Mukilteo Strong

Saturday morning at 8am, I woke up to a text message from a friend of mine in California. It was a link to an article from NBC News: Gunman Shoots Dead 3 Young Partygoers at Mukilteo, Washington, Home.’

I am a Mukilteo native. My childhood home is in Mukilteo. My three siblings and I all graduated from Kamiak High School – the youngest just this past spring. My first thoughts went to my family. I called home and was comforted that my little brother was in his bed. However, as much as I was relieved, other families were not so lucky.

I struggle with what to say because what really can be said? This is a hateful crime that will never be justified. This is a violation of our sacred home. This is confusing. This is pain. This is devastation.

However, as a Mukilteo native, and founder of a motivational active wear apparel brand, called Every Blessed Day, I feel that something must be said.

Sometimes this world shakes us naked to our very core. But, sometimes, starting at our core is the best place to be because once we have our foundation, we can build ourselves again.

Herein lies the controversy, or maybe, misconception that comes with the phrase Every Blessed Day. Every Blessed Day is not meant to say that life is without hardship, tragedy, loss, struggle, hurt, and pain. But rather, it calls to our internal frame of mind. It calls to our approach to these things. It calls to the actions that we can control. It challenges us in our most fragile moments to attack our uphill battles, one step at a time.

Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time and we cannot revive these precious lives. The reality is, many of us still have life to live. And as we put one foot in front of the other each new day, as we exhale heavy and breathe in anew, as we wake up and try again, and try again, and try again… EBD is meant to say, here is another opportunity.

These young lives were not lost in vain. Their memory will continue to live on through all those that they impacted during their time with us. And what beautiful memories they left. I hope I can speak on behalf of this community that I grew up in:

To the families and friends affected most dearly,
We empathize with you.
Our hearts ache with yours.
This will take time.
It will be hard.
You are not alone.
We are here with you.
We are here together.
We will carry on.
Mukilteo, we are strong together.
Every Blessed Day.

We have dedicated these shirts to raise money for the families of the young lives lost and the young man who is still recovering. 100% of the profits will go to the families.

$10 ea.  www.everyblessedday.com
All orders placed by 7 am on Monday 8/8, can utilize the code: ‘PICKUP’ to avoid shipping charges. Shirts will then be available for pick-up at the Kamiak High School parking lot, near the memorial site, from 6-8pm on Thursday 8/11.

A special thank you to Werner and Tracie Furrer, Northwest Creations LLC, of Mukilteo for donating all printing services.

In loving memory of Anna Bui, Jordan Ebner, and Jake Long.

Wishing a full recovery to Will Kramer.

We are fighting with you. Every Blessed Day.

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FINAL UPDATE AS OF 10/14/2016

We are touched to announce that EBD and Northwest Creations sold over 600 shirts and raised close to $4000 for the families of Anna Bui, Jake Long, Jordan Ebner, and Will Kramer. 

A special thank you to our loving community who purchased shirts to show support of the victims of this most unimaginable tragedy.


 

 

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4 Key Points for Athletes Going Through the College Recruiting Process.

After high school, I was extremely fortunate to earn a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at Pepperdine University. I played all four years and managed to escape no major injuries, while simultaneously earning a bachelor’s degree in advertising. Not to mention, I enjoyed studying on the beautiful beaches of Malibu (where we also had 6am workouts in the summer). That sounds fairly amazing and for the most part it was! But I can’t fail to acknowledge the adversity and little nuances that don’t make the bio, yet nevertheless managed to play a role in my collegiate career and experience.

Would you do it all over again?
I don’t really like this question. After all, hindsight is 20-20. Trying to imagine the “what-ifs” only takes me down an unproductive rabbit hole of the unknown. Overall, my time at Pepperdine shaped who I am today, and I am truly grateful.

Here are a couple pieces of advice that I would like to pass along to the next batch of athletes going through the recruiting process in hopes that they might assist you in the process of narrowing down a good fit for you.

1.) Go on all 5 visits.

If you are fortunate enough to have multiple offers, go on as many official visits as you can. This is the number 1 thing I wish I had done. I took a couple of unofficial visits (those are unlimited–do those too), but my only official visit was to Pepperdine. I went down to Malibu, was star struck (can you blame me?), and committed at the end of my trip. I am not sure my decision would have changed had I looked into my other options more thoroughly, but I do think I missed out on some experiences by not taking other visits. Who knows, maybe something you learn about the school that was the lowest on your list surprises you. Each school offers something different, and it’s good to see a range in order to determine what your preferences are and what they are not.

 2.) Watch the games of the teams you are visiting.

Watch on TV, but try to watch live whenever possible. What might your role be on the team? Do you see your skill set fitting into your Coach’s system? Who plays your position that is currently there? See what opportunities they get. Just watch. Watch the dynamics of the game and how the Coach leads. Watch his/her subbing patterns. Imagine yourself on the team because soon you just might be. Who will be playing ahead of you? Will you have an opportunity to see playing time early?

