In 2015 I left a full-time event planning job working for a graduate medical school. I had been working there just shy of six years and come to really love my colleagues. It was by far the best position I’ve had and I truly enjoyed working for the organization.
Things on a personal level were changing for my family and I was needed at home. My work schedule was no longer conducive to being a working mother. A Lively Affair was conceived based on my need to continue working in a career in which I thrive, and to have the flexibility to be a mom for my little family.
For the past year and a half, on most days between 9 AM and 3 PM, I meet with clients, answer emails, and work on timelines. After 3 PM I switch into “mom mode” and sit in carpool line, act as chauffeur, short order cook and storyteller extraordinaire. To be honest, it’s much harder than I expected. Having the discipline to work from home while not getting distracted by the never ending pile of laundry and pesky chores is a skill I’m still working on.
Working from home and having amazing clients has also afforded me some SPECTACULAR opportunities. I’ve always loved to travel, but this year was unlike any other. I packed my laptop and client files and off we went! Adventures this year consisted of trips to the Bahamas to celebrate my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary, Grand Cayman for my 7th wedding anniversary, Buffalo, Rehoboth Beach and Charleston to see family, Washington D.C., and Madrid. Whew! Each and every trip, near or far, was truly a gift. My husband and I have made a conscious effort to give our son the gift of adventure and different cultural experiences instead of stuff.
The BIG trip this year was to South Africa. My sister Jennifer, husband Casey and their children, Ezra and Caris, live as missionaries in Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. If you’re familiar with surfing it’s where the JBay Open is held every July and not far from Cape St. Francis and Bruce’s Beauties of surf flick Endless Summer fame. Never have I been to a place with such rugged natural beauty. If you like to travel and want the experience of a lifetime, make every effort to go to South Africa. I’d like to make it back one more time before my sister comes back home to the Outer Banks, N.C., but in the meantime I have these precious memories.
While I’m blessed to have my 2018 calendar filled with weddings and corporate events, I hope to squirrel away a few weeks and head out for a new adventure this summer with my family and perhaps get a new stamp on my passport.
Whatever the new year has in store for you and yours, I hope it’s filled with love, laughter and a change in latitude. Cheers!