Of course, there were times when I would change my mind, but there was always a plan. Always.
Around the same time that I felt I had finally found what I was good at (working for the public and campaigning for a candidate to the highest office in the US) my whole plan - my whole entire world - changed. I had met a guy that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with, and I knew that we would get married... eventually. But what was the rush? We were young - and on top of the world! Both of us had so much going for us, him with his business and me with my career in politics. Both of us were happy - but looking back - it was a shallow happiness that we weren't aware of until something changed in our life.
Neither of us knew what we were missing out on. Not even in the slightest.
I will be the first to say that our lives are not what I expected them to be. But I will also be the very first to say that I would not want them to be any other way.
When we found out about Rhett - both of us immediately went to a place of regret and selfishness. What were we going to do? How could this have happened to us? Think of all the things we won't have to ourselves anymore. My plans for my future went out the window – or so I thought. There would be so much I would miss out on in college and beyond. I could never go back and work on another campaign! What are people going to think when I'm 22 with a toddler? Thoughts like these flooded my mind constantly the first few months, almost to a state of blindness, and for a long time I was unable to see all of the joy that was woven throughout our situation.
As time went on, it became more real, and we came to terms with the fact that we were becoming parents. Joshua and I were uniquely blessed simply in the fact that we knew we wanted to be together forever, and neither one of us had any hesitancy in wanting to get married as soon as possible.
We began to plan our lives around him - this precious, innocent, little boy who would soon be in our lives forever. It’s crazy to think what was once such a daunting thought has now become something that excites us both tremendously. In October 2016, we made plans to get married as soon as possible. The day after Shark Tank aired, Joshua proposed to me at his lake house in New York and we picked our date - January 21, 2017.
After we got married in January and were beginning to settle into our new life, I was still trying to take classes at the University of Texas - and all the while wanting and trying to take on a full position within Parker Maple. I hadn’t thought out what I was going to do post-graduation and overtime it set in that there wasn’t a place for me to work in politics full time while trying to start a young family.
Night after night of prayer and thought led me to make a final decision – I wanted to jump head first into helping Parker’s Real Maple succeed and I knew that I couldn’t do that while taking classes. I made the decision to withdraw from the University of Texas and Joshua was able to identify where I would succeed in Parker’s – marketing!
Such an interesting concept to me – marketing a product is a lot like marketing a person in a campaign. It is truly a blessing from God that I have found such a similar path within this company as to what I was hoping to do previously. And to be honest, working with my family on maple is a lot more fun that politics.
As Josh and I discuss all the time, the fulfillment that we experience now as we work on Parker’s Real Maple, plan our small growing family, and spend time learning and pouring into each other, is unlike anything we could have ever hoped for or imagined. There is something so uniquely satisfying about working hard on something and for someone that you love so deeply.
What are we missing out on? We don’t even think about it.
What could we have missed out on? I don’t even want to think about.