3.) Talk to the current players about their experience.

How do you feel about the players and the culture of the team? Do you feel comfortable and see yourself getting along? What are their interests outside of basketball? I cannot emphasize enough how much time you will be spending together. Chemistry is sometimes an overlooked asset of a team. It is essential to get along with the people you work with when aiming for success.
Keep in touch with the players after your visit. They’re often told to put their best face on when recruits come to town. Keep in communication and ask for an honest reflection of what they are going through and what advice they may have. It would be wise to get a first hand opinion.

4.) What do YOU want?

Be patient and take your time in making a decision. Make sure you take note about how are you feeling about each conversation with Coaches. There will be a lot of people, well-meaning people, who will tell you where they think you should go, what sounds best to them, etc. But ultimately, like most of our major life choices, you will be the one living out the result. Remember, you aren’t just going for basketball–this will be your home for the next 4 years, God-willing, and although basketball will take up the majority of your time–trust me–you are going to want the other portion to be just as enjoyable.

What are your values? Here are some things to think about:
Fan base?
Academics?
Do they offer the field of study you are interested in?
Location?
Football program? I say this because Pepperdine did not have one, and I kind of wish I had that experience as well.
Class size?
Facilities?

It’s your college experience. You’ve earned it. Now go live your dream!

-KP
Founder & Designer of Every Blessed Day
Coach & Player Development, Eastside Basketball Club

BCT Alexandria Teleorman Romania, 13-14
Pepperdine Women’s Basketball, 09-13

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Reflections of a Small Business Owner

We celebrated two years this January. And what an adventure it has been…
In revel of this milestone and in an effort to be transparent, I’d like to share with you some things I have learned.

Put yourself out there.

Clearly, when you start a small business you are deciding to take some risks. Risks are scary. And I think they are especially terrifying when you have announced them to the world — or perhaps more so to your peers. One of my biggest challenges when first starting out was fear: the fear of being judged and potentially rejected. EBD is very personal to me, and while they say business and emotion should be separate, I have found that this is much easier said than done. This brand is my art and it is on display to be both embraced and criticized by the world. I have come to realize that I need a little bit of both. The critics make me better, and the supporters keep me going. And without sharing my work with the world, I would, to my detriment, have neither.

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I’m poor and I love it.

Well, maybe I don’t love it, but it’s not about the money to me. If you were to ask Chase, my right hand financial exec (who also happens to be my older brother) about my concern for profit, he would undoubtedly share with you my desire to give everyone product for free (Hey, I love you guys). My biggest joy throughout this entire process has come from customers connecting with the message. That is what it’s truly all about; that is what keeps me going and keeps me encouraged. I believe in my product and I’m falling in love with the journey.

You don’t truly understand unless you are the one going through it.

To some, this is a “no duh” sentence, but it’s like when an announcer rips an athlete without ever having himself played the game. It’s so easy to overlook variables and to make assumptions about something when it’s not your work. I’ve learned that the day-to-day details and tribulations are what make you, and that involves both tough and strict decisions. By understanding this and having to experience it myself, I have grown to respect small business owners on an entirely new level.

Shorts

Get in the game.

I played basketball at the professional level, however this lesson hadn’t fully dawned on me until I started coaching. I teach kids fundamental skills to prepare them for the game. No matter how much I feel that my kids still need to learn, they have to get on that hardwood stage and compete come game time. We learn by getting in the game, not trying to imagine and predict every outcome beforehand. We learn by making mistakes, getting corrected, and trying again.

I am still learning every single day. EBD has been both challenging and thrilling. As a planner, and somewhat of a perfectionist, I was hesitant of all the unknowns when first starting out. Reflecting on two years, I can see the growth of the business and also where I want to continue to develop. The process has been a blessing. Truly, I hope I’ve encouraged some of you all along the way as well. This is a living brand and the message remains. Every day is a gift, and I’ll never cease to make the most of each and every one.

“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Goals going forward.

We’re going to continue developing more products. We aim to build our online presence. We’ve just recently launched on Amazon. We’d like to get into some retail stores. We want to continue to connect with all of you. Give us your feedback. Let us know if you have any opportunities for us. Shoot us your ideas.

Thank you to all who have connected with our movement and will continue to stick around for the next year — I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.
-KP

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DO IT FOR THE WORLD.

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I once heard this quote at a friend’s funeral and it stuck with me ever since:

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” ― Les Brown

This friend that I lost was a mentor figure and a large reason for the foundation of Every Blessed Day. He lived fully and, although gone before many imagined he would be, he left nothing in the reserve tank, if you will. I now live life differently because I knew him.

