50 Really Is Nifty! (And The Past Two Months)

Wow, it’s hard to believe that two months have gone by since my last post. Well, I guess it’s not really that hard to believe, because the last two months have been crazy. Not just because of the election, but for so many reasons on top of that, or should I say in conjunction with that. But what a crazy election. YOWZA! But first let’s back up a couple of months…

OCTOBER

October was a lovely autumn month. Except for the incessant “news” about the upcoming election, and the record rainfall in Seattle. Of course I was outside more than ever – running, running, running. And I loved it! And my dog loved it (most of the time.) But sometimes I was out there running in the rain (the pouring rain, not the Seattle misty rain) and the rain would come down so hard that it felt like there was a faucet attached to my face, as I watched the water pour off my nose while I ran. But I just kept running. Because I had to.

My running partner is not very excited about running in the pouring rain.

Besides running, I also did some web work at Nordstrom, worked on another web site for a dance company, and best of all, got started on my own Suzanne Harrison Home website/e-commerce site, that I am so excited about.

I also went to an incredibly inspiring talk hosted by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge, in support of her incredibly inspiring new book In the Company of Women. There was a panel of 4 women that she interviewed – all local entrepreneurs – and what they had to say not only made me feel so good about jumping out on my own, but made me so happy that these creative, smart, talented, and generous ladies were running successful businesses that only make our community better. I read a little bit of the book every night, and it warms my heart. I highly recommend it to anyone starting out on their own.

And then of course there was Halloween – on a Monday night, to my kids’ dismay – yet somehow they were still able to score over 9 pounds of candy, each, much to my dismay.

NOVEMBER

Then November came and I packed my bags and headed to South Carolina to stay with my parents and run that 1/2 marathon. My sister Nicki joined me there, and on Friday we met up with our friends Barb and Susie and headed to Savannah where (after Nicki ran over a raccoon and then got pulled over for speeding) we got our numbers for the run, checked into our hotel, walked around, shopped, ate dinner with more friends, and enjoyed the balmy weather and charming beauty of Savannah. I wasn’t nervous at all for the run, but still, for some reason I barely slept a wink that night.

Up at 5 a.m. we had breakfast and made our way to the starting line. The race started just as the sun was rising, and off we went running. And talking. Barb and I ran together (Susie and Nicki did a run/walk combo) and I’m not sure we stopped talking for the entire run. We ran through the historic district, then through “the hood”, through suburbia, and back into the city, past the many amazing bands (it was a Rock N’ Roll marathon) and past all of the people watching, cheering, handing out water, holding funny signs up (“You think your legs hurt, my arms are killing me!”), and high-fiving us along the way. The energy was the best! And before I knew it – some 2 hours and 19 minutes later – we were done. No problem! Wow, I guess it paid to stick to that training plan! I felt great.

That night, after a much needed nap, my mom, dad, sister and I headed over to Barb and Susie’s mom’s house for dinner. When we got there the house was filled with birthday decorations that said Happy 50th! Oh dear. This was for me. I was about to turn 50 and this was the beginning…

Barb and Susie’s family and mine go way way back, and so to be able to celebrate with them – my first 1/2 marathon and this milestone birthday – without our husbands or kids, just us, like in the old days, was about the best present I could have asked for. We drank wine, ate lasagne and cake, opened presents, and laughed and laughed. I’m sure I acquired several new laugh lines from that night. But what do I care? I’m 50!

All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.

- August Wilson

I got to spend an entire week in South Carolina, with my parents, sister, and friends, which turned out to be an unintentional yet perfect birthday gift to myself. I flew back home on November 8th, full of feelings of gratitude and love and excitement. I couldn’t wait to see my family back in Seattle. I took an Uber home and had the nicest driver ever. He was from Ethiopia, just had a baby girl, and he was so excited and confident that we’d soon have our first female president. He was just so sweet. My kids were home when I got home, and I couldn’t stop hugging them. I missed them so much!

