About Me

In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you

~ Andrea Dykstra

I am a mom of two beautiful children. (us moms always say that, don’t we?) … Well, my children are indeed beautiful, inside and out! They are a gift that has taught me so much about myself. They are genuine, kind-hearted, generous, thoughtful and so smart! With all that being said, they are also a part of me that is all consuming at times. I worry, I obsess, I overthink, I nag…It can be absolutely exhausting as a mom!

When they were little, the physical exhaustion was no joke! The constant questioning of the effectiveness of my mothering skills and those real split-second moments of questioning why I decided to be a mother in the first place.  None of that changes the older they get, except the physical exhaustion slowly morphs into mental and emotional exhaustion. My daughter, Peyton, turns 20 in 2 days! And my son, Christopher will follow shortly after, rolling over to 18!  And this is the reward, we hope, that we get to watch these once tiny miracles, that are so much a piece of ourselves, grow into people for which we hold an infinite amount of pride.

If you are a mom reading this, you get it… If you are not a mom or a soon-to-be-mom I hope you can read between the lines and understand that although the unbelievable commitment sounds kind of grueling, being a mom to these 2 amazing humans is my entire reason for anything and everything I do. What do they say? All the best things in life aren’t easy… Being a mom is by far one of the hardest things I’ve encountered in my life, but I would do it all over … and over again – and I’d definitely make some changes the next go around. BUT we don’t get a 2nd chance to screw up our kids ha-ha – all those moments or things we wish we had done differently are a part of what makes our kids who they are.  The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s ok. Remember to give yourself grace and compassion and know that you are accomplishing THE most difficult job. A job God picked the right person to do!

I’ve also been married to my amazing husband, Chris for almost 22 years! We met the night before my 22nd birthday and I knew that night he was the one… he didn’t necessarily have the same revelation so I did what any girl would do in that situation, and I stalked him for 6 weeks until he asked me out.

When I met Chris, I was definitely a different person than I am now. I thought life was all about the next party. I drank like a sailor, I smoked and I thought the best way to stay at a desirable weight was just not eat (which we like to now call skinny-fat. Ya know, skinny and flabby all wrapped up in the same physique). I was on the liquid diet of coffee & beer with a sprinkling of tobacco seasoning. To sum it up, I was the perfect picture of a young girl always struggling with body image issues, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression and the cherry on top was my firm belief that no matter what I achieved, it was never good enough. I mention these things because Chris was totally opposite of any of the boyfriends I had had in the past. I now thank God for aligning our paths 25 years ago – I truly believe it was the biggest fork in MY road. Had I continued in the sort of relationships I had been in, I’m not sure much would’ve changed for me except for maybe a continued negative direction.

This all sounds so ‘typical love story-ish’ but the reality is marriage is hard. I remember, as I was obsessing about our wedding plans, Chris saying to me, ‘Shouldn’t we be focusing more on the long term?’ i.e., the marriage. Ummm, no – I mean we have the rest of our lives to focus on that! Geez! The wedding is SO important because we must fulfill everyone else’s expectations of a fun and memorable night, right?  Any who, he was right… that one time. Not that focusing on our Forever at the age of 25 was going to bring about any great revelation at the time, but the key is that I needed to wake up out of my dream world and learn how to work as a partner. Life was no longer going to be all about me, well, at least not ALL the time. And if I’m honest, I still struggle with the give and take of partnership. I struggle with communication. I struggle with letting this person ‘in’ that has been by my side for 25 years. Weird.  I’m a big contributor as to why my marriage can be hard at times, just as he can sometimes be that contributor. On the flip side of that, we can also bring the positive balance to the others not so positive balance. The goal is to continually work on those parts of ourselves that need work. And hopefully your partner is someone who is patient enough and understanding enough to watch from the sidelines when needed or jump in and take over when needed. 

Marriage, much like parenting, can be a commitment that you often judge your level of marriage-happiness on how you view others’ marriages. It might start with something like, ‘Oh, Dick and Jane just went on that dream vacation! They have such a perfect marriage. I wonder what their secret is?’ Ha! Social media is now the newest gauge to our own success and happiness. It is the Pìece de résistance to all that is… not reality.  It’s like watching The Notebook and then looking over at your husband thinking, he has really got to step it up!  I mean why do I put up with such a lack of romance!  Then I come down off that cloud. Honestly, that level of doating would likely annoy me and drive me to question his motives.  However, maybe a little romantic attention here and there would be a nice touch (hint hint)

Now that I’ve covered really the biggest parts of what makes me, me….family…here’s the rest of what makes me me:

I am a recovering alcoholic.

I’m a hormonal middle-aged woman.

I am currently in limbo with my next career move.

My husband and I run a successful Real Estate business.

I am comfortably settling into my new found introvert after 20 years in the hospitality industry.

I live in FL but always dream of just selling everything and becoming a nomad to travel the world

I am an FSU alum with a bachelors in Psychology.

I am creative & artistic but also controlling & calculated. It’s like I’m made of pure oil & water

I love dogs & have 2, Maddux & Charlie (both rescues) and my grand-dog, Hazel (also a rescue)

I think of myself as disciplined and purposeful but not in too rigid of a way

I am hard on myself in pretty much every aspect of my life aka Enemy Numero Uno

I tend to be an all or nothing personality – reference #1 above. Who has just 1 drink?!

I’m grateful I still have both my parents, amazing role models, who have been married for 56 years!

And I have an older sister who is an amazing mom to her 2 girls & wife to her husband of 24 years.

This is me in a nutshell. There’s lots of stuff in between and around all these elements and a lot of it will probably be divulged as I continue to write. Hopefully it will be relatable and you will be able to follow some commonalities. So many of us are more alike than we are different I’d love to focus on the likenesses.

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