This week’s feature is from Anndrea Boren, owner of Peaches to Poppies – a San Diego based wedding coordination and styling service. Anndrea is not only a dear friend of mine, but also a wearer of many hats: she is a wife/mother/florist/event planner/stylist/houseplant connoisseur/Jill of all trades! We met while both working at BHLDN (a wedding line by Anthropologie) in 2016 and became fast friends. She was a mentor to me throughout my first pregnancy + during the early months of motherhood, and has given me wise and sound advice on marriage over the last two years! I asked her if she would share some of her wisdom on finding your identity outside marriage + motherhood for my readers, and ya’ll…we’re in for a treat!
Go-to coffee order: “a decaf latte with no sweeteners!”
Favorite indulgence: “probably french fries!!! Especially truffle fries, YUM. Like seriously, I can eat them anytime and they make me so happy.”
Favorite thing to cook: “I cook a lot of Mexican food! I feel mostly confident to say I have ‘mastered’ Spanish Rice. It took me years, and now it turns out right almost every time!”
Thank you Anndrea for being a part of our Real-Girls: Wives community! Finding magic in the midst of motherhood + marriage is something we are all doing, together. Read below for Anndrea’s essay on Realizing Your Identity! Xo, Becca
Who am I? This is a question that many of us ask ourselves throughout the course of life. Whether you are single and figuring out your career, newly married, a first time parent to a new baby, or perhaps celebrating becoming a parent for the “x” time…you may find yourself asking yourself this question again and again! Well, I wish I could tell you that I have such words of wisdom to help you to find that answer. But sorry, I don’t. All I can share with you is what I have learned along my own road and within my own identity crisis’s that have occurred along the way.
I am – a wife.
I married my high school sweetheart, Alex, in August of 2006! He is a graphic designer and illustrator, an amazing dad, and pretty much the polar opposite of me! We definitely don’t agree on things all of the time (maybe ½ of the time? especially when it comes to what color something is…but let’s not go there!). He is my best friend. When we first got married it was so hard to not constantly try to impress him. I was always worried about what he thought of me, how I cooked, how I cleaned, how I left the bathroom door open – honestly that didn’t bother me half as much (or at all) as it bothered him!! Oh, and the over-analyzing of every comment or tone…what does that mean! HA! The insecurity! I’m not going to lie – I still get insecure! We’ve had our highs and lows like the best of them. All that to be said…I’ve had to learn who I am outside of my spouse. That I have an opinion, likes and dislikes, outside of his and that’s okay if they don’t always align. He loves me for me and I love him for him – even when we’re driving each other nutty!
I am – a mom.
Alex and I had our son, Sebastian, in 2008 followed almost 2 years later by our daughter, Evelyn, in 2010. Two very different human beings as well! So now I have this life of trying to figure out who I am outside of being married, and then a couple of babies got thrown in the mix! When I was a kid I said I wanted 100 kids…50 boys and 50 girls and a yellow Ford pickup truck (I grew up in Georgia, what can I say?) Well that number obviously dwindled down the older I got. The car choice changed dramatically too!
Being a stay at home mom wasn’t exactly what I thought it’d be, it was a lot harder. One of the hardest things (apart from trying to stay up of the house, kids, cooking… ) was having a sense of accomplishment. Starting something and finishing it. Don’t get me wrong, there is so much joy in being a stay at home mom, too! But for me, I felt a void.
I am – an event planner.
Before I had kids, I was in the hospitality industry. I first got into the industry while still in high school and really developed a love for it that continued on until we got pregnant. Not long after I had Sebastian, I began to realize how much I missed interacting with clients, problem-solving and having a task that I could start, accomplish and then walk away from. So, I decided to start my own event planning business. By the time Evelyn came along it had grown into wedding coordination, floral design and kid’s birthday parties as well (cause I had my own to plan!) So now I’m trying to balance the three…wife, mom, and entrepreneur (and still trying I might add).
I am – not perfect.
I totally fail sometimes. The reality is, sometimes while trying to balance all the things in my life, one thing (or more!) falls short. But the great thing is that it’s okay! My identity isn’t in being the perfect wife, mom, business owner. I have to find the grace for today. Make mends where needed, and keep on going.
I am – a success.
But I just said I was a failure? Yup. Only by realizing that I miss the marks, can I grow and continue to grow. I’m never going to be the perfect wife. I’m never going to be the perfect mother. And I probably don’t have the best business plan! But I am so blessed! I have an amazing husband. Two amazing kids! And I absolutely LOVE my job and the amazing clients and people I get to work with! Success means the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. My aim has been to find my identity outside of my titles. To find purpose in something outside of my shortcomings. It wasn’t event planning that did it for me. It was the combination of all the things in my life!
I am – a believer!
I can’t go through this whole spiel without giving credit where credit is due! Granted I owe a lot to my dear husband…But I ultimately owe it all to Christ. Honestly, without being forgiven of my shortcomings, I’d be burdened down and in bondage to my failures and at a loss for my purpose! But through Him, I found grace, peace in this life and for the future, and the ability to love others. Which is a huge drive for my business – I want to love and serve others well!!!
now…Who are you ?
If you have been asking yourself who you are as of late, I’d like to encourage you: keep making mistakes and learning from them! Keep asking questions! Keep growing! I don’t know that any of us will ever “figure it out”. But the road can be less burdensome!
Here are some tools that have helped me figure out how to find myself along the way:
Let your kids be involved in you and your interests!
It doesn’t have to be fully separate. I’ve had some amazing times with my kids having them “help” me with flowers or come up with ideas for parties!
Date your spouse!
Alex and I try to date as often as possible. Sometimes this consists of a 15-minute coffee date one time a week. Some of our most recent bonding times have been in these little spurts of being intentional.
Find an outlet that you get joy in!
For me, it was event planning (especially weddings)! It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as starting a business! But something you can do or create that you can accomplish…it is amazing what feeling proud of yourself can do for your overall daily motivation.
Find some “you” time!
We all need it. Whether it is a girl’s night out, or a workout sesh, or just a cup of coffee solo! Take time to just be able to be who you are with no extra labels or titles attached.
Here’s to that journey we’re all on!
Anndrea Boren | Owner of Peaches to Poppies