1. The grace provided me through Jesus Christ for my actions, decisions and experiences -- the good, the bad and the questionable! I daily work to walk by faith; I usually stumble. God provides what your life should look like when you LET Him. "For by grace I have been saved through faith." (Ephesians 2:8)
2. My husband. We've been together for nine years and he keeps me organized and focused! I can have some pretty wacky ideas sometimes and he supports me all along. Matt is an Iraq veteran and an active duty officer in the Missouri Army National Guard. He works so incredibly hard, and I learn from and appreciate how dedicated he is to his commitments. He is a great dad, an honest partner, patient, and I feel blessed beyond deserved for him.
3. My unconventional and wild, loving family. I have two toddlers who blow my mind with their love and curiosity, a dad who is always there for me, a mom who talks me through tough times, a sister who inspires me, and an extended family who supports me and keeps it real. They teach me so much.
4. The women in my life. They are envelope pushers. They are all funny, beautiful and smart. I trust their judgment; they humble me, make me laugh and support me when I'm right, and tell me when I'm not! Each and every one of the women in my life inspires me.
5. Cooking in the kitchen. I love to cook for people, and I especially love cooking family recipes. My dad's side is Italian, and I enjoy creating recipes of my own from my Naunee's authentic stash of secrets. It helps me feel connected to my heritage in a small way, and it lets me create things that bring my family around the table.
6. Cape Girardeau! I LOVE this town. I have lived from the East Coast to the west and places in between. This area of the country is such a benevolent and faithful place. People in Cape Girardeau have a heart for giving, and a drive for betterment that I think is unrivaled in many places. It's a wonderful place to raise a family. I loved growing up here and I love that my children will have the same experience. It's home.
7. Cardinals baseball. My husband will laugh out loud when he reads this because it's a newfound love for me. He loves the Cardinals more than even me sometimes, I think! Raised a Cubs fan, I have now grown to love like crazy the Cardinal Nation, and it is something that as a family we bond over every season.
8. My mentors. Everyone has people who guide or teach them. There are a handful of people who have helped me recognize important critiques in my life, professionally and personally, and have worked with me to help me strengthen things I do well, and better my weaknesses. They have helped open doors and discern which ones to close. I love the quote that "Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot." That's the truth for me.
9. Caffeine. OK, now I could of course live without it, but I would really rather not. I start my day with it, usually coffee, and it just seems to add to my mornings ... and my afternoons ... and my evenings ...
10. Makeup and a good pair of heels. Superficial? Yes, probably. However, those two things can make me feel great on just about any given day. Also: Spanx.