THE ELECTION

That night I was exhausted, and my ‘good to be home’ happiness was soon replaced with a sick feeling in my stomach, as election results were coming in and more and more states were going red. I passed out in bed early that night, and when I woke up the results were in. Now I was really really sad. I couldn’t believe it. And I couldn’t believe an election actually made me cry. A lot.

I took this photo at the Vera Project of a silk-screened poster that mimics the Tinder dating app.

What a weird day that was. I have never experienced a day like that, where an entire city seemed lost in fog of sadness. Kids were sad. People at the dog park were sad. People at the bus stops were sad. Grocery checkers where sad. Sad sad sad. And I was turning 50 soon, and had a big party planned for Saturday night, and I really needed to get out of this funk. So here’s what I did…

I thought about all of the amazing people I had just been interacting with in South Carolina and Georgia – two very red states. I never once thought about how these people voted – it never crossed my mind – but there they were, supporting us, cheering on the runners, handing out drinks. Then there’s the people I know and love that didn’t vote the way I did – and I still love them – we’re all just good people who want good lives. I thought about how good my life is, how much love and laughter there is in it, how lucky I am to be healthy and able to run 13+ miles. I know in my heart that my happiness and success is up to me much more than it is any politician.

And it’s okay for me to be sad. Because I am sad. I am so sad that a good man – a role model of a man – is leaving office, to be replaced by a man who is an example to my children of how not to behave. Who has taught them what the words ‘bigotry’ and ‘misogyny’ mean. But I refuse to give up hope, because I believe that there are too many good people in this country who care about creating a good future for us all, and that maybe this needed to happen, to make truly visible the work that needs to be done. I just hope that we’re all willing and brave enough to try to make things better, in whatever ways we can. Like I tell my kids: Always try to make things better, not worse.

You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.

-  Michelle Obama

So after I began to cheer up, I decided I did not have to cancel my party, and I could enjoy my birthday after all. And did I ever…

MY BIRTHDAY

On my actual birthday I had a fairly normal day, then went out to dinner with my fairly normal family and had the best time with my very most favorite people on the planet. Then the next day, two of my friends kidnapped me, which I thought would be just for a lunch date, but turned out to be for an afternoon of ferry rides, lunch, wine, labyrinth, museum, beer, pizza, kite flying, and getting in trouble for kite flying on the ferry. Again – so much laughter, and love for these amazing women in my life.

The next day was the day of my party, and in typical Todd and Suzanne fashion, we scrambled all day to get ready for it. We were expecting around 65 people, which seemed ridiculous considering the size of our house, but our thinking was, if anyone thinks it’s too crowded they can leave. So I made two huge batches of chili, cleared the furniture out of the back room, barked orders at the kids to help me vacuum and dust and decorate, while Todd cleaned up the deck, shopped, and got a fire pit set up. Our amazing DJ showed up at 5pm, and guests started showing up promptly at 5:30, so I threw on my party dress and some makeup, and we got that party started.

I have to say, it was a magical evening. The windy and rainy day turned into a perfectly beautiful night full of stars, with not just a full moon, but a SUPER MOON! Who gets a super moon on their 50th birthday? I do!! Between the DJ’s perfect music, and the lights flickering in the back yard, and the raging fire in the fire pit, and the kids running around with glow sticks, and the dog acting mellow and happy, and all of my amazing friends, not to mention the perfect party dress – I was in heaven. Literally. I danced the night away and felt so incredibly blessed for the life I have. My life at 50 is truly a gift, and I know how lucky I am for everything I have, and for the life I’ve led, and for the life ahead of me.

GIFTS

Speaking of gifts, I received so many thoughtful gifts, and I was so touched by people’s thoughtfulness and generosity. But one gift in particular really blew me away. A pillow that my sister Nicki made for me. A pillow you ask? Don’t you make tons of pillows Suzanne? Well, yes, I do, but not for myself, and not like this. Check it out:

Nicki emailed a bunch of my friends and asked them to send words that reminded them of me, then she somehow figured out how to get all of those words transferred onto a pillow with my name embroidered in the center. Isn’t it incredible? It makes me smile every day, and is a constant reminder of not only what great friends I have, but what a truly incredible sister I have. (Thanks Nicki, I love you with all my heart.)

