Sunday, October 30, 2016

Microtia...what's microtia??

Micro....what?  Microtia. (pronounced micro-sha).  So here's your public service announcement regarding a bit more information on microtia. I would like to share on a very basic level what microtia/atresia is and how it can be treated.  If nothing else, I love to learn new things.  Maybe you do too.

Microtia is a congenital occurrence where the external ear is underdeveloped.  The outer ear may be small, malformed, or absent. The name comes from the Latin words meaning little ear. This condition can be unilateral (one side only) or bilateral (affecting both sides).  The exact cause for microtia is unknown, though the CDC recently cited maternal diabetes and mother's diet likely risk factors for microtia. (  Approximately one in every 9,000 children is born with microtia.    Microtia is often accompanied by atresia or the absence/closure of the external auditory ear canal (atresia is Latin for absence of an opening).  A child with microtia encounters hearing impairment due to the loss of outer ear structures.  

For a child with microtia, establishing optimal hearing is of utmost priority.  This can usually be accomplished with a bone assisted hearing device.  This type of hearing aide vibrates the skull, sending vibrations to the bones surrounding the cochlea, where hearing signal is received and sent to the brain. Essentially bypassing the ear canal and getting sound inside one's head.  Initially this hearing device may be worn with a soft band around the child's head until appropriate skull growth has occurred. 

Once the child is big enough, titanium rods or abutments are placed into the child's skull, where the hearing device can be attached.  If a child has microtia bilaterallly, then two hearing devices, one on each side, are recommended for the best surround sound hearing.  

Once hearing is established, it is recommended that a family take their time to explore ear reconstructive options.  There are four major options available, with new progress being made daily!  Options include 1. Rib graft-taking a child's own rib cartilage to create their new ear structure 2. Medpor ear implant with a skin flap placed over new ear 3. Ear prosthesis that can be removed as needed 4. No corrective surgery.  Each of these options come with their own pros and cons, making the decision process challenging.  Add in the social stress that can accompany microtia, and it is hard for parents to know what is best for their child.  

Because of these challenges, it is important for those with microtia to realize there is a community of support, information, early intervention, and awareness available to children, adults, and family members.  EAR COMMUNITY was created to provide awareness and information for those encountering microtia/atresia in their own life or one of a family member. is available worldwide and provides information on hearing devices, surgery, emotional support, and daily living with microtia.  

It is with great excitement that Ear Community announces NOVEMBER 9th to be the first annual National Microtia Awareness Day!!!  This day will be used to provide awareness on microtia and education on resources available.  We want to encourage any who are interested to support this FIRST annual day by purchasing a microtia awarenss t-shirt and wear it on November 9th.  The Hurleys will be taking pictures in our blue ribbon shirts and posting them on social media using #MicrotiaAwarenessDay #EarCommunity.  The deadline for ordering tshirts in time is November 1st so get your official tshirt HERE!   All tshirt proceeds will go to support children and adults with microtia and atresia.  (As a side note, most hearing assistive devices are not covered by insurance so your money will likely help others HEAR!)

So there you have it......a big announcement and a bit more information on microtia.  You can read the official press release HERE.  Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Grateful: Day 3 with Oticon

When I had first reviewed our itinerary for our weekend with Oticon, I noted that Sunday morning had three hours marked for brunch, including time to "mingle with your new friends" (said the program).  I remember thinking, "Wow!  What will we do that entire time?!?"  Its funny now.  Our final morning in New Jersey had us up and packed and feeling a bit sad to not have more time with our new friends.  There was still so much I wanted to ask, wanted to learn.

We met at the Oticon dining room for brunch and visited for a bit.  After eating, the kids quickly joined in play together.  For a short period, we could not find Brody......only to discover him "camping" under the table with his friends.

After some free time, Oticon provided stations where we could talk to the staff about products, insurance assistance, and social media.  I had so many questions.....I never made it to all the stations! Each of the staff members were so kind and patient with us, answering each of my questions and helping in my desire to know more about pontos, surgery, and maximal hearing for Brody.  They provided each ponto wearer with very generous gifts.  Brody was excited to receive blue hearing aids like his friend (actually skins to cover his current pontos).  It was during this time that all of my emotions caught up with me.  Travis and I were discussing a hearing product with one of the audiologists and I could feel the tears coming.  I blinked lots and worked hard to suppress them but I could not stop thinking about all Oticon had done for us.  Then it happened.  Brody ran up to me and said, "Momma, look!!! Hearing aides!" and the tears came.  Oticon gave him a stuffed monkey who also wears a ponto hearing device behind one ear.  I could not believe it.  There was nothing they had not thought of......(well, except tissues.  I really needed tissues at this point. :)

Our time together ended with a few awards for the group's star creators, connectors, and socializers.  I was slightly paying attention when I noticed Brody's picture was on the screen.  Our little guy was honored with the Star Socializer.  The thought of it still makes me smile.

