I Am Woman

Oh yes, I am wise, but it’s wisdom born of pain. Yes, I’ve paid the price, but look how much I gained. If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong (Strong). I am invincible (Invincible). I am woman…

I Am Woman, Helen Reddy

I grew up in a home surrounded by women. I’m the eldest of three girls raised by a single mother who was very, very smart, but held back in her career because she didn’t have her degree. I promised myself growing up that I would never let anyone use that excuse against me.

I started working when I was 15 years old and haven’t stopped since. I went to college,  graduated, and paid off my student loans over the ten-year grace period.



Sisters: Lisa – the baby, Amy – the elder, and Kim – the typical middle wild child.

I had a daughter, and my daughter had a daughter (and a son), but this post is about girl power.



Mallory, KiKi, and CoCo

Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of #metoo and #timesup moments in my career, times when I’ve been disrespected, mansplained and/or totally ignored or bypassed. This is when resilience and grit come into play.

I pray that my daughter, granddaughter, nieces, female friends and colleagues won’t have to experience nor tolerate this same type of behavior in the modern workplace.

It’s a new day.

It’s a better day for women in the workplace.

Stay strong and invincible.


Skirt: Loft; Shirt: Express; Purse: Amazon; Shoes: Mango; Jewelry: Old Pawn Turquoise


IMG_3768Pants: Old Navy; Blazer: Alfani; Shirt: Ralph Lauren; Shoes: Vince Camuto; Purse: TopShop


Dress: Baukjen; Shoes: Zara; Purse: Teddy Blake


Dress: Lush; Shoes: Tory Burch; Purse: Celine



Skirt: Loft; Top: Belk; Shoes: Tory Burch; Jewelry: David Yurman




At Seventeen

And those of us with ravaged faces, lacking in the social graces, desperately remained at home inventing lovers on the phone who called to say “come dance with me” and murmured vague obscenities. It isn’t all it seems at seventeen …To those of us who knew the pain of valentines that never came, and those whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball. It was long ago and far away, the world was younger than today. When dreams were all they gave for free to ugly duckling girls like me.

At Seventeen, Janis Ian



17 things I would tell my 17-year old self

1. Use sunscreen.

2. Invest in Apple stock.

3. Max out your 401K, every year.

4. Get a sleep study as soon as you know there is something wrong with your sleep habits. DO NOT WAIT.

5. Stop the Yo-Yo dieting. Eat right. Eat healthy.

6. Exercise daily. Learn to love it.

7. Change companies more often to move up in your career – loyalty is dead.

8. Travel more internationally – there is a great big world out there waiting to be discovered.

9. Be meticulous and THROW THINGS AWAY.

10. Don’t fight your hair … it’s time is coming.

11. To the above, innovation comes from need (think: flat irons, DryBar).  What do you and others need?

12. Keep up with your golf game. Be consistent.

13. Learn something new every day (at least every week!)

14. Marry a man who will dance with you (whether he likes it or not.)

15. Talk to your grandparents – on both sides – to hear their stories. When you want to know more, they won’t be there  to tell you.

16. It really doesn’t matter what other people think.

17. There is great power in a vision board and the law of attraction. All things are possible for those who love the Lord.


And lastly, something I’ll always remember from one of the greatest shows on the CW network, One Tree Hill:

Pretty soon, we’re going to all graduate, and I can start over. But it’ll be harder for the people who need this place to make them feel special. People who use high school to build themselves up and then find out that the real world doesn’t care so much about who you were in high school…”




Under Pressure


Chippin’ around – kick my brains around the floor. These are the days it never rains but it pours … It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about. Watching some good friends screaming ‘Let me out’ …

Under Pressure, Queen

STRESS – PRESSURE – ANXIETY … whatever you call IT …

Everyone handles it in their own way. For me, stress comes out in a variety of ways. First and foremost, I’m a stress eater. Whereas, there are those people who can’t eat anything when they are stressed – like my skinny husband – I’ve struggled with stress eating my entire work life. Secondly, I release stress in emotional ways where others keep it locked inside. I can cry at the drop of a hat (I think this is a hereditary trait), and I work hard to control this emotional tendency. Thirdly, I always remember the Lord’s Prayer when I’m really and truly under pressure:


Oh, and I forgot one more thing – shopping. Shopping makes everything better!

