Ellie and I just got back from spending her spring break vacation in Miamisburg, Ohio visiting my brother Pres, his wife Anna, and their 14-month-old baby girl, Amelia. Oh, and two of Ellie’s favorite dogs, Winston and Ziglar! My parents and Aunt Betty were also along for the ride.
My brother and his family moved to Ohio this past summer to take on new career opportunities with Keller Williams Realty. This trip was our first time to come see their new home and what their lives were like in Ohio.
I’m really proud of Pres and Anna, because it takes a lot of guts to uproot your family, especially with a small child, and leave what you love to take a step outside of your comfort zone and into the unknown to pursue your dreams. Seeing their real estate offices and meeting the incredible people they work with gave me a whole new level of respect for their vision, dedication, and hard work.
We truly made the most of our time there. One day we all drove to Kentucky to see The Ark Experience, which was pretty incredible. We worked out at Orange Theory and ate the famous Bill’s Donuts (a couple of times), which I’m pretty sure is solely responsible for putting me right back to my starting weight after eight weeks of doing the Orange Theory transformation challenge. Or maybe it was the Graeter’s ice cream, which was the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever tasted.
El and I had a snowball fight with what little snow was left from the week before, went on a nature hike, and shook our tail feathers to Yo Gabba Gabba songs with my niece, Milly.
One day I took Ellie and Milly to an indoor playground where we crawled through the tubes, climbed up the nets, and slid down the slides. Almost immediately after we started up the playground two little kids asked me if they could play with us. I said, “Of course!” as they grabbed my hands like we’d been besties forever.
3-year-old Oliver and 4-year-old Maddie barely left our sides. When it was time for us to go, Oliver begged us to stay and his sweet great grandmother turned to me and told me how she’d adopted Oliver and wasn’t able to crawl through the playground these days and so she really appreciated us playing with him. My heart swelled with love for this woman and for Oliver.
Then Maddie’s grandmother, who was sitting in a wheelchair, touched my arm and said, “You and your daughter have the kindest hearts. Thank you for including my Maddie!”
I had a moment walking out the door when I thought, This is what life’s about—spreading kindness wherever we go. It’s truly the little things in life that mean the most.
Another blessing from the trip was getting to speak to over 200 Keller Williams agents at their Ohio Valley Regional Awards event. It’s always a great day when I get to speak for Keller Williams because I LOVE the people this company attracts.
One of the agents came to my book table after I spoke to purchase some of Andrew’s books and she looked at me and said something along the lines of, “You know those times when you know you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be? What you spoke about was exactly what I needed to hear today.” I thanked her for sharing that with me and told her that was my exact prayer before going on stage.
Ellie loved signing everyone’s Ellie Project books and when people asked to take pictures with her. She felt like such a rockstar! One of my favorite moments from the trip was when we were driving back to my brother’s house from the speaking event and Ellie turned to me in the car and said, “You did a great job, Mom!” That was the best.
I came home from this trip feeling re-energized, inspired, connected, refocused, and ready to work! Which was perfect timing because this past weekend I spoke at a women’s retreat for Metrocrest Presbyterian Church in Carrollton, TX which was an incredible experience.
I’d love to know what’s something you’ve done recently for yourself that has given you energy and inspired you? I think as women it’s so important to make time to invest in ourselves and in filling our own love tank, whatever that looks like for you. Can’t wait to hear from you!
Thank you so much for spending time with me today! Grateful! Love and Blessings.
PS – Are you looking for an inspirational speaker for an upcoming event, gathering, retreat, meeting, etc.? I’d love to come share and encourage your people! If you’re interested, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.