My Trip to Austin

If I were to pick up my phone & ask Siri for directions to Austin, I’m fairly certain that an 8-hour round-trip drive in an “Ultimate Edition” through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas & back is not the preferred route…but speaking from experience, it the most scenic ride (and it comes with a Cappuccino Heath Blizzard)!

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It definitely took a while – so long that people were probably wondering if I’d ever make it after all – but I knew I’d get there exactly when I was supposed to, and that everything would turn out exactly as it should.

If you ask me, my trip to Austin started back on June 6, 2010 as a gracious industry colleague pulled up to my house and loaded a squeaky duffel into the trunk of his rental car & inquired “Do you think there’s a DQ between here & Vegas? I could really go for a Blizzard”…You could probably end the story there & say the rest is history.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized agreeing to drive across the desert with someone I barely knew, and had never spent any time with outside of business meetings, could have turned out VERY different…but after absolutely nailing our partner debut at AICPA Tech+ that week, our victory ride home turned into what we have always referred to as the 45 minute drive home from Vegas.

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Now some might have a different perspective – I know my Mom & Grandma would likely say my trip to Austin took about 32 years, seeing as they’d been praying for my journey since July 7, 1983.

Of course, you could also say that it started on January 23, 2010, at P.F. Chang’s Irvine Spectrum of all places, where a few industry professionals gathered one Saturday evening to network (& the only notable request was “nothing fried, please”).

As with any trip, there were milestones along the way – things that stand out and stay etched in my memory as I look back on how far I’ve come…I’ll never forget October 17, 2010 – when I got chauffeured to the airport in the wee-hours of that Sunday morning, and as an added bonus, a fresh medium iced coffee from Peet’s, my favorite.

There were also some fairly traumatic stretches, like November 12, 2010, when I had to return the favor of an airport drop-off (and a detour to Dallas).

Two days later, on November 14, 2010, I was back on track & heading straight for my destination picking up speed & never looking back. I can honestly say that’s the day that my life changed forever, and I realized I was meant for Austin.

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Fast forward four years – and a LOT of badgering from friends & colleagues – on December 13, 2014, my journey continued on foot. This time up the San Jacinto tramway out in the Coachella Valley, where I officially agreed to relocate (and picked up an amazing souvenir for doing so).

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8 months flew by, and on August 30, 2015, in Palm Springs, California, I finally pulled in at home. It had been an unconventional road to get there, filled with laughs, tears, struggles, and victories, but I wouldn’t trade a single moment for anything.

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I’m not quite sure how 2 years have gone by since I married my best friend, and became Mrs. Austin. It’s hands-down the greatest decision I’ve ever made. Not because life is perfect – goodness knows we’ve had our share of curveballs thrown at us – but because I know life’s highs couldn’t be half as great, and the lows might not be bearable without sharing the ride with Brian.

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As it turns out, a few things in life are actually more about the destination than the journey.

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Happy 2nd Anniversary, Babe – now, let’s get some carrot cake!

#PSILoveYou

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Perfectly Imperfect

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If I remember correctly, my eyes popped open just before 6am…it took me a minute to figure out why I was on a hotel chair (long story), where I had caught a few winks after wrapping up last minute details the night before. Grandma was already up – still on Michigan time, and nursing a sore leg. She was worried she had woken me up, but I assured her, I was up on my own. I love looking back and remembering that special moment we shared as she reminded me “You’re getting married today, my dear” …

I threw on my workout gear & raced over to the gym – wanted to get a good sweat in for the big day (really, for the big carrot cake). I was pretty much running on adrenaline, but the pre-workout was the cherry on top. One problem: the gym didn’t open until 7am on Sunday. Back to the hotel I went, into the closet-sized gym, where I got in my 30 minutes of HIIT in the dark/ non-air-conditioned room.

And all was well with the world.

Needless to say, the day wasn’t perfect – the whole weekend was actually filled with little (and big) hiccups. From my almost-step son’s transmission going out on Interstate 10 on his way to Palm Springs, to being so late to dinner the night before that the restaurant almost cancelled our reservation, to my not getting any coffee the morning of, to our “first look” being a rushed encounter in Brian’s office while he frantically ironed his shirt, to forgetting part of my wedding vows (which we actually wrote over text message that weekend)…but when I look back on it – I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Instead of spending our wedding day at our favorite hotel & eating a romantic dinner at Mister Parker’s, we found ourselves heading home. With our son stranded with no car, our evening ended up being take-out from Sherman’s Deli (our local favorite) and watching Entourage the movie as a family, before we headed back to The Parker that night. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to spend my first day as a wife and step-mom, and I’ll treasure it forever.

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The reality of it was August 30, 2015 was US – perfectly imperfect, just the way I love it.

This year has been more of the same. We’ve had highs, lows, celebrations, tears, victories, defeats, but we’ve done it hand-in-hand, and have approached each & every day of this year with the same attitude we did this day last year – nothing is going to keep it from being perfectly imperfect.

Today marks a year since I earned my MRS degree. But all that really means is that we’ve made it around the track. As we head out on lap 2, just like so many of the Olympians did these past few weeks, there will be no letting up. Instead, I know we can better our next year – the best is yet to come.

While today was just another day, there were little reminders of a year ago – a morning workout, no coffee for me, flowers, stress, take out, and yes, carrot cake. Because in the end, my very favorite is perfectly imperfect.

Thank you, Brian, for loving perfectly imperfect me…

#PSILoveYou

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