Beach Tag

my. very. big. news!

Does a few days mean 2+ months to you? I didn’t think so, me either. But life always steps in, and here we are again so long between posts, even though I promised you some very big news “in a few days,” – back on August 25th.

(Let’s be real…it’s probably always going to be like this. We all wish there were more hours in a day:)

So, onto the VERY BIG NEWS!

For about the past 20 years, I’ve been told I would be an amazing one, that I would “love it” and that it would be a perfect fit for me. I always said, nah, I don’t think I want that. I really rejected the idea of this thing for a very long time for no good reason.

Then? Over the past several years and many many experiences, added to the place I’ve grown to now, a huge shift has happened, so I can’t believe I am sharing this with you all, but…

I’M GETTING MY REAL ESTATE LICENSE!!!

You didn’t think I was going to tell you I was pregnant, did you?

(HA! I had to mess with you there leading into this news because so many throughout my life have told me they wished I had babies.)

Yes, it’s OFFICIAL! I have finished my real estate classes and I’m just 1 test away from being able to help you rent, buy, or sell a home! (And yes, anywhere in the country, but I’ll get more into that in a later post.) By the time you’re stuffing your face with Thanksgiving turkey, this Blue Lollipop Road will be a licensed agent.

Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP?!

Insert nerd alert photo shoot here with me and my slim 886 page book. Crazy face included:

Do you notice anything in these photos you haven’t seen on me before?

Take a minute to do a little Where’s Waldo-ing.

In the meantime, I will say that I’m THRILLED to jump in and now be able to handle the last piece of what I haven’t been professionally/legally able to handle for clients during the big life transition processes I have been managing all these years…

the HOUSE piece! (Condo, apartment, etc. included.)

I’ve been a part of real estate transactions each week for years and years at this point through proximity/planning/osmosis during client projects, and I’ve seen the really good, the really bad, and the very, very ugly. It’s been frustrating at points to not have my license to be able to directly help friends, family, and clients through and with renting, buying, or selling. The good thing is, it’s at least been a little easier for me to be involved on this next level real estate thing over the past couple years, since my husband is a broker.

Did she just say…HUSBAND?!

Yep.

(I asked you if you saw anything different on me in the above photos. There’s a ring on my finger:)

I GOT MARRIED!!!

Well hot diggity, there’s big exciting news coming from every direction now!

(If you look closely, there are 2 blue lollipops in my bouquet.)

We were married exactly a YEAR ago, (see date in the sand?) in a tiny town in South Carolina with only 1 other person in the room (the one who was marrying us), on a Friday morning with a slight chill in the air, then drove straight to Hilton Head Island where we had been engaged a few months earlier. The goal was to have toes in the sand with bubbly in hand by sunset, and it turned out perfect. Beach, bubbles and sunset were the only things we planned, and strong mojo took care of the rest, including temperatures warming throughout the day, and the one random stranger walking on the beach who took these amazing photos with our old iPhone. All we said was “Hi! We just got married! Would you mind taking a few photos? Just quick shots…whatever you think. Thanks!”

How fabulous that a few snaps on a cell phone could’ve captured such a special day so beautifully.

One other little addition to the wedding day story to illustrate how mojo works? We had written vows and said them to each other that morning when we actually got married, and wanted to read them to each other again alone when we made it to the beach and popped our bubbles. We made it to the resort and out to the beach, set up our blanket, bubbles in hand, and Jason read his vows to me again, then I read mine to him. At the EXACT moment I finished my words, and we said cheers! – a huge roar of clapping and woo-hoo-ing erupted behind us from the place we were staying. There was another couple getting married that day at the event venue, and we had seen them upon our arrival setting up. As we were making our way out to the beach, it looked like they were about to start. They must’ve hit their “And now you may kiss the bride!” moment, right as we finished our second reading of our vows, too, sitting on our blanket in the sand. It was such a cool moment.

I love, love.

We never made any kind of formal announcement about getting hitched, so there you have it, 1 year later, coupled (see what I did there?) with a huge professional update/real estate licensure news!

We thought we may have a big huge happy shindig celebration in July this past summer, but you know…COVID, so we shall see what the future holds as far as us all shin-digging together to officially toast our marriage. This might be a long series of micro-shindigs. We’re good with that. We love good old fashioned quality time with friends and family in small groups.

My husband’s name is Jason. We grew up in the same Vermont small town, but didn’t even know each other or meet until the summer of 2017. I lived and traveled around the country and globe all those years, and my person not only ends up being from my same town, but I met him there, too?

Tell me you don’t believe in the mojo (magic) that can happen.

I’m one excited cookie to now be able to take all my collective years of life and professional experience, team up with Jason, and his, and help so many people reach the place and lifestyle they want.

Oh yeah…and that whole anniversary celebrating thing today as well of course.

