Fall 2012 Newsletter

Our Mission
Everchanging Woman, LLC (ECW) is dedicated to empowering women in various stages of life through sharing experiences, best practices and advice captured in research, dialogue and documentation.
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Current Research: Blended Families
Everchanging Woman is working diligently on arranging the data from the survey taken by women in blended families. The data is being arranged into key blended family topics to create chapters for the book. One of the topics to be discussed is the step mother’s relationship with the “ex”/child’s biological mother. Per the ECW survey, 50% of women said the step parent and the other biological parent (step mother and biological mother or biological father and step father) should at least be amicable when interacting with each other. 39% said they should get along, but 11% said it is not important for the step parent and the other biological parent to get along. In fact, one woman clearly stated, “I am married to him. Not his ex. There is no reason for us to have a relationship of any type.” The reasoning of the surveyed women varied as to why they felt the biological parent and step parent should at least get along. The responses included: aspiring to set a good example for the children; a desire to maintain a civil environment; and wanting to create a cohesive parenting team.
 
Recognizing that it is ideal for the step mother and biological mother to have a good relationship, but it not always feasible for various reasons, the respondents were also asked if they have ever had issues with the “ex”/child’s mother. Unfortunately, most of the women said they had. Of the women surveyed, 65% said the biological mother of their step children has caused or attempted to cause problems in their marriage. Some of the issues were minor, but others were simply mind blowing. ECW realizes there are two sides (if not more) to every story, but there were some similarities in respondent stories regarding this topic, which leads us to believe there are some challenges in step mother/biological mother relationships. How to overcome these challenges if both women are willing to make the effort and what role of the husband/father has in this are the follow up questions also asked in the survey and to be discussed in the book.
 
Please stay tuned for more information on this topic and the results and stories from the research about mothers and stepmothers in blended families. We will publicize the release of the information.
 
Revised Logo
logo
You may have noticed that ECW has modified the logo. We feel the new logo better reflects the concept of woman constantly evolving or better stated, an Everchanging Woman.
 

spotlight
We have two successful and inspirational women to highlight. One woman is a dynamic marketing and public relations maven and the other is an author who recently married the love of her life and became a stepmother. Both women have been able to find peace, success and joy after previous divorces proving that happiness can exist after hardships.
 

ECW’s Women of Change Spotlight features Jennifer Kaplan & Tracy Lowe Berry.
Jennifer's Feature
Jennifer Kaplan is owner of Evolve PR and Marketing with clients such as Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, Sprinkles Cupcakes, HomeSmart Residential Real Estate, Clean Air Cab, and Yelp. Her company works with businesses and individuals to build their brand and recognition in the community through the media and cross promotional opportunities. A typical day for Jennifer includes dealing with various producers, editors and reporters, as well as facilitating introductions and enhancing relationships for her clients.
 
Jennifer earned a degree Bachelor of Science in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from Arizona State University. Her professional accomplishments and civic engagement has led her to receive accolades such a Cystic Fibrosis AZ’s Finest Honoree, the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 under 40, and The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation 2011 Women of Distinction Rising Star Award.
 
A divorcee, Jennifer likes to maximize her spare time as a single woman with community activities, exercise and fun. Jen is also enjoys working out. She is a runner, participating in up to 3 half marathons a year, biking, swimming and lifting weights. She finds the workouts an outlet mentally and physical, as a way to find balance with work and play.
 
What is the best part and hardest part about owning your own business?
The best part of owning my own business is having the sense of ownership and knowing that every decision you make directly effects your business. The hardest part is managing and wearing many different hats, being able to juggle various areas that are crucial to operating and growing a business.
 
What drew you to the PR and marketing industry?
I don’t think anything in particular drew me to the industry, I think I was born doing PR and Marketing, it is something that comes natural and totally encompasses who I am every day.
 
What is the best part and worst part about being an independent, successful, single woman?
The best part of being an independent, successful business woman is to be a role model for other women (and girls) that have the desire and ambition to follow their passion and dreams. The worst part is that it can be intimidating to men, most men.
 
What dating advice would you give to other women?
Ahhh…dating advice? The forever question – I would say that it is important to be open minded, however, I also feel strong about not wasting your time (or his time) by trying to make something work that truly doesn’t exist.
 
What is the hardest part of surviving and rebuilding after a divorce?
The hardest part of getting through the divorce is realizing that you have the strength and power to survive on your own and don’t “need” someone else to make you who you are, you can create that success on your own…the added bonus is having someone to support you and share it with. Going through the divorce actually proved to be liberating and motivating towards pursuing my dream.
 
