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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  • Susan: July 02, 2015

    You are an inspiration to anyone who hears your story. Your wife is smiling down from heaven on you and the children. RED

  • Tasha: July 02, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Wishing you all peace and strength to get through your journey and may the love and support of your families sustain you. God bless you all!
    (Pink, please.)

  • Katie: July 02, 2015

    Sending many blessings your way this holiday season!! Happy Thanksgiving!!
    Katie – Pink :)

  • Terri Gudowicz: July 02, 2015

    Happy Thanksgiving to the “Lollaland” family, and to Bill and his children. Keep the memories alive in your children by talking of their mother often. God Bless


  • Susan Hudacek: July 02, 2015

    You are an inspiration to anyone who hears your story. Your wife is smiling down from heaven on you and the children.

  • Liz: July 02, 2015

    Dear Bill & family,

    Happy Thankgsgiving! I am so touched and encouraged to hear about your story. I will keep you and your family in my prayers! Sending you many blessings this holiday season to your family and your growing business

  • Tracy: July 02, 2015

    Prayers to you and yours. You are truly an inspiration. God bless.


  • francine: July 02, 2015

    Good luck & great strength to both of you & your families. With your families behind you you will be able to make it through these difficult times. We have had a tough year this year as well, but a new year is upon us and with it comes more change, but hopefully growth & peace.

    The Lolla Cup is our favorite sippy of all time!!! We had it even before we saw you on Shark Tank!

    Pink Please!

  • Danielle: July 02, 2015

    Thinking and praying for Bill and his family. We are facing our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without our infant who passed away this summer. Missing a loved one is extremely painful each day but even more so during the holidays.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    PS. If you share the name of a winner but did not receive an email… it’s because we only have your first names.. sorry! =(

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    We are so thankful for such heart warming comments, thoughts and prayers!

    Congrats to our four winners!
    Pink – Katie
    Green – Beth
    Blue – Terri
    Red – Jenn

    I will email you to get your address. You can see how we drew our winners! =)

  • Stephanie: July 02, 2015

    What an inspiration you are Bill! Sending warm wishes for a happy holiday season to you and your kids. Love the Baby Face Band Idea! Even better with the Lollacup! (Pink)

  • Erica Routley: July 02, 2015

    My Prayers Go Out 2 You And Your Family May You Have A Blessed Holiday (Green) Please

  • G: July 02, 2015

    I wonder if your wife is suffering from a mite called Demodex. It can cause severe rash and itching. One way to see if she has it is to put a small amount of tea tree oil on a non-facial area. The next day you will see tiny white hairlike extrusions from the hair follicles—dead mites. Any dermatologist can help you with prescription cream
    and oral medication. Body Shop makes a nice line of tea tree oil skin care products, and Paul Mitchell makes a nice tea tree bar soap. Best wishes.

  • Charity: July 02, 2015

    I remember seeing Lollacup on Shark Tank, and I’m thrilled you and my friend, Bill found each other at the trade show. My prayer for months (unbeknownst to Bill) has been that The Lord would grow Baby Face Bands to great success, not only to provide for Bill and the kids, but to carry on Laura’s beautiful legacy! I wish great success to you both!

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