And speaking of sisters, I need to mention one more gift from my friend Kathy, who was the best friend at work anyone could hope for. Oh my god, we have been through so much together over the years. She made me this:

Not only is this a beautiful tribute to my sister Maureen, who I miss so much, but is a firm reminder of what’s important every single day. Ironically (or not) I had no shoes to match my dress on the night of my party, and so I flitted and danced around in my bare feet – in the house, on the dance floor, and on the cold wet grass outside, and it felt fantastic. I couldn’t have loved where my feet were any more than on that night – at home, surrounded by friends and family, under the perfect full moon, dancing into my 50s.

Who is the luckiest 50 year old in the world? I am!

Thanks Todd for supporting me 150% in all of my birthday escapades! xoxo

Okay, well, that just about covers it! I think I’ve more than made up for the two months of blog silence. That was like five blog posts in one! Whew! If you’ve read this far, thank you, I know it was a lot of words, but I didn’t want to leave anything out. Like this card that the kids made for me:

Ok, this really is the end of the post. xo

Fear & Training for a Half Marathon

So, I’m training for a 1/2 marathon. Seriously.

My sister Nicki and I, and two of our friends who are like our sisters, all signed up for the Rock N’ Roll marathon in Savannah on November 5th. Why? I can’t remember exactly. I guess after my sister Maureen passed away, the four of us appreciated, more than ever, the amazing bond we’ve had since we were kids, and we wanted to come together to do something fun and challenging to support that bond.

I signed up for the run months ago. That was the easy part. Then in August I had to actually start training. Now I’m about 1/2 way through my training, and I have to say, it is HARD. For me. A non-runner. (I’m an exerciser but NOT a runner.) The funny thing is, it’s not the running part that’s hard. It’s getting myself to run that’s hard. And if it weren’t for this 1/2 marathon, there’s no way in hell I’d be running this much or this far.

I have to add though, it’s also awesome. Because it’s hard. Because I’m not a runner. Because I’m actually doing it. Because we’re having beautiful fall weather and I live in a beautiful place. But mostly because it’s so inspiring. It’s good for my brain, and makes me think so much about my life and aspirations.

How so? Well, forgive me if you are a runner and have already been through the revelation of how running is a metaphor for your life. But it’s new to me, and it’s inspiring the heck out of me.

Here’s what I’ve discovered about running:

  • Signing up and committing to a 1/2 marathon, especially with other people, makes me accountable and driven.
  • Training takes up a lot of time, and finding time can be hard, but I always make the time because I have to. Because I’m committed.
  • Running is mental. I’m going to run as far as I decide to run. Which ends up being as far as my training plan tells me.
  • My plan starts with a distance that is doable, then incrementally increases my distance.
  • The hardest part is starting. The second hardest part is the first mile. The third hardest is going up those hills, and in my case, the stairs.
  • The best part is when I hit my stride. Actually, the best part is when I’m done. The second best part is hitting my stride.
  • When I’m done running I am sweaty and tired, but happy. A beer tastes really really good. And I sleep well.
  • Now that I’m up to 6 miles, the 3 miles I started with seems easy.

There’s a saying I love, that is: Have faith in the timing of you life, and I think it’s pretty interesting that I’ve signed up for this half marathon at this time in my life – at the same time that I’ve decided to launch Suzanne Harrison Home – an endeavor, I’m realizing, that is actually very scary for me. Wouldn’t it be easier if I stuck to web development? But I really want to do it. It makes me happy and it’s important to me. But it’s scary.

So I’m going to take the 1/2 marathon approach:

  • I’m committing to a big goal of creating pillows and stuff I’m proud of, a great Etsy site, a great e-commerce site and blog, and selling wholesale.
  • I’m making time to do the work. I’m committed.
  • Even though it’s daunting, I just need to get started! Up until now, it’s like I’ve just been exercising, but now I need to step it up and really run with it.
  • I’m creating a plan with incremental steps for achieving my goal, starting with what’s doable.
  • I know it’s going to be hard. Especially at the beginning. But eventually I’ll hit my stride. Sure there’ll be some hills and stairs, but I’ll make it in the end. I hope.
  • If I work hard and stick to the plan, eventually I’ll reach my goal, and when I look back at where I started I’ll think That was the easy part!

