

I looked up crazy on dictionary.com and this is what I found:

cra·zy

–adjective

1.

mentally deranged; demented; insane.
2.

senseless; impractical; totally unsound: a crazy scheme.
3.

Informal . intensely enthusiastic; passionately excited: crazy about baseball.
4.

Informal . very enamored or infatuated (usually followed by about ): He was crazy about her.
5.

Informal . intensely anxious or eager; impatient: I’m crazy to try those new skis.
6.

Informal . unusual; bizarre; singular: She always wears a crazy hat.
7.

Slang . wonderful; excellent; perfect: That’s crazy, man, crazy.
8.

likely to break or fall to pieces.
9.

weak, infirm, or sickly.
I want my crazy to mean number 7 – I want to be a total 70′s slang term! She’s crazy, man, crazy! I want to be referred to as crazy smart, crazy creative, crazy productive, crazy happy, etc. I am taking the word crazy back to mean how awesome I am! Because, let’s face it, I am pretty darn amazing.  Where do you think my husband, Conrey, gets his awesomeness from? That’s right, he gets it from me. I taught him everything he knows.
So, for now, the Conrey household will be a crazy free zone, until I am to the point of taking crazy back! When I get there I will let you all know, so you can start addressing me properly!

« Older entries