Friday, June 28, 2013

Best for Families:
Yours, Mine, Theirs….

We’re always focused on the family. No surprise there - FAMILY is our name after all. But this month, we are truly all about family - “Yours, Mine, and Theirs.”

For “Your” Families…This month we offer you the eagerly awaited “Best for Families” issue where we get to announce the winners of our Best for Families survey! 

During this past month, we’ve been busy tallying votes and offering sneak previews of the nominees in our weekly e-newsletters. We received over 12,000 nominations in more than 90 categories ranging from your Kids’ Favorite Foods to Best Winery. We love hearing our readers’ opinions, and we know you are all curious to see if your favorites made the list.

Our Best for Families survey is our version of that “over the back fence” neighborly conversation – extending it to thousands of moms and dads looking for that next new thing. When you check out our Best for Families’ results, you may find a new favorite restaurant or discover a party destination you didn’t even know existed.

In our “neighborhood,” the large and diverse DC metropolitan area, it takes some serious coordination to help families find the best businesses have to offer. That’s why our Best for Families July issue is both the MOST popular of our monthly issues and is stashed away for future reference. If you just can’t wait to see the winners, flip to page10. We promise not to be offended if the "Best of" pages get torn out and filed. It’s what they’re for!

For “Their” Families - we were so moved by those families in Oklahoma affected by the recent tornadoes. I’m originally from Oklahoma and still have family there. Luckily, they live just outside the area that suffered so much damage. As soon as the tornadoes had passed, my granddaughter in Oklahoma City started to talk about doing something to help the kids – so we did!

We collaborated with Fresh 94.7 FM and set to work over social media to promote the “DC Teddy Bear Drive.” In less than one week, we gathered over 7,000 stuffed critters, and with free shipping from the UPS Stores in Northern Virginia, they have all made their way to Moore. Check out our article on page 73 for the details and adorable pictures!

The DC Teddy Bear Drive made us realize how powerful we are when we pull together as a FAMILY. We had dozens of businesses and hundreds of readers/followers donate their time, locations, and BEARS! It meant so much to me as an Oklahoman to be able to send a bunch of fuzzy hugs back “home.” Those kids displaced by the tornado need a buddy to hold onto – and now they know folks as far away as DC care enough to help them in their time of need.

And finally, for “Mine” Family – the wedding planning continues. Thinking about the Best theme for this month, it really hit home that I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to make my daughter Brittany’s wedding the Best experience for her that we can. As the mother of the bride, I’m increasingly aware that the wonderful wedding moments we envision will be a direct result of what I’m doing to make them happen. Between literally making the investment in the wedding and working so closely with Brittany to bring her childhood dreams to life, I know I have to “bring it” as they say. And I’m on it – gladly.

I’m realizing at each step of the way that I can’t do it all. It’s like all things best for family – there’s a village involved. Either it’s a village of readers voting for their Best of’s, or a village of social media followers taking time to grab a teddy bear by the tail for families in need, or a village of family, friends, and vendors making a wedding day magical for my special bride.

Best is a laudable goal. Our FAMILY winners are the best kind of winners – the kind that don’t require a loser to be special. I’m so proud to be part of “Our” Families’ Bests. I’ll keep pushing to find the best in all things I do no matter how big or small my reach may be.

I’m guessing our great readers share that goal as they strive to be the Best parents they can be. We’re here for you – every month in print, every day online – sharing the information and resources you need to accomplish those best parenting moments.

Enjoy your summer - the next time we’ll meet, it’s the back to school issue!

Happy parenting!


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