Perhaps you know somebody like that. After we experience a death in our lives, there emerges a new urgency to live deeper. A new freshness of how precious life is. A new thought process of how we want to live ours.

There is a lot going on in the world today. There are injustices. People are hurting. Any words are an understatement.

I still believe in the goodness of people. I still believe in change. I still believe we must help each other in working together to make the world a better place. The purest way of that, in my opinion, is being truly oneself and sharing that with those around us.

I have a strong belief that we are all unique and amazing individuals. To me, we (the world) are missing out when we don’t get to see the real you (the individual). When we don’t get to hear your visions, see your passions, experience your unique creativity and being. Because there is only one you and nobody else can fill that role.

As I said, my mentor changed my world. At his funeral I saw just how many other people’s lives he impacted as well. Do It For The World is yet another reminder that our actions do affect others. Sometimes it is just a certain positive energy we are setting in motion.

As Nelson Mandela said, “When you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”

Do It For The World simply means: contribute. Contribute yourself. Our smiles encourage; we can affect change through just causes, and our time on Earth matters. Live in a way that emphasizes your best self and make a conscious effort to make the the world a better place every day.

THIS SHIRT IS ALSO A CAUSE SHIRT!

We are excited to announce our partnership with a Seattle-based organization called, One Days Wages (ODW). One Days Wages is a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. With the purchase of this shirt, $5 will go directly towards ODW Human Trafficking campaign. To learn more about Human Trafficking, ODW, and how your contribution will make a difference in the world, please visit: http://www.onedayswages.org/donate/org/odw-human-trafficking-fund

We are so excited for this partnership and thank you for your help as we collaborate together to join the fight in helping protect global human rights.

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Purchase your shirt here: www.everyblessedday.com

-KP, Team EBD
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EBD Goes to Indonesia

We are excited to announce our latest partnership with the Panti Asuhan Insan Permata (orphanage) in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. We have been working with Mitchel Chitwood, who is the spearhead of this cause, to make this happen! Each child in the orphanage will be receiving a shirt (design includes all of the names of the orphans and volunteers), to be delivered on Mitchel’s next trip in December. You too can receive a shirt by ordering now from our site (www.everyblessedday.com). With each purchase, $5 will be donated to the orphanage. Following, Mitchel speaks about the orphanage and the work that he is helping with in Indonesia.


Mitchel & Fitri

Mitchel & Fitri

INTERVIEW WITH MITCHEL CHITWOOD

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

“I am Mitchel Chitwood! I am a senior on track to graduate in December 2014 just before taking off to Indonesia. I am majoring in Information Technology and Administrative Management (It’s a mouthful I know). Just think computer and management skills! As far as careers go, I have many paths that I would love to go down, but I am waiting for God to open the right door. Many plans changed once I visited Indonesia for the first time.”

Tell us a little bit about the Insan Permata Orphange.

“In Bahasa Indonesia (the national language of Indonesia), the entire name is Panti Asuhan Insan Permata which is translated to Precious Human Orphanage. The orphanage is run by Pak Jonedy and Ibu Anna. They have the biggest heart for serving the Lord and supporting the children who live there. Currently there are 24 children at the orphanage, but the number fluctuates frequently as children graduate, are taken back by parents, etc. The children (many siblings) come to the orphanage because their parents cannot afford to take care of the them, so they get in contact with Pak Jonedy to take in the kids. Another scary scenario is the kids are rescued by Pak Jonedy because he received word that they would get sold into human trafficking. Very scary and very sad, but we are thankful for Pak Jonedy to bring in these beautiful children.”

Tell us about your connection with Insan Permata. How did it come about? How are you involved?

“My connection with Insan Permata started in July 2013 when I went on a missions trip to Pekanbaru, Indonesia with my home church. The two leaders of the trip had lived in Pekanbaru for a couple years and became close with the community and the orphanage. When they returned to the states they decided that God could do big things for this part for the world and so they put together a team. Ever since that trip in July 2013, my heart was forever stolen to love on the people of Pekanbaru and the children of Insan Permata. I have been to Pekanbaru a total of three times with a fourth time coming up in December.”

How has Insan Permata impacted you?

“Where do I even begin. I have never experienced my heart being broken and fulfilled all in one trip. We all have our happy places, and some may call Disneyland the “happiest place on earth”, but there is nothing greater than building a relationship and bond for life with the children at Insan Permata. God has shown me His most amazing love through these children to me. It is hard to explain the impact and feeling. I will never forget that feeling on July 6, 2013 at 8:05am, stepping off that plane and having that feeling deep inside my heart saying (God saying), “You are home.”

Insan Permata is the happiest place in the world. Life in Indonesia is nothing like America. The people there have close to nothing and things we take for granted are things that are not available to most Indonesians. But the children at Insan Permata carry the biggest smiles and carry the Love of God inside of them. Nothing will bring that down.”

