getting to know Lucy. segment four.

This is Lucy. My cousin. Really she is my 2nd cousin. We have become close through the years. It was at her cousins (which is my cousin too) Meredith's wedding in Michigan. That is when I remember us starting to become more than just the cousin I occasionally see at family functions. After the wedding I remember driving around in her yellow car cruising the town. Since then, we've kept in touch a lot more. And then about a year ago, I moved to her side of town. Now we literally live 5 minutes from each other!  
Introducing the darling Lucy....

Tell me about yourself?
My name is Lucy. Mandy is my dad's cousin's daughter so that makes us 2nd cousins right? But I think of her more of a good friend whom I have a lot in common with.

I am 30 years old. I am married to Shawn and we have two beautiful girls. Lyla age 5 and Anna age 1. Shawn and I met 8 years ago this October online. This was at a time when online dating was transitioning from taboo to the norm. When I met him I knew very early on that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Long story short, we dated for a few years and found out I was pregnant with Lyla. Talk about a SHOCK for both of us. We managed to pull it together and build a life together with lots of help from our friends and family and shortly after Lyla turned one we bought our first house. It's literally one mile down the street from my parents house. Growing up I would have never thought I'd be living so close to my parents, but it's the BEST thing. Then on my birthday in 2009 he proposed to me. Originally I wanted to have a 10.10.10 wedding but there was no way we could afford to have much of a wedding, have a child, and a home already. So I decided that December when his Mom was in town from South Carolina, we should just get married then. I decided on a Wednesday, and that Saturday January 2nd we were married. We had a small ceremony in our living room. Two years later and I wouldn't have done it any different.

I am so blessed to have a family that is so supportive and close by. My girls are so close with their Grandma and Papa. My mom watches Anna everyday while we work. Childcare is SOOOO expensive, so Mom came up with a trade. Shawn cuts their lawn and helps them with any odd and end jobs, and in return Mom watches Anna for us. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this.

I guess I'm really supposed to talk more about me. Well I consider myself Mom first, then wife, then Lucy. Since having children I have found it very difficult to make myself take time for ME. Just recently, I decided I wanted to find my inner creative side again. My husband bought me a beautiful desk and I began collecting supplies so that I can do some paper crafting. I want to start making cards and various paper projects. I come from a very creative family and I love creating art in many forms.

For a job I currently work for the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in the Department of Neurology as a Research Associate. I have been here for 9 1/2 years. I have no formal education aside from my high school diploma.  Everything I have learned for this position I have taught myself or learned on the job. I've worked my way up in the medical field. Two years ago I took the Clinical Research Professional exam and became certified. I'd like to say I LOVE what I do but I don't know that I can. I still think there is something bigger and better out there. I'm not sure what that is, but I'll keep looking until I find it. I thought going back to college and getting a degree would help me find it I would, but honestly, I don't think it will. If I don't know what I want to be or do why waste my time and money on school trying to figure it out? That is also time away from my family. As a kid in high school, whenever someone talked about the future and what I wanted to be the only thing I ever knew for sure was I wanted to be a mom and a wife. I didn't know what I wanted to do for a career. I didn't know what I wanted to study in school and still do not. Now that I am a Mom and a Wife I know I should start to focus on what I want to be when I grow up but I'm pretty happy in my life right now.
What is one of your best memories from 2011?
By far this has to be the birth of my Anna. Anna is named after my grandmother who passed in December of 2012 when I was pregnant with Anna. My grandma was one of the strongest women I had the privilege of knowing. Funny story, I always thought her name was Ann. We all called her Grandma Ann. From what I understand, growing up she even thought her name was Ann. It wasn't until she was older and saw a copy of her birth certificate that she found out her given name was Anna.
Is there a piece of advice that has been very influential in your life?
I'm not sure there has been one piece of advice that stands out as being very influential in my life. I try to evaluate all the advice I'm given in life and live the best way I can.

If you're having a bad day, what's your recipe for turning it around?
Well....apparently the recipe has been food. I'm so guilty for turning to food to turn my bad day around. If not food I would say any time spent with my children helps turn a bad day around.
Is there a book, musician, or artist you feel more people should know about?
I've always been a fan of Ansel Adams Photography but I think more people should take time to read, listen and look at any books, music, and art. Life goes by so quickly. Why not enrich it with books and music and art and make your life more beautiful.
If you were handed a plane ticket to anywhere, where would you go and why?
I think I would go to a tropical place like Fiji where I can stay in a bungalow on the water. I've been blessed to have traveled overseas a few times but never to a tropical place. I've always wanted to go somewhere tropical.
What is something you want to learn or learn how to do in the next year?
I would like to learn how to put together a scrapbook page. I want to start a scrapbook for Lyla for her school years. She starts Kindergarten in August. I want her to have a first day and last day school picture for each year.
What is something about our generation that you love? What's one thing you would change about us?
I love that our generation is making major leaps and bounds with technology. However, I would change how much emphasis and time is spent with children and technology. As a child I grew up playing in a dirt pile in my backyard. I made mud pies and used pill bugs as the sprinkles. I used my imagination all the time. These days I see way too many kids with their faces in their phones and electronic games. Where is the imagination in that?
Who is one of your role models?
My grandma was a great role model. She was equal and fair to all of her children and grandchildren. She survived 20 years alone as a widow and lived a nice life. I would also say my parents are my role models. They have been married 35 years and have given their children the world literally with trips to Europe, China, Egypt, Turkey and Greece. They raised us to be creative and independent individuals. Two of the three of my siblings have college educations. My younger brother is an emergency medicine doctor and my younger sister has a degree in theater hair and make-up. Both of them are living on their own in Florida making lives for themselves.

What do you think are some of the keys to living a happy/beautiful life?
I think a major key to living a happy/beautiful life is to stay AWAY from credit debt. I know I'd be happier without it. =) Other than that, don't take things for granted. Realizing that life is a gift and the people in your life are gifts as well. Cherish your loved ones and spend time with them. Raise your children to be strong independent individuals who respect others. Be kind to other people. Do onto others as you would have done onto yourself. Maybe that's my most influential piece of advice I've been given. I think if people slowed down and looked around them more often, things wouldn't be so crazy in this world and they would be happier.

I usually ask my folks to pick a location where they enjoy, are comfortable in, or just like a lot. Lucy chose a park close to our houses. This park has a gorgeous hidden flower area, it was beautiful! You can read more getting to know [insert name here] posts right here. Thank you, Lucy for sharing. Love ya!

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