As parents, we were worried about Brody enduring the weekend with so many new experiences and people but instead he shined!  He made friends, he chatted with them, he played with them, he learned from them.  For all our days together, we as Brody's family have helped him communicate by interpreting his signs and now his speech.  This weekend, Brody communicated and made friends all on his own.  It was a beautiful and exciting thing to watch.  

So as we said our goodbyes, shed a few tears, and hugged our new friends, our hearts were so very full.  Full of the reminder that goodness still exists.  Full of family time, new memories, and treasured new friends.  Full of empowerment to research, speak out, and share.  Full of hope for the future.  Full of gratitude.  

Thanks Lord for making it all possible.  We thank you for our friends at Oticon and pray your blessing on them as they continue a good work.  Thank you.

Because sound matters: Day 2 with Oticon

It was day 2 on our Oticon adventure and we awoke anxious for all that the day had in store!  Our schedule was busy!  Conference from nine to five at the Oticon offices, followed by dinner and entertainment in New York City.  Prior to our trip, we had been a bit anxious about how Brody would do in so many new situations.  Though he does have a friendly personality, Brody still tends to cling and stop communicating when he is uncomfortable.  (Side note: Just the week before, Brody chose not to participate in his speech session with his teacher of two years because she had a student observing their session.  He remained uninvolved most all of the session.)  I mention all of this to say these concerns now seem silly.  Brody was friendly, excited, and outgoing from the beginning of our trip and did not waver despite the many new situations and people he encountered.  These were his friends! (That's what he kept telling us!)  So while Travis and I prepared for a day of learning, Brody headed to "camp", a day filled with crafting, games, and play in a room near to us at Oticon's offices.

I took eight pages of notes during the day and while I am sure you do not want to read the nitty gritty details, I must cover the highlights!

Our morning started with Alan Raffauf (Vice President, Marketing of Oticon Medical US) who reviewed the basics on bone anchored hearing systems, new products (Ponto 3 SuperPower!), and challenges Oticon wants to address.  We learned that ponto (the name of Brody's bone anchored hearing device) is Latin for bridge.  That is so neat!  In bone anchored hearing, sound stimulates the device which vibrates the bone around the cochlea, sending the hearing signal to the brain.  All while bypassing the ear and ear canal!  We heard from Tory Burns, an audiologist with Oticon and fellow ponto user.  He shared with us his personal experience as well as the new very much improved MIPS surgery for the placement of Brody's abutment (titanium post placed in skull that ponto attaches to).  This surgery is specific to Oticon devices allowing minimal scars, no sutures, shorter healing times, and less complications than the previous techniques for placing the abutments.  We learned about the immense community of support and advocacy thru Melissa Tumblin, mother to Ally, also a ponto user.  Melissa is the founder of,  a website loaded with information and resources related to microtia and atresia.  They assist with educating, creating awareness, providing picnics where families can gather, helping those in need receive a donated device, scholarships, and so much more!  Melissa also made a huge announcement related to advocacy for microtia.....stay tuned because I will be writing a specific post on this.  Next we heard from Angela and Sarah Sabal.  Sarah is a sixteen year old beautiful young lady with bilateral microtia, ear reconstruction, and ponto user.  I cannot tell her story because it is hers to tell but I will say that she left this Momma feeling oh so hopeful for Brody's future.  She was a picture of grace, courage, and perseverance.  Her mother, Angela, directs several facebook groups related to microtia inlcuding a kids' club.  Camilla Gilbert is a beautiful young woman who shared her lifetime journey to hearing.  She shared the struggles and the triumphs.  I mention each of these by name because they were so special to us.  Up until this point, we had little contact with people who were walking a similar road as Brody's....the journey to hear and all that entails.  By the end of the morning, I felt overwhelmed by the support and resources available but also felt almost neglectful that I had not reached out to these sooner.  I was really beating myself up.  As I've had a bit of time to reflect, I think we were so busy upon Brody's arrival home with adjusting, providing for our children's needs, and visiting so many medical appointments, it all just seemed too much.  Thankfully we met each of these new friends at just the right time and before any major decisions for Brody's health have been made.  God's timing is perfect.  

