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A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self


Dear 16 Year Old Brandi:

I have so many things to say.  So many things you must know.  Things that if you just listen. If you let me enlighten you. If you put your sassy think you know-it-all attitude aside your life will be easier. Much easier.

Where to start?  Boys. Why not? This topic seems to be the cusp of your very existence right now

He Is NOT The One

The boy you are dating - you know the “relationship” you are in that resembles the worse roller coaster ride created by mankind. Yes that one.  It does not work out. He’s not the one.  Not even close to the one. Save your tears, heartache and dignity and move the heck on. 

My Advice: Read the book He’s Just Not Into You.  Reread it.  You know what? Memorize it.  You know you can stop wasting money on waterproof mascara if you just picked boys that don’t make you cry. Believe you have a lot to offer someone because you do. Maybe think about holding off on dating because you don’t enter a healthy functional relationship until much (much) later in life. Relax and enjoy your friends and family- they are the best. 

Fortune Cookie:  You will meet Mr. Right at the Right Time. At 29 years old you will marry your partner in life, your best friend, the man of your dreams in the Bahamas just the two of you. 

Be Nice to Your Mother

There is no one else in this world who wants the best for you more than your own mother.  Screaming hateful things at her and about her is something you will forever regret.  Right now you think you have nothing in common with her, she doesn’t get you at all, and she’s your worst enemy.  Wrong, wrong and wrong.

My Advice:  Get your crazy teenage girl emotions in check. Don’t blame your mom for everything. In fact don’t blame her for anything. Seek out her wisdom, utilize her as a role model, or at the very least just be nice. 

Fortune Cookie: Your mom (you know the lady in which you say you hope you are nothing like) becomes your best friend and you strive every day to be more like her.  You call her by choice daily.  She is your sounding board.  She is your cheerleader.

Savor the Days

I know I know you can’t wait to be done with high school. Move on with your life. Move out of your parents’ house. Be a college campus girl. Live on your own. Be independent.  Do your own thing.  And, yes college life treated you amazingly well but you don’t have to be in such a hurry.

Advice: These are the days. Cheer a little bit harder at those high school basketball games, laugh a little bit longer with your girlfriends, have more sleepovers, act silly, relish in the fact that you have minimal responsibilities, rejoice in the fact that you have your entire life ahead of you, and rest assure that the things you worry about today either work themselves out or no longer matter. So relax about the future and enjoy your high school days. 

Now that all the serious stuff is out of the way a few other random things you should know:

  • Your metabolism slows down to a tortious rate. Eat more of the spaghetti you love, an extra piece of cake, and anything else that looks good because the not able to gain a pound situation you consider a problem now is really heaven and unfortunately vanishes in your thirties.
  • Do not I repeat do not get your eyebrows waxed.
  • Pay attention in drivers ed.
  • In your mid-twenties you spend quite a lot of time researching the topic of freezing your eggs.  Save the internet searches.  You end up with two beautiful boys.  No freezer required.
  • Be ready for challenges and some unavoidable struggles.  Ask for help.  Know you can handle more than you think you can.
  • 18 years from now everything feels like it is exactly how it’s supposed to be. 


Brandi (the older and wiser one)

Blogging With Purpose

What's So Confusing About That?

This morning the husband and I were lying in bed.  Him on his phone reading USA Today. Me reading a book.  Every once in a while mentioning something we read that we thought the other would be interested in.  I mentioned something I read that made me think of something I wanted.  That warranted a cautious reply from the husband...

“Sometimes you can be very confusing missy.”

He usually throws in a missy to soften the blow when he’s saying something he’s not sure how I’ll receive it. “Hey missy care if I go watch UFC?” “Think you’ll have time to pick up my dry cleaning missy.” “I don’t know missy. I think I would have handled that differently.” It’s a cute and usually effective strategy.

I smile and innocently say, “Who me... confusing?” “What do you mean?”

Before he can reply my five year old runs in our room ninja moves a blazin. It’s the husband’s turn to combat the ninja today. As he executes equally impressive fighting moves I sneak downstairs to make my very necessary daily cup of coffee.

Sipping and thinking about the agenda for the day my thoughts wandered over to my husband’s earlier comment.

Am I confusing? Am I really that hard of a person to figure out?

Be Who You Are and Say

Let’s See...

I want to be a homebody.   I want to travel the world.

I love getting cocktail ready, ordering wine, rubbing elbows, and admiring the elegant centerpieces at some fancy benefit. I love throwing on a University of Tennessee sweatshirt comfy jeans, tennis shoes and a ponytail, drink up on some lemonade and vodka, and cheer touchdowns at my brother’s regular Game Day Saturday parties.

