Let Freedom Ring! Launching Lizzy on Independence Day


Our Four Loves

When I married Ned Andrew I got a pretty amazing bonus prize. He came with two absolutely incredible daughters — Lizzy and Skye. Ned and I met at a disability conference about 10 years ago. I was there trying to learn how to navigate the special education maze. He was there to promote the two disability leadership trainings he’s been running since the winter of 2000. We hit it off immediately.

It took another 6 or 7 years to grow our friendship, manage to live in the same town, fall in love, decide we were brave enough to try a full-time relationship gig, and get married. However, once I met them, it only took me about 45 seconds to latch onto Ned’s girls.

Anywho, as I’m not fond of the term “step-parent” — having two of my own, along with step-brothers and half-sisters, it never felt like a term that honors these relationships — we came up with alternate designations for one another. Lizzy’s one of our Big Girls. (We call the two I showed up with the Little Kids.)

And, is Lizzy ever a Big Girl. She’s already a retired CEO, having established her own line of greeting cards when she was 12. She has a part time job, travels with her youth group, and has earned her callouses texting her enormous group of friends. She keeps us all in line and is quick to offer “Big Sister Advice” to the Little Kids. She graduated with honors from high school in May and has been accepted into her college-of-choice in Nashville.

Lizzy also has cerebral palsy which mainly impacts her stamina and her ability to carry her stuff. It does not impact her wicked sense of humor, incredible organizational skills, or her determination to get her doctorate. For the most part, Lizzy uses a walker to support her while she walks. When we are doing something that will involve more walking than she’s up for, she sits in a manual wheel chair and one of us pushes her around.

It was about 5 years ago that I started harping on Lizzy’s needing a way to navigate long distances without being pushed. I wanted her to have that independence. Having Lupus, I’ve needed to use a chair from time to time and there’s just about nothing worse than being at another person’s mercy to get where you want to go. That, and we somehow tend to end up parked looking at someone’s butt instead of whatever we’re trying to see.


Most of the shots from the test drive are a blur...

Being the  — um — stepmom/extra mom/Dad’s wife — I kinda kept my mouth shut. Kinda. Until Ned talked with a colleague about how her daughter was love, love, loving her new scooter at college. Ned got pretty excited at the thought of Lizzy being able to go under her own steam. So, we arranged for Lizzy to try out several scooters “in the wild.” She spent 2 hours in the heat driving them all over the neighborhood and some additional time navigating around the house. She and Berns raced them in the parking lot. She drove it across the grassy lawn to take a phone to a neighbor. She was in her element.

She had only four requests: (1) a really cool key chain, (2) a cup holder for her coffee, (3) a seat belt so that she feels secure, and (4) that we get it before she goes to college.

Lizzy’s excited at the thought of having a way to carry her own books and stuff around campus, being able to hop into the car with her friends (the scooter Lizzy wants breaks down into 5 light pieces), and, for the first time in her life, being able to just gooooooo!

The reality is that buying this scooter is a stretch for us — it’s going to run about $1400 for the one that fits her best once we get that seat belt and cup holder installed. We have four kids and I’ve cut my hours way back to homeschool one of them. We aren’t into asking for public funds to cover stuff that we can earn ourselves — we try to be good stewards of those resources and know there are folks who need those supports more than we do.

So, I got to thinking and…

Here’s where you come in.

As you know, I’m a coach. What you may not know is that I recently invested well over a year getting certified to add a set of pretty neat graphic templates to my coaching toolkit. After working through them with several clients and finding that they truly help folks get past the typical barriers to change, I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate these tools more fully into my practice. I’m not into big announcements of “New and Improved!” Heck, I’m not really a big self-promoter at all. It isn’t my style.

But I do love my kids and I want Lizzy to have that scooter. And I do know that some of you are kicking around the idea of hiring me. So, I’ll just do us all a favor.

Gina Lynette -- Certified SHIFT-IT Graphic CoachIn honor of Independence Day, in support of Lizzy’s physical independence as she heads to college, and as a demonstration that we can do BIG THINGS if we just decide it’s worth stepping out a little, I’m offering to walk/roll folks through the SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching Process® for about half my normal coaching rates. I’m offering three options — a single At The Crossroads session, a 6-session SHIFT-IT package, and a 12-session SHIFT-IT package — so that you can invest in your own launch at a price point and level of support that works for you.

