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AWOL No Longer

Six months, wow, where have the days gone? I have had a lot of chats lately from friends and family and the same questions always arise. How’s your new life, how’s Dallas, how are the kids adjusting, etc… so here’s our new life six month check in.

I don’t know if anyone even realized, (or even care), but we changed every single aspect of our life all at once. Six months ago we packed up the UHaul and made our big move from Orlando to Dallas. For those of you wondering, I took on a position with the second largest commercial real estate firm in THE WORLD which is what brought me here to Dallas. No, Justin did not bring me to TX, though it was definitely a BIG BONUS. I’ll get to that later. Finally, the first time in my parenting life, I became a full time mother of both the kids. Yes, if it hasn’t been obvious, both kids live with me full time.

The Big D… wow! That’s me trying to sum up living in Dallas in one word. When I first visited Dallas last year I was blown away. I fell in love with this city. It has everything. If you want a big city nightlife, it’s here. If you want country, just drive 15 minutes and you are surrounded by corn and cows (sound familiar IL peeps?). We live in a northern suburb in Allen. For those football freaks, Kyler Murray, the #1 NFL draft pick this last round went to Allen High. The town is a big family town. Slightly strange, I feel like the youngest parent of teenagers. Most parents in this area are about 10 years older than me. It’s made making friends a tad difficult. We moved into an apartment and while I have no beef with apartments, mainly because I don’t have to worry about any maintenance, the apartment is proving to be a bit too small. The school system here is nothing shorter than amazing. That brings me to the kids…

Zoe is doing quite well. She’s finally coming into her own. She is making some friends and even has a “boy-friend” that is developing into possibly something more. He came over last night for dinner and a movie. He proved to be a solid kid. She has two jobs now. She works at Cinemark (movie theater) and Journeys both part time. She’s loving making that money and being able to buy her own stuff, especially Journeys with that employee discount. We are starting to feel the pressures of college. She wants to stay in Texas and we are thankful there are plenty of options. So weird thinking this time next year we will be buying stuff for her new home (yes we are pushing her to live on campus somewhere to experience life).

Christian is on the struggle bus. I constantly feel like a failure at parenting. I love this kid so damn much but man oh man he challenges me almost on the daily. He’s not doing well in school, even with the discipline of JROTC. I keep getting told it is two factors. First he’s a teenage boy, second it’s his age. I just want to raise a responsible, respectful young man. He’s been on this kick that he wants to join the military after school, specifically the Air Force. I’m hoping he stays there because I think it would be so helpful. He’s so damn smart, just won’t apply himself. The best, funniest day, we were cleaning the house and Justin happened to find an empty beer bottle behind the water heater. Really dude… we know you’re going to sneak booze. Hello, we aren’t dumb. Just put the dang bottle in the trash please. LOL.

My job… oh boy, has that been a roller coaster. I love this company so much. I am directly in charge of millions of square feet of industrial buildings. Think of distribution centers, warehouses, etc…. I’ve had GM where they distribute ALL GM parts throughout the country, Cummins, the company that manufacturers Dodge Ram engines and Fossil, where I saw all these beautiful watches and bags carry down the conveyor belts to their boxes. Really cool stuff. I’ve had some challenges with my co-workers. I seriously felt like I was in the “Mean Girl” movie. I had to remind myself that I can only control how I act and react to these situations. I’ve now learned to simply keep my headphones in, listen to some good jams and get my work done. I also listen to inspirational leadership podcasts during my daily commute into the city which has helped tremendously. I’m simply going to push forward and try my hardest to be the hustler I am.

Lastly, …… I’m sitting here trying to figure out my words here. The cursor is just blinking at me saying “just write Nicole”... Can you feel my vulnerability? There is no secret here, obviously. Gosh….. Okay, so I’m madly in love. For those of you who don’t know, Justin and I grew up together. Well okay, we grew up in the same town. We met for the first time, when were 10 years old, at the Washington Park Pool. I didn’t really know him until HS where we shared a couple classes together. We lived two separate lives. Then social media came around and he became a super close friend of mine from a distance. I can even go back on my FB and see all of our conversations. I realize now, this wasn’t an overnight process. About four years ago, we started to really develop a nice friendship. As the years went by, he became one of my best friends, knew everything about me, my life, etc…. Really to sum it up, everything happens for a reason. I couldn’t be more thankful to have him in my life. Late this summer, he made the move from Houston to Dallas and officially joined our family. We still look at each other today, mainly at night while in bed, just staring at each other in a strange awe. I’m with Justin Folmar… He’s with Nicole Tribbett. Thirty years later, holy hell. So weird but so amazing at the same time. A friend from HS said to me “inevitable, maybe? If you two never took this step I would say you’re stupid”... I loved that. If anyone knows him and I both individually and collectively, we are pretty much the exact same person just a different sex. I’ve met my match. Checkpoint!!!

Our family is staying positive that we can get out of this apartment sooner than later and into a house where we have a bit more space. Two adults, two teens, two cats, two turtles and a dog. It’s a bit of a circus, but we are all clowns and make it the best we can.

It hasn’t been easy. I’ve been tested in every way possible. I’ve had sleepless nights depending on Xanax to rest my worried mind. I’ve cried myself to sleep as I felt the instability and unstructured foundation of this new life. In six months, it’s gotten WAY better. Each day I just depend on my God to get us all through these times. All I want for this life here in TX is to be an amazing mom, to raise phenomenal children, be a champion in my career and to be the best woman for Justin and make him the happiest man alive. Is that asking for too much?

I will never stop growing. I will never stop fighting for the life I want. I will never settle. I will work every damn day for a life that I dream of. I’m getting there, we are getting there… one step at a time. Life is so beautiful. It blows my mind how it all just works out if you put your mind, faith and heart into it.

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