Best Nine

Every year Instagram has this fabulous way of showing you how great, or maybe not so great, your year was by pulling the Best Nine or Top Nine photos from your feed based on the number of likes they each received. I pull mine every year as a way to look back at the “big” moments and reflect on them.

2018 has certainly been a year I’ll never forget.

The year started with such hope and excitement for all that we had planned and was pretty much immediately stalled in its place by the sudden passing of my father in February. So it’s only fitting that the picture of me holding his hand in the hospital would be on my ‘Top Nine.’ Even more poignant that it is in the middle of all the pictures that are supposed to represent the kind of year I had. If that doesn’t capture what this year has meant to me – then nothing really can.

I’ve spent the entire year trying to process what happened while consciously and ever so carefully attempting to live in the moment and appreciating all the good in my life. My Dad would have wanted us to keep on moving, just like he did, and I feel we all made him proud by our resilience in the face of his illness and death. There isn’t a day that has gone by since he left this Earth that I don’t think about him, miss him and wish like hell that I could hear his voice again, hug him and tell him I love him. Until we meet again, I cling tightly to the innumerable moments and cherished memories that I carry with me, ones that have kept me going in the face of dealing with the fact that he is no longer physically present in this world.

My Dad’s passing forced me to finally put into action what I’d been dreaming of creating for years; THIS platform and forum to discuss what it’s like being in the corporate environment as a woman and as a mother of three – just being a woman, mom and wife in today’s society and all the bullshit that we deal with on a daily basis, often times dished out with a main course of attitude and a side of snark by the three humans I squeezed out my who-ha.

What began three years ago as an outlet for expression in the often times, wait – all the times, chaotic environment I’m surrounded by, turned into my blog and the foundation for a future podcast. This has been a true labor of love and something that has allowed me to get back to being creative in an avenue that takes me back to my youth growing up in an arts based education. More content is coming in 2019. I took a much needed break towards the end of the year which has helped me to thoughtfully and carefully plan content and my vision for the upcoming year.

As the month’s progressed post-funeral, and ‘normal’ life resumed, we settled back into our routines with the kids, work accelerated and we finally started exploring the world, something we’d been putting off for years due to, well…having three children. A pretty kickass Delta flash sale in December of 2017 allowed for me to surprise Dan with an April 2018 trip to Europe to two countries we’ve always wanted to visit.

We adventured to Ireland and Northern Ireland this past Spring and found ourselves falling in love with the Irish countryside, the amazing people and the delightful debochery from Dublin to Belfast and everywhere in between. In May (not planned to be back to back trips) we jet-setted off to Italy, the country where my great-grandparents immigrated from when they came to Argentina, on an award trip with Dan’s company that allowed for us to spend some additional time in a country where my family’s roots are firmly planted and somewhere we could legitimately see ourselves living one day.

Experiencing the world was something my Dad instilled in us early on and through the story of his path since he immigrated to this country to seek a better life for himself. Visiting family in Argentina when we were younger opened my eyes to a world completely different yet eerily similar to the one I’d grown up knowing; and it became the catalyst for my desire to travel the world and experience cultures, people, food and places that forced me out of my comfort zone. We learn so much about who we are, the world in which we live and the way in which people go about their daily “normal” when we travel and it is fascinating. Next up in 2019 is Scotland and Norway and we couldn’t be more excited.

We also did some stateside traveling with the kiddos and ventured to Washington, D.C. for Spring Break and our annual trip to the beach in Destin where our big kids long for the days spent riding waves, walking to grab snow cones and relaxing in the condo and going to Baytowne Wharf. Dan Smith and I swore we’d never become “those people,” the ones who vacation in the same spot every year…ugh, how boring and repetitive. Well, at least having to eat the words, “we’re going back to Destin again” tastes a lot better than some others I could pen together, but we still laugh at how we’ve totally become, and own, that we are now – officially – “those people.” And we have the t-shirt and bumper sticker to prove it, as well as a gazillion memories and even more than that in picture form.

Summertime brings to it a certain nostalgia because it is also – pageant season. For the first time in five years I was able to attend the Miss Kentucky pageant and visit with sisters of mine that I hadn’t seen in years as well as welcome a new young woman into the amazing sisterhood that is the Miss Kentucky Organization. While the Miss America Organization can’t seem to get its shit together, the MKO has been thriving under new direction from one of the organization’s own and I’m incredibly humbled to announce that I’ll be judging the Miss Kentucky Teen Pageant this upcoming year, that will run concurrently with Miss Kentucky for the first time since both programs have coexisted. It’s been since 2014 that I judged at the state level and I have missed giving back to the organization in that capacity.

Closing out summer leads to the start of school. I’ve been in denial since August 10th that we have a 5th grader…there’s no way she’s ready to graduate elementary school. I mean, she just got there! My unbelievable desire to keep her eight years old forever while grappling with the fact that it is absolutely impossible, has impacted this mama big time this year. The young lady she is becoming is impressive yet scary; that her grit, tenacity and determination is becoming more realized in her personality is something I’m amazed by every day. Our daughter will run the world one day, we have no doubt. All three of our kids are pretty damn awesome but Miriam has really matured a lot this year and while middle school is not something any parent I’ve talked with is ever ready for, we’re confident that come next Fall she’ll be prepared to walk the halls of Woodland Middle. And get lost trying to find her locker.

Fall is when all our kiddos turn another year older. Because we decided that being broke from September to December made sense, we strategically planned our kids birthdays to occur one after another leading up to and not to be outdone by the silver tuna in December, Christmas. Sometimes when I hear myself telling someone I have an eleven year old, nine year old and two year old – I think I’m just playing pretend until reality hits and I’m faced with – I have THREE kids, what were we thinking? (I swear we’re keeping them and we adore them) Most of my friends are just now getting married let alone having kids – and ones they have to cart around everywhere!

Our children have more active calendars than we have brain capacity to comprehend and they’re more involved than ever in activities. We need a full-time Uber driver on staff at the house just to ensure the big kids get from point A to point B and a 24-hour security staff just to ensure Jude doesn’t escape from the house. (Like he did three times this year.) While I love that they stay busy, imma need a lot more wine in 2019 to deal with the chaos known as Nutcracker rehearsals, FBAA (it’s a local thing where our daughter sings and acts), dance lessons, basketball practice and piano lessons – which are AT our home!

Yes, 2018 has been a year I’ll never forget. Some amazing moments and memories and some not so great moments and memories. But all in all – it’s been another year I’ve gotten to expand my horizons, see the world, develop in my role and career and raise three of the best kids this side of the nut house. I’m grateful for every painful experience endured because it has made me more appreciative of what I have and I’m thankful for every single good moment because it has reminded me how fortunate we truly are in getting to live this life we live.

So cheers to 2019! May this next year be icing on the cake of your life. Just make sure it’s butter cream and chocolate with a glass of Prosecco to wash it down.

– Confessions of a Corporate Mom

#confessionsofacorporatemom #2018bestnine

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