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Reflections of 2013 ~ Can I Handle the Seasons of My Life?

Reflections of 2013 ~ Can I Handle the Seasons of My Life? 

“Time makes you older, children get older, I'm getting older too… Can I handle the seasons of my life…. ” Stevie Nicks might have written these words in contemplating her choice to make song writing her life however, the words to this song are quite poignant. 

Enjoy the song and Stevie's beautiful voice and person as you read my reflections of 2013 ~ 


Joy and sadness seem to appear on the scene close together. The span of rising up with emotion to the heights of euphoria watching Tristan emerge as undoubtedly the best pitcher in his age and the best short stop in Palm Beach County, most likely also the state of Florida and surely in the top 10 in the country, to the lows of two fathers passing and a dear friend all within months of each other bringing us to diverging underneath a bedrock of grief. 

Where does our life take us? While much of life is based on our own choices and the paths we choose to take we are met up with processes in life wherein we seem to not have a choice. After all, I did not wish for my father to die the day he died, Nestor did not ask for his father to die the time he did and Mary's two small sons did not every choose that their mother would die on Christmas Eve. 

Yes, we get older and so do our children. Mortality has a way of showing up. 

While flashing back through 2013 ~ it was a great year in many respects ~ such is the ying and the yang in life. You would never know success if you never experienced failure. You would never know joy without every feeling sorrow. You would not revere life if we could deceive death. 

Tristan is amazing. He is such a great son. We are so honored to have him in our family. All the adult children are working and being responsible. Joshua went to China this year. He is our second oldest son and is a Chef for the Fairmont Hotels. He was offered a very good Chef position in Shanghai for the Fairmont and then just a couple months later they asked him to go to Nanjing to start a new restaurant for the Fairmont. Kaleb is our third oldest son and he is the Chef at Kon Tiki in Wellington. 

The grandchildren are all doing great. They are all happy, safe, learning and growing. 

Our real estate brokerage – International Properities and Investments LLC had a great year. We hired two agents, one in Wellington and one in Fort Lauderdale. We expanded delegating more tasks to our virtual assistant team. We shifted some goals around and worked on purpose. Listings is still the forefront of priorities for Nestor and we continue to work more on our business instead of in our business. 

Coaching and consulting grew during 2013 and I was afforded opportunities to speak at events to brokers who own their real estate brokerages which has really helped to grow the income of our coaching company. I developed a new course called, Listing Experts Academy and I am so excited about the success and the value of this program already. The company increased in revenue by another 20%. I found out recently in one of my entrepreneur masterminds that I participate in that if your company grows by 20% a year for 5 years in a row you are considered a “gazelle” company. 2 more years to go:) to see if I earn that status for our company. 

We are continuing to develop new products and support systems for REALTORS®. But life is not all about real estate and we have a lot of interests and experience at our ages wherein we can touch lives, empower others to follow their dreams, help people live happy lives and more. We are expanding the companies, hiring and training and moving forward. 

So can I handle the seasons of my life? I believe I can with the help of my Heavenly Father, Nestor and our family. 

The Christmas Tree That No One Wanted

Every Christmas since I was born we've picked out our live Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. No matter where we lived throughout the years, this has been a family tradition and it is one tradition that I still hold on to. I don't hold on to many traditions especially if they are ones that create unecessary stress in life. But fetching our Christmas tree is a fun activity for our family. Now one of our granddaughters is along for the journey each year. 

Christmas in Wellington Florida

The process of buying a live Christmas tree has been determined mainly by the state or country we reside in. When I lived in Hawaii, it was a trip to the department/grocery store to get the tree. There was mostly a slim selection but of course that does not matter as much in paradise. In Washington state we would drive to the mountains and choose our own tree to cut down, there they have the most beautiful evergreen trees in the world. In Utah we went to local tree farms where you chose your tree on a lot- but the tree was still rooted in the earth so they were very fresh trees. In Germany there was a huge festival and of course, Oh Tanenbaum was a huge deal! Here in South Florida it is Home Depot or the corner lots where different organizations sell Christmas trees trucked down here from North Carolina. 

Here the choices are mostly Frazier firs with a few Nobel firs in between. 

As we arrived at Home Depot you could feel the hussle and bussle of Christmas in the air. There was one young newlywed couple excited to be getting their first tree. There were families of all sizes from different walks of life all joined together for one reason, to choose their Christmas tree from the many stacked and tied up inside of an airy outdoor tent. Mostly the mother or the wife would be looking the trees up and down, judging whether the tree made the grade to come to their home. The husbands would hold up the trees and nod in agreement or shake their head in disaproval of the tree. 

The trees are all tied up from the trip down here on trucks. In order to see what a tree really looked like, you ask the Home Depot employees to cut off the strings. If you did not like the tree, the worker simply tosses the tree into a pile of trees along the side of each makeshift section in the tent. 

As we started walking from section to section we noticed there were a lot of trees that had been opened up and rejected. For years, the search for the perfect tree would take me some time. Many trees are bare in the spots where there is more shade as they are growing. So usually each tree has a not so appealing area. Most people were searching for the perfect tree and one of the criteria is that your tree should be full all the way around and not be flawed in any noticeable way. The stem that stands above the tree should be straight so that your star will fit nicely at the top. 

This year was different for us and for the tree we chose. As we explained to the kids what we were looking for, we said that we did not wish to take all day to find the perfect tree and that was not what was important about Christmas or the tree. We noticed a tree that was being picked up and examined by multiple couples and families. Each time the tree was rejected and thrown back into the pile of unwanted trees. 

The tree from outside of the section looked like a decent tree. What could be wrong with this tree? Was it so bad that no one would take this tree home?

Tristan noticed the tree as well. As Nestor held the tree up and the kids and I walked around the tree, as if in unison, the feelings were mutual… this tree needed a home too. As the decision to choose this tree was made, any imperfections suddenly melted into the natural beauty of an evergreen tree. We had chosen the tree that no one wanted and yet, it was the right tree for our family and our home.