Surround Yourself

Surrounded by hugs

One of the most important rules for success is to surround yourself with great people.

People who inspire because they are full of wonderful qualities. People who are talented, passionate and the best at what they do. People who are willing to reach back and pull you forward, and who are genuinely thrilled for you when you achieve great things.

Like a strong foundation for the tallest skyscraper, a solid network of support is absolutely necessary in order to build and sustain success.

I was reminded of this today.

My company held their farewell lunch for me today. It was held in a nearby restored cotton mill next to a large, picturesque creek. The majority of my office was there, to include a few who are based out-of-town. Martin and Jaz attended, too.

I will miss this group. Some I’ve known for years. Others I met just recently. Working with all them has been a pleasure. There’ve been a lot of laughs. Lots of anecdotes about our families, the office and prior-military service. They saw me through my pregnancy and Jaz’s arrival. I’ve learned so much from each of them: technology, the latest gadgets, how to work my iPhone. (Thanks, James.) Tricks of the trade. Leadership. Team work. The business part of it was always fascinating: the work they do is impressive. They make it all look easy.

Martin took this photo during my farewell lunch. He was going for an action shot.

I started working for this company in 2010, when a former military colleague, Jim, reached out to me with a job offer. I started out as a telecommuting photo editor before ending up as an official blogger with a few other duties in between. The job requirements changed over the course of my time there, especially when the main office moved to a new location farther away from my home.

That new commute was not ideal.

But the people there? Definitely.

I will miss them.


After the lunch, we visited with Miss Kara to retrieve some of the baby’s things. 

Since I will no longer commute to Maryland, there’s no need for Jaz to hang out with her a few times a week.

This also means I won’t get to see her as often either.

This truly bums me out.

Kara and I have grown close these last few months. If we weren’t friends before, it definitely happened that time I stood in her kitchen in my panty hose, waiting for my work pants to dry in her dryer after Jaz puked his entire breakfast on them.

Or maybe it was all those hours spent on her couch, chit-chatting with her about everything while I nursed my son during my lunch breaks and before our long drive home.

Or maybe it was the way she adores my boy and would send me texts throughout the day to update me about his latest burp, diaper or smile. Or the way she ignored our family meltdowns in New York City and still insisted it was one of the best adventures ever.

I thanked her, and told her she is an amazing gift and friend to our family, but I don’t think that is adequate enough.


The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of good fortune for my family. It makes me dizzy thinking about it, but in a good way.

We’re just trying to get our minds wrapped around all that has happened, and all that lays ahead.

But this success would not have happened for me if it weren’t for these great people around me. From my professional peers to Miss Kara, I’m forever grateful to be surrounded.