So before I begin – a shoutout to one of my dear planner friends – Kat. A beautiful friend of mine who once told me (along with a whole lot of other boss ladies) that all it takes is a little bit of hard work and fairy dust. I have never forgotten your speech during C@H Round 1 – or clearly, your fairy dust. 🙂
April 29, 2016 marked my last full day as a civilian worker for the U.S. government. As surreal as it STILL is to me – Last week was my first full week as a FULL-TIME WEDDING PLANNER! YAYYYYYY! A dream over 4 years in the making became a realization as I submitted a full month’s notice to my corporate job the beginning of last month and walked out of those doors for the last time only just 10 days ago!
These last few days have all been a big blur – as I chose to leave my job right in the midst of wedding season! There has been absolutely no down time and I’m beginning to wonder how in the world I ever got anything done while having a full-time job. I wanted to keep this little secret of mine to myself for one week simply to setting into my new schedule and bask in this dream that I now get to call my life.
While I was working full-time, my days involved waking up at 5:00am to to get dressed and head out for the vanpoole while the rest of my family was still asleep. I would get into work around 6:45am (normally always dark outside) and would work until 3:15pm – I worked in an office with no windows – before heading out to the vanpool for the ride home. Once in the lot, I would drive to pick-up my son and usually be swamped with either client work or meetings until around 11 or 12 at night. Time with my family was slim pickings, and although I may have been physically present with them in the house, my mind was always racing figuring out what I needed to be doing with the small amount of time that I have before work the next day. Not even counting the days that required evening meetings where I would miss my family altogether and wouldn’t see my kids until the next day (if I had no more meetings, of course). That has been my life for the past 3-4 years.
Well, last Monday was somewhat of a different story (cue the waterworks). Last Monday, I woke up beside my husband. We wake up at the same time now. I woke up my daughter, held her for a minute, brushed her teeth and got her dressed, while our husband got our son dressed. We made them breakfast and I made my husband coffee (a bit too much sugar, as usual). I kissed him goodbye as he went off to work. I dropped both of my kids off to school (they both now share the same daycare within walking distance of my house), went back home and hopped on the treadmill for about 30 mins. I showered, got dressed, put on a bit of make-up and slowly walked downstairs thinking to myself, “Is this real? I this real? Is this real? Yes….it’s totally real.”
The first thing I did was tear open the curtains in my office. I let all of the bright light into my house. I opened the blinds in the next room. I made myself a cup of coffee, some eggs and bacon. Then – I sat down at my desk in my office. I prayed, read and meditated on a chapter in the bible. Then – I opened my laptop. This is where things get REALLY crazy. I worked. I worked from 10am-4:50pm. Straight (of course, with potty breaks and a lunch in-between). I worked on clients’ weddings – ALL DAY. I sent emails, organized my clients’ action items, created timelines and floorplans – I did all things Hello Love Events.
At 4:50pm (it came so quickly!!), I closed my laptop. I put my shoes on and headed out to pick-up my kids. They were thrilled to see me! I was just too tickled and just….grateful. Grateful is an understatement – it truly is. There are no words, yall. When we got back home….I just laid around. I talked with the kids, we watched some T.V. – and we had fish sticks for dinner. (Hey, I plan to get a bit fancier later on – give me time!). When my husband came home, I asked him how his day went, he asked me how mine went. We had dinner as a family. We put the kids to bed and I went to bed at around 9:00pm. And then….GUESS WHAT?!
The next day – I got to do it ALL OVER AGAIN. CRAZY! I KNOW! THIS CAN’T BE MY LIFE. BUT IT IS!!!
Some parts of me have not even come to terms of this reality yet. While you’re reading this – I’ll be getting dressed to have brunch with a new planner friend of mine – I’m heading up to Alexandria and we’re going to enjoy Thai together. Then I’ll head back, finish up some work for my spring and fall brides, and then welcome my family home and (TRY TO) unplug – it’s definitely still a work in progress! After only being able to work in the evenings for SO long, it’s been hard work trying to rewire my brain to actually understand that I don’t HAVE to do that anymore. I don’t HAVE to choose my work over my family anymore. There are set times for both and that is such a ….blessing. I am so thankful.
To all of those who have supported me – my husband, my children (oh my sweet babies), my family, my friends, MY SWEET BRIDES & GROOMS (where would I be without you!?) – you have no idea how much it means to me to share this with you. My dreams have come true – and I get to do this dream every single day. I actually no longer look forward to the weekends. Every day is a complete dream and I look forward to every one of them and the challenges and joys they bring. Thank you SO much, friends!
Olivia is excited, too! Poor girl was home sick when we did our photo session! She wasn’t too ill to get in on the confetti action, though!
To all of you chasing a dream that feels like it’s SO far away and so far out of reach – from a person who has been exactly where you are – just keep swimming. Keep surrounding yourself with positive people who will keep pushing you to chase those dreams, to work hard, to make SMART sacrifices. Those who tell you that you WILL and that it’s only a matter of time. Those who will be honest – even when the truth comes with a tad bit of bitterness. Keep praying, keep seeking Him and what He has for you. What He has is SO much better than what you could ever dream of!
I used to dream of being an engineer – of being financially secure and to be able to provide for my family. Those were MY dreams. But His dreams FOR me turned out to be SO. MUCH. BETTER.
Make today great, beautiful people. You don’t deserve to do anything less than that.
XO – Lacoya, Full-Time Wedding Planner + Designer @ Hello Love Events (WHAT?! CRAZY! BUT TRUE!)
P.S. – MUCH THANKS to my talented friend AND 2017 bride (YESSSSSS!!!!!) – Jessica Green Photography – for capturing such an exciting moment for me! Jess – you are amazing and such an inspiration for others, as well! Thank you so much for helping me to capture this moment in such an amazing way! I can’t wait to repay the favor by standing alongside you on the day that you marry your best friend! XO