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Drumroll Please!

Jason and I both feel that this past year was stressful and rewarding, all at the same time.  But when our year actually finished we knew that part of our journey was only just beginning.  We took a lot of “risks” in that year.  The risk of writing Chris a letter, the risk of us not getting picked, then the risk of actually doing the show, the risk of getting surgery and the list goes on.  Part of the lesson that we learned is that some risks truly do pay off.  Sometimes you have to be a little scared at first and it can turn into the most successful thing.  It’s partly because of this last year that finally decided to pursue something that we had wanted to for quite some time.  Today this doesn’t necessarily have to do with “weight loss”, but stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something new.   Something we want to share with all of our readers!

We are excited to announce that we are bringing something “new” to South Eastern Michigan that will help benefit moms and families with their shopping experience.

Many of you may know that Jason and I lived in Northwest Arkansas for a period of time for Jason’s work.  When Sam and Sabrina were born in 2007, I left my full time job as a special education teacher to stay home full time with our children.  Because of this, I was always looking for a great deal on children’s clothing.  Yes, I liked to dress the kids cute, but I also had to stay within a budget.

While living in NW Arkansas, I had the opportunity to participate in several Rhea Lana’s sales , an upscale children’s consignment event business.  I LOVED IT and I had never participated in anything but a Mom-To-Mom sale before.  I thought it was SO much better!  Instead of having to run my booth at a Mom-To-Mom sale and haggle with people over prices, I was simply able to drop off my items and return when the sale ended.  To me, it was a much better experience.  I was able to price my items the way I wanted and I was able to freely shop other items.  At the end of the sale, I just picked up my check and left over items—and I usually didn’t have much left!

When we returned home to Michigan, I kept thinking what a shame it was that we didn’t have a sale like that here.  You can find so many awesome items at Rhea Lana’s sales—and not just clothing.  There are children’s books, games, and toys.  Infant items such as bedding, cribs, high chairs, and pack n’ plays.  Maternity items are available as well!  I was bummed that we didn’t have one here.  Jason and I kept talking about the possibility of opening a franchise here, but then, as you all know, the last year has been beyond hectic with us transforming our lives on Extreme Weight Loss.

Now that our year journey is complete, we are looking toward the future with new health and new goals.  Jason and I both want to help others with their weight loss journey, while still continuing to work on our own.  But I am also passionate about being a mom and helping other moms–this opportunity was a perfect fit!!!  And so, this October, Jason and I are bringing the first ever Rhea Lana’s event here to Michigan!  We will have our dates and location available soon, plus a FAQ to help you moms through your first sale.

This is something I truly believe in.  Raising children is expensive enough and I feel like Rhea Lana’s allows an opportunity for moms to help other moms.  There are even volunteer opportunities available so that you can shop even earlier.  I will share more information about the company and sale, but until then you can read all about Rhea Lana’s at their website:

Please, stay tuned to our blog and Facebook pages, we will have a link to our own personal Rhea Lana’s website very soon.  And moms, starting cleaning out your closets!

Some of you (like me, in the beginning) have no idea what a children’s consignment sale is.  Here are some FAQ’s to hopefully clear up some questions:

What is a children’s consignment sale? 

An event held bi-annually that allows moms to both sell and purchase HIGH QUALITY children’s clothing on consignment.  Specifically, Rhea Lana’s (the name of our sale) gives consignors a very generous 70% of the sale price (which they choose).  We also GUARANTEE no lost items!  Consignors checks and reports are available on the Pick Up Day after the sale.

Isn’t this the same as a Mom-to-Mom sale?

Here in Michigan, Mom-to-Mom sales are very popular—as they should be—moms are looking for great deals on clothing and children’s items.  But, at most Mom-to-Mom sales you not only have to price and display your items, but run the sale yourself AND haggle with shoppers over prices. At our Rhea Lana’s event you can price and prep your items and simply DROP OFF your items before the sale.  You may then shop our sale or just relax and wait for your items to sell.  After the sale is finished, you can pick up your check and any left over items!  It’s that easy!

Why is this better than a consignment store?

Most consignment stores give 50-50%, while Rhea Lana’s will give you 70% (of the price you select).  Also, you are essentially buying and selling directly from other mothers and families that understand the need to find QUALITY clothing at a reasonable price.

Do you only carry children’s clothing?

No, not at all!  At our event we carry high quality toys, children’s books, and video games.  We also carry children’s furniture, nursery furniture and bedding, maternity clothing, infant equipment (such as car seats, high chairs, strollers, pack n’ plays, etc.)  If you are wondering about a certain item, please ask!

How often is the sale?

The sale is held bi-annually, once in the fall and once in the spring.

Did Jason work?

Oh, the internet.

I’ve stumbled across some interesting reading online about Extreme Weight Loss and specific participants, us included.

Some things, I won’t even bother replying to.  I knew that Jason and I opened ourselves and our life up to scrutiny when the show aired.  As grateful as we were to have the opportunity to lose weight and get healthy again, we knew it came at some costs.

This is a television show. Yes, a weight loss show, but still, a television show.  You have to take some things with a grain of salt.  You just do.  Remember that for every minute of footage taken, there are fifty minutes that you didn’t get to see.  It doesn’t make it any less real—it just means that maybe you are not getting the whole story.

There are a couple of things that I will discuss on this blog.  But this specific thing is most important, so I had to start with it first.

When the twins were born in 2007, I quit my job as a special education teacher, choosing to stay home with Sam and Sabrina.  Jason continued to work full time at Microsoft.

Last year, when we found out about the show, we freaked out a little bit.  How were we going to be able to do this with him working?  Not just normal working either, but traveling.  Seriously, how were we going to do this?

We had many a conversation and we even discussed the possibility of not doing it.  But how could we turn down an opportunity like this?  We couldn’t.  We had to make it work.

Jason took off about TWO WEEKS of work.  Yes, that is it.  He did put his travel schedule on hold for the summer (as much as he could), but he was working.

The reason I have to share this is that the show didn’t point this out as much, and Jason needs credit where credit is due.  If you watch the episode you might wonder if he even worked at all.  Oh, he did! On the average day, sometimes he would get up early and catch up on some work emails.  After that, we had breakfast and packed our food up for the day.  Sam and Sabrina would attend Cross Fit and kickboxing class with us.  Basically, from 7-12 we got the majority of our exercise in and then Jason would start work, sometimes working until 9:00 pm at night.  I, of course took care of Sam and Sabrina while Jason was working.  If we hadn’t finished our time commitment by the time the kids went to bed, we would head to our home gym and plug some cardio time while either talking or watching TV.  Many a day, we were in bed no earlier than midnight.

And that was when he was HOME.  Jason travels, quite a bit, for his job.  So when he was on a business trip he had to find ways to meet his exercise commitment on the road and eat properly.

I have to say all of this because even though this year was hard and stressful on me, it was ten times harder on him.  He was working so hard to support our family and then on top of that, exercising an insane amount AND eating on plan.  Every time he or I became stressed we just kept telling ourselves that we had this one year to get through—just ONE year.

And at the end of it all—all of the stress, the chaos—we are both eternally grateful.  This year truly pushed us to all boundaries.  Literally, there was no extra time.  There was no time for excuses.  There was no time to drag our feet.  We just had to do it.

Which is how I know now that we were just making excuses before.  We had just told ourselves them for so long, we believed them.  But we both know now that if we had time to squeeze in four hours of exercise a day, then ONE hour is really no big deal and it can be done.

So this was my mad props to Jason.  To my wonderful husband who works so very hard for our family—I’m amazed at what you have accomplished this year and I cannot wait to see what the future brings for us.  It can only be good things. :)