Marriage. Motherhood. Family. Dreams. Goals. The sweet moments that make life LIFE. These are the priorities that motivate me in everything I do. I am married to my “right-out-of-college-sweetheart” and we are the proud parents of a two-year-old little boy who happens to be my best little buddy. My mom is my best friend (Gilmore Girls anyone?) and I adore family time. I am a Mississippi girl proudly claiming I have lived in all three sections of the state – south, central and north. I love all things Southern. I drink a mug (or bucket) of coffee in the morning and finish my day with a glass of wine (or two). I always think that the best accessory to a great manicure is a Starbucks coffee cup. Coffee shops inspire me. My favorite seasons are fall and summer. More days than not I am happy. Life is good and I appreciate every moment of it.
I met my husband when I was 21 right after he got out of a serious relationship so he was just looking to casually date. I thought that casual dating was just the way older men dated since he was all of 26. My heart knew he was the one before my head did and definitely before he did. He was the only one that has ever made my heart skip a beat so hard it hurt. I use to avoid running into him on our college campus simply because I did not want to have to deal with my heart racing. We had an on again off again relationship for 9 years when he finally realized he couldn’t live or laugh without me (my words not his but the truth nevertheless). We then started to officially be a couple…yes, I made him ask me to be his girlfriend so that things were clear. He proposed at our most favorite place in the world – the beach. You can read about it here.
Bundle of Joy
Four years later we were married and a year and a half later we welcomed our baby boy, Buckner, into the world. Bundle, which was short for “Bundle of Joy” was his first nickname before we knew if he was a boy or girl.We have been experiencing one happy adventure after the next since then! Read about Buckner’s arrival here!
Real Life Gilmore Girls
My mom went to back to school when I was 8 years old. She was determined to get an education to give us all she could. Little did she know at the time that raising me in family housing at The University of Southern Mississippi (Go Eagles!) would set me up for a lifetime in higher education. Growing up on a college campus gave me a unique childhood. I benefited from so many university resources as well as had friends from all over the world. If mom couldn’t find a babysitter on days during the summer, I went with her to class. I would bring a book to read but often find myself so fascinated with the professor that I listened in class. One professor in particular became my favorite faculty member when I became an official student years later. I finished all three degrees from Southern Miss to pursue a career in higher education administration.
Throughout my childhood, it was my mom and me. When the Gilmore Girls came out, I was in college and we were convinced someone had followed us around to create the show. If you know Lorelai and Rory then you have a good understanding of us. Or at the very least, you know you may never get us because the relationship we have is quirky, loyal and unique. A relationship that most outsiders don’t usually get. She has always been my biggest cheerleader and still guides me today. She has taught me how to be a mother who loves deeply. She is a constant comfort and joy in my life. I try to be a mother like her for Buckner.
What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up
When I was five I wanted to be an ice skater but then someone shattered that dream informing me that you had to live near an ice rink. We didn’t have any of those in Jackson, MS. I then decided that cheerleader would be a better option. I also thought I would add Miss America as a professional goal. As I grew, my career goals matured to Olympic Gymnast but then I fell on my head and my mother said enough (it wasn’t even that bad of a fall). She then enrolled me in dance and told me I could break all the ankles and toes I wanted but at least I wouldn’t break my neck. My goal changed to being a dancer eventually owning my own school. At that time I also read a lot of Norman Vincent Peale’s writing which inspired me to be a motivational speaker.
I loved owning a dance school but later I decided to focus more on the motivational speaking and writing (yes, I have stayed true to my childhood dreams). I get to motivate people every day in my job and I am paid to read all kinds of motivational material. My love for encouraging others pushed me to earn a degree in psychology. My love for higher education pushed me to receive my Doctor of Philosophy. Now I teach, counsel and write to help people accomplish their goals so they can live the life they imagined.
As for Miss America, I never grew past 5’2” (I guess I could have been an Olympic Gymnast after all) and I didn’t want to have to diet that much so I let that dream go. However, I still love anything sparkly and I would gladly wear a crown every day if I could!
Joy, Purpose and Pineapples (The JPP Life)
Joy, Purpose and Pineapples is my “third time’s a charm” blog. I first started my journey into blogging with the blog, Modern Day Southern Belle. After I was blessed to become a mom, I transitioned to chronicling my motherhood moments in a new blog, Southern MommyBelle. The previous two blogs led me to create JPP which combines all sides of me. I learned I loved to write for a community of women enjoying the same experiences in life. The first was all about Southern life and the second was about being a new mother. I found that I had more to say than those two categories could support. While I still talk about life in the South and motherhood will definitely make up a good portion of my posts, I also want to talk about achieving goals and the career life. I specifically want to help mothers out there who are trying to balance careers with being hands on mommies!
The blog is titled “Joy, Purpose and Pineapples” because I want to write about the moments and goals that bring us the most joy. Through writing, I hope to encourage people to find their unique purpose so that they can welcome the sweetness of life (pineapples). So please join me in pursuing The JPP Life!