Well hello there! I have been thinking about you a lot! So many adventures to share! Let me first set the stage.
It is Sunday afternoon, and my husband and I just finished a fabulous, outdoor brunch with the Brunch Cleveland crew (Hi Andy and Riddi!), where we planned a trip to Napa in August and a camping trip in Northern Canada (homeland for coach Joelle). We then did a quick jaunt to the sporting goods store for camping supplies for my birthday campout next weekend! It was everything we girls could do to keep our guys from buying out the store (I know everyone needs a battery-powered blender and a set of kayaks for their one camping trip a year but can we please just pick up the air mattress and get out of here!).
Jeff and I are on the patio, laptops in our laps and a cat by each side. It is warm and sunny, but not too hot, and a gentle breeze rustles the leaves of the surrounding trees. The air is slightly sweet with the smell of green things and Lucky the cat is cackling at a very brave bird (if you have never heard the “cat-bird cackle” you are really missing out!). It has been two weeks on the road and I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be home, to have a clean house, and to have the time and space to find grounding for what is next.
My adventures started two weeks ago with a flight out to Dallas for the E-women network conference. The conference was an adventure, inspiring and connecting. I had the opportunity to meet founder, Sandra Yancy at a local even about a month ago and I knew when I met her, I had to be at the conference. It is funny, but when I got there and looked at the 20 page, full-color brochure I had just one thought – “oh my gosh, look what she has created!”. I truly was in awe just from looking at the agenda so imagine the impact of actually attending the four-day action packed event. From the vendors (supplying me with inspired jewelry and 2 sets of fuzzy slippers) to the speakers (where I found my million dollar mentor and was totally inspired by what people are capable of) to the 2000+ female entrepreneurs (where I really got that as women, we speak a different language, and we connect in a certain way that gave me a renewed interest in creating programs specifically for a female market) I was truly impacted and transformed by the experience.
From there I picked up a rental car and drove to Austin Texas. I LOVE A ROAD TRIP! While it was only a brief jaunt from Dallas to Austin, some of my favorite memories have involved me, a car and an open road. This trip was no exception. With the cell on speaker phone and the radio cranked I talked to all those people who I have been missing over the past weeks and even talked through a major business puzzle with my mom, ultimately creating the platform for the next phase of my business ( thanks marmy!).
The Austin leg of my trip was a new addition after I attended my nieces’ Bat Mitzvah there a month ago. You can imagine my surprise when I was expecting to find bull sculls, laying in dried out open fields ( my stereo-type of the Texas landscape) and I found instead, rolling green hills, limestone houses and lakes, reminiscent of Italy or northern California. It was beautiful! I was shocked! Now add that it is warm most of the year, has 300+ days of sun, and the real-estate is still at Midwest prices and I knew I just had to scope it out for a possible future Coach Joelle home base!
I stayed with my generous brother and sister in-law and their children (Hi Lizzy and Aaron!) and was fortunate enough to be hooked up with a totally inspired real estate agent with Keller Williams. I spent two days with Clara where she drove me all over the countryside looking for our future home. In addition to being an exceptional real estate agent Clara is passionate about women’s empowerment and she even gave me a copy of her book! Clara and I share a lot of the same philosophies and she was so supportive in making sure I remembered that the home we want, in the location we want, with the view we want, and the community we want, exists and it is waiting for us. I confessed to her that I have such a long list of what I am looking for that I felt like I was censoring myself a little so that I wouldn’t seem high maintenance. Thank goodness she reminded me that my list exists somewhere and that if I go after it with that knowing – it will be revealed ( as an aside, I had a similar list with my husband, if I had compromised, for fear of being high-maintenance I cannot even imagine what misery awaited on the other side of that union! Thank you Clara!)
We were both totally delighted with the experience and whether I end up in Austin or Colorado, we both know that we were brought together for a reason.
Then it was off to Arizona! So many stories to tell but the highlights include a girl’s night, who’s conversation content was the epitome of a girls night, (Can you say sex and the city! It was hilarious!!) an inspired morning with my dearest women of the girl-power mastermind, (Hey Joan and Ton! Thank you for reminding me who I am. Always) and even a late night third eye-opening experience with Jen’s new Beau! ( I didn’t even know I had a third eye much less that it needed to be opened but I am excited to see what I get to see!) Then Jeffery came to town and the fun really began!! After a week away from my guy it was so delightful to have him with me.
It seems that absence made the heart grow fonder since I received no less than two bouquets of flowers in two different states while we were apart! Fabulous Flowers from Jeffrey!
Friday Jeff and I stayed with our dear friends Joan and Jack (Joan is the lawyer with a heart and Jack is the founder of I-board A – check it out if you are a southwest airlines fan). We all had the day off and Friday afternoon was one of those afternoons where time stood still. Jack the consulate host made up the margaritas and cranked up the backyard sound system. We each picked a lounge chair, sat with our beverages, read and didn’t read, talked and didn’t talk, went in the pool, lounged in the sun and then sometime around 9 pm decided we might want to consider getting dinner. Wrap it up in a bow with chocolate and port for desert and it qualified as one of those days that will go down in the books as “perfect”.
Next morning it was off to Sue and Jeremy’s to meet baby Avery! It is fun to see people we love becoming parents and paving the way for Lucky- Ray ( much to everyone’s horror, my husband has named our future –not-yet-conceived- child after my cat and my deceased father).
After baby time it was off to the resort to get ready for our friend Shawn’s wedding. The wedding was lovely, the toasting loved-ones all expressed their appreciation for the partnership and the couple seemed quite smitten. Long life, love and heath to you both Shawn and Scott! We spent our final days in AZ with Scott and Natalie during their last days as Arizona Residents. These beloved friends are moving to Colorado and are not shy about expressing their desire for us to choose CO for our next home base. Three days spent in their beautiful home, hanging by the pool, hot tub before bed, shared meals and time with baby Jaxson ( the most happy, peaceful fabulous baby in the whole world! We are already setting up an arranged marriage between him and Lucky-Ray) and it was the perfect finale to our AZ adventure. It was a very full two weeks and of course the beauty of this designed life is that I was able to do my work the whole time, even picked up a new client on the road!
So here I am, happy to be home, with a clean house and our cats. I feel refreshed, inspired and ready for new beginnings. Who knows what new adventures lie ahead this week. Happy to be back in the conversation.
HUGS and love,
P.S. If anyone is looking for a fabulous new home in Arizona let me know. Scott and Nat are selling and moving within the month and are looking for the perfect family to move in. It is a gorgeous home, built with love and it is right along side a state park. If I had an extra million hanging around I would snatch it up! P.P.S Nancy and Vic, Hui and Matt, my fabulous client Karen and everyone else I saw on the way, you each made this trip the delight that it was. Thank you for being in our lives. HUGS Coach J