Breaking Barriers: Fave Quotes From 2nd Annual Women’s Symposium

Last week I attended Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District’s Second Annual Women’s Symposium hosted by Congressman Scott Rigell.  The theme this year was “Breaking Barriers-Empowering Dreams” and I set out to attend to learn more about the needs and challenges of starting a female-owned business from local resources.  I am in the starting stages of creating a business plan for myself and was hoping to find some inspiration, knowledge, and encouragement from the event.  I’ve been feeling like at some moments I am completely fired up about pursuing my own business, with clear direction and ideas on my path moving forward.  Yet at other moments I feel so scattered, overwhelmed, and unknowing of where I am even trying to go.  I’ve been trying ot keep a journal to put my thougths down on paper with the hopes that they will be even more concrete, but I feel like I need to practice that on a daily basis in order to keep the momentum going.  Right now I waiver between reaching new heights in progress to staying stagnant at the bottom of a wave.

One thing that stays true is that I know I have solid ideas that I want to make come to fruition.

There is potential there.

I think.

Okay, I gotta believe!

So here is a collection of the most inspiring quotes and thoughts of the day that have made me contemplative of my purpose, dreams, and pursuits.

Women need to stop bringing each other down.

Don’t make judgement about what you know.  Have faith in God to overcome challenges.

If you have an education, no one can take that away from you.

If you feel like quitting, give yourself a rest.  Step away, then get back in the fight.

-Barbara Hamm Lee, Managing Director, SkillsOnline, and Exective Producer and Host, WHRO’s Another View


Clients are scrambling to award to women-owned companies.

-Kathy Dolan, U.S. Small Business Administration


Saving will get you where you want to be in the future!

-Katherine C. Willis, Managing Director of Palladium Registered Investment Advisors


Connect with people that matter to you.

Disconnect from anything that doesn’t help you grow.

People can tell when they are living off of your fumes.

Don’t sacrifice yourself.

-Alvean Lyons, CEO TRACE Success Consulting, LLC



Be willing to stretch and try new things.  Be willing to do something.  Be first to raise your hand.

-Cathy Mangum, Associate Director, NASA Langley Research Center


Know your job better than anybody else.

You live within the standards that you set.  Change the standards if you don’t like them.

-Col. Caroline M. Miller, Commander, Joint Base Langley-Eustis


Hope these quotes help motivate you today with your own endeavors!


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Meeting Up With Friends in Richmond

I recently took a quick weekend trip to Richmond, VA to meet up with some longtime girlfriends and their families.  I’ve known these lovely ladies since elementary school and high school. This was our first multi-family road trip and we were so excited to plan and see the sights of our state capital together.  I hadn’t been to Richmond as a tourist, so I was really looking forward to all of the new experiences!

We researched and had so many fun and cool places to visit including Maymont, the Hollywood Cemetary, Carytown, Belle Isle, Short Pump Town Center, and the Riverfront Canal.  We couldn’t wait to experience this all together!

However, days before our trip, we learned that Maymont was closed for the Jazz Fest.

Then the weekend seemed to be plagued with what I called the “Vortex of Mishap” which included a flat tire, bottleneck traffic on I-64, rain, a Watermelon festival, and delayed timing on multiple levels.

Our itinerary needed to be thrown out the window.

We did get a chance to spend some fun quality time at the hotel and aside from our lobby pizza party and slumber party games, we had the chance to visit downtown at the canal.  We had a lovely lunch at the Casa Del Barco.


The food was so fresh and light.  I had fish tacos and my husband of course had a flight of tequila shots with his burritos!

PicMonkey Collage

Right outside of the restaurant was a visually stunning walkway of graffiti from local artists.





I think we spent must have spent 30 minutes in this walkway just taking pictures and admiring the scenery.

