I don’t think I could ever go back to the week that Shannon & David died. I actually don’t remember most of it, but I remember thinking that I wouldn’t get through it. That my life as I knew it was over, and I would never be “normal” again. I didn’t think I would be able to get out of bed or function or smile or laugh or see “Lobster Bisque” on a menu without having a mental breakdown. EVER. AGAIN. In the beginning, I KNEW that wherever I went, people were looking at me. Like… OMG. That’s the girl whose sister was murdered in cold blood by her ex husband. They were REALLY close. And then once we knew and decided that we wanted the boys… OMG. That is the girl whose sister was murdered in cold blood by her ex husband (they were REALLY close) and she and HER husband are moving from St. Louis with their children to adopt them. And OMG she’s pregnant. Again. I was SO AFRAID that it would be people’s perception of me forever. I was even afraid of my own friends looking at me differently. It was probably the most concentrated subject in counseling for a long time. No. I most certainly COULDN’T go back to that week and those early days. But I know that it all made me a stronger person. A better person. And even though I have my moments and my days when I feel like I’m suffocating and might faint from lack of oxygen because HOLY #$%^ I miss my sister, I know I’m going to be ok. And that this life of mine is normal. It’s MY normal. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything (except to have my sister back.) So fast forward to today…

My amazing friend and business partner and I hope to change the world. And get this. We have this crazy notion that we are actually GOING to. Back in the fall we decided that we needed to do something really really really GOOD. Not just post cute pictures of adorable kids in our shirts with messages about love and kindness. Not just come up with #whilemyhubbywassleeping posts for those who find our humor funny. Not just offer free printables to spread our message a little further. We wanted to do something for everyone. We wanted to find an umbrella big enough to cover anything and everything that might get “wet”. So we decided that we are going to redefine what “normal” means. Sooooo… #LETSREDEFINENORMAL ❤

This video and this campaign are a part of each of our hearts, and we hope a part of hundreds of other people’s hearts who can relate. We want to to be inspiring and spark conversations. We want for parents to talk to their kids about what it means to live by the golden rule and how at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear or what car you drive. What matters is how you treat people. How you treat yourself. When people can accept that EVERYONE is different, that everyone has a story, a fear, a pet peeve, a dream. And that just because they might be different from you, that is OK. Because the world would be pretty boring otherwise. But boring is cool, too. I mean if that’s YOUR normal 😉

We realize that the word “normal” might be a little bit controversial. But as I explain in the video, we don’t mean that we want you to be basic, or conform, or anything like that. We WANT you to embrace all of the qualities that make you YOU. And we want you to accept yourself for who you are. This will allow for you to accept others for who they are. Everybody is different. Different is normal.

I could literally write for days. There is SO MUCH to cover. But I’m gonna leave you with this:

My name is Colleen. I am the youngest of 3 girls. The baby. The princess. Growing up I was jealous of my sister Janet because her name starts with a “J” and so does Jesus’. I have the best parents in the world. I don’t like vegetables or milk in my cereal (unless it’s Quaker Oat Squares or Cookie Crisp or Cap’n Crunch). I ordered chicken fingers at my own wedding. I like to sugar coat things and I DON’T like hurting anybody’s feelings. I have been properly diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. My husband and my bestie Colleen Lotz both have to stop in the middle of a sentence or story to make sure I’m listening. THEY LOVE ME. And I, them. I love diamonds and Doritos. I sleep with a pillow over my head. I lost my sister very tragically and very suddenly on July 27, 2014. I don’t hate my brother-in-law (who killed her).  I have 5 kids and they are the best job I’ve ever had. I don’t have a dog. I mean I like them, they’re adorable, but we are NOT getting a dog for a very long time (Danny!!!). I am defensive and stubborn and always right. I cried for hours when Peyton Manning announced that he would no longer be playing for my beloved Colts. Maybe days. I love my life. I miss my sister. I am normal.

xxx Colleen

mamasaidfavs16 copyPS MAJOR SHOUT OUTS to: my #BFFBAEFORLIFE Colleen (L #1!). For your time, your talent, and your NEVER ENDING love and support. WHAT would I do without you? — Jennifer Driscoll. You are amazing. You made this possible. — Murph and Mark. Thank you. So much. — Chris. You. Are. The. Bomb. Like. What else is there to say!? — The entire “cast and crew”. Guys. We did it! I love you! — Everybody who is reading this. Thank you ❤ — My family & friends. Every single one of you has been a part of getting me RIGHT here. — Janet. I’m over the Jesus thing. I mean not over HIM the Lord our Savior. But the “J” thing. And I worship you, too. 🙂 — Mom & Dad. No words will ever do justice all of the feelings I have surrounding who you are and what you mean to me. I love you so so so so so so much. Not to get all Celine Deon on you but I’m everything I am because you love me. — And CB. My ground. My right hand. My YOU! all the zozozoz’s in the world. — THE END!