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Feeling thankful during a family crisis. By: Lolladad

Chad Riddersen

Posted on November 26 2013

Thanksgiving week is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  What is better for your soul than thinking about all the things you are grateful for?  Also, who doesn’t love that it is perfectly acceptable to spend 7 straight days obsessing about gorging yourself all night?

That being said, this year’s Thanksgiving is bittersweet for our family.  Hanna has been suffering all year with a severe skin condition for the past 9 months (link to blog post).  I can’t even begin to imagine how I would handle being in that much pain every morning, noon, and night for such an extended period of time.  Luckily we have had amazing support.  We moved into my parents’ house (thanks mom!) for 6 months because Hanna was unable to properly care for our newborn and our friends would send food and flowers on a weekly basis (best friends ever).  Yet, even though we feel incredibly blessed, it has been difficult to deal with the countless nights of crying and feeling utterly helpless.

While I was exhibiting at a tradeshow in Las Vegas last month, I was beginning to feel sorry for myself.  Even though I didn’t show it, having to deal with this major adjustment in our lives while struggling to grow this small business was starting to affect my mental state… Until I met Bill.

Bill and Mark meet in Las Vegas at the ABC Kids Expo. Baby Face Band and Lollacup meet!

Lollacup + Baby Face Band meet in Las Vegas at the ABC Kid's Expo

Bill is the owner of Baby Face Band, a very useful item that allows you to personalize your child’s cup or bottle by putting the picture of your child on a band that goes around bottle.  It makes perfect sense because your kid could easily identify his/her cup without having to know how to read!

Bill approached me in Las Vegas to talk about my experience on Shark Tank.  I was more than happy to talk about our journey and when I asked him about his story, I learned that we had a lot in common.  Baby Face Band was created by his wife, Laura, they were in contact with Shark Tank, and they also have three young children.  It’s almost like we were the same family except in different states!

But as the conversation went on I learned that Bill had lost his wife to cancer just about a year ago and that he was exhibiting at the show to keep her vision alive.  As soon as he shared this with me it took every muscle in my body from dropping to my knees and crying for him.  Immediately, I felt a rush of guilt for feeling so sorry for myself while Bill, who has the biggest smile in the US, is juggling his business and his kids without his wife. For the past month, I’ve been thinking and praying for Bill and his family.  We’ve only been in touch a few times since I met him in Las Vegas but his story has given me a lot of perspective.  I really admire his strength and I’m hoping to learn how to be as positive as he is.  I will definitely spend this Thanksgiving thanking my lucky stars and hugging my family members as hard as I can.  

Lollaland + Baby Face Band Giveaway!

To enter: Send good thoughts to Bill and his three young children during the holidays and enter either Red, Green, Blue, or Pink.  We will choose 4 lucky winners (Ends Dec 1, 2013) to get a free lollacup and matching Baby Face Band.  Happy Thanksgiving!  

Here it is in action: (picture of adorable baby not included)

Baby Face Band + Lollacup

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55 comments

  • Alex: July 02, 2015

    To Bill and his three children: I send you blessing for your future and strength to go through one of the hardest things to do in life. Although your wife is watching you and probably aware of the work you are doing to keep her memory alive.
    On another note: Great idea with the picture in the band! looks lovely.
    BLUE

  • Esther Chung ha: July 02, 2015

    Bill, you are inspiring. Reading your story encourages me to be thankful in all circumstances. I’m sure your wife is proud of you and how you’re taking care of the kids. May God fill you with peace and joy this holiday season while you’re surrounded by family and friends.

    P.s. Red, please.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    A very special person told us to never trivialize our own struggles just because it isn’t as serious or difficult as others. We thought just like you Liz. I would always ask myself, “how can we complain when so and so…” It’s been tough but we’ve tried to respect everyone’s struggles including our own.

    I’m really sorry for you and your daughter and even though eczema or what Hanna has isn’t the worst thing on earth to have, it does affect your daily life physically and mentally. Thinking of you and your family too! Please please read as much as you can about the long term effects of topical/oral steroids.

