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Hi, I’m Annette. I have green eyes and big feet.

  • I write. I craft. I play with my kids.
  • We build forts. We ride bikes. We experiment.
  • I like to get messy. I like to declutter. I’m a walking oxymoron.
  • I like to explore and expand. I like to connect.

I’m unexpectedly homeschooling my kids and spending (too much) quality time with my husband. {Insert throat-clearing noise} Kidding!

I’m not a board-certified expert on anything.

However, I have been…

…a babysitter, paper girl, janitor, waitress, bartender, model, landscaper, retail salesperson, customer service rep, administrative assistant, operations assistant, executive assistant, documentation specialist, communications director, costume designer, shop manager, actress, spokesperson, voice-over artist, talent agent, casting agent, writer, director, and more.

Random gigs:

  • I was hired to ghostwrite a book on retirement finance that reached #1 on Amazon in its category the first week.
  • I was paid to sculpt character heads out of clay, in the middle of a grassy meadow, while my mentor’s niece threaded wildflowers through my hair.
  • I designed the first prototype for the Penguin Books, A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh Character Mascot.
  • I walked on stilts at a children’s event, dressed like a giant white bird lit up with fairy lights.
  • I climbed over the safety rail, on top of the Field Building in Chicago, to model for a real estate brochure – at 535 feet in the air! That was a particularly awesome experience.
  • I refashioned high-end vintage clothing for a company whose clients include Brad Pitt, Cher, Kate Hudson, and Heidi Klum.
  • I’ve cast hundreds of extras and stand-ins for TV and film, which truly defines organized chaos.

Brag Alert →→ Gerard Butler winked at me on set! (swoon)

Some might call me Jackie-of-all-Trades. I used to worry what people thought about my resume. I grew up in an era when you got a job, worked hard, climbed the corporate ladder, and retired with a 401K and a pension. That standard was hard to avoid. I got a lot of raised eyebrows in the early days across the interview desk.

I just couldn’t sit still. Not with a whole world out there begging me to come outside and play. If I stopped growing at a job, I left. Sitting in a cubicle, doing the same thing every day for the rest of my life is soul-killing. I know, I’ve been there more than once. NO, thank you.

I’d rather keep things interesting…

  • When I lived in Venice Beach, I interviewed for a job in Dennis Hopper’s living room, surrounded by motorcycles…literally parked in his house!
  • Remember the movie, The Exorcist? I worked for that famous director for a week.
  • Remember Bono’s Product RED Campaign that launched in the mid-2000s to fight AIDS? Worked on that too.
  • I worked in Mark Burnett’s offices… and I Survived!

I worked in Hollywood and didn’t lose my soul.

I’m damn proud of everything I’ve done. My experiences inform every aspect of my life, professional and personal. Adventure and learning are the building blocks. Storytelling is the blood weaving it together.

In seeking clarity, purpose, and answers to unanswerable questions, I find comfort in knowing that I can’t know it all.

There will never be an end game for me. Instead of getting frustrated with things that don’t matter, I’d rather soak up as much of this life as possible:

  • I’ve traveled alone, on purpose.
  • I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at 13,000 feet in Chicago.
  • I dove into a 300-foot river canyon at the infamous Canyon Swing in Queenstown, New Zealand.
  • I skied a black diamond in near white-out conditions on Whistler Mountain in British Columbia, when I had NO business skiing a black run.
  • I played fetch underwater with wild spinner dolphins on The Big Island, Hawaii, using Plumeria tree leaves that had fallen into the bay. To be clear, these were wild dolphins, not trained.
  • I literally ran off of a cliff so I could paraglide past Mt. Sunday, one of the stunning backdrops in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • I climbed a thirty-foot rope, unaided, to perform a Spanish Web circus act, that spun my body so fast, it became horizontal. (And I didn’t lose my lunch.)
  • I got lost in a museum in Metz, France (literally) while working on a documentary about WWII. I gave up trying to find the “sortie” (exit), meandered through a hallway that led down some steps, and had a mystical experience that I cannot explain, sitting on the edge of a ruin in an ancient Roman Bath.

I chased what I thought was “Abundance.”

That was all pre-Mommy days. Exciting, never dull, always something new.

Yet none of those experiences even come close to my current adventure. That of being Mom to my complicated, messy, gorgeously unique children.

When I stumbled into motherhood, I never knew it was possible to love someone so much that it could physically hurt. However, my world turned upside down. I mourned the freedom of my old life. Realizing that I had to be accountable to someone else for the rest of my life freaked me out.

Facing that fact head-on, I knew that life would never be the same. I slipped into a funk. Looking back, I’m sure I suffered from post-partum depression. But I never talked about it. I never wanted to admit weakness or shatter the image of the “perfect” life I had envisioned for myself.

The lack of sleep alone helped me understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. I’ll be blunt. I did not do well that first year.

When longer stretches of sleep returned, so did my sanity. And eventually, I realized that I was right.

Life never will be the same, because it is fluid. Always moving, shifting, and growing…and this is what I signed up for.

It dawned on me that I just needed to do one thing.

I had to EVOLVE.

I had to embrace change. There are days I still struggle. But I am consciously walking away from the self-imposed limitation of perfection. I’m tired of following other people’s rules of what motherhood means. I’m playing the director in my own movie.

  • Instead of jumping off of cliffs, now I jump on the trampoline.
  • Instead of herding large groups of people on movie sets, I’m hosting elaborate Frozen-themed birthday parties.
  • Instead of thrill-seeking outside of myself, I’m finding everyday joy inside my own home… with my little family.
  • Instead of seeking validation from others, I’m learning to love myself.

The adventure has transformed into something much deeper. It’s like flipping a switch. Instead of journeying outside of yourself…go within. Take a hard look at what you’ve been doing up until now, with no regrets, but knowing and accepting that it’s time to change.

Focus on what is important. Is it that load of laundry you haven’t folded in 5 days, or is it your five-year-old who just asked if his big sister is going to die because she sneezed?

Now is the time to shift away from your old mindset.

Stop trying to do it all.

Stop caring about what other people think or about “getting it right.”

You don’t have to be the perfect mom.

You only have to be your kids’ mom, and that means being engaged and present.

Be a real mom. In their eyes, you already are perfect.

I don’t want to miss out on my kids’ childhood because I’m caught up in someone else’s idealized version of motherhood. I want to teach my kids how to become heart-connected, innovative problem-solvers, so they can grow up, inspire others and make great change in the world.

Abundance is not reflected in your bank account.

It shows up in your connection to the world, to the people you love, and the connection to yourself…the “you” that you wanted to be when you grew up.

I hope you will join me on this journey toward a peaceful home, a clear mind, and a never-ending curiosity to live a creative, abundantly full life.

One more thing… I love dogs, maps, and air hockey. Drop me a line. I hope we can be friends. 🌷

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