Firefly Fitness with Ken & Jennifer Cornine

Building a Legacy of Health and Happiness


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Of Gratitude & Thanksgiving

mother_TeresaToday was beautiful and sunny and cold.  I spent it at St. Aloysius in 2 starkly contrasting events, at least at first blush.  Early morning started with the annual Thanksgiving food drive drop-off in the church parking lot.  While we have donated and dropped off meals in years past, this was the first time that I volunteered to help out with the event.  I made it a goal this year to try to be more out-going and involved.  It seems that I have been craving connection on a deeper level with my community and friends old and new, so off I went.

If you haven’t participated in an event like this before and have an opportunity to do so this holiday season, I highly recommend it.  There is nothing more heartwarming than to see dozens upon dozens of people gathered together, young and old, wealthy and struggling, with a common goal of feeding the hungry.  My heart swelled at the feeling of happiness in the crisp Fall air.  It was my community at its best and I was thankful.

After the hustle and bustle was done the cars were loaded with Thanksgiving dinners and off they went to the distribution centers.  The cheer in the air at St. Al’s turned to grief.  A wonderful Father, Husband, Boy Scout Leader, Musician and Friend was being sent off to his eternal resting place.  Jeffrey was taken too young and my heart broke for his 3 children and wife as that same parking lot filled with people to pay their last respects.  Father Fernando did a beautiful job celebrating Jeff’s life and comforting the grieving.  I can’t imagine the pain that my friend must endure.  My heart breaks for their family.

As we left the church my thoughts turned once again to Thanksgiving and Gratitude.  No matter what life may throw my way, I woke up this morning and took a deep breath.  God willing I will do the same tomorrow.  This year at my table on Turkey Day, I will remember the faces in the parking lot- the happy and the healthy, the stricken and the sorrowful.  I will count my blessings, hold my family close and say a prayer of Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for a way to help feed the hungry this year, check out http://www.feedingamerica.org/.

Matthew 25:35-40

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


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Building a Business, Building a Legacy.

In the beginning, I was reluctant to share the coaching opportunity with people.  While I believe wholeheartedly in the opportunity and feel passionate about what this business means on so many levels, I was afraid that people would think that somehow I was self- serving.  I grasped fully the concept that your success in this business is directly related to the amount of people that you help- both in getting healthier and in helping to growing financially- but I had a hard time getting past what I thought others would think.  Lets face it, at the end of the day network marketing has gotten a bad rap.  I rarely approached anyone about sharing my business unless they expressed interest to me first.  The exception was when I timidly brought up the coach discount to my longer term home direct clients- it only made sense for them to save money by becoming a discount coach instead of putting money in my pocket.inspirational-leadership-quotes
Then a series of events happened that help me gain clarity.  A friend suddenly passed away.  A Mom that I know was diagnosed with a terminal disease.  It felt like there was heartbreak and uncertainty all around us.  It became very real to me that life is fleeting and moments were precious.  I thought about my own children and how they would be provided for if anything happen to Ken or me.  We have been through other financial near disasters, sudden joblessness and serious illness that was a huge strain.  The opportunity to be self-employed meant great deal to me.  I was given the very real gift of lasting health as a result of my association with my company as a consumer, the idea of playing a small part in connecting other people to a new path to health was both exciting and rewarding.  It seemed right for me to share that.
But inviting other people to join my team of coaches was another matter.  It wasn’t until the very real notion of my mortality and its impact on our finances came to the forefront of my thoughts, that I realized that this opportunity is a gift to others.  The thought that you and I can create a business, a financial legacy that can pay our children and grandchildren long after we are gone is amazing.  I don’t know many “jobs” that provide those benefits any longer.  You can’t get downsized.  You can’t get eliminated.  You have absolute control over the course of your financial life with this opportunity in addition to doing meaningful work to help other people live healthier, more fulfilling lives.
Even on its smallest scale, by sharing I can help another family.  The income may pay for dance lessons, new shoes or a merrier holiday.  It may even pay your gas bill, college loan or car payment.  Maybe you’ll use the extra income to plan to buy a house or get out of debt.  The point is- how selfish of me not to share it with you and allow you to make your own decision.  Coaching has been a blessing in my life in so many ways, it is high time that I pay it forward and offer the same rewards to you.  I’ve gotten clarity now.  So know that I will talk to you about what I have to offer because I care about you and want you to have a choice.


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Thank You Veterans!