Believe it or not....that was just our morning!  It was time for lunch and when we were reunited with Brody, it appeared he was doing just fine.  Actually, he was great!  He informed us he was eating at the kids' table.

If you are still reading....well, bless you! Here's where it gets good. :) At this point in the day we were not only overwhelmed with information but with the genuine goodness of the Oticon staff. Oticon's founding principle is "People first."  They do not just speak this but live it.  Many of the staff traveled across the country (or around the world!....two from Denmark!) to be with us for the weekend.  They took time away from their families, gave up their weekend off and instead listened to us.  I have worked in healthcare for almost twenty years and this is the best example of making the client priority that I have EVER witnessed.  The staff traveled with us, ate meals with us, taught us, listened to our stories, laughed and cried with us, and genuinely cared!  In all honesty, we did not pick Oticon when choosing Brody's bone assisted hearing device.  Instead that is what was provided to us, the only option that was paid for by our services.  BUT OH MY how that was God providing again when we did not even realize it!!!  What a blessing that we received Oticon products for Brody.  Not only did God provide him the best hearing for now but the most amazing staff to support and encourage us!  We continue to stand amazed at God's provision in our lives.

Our afternoon was filled with information related to insurance/reimbursement, methods of advocating, and brainstorming.  The ponto users and families shared takeaways from the day, suggestions for Oticon, and ideas for the future.  No big deal, right?  Here's the difference, Oticon staff listened.  We spoke, shared, and wrote down our ideas.  I heard the Vice President say, "If two people write it down, we really need to consider it."  Wow.  So many could model themselves after Oticon's customer service!  Our conference day ended with workshops and I played on Canva to create an image that promotes Brody's product.  It helps that he has a great smile. 

Well our day was not over yet!  Together we traveled into the city where we boarded the Spirit of New Jersey for a dinner cruise on the Hudson River.  We enjoyed beautiful views of the New York city skyline, including the Freedom Tower, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and Statue of Liberty.  What a treat!!!

After enjoying the beautiful sights, our day ended with dessert and a dance party inside the boat. Brody took the lead when he grabbed Ally for a slow dance.  He even kissed her hand when the dance was over! Then the music picked up and so did the dance moves!  

The kids, big and small,  had a great time taking over the dance floor.  And yes, we were definitely surprised by Brody's dance moves!  It was a fantastic ending to a jam-packed, overwhelmingly good day.  

Thank you, Oticon.  Sound does matter.  Our son is proof of that. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Goodness still exists: an Oticon adventure day 1

Generosity. Caring. Selflessness. Pursuit of excellence.  Customer first.  These principles are not extinct.  I know because I witnessed them and so much more at our recent weekend to Oticon's 2016 Patient Advocate Workshop: The Next Wave.  That title is a lot of words that hardly describes what we experienced.  I want to shout from the hilltops my gratitude....but instead let's just start at the beginning.

This past July, I received an email from an unknown person inviting my husband, youngest child, and I to New Jersey (all expenses paid!).  When I read the email, I immediately thought, "This is too good to be true."  I shared it with my husband, he replied the very same words and so we dismissed it.  Within a week, I received another email with the same invitation and asking for our reply.  I put it to the side for several days and finally decided to give a call to find out more.  What I discovered is that Oticon hosts an annual conference for ponto users(bone assisted hearing device that Brody wears).  Those invited would consist of children and adults.  It would be an opportunity for us to learn, share, and know others with similar situations/challenges.  We discussed it and of course agreed!

Fast forward 3 months to the week of the conference.  We had thought little about it and once receiving the itinerary for the weekend, we knew we were in for a treat!  My excitement was starting to build.  Travis not so much.  He still felt uncertain and when a limo arrived at the airport in Newark, Travis wondered if we should really get inside.  (Brody did not think twice!)

We enjoyed our hour drive from Newark to our hotel, stretched out in the limo.  Travis might have played with the interior lights and gadgets. :)

Feeling tired, we checked into our hotel and made our way to the room.  As we did, we noticed others in the lobby wearing the ponto hearing device.  Hmmmm......"people like our Brody" we thought, and our interest had been sparked.  We freshened up and returned to the lobby for our name tags and instructions from Oticon staff.  While waiting in line, our Brody began tugging on my sleeve and pointing to another little Asian boy.  As I noticed him for the first time, I saw he was doing the same thing to his Momma.  I took Brody to this handsome boy with a beautiful smile and we had introductions.  There was an immediate bond.  These two boys have so much in common.  By the looks on their faces, they must have felt the instant connection also.  

