I work from home. I sit in an office just off the living room & kitchen. Around 17:00 every day I’m running between the two; stirring a pot in one, answering emails in another, yelling up the stairs at kids to do their homework. It’s a blessing & a curse. But really, more blessing.

I can be here for my family. For my kids. When they are sick, sad, or just hungry. Mostly  hungry. Working from home is not for everyone. I wasn’t sure it was for me. Not at first. I’m a people person. I love people! I was worried I’d be lonely. Alone. Sitting behind my computer with no co-workers to chatter with, grab a coffee, or trouble-shoot all the things.

Instead I found a warm, supportive, work family. Women like me, and men too. We work around our families, with our families, for our families. It’s not always easy. It is always worth it. As the days turned into weeks, months, years, my work family became just family.

Four years ago we flew to the states to hug & kiss Christian before his first deployment (My Beautiful Boy). It was a lifetime ago, and yet so fresh & clear in my mind. That short, long, trip I spent with family. Not just my parents & my beautiful boy, but with Dani, our Urban Fairy.

Dani who is so like me. Dani who has five kids (4 girls, 1 boy) while I have six (5 boys, 1 girl). Dani whose husband is retired military too. Dani whose uncle worked with my Dave. Dani who can make me laugh, and cry, with just a couple words. A sentence. Dani who feels like a sister.

My mom & I, Tess & Dane, drove a town or two over to meet Dani and three of her kids. It felt like we’d known each other forever. Dane & Doodle (Ricky) competed to see who could sit in a booth in the most uncomfortable position. Tess & Zam were almost impossible to tell apart. And Winter? Winter preferred my mom. I got about 2 seconds of baby snuggles before the baby whisperer took over and snuggled all the snuggles. That was okay. Dani & I had more to talk about than time that day.

Zamera & Tessa

Dani & Toiny

Oma, the baby whisperer, & Winter

Tess & Winter, Zam & Dane

Dane & Winter

I’m happy now, remembering. What a wonderful afternoon we had. I know we will have more, virtually for now, in person when we finally move back to the states. But why am I remembering now? Because. The last year has been hard on Dani. It’s never easy with kids. Especially with five. But sometimes it’s a little extra hard. The last year brought a lot of heart-ache & worry. Zamera, beautiful, happy, amazing Zam, got sick.

With what? That was the question. Her body shook. It was hard to walk. Eat. Get up. Dani took her to ERs, doctors, hospitals, tests. The worry was unimaginable. Finally an answer.  Not a cure, but an answer. Zam has Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). It is a neurological disorder similar to epilepsy or Parkison’s. To find out a bit more about FND, click here.

It’s times like this that make it so hard to be so far. This is when virtual hugs fall flat. I want to reach through the screen and grab her. Hold her. Be a friend. Cry. Drink coffee. Drink wine. Be together. All I could do was listen and offer words of love.

The diagnosis was hard. The doctor bills even harder. And the therapy bills became insurmountable. I have a whole diatribe on the health care system, especially the health care for our military families. This is not the place. This is about Zamera. If I had a magic wand, magic pockets, I would wave it or empty them and help. Instead, all I can do is babble.

And I’m not just babbling, I’m shouting from the rooftops! Because. Our work family. Our virtual family. Our family. Our family has come together to support Dani & Zam. They’ve created a gorgeous, amazing, outstanding mega kit to raise funds to pay for Zam’s therapy.

When Better Together first came across my desk, I cried. My heart overflowed and the tears welled. I am beyond proud to be a part of this family. I am beyond proud to share this gorgeous kit. For Dani. For Zam.

For only $9.99 $5 you get this kit. Zam gets therapy.

I want to give a huge shout-out to the amazing Designers that put this together: ABD Designs, Heartstrings Scrap Art, LouCee Creations, Manu Scraps, PattyB Scraps, Snickerdoodle Designs, Vero – The French Touch and Zesty Designs. It is a true testament to the family we have built that they have so selflessly offered their time & talents for one of our own. Thank you.

I put together a little video to explain who, what, why & how.  Please share. Please share the kit. Let’s help Zamera get the therapy she needs. Better Together is only $5, all proceeds go to Dani & Zamera. It’s a gorgeous kit. It’s a win-win for you. For Zam.