Written on October 16, 2013 at 11:10 am , by Christina Tynan-Wood
Whenever I throw a party, I face the same dilemma: Should I buy actual invitations and put them in the mail? Or can I get away with sending a digital invitation? A digital one is easier for me since I don’t have to buy and address invitations. And for many of my guests, it’s simpler too. They can usually just click to RSVP and tell me what they’re bringing. But there’s always someone on my list who will miss a digital invitation because they never check email. So what usually happens is that I get stuck at this decision. Then I leave it until too late. And I just end up just calling everyone at the last minute. Or worse, I decide to skip the party until the next holiday comes alone.
I am apparently not the only one thwarted by invitation indecision. According to a Harris Interactive survey, over 67 million Americans get stumped at the “buying stamps” step in this process. I rarely get that far. But if I ever did, I’m certain that would be the next point at which my party idea would fall prey to “host’s failure to act.” So I was rather pleased when the folks at Evite called me recently to tell me they have a solution: Evite Ink, a service from this popular online invitation service that lets me create all my invitations online. All I have to do to put an invitation in the hands of those guests who live their lives primarily offline is click a box. Evite Ink will print those invitations, place a stamp on them and drop them in the mail for me.
So that settles it for my next party. I build my guest list online at Evite.com, choose who gets a digital invitation (people who live with a smartphone forever in one hand) and who gets a printed one (people who rarely fire up their ancient computer). I pay $2 plus postage for the invitations I want printed and mailed. The others go out for free. Everyone—whether they get a printed invite or a digital one—can log on to RSVP. And all the information I need about who’s coming and what they’re bringing is automatically stored in one place online. Digital natives and digital refuseniks can now all come to my house for libations.
Maybe I do have time to throw a Halloween party.
Christina Tynan-Wood has been covering technology since the dawn of the Internet and currently writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle. You can find more advice about buying and using technology at GeekGirlfriends.com.
Written on October 16, 2013 at 10:12 am , by Family Circle
Written on October 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm , by Jonna Gallo
Up until a couple days ago I had scrapes, bumps and bruises all over my legs from the Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race on September 29. (Let me rewind: Earlier this year, I checked into a Biggest Loser Resort for a weeklong fitness immersion and loved it, which is what gave me the idea I could take this on too. To read that story, click here.)
The Merrell course offers 5K and 10K circuits with obstacles throughout—walls to scale, a 24-foot inflatable slide with a rope ladder, a multi-level climbing apparatus called The Monster—and several mud lagoons to low-crawl through. Similar adventure-type events include Tough Mudder, Spartan Beast and Warrior Dash, if any of those ring a bell. When an ad for the Merrell event popped up on my Facebook feed, I thought about it off and on for days, wondering if it should be my next “thing.” I emailed the link to one of my closest friends, an up-for-anything type with a strong competitive bent, with the note, “Considering this. Thoughts?” She wrote right away: “This looks insane and fun and of course we should do it.” Typical me, I got a little freaked out as the event approached and tried every which way to weasel out (yes, even though it had been my idea).
She was having none of it. Every texted potential excuse (there were many) was met with a quick, kind, “You’ll be fine. See you in the morning.” Day of, once we were moving and grooving on the course, I had a blast. Our agreed-upon motto, “slow and steady,” served us fine, and we crossed the finish line—filthy, unhurt and very happy—a little over an hour after we began.
Whipping on my Finisher’s Medal was a trip, and I felt a genuine sense of accomplishment for days. I could easily see why people are drawn to these events in rapidly growing numbers. (When Tough Mudder was founded in 2010, 20,000 entrants took part in 3 events. Just three years later, in 2012, over 460,000 participants joined 35 events.) Then last Tuesday night I happened across this New York Times article, A Growing Race with Big Risks, and learned that a 28-year-old man had died during a Tough Mudder event this past April. I was floored and so sad for his family—and, frankly, I also started wondering if I’d been really naive in trying the Merrell. I read (or at least skim) much of the Times daily, but somehow I’d missed this altogether.
