Who I Am

Who I Am

Raised in a small Connecticut town, I was the only child of a smart businesswoman and a creative engineer with several patents to his name. I was taught to believe that, with the right attitude, I could achieve whatever I desired. Being self-sufficient, positive and goal-oriented were attributes that were to be admired. Although I never really appreciated it then, I look back today and understand the wisdom of what they were trying to teach me. I guess I was too determined to do things my own way and they didn’t try to interfere. Fortunately, I am blessed to still have my mother who continues to be a source of inspiration to this day.

My first marriage was a very difficult one. We were too young, too immature and we were always broke…not a good combination. Maybe life had been too easy for me until then and I expected too much. I’m not sure, exactly, but the self-confidence and spirit of adventure that I had been raised with somehow eroded. The one bright spot in my life, however, was the fact that we had two beautiful boys and my life became defined by being their mom. I loved that role, but worried that I couldn’t support them if the marriage ended in divorce, which was beginning to seem inevitable. It was then, when my younger son started kindergarten, that I decided to return to school.

My passion for design started very early in life…always drawing pictures of houses and drawing floor plans. I always thought I wanted to be an interior decorator which I worked at for awhile, but wasn’t passionate about. It somehow never occurred to me,  until then, that architecture was my calling.

I enrolled in a technical college about 50 minutes from my home. The next few years were the most challenging, yet the most rewarding, of my life. Putting my kids on the bus, rushing to school, rushing home again to meet the bus, working a part-time job, taking care of my home and family and studying after everyone went to bed. I was exhausted, but I was beginning to see that there would be a future for my boys and me.

A few weeks before graduation, I was offered a dream project.  It was doing an addition to a beautiful home. That was the beginning of a very rewarding career that continued for many years.

Taking care of my sons alone following my divorce was difficult, but they seemed proud of what I had accomplished and were becoming the decent, responsible people that I knew they would someday be.

I went to work for a builder (whom I married some years later) and added another dimension to my career, which was actually supervising the construction of some of the homes that I designed.

Today I am a wife, the mother of my two grown sons, step-mom to four grown boys, mother to a spunky young woman from my present marriage and a proud grandmother (“MiMi” to my precious Daniel).

I guess that “being my kids’ Mom”, as Dr. Laura says, is who I am first even though they are grown. Although it was not my wish, my sons followed in my footsteps to be in the construction business. Today they are both skilled carpenters and homebuilders, so I guess mom doesn’t always know best.

My daughter, Jessica, is my clone physically, but my polar opposite in every other way. It constantly amazes me how the mother-child bond supersedes any difference in personalities and priorities. We love and support one another and she manages to overlook the fact that I am so “weird”!

I must confess that I am a bit of a workaholic, but I do love hiking, the beach and salt water, tennis, and boats. I also love to paint when I get the chance, which is not often. (I always say that I will do that and take sculpting lessons someday when I retire… like that’s going to happen).

Truth be told, I cannot imagine not having a business where I am connected to wonderful people on a daily basis. They add so much to my life, both personally and professionally. I guess retirement and the “easy life” will have to wait. I’m having too much fun!


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