How do you handle stress?


Skirt: White House, Black Market; Blazer: Alfani; Tank: H&M; Shoes: Mossimo; Purse: Tory Burch; Jewelry: David Yurman



Dress: Eliza J; Shoes: Crown & Ivy; Purse: TopShop; Jewelry: David Yurman



Skirt: Desigual; Top: BP; Shoes: Toms; Purse: Chanel Boy Bag; Jewelry: David Yurman



Lace Skirt: Loft; Top: Express; Purse: Chanel Small Classic Flap; Jewelry: David Yurman and Silpada



Suit: Ralph Lauren; Tank: Alfani: Shoes: Valentino Rockstuds; Jewelry: David Yurman




Those Shoes

Oh no, pretty momma, what you gonna do in those shoes.

— Those Shoes, Eagles

Cinderella started it!

I know! I know!

I have an obsession with shoes. I’m sure it’s because shoes always fit no matter what, unlike my clothes that go up and down with every size in between.

I’m pretty sure it’s a psychological issue from my childhood (no blame to my wonderful single mother); however, how many black pairs of shoes does one person need? or white? or yellow? or red? Or heels? Sandals? Pumps?








Shoes in apartment in Reston, Virginia


Shoes in house in Dallas



This doesn’t even count my winter boots.

I read the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing about the Kon Mari methodAnd, I’ve looked at every single pair of shoes I own, held them in my hands, and I can truly say that they all spark joy.





What you want, Baby, I got it. What you need, do you know I got it. All I’m askin’ is for a little respect…

Respect, Aretha Franklin

What I Wore to Work This Week is focused on R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the workplace.  I’ve been working since I was 15 years old, and respect at 15 is still the same at 60. It’s one of those things that you can just feel — you know it when you see it, and most especially when you don’t.

I asked a few of my dear friends about R-E-S-P-E-C-T to find out what it means to them:

Respect means approaching people with no pre-conceived notions and treating them as though they are the best version of themselves until they prove you wrong. And if they disappoint you, you remember that everyone has a story. Respect used to be about treating people how you want to be treated. To me, it’s about treating people better than you want to be treated. — Charlene

I had a tough time finding words to describe what respect means to me. Maybe because its worded definition is so intertwined with feelings and much more recognizable in actions. Then I came upon the saying below (I do not know the author).  All of a sudden sooo many examples of this showed true when I thought back over the last few years. I finally learned and am still learning to set boundaries in business, friend, and family relationships.

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 8.09.28 PM

I was thinking about those tense times building the house and when the tradesman or whoever really was so disrespectful (and treating me like I am a stupid female) and that’s when tension was getting high, you just feel it coming. … I all of a sudden was recognizing how this applies to so many past issues. I am sure I am guilty on the other end also. I need that quote tattooed on my arm to remind me on both sides of the equation. — Suzanne

Respect to me is treating others the way I want to be treated; love each other for who we are; and understanding it takes everyone of us to make it work! A few more thoughts on Respect…knowing that winning isn’t always winning; knowing just because you can-doesn’t mean you should; respecting sacrifices of those before us and respect to those we leave behind! — Sharisse

Respect is earned, not entitled. It’s about giving credit where credit is due. From a military perspective, there is respect from the lowest ranking member to those who have gone before him/her with a higher ranking. It’s about accomplishment!! — Kim

Respect to me means valuing and appreciating someone, regardless if it aligns with what you might relate to as an individual. It’s simply what we all want — to be valued as individuals. — Emily

To treat everyone the same in a positive, friendly, kind, helpful manner in true sincerity, regardless of who or what they are.  Hopefully, you will be treated back the same, but, if not, carry on. — Leah

Respect is responding to others from a place of love, which means being kind, compassionate, transparent and sincere in dealings with others. It’s also treating others the way you want to positively be treated.  — Cassandra

The definition of respect — feeling of deep admiration as a result of a person’s abilities, qualities, or achievements — is fascinating in that it’s meaning is directly linked to what individuals or societies value. Also because it is earned (by definition), there is an impulse to think it is owed.