Sorry if that was super corny! It’s just that I haven’t been very good at allowing myself the time to work on Suzanne Harrison Home. What I’ve been good at is psyching myself out of it – convincing myself that there’s no way I could ever make money doing this, spending my time working on other “more important” things, contemplating full time employment and steady paychecks.

But in my head, and every time I go running, I think about Suzanne Harrison Home, the stuff I want to make, how I want to my web-site to look, and how I’ll set up a studio for myself some day. Ugh, I keep wavering between thinking it’s just a dream and thinking it’s totally achievable!

But maybe it’ll be like my six mile run the other day. I intended to go first thing in the morning, and finally got my butt running at around 2pm. I ran for a couple of miles, then a black cat ran in front of me, I tripped, fell into the road and got a bloody cut on my hand and knee, got back up, and kept running. I ran through my neighborhood, through town, past the marina, along the beach, through the woods, up many many flights or stairs, and then finally back home. And it felt great. It made me feel like Suzanne Harrison Home was really possible.

This weekend I have to run seven miles, and I’m dreading it. I think I’ll probably take a similar run and figure out how to add another mile through my neighborhood. I’m sure I’ll procrastinate and wait until the last minute on Sunday to do it. But I will do it. Because I have to. Because it’s the next step. Because I want to achieve my goal, and I know it will feel great in the end.

Here are some photos from my training…

My training buddies:

Running past the Marina: 

Stairs, a lovely trail, stairs, and more stairs:

I’m still not completely convinced I can do this, but there are a heck of a lot of people on this planet who have run much much further, so the odds are good. But something I don’t understand is why most runners don’t say “hi” to each other when they cross paths. Walkers almost always do. Hmmm. Curious…

Summer Should Get a Speeding Ticket!

Have you heard that one yet? Nadine posted it on Instagram and I thought it was pretty funny. Now I’m seeing it everywhere, so I thought I’d join the band wagon.

The funny thing is, late Monday night, as we were zipping home in our van from our Labor Day weekend camping trip, I got pulled over for speeding. I didn’t slow down soon enough when we drove into one of those small towns where the speed limit goes from like 60 to 25 in a matter of yards. Fortunately the cop didn’t give me a speeding ticket, just a good talking too, then he pet the dog, and chatted with the kids a bit.

As I pulled back onto the road, I realized that I had no headlights and was driving in the pitch dark, so I pulled over again. Fortunately that super nice cop was behind me, and when I explained the problem, he had me follow him to a nearby parking lot and helped us figure out what was wrong.

Apparently the headlight switch blew, and needed to be replaced. (Thank you internet and Vanagon forums!) Sadly, we figured we’d have to spend the night in the van, and drive home at the crack of dawn. Ugh! But then just after Nadine said, “Dad, you need to think positively, and everything will be fine,” Todd discovered that our brights still worked, to which I exclaimed “Alrighty then, let’s go home!” So we decided to be assholes and drive the remaining two hours home with our brights on. Fortunately it was late, and there weren’t too many cars on the road, but we definitely got the flicker signal from a few of the cars coming in the other direction.

We finally rolled into the alley behind our house at around 1am, unloaded the car in the rain, then hit the sack. Bed never felt so good!

The next morning I got started on laundry, then made breakfast. When I opened the pantry (or should I say “large cabinet”) bugs flew out. Yikes. Then I looked in the flour container and it was full of black bugs. Gross! So I started throwing stuff out, emptied the cabinet, scrubbed it down with vinegar and ammonia, and put the remaining few things back in. Then I went grocery shopping and back to school shopping.

When I got home and started putting away groceries, I noticed some little black things by the toaster. Pepper corns? Did the bugs get in there too? No! This was mouse poop. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I have a cat and a dog, why would they choose my house?? Time for more cleaning and to set some traps…

Then that night, more than ready for bed again, I went into our bathroom and the floor had movement. After focusing my eyes better I could see that there were hundreds of ants coming out from under the toilet, going crazy, running around aimlessly. Darn it!  I thought we’d gotten rid of those jerky pests months ago!  So I started murdering them with a wet washcloth, and put diatomaceous earth around the toilet base, which they apparently hate.