We also had the opportunity to take one of the Riverfront Canal Cruises.  The cruise was 45 minutes and our tour guide was an amazing storyteller.  There wasn’t too much to actually see during the canal cruise, but it was a very tranquil ride and full of historical facts and interesting anecdotes about Richmond history.



I plan to do another trip to Richmond to finally get to do all of the things we wanted to do on this trip.  I heard Maymont is spectacular.  Have you ever been to Richmond, VA?  What should I put on my itinerary????


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5 Reasons to Keep Summer Cool at Water Country USA


This year was the first year for us to have annual passes to the largest water park in Virginia-Water Country USA® in Williamsburg, VA and I realize now that I should have done this years ago.  Since this year I’m serving as a Busch Gardens® Thrill Chaser Ambassador (you can read about my elation here!), I had the fortune to receive annual passes to both parks (which by the way, both just recently received 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice™ awards and USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice awards!).  My kids can swim and they have always loved the beach.  Living so close to the beach, I never thought it was necessary to add a water park to our summer activities.

I was wrong.

They absolutely love it!


I waited until school got out (it’s so late for us here…they get out in late June) for us to take our first visit to Water Country and so far we have visited 4 times this summer (and it isn’t over yet!).  My hubby and I had gone to Water Country once before we were married, and I had gone once when I was a kid.  However, we had never been there together as a family.

I never knew we could have so much fun together across our varying ages!

Some Reasons to Include Water Country USA for Your Summer Itinerary

It is an awesome way to beat the heat! I can’t stand being too hot.  When you go to Water Country, you will not stand a chance in staying hot with over 40 rides, slides, pools, and more.  From sitting your feet in the water, splashing and gliding around, to full on swimming, there is little excuse to stay dry and hot!

You don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer to enjoy the park.  Most of the rides and slides end in pools ranging from a foot deep to 3 1/2 feet.  There are plenty of options if you don’t want to frolic in water no higher than your knees!  Also, there are complimentary life jackets all over the park for you to wear from toddlers to adults.  Just grab one and go!  You can wear them all day long!

Enjoy rides together as a family.  I was shocked to find there were so many rides that my entire family (remember we range in age from 4 months to 40!) can enjoy!  Pools, slides, and more.  Excluding my infant, we actually can ride together on many of the slides such as Big Daddy Falls!

Lots of options for the little ones.  There are 3 major kiddie areas perfect for toddlers-Kritter Korral, H2O UFO, and Cowabunga.  These areas include shallow pools, slides, fountains, and water-filled playgrounds.

Tons of seating to relax…including shady areas!  I was concerned that because I have an infant, Water Country would be a terrible place to spend the day.  I initially thought we’d get burned in the blazing sun since my baby can’t really play in the water all day long.  However, there are tons of seats and lounge chairs in every area of the park, many under shady umbrellas, trees, and even roof-covered shade.  I have never had a hard time finding a shady/covered spot for us to sit and relax in when not in the water each time I have visited…and I have arrived at different times of the day each time!


We like to leave the Wave Pool as our grand finale of the day.  It’s a great place to relax together!

PicMonkey Collageb

Kritter Korral and some of the fun slides and safe kiddie playing areas.

Because our pace of enjoying the park is a bit dictated by the infant in the family, each visit we’ve included exploring a new set of rides/slides.  My girsl got a chance to ride Collosal Curl with my sister and are now dying to ride it with me.  I’m super excited (ok, and maybe a little scared!).  Hopefully I can get video of that!

It truly has been such a wonderful way for my family to spend quality time together this summer.  Each time we leave after a day at Water Country, we’re always talking about when the next visit will be!  I think it has to do with relaxing together in a resort-like setting, but more importantly, experiencing funny moments of thrills and comedy while riding the various attractions together.  There is nothing like seeing family members scream with eyes wide open right in front of you!

Disclosure:  I received complimentary annual passes to Water Country USA® as part of being a Busch Gardens® Thrill Chaser Ambassador.  The thoughts and opinions here are completely my own.

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