La Vida Verde | Jadeumbrella.com

Let’s Cry About Pregnancy and Infant Loss Together.

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When I was in High School, my aunt suffered a miscarriage. I naïvely tried to console her by saying that she had her first born. At the time I did not realize that she was mourning a whole different person.  As a teen far too long ago, the youth pastors where I went to church suffered infant loss. I will never forget the small casket holding a baby that I had held just 7 days previous (with far too many plastic tubes attached to a newborn).  It was an experience that I never want to relive.

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, but most people know about Breast Cancer Awareness. While both are important, most people do not talk about miscarriages or infant loss. So when my husband and I got pregnant after 8 years of infertility, we heard the news that no one wants to hear; “I’m sorry, you can try again.” The truth is that we couldn’t try again. We have been told the odds from our specialist, but the Physician’s Assistant who told us did not know all the information. I wanted to write this at the beginning of the month, not the end. But I just could not express how our loss will never have a new beginning.

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” President Ronald Regan said this when he declared October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in October 1988.

People try to tell me “oh you can just adopt.” Even mothers who have experienced pregnancy say that to me. My own short pregnancy, I felt so much that I will never forget ‒ I didn’t have any tension headaches, I craved mint chocolate, I felt a strong sense that the names that my husband and I picked out were not what this baby had in mind. Now going into our 40’s, we know our chance of becoming parents is pretty slim. You share watching kids grow up, seeing your beloved’s eyes merged with your grandmother’s personality. Things that you will never see with adoption ‒ feeling your baby kick and hiccup inside you, feeling that baby move closer to your spouse when it hears their voice.

We are mourning the loss of a family. So many of our friends have kids and are going through a divorce. These friends are mourning the loss of their family, but life will go on for them.  We will have no one as we age. Even in my large family; parents, children, and grandparents are exclusive. I constantly worry about being an “Elder Orphan,” (but more about that later).

So much we have picked out will go to waste like a 4 slice toaster that we purchased with the dream that kids would be using now. Being economical all 11 years of our marriage, he and I have never had a Christmas tree. Why would we? No one comes over to our home for Christmas. Do I sound bitter? I am.

I was just “childless shamed” last week at the gym. Someone said they saw me too much and that it must be because I don’t have kids. I would adore staying home with my children and teaching them the recipes my great grandmothers taught me! Most the time I go to the gym as retribution to my body for betraying me and my husband so badly.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss is a topic that we need to be more open about in our society. It is heartbreaking. If we can be empathetic and compassionate instead of being passive about it hopefully, just hopefully, those who have suffered this type of loss can begin to heal and open up to their options instead of feeling bitter about how society treats us.

One day, after a lot of healing, I’ll be comfortable to adopt. Until then, please talk about infant and pregnancy loss. A small “I’m here if you need someone to cry with” is all someone may need. And by all means, ask us for help with your kids. We love spending time with them. The best I feel when someone does see those positive pink lines and they think of telling me personally. Not over social media but a call, message or text. It lets me know that they were thinking of me. I know that I mean something to them and they did not want to hurt my feelings and wanted to include me in their joy. I cry every time! But they are tears of sorrow and joy.

Thank you for reading,

-La Vida Verde

Bring Your Unique LuLaStyle

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No woman wants to show up to a party wearing her dress. With LuLaRoe, It is quite a different story. Not only will you high-five anyone with the same outfit you own but you will embrace a LuLaRoe sister even if she is in your exact same dress. Let me explain….LuLaRoe is a brand of clothing that will bring out your inner stylist. The Prints are funky and some downright questionable. They make over 1,000 prints and only make a 1,000 of each style in one print. So you rarely see the same print. But when you do, you know you found another LuLaRoe sorority sister.


The beauty of this is that it really is Pokemon for adults but in clothing. You’ll want to buy em all! Once you put your legs in your first pair of leggings and feel the “Buttery Soft” fabric for the first time, you will get hooked. Not only are they comfortable but they are affordable and do not show through. These are not just simply funky leggings either. LuLaRoe has dresses, shirts, skirts, jackets, and even a line for kids, teens, and men. But this is an exclusive club and you cannot purchase these things at your local retailers. Like Pokemon go, you are going to have to use one app or another.  LuLaRoe is a multi-level marketing group for independent consultants — sort of a Tupperware of clothing.



(Pictures courtesy of LuLaRoe)


I was introduced to LuLaRoe by one of my besties. She told me I would get hooked and soon feel like a joined a cult. I felt I was stronger than that as I slipped on the flying blue pig print with a red background.  The only thing I had to match this was a denim shirt. Soon enough, I wanted to try one of the dresses. Something that was easy to wear, not too hot for the weather and not too formal. The answer to my question was the Amelia dress. It has pockets! Need I say more?


All I had to do was find a print I liked in my size and purchase it. You do this by joining LuLaroe groups and search the picture albums and comment “Sold” on the item you want. Then you have 24 hours to pay for your purchase and it is mailed to you. Sounds simple enough right? Some 80 facebook groups later and I made my purchase — A leopard print Amelia. It came and I was instantly in love with its comfortable fabric and perfect cut of the dress. Now I  am a full-fledged addict. I search for my very own “unicorn’s” (That’s LuLa speak for a print that is hard to find that you want). I have my favorite groups and styles that I search for in particular. I like the Leggings, Randy Top, Perfect Tee, Madison Skirt, and Amelia Dress. I prefer groups that have albums. But there again, the new trend is to sell via Facebook Live streaming video or Periscope as one of my Reps, Elizabeth Olson, does. And like any addict, I refuse to see a problem. LuLaRoe is easy to wear and comes in petite and plus sizes so finding the great fit is easy.


