Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9, 2008

Getting a little personal...


Well, to start off I'm not very good with words, so I'll do the best I can and hope you guys can bear with me. What I wanted to do today, is write down my experiences that I had four years ago today. Actually, I'm going to start back six and half years ago, because it will help you get a better idea of where my life was at. I was a stay-at-home mom to two cute little boys. I was enjoying motherhood, but was trying to find a way to earn a little extra money when I had this idea come to me in the middle the night. I wanted to do shoe parties!
There were all types of parties out there, but at the time there weren't any shoe parties! After a lot of work and convincing to my husband I figured out a way to do it. I promised him I would start out by hosting my own shoe party in our home. So I began the preparations with invitations, etc. I didn't tell anyone I invited about my little experiment. I wanted to see how it would fare and I didn’t want anyone doing me any favors. It was my test to see how well it was going to turn out, if this could really be a viable business.
My husband was a little skeptic and so he anxiously watched from the hallway as he saw woman after woman coming in and purchasing shoes, then leaving with their purchases that night. After the party ended, we counted the money and found it was a success! We had found something that women love, shoes! Not only that, but it was a fun way to shop with your friends.  All we had to do now was develop a way to make it work.
Now, at the time I was so excited about this new idea I came up with that I told my husband all I would have to do to take parties to others homes was pack up all the shoes in the car and take them to the hostess's homes and then unload my car each time, sell and then load it all back up and go home. Well, my husband was smart and said that after awhile that would get really old and I would get burnt our really fast. Looking back now, he was absolutely right, so instead we came up with a way to make a mobile shoe party. It took lots of hard work and trial and error to get our system developed. Yet, we did it! We developed a shoe store on wheels. We purchased a 7x16 foot long trailer and built out shelving and restraints to keep the product in an organized fashion. Then we showed up to people’s homes and set up a display then let the fun begin. The customers loved the idea of trying it on and taking it home with them in the same night!
It didn’t take long for the parties to take off. It was a unique idea and come on, it was shoes! People were able to host parties, get all the girls together and earn free product off of their friend’s purchases. I was so busy with parties that I was months booked out! It didn’t take long until I had multiple people coming to me wanting to be a part of our system and sell shoes. We started selling franchises which not only was a benefit to me and my family but it also allowed other moms to make money, without having to work too much out of the home. I loved that part, I felt like I was helping families. This also helped our franchise business to grow. Due to the growth of our business we were quickly getting too cramped where we were living and we made the decision to start building our first home. Life was busy with a growing business, building a home, running our other business (my husband and I also owned a Smoothie/Sandwich/Salad restaurant, but he mainly took care of that) and on top of that we were expecting our third baby! Things were exciting, not only with business, but also with our family. We found out we were expecting our first baby girl and we were so excited! I felt like I was on top of the world and at other times I wondered how I could manage everything! Overall things were going really well.
When I was 7 months pregnant we found out I needed to be on moderate bed rest. How was I supposed to keep up with my very busy schedule? Our house was getting closer to being finished and quite honestly I couldn’t wait for that. My plate was full and I kept thinking that having the house done would be one less thing I would have to worry about. This part of the story brings me to four years ago.
We had just sold our 9th franchise, which always requires tons of work. Things were crazy at our house. My mom knew we had a lot to work to do and she didn’t want me over doing it so she offered to take my kids for the weekend so I could relax and take it easy.   We finished the trailer and spent a little time resting and then we started the drive out to my mom’s house to pick up the kids and have a little family dinner. My mom lives out in the beautiful country and so we always enjoy our drives there. We thought this would be just like any other.
On the way home my husband and I discussed the week ahead, talked about what kind of light fixtures we wanted to put in our new home, etc. It was dark driving on this one lane highway. I was always on the watch for deer on these drives so in the dark they seemed more intense. The next thing we knew a big truck was coming at us with their brights on. This blinded us for a second as we were turning the corner, when the next thing we knew there were three black cows in the middle of the road. Driving 65 miles per hour doesn’t give much time for reaction. I don't remember anything; I don't even remember seeing the cows, although my kids in the backseat said that I screamed so I must've seen them.
Before we knew it, we collided with one of the black cows. The cow came through the windshield on my side (the passenger side of the car) where he collided/kissed my face! The impact turned our car and made it go down to the right side of the road into a little swampy area with big tall weeds. My husband said at first he thought I was ejected because it was so dark and all he saw was a big hole in the windshield. He quickly realized that I was laying there bleeding profusely my head. My husband knew immediately that it was an emergency, so he tried to call 911, but there was no cell phone reception. He told my boys to wait there while he went to go get help.
My husband walked up to the side of the road and in the process another vehicle drove over the cow we hit that was still lying in the road. My oldest son (5 years at the time) said that he heard that big noise and thought that dad got hit by a car, so he unbuckled his seat belt and got out of his car seat. He then says he came and shook my shoulder saying, “Mom, wake up, wake up, we need you. Mom, please wake up, we need your help.” Obviously, I wasn’t much help unconscious. Luckily, my husband didn't get hit by a car and came back down the hill and was able to get the kids out of the car quickly so that they didn't have to watch me, their mom lying there unconscious. The highway patrolman called me a fatality and said they were just trying to save the life of my unborn baby.
The first ambulance arrived where they took me out of the car and got me on the way to the nearest hospital. I found out later that my husband rode with me in the ambulance. I asked him, “Why did you do that? Why did you leave our two little kids by themselves?” He said that they were waiting for another ambulance to arrive and that he had to have faith and trust the people in charge would take care of our kids and do the things that were best for them  I learned about a family that let my boys sit in their car while they worked to get me out of the car and to keep them away from me. What a blessing! I wish I knew who they were to thank them. It really means a lot to me, still to this day.