A toast:

To staying open, and curious, and always learning. To not being afraid to walk away from something to walk to the next. To getting creative, to loving your work, and to chasing dreams. To following your heart and finding your best friend. To respecting the clock, to letting love rule, and to always keep looking up.

Cheers!

#TodayIsTheDay #AlwaysLookingUp #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone

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some very. big. news

Hello YOU and hello summer! (Even though we are almost at the end of it already.)

How does time fly and stand still?

We managed to escape to the beach for our birthday week! Going unplugged from work when you work for yourself, in what always seems to feel 24/7… is the best.

Of course we had to get a photo at the LOVE YOU wall outside the good ol’ Piggly Wiggly during a bike ride, like everyone else on one of our favorite islands:

…which leads me to some VERY big news.

Not yet, though.

Stay tuned here for my next post that’s coming in a few days. Get ready! It will knock your socks off:)

#TodayIsTheDay #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #HopToIt

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let my people go surfing

A week ago yesterday, I woke up in warm, peaceful, palm tree riddled Nicaragua:

Nicaragua Palm Trees

It was glorious. That day was my travel home day from a leadership development program I participated in called LeaderSurf. By the time planes, trains, and automobiles got me to my place in Charlotte around midnight and I opened my windows and balcony door, the city had shut down, and all was quiet and dark. Late night Sunday night transition was lucky timing for me as I was already feeling overwhelmed by the ding, ding, dings on my phone after choosing to be unplugged for 10 days. I woke up Monday morning to get my run in and was met on the streets with screeching, honking, red-light running cars…and before it was even 7:30AM. This morning was exactly the same. Cement city, a mad dash rush before the business day even started, and drivers looking fired up. (I’m not sure this fired up meant anything excited or happy about where they were going, either.)

You could say I miss the Nica Life.

Back to my stint in learning paradise:

LeaderSurf is based on experiential learning. It focuses on enhancing leadership capability by taking business leaders out of their comfort zones to teach them more about themselves. My time in Nicaragua and in this program was one of the best times in my adult life. I learned a ton:

Business Challenge

That’s me presenting my business challenge looking very serious. Being in the hot seat isn’t easy! OK, that’s a fib, because this is where the hot seat is:

Tiki Classroom

Tiki Classroom

…now that’s what I call a classroom!

Founder Brian, the Buena Onda Resort staff, and the surf instructors were all wonderful hosts and teachers:

Buena Onda Staff

Brian LeaderSurf

LeaderSurf Instructors

Surf Lessons

…the views were gorgeous:

Mag Rock

Buena Onda Resort

Buena Onda Resort

Buena Onda Resort

Buena Onda Resort

Nicaragua Sunset

…and I had a total blast, surfing, and wiping out:

Surfing Nicaragua

Surfing Nicaragua

Surfing Nicaragua

This one is my oh my god I just learned how to surf and I have no idea how to control this board yet, so please don’t make me run into my new friend, look:

Surfing Nicaragua

Later in the day we were both so excited we were up we didn’t realize we were heading right towards each other until the last second. Abandon ship!

Surfing Nicaragua

We didn’t event come close to hitting each other, but our faces?! No matter how many times I look at some of our group photos I cannot stop laughing. Donald, the photographer who was with us all week really knows how to capture a moment.

Surfing NicaraguaSurfing Nicaragua

Best? We got to give back:

LeaderSurf Community Project

The community we visited doesn’t have a source of clean drinking water. We brought 16 water filtration systems that we helped show these community members how to use. One of the filters can provide 100 gallons of clean drinking water per day:

Community Project: LeaderSurf

LeaderSurf Community Project

I won’t ever look at or drink a glass of water the same again. Here’s a portion of an email I wrote to my fellow LeaderSurfers the morning after I got home:

Late last night after getting back, the last thing I unpacked was my backpack and in the very last pocket I found the tiny round piece of a bucket that one of you had taken out to install one of the water filtration systems and handed to me on the community project day. That piece now has a home on my desk. Right after I found that piece I poured myself a glass of water out of the refrigerator on my way to bed and had an unexpected moment seeing that clean water flow out so easily. I will never forget it. After that I couldn’t sleep all night. Needless to say, lots more perspective than I ever imagined after this trip. I am so incredibly thankful!

LeaderSurf Community Project

2 days after getting back, I had a meeting at a local brewery. I swear when I saw this on the wall behind the bar, the world went silent for a minute and my jaw dropped to the floor as if I had never laid eyes on anything like it before:

Water on Tap

A water tap. Bottomless. Just hanging out, free-flowing, clear, and safe, for all to enjoy. I’ve been to that brewery before, but had never noticed this. Oh how eyes are so much more wide open after traveling to a new place that doesn’t have the everyday amenities I do.