Yowza! What a way to end the summer!

But I guess summer is officially over, and as it cools down, everyone is making their way inside. Our days of perpetually open windows and doors is coming to a close, and pretty soon I’ll be making soups and roasted veggies instead of barbecue and salads.

What a day I had yesterday, cleaning, purging, shopping and organizing, but I’m glad I got it all done. It’s a firm reminder that change is the air, and it’s back to business time. We had yet another fantastic summer. And even though it seemed to fly by, I am so ready to get back to a scheduled lifestyle and feeling more productive.

Goodbye summer! You were very very good to us! And welcome Fall. You have so much to offer.

Here are a few of photos from the summer:

 

Branding for Suzanne Harrison Home

They say it pays to have friends in high places, but I would argue that it is even more important to have friends who are smart and talented, who know you well, and care about you deeply. It doesn’t have quite as catchy of a ring to it, so maybe that’s why people don’t go around saying it much. Or maybe it means the same thing?

Right now I am very grateful to have such a smart and talented friend, Sonya of KB Design, who just made me the most beautiful logo for Suzanne Harrison Home.

Check it out. This is the version that is on my business cards:

Isn’t it beautiful? I love it so much! I can’t wait to start applying it to everything: my website, Etsy, Instagram, packaging, labels, etc.

I knew when it was time to get serious about branding that I wanted to work with Sonya. She did Todd’s logo when he started Blackbird Iron, and nailed it. And when I shared her studio space with her for over a year, I got to see her in action. The thing about Sonya is that she really connects with her clients, and she integrates who they are, and the essence of what they are trying to achieve, into her amazing designs.

The added bonus for me working with Sonya is that she has known me for years, and has been there throughout my journey of quitting my job and trying to find a new niche for myself. She understands me, and the idea behind Suzanne Harrison Home; she knows my style, and she knows my personality. Sometimes working with friends isn’t always the best idea, but in this case it was. Because I also know her so well, and trust her completely, and love her work. Okay, I think I’m done gushing…

So what exactly is the branding message behind Suzanne Harrison Home? Well, in a nutshell, I want to inspire people to love and embrace their homes, and in turn their lives. I want people to love where they live, and love how they live. I want to offer products that embrace the idea of home as a feeling (more than a place) that supports the happiest of lifestyles. Because I believe that if you love your home – your house, your community, your world – and make it just right for you – then you have the foundation for a happy life.

So what’s next? Sooooo much! I have started a notebook to organize to-do’s and ideas. I’ve been working on some new products. I’m working on a business plan and a website. Most importantly, I’m striving to be well organized and intentional.

This summer has filled me with inspiration, and my hope is that I can kick off the fall with a six month plan for officially launching “Suzanne Harrison Home.” I am so excited. And so overwhelmed. And so nervous. And so excited! Yikes! 

Escape from Reality

We just got back from our annual beach vacation, and once again it was the perfect escape from reality. For one whole week I got to hang out with my extended family and my oldest and dearest friends, and do nothing but read books, swim, catch up, reminisce, eat, drink, stare at the stars, and sleep in. I write about it every year, and this year I debated on whether to write about it again, but today I decided I would. Because today I thought to myself is this really an escape from reality, or a microcosm of reality? Of my most fortunate reality? Because when I look at my life with my beach eyes on, I see so clearly the thing that matters most: spending time with people I love. And I see how lucky I am to have such amazing parents – really fun, funny, smart and confident nieces, nephews, and kids – friends who are truly family – a husband I love to be with – and a life that affords me this vacation. I don’t mean to be boastful, I just think that this is what summer vacation is all about, and I hope everyone, in their own way, is having a similar reality this summer.