Travis, Brody and I made our way across the street to the delicious Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant. Brody was already drawing attention in his favorite light up shoes. 

At Maggiano's we began to mingle amongst other ponto users and the Oticon staff. There were so many staff members present, smiling, greeting us, interested in our Brody.  Immediately, you could feel the genuine caring.  Confession here, I had never before considered the people behind the brand Oticon that our son wore daily.  Suddenly we were face to face with THESE people and boy did they care! Our Friday evening was filled with excitement.  We ate delicious Italian food, met so many fantastic people, and each ponto user shared their personal story to hearing.  We heard stories from adults with sudden onset deafness, young adults who had worn many hearing devices, successful college students creating awareness for hearing impairments/microtia, teenagers dealing with being different, and children born hearing impaired.  And for those curious, some ponto wearers have two ears, some have one "normal" ear, and some have no "normal" ears.  The theme was clear: Oticon pontos had allowed hearing in each person's life and therefore improved learning, development, play, careers, school endeavors, and relationships. Adults and children were not just hearing but hearing well!!!

Sharing a tiny bit of Brody's story...he even said, "Hello!"

Brody became instant friends with Ms Lindzee, Oticon rep & audiologist.

So many beautiful, touching, life-changing stories!  It was inspiring!.....and the weekend was just beginning.  Despite our fatigue, we already felt encouraged and looked forward to a fantastic weekend with this diverse yet united group.  We went to bed with our bellies full, our hearts warmed, and our minds anticipating knowledge not yet known. 

To be continued.........

Monday, May 23, 2016

Family Day 2016!

This was us 2 years ago.

And this is us today.

When I look at this current picture, I see love, joy, God's faithfulness, lessons learned (yes, more wrinkles and less hair for some. Ugh, hum!!), and wisdom gained.  No, I suppose it has not been all smiles.  Yes there has been growing pains and adjustments but boy oh boy, the joys FAR outweigh the pains.  The Lord is so very good to us!

Today is a day of celebration!  Much like we celebrate our day of birth; today we celebrate the uniting of our family as five.  It's Family Day 2016!!! We are joyful to be celebrating this day together!  Our two years as a family of five have gone so fast and yet it seems that it has always been the five of us.  

All day my mind has been reminiscing about this special day that my family was reunited two years ago.  The past several days I have recounted this week in my mind: the travel, the anticipation, the concerns, the excitement, the steps our feet took in Hong Kong that ultimately led us to our son, the emotional reunion (read more here),  the fear, the love, the joy, the new beginnings, the awful travel home (the nitty gritty travel details), and the beautiful reunion.  My mind has relived the moments, the memories that led up to our family's gathering at a small east Tennessee airport.  Today is about remembering and celebrating how God can create a family from two opposite sides of the world through His amazing love.

You see no matter how a family is formed, it is special.  Each June, I remember the anticipation and excitement leading up to our oldest son's birth.  Each May, I share the memories and crazy details that brought our daughter into the world (an exciting story to say the least! this story really needs its own blog post!) and each May 23rd, we celebrate our youngest son's union into our family.  Though his birthday is in July and we love to celebrate his day of birth, we do not have the memories leading up to that day or know the anticipation of his arrival but we do know that May 23rd, 2014, the Lord blessed us again in such a great and mighty way that only His hand could.

 His hand led us to our son in a clear and direct manner.  His hand held ours as we awaited our son's arrival home (and it felt like forever!).  His Hand provided for our every need: financially, spiritually, emotionally. His hand brought us to a family of believers to worship with and encourage one another (on the other side of the world).  His hand provided safety during travel.  His hand comforted our family while we were separated.  His hand united us, though strangers.  His hand carried us through rough, challenging days of misunderstanding.  His hand brought us trustworthy, caring health care providers to assist in meeting Brody's needs.  His hand shapes us to be parents to meet our children's needs.  His hand continues to guide and direct us.....if only we choose to follow.  I love the tender image in my mind when I read from Isaiah 41,

The Creator of all the Earth is holding my hand!  And yes, most days He is holding me UP with His right hand.  What a "great love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God!" I John 3:1 This love is too great to contain!  Share it.  Live it.  Maybe your opportunity to live out His love is through a warm smile to a lonely stranger, through an encouraging note sent to a struggling friend, through a meal provided to someone in need, through sharing your story of faith with one who's lost, through sacrificing a worldly comfort to support a Compassion child, through loving the difficult to love.  Whatever small next step you need to take, step out.  Follow His hand and love others well.  The rewards, though unplanned, are great. 