Suddenly, my bragging rights were replaced with the uncomfortable feeling that I’d taken a totally unnecessary risk. As a mom of two kids, 9 and 5, that makes me feel reckless. I’m sure even baseline number-crunching would prove that doing a mud run is far less risky than, say, crossing a street or driving to work. But I have to cross streets and go to work. I didn’t have to do this. A Google search turned up some more recent press, including a piece in the New York Daily News that delves more into the psychology of the rise of these events and specifies who should probably steer clear. In the end, I’m glad I took part. It was fun to share with a great friend, and I think it gave my kids a glimpse of a different side of me. One of my most important takeaways from the Biggest Loser was that transformation can happen when you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone.
Still, I’m wondering: If you’re just a regular person—meaning, not a so-called extreme athlete—is doing one of these obstacle courses a bad idea? Tell me in the comments.
Written on October 14, 2013 at 10:00 am , by Family Circle
Written by John Trautwein
I’ve been told that I am a member of the “saddest club on earth.” I am a suicide survivor. In just one week, it will be the third anniversary of the suicide of my teenage son, Will.
My boy was a very successful, talented, popular, healthy and handsome 15-year-old high school freshman, yet he somehow lost the will to live and took his own life, leaving his family and so many loving friends absolutely stunned and shocked. None of us knew anything was wrong—we not only thought Will was happy, we all wished we were like him.
Will came from a loving home. My wife and I have a wonderful marriage and a very positive approach to parenting and to life in general. Our home was always happy—we were always happy. The Trautwein family was living the dream. Today, however, we are the face of teen suicide in America.
During that fateful weekend when I said goodbye to my son, I thought I would never smile again. However, I was wrong. You see, during that weekend of Will’s funeral and every day since, my friends quite simply picked me up and carried me through life’s darkest hours. My wife experienced the same from her friends.
They showed us the good and the love that do indeed still exist in our lives, every day, even during this absolutely awful tragic period. I was shocked at the power my friends had to help me, and I remember thinking, If only Will could have realized this. If only his friends, who were so devastated by his death, could have known the power they had to help Will and to help one another.
I very quickly realized that the greatest friends I ever made in my life, those who stood up for me at my wedding and are the godparents to my kids, were friends I made when I was Will’s age—my teenage friends—who I now refer to as my Life Teammates.
If only Will had recognized what wonderful friends he’d already made in his short time on earth, maybe he would have reached out to them—maybe. If only Will’s friends had known he was hurting, they could have reached out to him—maybe.
Weeks after Will’s death, we started a nonprofit foundation called the Will to Live Foundation, which, just as its motto states, is “for the kids, through the kids, and by the kids.”
Will to Live’s goal is to spread awareness of suicide prevention and depression while working with teens and young adults to help them recognize that right next to them—in the classroom, on the field or in the dugout, in the youth group, scout troop, music group or band, or at the dinner table—are some of life’s greatest friends.
So let’s talk, and let’s listen. Let’s encourage our kids to do the same. We all need to realize that life is extremely hard, and to win this battle against teen suicide, we have to act together and show one another the good and the love that exist in our lives. I know that’s what my son would want us to do.
John Trautwein, of Atlanta, GA, cofounded (along with wife Susie) the Will to Live Foundation in honor of their 15-year-old son, who took his own life in 2010.
Written on October 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm , by Lynya Floyd
Would you be able to tell cayenne pepper from chili powder in a grocery store—with your eyes closed? Could you sense if traffic were moving or at a standstill by just listening to the flow? While these scenarios may give you pause, they’re the everyday reality of the 285 million people worldwide who are visually impaired or blind. And while complicated, many would tell you these situations are more manageable than you fear. “I don’t hear any better than you,” a legally blind mom of two once told me. “You just don’t use your senses. When you can see a bus coming, you don’t have to listen for it.”
Today marks World Sight Day, which brings awareness to visual impairment and blindness across the globe. But rather than ask you to close your eyes and imagine what life might be like for the blind for a moment, I’d like to tell you what life was like for me for an hour.
A while back, I went to “Dialog in the Dark,” an exhibit that has been traveling the globe and stopped at New York City’s South Street Seaport two years ago. At the start, you’re given the appropriate mobility cane for your height. Then you enter a room that’s pitch-black—and remain in complete darkness for the remainder of the exhibit.
A legally blind guide takes you from one pitch-black room to another, each of which simulates the sounds, vibrations and temperatures (but not sights) of iconic locations in New York: a bustling train that you have to get on and off. A grocery store where you open a fridge to locate a container of milk. A city park where you feel for a bench to sit down on. All in complete darkness.