For most of my life, I have spent an inordinate amount of time chasing my version of respect though education, work accomplishments, status, title, as that is what elicited my respect of others.  If I am honest, it still changes how I approach people – either in my actions or in my heart.

However, over the last 10 years I have come to link the word more closely with the virtue of humility. We are all flawed. We all have dignity. It’s the play between the two addressed with honesty.  Knowing limitations, honoring others, and seeing value in human beings as well as in a human’s doing. — Heather


What does R-E-S-P-E-C-T mean to you?



Skirt: Eva Farro; Sweater: Whistles; Shoes: Gianvito Rossi Hunter Green; Purse: Vintage Chanel Backpack; Jewelry: David Yurman



Dress: Alberto Makali; Boots: Public Desire; Purse: Chanel Classic Jumbo Double Flap; Jewelry: David Yurman


Skirt: ECI; Top: Vintage Harolds; Sandals: Tory Burch


Pants: Loft; Shirt: Karen Kane; Shoes: Steve Madden; Purse: Amazon; Jewelry: David Yurman

Friday – working from Dallas


Shorts: Crown & Ivy; Top: ECI, Shoe: Steve Madden; Tote: Louis Vuitton NeverFull




Brick House


Ow, she’s a brick house. Well put-together, everybody knows. This is how the story goes…

Brick House, The Commodores

An update on our renovation – we have brick, a new ceiling, and we’re getting very close…

There’s a story about this brick. When we bought our house, the lot next door was vacant and up for sale. There was this huge pile of old bricks that had been dumped at the back of the empty lot. Scott looked up the owner of the lot through the Dallas County Appraisal District. He called the guy to see if he would sell us the brick because it matched our house, and we knew we could use it for the new addition. But, the guy said “NO” that he didn’t want to sell the brick because he was going to use it to mix in with new brick when he builds the new house that will ultimately go on the empty lot. (All I can say is that I’m glad we live in a historic district, and there are all kinds of guidelines and permits needed for any new construction.)

Well, a couple of month’s later, the lot is sold. Then, a big dumpster shows up, and all the trash on the lot – including the bricks – starts being loaded into the dumpster. Scott calls the guy again, and now it seems the new owners of the lot don’t want to use this guy as their builder. So guess who gets the brick – for free?  Sometimes things do work out for good … mighty mighty … shake it down, shake it down now!

Our original brick with the old brick from our neighbor’s lot is a pretty good match.
Keeping to the style of the house down to the door knobs.

Next comes the polished concrete floors, trim around doors and floor, paint, and the installation of the electrical fixtures.  All in all, we’re making pretty good progress.





On Broadway


They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there’s always magic in the air..

On Broadway, The Drifters

Sometimes there’s a lot to be said for spontaneity, such as a spontaneous road trip to the Big Apple with my friend, Jennifer Griffith, to see the musical, “Hamilton.”

Twice a year, the Bechtel Employee’s Club offers a day trip to NYC so this weekend, I took advantage of the opportunity, invited Jenn along for the ride, and there we were in seats at the Richard Rogers theatre seeing Hamilton – along with Rudy Guiliani in the audience (no matter what you think of him- he’s still a celebrity in his own mind.)

Come along with us for the ride…

7:00 a.m. departure from the Bechtel Building in Reston, VA

We’re getting closer…

Lunch on Broadway


In honor of this brilliant musical, check out the Hamilton Car Pool Karoke with James Corden and a summary of the 10 best Hamilton songs

As an American, communicator, writer, and theatre lover, my words cannot explain the inspiration from this experience.

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore, and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished, In squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?
The ten-dollar founding father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder…
In New York you can be a new man…In New York you can be a new man … Just you wait.
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Whatever your stand on immigration, this is the American dream come true where anyone can become someone and make a difference.
What is your legacy?

Dinner and Back to the Bus


12:30 a.m. back in Reston, VA

Amazing day with amazing friends!