In your mind, what is the greatest need for these kids?

“I love that this question is “need” and not “want”. These kids want nothing, but to know that they are loved by you and by God. That makes them happier than ever. What they need is completely different. Many of the children go to many different schools because Pak Jonedy works on getting them into school no matter where it is located. They always need school supplies, money for school attire (they must abide by dress code), money put aside for them to attend college, and the things we may consider little such as clothes because they are continuing to grow out of their clothes.

The orphanage is in need of a new facility. It is reaching maximum occupants for the rooms and needs to expand its property. And has become run down. It also needs to be located closer to the children’s schools. The location that has been selected is perfect, but will cost about $100,000 to build. This will take time and God is in control of all financing going into this project. This shirt sale is going to be used for immediate needs and not towards the construction project.”

Where do you see the funds from the shirt sales going?

“The funds that are brought in by the shirt sale will go to direct needs at Insan Permata when I arrive in December. I know currently they are in need of school supplies as they will be on vacation when I arrive, but they need the supplies for when the new semesters start at the beginning of January. The money will also be used for food (hopefully for the entire two weeks that I am there) to take away an expense for a temporary time. We just want to make sure that these kids stay healthy, happy, and are taken care of.”

“Thank you so much for buying shirts! The orphanage is blessed because of your wonderful donations. May you live a blessed life and thank you for being part of something bigger than us.” -Mitchel Chitwood


Thank you Mitchel, for the opportunity to be involved with this great cause. It’s humbling to know that, in a small way, we are able to touch the people of Insan Permata. We pray for you as you go and care for these children.

$5 of this purchase goes to the Insan Permata Orphanage in Pekanbaru, Indonesia.

$5 of this purchase goes to the Insan Permata Orphanage in Pekanbaru, Indonesia.

Purchase your shirt here: www.everyblessedday.com

Have a blessed day!
-Team EBD
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Interview with the Founder

Welcome to the Every Blessed Day blog. This blog is written by yours truly, KP. My intent is to share a more in-depth look of my personal insight as to the meaning and brand of EBD. Share stories, thoughts, news, and hopefully interact and connect with all of you reading this!

Today I’m going to address the four main questions I have received since launch.
“What is the meaning behind EBD?”
“How did you come up with this idea?”
“What is your vision?”
“What’s next?”



Interview with the Founder

What does it mean?

To me, the answer is simple. Every day that I wake up is a blessing. It is a gift that I did not earn. It is another opportunity to become who I want to be and to pursue my dreams. This motivates me.

As a Christian, I believe God created me. God, Creator of the universe, loves me completely and unconditionally. Furthermore, this life is not about me. It’s about Jesus. No matter what the circumstances are in my life, my hope is in Christ. The future is secure. God is in control. This too motivates me.

As an athlete, I have always been motivated by the fact that “I can.” The fact that I am breathing. The fact that I have a healthy and capable body, something I know will not last forever, and something I never want to take for granted. I played college ball. I played professional ball. Every day I get the opportunity to play on a court, walk, run, hoop, I feel blessed. This too motivates me.

Over the course of my junior year at Pepperdine, a combination of my experience as a collegiate athlete, student, child of God, and life circumstances began to spark the meaning that “Every Blessed Day” would hold for me. “Every Blessed Day” became my reminder. It became my anchor. It became a little phrase, a little prayer if you will, that would remind me of God, purpose, and all my inspirations. God is good and I am thankful for every opportunity that He allows me to live purposefully while I am on this Earth.

This is what Every Blessed Day means to me.

How did you come up with this idea?

Every Blessed Day was implemented as my senior project during my time at Pepperdine. I developed the product and the Movement, much of what you see today. The project received a lot of great response and so, I decided to make it a reality and the rest continues to unfold. I am learning and continuing to grow every day!

What is your vision?

My vision is that people from all different walks of life connect with this message in their own personal way. Whatever your job description, nationality, gender, race, whether you find peace in a higher power or not, whatever your sports team (Yes, even if you don’t root for the Seahawks. Go Hawks!), I hope that people will be inspired by the Movement to pursue dreams, choose an empowering perspective amidst difficulty, and to find strength in being thankful for each new day.

The second component of this brand, is the give back factor. It is my vision that Every Blessed Day becomes an organization that gives back. We are currently in communication with a few organizations to develop partnerships where a portion of our sales will be given to efforts creating positive change and impact in the world around us. If you have a cause or know of an organization that would be interested in such a partnership, please reach out: everyblessedday@gmail.com

What’s Next?

Product development in the works (*cough cough* basketball shorts). Partnerships in the works (to be announced). Stay tuned!

Everybody has a sphere of influence. Let’s be a positive influence in ours, and collectively we will change the world! #EBD

-KP
www.everyblessedday.com

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