Meet Betsy - Part Two

Thank you so much for your support and cheers as we launched our new website last week.   Your emails, calls, and texts mean the world to us and we just want to take a moment to say how much we appreciate you all!  If you missed it, last week we reflected on 2015 and shared some of our press accomplishments from the year.  What a year it was!

It feels funny to read our highlights because I lived each of those events and intimately remember every detail, yet it all seems so surreal. I couldn’t be more proud of our amazing team. Working with a couple and their family to create a celebration is not like any other job you can imagine. Over the course of planning period, couples share with us their concerns, doubts, and fears. We also celebrate great joy, excitement, and love with them. All of these emotions are an inevitable (and important!) part of the wedding planning process and help us to ultimately create a unique celebration for each couple. What starts as a client relationship, often results in a lasting friendship. I consider it such an incredible honor to be in invited into this experience with our clients and I never take those relationships for granted.

Some of you reading may be considering working with us. If you find the thought of bearing it all to a team of strangers to be a bit me, I get it!  Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am a pretty private person. I protect my heart and keep my fears tucked away. On the outside I am always smiling, no matter what’s happening inside, and that's mostly due to years of conditioning. It all goes back to when I was a young 20-something female, in a corporate world, fighting for promotions that were traditionally considered to be above my age and gender. I quickly learned to never cry in front of anyone and made sure I always had on my business poker face. I used to think that sharing emotions was considered a weakness. Here is the real truth- I did cry back then... but it was always alone.  My strong emotions at work were only on display in a bathroom, hidden in a quiet hallway, behind a locked door. Oh boy, I am so glad those days are behind me!  

Now, our office team (Becca, Nicole and I) share tears over cups of peppermint tea, wrapped in soft blankets, and hugs. We work long hours and care a lot about what we do. It's easy to start feeling run down and let doubt, exhaustion, and worry set in. Sometimes the tears are needed. This does not make us weak, as I was conditioned to once believe, but it actually makes us so much stronger. Instead of hiding behind fears or letting ourselves feel bullied by tough situations, we deal with them head on, in a supportive environment. We challenge each other, keep each other in check, and love on one another when the going gets really tough. It has taken a long time for my hard outer shell to break, but ever day I get a little softer - in the best way possible. Don’t expect for me to let out some deep secret tomorrow, but I am slowly learning to be comfortable in sharing my emotions and more about myself at times when it is actually healthy and helpful to do so. 

Sharing last week's post - and today - are big steps for me.  Sharing my goals makes me feel a bit exposed. What if I fail? What if people laugh? The thought of everyone knowing when/if I fail to make make things happen is really unsettling. Just like crying at work, I know in the end it will make me stronger. So today, I want to give you a little insight into my “Me Goals” and share a few things you may not know about me.

Work/ life balance is one of those funny things that didn’t exist when I was trying to race to the top of corporate America. But since I left my suit-wearing job, my priorities have certainly changed. Personal relationships are now more important to me than numbers. My decisions now rely on my heart just as much as my head. I finally learned to let go and enjoy living in the moment. This year is no different and but I’ve realized I still need to keep that balance a top priority or it could slowly fade away. It’s tough to aggressively want to grow your business and still make time for yourself and your family. I know so many of you probably feel that way too. Becca and I think about this all the time and even more so since we found out her family was growing. We haven’t stopped dreaming big for our company and in fact, this year we have set what are probably the biggest goals for our company yet! The challenge at hand is this: How do we push for more without pushing away our personal lives?

I finally realized I couldn’t separate my work goals from my personal goals. Just because I am working doesn't mean I can put "me" on hold and vice versa. Combining the two goals could be seen as blurring the lines between work and life, making the balance impossible. I choose to see things in a different light. I will always be me, whether I am in a work meeting or at dinner with friends. My personal goals are meant to enrich my life, my work goals are meant to enrich my work, and both are meant to strengthen the balance. I have renamed my personal goals my “Me” goals because they are no longer a secret and they are no longer just about me.   

Here is a quick peek at a few of my "Me" Goals: 

 1.    Strive to Be Healthier:  This is the first year ever that I haven’t listed a number in this goal. Usually it includes total pounds, number of miles, or some other quantitative figure. This year I want to focus on simply pushing myself to be a healthier person. It seems simple enough but it’s not something I am taking lightly. My goal is to get back to planning meals with fresh ingredients and scheduling time to cook. I am a creature of habit and I like having a schedule. I like to plan out my days for spin class, running, and weight lifting. With lots of travel on the calendar this year, I will need to adapt my workout schedule to include manageable on-the-go routines. It’s all a little daunting, but I know with a little planning, anything is possible! And I do love planning….