What advice do you have for women who are going through or have experienced a divorce?
I didn’t have kids when I went through my divorce, so I am extremely sensitive to families that have kids when they go through something like that. However, without kids, it is still emotionally draining. It is important to spend time by yourself and not getting too consumed in others, it is important to reconnect and find who you really are, it will help you grow!
 
What is your next major goal?
Ha! As a serial entrepreneur, I wake up every day with a new idea and challenge to conquer. I have a few things brewing, as of now, getting ready to launch a new business…more to come if we get to chat again soon.
 
What suggestions do you have for women on creating a healthy work/life balance?
First of all, make sure you have balance, whatever that is for you. Balance will truly make you a better person in whatever you do. Find an outlet/hobby that is just for you, find time that is special with your family and or friends and make sure to carve out that time consistently.
 
What do you do for fun or relief?
I believe in the saying “work hard play hard”! It is often difficult to maintain it, but I make an effort to make it happen. My first choice is escaping to San Diego for a long weekend. I can usually make it there once a month. Otherwise, I enjoy a good food and drinks with friends and family. Lastly, I can’t resist retail therapy, I can always be found running into the mall for a quick fix!

 


Tracy's Feature
In 2011, Tracy self published her first children’s book titled, “How Do I Get to Heaven?” The book details a young boy’s quest to understand Heaven and God and can be purchased on her website or on amazon.com.
 
Tracy has served as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for 17 years. She knew her career would allow her to see the world, but she did not expect it to foster the opportunity for her to meet her future husband after her first marriage ended in divorce. She met her husband Geoff, a pilot for Southwest Airlines, in 2008 and they had a beautiful and fairytale-like wedding in 2010 and she inherited a “bonus” son as a result of her blended family marriage.
 
Tracy, who currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, earned a degree in Communications from Arizona State University and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
 
What inspired you to write your first book?
A few weeks before my birthday in 2005, I started to reflect upon my life.  I knew I had a God given purpose, but had no idea what my calling in life could possibly be. I prayed to God and surrendered all of my hopes and dreams to him.  I asked that his will be done in my life and to have his way.  I asked God to use my life that he may be glorified.  Two weeks later, I began having vivid dreams of rhyming Christian children’s poems and stories. The Holy Spirit would prompt me to get out of bed at wee hours in the morning and write down the stories and poems.  Before long, I understood that the Lord called me to become a Christian children’s author and share the stories and poems about God’s love with children.
 
What has been the most surprising or rewarding part of being a published author?
It’s an incredible blessing to hear the stories of how children give their lives to Christ after reading HOW DO I GET TO HEAVEN!  Recently a woman shared a story with me that her 9 year old daughter shared the book with a friend and it led her friend to Christ. It is an honor to be a part of ushering children into God’s kingdom! I put my heart and soul into HOW DO I GET TO HEAVEN. I worked long hours and many years to ensure the words, message, and illustrations were going to be enjoyed by readers and children.  It brings me a lot of joy seeing children captivated by the words and pictures while reading it. Occasionally, people send me photos of the book being read by their children or being read in Sunday schools and preschools.  Putting a smile on children’s faces as well as their parents is definitely rewarding.

 
How did you balance being an author with your career as a flight attendant?
Fortunately, my career as a flight attendant allows me to have a very flexible schedule.  I don’t have deadlines, meetings to attend, or a rigorous schedule like many of my friends with careers in corporate America. I can bring my small laptop with me on my overnights and type away in my hotel room. A quiet hotel room has very few distractions and allows my creative writing to flow uninterrupted.   I think I have the perfect career pairing-flight attendant and author.  I am able to reach a wider audience to promote my book because I meet and see new people every day while flying all over the country.
  
What is the hardest part of surviving and rebuilding after a divorce?
Dealing with “the unknown factors of my future” was the most difficult part of divorce for me.  I wondered if I would ever have a fulfilling and loving relationship with a man ever again.  I knew no matter what, God had a great plan for my life and he would withhold no good thing from me. Aside from wondering about what my future would hold, I was happy to live in peace.
 