(Picture courtesy of Elizabeth Olson)


Not every print out of the 1000 plus is a winner. So, many of the independent sales consultants have discount items for sale to move their inventory. There are even albums and Pinterest boards with print fails like “LuLaNO!’ A little styling goes a long way. Soon you will be so comfortable in these leggings that you will swear that mustard is the new pink. You’ll  find a way to wear the leggings that have been discounted to $12. The best way to get started is to get social. A simple search for a LuLaRoe group on Facebook or a consultant on Instagram or Twitter is all you need to get started.  If you are lucky, you just might have a friend, who knows a rep, who is having an open house sale. Then, you can try these gems on for yourself.

My First Premiere

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Mission: “Range 15”, Zombie Veteran Movie and the Bad Asses involved with it.

Being the new girl at Jade Umbrella can be quite intimidating. For someone who loves Indie films, I was lucky to land at “Range 15,” a Veteran zombie movie directed by Ross Patterson and has raised $1.1 million via IndieGoGo. It stars a group of impressive military veterans; the Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell, Mat Best, Nick Palmisciano. Medal of Honor recipients Leroy Petry and Clint Romesha produced “Range 15.” It is the first ever veteran-made blockbuster. It was a just a privilege to be with that many decorated veterans at the same time, let alone a movie premiere and this was my own red carpet boot camp. My respect for veterans is deep. Grandfather served the US Army in Korea and my Father-in- Law served in the US Air Force in Vietnam. So when I found myself surrounded by these veterans, actors, producers, and writers; you can imagine how nervous I was. To say that I had overthought the event would be an understatement. Like Scar from the Lion King, I like to be prepared. I stressed out way too much before the event about what I was going to be wearing. I lost sight of what was more important. I got a specs sheet with everyone’s picture on it and their names. These specs sheets are for the media, a “Who’s Who” tool for the event, but I wanted to feel a lot more confident knowing everyone’s name. I wish I had researched everyone like Anne Hathaway’s character in “The Devil Wears Prada.” At the “Range 15” pre-party I got to meet so many people and even met veterans who came out to support the movie even though they were not personally involved. This is where I got to really have a lot of fun taking pictures of everyone.

20160603_213550(Me with a Veteran who came to show his support)

20160603_210356(Weston Scott from “We Are The Mighty” interviewing Mary “WonderNubs” Dague)

20160603_21425320160603_21115820160603_204928(Some candid shots of Jessie Wiseman, Jarred Taylor, Vincent “Rocco” Vargas, Mindy Robinson, and Siva Kaneeswaran)

Soon we were to leave to the Vista Theater for the red carpet. I drove my own car. I also do not have an Uber account. I found great public parking in the heart of the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. Score! But now I could have gotten stuck walking to the Theater 2 blocks away in 5-inch heels. No thank you, Uber to the rescue! You can guarantee I have an account now. The thought of being anywhere near the infamous red carpet sent me into to a bad episode of “Fashion Police.” I opted for wearing 5-inch heels. They look fabulous and are comfortable for about 3 hours. I was not going to be the focus of these pictures and lost sight that I should be more concerned with everyone else looking fabulous. Those 5-inch heels became the bane of my existence. I had asked permission when I was hired to wear comfortable but fashionable footwear, but when the email came with dressing guidelines, I took “wear heels” a little too literally. As a result, my toes were numb for 5 days. I wish I had the flip-flops I drove in or the beautiful pair of Gracie Dr. Martin’s I had planned on wearing. These are the most beautiful Dr. Martin’s I have ever seen. They should make a line of footwear just for publicists. Look at those fabulous heels below. Ouch!


(Logan Stark, Black Rifle Coffee and Melissa Jensen, Producers)

I longed for my digital camera at home because I could not compete with large professional flashes. Below is an example what happens when my tablet has to compete with a professional camera flash. The digital cameras these days come with BlueTooth Technology I can upload and post to social media right away. I’d splurge on the waterproof camera. I’ll need it for kayaking and swimming with sharks (more on that later). I carried my Samsung Note Tablet, Samsung Phone, and left my backup charger plugged in at home because I was so nervous. Halfway through the event, my phone died. Luckily I had my tablet to continue taking pictures but I wish I had my backup charger.


(Bo Roses, costume designer for Range 15)

I learned that I need to be aware of my surroundings and where everyone puts their belongings. Everyone from Jade Umbrella is “slating” stars, taking pictures, and helping everyone and I kept an extra eye on personal belongings to help everyone involved. There is a lot of action and there may not be security. I took the initiative with anything I saw unattended. Paparazzi are not friends and may show up and spoil the fun. I learned to care of celebs. There may not be much we can do other than warning that celeb where paparazzi is lurking or plan to have them walk a different route but that is still better than nothing. I wore an engraved dog tag style necklace that my aunt got all her nieces in my grandfather’s honor to the event. As the night progressed I got more comfortable with conversation by wearing those dog tags. This was good because I asked for my first celeb selfie. Trevor Snarr, one of the actors in “Range 15” also who served 7 years in the air force AKA “Don” (“Summer Weedley’s” boyfriend) from “Napoleon Dynamite” was nice enough to take a selfie with me, not only with his camera but texted it to me since my phone died.

Getting comfortable with this experience was getting better as I shared with everyone that this was my first time. Now, “Range 15” is the #2 comedy in the nation. So far, the butterflies I had in my stomach still have not gone away. Every review I see, every tweet, or blog; I cannot believe how much I lucked out to see this milestone for the Military community.

-La Vida Verde