Each session lasts an hour — a really real 60-minute hour — via the phone or Skype, and if you like, you can watch me complete your SHIFT-IT maps in real time via Google Docs.

While I’m typically pretty flexible with payment, I am asking that you book your package and pay for it in advance — we need that dough pretty soon if our girl is going to drive herself around campus on August 15th. No worries about my seeing your payment information — it all goes through PayPal and you don’t have to have a membership to check out.

If you want a pay-as-you go option, you can grab a single session (or two) at the Launching Lizzy Rate and we’ll work out the rest from there.

I’ll honor this rate for packages purchased during the month of July, 2011 or until my calendar is begging for mercy. No one deserves a stressed out coach!

Of course, if you need to know more, I’m always happy to schedule a 30-minute conversation to talk about how coaching works, to see if we’re a good fit, and to help you choose a plan that will meet your needs.

Select your Lizzy’s Launch Coaching Package from the Menu and then click on the brown button to go to the checkout.

Lizzy’s Launch Coaching Packages




While this isn’t a tax deductible donation, and we aren’t a charity of any sort, some folks asked if they could just chip in. So, here’s a button for that. I’ll watch what comes in this way very closely and if we are getting near our goal, I’ll remove the button and let y’all know!

Go, Lizzy, Go!

Lizzy & Berns Off to the Races!

Lizzy & Berns Off to the Races!

Tuesdays Are Free Days…

I can’t work out every day. Well, I can. But I won’t. Tuesday is my day to visit my shrinky dink (You didn’t think I got this insightful all on my own, did ya??) and go to my college class (more on that later). I get all crabby and overwhelmed at the thought of adding even one tiny thing to Tuesdays. Call me names, if you like, but I am taking Tuesdays off from the whole workout thing.

Why am I going on and on about this? Well, because after that college class (see, I told you it would come back up) we go out and get a bite to eat. Well, a bite may be a little bit of an underestimation. It is closer to a week’s worth of bites. I do really well in my quest to eat appropriate amounts of food all week, and then after class on Tuesdays I eat my weight in chips and salsa and follow it with a mega-entree chaser. It is like social drinking – only it’s eating – and even though I am *not* hungry and it is 9 o’clock at night, I keep putting food into my mouth until I want to puke from feelings of stuffation!

Now, if I spent the rest of the evening thinking thoughts like, “Wow! Dinner was yummy! I am so glad I ate it, ” it wouldn’t be a problem. But I am thinking, “Damn it! I feel like I am going to burst! And I bet those chips had 1000 calories in them, and let’s not even discuss the “nutritional value” of what I ate. It will take me two weeks to undo that meal…”

Stop it. Enough, already.

So, I recognize that I am eating food for a reason other than nourishment. Luckily it is in a very specific situation in which I have some control. It is time that I rethink how I approach after class eating. My action steps are:

  1. I will go to the restaurant’s website and see what options are on the menu that make better sense.
  2. I will pick out two or three options to keep in mind for future weeks’ outings.
  3. I will eat only when I am actually hungry, and not just because there is a pile of food sitting in front of me.
  4. I will remember that there is nothing wrong with ordering a dish of broccoli. I happen to really like broccoli.

Oh, I did see a 174.5 on ye ole scale this morning. As you are already aware, I did not work out today, but I did complete a 50 minute run to nowhere on the elliptical trainer yesterday. So, workout 27/200 is in the bag. All-in-all things are actually going very well in the fitness department.

Soap Box of the Day: I was hanging out at Brenna’s site this evening and she turned me on to a little study done on W*lmart’s impact on all of us. I knew I hated shopping there: I literally get lost and can’t find my way back out, and have sworn for years that they use mind control to prevent me leaving before I spend $300 on plastic crap. But this seals it. They officially suck*, and I can say that without fear of retaliation because there is a study to prove it. See, I am in college, (I warned you that you would hear more about this!) and in college you learn all about the importance of having a study to prove things before they can be asserted as fact.

*Suck is a technical term. For those unfamiliar with the jargon, please see www.dictionary.com.

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