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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  • Patricia Oliver: July 02, 2015

    I’ve purchased three of your cups & we all love them! These little personalized bands look so cute – would live to get them too!

  • Elaine S.: July 02, 2015

    You are an inspiration Bill! Thinking of you and your family this thanksgiving! Good reminder to have much to be thankful for every year no matter what the circumstance !

  • Alexandra Pitcher: July 02, 2015

    Bill & family,

    Losing a loved one is never easy; it sounds like your wife and mother was the type of woman that moved mountains. I hope during this holiday season you can find the peace to reflect on her life and all the joy she brought to you every day. I know grief can be overwhelming, but know that there are people all over the country thinking about you and sending good thoughts your way; she will never be forgotten and her legacy lives on.


  • Amanda W.: July 02, 2015

    I wish Bill and his three lovely children a wonderful holiday season. A season of remembering their Mommy and all the great memories they created with her, and also a time to create new memories and traditions with Dad.

  • Eunice: July 02, 2015

    Praying blessings on the baby face band family and business!!

    Oh, and pink for us! :)

  • Erin Ensley: July 02, 2015

    Thank you for the reminder to reflect on the many blessings we do have during this time of year. Thinking of all those who are missing someone as we approach this holiday season.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    P.S.- Green!

  • Mia: July 02, 2015

    Thinking about your family and Bill’s family. Love your cups!! Thank you for sharing the Baby Band Face product and their story.

  • Tracy P.: July 02, 2015

    Sending good vibes to Bill and his family!!!!!!

    - Blue :)

  • Candace P: July 02, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this story. I wish Bill and his family strength and that he is blessed with many happy memories to give him reasons to keep smiling. You are also a beautiful family, just from reading your posts and stories. We absolutely love your Lollacups, you stand behind quality & made in the USA! Our little guy has 2 so far and we use them everyday all day. His favorite color is Green

  • emily: July 02, 2015

    I will be in prayer for your family during this time. So glad that the Lord has been able to take care of you guys. Praying everything soon gets better. Youa re a greatfamily and your cups are absolutely amazing.

  • Shana smith: July 02, 2015

    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! Good reminder of what this holiday really is! Spending and enjoying time with family!

  • Michelle: July 02, 2015

    Bill & Family, Sending good wishes your way this holiday season. Good luck continuing your wife’s vision with Baby Face Band!

    Our triplets have lollacups on their Christmas lists! We love green.

  • Heidi: July 02, 2015

    Thanks for posting this. A good reminder this time of year (and all year long). Sending prayers to your family and to Bill’s.

    Ps- green

  • Danielle Martins: July 02, 2015


    I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife and your children’s mother. There will never be a replacement! I too suffered an irreplaceable loss last year. My mother, very unexpectedly passed away 18 months ago. My heart aches for her everyday and couldn’t imagine what you are going through. Be strong for your children and give them the love that their mother would’ve. Wishing you all the success in the world with your business!

  • Beth: July 02, 2015

    Another great reminder to be thankful this holiday season and all year round. Sending lots of positive thoughts to Bill and his family.

    Thanks for the great giveaway. Love the idea behind the bands and will be sharing your site with all my mommy friends.


  • Nellie: July 02, 2015

    Praying for Hanna (we NEED to talk, I might be able to help!) and praying for Bill! I love you like a brother! Thank you for sharing! 사랑!

  • Mackenzie: July 02, 2015

    Thanks for sharing that story. Bill is an inspiration!!! His wife would be so proud of him and the legacy he is continuing in her honor. I wish Bill and his family blessings through the holiday season!!!


  • Alison: July 02, 2015

    Peace that passes all understanding, comfort and joy to Bill and his children this holiday season!

    (Blue for us!)

  • Alexandria Bauer: July 02, 2015

    Our thoughts and prayers to Bill and his children. Many blessings to yours as well, Mark.

    P.S. Pink

  • Stephanie: July 02, 2015

    Praying for Bill and his family…praying for strength, love to his family, and for his business (keep Laura’s vision alive)…his story reminds us to cherish every moment with our family/friends and tell/show them how much you love them everyday.
    I will definitely give my daughter and husband hug bear hugs and kisses when I get home tonight.


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