We all brought school supplies for the kids:LeaderSurf Community Project

One of my most favorite parts, was handing out blue lollipops. It was like sharing a piece of myself. To me they always represent a small moment of magic. Smiles all around:

Giving blue lollipops

LeaderSurf Community Project

Wish I/we could’ve done more? Yes. Motivated to give and appreciate now more than ever. Yes. Living even more consciously than I was before? Absolutely.

I made what I hope will be some lifelong friendships with the other participants.

Sunset Reflections

When you have an adventure like this and all cards go on the table, the playing field equals. It’s the perfect way to step outside yourself and let others in. There’s an instant perspective shift that happens that’s like a new window to every part of your life. It’s as if you bond in an instant with the people around you even if they were perfect strangers the day before. You realize (especially in the silent moments alone) that the world is so much bigger than you ever imagined:

Great learning environment

Sunset Reflections

Sunset Reflections

Our Sunset Reflection times were in a beautiful spot for us to share what we learned each day. It felt so good to actually be IN the moments. I’m so glad I committed to going unplugged. I need to do that more!

Coming right off this LeaderSurf program and into my 6th annual Play It Forward event is like riding this totally indescribable wave (no pun intended) of positive energy. A serious force to be reckoned with! The passion I had before, coupled with the buckets of life and work lessons I learned during my week surfing, will help me be a better leader moving forward. I feel like I already am!

In case it’s not completely obvious, I’m a huge fan of LeaderSurf. The experience I had goes unmatched. I wish there were more programs out there like it, I’d be signing up left and right! Maybe I’ll have to create my own?! (Wink.)

Staying active and challenging yourself to anything outside of the environment you’re used to, is the fastest route to your truth. Be open to alternative ways of learning. Be vulnerable. Encourage the people around you to do things that light them on fire. Stay on fire yourself. Share. Be selfless. Always try new things, and never stop having fun…even when you’re working!

#ExperientialLearning #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #ServantLeadership

*If you don’t recognize the reference in my title, it’s to this this great book I’d recommend to anyone. Here’s the Author Yvon Chouinard on NPR‘s How I Built This, too. So good!

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until next time, nica

I just landed in Houston for a layover after being unplugged and in learning paradise for the last week. It was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to share more here about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. For now I feel a little shell-shocked at the bustle, cement, and amount of messages I have in various inboxes. Send me back to the hammock and salt air peace I woke up to this morning!

Buena Onda Resort

Nicaragua Beach

Nicaragua Beach

My silent plane ride staring out the window was filled with some great views and much reflection:

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Once again, travel to a new place, spending time with new people, and giving back has provided me with perspective like no other. I am so incredibly excited to use all I experienced during this trip for many future life and work adventures.

Here’s to staying outside the drone zone!

#LeaderSurf #AlwaysSayYes #TodayIsTheDay

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remember, celebrate, live

I’ve always been known as the “energetic” one. That “Boy if you could bottle that energy and sell it, you’d be a millionaire!” gal. That friend that “we just can’t keep up with.” I don’t feel like a freak of nature, but sometimes I have to remind myself that in fact I’m not, when I hear the constant barrage of:

“I’d love to hang out, but I know you can stay up all night.”

“Good lord, where did you come from? How do you have all that energy?!”

“I’m sure YOU don’t need sleep, but I do.” 

Can’t a girl just be herself? It’s tough not to get a little insulted over here, when these “compliments” are regularly hurled at me. I have some very disappointing news:

I don’t stay up all night, I’m from a tiny town in Vermont, not space, I cannot explain how I have the energy I do (Mom, can you tell the people?), I actually need sleep like you, and no, I’m not a unicorn, Ewok, or other worldly being. I have shitty days. For instance, the other day I cried during a meeting with my accountant at Panera (yes, as in Panera Bread, in public), and it had nothing to do with finding out I’m not a billionaire. I already knew that and I don’t care. If you really want to know where the tears came from call me, (804.339.6514) I’ll share anything.

In an effort to solve the energy mystery right here, right now, after much reflection, I have come up this:

I CHOOSE TO CELEBRATE, PEOPLE. I AM JUST FREAKING CELEBRATING THAT I AM ALIVE.

Put that in your I’d rather stay miserable and quiet about it pipe and smoke it.

We’ve all been beaten into a life happens pulp. Do we need to recap on that again? So what do we do about it? Stay in the drone zone, or wrap our wounds with whatever we’ve got left, own and accept our crap, and drag our asses out of bed everyday in the never ending search for those few last tiny beautiful things that are left?

I refuse to wait for a weekend or big event to wear my sassy shoes:

Sassy Shoes

(This photo was taken on a Tuesday after stopping into my friends office to have coffee. I think that’s all I got dressed for that day.)