Happy Family Day Hurleys! Love each other well.

Friday, February 26, 2016

An open letter to my child's interventionist, therapist & teacher

Dear teacher, interventionist, therapist of challenged kids,

Thank you.  Thank you for the times you worked through my child's fits, tears, screams,and kicks. Thank you for gently redirecting my child when on the brink of a meltdown.  Thank you for loving my child exactly how he is....not attempting to change him but to encourage the best in him.  Thank you for taking the time to listen to me about my concerns for our child.  Thank you for gently smiling and continuing to work with my child when you see those tears in my eyes.  Sometimes they are tears of pure joy and amazement.  Sometimes they are tears of overwhelming frustration but you never ask which tears they are, you simply smile and continue on.  Your smile tells me that you understand and that yes he is amazing and yes this can be frustrating but we  will continue to work together.

Thank you for having my child on your case load but teaching me too.  So often your gentle reminders, calm voice, methods of redirection come to my mind as I am caring for my child.  I am learning too.  I am learning we are all capable of more.  I am learning to challenge and push myself, just like you challenge my child.

Thank you for the extras.  The crafts, the gifts, the hugs, the rewards, the making my child feel like he is the only student you have.  I know you have other students, in fact you might just have children of your own but you bring patience and grace to each moment with our son.  Thank you for celebrating the little milestones with us, the ones most people take for granted. Thank you for not comparing him to others.  Thank you for giving your all.  For discovering new methods of teaching that will meet our son's specific needs and challenges.  Thank you for making all the therapy fun, diverse, and not so much like work.  Thank you for persevering, for pressing on, for not giving up on us.

Oh, and for the other parents....the ones who are too overwhelmed, too frustrated, too unsure to take a moment to say thank you, we thank you!  We see you loving each of our children and their unique qualities.  We see your heart breaking for some dismal circumstances.  We see you caring.  We see your sacrifice.  Thank you for loving, teaching, guiding, and challenging our children.

You encourage us.  You challenge us.  You are making a difference and we will be forever grateful.

May you be blessed as you have richly blessed us!

An Indebted Mommy

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Here's what GRATITUDE looks like today.

Gratitude each day looks different and yet the same.  There are the constant promises: forgiving love, mercy, grace, eternal life, peace and joy in turmoil that are always present.  There are many other constants: a comfortable home, food, caring family, encouraging friends, loving church family, health and so much more.  These are the gratitudes that remain the same.  The ones summed up in our little one's frequent prayers,

"Dear God, Thank you for everything you've given us.  Thank you for taking care of us."

Yes, thank you, Lord.  Your goodness is so great, it seems impossible to list all the ways you provide.

Then there are the gratitudes that change by the day.  The things I have to open my eyes to in the everyday, normal, and mostly chaotic of days.  The things that might be harder to see when the day has been challenging, frustrating, overwhelming.  These are the gratitudes that change and here are mine for today.

Today I'm thankful for....

1. doctors, dentists, and easy to obtain medical care.  With five medical appointments in the past week between two of our children, it is easy to think, "Oh no, not another doctor's visit.  Not another copay!" but today I'm choosing to say thank you Lord!  You have provided professionals that have the knowledge to care for my children and make them feel better.  We have medical care closely available and affordable.  Thank you.

2. compassionate professionals.  Two of our very recent family situations come to mind.  Just yesterday my husband was stopped by a police officer.  My husband deserved great penalty.  What he received was compassion and understanding.  We know he did not deserve it and that makes one all the more grateful.  Just a few days before our middle child was suffering with a swollen face and great oral pain.  A professional who did not even know us, intervened with compassion and care.  She provided an intervention that has provided our child pain relief, a treatment plan, and the road to healing.  Thank you.

3. snow.  Now, if I'm being honest, I do not like snow.  Nope.  I grew up in northern Illinois where we endured at least six months of winter and plenty of snow.  More than once there was snow on my birthday......the very end of May.  So needless to say, I feel like my snow tank is full.  But then a day like today creeps upon us and I am surprisingly grateful for snow!  Here in eastern Tennessee, snow brings beauty, terrible driving conditions, and closings.  Yep, all the unnecessary businesses close and life slows down.  AND that is the part I like.  I enjoy a day or two at home with my family of five near, warm, playing, eating, and peaceful.  I like the opportunity to stay in.  Thank you, Lord, for the snow.