Some people panic and have to leave the exhibit. Others embrace the experience while they try to discern lemons from oranges in a supermarket setting or listen carefully for conductor announcements to make sure they get off at the right train “stop.” Regardless, you’ll never interact with a legally blind person the same way again.
On this World Sight Day, I want to encourage you to go get your vision checked—especially if it’s that appointment you’ve been meaning to get around to but haven’t in forever. Eye diseases (like macular degeneration and glaucoma) are silent but cause significant damage and vision loss if untreated. And 80% of visual impairment is readily treatable and/or preventable. But, most important, I’d like to influence how you react the next time you encounter a legally blind person with some advice I got directly from legally blind people.
Offer but Don’t Be Offended. “Don’t hesitate to ask a blind person if they need help crossing the street, for example,” one of the “Dialog in the Dark” guides told me. “But don’t be offended if they decline.” It may sound simple, but I’ve seen people get rubbed the wrong way when a blind person declines their help. There’s no need. Know you were available for a good deed and keep going.
Follow Their Lead. I was recently traveling from Philadelphia to New York by train when a woman with a Seeing Eye dog sat near me. The couple standing in front of her sparked up a conversation, asking multiple questions about the dog and their routine. I have no doubt that they meant well, but it was a bit invasive and her brief answers should’ve been a cue to cut the conversation short. When the train stopped, I offered to help the woman find her way to taxi stop. As we walked, she confided in me how awkward it is when strangers recognize her dog on the street and call it by its name. Imagine if a stranger you couldn’t see came up to you while you were walking somewhere with your child and started interacting with your little one by name. There’s nothing wrong with being just as friendly with a blind person as you’d be with a sighted person. Just field their reactions the same way.
Act Normal. “A lot of sighted people treat the visually impaired as if they’re mentally impaired,” that mom of two I mentioned before shared with me. Think about it: Have you ever spoken louder or slower when communicating with a blind person? “People have the misconception that just because you’re visually impaired, there must be something else wrong. Just because I don’t have sight, doesn’t mean I don’t have vision.”
What will you do to mark World Sight Day? Book your next eye appointment? Donate to a local charity? Post a comment and let me know.
Written on October 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm , by Jonna Gallo
So we’re less than 24 hours out from hearing who gets the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. By numerous accounts, 16-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousufzai—shot in the head by a Taliban gunman one year ago yesterday aboard her school bus—is a frontrunner. The miracle of her survival that terrible day and her slow but steady recovery over the ensuing months, cheered on the world over, provides as much inspiration now as it did then. And regardless of whether she wins tomorrow, Malala’s face should remind us all of the power of one purely determined individual who believes in herself and her cause. I just added her recent autobiography I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban to my short list and loved this clip from The Daily Show Tuesday night. If you missed it, by all means click—even the typically ascerbic Jon himself seemed humbled to be in the presence of such spirit. She’s 16 years old, people! Such poise, grace and heart. I read online that the Nobel committee received a record 259 nominations this year, and I’m sure every one of them did something amazing. I’m aware of the sentiment among some that at her age, she hasn’t yet “done enough.” Still, every fiber of my being is saying, “Go Malala go!” I hope she wins. We’ll all know tomorrow.
Written on October 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm , by Rosalind Wiseman
Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about young people’s reluctance to reach out to their parents when they need them. Ever heard a kid say the following? “I don’t want to tell my mom (or dad) when something’s wrong because they’ll flip out.” Kids and teens say this to me so often and it always worries me. But after an unfortunate experience I had a few days ago, I’ve been thinking about it a lot more.
Elijah, my older son, started playing middle-school football this fall. My husband was adamantly against it at first, so Elijah campaigned for months. After a lot of family discussion, we allowed him to play and one of the main reasons was we had heard incredibly positive things about the coach. He has that combination of toughness and supportiveness that middle-school boys crave.
Last weekend they played against an unbeaten team and finished the game tied—after three overtimes. The boys were devastated, but after the game, as the parents all stayed behind and listened to the coach rally the boys, I was so grateful that my son was having that experience. He was being told he’d worked hard and should be proud of what his team had accomplished, and to focus on what they all needed to do better next time.