What advice do you have for women who are going through or have experienced a divorce?
First, I think anyone that experiences a breakup or divorce should take time to find inner peace and work on themselves. A good scripture to reference is Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
 
Usually after a divorce, we are quick to point fingers and blame our hurt and pain on the other person.  Sometimes, the other person is responsible for a lot of the hurt.  However, it’s important to look inside and deal with our own junk… shortcomings, anger, bitterness and issues that arise from past relationships and old family wounds.  Childhood issues often show up in adult relationships. Although, I thought I was a good wife to my ex husband and an overall good person, I prayed to God to help me see and understand every issue that lurked inside my heart and mind.  I wanted to see the hidden mess God sees when he looks inside of my heart. Dealing with my own crap was no easy task.  I had to look at the ugliness no one likes to face. It was painfully hard to be honest with myself without placing the blame on my ex or anyone else.  I had to own up to my own thoughts and actions.  I didn’t allow myself the excuse of, “I chose to say this or do this because someone did xyz to me.”  During that period, I was surprised at how much I learned about myself. I was amazed to learn that I harbored pain and issues that I thought were gone and buried with time. However, with God’s help, I was able to heal and repair the brokenness inside of me. I gained freedom not only from a painful marriage, but freedom from bondage of past hurts and issues. Resolving my old hurts and disappointments also prepared me to be a stronger and better wife in my current marriage.  This time of reflection and self-examination in my life was certainly a character builder. I think everyone should take time for introspection and resolve their own issues before moving forward in the dating scene or pursing another relationship after divorce.
 
Did you have any reservations about marrying again or marrying a man with a child? If yes, why?
I love children and Geoff was such an incredible father to his son, so I had no reservations about marrying him.  If Geoff was the type of father that was not involved in his child’s life and avoided his parental responsibilities, I would have run in the other direction.  I enjoyed spending time with my husband and his son and looked forward to having a blended family.  I welcomed having a “bonus son.”  
 
Since you inherited a child in your marriage and became a stepmother, what has been the hardest part and best part of becoming a blended family?
The most challenging part of my blended family is dealing with the biological mother. Geoff and her were never married and had broken up before the child was born. She tries to create drama and chaos our home in every possible way. She tries to lure my husband by sending seductive pictures via phone, prank calls the house at 4am, sends crazy text messages and emails, calls our phones and cusses at us, and the most damaging thing she does is to try and poison the son against his father and me by telling him horrible lies. She tries to hurt Geoff and me, but sadly she does the most damage to the child.  I don’t understand why she chooses to damage her son with her issues instead of helping him transition to having a healthy happy blended family. More people need to put aside their own unhappiness and issues and focus on what is best for the child.
 
The best part of becoming a blended family is doing lots of fun things with his son that I would have loved to do if I had children of my own. I loved decorating his room. I enjoy playing with him and baking brownies and decorating cookies with him. One of our favorite summer time activities is making homemade ice cream together. And I absolutely love going snow tubing with my bonus son and husband in the winter! It’s kind of funny; he looks more like me than he does his biological mother. So, I’ve gained a son that looks a lot like me without birth pains or stretch marks. Big Bonus! I also enjoy knowing that I’m helping a young child learn about God, love, and family values.
 
What is your next major goal?
Currently I’m working on my next Christian children’s release, a book aimed at building self esteem in little girls. I also plan to create a DVD version of HOW DO I GET TO HEAVEN with full sound and animation.
 
What suggestions do you have for women on creating a healthy work/life balance?
Women tend to focus on everyone except themselves.  Don’t forget “me time.” Light some candles and take a 30 minute warm relaxing bath filled with 2 cups Epsom salt and 2 bottles of Peroxide to detoxify your body.  I also recommend nourishing your body with healthy foods. If you are pressed for time or don’t like to cook, invest in a Vitamix or Nutribullet and make healthy vitamin packed fruit and veggie smoothies. The smoothies are a great way to increase energy and build your immune system. And, they are ready in less than 5 minutes.  They are the perfect concoction for busy moms and career women. Also, take a few minutes to pray and spend some time with God. When your body, mind and spirit are well fed and rested, you can better tackle work and the demands of family and life. 
 
What do you do for fun or relief?
My husband is a pilot and we work for the same airline so we have the pleasure of hopping on a plane free of charge and enjoy sightseeing, dining, and relaxing away from home quite often.  We especially enjoy attending NFL games in different cities during football season. Working for a major airline certainly has its perks!

 

beauty

sept2012 fashion
VITAMIN E HEALS THE SPOT
by Terry Scott of ezrioni.com

Flaky, dry spots on your face and body can be irritating and unattractive. If you have them, try breaking open a vitamin E tablet (use the tablets, not the oil because the oils are not always pure) and apply it directly on the dry spot for a few days until the flakiness goes away.
 

SUMMER STYLE INTO FALL FASHION
by Monique Bickham of evolve4style.com

This summer was all about wearing bright color, pleats and drop hemlines. Statement jewelry helped women express their inner goddess. Women also complimented their summer style with fashionable shoes. As we transition into fall, you can still make bold statements with your favorite summer shoes. You do not have to put away your favorite heeled sandals, open toe or peep toe shoes. Try pairing them with colorful or pattern tights to keep you warm yet fashionable.

Shoes

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