On Saturday we visited Washington D.C.  We were fortunate enough to have found the wonderful Walk of The Town to guide the kids on their first exploration of the Capitol.  Tim Stewart was amazing! As a former educator, he was an engaging storyteller and shared things about D.C. that we never would have been privy to.  toursThe highlight for our family was his insight into the war memorials.
We first learned about the WW2 Memorial and how it came about.  He explained the symbolism that surely goes unnoticed. From the deliberate design of the State pillars as if seated in order of honor based on the date of statehood – much like the placement of bridesmaids and ushers in a great wedding banquet- to the carefully placed sitelines and the symbolism that goes with it.  Real tears stung my eyes as I watched proud families wheel reflective veterans through the memorial for pictures- each with a far away look in their eyes perhaps reflecting on a time long ago and fallen friends.  The wall of gold stars were a somber reminder of the lives lost.  ww2It was here that Tim pointed out the World War Memorial- a simple bandstand built for a ceremony long ago, before wars were numbered.
Next we went to the Viet Nam Memorial and heard the story of conflict and controversy surrounding the design.  emmavietnamWe learned of the careful placement of names as if in the pages of a book.  Look closely and you will see crosses and stars denoting those deceased and missing in action.  Some stars are etched over the crosses; this occurs when remains have been identified and closure is brought to the families.  Letters and memorabilia are left at the wall.  Each non perishable item catalogued and stored in a warehouse.  We learn about a Harley left at the wall for any “fallen brother” who would like to go for a symbolic ride.  We spent time at the sculptures and thought of Auntie Lynt at what is commonly called “the Nurses Sculpture”.  I had the occasion to discuss the divide that still exists in some VFWs over the Viet Nam War.  Some wounds are still fresh.
We ended our tour at the Korean War Memorial, arguable the most haunting of the sites.  koreaIt was amazing the hear the stories of the people portrayed in the sand-blasted etchings on the wall and learn about the woman who identified her father in a particular scene.  It was here that the kids learned about their Grandfathers’ service and the heroic efforts on behalf of  “a place they had never been and a people they had never met.”  
 
Today, I would like to say thank you to all who have served and those who are still serving, honor the memories of those who have passed and offer a prayer to the families that have sacrificed for our freedom.  And a special thank you to the keepers of history making sure that the stories are told and that we never forget.


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Grocery Shopping and Designing a Life

sleep-deprived-woman-grocery-shopping
I hate shopping on Sundays.  Ok maybe hate and Sunday don’t belong in the same sentence.  Suffice it to say that I really, really dislike shopping on Sundays; specifically grocery shopping.  It seems that the whole town is in ShopRite, cranky, crashing carts and cussing or dazed and meandering down the aisles as if seeing it all for the first time.  I m a perimeter shopper mostly- fresh fruit and veggies, meat/fish/poultry, some dairy…you get the idea.  I don’t like to venture too much into the interior, there is something about the smell of Coca-Cola and cheesy poofs that bring out the worst in people.  But there are some things that are necessary in there.  So I take a deep breath, rush in and rush out and finally make my way back to the front of the store and the dreaded checkout line.
That’s when I saw her.  Rosalynn.  She was the cashier and having such a hard time today.  The line was impatient, truth be told I was impatient and Rosalynn couldn’t move fast enough for any of us.  The light above her station switches on indicating a problem that begs the attention of a pimply faced looks-to-be-about 18 years old assistant manager.  He is impatient with Rosalynn as well.  As they work it all out and her faces falls a little bit more when the pimply faced manager in training points out that she has made yet another error, my heart grows heavy.
Rosalynn looks to be in her 70’s and clearly not doing this for the fun of it.  She doesn’t have the Walmart commercial “older happy person working as a greeter to get out and bout” air about her.  She looks as if this is what she has to do to make ends meet, probably not what she thought retirement would like. As I’m waiting in line I think about what those days will be like for me.  What does retirement look like for my generation?  Will it even exist?
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to change my circumstance by owning my own business.  I have the opportunity to create a legacy and to build something that will take care of my future.  I won’t have to burden Emma and Lukas to provide for me, I won’t have to worry about affording quality healthcare or food or whether I will be able to take my grandkids to Disney.  I have designed my life in such a way that the whims of a pubescent assistant manager, cranky customers or aches and pains won’t determine my mood for my day.  If I work with excellence and diligence and continue to add value to other people’s lives, I can create something wonderful.  You can too.
Next it is my turn to check out.  I make sure that I take my time, make eye contact and thank Rosalynn for her help.  She smiles back at me and as she turns to greet the next person in line it slowly fades away.


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All Saints Day: Welcome to November

Thankful-PrintableLast night was another wonderful night of Trick or Treating.  I am so thankful that my “babies” love to dress up.  This year was all about Broadway for them.  Luke was The Phantom of the Opera and Emma Grace was Eponine from Les Miserables.  It drizzled so she was thrilled to walk the streets singing “A Little Fall of Rain” to herself.  halloween2014

After all the candy Bacchanalia, today, All Saints Day calls for a much more sensible diet.  It is cold and raining here in NJ, so I will be preparing a stay-in-your-jammies-all-day kind of dinner.  Clean Beef Stroganoff in the crock pot should do the trick!

Planning ahead for the week, I will be making these scrumptious bars for snacking on.  It will be wonderful to have the house filled with the aroma of baking banana bread today.  TIP:  Check out the grocery store’s clearance produce for bananas.  You will pay pennies on the dollars for a tote of just slightly overripe bananas which are perfect for this recipe.

I would also like to extend an invitation to join me on Facebook in a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge for the month of November.  There is always something to be thankful for!