That makes what happened next even stranger. As I walked down the field to put my folding chairs in their bags, one of the boy’s mothers verbally attacked the coach right in front of her son, my son and another player. By the time I got back to where my son was standing, the mother had walked away but her child was standing next to his father in tears.
I don’t want to focus on the details of what the mom said and whether it was right or wrong. What I do want to focus on is the serious impact of “flipping out” in front of our kids—especially when we parents think we’re acting on behalf of our child. I’d bet any amount of money that the mother who yelled felt she was being the “momma bear.” She believed she was protecting her child and only doing what was right. But beyond the negative impact of her behavior on the coach (this a common reason great coaches give up teaching our kids), she is guaranteeing that her child will never go to her when he needs someone’s help.
It’s ironic. When we think we’re most strongly advocating for our children, we assume that they’ll see our behavior as being on their side. Using that logic, it’s natural that a parent would miss the obvious: Overreaction in any area of parenting (a problem with school, on a team, with friends) only convinces the child that their parent can’t be trusted to think through a problem calmly and strategically. What’s more, the child has good reason to believe that if the parent finds out about a problem, their involvement will only make the situation worse.
Probably every parent has had a moment when they’ve blown things out of proportion. I know I have. So what can we do? When we’ve gone over the top, we need to acknowledge it, first to ourselves, then to our children. We need to work on managing ourselves so that when we get worked up—no matter how justified we believe we are—we think through how we are going to communicate our feelings in a manner that gives the other person the best chance of hearing what we’re saying.
The mom at the game may have had a legitimate complaint, but because she conducted herself so poorly, the content of her words was lost. Her method of delivery was so inappropriate. If we think we’re losing control, let’s say it. As in, “Look, I’m clearly really upset right now, so I need a few minutes to get myself together.”
When we do things like that, take a “time-out” for ourselves, admit we made a mistake and tell our children that we’re sorry for overreacting, we’re going to do better and our kids will come to us. Why does this matter? Because we’re role modeling exactly what our kids need and want to see. When you make a mistake, you can talk about it. When you come forward and share a problem with someone you love, you’re a better person for it and your relationship is strengthened as well.
Have you ever “lost it” in front of your kid? Post a comment and tell me what happened.
Written on October 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm , by Family Circle
Written by Catherine Holecko
Ever notice that when your kids grow out of needing help with one task, a new one sprouts in its place? You trade bedtime stories for math homework. You no longer have to help your offspring use the potty—but you have to remind them to take showers and wear deodorant.
And in my house, you stop making school lunches and start packing on-the-go dinners instead—because on Mondays my 11-year-old daughter is at the ice rink from 5 to 7 p.m. Some Tuesdays, my 8-year-old son goes directly from viola lessons to hockey practice. Every other Wednesday, I have my own dinner-hour meeting. Thursdays, my husband takes a workout class. And so on.
Family dinners can usually only happen on weekends and alternate Wednesdays. But I still want my kids to eat well all week—and all day. Here’s how I make that happen.
Breakfast: The morning meal is almost the only must-do we tackle before school. We’ve already finished homework, made lunches, chosen clothing, and stuffed backpacks the night before. In the morning, all we have to do is eat, brush hair and teeth, and go. Breakfasts are quick and easy: cereal, toast, and so on. If my husband is home, he’ll whip up scrambled eggs. But the rule is that everyone must have some fruit and some protein. My daughter recently went on a green smoothie kick, so I jumped right on that, making sure we always had leafy greens and frozen fruit on hand.
Lunch: Both my kids eat school lunches often, which I’m OK with because I know they have salad bars in their cafeterias—and actually use them. When my daughter started middle school, and had a lot more choices in the lunchroom, we talked about which offerings were tasty and healthy. If my kids do brown-bag it, they know to include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, and whole grains. They also know to grab the same kinds of foods for snacks, whether at home or packed to go. (As the family grocery-shopper, it’s my job to make sure these are available in our refrigerator and pantry.)
Dinner: When the kids’ activities overlap with the dinner hour, they take a meal with them. We get the occasional curious stare at the ice rink, but there’s no way I’m going to let them eat from vending machines and drive-thrus several days a week—every week! I pack leftovers, or the same meal the rest of us will be eating that night, or something simple like a plain quesadilla. The meal pictured here contains: whole wheat pasta with acorn squash and bacon (left over from a Sunday dinner); homemade salsa with corn, tomatoes, black beans, onions, and bell peppers (also prepped on the weekend); celery sticks and tortilla chips for dipping; and strawberries.
