I wanted to tell you guys a little bit more about my story, so you would know why we do what we do and how we got here. I had a pretty normal life until about 3 years ago. Married to a hunk, 3 beautiful kids, nice home, fun hobbies, and living a pretty great country life. I had an awesome job working for a large holding company that owned Flirty Aprons, along with several other businesses. I had been running Flirty for several years and loved every minute of it! I have always thought of myself as a pretty determined person. I’m a fixer. I can dismantle a problem piece by piece and think it over and solve it. I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, and I’ve always been very organized by making lists…lots of lists. But, these characteristics have lead me to be able to contribute in my job and career and become a more valuable asset.
Our world came crashing down on April 15, 2015 when we took my husband into the hospital for what we thought was kidney stones. After doing some scans they discovered that he had a huge, rapidly growing tumor in his stomach and several others in his liver and lymph nodes. It was a terminal cancer diagnosis. They told us from day one that there was nothing they could do to cure him, and that we probably only had 3-6 months of time left. We were heartbroken. Every dream we had ever had for our little family was shattered into pieces. We were in shock. He was a healthy, active 40-year-old cowboy, who did all the “right” things. He lived an active, outdoor lifestyle. He ate healthy. He had a happy heart and was always doing something nice for someone else. How did this happen?
We didn’t have any answers. So, we went to work. We started eating vegan, we cut out all processed foods. We read all the books about alternative ways to cure cancer. We tried lots of alternative and naturopathic treatments. We were busily engaged in finding a way to heal him, since the doctors had no solutions. And for a little while, we thought it was helping. He was feeling better, and in a lot less pain. But, on June 13, 2015, just 8 weeks after he was diagnosed, he had a stroke. And on June 14 he passed away.
Our boys were 5, 7, and 10 at the time. And I remember driving to my parent’s house to tell them that their Dad was in heaven now, and thinking to myself, “I’m all they have left. I don’t know if I can do this alone. I don’t know if I’m strong enough.” In the blink of an eye, I had lost confidence and strength in my ability to go on. But, what choice did I have?
In the days and weeks right after he died, I found it very therapeutic to stay busy and always be doing something. So, I went back to full-time work, 3 days after his funeral. I threw myself into work, taking care of our little farm, the boys’ sports, our family hobbies, Crossfit and exercise...anything I could do to keep my mind busy and not dwelling on what we had lost. Little by little and step by step we got through some of the toughest days of our lives. Every day I was determined to just “get through it” and then wake up tomorrow to do it again. Every day we’d put one foot in front of the other and try to just survive the day. I learned to be really disciplined in everything I did. Being scheduled and organized helped me feel like I was in control of something, and it made me feel like I could fix something. Everything that had happened to our little family had been so sudden and crazy and out of my control. So, by doing this, I felt like I was getting a handle on my life again. I was ensuring that I was going to be able to, not only, provide for my little family on my own, but also try to find a way to actually be happy while I was doing it.
Slowly and steadily we started to make progress, not only in our personal lives, but in my business life as well. The discipline and strategic planning we had been doing had been planting seeds all along the way and laying the groundwork for some pretty fun and exciting changes for Flirty. We were starting to see results from all of that hard work. Our business was expanding and growing and we were adding new Flirty brands and products, and we were able to see how our efforts were making a difference in very obvious ways. Celebrities were starting to mention and fall in love with our “Flirty” products and wearing and customizing and promoting our stuff! Dozens of publications have recognized Flirty as one of the top Apron Manufacturers in the world. And now we have lots more to offer, besides just aprons. We have an all-natural, safe Organic line of soaps and cleaners for your home, and we have loads of amazing kitchen gadgets too. We’re starting to see now that the sky is the limit for us. We have so many resources at our fingertips and everyone that we have on our Flirty team has so much excitement about what we’re doing. Flirty is really a place that we love coming to every day.
I really don’t know what my life would be like if Jeremy hadn’t gotten sick. I’d like to think that I still would have done a lot of growing and learning, even if he was still here. But I do know that because of what happened I’ve done a lot of evolving and changing over the last few years, and lots and lots of little steps have led to some pretty big changes. Most of all, I want my boys to know that life can be so hard, and things go wrong. But, I want them to know that I will never give up. And I don’t want them to ever give up on being happy, on being successful in sports or school or work. I want them to look back at their childhood when they’re 30-years-old and know without a shadow of a doubt that I did everything in my power to love them, help them, teach them, and take care of them. I will always be someone they can count on. I truly believe in determination, discipline, sticking to it even when it’s hard, and following intuitions and gut feelings. And most importantly I believe in genuinely trying to have fun while we’re working towards our goals. I still have a long way to go, and a lot of dreams to still reach for. And I’m so grateful for all the heavenly and earthly angels who are helping me along the way.