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Every week in our Big Interview we celebrate people who have dreams, drive and passion. And one lady who has all three in abundance is the amazing Alison Qualter Berna. Alison is a mum, a businesswoman and an adventurer who thrives on helping to bring out the best in others. She loves a challenge and recently guided the first blind runner across the Grand Canyon. She can also do a headstand on a paddle board and we think that’s pretty awesome! If ever you needed inspiration to get out there, do what you love and live life to the max, this is it… – Rachel Kempton (dowhatyouloveforlife.com)


Read the full interview here!

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A Mother’s Story Told by Daughters

by Wendy Bradford

My girls, who are five and seven, found two little books in a bookcase that I was to fill out at some point. The books are similar, each is called A Mother’s Story, and they are meant to be keepsake journals, records from one generation to the next.

Being a procrastinator, a recorder on blogs and social media now more than in journals, I’ve left those little books alone. But the girls were happy to fill in the answers themselves, and as I went through the books with their unfinished statements, clearly meant to record and save a mother’s childhood and personal thoughts for her daughter(s), I laughed and was a little surprised at the places we intersect.

(I didn’t help them with these; I suspect they did them together as only one girl knows how to read well. I have corrected the spelling to spare you the hours of effort.)

Mother: Wendy
Daughter: Ellie

My favorite outfit to wear was….
My mommy bought me a stuffed bunny and she bought me a yoga mat.

My favorite subject in school was…
Art is the best.

My very best friend was…
Santa got me a Stuff Stuffy.

The person I looked up to the most was…
Luna. [Luna is a kindergartner.]

My first job was…
My babysitter bought a toy for me.

The most important lesson I ever learned was…
I love my mom.

The best advice anyone ever gave me…
You can’t say the word Die

Some of my goals were…
Ballet.

When you were a child, a typical day was…
When my kids hit me. [That is not a typical day.]

You made me laugh when…
When I did silly dances.

You surprise me most when…
When you wear a wig.

You remind me of myself when…
I was a baby.
___

Mother: Wendy
Daughter: Molly

My earliest childhood memory is….
My sister. She was a baby. She was sitting on my lap.

The happiest time in my childhood was…
When we went to Disney World.

As a child, people would describe me as…
A beautiful girl and sunshine sun.

When I was growing up, I wanted to become a…
Police woman because so I can help the world not get hurt and in trouble.

My most mischievous moment was…
When I was born.

When I was little, I liked to spend time…
With my family.

My favorite outfit to wear was…
A shirt and shorts or leggings or jeans or pants.

My favorite subject in school was…
Art and computer and music and library and Spanish.

The person I looked up to the most was…
Caroline. [Caroline is a second grader.]

My first job was…
Table cleaner.

The most important lesson I ever learned was…
Math.

The best advice anyone ever gave me…
You should always look both sides.

Some of my goals were…
Do a good job.

What I consider romantic…
Always make friends. [She asked me what “romantic” meant. I told her it meant what you like to do.]

How our family began…
I was born in my mommy’s tummy then my brother came along then my sister came along that is why my brother is a little bigger than my sister.

When I saw you for the first time…
I was so happy and surprised.

As a new mom, my biggest fear was…
Take care of my children.

After you were born, my life changed in lots of ways like…
Getting older.

When you were a child, a typical day was…
Getting born.

You remind me of myself when…
I was a baby.

The best advice to share about being a mother is…
Rules.

Inside my handbag, you’ll always find…
My life.

A family recipe I cherish…
We have Thanksgiving.

My idea of a perfect day is…
Thanksgiving.

A pet peeve of mine is…
Cat.

My wish for you in life…
Because I have someone to love.

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How Playing An Instrument Benefits Your Brain

We wanted to share this short animated video we like by TED-Ed. It is about how playing an instrument benefits your brain. It’s food for thought for your growing babies, and more about the importance of music…


Come and join us in songs for seeds class and they will already be able to start touching and playing the guitar, piano, drums and more!




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JICNY’s Tower of Light Award

by Alison Qualter Berna

Last week our business partners and closest friends, Allison and Craig, were honored by the JICNY (Jewish International Connection in New York) for their dedication and commitment to service.

Thanks to the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, last summer Allison had the privilege and great fortune to go on a “mom’s trip” to Israel. I remember Allison’s struggle leaving her three beautiful kids for 10 long days. She wanted to go, but felt tormented by the idea of taking so much time away from her family, work, life at home…

Thanks to Craig, and a few of us who knew she would grow and change positively from this experience, she excitedly, and nervously, boarded the plane. 

When Allison returned, she was transformed in a way that only an eye-opening, educational trip can make an impact. She learned more deeply about the culture and made close friends, but Allison took it one step further and this is what makes her so special. Shortly after the trip, she hosted a JICNY event in her home and organized a group of women that meets monthly, giving them the space and time to continue the tradition of sharing stories, love and support.

At the event, Craig introduced Allison in his classic, loving way that exudes just how much he admires his wife. Perhaps my favorite part about attending this event was watching the incredible Schlanger boys, Sam, Ari and Dov, as they smiled with pride for their parents!

Here are a few photos of them receiving the JICNY’s Tower of Light Award:





Bobby and I continue to be in awe of all that Allison and Craig do and how much they give back to this world.

We sit in gratitude at their partnership and their presence in our family’s life.

Alison & Bobby

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Five Lessons I Learned Guiding the First Blind Runner Across the Grand Canyon

mamalode is considered one of America’s best parenting magazines…we love its philosophy and concept.  It is a fantastic website and highlights interesting articles and essays from writers across the country.  Today’s issue highlights co-founder Alison Qualter-Berna’s essay “5 Lessons I Learned Guiding a Blind Runner Across the Grand Canyon."  Check it out!