The Beach

The Camper Van Harrisons

For the past year or so, Todd and I have been debating about what kind of car to get. One of our two Subarus was overheating regularly and we knew the end was near. We finally decided to find a nice used Toyota Sienna mini-van with all-wheel-drive, but those are pretty hard to come by, and our search was fruitless. Then recently I ran into our neighbor in the alley and he said, “I’m planning on selling my van. Do you think Todd might still be interested in buying it?” So Todd and I took it for a test drive and a few days later we were the proud owners of a 1987 VW Vanagon. I was skeptical, but the price was right, and I loved the idea of it – lots of space (seats seven), a table that pops up, and then seats that fold into a bed. Dreamy…

Todd worked his butt off getting the van into ship shape, and the day after the kids got out of school we loaded it up with camping gear, cooler, kids, Grandma, and the dog, and headed out for a ten day road-trip adventure through Montana and Canada. Even though it doesn’t go much more than 40 mph up a steep mountain pass, it is the perfect road trip machine. I love our “new” van! And I love camping with my family. We had the best trip.

And every night by the campfire, Nadine and I got out our notebooks and documented our vacation. For me, writing, drawing, and coloring was such a nice way to relax and reflect on my day. I draw like a ten year old, I don’t color very well inside the lines, nothing is ever to scale, and my handwriting can be hard to read, but I thought I’d post it anyway. So here it is. (Click on the image if you want to see a larger version.)

Road Trip Day 1 - Washington to Montana

Road Trip Day 2 - Montana

Road Trip - driving the model T in Montana

Road Trip - Boulder to Glacier

Road Trip - Red Rocks Canyon

Road Trip - Waterton canoeing and kayaking

Road Trip - Waterton - hike to Crypt Lake

Road Trip - Hwy 3 through Canada

Road Trip - Hwy 3 through Canada - from inside the Van

Road Trip - Harrison Hot Springs

Road Trip - There is No Place Like Home

HAPPY SUMMER!!!

 

Happy Fathers Day!

I intended to write about my dad today, but I didn’t plan my time well. On Friday I had a sudden urge to purge my laundry room, and I’m still recovering from having pulled out every last thing, trying to figure out what to keep and what to toss, and then putting it all back in there in an organized way. Crazy. (Sorry Dad!)

But I still wanted to write a quick post to say Happy Father’s Day!!! to my amazing father. I am so so lucky to have such an incredible role model for a dad – a tireless, generous, charming, funny, triple-kissing, organizational master. I love you dad!

My Dad

 

Investment Advice

Today I’ve decided to write a post about investing. Now you may be thinking to yourself, Investment advice from Suzanne? That’s crazy talk! Well believe me, I would never dream of giving advice on how to invest your money (although if you have some for me, I’d gladly take it.) No, today I’m going to write about investing in terms of time not money.

First, let’s turn to the dictionary for a definition of “invest.” Check it out:

Dictionary - Invest

Wow! I had no idea that the word ‘invest” had so many meanings! Gotta love the dictionary…

The thing is, or at least it seems to me, that investing your time is a lot like investing your money. The more you invest, the greater your return over time. Of course you must invest wisely! Yes, it will feel risky, especially at the beginning and through the dips, and there will be times when you may want to adjust your investment strategy, but it you are persistent, you will surely earn profitable returns.

Why am I writing about this? Well, because four years ago I changed my investment strategy. Four years ago, almost to the day, I got out of what I believed had become a bad investment. For too long I had been investing my time and energy in something that would probably never pay off. I was working my butt off for people who didn’t appreciate me, and for a company I no longer respected. I was getting a decent paycheck, but I was going nowhere. It was time to pull out.

It was scary, but I decided that I needed to invest in what I believed in, and what would probably give me the best returns: my family and myself. Has it paid off? Definitely. How so? Well, it’s not like I can put a dollar value on it, but I decided to try and chart it out:

Return On Investment Chart

Note: This is not a scientifically accurate chart.

Right now, being self-employed, I am not making as much money as I was back when I had my full-time job. Plus, insurance is complicated and expensive, taxes are also complicated and expensive, and so many things that were taken care of by “The Man” I have to take care of myself – I need to buy my own equipment and software, be my own tech support, do my own accounting, etc. But, knowing how to do these things myself are part of my investment in me! Not only am I increasing my skill set, but I’m understanding the “big picture” in a whole new way.