I wish I had more time to clean and organize. More importantly, I wish I had more time to play with my children.

I love brainstorming profit maximization ideas with business owners.  My heart bleeds nonprofit.

I look forward to girls night out. I look forward staying in and snuggling with the boys.

I love filet and lobster.  I equally love grilled cheese sandwiches.

I need to stay busy.  I need a day of nothing.

I want to know what my day looks like.  I want some spontaneity.

I want to move on from my past.  I want to relive the memories.

I want to live in the moment.  I want to know what the future holds.

I think time goes by so slow and I hate it.  I think time goes by so fast and I hate it.

Simple with Complicated Mind

Sometimes I think I’m a very simple person. Sometimes I feel like my life is so complicated.

So I ask... really what’s so confusing about all of that?

XOXO, Brandi

My Life: Do Not Open

I’m a planner.  A list maker.  A sit back and reflect on my life kind of person.  Consistently setting small short term goals. And long term dreams. Constantly planning for the life I want. Creating strategic action plans to kick my butt into motion.  I’ve been this way and done these things since I can remember.

Little did I know though that apparently I had my life all planned out at just ten years old.

Ironically, after writing my last post of how much I love hearing what children hope to be when they grow up, how they picture their lives, their hopes and dreams for the future, I found my personal “life plan” written by me at the very ripe age of ten.

Yep, in a big dusty plastic bin labeled Brandi – Junior High & High School, tucked away in the corner of our basement, I stumbled upon a folded up paper.  The front saying: My Life. Very descriptive and final sounding I know. The back: Don’t look till 30 years old. Apparently, I wanted my life to be very secretive.

Dont Open1 


Interesting.  Seeing that I am past the thirty year old mark, I figured it was safe to open. 

Can we please just talk about this for a moment?


6th Grade the start of a new school affected my gpa to a 3.7.  Glad I had the foresight to give myself some leeway due to a major life change.  Seriously, I’m 10 why am I not outside playing?

7th Grade straight As, sports and clubs. Look I had all of 6th grade to figure this whole Junior High thing out, now it’s time for serious business.

8th Grade see above, same as 7th I mean why not?

Now that we have covered all the short term stuff, it’s time to think big or go home.

High School1 



Good old Freshman Year of High School- by this time I should have written a lot of stories.  Oh.My.Gosh- this is where Dylan (my five year old) gets it.  He wakes up in the morning ready to write stories as if it’s his job. I constantly have to tell him to relax and have fun.  There is no deadline.

Sophomore Year- Weigh 110 pounds. (?!?) No this is NOT ok.  Not even close to ok.  Why am I thinking about how much I should weigh in high school? This honestly makes me sick. Not normal.  The only thing I can think of that would even make this cross my mind at such a vulnerable age, is that I was in competitive gymnastics and I think we did weigh ins.  Still though?!? On a different note, basketball and tennis is going great J

Junior Year – Same as last year. Again, why not?

Senior Year – So very excited that I applied to Yale University. Ummm this did not happen.  Sad to report not even close.  I was even too scared to apply to the University of Toledo because I thought it was too big of a campus.  I was 100% petrified that if I went to a big school (or even a kind of small to medium sized school) I would never be able to find my classes.  So instead of Yale (ha) I am a proud Tiffin University Alum.  I believe my graduating class had just over 1000 students.  I absolutely loved it there. And yes I still got lost even though at that time there was only 4 classroom buildings. Go Dragons!

Occupation: Attorney Did I want a big fancy office and defend the rich? Nope, I remember I wanted to do pro bono work for the disadvantaged. Defend the rights of single mothers. Be the beckon of hope for the homeless.  Fight for equality for the ignored. I remember wanting this so very bad. I’m pretty sure I wrote stories about my life as an attorney.  This did not happen.  (I did take a lot of Employment Law classes though).

Age Married: 21This is where things go way off course, and slightly out of order ;)

1st Child: 23

2nd Child: 27 As you can see I was very confused on when I thought the 2nd should be here.  At 25 Im sure I thought I would be right in the middle of an important court room case, better make it 27.

3rd Child:28 Yes, when I was ten I thought there would be a 3rd.  Now I am 34 and I am crossing that line out.

I love that my 10 year old self thought it was necessary to write this. I loved that my thirty something year old self found this. I am happy to report that although my life did not go as I planned it, my life has gone exactly as it should.

XOXO - Brandi

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