  • Karina Coleman: July 02, 2015

    Blessings on both your families. Bill and his children to make it through the tough times, and on your family with hope that they find something to help Hannah manage the pain soon.

    Karina
    (blue)

  • megann: July 02, 2015

    Happy thanksgiving to lolacup & babyface. what and inspiration you both are. and a great example of strength bill. ive heard people say in response to ‘’i cant imagine how that must feel’’ ‘’-well just try to imagine, it will make you appreciate what you do have that much more.’’ i wish you and your kids the happiest of thanksgivings and that you would feel your wife with you. that you would grow stronger each year, and more full of thankfulness for the company you both started together. thank you for the giveaway chance! we have an orange lola cup, i think green would be a nice addition :)

  • liz smith: July 02, 2015

    My daughter has eczema too – and it does seems like the worst thing ever until someone else’s health concerns put things into perspective. But we really love coconut oil and are so glad Costco carries it! Would love a lollacup – blue! would be great but we’ll take any color – i have a son too but my daughter loves blue anyway.
    love the baby face band too!

  • Kelly: July 02, 2015

    Bill, my heart goes out to you and your family. I can’t imagine how it feels to experience such a loss, but it sounds like your children have a wonderful dad to give them all of the love and care they need! Wishing you all a happy holiday season, and continued success with your business.

    And best wishes to the Lim family as well! I hope that Hanna finds relief soon, and that you all have a peaceful and prosperous holiday season (and new year).

    All my best,
    Kelly R, Prep Class of ’01
    (We would love to add a pink Lollacup to our little flock!)

  • Michele Sipolt Kapustka: July 02, 2015

    Mark – you are an incredible story teller – this entry is so well written and gets to the heart of the matter. Blessed to have you in my life. FOR SURE I am thankful for that. And remember, middle children ROCK. Just a shameless plug for my girl!!!

  • Beth Barnhill: July 02, 2015

    Love the bands…as a daycare teacher too many kids have the same cup and inchbug bands…I love the bands, but a picture would allowe even for the one year olds to keep cup seperate…and help out substitutes!! Awesome Idea! Hope to see you be able to fulfill your wife’s dreams…what an honor and a privieledge that would be!

  • Brittany Smith: July 02, 2015

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving! Sending prayers for Hanna’s healing. (pink)

  • Erin Lewis: July 02, 2015

    Thoughts and prayers to Bill and his family as well as to all who may be struggling with loss. As another poster said, it is an inspiring story – positive realities need to be shared more often and good for Lollaland to do so! -Red

  • Jenn S: July 02, 2015

    my heart goes out to him! we <3 the red.

  • Kristen: July 02, 2015

    Prayers and blessings to Bill and his family this holiday season.

    (Pink)

  • Cori: July 02, 2015

    Thoughts and prayers to Bill & his family. Thank you for sharing. Crossing my fingers for Green!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • Kelly: July 02, 2015

    Praying for Bill and his family as they go through the holidays this year!

    Kelly
    (Green)

  • Glen C.: July 02, 2015

    Sending positive thoughts to Bill and the family. Teared up reading your story. Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. You are an inspiration.

    Hope you have a blessed time, Lim family. Thanks for posting Bill’s story.

  • Jeff: July 02, 2015

    Bill – praying for continued strength with your family and abundant success with your Business!! God is good!

    RED

  • Michelle: July 02, 2015

    Meeting Bill must have been great as he appears to be the young to the amazing Lollacup yang. His wife will be smiling to know her idea has a great fit on the great Cup we love! Great idea Bill. Thanks Lollaland for sharing!

  • Carrie: July 02, 2015

    Thoughts and prayers to Bill and his family. What an inspiration, I know his wife is proud! You all are inspirations too, what a great family. Your girls will grow up to be wonderful women because they have such amazing parents :) Happy thanksgiving! Xo, your friends at i play. Ps blue for FWE ;)

  • Jeanie: July 02, 2015

    Blessings to both your families!
    (green)

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