I had everything I wanted to write down about my personal diet and the other picky eaters in my family, but last night I read the article “Why the woman who ‘has it all’ doesn’t really exist” by Debora L. Spar and it hit pretty close to home. So instead I’m writing about that…

A little bit about me: I went to college as a dance major, and during the beginning of my senior year I decided I didn’t actually want to make a career out of it. Hard to realize at that time, but not all that shocking. I had someone in my life back then who when I told what I was thinking he responded by saying “well it’s a little late to change your mind”.. Not really supportive, or what I wanted to hear, especially at just 20 years old. There’s a lot to explain about how I decided to study what I did and how I came to change my mind less than four years later, but that’s for another time.

All I know is there are two things I have loved my entire life, dancing and being in the kitchen. I’m happy to say I am still able to accomplish both of those daily. I may not be in the studio much, but you can always dance in the kitchen, right? 😉 

After college I pretty quickly changed careers and went full-force into the chocolate world. Which seems strange if you didn’t know me, but it really just made sense. I was baking for my friends in the dorms more than I was actually studying. I worked in the front office of a small business for a year before heading back to school within the baking and pastry arts program at the CIA. After school I had big ambitions. I wanted huge things to happen right away and had a difficult time being patient. I had a great job with a terrific boss, and about a year or so later I landed what I thought was actually my dream job. I loved my position within the business and dreamed of owning my own chocolate empire someday. It wasn’t just that I liked making chocolate, that’s really only a small part of it. I love small business. I love customer service. I love creating things for others, and marketing the product. I love working hard and being able to see the benefits of that work. There was so much I loved about that job. But I also worked seven days a week, am to pm. I had no life. There was a guy who I really liked, but I could never find the time for him..probably because I was too scared to actually let someone like him into my life, but needless to say it never happened. 

Then in 2012 I lost my job. I was devastated. If there is a word for beyond devastated I was that. I was truly heart-broken and I felt as if I lost my identity. People in town knew me as “the chocolate girl”, I didn’t know who I was without that title. As horrible as the situation was it seemed to quickly turn into more of a blessing than anything else. Afterwards, I had so many goals and ambitions to start my own business and I dreamt of coming back even better and stronger than before. However, as time went on and I had time to think about it all, I thought about all the things I was missing. I had missed out on all the major holidays the past few years. I missed going on vacations with my family. I missed my sister picking out her wedding dress. I missed dating that great guy. I had missed out on simply spending a regular Sunday afternoon with girlfriends. I missed so much, that I’m just sitting here in tears thinking back to that time, and it only makes me appreciate the fact that I still had so many wonderful people in my life on the other side of it. The best family I could ever ask for and great friends who stood by me through the years I acted like I didn’t have time for anyone. 

So I made a decision, I didn’t want to go back to that. I didn’t want to ever throw myself back into a similar type of situation. I didn’t want to go back to working the way I was. It took sacrificing on my part, and also took a good amount of my savings, but a year later it still seems 100% worth it. I wanted to start a business because I wanted to prove to people that I could do it, I didn’t want to look like a failure, but deep down I didn’t truly feel ready to start anything on my own. Someday, yes, but not right now. I thought about the big picture, and what else I wanted. And more than anything I wanted a husband and a family of my own. As much as I sometimes lack confidence in myself, I feel very confident in saying that I think the best thing I’ll ever do in this life is be a wife and a mother. I’m sure of it. I fell in love this year in a way I never have before. I’ve also believed in God in a way I never have before. I’ve always believed in God, but I’ve never been so sure of the fact that things happen for a reason, and people are put in your life for a reason. There is a purpose for everything. And we don’t know the outcome yet; as much as we may try to persuade certain people and things from happening in our lives, we’re just all on this amazing journey together.

So “having it all”? Not really in the traditional sense of the term, but I feel pretty close to it. I feel very lucky. I have a wonderful group of people around me who support me, and who I love more than they know. People who I want to cook for every Sunday, so we can sit around the table and catch-up, and laugh, and build stronger memories with one another. As this family grows I am filled with an incredible amount of love for everyone. It’s a table for eight, but I can’t wait to see that number increase over the years, and I’m honored to continue cooking and sharing what I make to please the picky eaters with everyone each and every Sunday! Stay tuned….

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