I went by ambulance to the nearest hospital where they quickly determined that they were going to be unable to take care of me so they called for life flight where they were sending me to the top trauma hospital in our state. My husband was unable to come in the helicopter with me so he quickly got in the car and started his trek to the hospital. Once I arrived they put me through tests and then I quickly underwent major surgery. They found through 3d scans that my damage was intense and prepared my family for the worst.
 My face was shattered from the top of my jaw up to the middle of my skull. Once they cut me open they realized quickly that the little bones that were left intact would shatter when they would try and screw plates and screws into them. Any bone that was left was unstable and fragile. The doctor said they had to vacuum the bones out my face. My first surgery went a little over eight hours when my heart rate was dropping so they had to quickly stitch me up. I was place in the ICU and had to wait to get strong enough to go in for surgery again Because they were unable to finish what they started my family said they sat by my bed and had to listen to the bones crunching anytime I moved my face. They watched as I sucked through a straw and witnessed my face sinking in. My husband said it was horrible to watch.
A few days later I went under another major surgery for another eight hours where they were able to go in and work more on my face and head. When I woke up my eyes were stitched closed and my mouth was wired shut with a breathing tube down my throat. I remember feeling very claustrophobic. I couldn’t see anything, so all I had was my sense of touch and sound. I longed for the touch of my husband and mothers hand. I hated the time I was all alone when they made my family leave during nurse shift changes. I remember them telling my family to go home one night and get some rest because they had given me so many drugs that I would be out of it. Well, I wasn’t! That was the worst night of my life! I was scared and felt so alone. I started to imagine that I had been sent to a misfit place out in the middle of nowhere and I wondered if I would ever get to go home.  I would always be thinking about all the business things that needed to be done and how my kids were holding up. I worried about my unborn baby and prayed she would be ok. Because my right arm was also broken I was in a cast from my shoulder to my fingertips. I am right-handed so that meant I couldn't even write. I love to communicate, so not being able to talk was really hard for me. I would try to write with my left hand to get messages to those around me. They were usually a scribbled mess with something like, “Don’t leave me”, and “I need you to do this for the business” and “How are my kids and the baby?” It’s amazing when you don't have certain senses how much you learn to appreciate and be grateful for all you do have.
The doctors kept saying, “You are a miracle!” “You should be brain-dead!” “We can't believe you're okay!” “You should have never survived that impact!” To go with all of that, they couldn’t believe that my little baby was still inside my tummy. She was a huge miracle! They even had a place reserved for her on our hospital bill in the NICU. The doctors monitored her extensively and they gave her a steroid shot to help her develop her lungs because they really did not think that she would stay in the womb. They watched her closely as I was having contractions but she was a fighter and she was not ready to come out! Lucky for our family she did camp out a little longer and didn’t make her appearance until she was only a week early!
The days and nights all blended together while I lay in the hospital. I recently learned about family members that were grateful I couldn’t see during most of my stay, because they would sit next to me and hold my hand while they cried. While tears streamed down their face they would comfort me with their “fake” strong voices. I know that really did help me stay positive. I remember lying in my hospital bed and not being able to breathe on my own.  I remember wanting to drink water so bad. After they removed the breathing tube, I had to pass a swallow test. I failed my first one and I was devastated. I barely made it through the 2nd test a long while later. I learned that drinking water is a wonderful blessing that I took for granted before. Having my eyes stitched closed only complicated the situation.
Yet, while I laid there I couldn't help but be grateful that no one else in my car was injured that night.  I was so grateful that I was the only one that took a hit. It could've been a lot worse; I could've lost my entire family that night. They say that when you hit a cow, they usually end up in the backseat. If that happened in our case it would have killed my two little boys. I don’t remember ever feeling sorry for myself, as I laid there in pain. I felt a lot stronger than I thought I was. I understood what really mattered and was so grateful for all the miracles that happened that night.
Once I got out of the ICU my husband still stayed with me around the clock, but as I got stronger I wanted him to go home and start getting caught up on things and visit with the kids and I will never forget my husband coming back and telling me his Home Depot story. He had to pick out all the light fixtures for our new house because the electrician needed them asap. He was so worried that I wouldn’t like them, or I would want something else. He told me how stressful it was and I remember looking at him and saying, “I don’t even care, that stuff doesn’t even matter.” I really did feel that way. Those are just things and I had what mattered most, my family.  By the way, he did a great job!
 When it finally came time for my stitches to come out of my eyes I'll never forget the first time I got up and saw my face. I’m a redhead, and there aren’t many redheads around, so when the nurse helped me up to the mirror all I saw was a very swollen, bruised, cut, very unattractive redhead. I was wondering what had happened to this poor girl? When I looked behind me I realized this poor person was me and right then and there I had a decision to make. I could lose all of Cari or I could lose the exterior Cari. I felt like time stood still and I quickly made the decision that I was Cari and I dint want to lose who I was. Just because my exterior had changed, that didn’t mean the inside needed to too. The funny thing throughout all of this, was the time that I was able to talk to those around me, I found myself joking with the nurses and having a good time. I laid there in bed, I didn't see what I looked like and I didn't know the extent of the damages. I was Cari. I knew things were bad, but I guess I never thought it would affect the way that I looked, it would just all heal back the way it was. I wish that had been the case, but even though it wasn’t, I knew I was still blessed.
I remember going through physical therapy I was required to go up two stairs and then go back down. I did the two stairs and I looked at my therapist and I said, “No I can do more, don't let me get away with just doing two!” He didn’t know who Cari was. I am not one person to let things be easy for me, infact most things in my life weren’t easy! Being a mom isn’t always easy, starting a business is not an easy thing to do both require lots of questions you have to answer, and a lot of things you have to learn. These were things that I, Cari would do, why would I stop now? I had to push myself when I opened up the business and so I learned I could use the same things that I learned in business to help me push through recovery. My doctor was amazed at my progress and I begged him to go home. I missed my kids so much and I was dying to see the progress of our new home. The time finally came when I would get to start phase two of this adventure at home…