When she has a two-hour skating practice, my daughter will eat a little of her meal on the way there, and most of the rest during her half-time break. She’s learned how much she can eat and still skate comfortably. For most kids, a smallish carbohydrate snack about an hour or two before a one-hour practice or game does the trick. Adding protein or fiber helps slow digestion, which in turn sustains your tween’s energy level. We avoid foods high in fat and sugar all the time, but especially before exercise.
Catherine Holecko is the Family Fitness Expert at About.com. She lives in Wisconsin with her tweens, husband, dog, and about 10 pairs of ice skates.
Written on October 9, 2013 at 11:41 am , by Christina Tynan-Wood
Written by Christian Tynan-Wood
When it comes to teenagers and social media, most parents worry. Are the kids posting too much information? Are they being approached there by creepy strangers? Is that photo too risque? Is that a cry for help or just more song lyrics? Rarely do we suggest that our teens join a social network and start befriending adults. But at a certain point in a teenager’s life, I think you need to do just that.
A positive, professional social media presence — one that highlights your teen’s accomplishments, internships, and interests — makes it easy for colleges and future employers to get a sense of who a teen is, why she stands out from the pack, and why he would make a great fit for that school or workplace. But more importantly the online profiles and connections of the adults in their lives, can show your teen what a career looks like, the path those people took to achieve those careers, and what they actually do every day at work. “This allows kids to dream big,” says John Hill, Higher Education Evangelist for LinkedIn of the access teenagers have to detailed career information on LinkedIn. “And high school is a great time to do just that. Teenagers can see people who succeeded and how they got there.”
To this end, LinkedIn recently opened up the site to teenagers fourteen and up in the U.S. And Hill suggest that parents – and other family members – invite teens into their profiles and act as mentors there to show teens how adults network, how to create a positive online brand, and how to make connections that can advance goals. And if your teen is shopping for colleges, be sure and check out the university pages that allow them to learn about schools, connect with them, and get a real sense of what a school they are considering is like — without the cost of visit. Invite them into your network, let them see how professional interactions happen, encourage them to research careers they would like to emulate, or even just see what a career is and what people do to promote their own work.
I love this idea. When I was a teenager this sort of information was very difficult to come by. I had to take the word of parents and teachers and scan the help-wanted ads in the paper. No one I knew shared my own aspirations, though, so it was very difficult to get any real information about how to follow my dream. I was pretty much on my own. My kids will have access to so much more information.
If you are still worrying – of course you are; that’s a parent’s middle name – read up on LinkedIn’s safety tips, start your kids off at the Teen Center, and study up on the privacy settings that LinkedIn automatically applies to a teenager’s profile.
Social media takes a lot of heat when it comes to teenagers. But more than 238 million adults use social media (on LinkedIn alone) to find work, promote their careers, and reach out to employees. It’s not all bad. Maybe it’s time to teach the kids what’s good about these tools?
Christina Tynan-Wood has been covering technology since the dawn of the Internet and currently writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle. You can find more advice about buying and using technology at GeekGirlfriends.com.
Written on October 9, 2013 at 10:30 am , by Family Circle
Written on October 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm , by Family Circle
Written by JM Randolph
My stepson didn’t complain about our daytime screen ban at all this summer. He went to the park; he rode his bike; he and his friends dug holes and built forts.
One gorgeous summer afternoon, I was outside on the phone with my mom when two little boys suddenly beelined out of my shed. I was fairly confident one belonged to me. I was also fairly confident they were carrying tools. They disappeared around back.
I said, “I think I’m going to check that out,” and headed toward the shed.
My mother can verify that I said this. Note my desire to let the kids expand their limits and how I refrained from hovering while being near enough to be safety-conscious.
They ran back before I could reach them. My stepson was saying, “You’re fine,” and his friend was saying, “No, it really hurts!” I took one look and went into damage control mode.