As a part of the Raising Grateful Kids launch team (Kristen's book will be released January 26th! Order it now at Raising Grateful Kids or amazon for $10), writers were asked "How does gratitude look in your home?"  As I thought on this question, these steps came to mind.

1. Choose a grateful heart.
2. Look for gratitude opportunities in your day.
3. Speak your gratefulness out loud.

When our children and those around us hear us thank God for the big and little blessings in life, they too begin to notice the details He provides.  Gratitude becomes contagious.

Here's my thoughts on gratitude for today.  So many others have shared their thoughts, ideas, and lessons learned below.  Check out Marie's thoughts and others' through our Raising Grateful Kids Blog Hop.  Read on and be encouraged!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

So I've got a 'lil secret....

Well....its time I share a 'lil secret with you.  It's an exciting one for me and one that I just have to share with others!  I am participating on the launch team for Kristen Welch's soon to be released  book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. You can preorder your book here.:)  Here's Kristen, also author of an excellent life-changing book, Rhinestone Jesus  and blogger at


If I talk about Kristen like she is my friend,  it's because.....well, I think she is.  I mean I have never met Kristen and I get no monetary compensation for promoting her book but I believe in her message.  She writes in such a real, down-to-earth, catching-me-up-on-the-latest-story voice that I feel like we are chatting about our kiddos and doing our best to raise kids that honor God.  She has encouraged me and in return, I want to encourage you.

Here's the thing.  Have you ever read a book where you think, "oh yeah! yes!" or "That's right!" or "Okay, Lord, maybe there is still a great work to be done in me."  You will think all of this and so much more while reading Raising Grateful Kids.  This book is a tool.  A tool the Lord can use to shape you and your children.  You see, this book  is not just about raising grateful kids but so much more........raising children who are kind, thoughtful, self-less, considerate, respectful, display self-control, and are a joy to be around.  Who doesn't want to raise this child?

Are your children babies, toddlers, school age, teenagers, adults?  This book is for you!  Kristen covers thoughts on gratitude, wants vs needs, teaching self-control, managing technology in our homes (and on our kids' phones), craving obedience, and how to get on the boat if you feel you've missed it and it is far out to sea.  She also provides practical tools at the end of each chapter, entitled "Going against the flow".  Here Kristen provides simple, practical, real-life methods to put the chapter's themes into your lives at  home.  She breaks it down into suggestions for parents, toddlers, elementary age, and tweens/teens.  If your children are grown, you will find your life enriched by the self-examination that comes from  reading this book.....and you just might be able to encourage another Mommy or Daddy.

Raising Grateful Kids is full of good stuff.  I mean real, practical, you want to read this and be a better parent stuff!  I am so excited about all I am learning and contemplating for our family that I just have to share with you.  Kristen grabs your attention and heartstrings from the intro when she dives into the joy of giving one of  her children a very special gift and then having to revoke the gift. Ouch!  We as parents enjoy giving gifts that our children will enjoy and no parent wants to steal a child's joy but sometimes it's just necessary.

From this bittersweet story, Kristen dives into chapter one exploring what the American Dream means to each of us and how our expectations and (uh-oh.....) maybe our own entitlement lends to our children's entitled behaviors.  (Yep, this book is a whole LOT about us as parents and a lil about our kiddos.)

So clearly I'm all for reading Raising Grateful Kids but I'm not alone.  As  members of the launch team, we received pdf copies of Kristen's book in November.  Here are what other launch team members are saying:

"One word for this book: AH-MAY-ZING!!!!! Also see: conviction, tears, fist pump, joy, frustration, elation, solidarity....." 
-Amanda Wissmann

"Such a great book and message!" -Sarah Bernstein

"It's amazing how just one chapter can spill over into every area of our lives." -Chrissy Petty

"After reading the first chapter of the book, I was a mom on a mission."

 -Jennifer Wicker Thorvaldson

So if the holiday hustle and bustle has left you weary, overwhelmed, and maybe a bit saddened by all the stuff received and remaining feeling of emptiness;  buy yourself (and your family!) a gift..........Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World'll be glad you did! Promise.

💗It's amazing how just one chapter can spill over into every area of our lives.