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Grab yours before they are gone!

This weekend we are having an AMAZING SALE you wont want to miss. Get the hottest item out there right now! We have the MINT colored SKINNY jean available for $15 off!!! That's HUGE! Just go to our website and enter MINT15 as the coupon code and get $15 off your mint jean purchase! If you add more to your cart and order $40 or more after coupon/discount have been applied you can get FREE shipping! When they are gone, they are gone! So don't wait, get yours now while we still have your size! This is available ONLINE ONLY!

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New website!

Come support our new website. New products will be added daily! Pass the word along! You can even host an online shoe party!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jeans, jeans, jeans!!

I am so happy to announce that we finally have a few styles of jeans on our website! These jeans are to die for! They are the jeans that make you look good in all the right places and they are SO comfortable! I guess this is the benefit to being sick, I lay in bed all day and get all the things done that I have been putting off! So have a look and get yourself caught looking GOOD in these jeans!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Merry Christmas From Sole Desires!

You have got to check this out, this is going to be an awesome event that I am inviting you and your loved ones to participate in. My husband and I have both worked with Michael Banks in the Body By Banks Program and we want to share it with you! He is the best! Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quote of the Day!

What's your FAVORITE pair of shoes?

"That's a tough question. It's like asking a parent to pick a fovorite child."

--Kenneth Cole (Feb 1996)

Quote for the day!

"Shoes affect the mood of an outfit. They complete the WHOLE picture-the image I have in my mind."
--Calvin Klein (June 1997)