This month, January 2013, I am featuring a woman whom I'm so proud to call my friend. Although I have not known her for more than 2 years, I have watched her blossom and grow in her self made business, all while caring for her 2 babes and loving husband. She was the first person I thought of when I decided to host stories of others on my blog...She truly is a woman of much Grace and as you will see...a heart of Gratitude! Here is April's story...
I loved (and still do) sports so much that I earned a dual degree in Athletic Training and Physical Education. I had envisioned having a career of teaching sports during the day and being on the sidelines of football games and taking care of athletes in the evening. But a funny thing happened while I was in college…I fell in love. Never really imagined that I would find someone who loved me so much they wanted to spend their life with me, but it happened. And that was where the vision I had planned out for my life stopped and God’s plan took over! Today, life is totally different from what I had planned out, but I’m loving every minute of it!
A couple years after my husband and I got married I had this feeling come over me that just came out of nowhere. All the sudden I felt like I just wasn’t complete, something was missing. Out of nowhere my heart said “Yeah, it’s time to be a mom.” It wasn’t even anything I had to think about or fight with, I just felt it one day. Fast-forward a little and BAM… I was pregnant!
Now at this point I was still a tomboy at heart. I still didn’t like many girlie things, still didn’t like pink, and I really didn’t like dresses (still not a huge fan). So deep inside I felt like I was having a boy. I honestly couldn’t even imagine what it would be like having a little girl. Heck, basically everyone thought I was having a boy! Well surprise!!! It’s a girl! And from the moment I first held my little McKenzie, the tomboy in me started to step back a little and I finally let my girlie side come out.
|Kenzie modeling a tutu|
from Kenzies Treasures!
My husband has been blessed with a great job that allows me to be a stay at home mom. It is the BEST job in the world too! But, as every stay at home mom can relate, if you don’t have a hobby or something to do that can take your mind off of being a mom every now and then, you will GO NUTS!!! When Kenzie was just over a year old, I saw a tutu that a friend of a friend made. I thought hey, that would be fun to make for Kenzie! And that is where the next “so not me” adventure began!
One of my friends turned me on to a site called Etsy.com. I decided to open a shop on there just to see if I could sell a tutu here or there to help pay some bills. I named my store Kenzie’s Treasures, after my beautiful daughter who inspired it all. Never could I have imagined that it would grow to be what it is today! I have been open for almost 3 years and it is now a flourishing business!
So now my girlie side is in full swing when it comes to my store! I make tutus, tutu dresses, doll clothes, hair accessories, and even dog tutus! This is so not what I thought I would be doing in life, but God had a different plan for me, and I’m sure glad He did!
It’s tough sometimes having to juggle being a mom during the day, working on orders until all hours of the night to keep up, answering customers, and still trying to get enough sleep. But God has blessed me with a way to stay home and raise our two children, and still help earn money for our family. Not only that, but I have met a couple amazing people because of my business that have changed my life and the way I see certain things.
|April and her beautiful family|
One person in particular has helped me appreciate my children and life so much more. I was contacted by a couple different people within a short period of time through my store. I won’t go into detail, but one lady had a very difficult situation her daughter was being faced with, and the other lady was a co-founder of an organization that provides support and help for just such a situation. I knew it wasn’t a coincidence that these ladies had contacted me at the same time, God was showing me that I could use my store to help others who needed comfort.
I have since become good friends with Kate, the co-founder of the organization Project Sweet Peas. She, along with many other division leaders all over the country, help bring comfort and support to families and babies who are in the NICU, and to families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. It is an amazing, loving organization that I support with all my heart. Because Kate just happened to contact me through my store one day, I have gained a wonderful friend, learned to appreciate every moment with my children even more, and am reminded everyday that God’s love can bring us through even the hardest times.
So even though I thought I had a good plan laid out for my life, and I would never get into the “girlie girl” kind of stuff…it looks like there was a different plan in the works for me. And I’m ok with that, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I’ve learned to never dismiss anything as a possibility for the future, and to say “Ok God, what’s next?!”
|April is still has her tomboy moments...|
but now she share's her love of sports with her biggest fans!
|April and her Very Smart daughter, Kenzie!|