Daughter Leaves for Florence, Italy. Sniff. Sniff

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Today we dropped our daughter off at the airport.  In a matter of hours she will be en route to Florence Italy where she will study abroad over the next 112 days. But, who is counting.  We are so excited for her adventure. We supported her goal to study abroad, because it was a decision that we, her parents, wish we had done in college.  At the same time, it is incredibly difficult to know that she is a continent away. We will keep busy with DIY projects and work!

Florence, Italy  has been trending for several years as Amanda Knox’s umpteenth trial is currently taking place in Florence.  Should I worry that she doesn’t know her 5 roommates?  They will be joining her from across the United States.  Six girls, strangers today.. sharing a small 3 room apartment. I wonder what their parents are thinking today?  It is not lost on me that she is leaving to study abroad; not to fight for our freedom as Americans.  Still, it rattles me. Will I sleep?

ashley fall 2013 crop

P.S.  Thanks to my endless projects to occupy me, this didn’t get published.  She is on week #3 and doing great!!!!!!  laura


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Coming out of the {Blog} Closet

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This is my Coming out of the Blog Closet Post… a very rough draft describing my career path over the past eight years.  I started this summary for my LinkedIn profile.  In our house, we call this type of  draft a “sloppy copy” :

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The same year I became a licensed real estate agent, I  became a partner in a small,  family- owned medical device and manufacturing company.  To say that I was slightly overwhelmed by the prospect and responsibility of managing two growing companies is an understatement.  My children were under the age of ten, a not too-distant housing bust simmered, and a sluggish lending market for small businesses were just a few of the unforeseen  challenges!

Not one to back down from a challenge, I leveraged the flexibility and (somewhat) seasonality of my real estate business while supporting and building a medical device company in much need of social marketing campaigns, project management, new distributor relationships and niche product lines.

Both positions require strong attention to detail in a deadline driven environment, flexibility, efficiency and a sense of humor.  I have been blessed with amazing customers and clients, “who get it.”

On a whim, a dare or maybe the little voice in the back of my head,  I started a blog,  It began as an outlet to chronicle the struggles of juggling two jobs, the moving bits and pieces of a three active children and the constant angst of two parents who constantly juggle the daily management  of  “cash flow.”  My blog became a virtual “dear diary,” chronicling  our DIY projects and the decisions  we  routinely make as small business owners.  Our objective:  to do what it takes to support our kids’ academic needs, athletic interests and the health insurance costs as self-employed policy holders.  And, of course, the stress of a monthly Small Business Association (SBA) payment that adjusted between $11,000 and $15,000 over the 10 year note.  We have less than 3 years of payments.

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And, a funny thing happened along the way:  In late 2013, this little blog, my tiny corner of creativity, my therapy (taking place on a social  media platform and not on a couch) started to gain national attention from a few (kind of)  famous people and several national brands and companies.  All of which had one thing in common:  each found me and  my writing style to be honest, creative and entertaining.  For me, my blog is a great way to balance the contract driven demands of real estate and small business ownership.    And, I love it!  When you love what you do, you do what it takes!  Only 30 SBA payments!!


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