…I don’t say no to invitations to road trip to beautiful places with good friends:

Amelia Island

…I don’t save treats for only special occasions:

Dessert With Dom

…I always play like a kid and jump for joy at sunset:

Sunset Jumps

…and while things are often better shared with good company, (and oh my do I love a lot of humans!) If it’s 86 degrees on a random Tuesday in March like this week, I’m not afraid to sit outside at a picnic table to enjoy an after work beer in the warm and sunshine, alone:

Beer at a picnic table

I don’t have too much energy. I JUST ALLOW MYSELF TO BE ALIVE BECAUSE I AM, and I fully plan to continue celebrating the bleep out of this life while I have it.

I’ve never asked anyone to be like me and I would never dare. You do you, dudes and gals, quiet, loud, whatever you are…I accept all of you! You’re always invited to my party over here, but if this sparkly blue lollipop is “too much” for you, please walk on. I’m only interested in those fellow tribe members who might roll their eyes or shake and scratch their heads a little, but simultaneously are thrilled about getting smothered in glittery, energetic, life-celebrating love as we run down this steep, wondrous, rocky road together.

I’m off to my Friday morning dance party. I’ll see you and Beyonce in the soul train line…

#ShineBright #TodayIsTheDay #LessMiseryMoreLaughsHappyLife

*(This post is dedicated to everyone in my tribe (I LOVE YOU GUYS, you know who you are, but particularly Maria, Brandy, Leslie, Katie, Sam, Joe, and Grapa. I will forever be inspired to keep smiling and dancing because of you.)*

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tiny me up, scotty!

Thanks to Charlotte Agenda for this little (get it, little?!:) nugget of info. today about tiny houses for rent around my neck of the woods.

When I lived in Wilmington in 2009, I rented a brand spanking newly finished tiny house, (before anyone called them tiny houses) in the back yard of a sweet young couple who had a brick ranch and a cute 2 year old son. My tiny house was actually a converted shed and I only paid $525/month. The hubby, Zack had done all the work himself, complete with chalkboard wall in kitchen, pullout drawer dishwasher, modern rectangular bathroom sink, loft bed, high ceilings, and skylight. It was AWESOME.

I sure wish I still had that place!

This is where minimalists like me have an occasional DOH! moment:

I just looked for a few photos I took of my fab mini space to share with you here, and sure enough found that I have deleted them in one of my 7 million photo purging fiestas over the years. You will just have to envision the scene of my bike parked right outside white-trimmed french doors on the patio leading into my beach happy home that was light blue. I did find this summer of 2009 ocean shot of my feet during that time:

Beach Feet 2009

Ahhh…

What can you do to simplify your space so you’re able to live more?

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #Simplicity #GetTinyLiveBig

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check yourself before you wreck yourself

Thanks to modern technology, this was my office for a couple days this week:

Beach Life

There hasn’t been nearly enough of the above in my life during the past few months, which is just totally not cool, and pretty much against everything I stand for, so sand in toes and connecting with a few important people had to happen.

Needed it. Did it. Wanted to smack myself for not doing it sooner. Translation; Check myself (breathe/give myself some space/take a “minute”) before I wrecked myself (exhaustion, frustration, etc. – that beast that creeps making us feel at times like crispy fried bacon.)

In Googling the title for this post just now, this link popped up. I dig no bs writers who aren’t afraid to throw a little weight in truth around, and the occasional f-bomb:

Get it

We will all learn eventually how to take better care of ourselves (without feeling guilty), so we can in turn be better at taking care of others. We will all learn eventually how to take breaks (without feeling guilty) so we can remember who we are and be badass in our personal and professional lives.

No more crispy fried bacon. No more victim. Much more creating a life that has a shit ton of joy everyday.

How do you check out so you can check back in?

#StepBackMoveForward #Perspective #HappyLife

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a long winter’s nap?

Nah…I’m here!

I know It’s been a few weeks, so sorry to leave my blog followers hanging. You know I love to write and share here. I promise to post more regularly. 2015 felt like a whirlwind of what month is it? Then, boom! Here we are kicking off 2016.

Even though work has been very busy, we did manage to escape for a couple days, continuing to follow our “less stuff, more experiences” lifestyle, and opted to buy and spend 2 nights at a friends beach house in lieu of physical gifts for Christmas this year. Whaddya know, it ended up being near 80 degrees in North Carolina for a few days! Yeah!

Bike rides, beach time, and sand in toes was a very happy holiday time:

Beach time

Love at the beach

Beach time

Nerd pose! I was wearing one of my Play It Forward shirts, so wanted to try and make you laugh:)

Here’s to having more freedom in 2016! Dip your foot in the chilly beach water, then jump in, baby! This is our one life and the blue lollipops are all out there for the taking.

#LessStuffMoreExperiencesHappyLife #BeachChristmas #FindYourMojo

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