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

2.    Home Renovation:  I’ll be sharing tons more about our wild and crazy journey this year, so get ready! Jack and I bought our house 2 years ago with the intention of updating pretty much everything. Jack works in commercial construction so we plan to do it all ourselves. Call us crazy because we seriously are downright nutty! I like to call it our “5 year plan” to a dream home and we are officially off to the races. On the list this year are exterior painting, landscaping, and total kitchen renovation.  The plans are underway but the weekends are limited. When it’s not wedding season, our Fridays are spent at Home Depot and Saturdays and Sundays are spent hard at work on some project. Through this process I want to keep perspective and remember how lucky I am, instead of focusing on the little things that still aren’t done. When it comes to relaxing or working on the house, I most often find myself pushing to complete a project. The non-stop weekend work isn’t sustainable and change doesn’t happen overnight. Learning to make room for patience is going to be tough, but each weekend I am trying to get just a little better. 

3.    Teach Fred Manners:  Our sweet black lab puppy joined our family one year ago this January and I don’t remember what life was like without him. In just 360 days, Fred went from 8 to 80lbs of pure love, blissfully unaware of his enormous size. #Fredtheterror will always be a perpetual puppy. As a friend put it, “Labs are such great dogs.  They never have a bad day.” That statement could not be any more true. This year, I want to train Fred to pick up his toys that are scattered literally everywhere in my house. If my mom taught me, surely Fred can learn too. Admittedly, we are a long ways away from that, as he still hasn’t mastered “no jumping” on new friends.  Step one- register for puppy class and commit to 8 weeks of work.  Last year, I was afraid to sign up for a class because I didn’t want to give up the time.  This year, I am over that fear and realize I have to make commitments to things other than work. Wish us luck- we need it!

4.    Schedule Personal Time:  Our RRE team has really mastered the art of scheduling and maintaining a packed calendar. We plan for meetings, phone calls, design work, assembly,  and production prep. In an attempt to take cues from what’s working at work, I am striving to schedule my personal life in the same way. At first, it felt really silly to add “BK- Spin Class” to the calendar. But you know what, it’s already working. It’s like my brain is conditioned to think it it’s on the calendar, I can’t blow it off. Puppy class and workouts are on the calendar. Now I just need to schedule in some non-construction Betsy + Jack time!      

5 Things You May or May Not Know About Me:

1.    I don’t mind being a party of one!  When it comes to dining, going to a movie or even taking trips, I am completely comfortable going solo. In fact, one of my all time favorite vacations was to Curaçao, all by my lonesome. I immersed myself in the sights as I explored the city with its rich, vibrant color. I had no cell phone service or other distractions as I sunbathed on the island beaches, read books, and listened to the sounds of the ocean. When eating alone, I focused solely on flavors and smells.  I never knew I could feel so relaxed and in touch with my thoughts.  I would encourage everyone to embark on such a journey- even if it’s just one dinner!

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

2.    Another fun fact is I laugh at myself all the time.  Laughter is really a good medicine because the most ridiculous things always happen to me. Last year alone, I had countless cringe-worthy moments, but here are a few highlights. During a major tent installation project, I split my jeans all the way (seriously these suckers were beyond repair).  I also served a new client a fresh cup of coffee in a not-so-fresh looking mug with a bright pink big ol’ lipstick mark on it (yup, it was mine).  The icing on the cake was when I spent the end of an event night looking like an unfortunate star in a bad movie plot line (think: "Something about Mary”) after I spilled candle wax all over my cocktail dress. Try explaining that to the dry cleaner.

3.    Since I’m on a roll, I might as well tell you- I am a two-time graduate of Weight Watchers and three-time flunky. Oprah and I both really love our bread (I hope you’ve seen the commercial)!  I am constantly dieting and trying to work out more. Currently, I am back trying not to fail, counting points and going to spin class 3 times a week. Wish me luck because I really don’t want to fail on my Me Goal of striving to be healthier.

4.    I love lima beans.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The vegetable that most children (and adults) despise most is one of my faves. If Jack has a dinner meetings or a late night at work, sometimes I’ll just eat Fordhook lima beans as my meal. It’s super easy clean up and only 10 Weight Watchers points. I know it’s weird but I don’t care!

5.    If you follow my personal Instagram account @BetzKrug, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that I lived in Puerto Rico. I post #TBT photos and reminisce about my time spent at the beaches and marketplaces. And before you ask, let me tell you…. Yes, it was absolutely amazing!! The decision to quit my previous job and move to an island was equally the scariest and best decision in my life (thank goodness Jack was by my side). I learned so much about myself and was finally able to tell my Type A personality who’s boss. Living there taught me to slow down, enjoy life, and not to take things so seriously. It was just what I needed to set my priorities straight and reboot my attitude about work. That leap gave me the confidence to tackle anything- even a small business venture with my friend!    

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

So there you have it, in just a few bullet points you have my life story!  And, if you’re still with me, you probably know me well enough to be my best friend on a reality TV show. Thanks so much for joining in this journey of sharing. We are so excited to be kicking off this year with you by our sides.  Thanks for cheering us along and reading our super long blog posts!  These won't always be quite so personal... we're planning to share tons of stories, educational content, wedding/event recaps, and much more. But we want to stay true to our promise to be open and true to who we are, in the same way our clients open up to us. I hope you have a wonderful week. Happy Tuesday to all! 





Betsy KrugComment