Working for the Weekend


Everyone’s watching, to see what you will do. Everyone’s looking at you, oh. Everyone’s wondering, will you come out tonight. Everyone’s trying to get it right, get it right. Everybody’s working for the weekend…

Everybody’s Working for the Weekend, LoverBoy

This is how I start my day …


Chick-FIl-A; Bullet Journal with daily devotionals and “To Do” lists

Our Fearless Leader


Charlene Wheeless, Vice President Corporate Affairs

Washington Business Journal


Monday – moving into new digs on the 4th floor



Pants and Top: Express; Purse: Chanel Wallet on Chain; Shoes: Tory Burch



Culottes: Zara; Top: H&M; Shoes: Vince Camuto



Dress: Express; Work Bag: Louis Vuitton NeverFull; Purse: Amazon; Sunglasses: RayBan; Shoes: Mango (from Madrid, Spain)


My colleagues who are all working for the weekend: Bree, Christen, Iva, Breanna, Heather, Leah, Cassandra, Emily, Brian, Jeanne and Susan, Daniel, Dawn, Lexi, Susan, and Caroline.



Dress: Trina Turk; Purse: Chanel 2.55 Reissue 227 Double Flap; Shoes; Aquazurra


Jeans: AG Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jean; Top:Fig and Flowers; Purse: Chanel Boy Bag; Shoes: Toms; Jewelry: David Yurman, John Hardy


Time for the weekend – headed to NYC to see “Hamilton” – more to come.



Sultans of Swing


You get a shiver in the dark, It’s a raining in the park but meantime. South of the river you stop and you hold everything. A band is blowing Dixie, double four time
You feel alright when you hear the music ring … We are the Sultans … We are the Sultans of Swing.

Sultans of Swing, Dire Straits

In Greensboro, North Carolina, Sedgefield Country Club hosts the 2018 Member-Guest golf tournament, an annual event. This year’s theme was “Escape to Margaritaville,” and our guests were Pam and Gary Murrey from Forney, Texas.

The ladies were invited to join a breakfast buffet with mimosas prior to the start of Friday’s matches. My dear friend, Lisa Albertson, had a few of us over to her beautiful home on the 10th hole to enjoy her pool before all the festivities started.


The ladies luncheon on Friday featured a food and wine experience followed by a wine and sip by Glitzy Chicks Painting Studio. We had an opportunity to enjoy a quiet afternoon with some of our favorite wines, and we painted a keepshake from our time together while the guys were playing in the golf tournament.

The Friday night party was more casual, the food was perfect, and the DJ rocked throughout the night. Our staff at Sedgefield does an amazing job every year during this tournament.

The Saturday night gala featured a formal served menu with a live band and dancing. In the Carolinas, they dance the Shag, which is done primarily to beach music. Scott and I dance what we like to call a faux shag – we think we know what we’re doing, and most of the time, we’ve drunk enough that it really doesn’t matter.

Gary and Pam Murrey; Amy and Scott Ochs


They didn’t come in first in the tournament, but they did win some $$$.

Looking forward to next year!



Working 9 to 5 (or 7:30 to 4:30)


Tumble outta bed, and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition, and yawn and stretch and try to come to life. Jump in the shower, and the blood starts pumpin’. Out on the street, the traffic starts jumpin’. The folks like me on the job from 9 to 5.

Working 9 to 5, Dolly Parton

I’m running late on “What I Wore to Work this Week,” and it’s more about “What I Wore to Work” last week.  It was a short week because we had our annual Member-Guest golf tournament in North Carolina at Sedgefield Country Club (another blog post to follow shortly).


Skirt: I.N.C.; Top: H&M; Shoes: Valentino Rockstuds; Purse: Chanel Classic Double Flap Jumbo



Pants: Mossimo; Shirt: Vince Camuto; Shoes: Vince Camuto; Purse: Chanel 2.55 Reissue 227 Double Flap; Jewelry: David Yurman


Dress: Lush; Scarf: Purchased in Madrid, Spain; Shoes: Aldo; Purse: Chanel Wallet on Chain; Jewelry: David Yurman
Shoes: Aldo; and then when my feet start to hurt: Tory Burch