The friend was wearing sandals. One of the tools they had swiped was a shovel; the other was a pickax. In the realm of injuring oneself with a pickax, this kid had won the lottery. He’d neatly wedged it in between his pinkie toe and the one next to it. Deep, but not nearly what it could have been. He left thick, quarter-size globs of blood with every footstep.
It is a beautiful, heartbreaking thing to see an 11-year-old boy trying to be brave in front of an adult when he’s scared out of his mind. In the bathroom I worked on getting the bleeding to stop. My stepson brought towels and ice; the friend gave me his phone number and his mother’s name. I applied pressure and dialed. I’d never met his parents before.
His dad came in five minutes. He walked into the bathroom giving his son a hard time for getting blood on the carpet and told me with a wry smile this was about a week early—they usually waited until a major holiday for a trip to the emergency room.
I introduced myself, bypassed a bloody handshake and said it looked worse than it was but he probably wanted to get it checked out, making significant eye contact on that last bit. I dug through my first-aid kid and found…a Band-Aid.
That’s it. This kid was going for stitches after being injured on my watch and all I could come up with was a Band-Aid that was too small even to tape his toes together.
The dad was unfazed. “I have two sons in the military,” he said. He piggybacked his son down the stairs.
“Sorry about the carpet,” he said.
“I hate this carpet,” I said. It’s teal. It used to cover my entire first floor; blissfully, now it only covers the stairs. “I should thank you; maybe now we can finally get rid of it.”
He brightened and turned with the bleeding kid on his back and said, “Let me know. I sell carpet. I’ll give you a discount.” I watched as they made their way to the SUV in the driveway.
“Hey,” my stepson said. “It’s after five. Can we turn the TV on?”
JM Randolph is a writer, stagehand and custodial stepmother of five. She blogs at accidentalstepmom.com
Written on October 8, 2013 at 11:13 am , by Family Circle
Written by Lisa Lampel
The morning of October 15, 2010, started out like every other: up early, lunches made, kids up, fed, dressed and off to the bus stop. That is, until the phone rang at 7:45 a.m. The sound of my best friend’s voice was so agonizing, almost unrecognizable, as she told me, “Will killed himself last night.” What? WHAT? No. There must be some mistake. Will was a strapping, athletic, popular 15-year-old whom all the other kids flocked to. He had a great family and lots of friends. Surely this was not happening. It was not possible that Will would do this. Not possible.
But I jumped in the car, kids still standing at the bus stop, and raced down the street to my friend’s house. Then I saw the police car, the CSI van, and it was like I was in a nightmare. This couldn’t really be happening. Not to this family. Not in our nice little community. Yet as I ran inside, past the pastor from church, past the detectives in the hall, and saw my friends John and Susie in their living room, it hit me. This is real. Our lives were never going to be the same. I was going to be coming here every morning and getting their three other kids ready for school and then helping Susie to get up and get dressed, because there was no way she was going to recover from this. My happy, energetic friend was gone, I was sure of it.
What happened next was nothing short of miraculous. The kids, Will’s friends, immediately sprung into action. In a state of shock, they planned a memorial. Quiet as church mice, they came in droves. Teachers, coaches, friends, even strangers spoke of the memories they had, of all the ways that Will had helped them through tough times. He was a freshman. He had completed only eight weeks of high school, yet he had touched so many lives.
It seemed that our community immediately came together not only to support this family in their time of need but to do anything we could to prevent this from happening to anyone else. I had never thought much about suicide, and definitely never expected it to happen so close to home. I think the general feeling was, “If this could happen to them, it could happen to any of us,” and that scared us.
We had to get these kids to realize that nothing…NOTHING is worth this. They needed to talk to one another. They needed to know who to go to if they were feeling down. Teen suicide, a subject often avoided before, was now dinner conversation in my home and many others. The good news is, countless teens have been helped by their friends after hearing the message. My own son spoke to me about a child at school he was worried about, and because he wasn’t afraid to do so, his principal contacted the family in time to help the child. Kids are truly looking out for one another. They get it. They are telling someone, and lives are being saved.
Crazy thing is, if Will were here, he’d be leading the pack. So we will go on, keep his memory alive, do what he would have done, help his friends and anyone who will listen. This is just the beginning.
Lisa Lampel lives in Johns Creek, GA with her husband Jeff and her three kids, Jake (16), Drew (13) and Emmie (8 )