What’s also exciting (and scary!) is knowing that my success or failure is completely up to me. I’m not waiting for a lucky break or a big promotion or an awesome boss to help me out. Instead I’m trying to make the best choices possible, and become more and more competent at what I do. Over time, as my portfolio of work has grown, so has my skill-set and confidence. Even though I don’t know where the next client will come from, I never have to worry that I might get fired. And, looking back on my web work for the past four years, I’ve gone from having only a few clients and doing work for trade, to juggling three or four jobs at a time. Hooray!

Then there’s my family. I just want to be with them as much as possible. I’m realizing how this time with my kids is flying by, and I don’t want to miss out. Not only do I want to spend time with them, but I want them to eat healthy, get exercise, be creative, try new things, have fun with their friends, play with their puppy, and stay off those darn devices as much as possible. For me, I feel like that is easier when I’m around.

You know what they say: “Time is money,” which I totally agree with in terms of business, but in terms of flexibility, and freedom, and living your life to the fullest, time is a gift that becomes more precious with each passing day, and so I intend to invest my time as wisely as possible. Because this is was matters most:

My family

My Mom

Mom And Maureen And Me

Growing up my mom was, well, my mom. She was the constant in my life; my security. She was in charge. She took care of my sisters and me, dragged us along on her errands and to her tennis games, made us do our chores, took us to the pool, and helped us with our homework. She was what I knew, and I didn’t think anything of it. I assumed she was like everyone else’s moms. Except for the nights when she and my dad went out…

On those nights there’d be a tuna casserole in the oven, hot rollers heating up in the bathroom, and the smell of nail polish in the air. I would hope and pray that Anna Klein would be our babysitter, and not Mrs. Gluckler. Mrs. Gluckler would make us take a bath and scrub us with a washcloth until we were bright pink, then make us go to bed on time. Anna, on the other hand, let us make fudge and stay up late watching Rosemary’s Baby. Anyway, when our babysitter arrived, my mom would appear – all dressed up in the latest 70s fashion, with freshly polished nails, hair curled and sprayed, bright lipstick on. And I’d think to myself, Wow, she is the most beautiful and glamorous woman in the world! Then off they’d go. I wouldn’t see her until the next morning, and I couldn’t imagine what that version of my mom was like.

When I was a teenager, Mom was still Mom, but I acted like I didn’t need one. Like I didn’t need someone to make me wear snow pants instead of jeans when I went skiing, or make sure I was home by eleven o’clock.

Isn’t it funny though, how as time goes on, Mom stops being ‘just mom’, and becomes a real person? Yes she’s still mom, still always there for you, but you slowly realize how much she’s done for you, and how much you love and appreciate her. You realize how lucky you were to have a mom that was always there, who loved you so much, and always wanted the best for you. You realize that there is nothing more comfortable than spending time with your mom. At least that’s how it was for me.

But it wasn’t until I became a mom that I also really understood the kind of mom my mom was. Until I became a mom, I had NO idea how hard being a mom was. How much my kids would try my patience, push my buttons, ask me impossible questions, put me in uncomfortable situations, and force me make some really hard choices.

My mom had three little girls, three teenage girls (YIKES!), and three girls that went away to college and set off on their own. And through it all she remained trusting, kind, patient, wise, confident, and diplomatic. Don’t get me wrong, I was the boundary-pushing middle child that was always getting grounded and caused her plenty of grief, so she had her moments for sure, but through it all, those qualities rarely wavered.

Three girls on a canon with Mom

Now that I’m a mom, I believe that being a good role model is one of the best things you can do for you kids. I really hope that I’m living my life in a way that inspires my kids to pursue a happy life. Not by how I choose to make a living, but by how I approach each day, interact with other people, and how much I love being with my kids. My mom did that for me, and for that I am forever grateful.

Thanks Mom. I love you!  Happy Mother’s Day!!! I sure wish I had a picture of you from the 70s, all dolled up and ready to go out. Thankfully it remains vivid in my mind. xo

Mom and Me at the Beach