Holiday Letter 2010

Posted December 20th, 2010 by admin

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. The time where we send out a letter chronicling our year (Kevin says its much more efficient than calling everyone!). It’s been a fun one for us – full of exciting new adventures and learning. We really feel like this year, we’ve had a lot of love, a little peace and tons of joy.

Our ladybug – Reese – is the centerpiece of our love. Where do we start with our amazingly perfect baby girl?

She turned one this year and her birthday party at Great Aunt Donnas’ house was a blast, but the most precious moment actually happened once the party was over. We were videotaping her playing her toy piano when she just looked up at us and started to walk pushing the piano in front of her across the room. It was so amazing to witness her first steps and like her mother, she really eats up the attention too. It still amazes us how quickly she learns and grows (we’re confident she will test gifted, also much like her mother!). She walked on her own the day before we left on our trip to Toronto to begin training for our new Tutoring company, and to our amazement she was running when we got back 11 days later!

For the most part, Reese has been a dream child. All the transitions that people had warned us about went really smoothly for us. That was until we transitioned to cows milk. We went to the store and picked out special organic whole milk, came home, put it in a bottle and handed it to Reese. We were shocked when she took a sip and just threw it to the ground. We tried again. And again. And again. Every time the bottle was catapulted to the floor. We were shocked that our sweet baby was putting up such a fuss. After a whole day of trying, we finally got her to drink it when we diluted it with some formula. But when we tried our switcharoo again the next day, again the bottle went flying. Thinking it couldn’t be that bad, Kevin poured some of the organic milk in a cup and drank some. He spit it right back up! Could it be? Yes, it was sour. I came home to Kevin standing in the entryway with a cup in his hand saying, “Try it. Just try it.” We couldn’t believe we had tried to give our baby spoiled milk! We all recovered and now Reese drinks milk like a champ.

We’ve had plenty of love from lots of directions this year. We welcomed our new sister-in-law, Erin, into our family. It was amazing for Kevin to see it from the other side and watch his brother make a commitment to the woman he loves. And Reese just stares and stares at her Uncle Sean, when he visits us, who looks so much like her daddy!

In fact, he looks so much like Kevin that the pastor got confused before Sean’s wedding and started asking Kevin questions about the next big step he was taking! I also think Kevin really enjoyed getting congratulated all night long, too! Hopefully he passed on the good words to Sean.

Sean and Erin’s wedding also helped us to discover the incredible bond we had formed as a family. When Kevin was taking off for the bachelor party in Las Vegas, and I was heading out to LA with Reese, I just couldn’t get over how anxious I was about being separated from him for the first time since Reese was born. The night before we left, we all snuggled in bed together and just reveled in the unity we felt as a family. Once he got to Las Vegas, Kevin went around the party showing the other guys pictures of Reese on his i-Phone! (I bet Kev was hoping I wouldn’t slip this part in!)

For those of you who are more familiar with the hustle and bustle of our daily lives due to our businesses, you’ll be surprised to know that we’re planning some trips to our favorite destinations this year so that we will fit in some much needed family time and fun (Yes, Kev has finally committed to stepping away from his computer and work to actually go and have some fun.)!   Hopefully it works out, because we had to cancel 3 of our trips this year that we haven’t been able to make up for yet.

Finally, we have felt an incredible amount of love from our extended family around Gainesville. Our house is Grand Central Station with grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, and cousins all running in and out at all times. We love our nannies, Alina and Lammy, like they’re a part of the family, too. Since moving back to Gainesville it was a little bit of a cultural shock getting used to so many people around us all the time, but now we wouldn’t know what to do without it. A quiet house is kind of a scary thought!

The hectic nature of our lives and work has made peace come in spurts, but it has been profound at points. It’s been fabulous to have the support of so much family and friends within the same community and I’ve really connected with some of the moms in my MOPS group (mothers of preschoolers). It’s really comforting to know that the whirlwind of motherhood isn’t just overwhelming me alone!

Kevin calls our household the 211-degree house. If you add one more degree, we’re at the boiling point. So, we’ve had our share of meltdowns as we’ve started our new business while learning to balance family and work. In fact, we had to cancel our Christmas trip to New York this year because of just too much going on, including a sick baby girl, family circumstances, and a Christmas tree that toppled over! (Yes, we have joined the few that now tie our Christmas tree to the wall!)

But really, we’ve had a lot of peace in our family this year. It’s been great when you get those evenings in, where the work and the world actually stops for a minute and you’re able to just enjoy being together. Family time has become such an important thing to us now. It was magical to watch Reese walk around this Christmas light display near the hospital where she was born. She would touch the light bulbs with her small hands and just smile at their shiny wonder.  She is truly the greatest gift ever and our little angel…we are so in love!

For me, I’m just happy to be through baby brain, so that I am able to help with the business we’ve started: Tutor Doctor, which helps families with K-12 age students. For Kevin and me, it feels fantastic to see all the knowledge and networking from marketing conferences we’ve attended and business books we’ve read bear fruit in our new business. We opened in November and have already enjoyed many early successes. While starting a business tends to rob you of your free time and stresses you out, Kevin and I actually have a lot of inner peace about the direction our lives have taken. For me, I get to integrate my life with Reese and my business life, which centers around family.  Kevin loves working with the tutors, who are compassionate and dedicated people (Yes, I’m still talking about Kevin!).  And we both get so much satisfaction from helping families with problems turn their lives around.

One of our tutors has been helping a family with a four-year-old who has been struggling with identifying her numbers. After her first session with our tutor, she could read numbers 1-5 in any order, I can’t explain the happy look on her mothers face but it felt wonderful. We love how these little successes populate our lives with joy!

And of course, Reese is such a joy, and surprisingly even when vomit is flying! We were heading to the airport to come back home from a trip and suddenly I was covered in vomit. It was totally unexpected, but instead of getting angry or frustrated, Kevin and I just laughed. This year has really taught us to find joy in the strangest places and to take what life gives you with a smile.

Another sweet surprise came when Reese was having a slumber party with her cousins, Christine, John and Ethan. The boys were sleeping in the spare bed in her room and Reese was in her crib. I listened to the monitor throughout the night and everything seemed normal, but at 5:00 in the morning I woke up to whispering and giggling. Somehow – and I don’t think we’ll ever know how – even though their heads aren’t taller than the crib, they had gotten Reese out of her crib and had snuggled her into bed with them. It was a magical moment.

Probably the most profoundly joyful and indescribable moment for us was when we finally heard Reese call us “Momma” and “Dadda” for the very first time! We’ve all probably been called a lot of things in our lives, but it is an amazing thing to hear your child call out to you. We’re so proud of her every moment and her every change – even if it only matters to us. Just recently, Kevin couldn’t believe when she brought him her shirt to put on the other day instead of having to chase her down just to get dressed, I guess it really is the little things that count.

Now Reese walks around the house singing “Dadda” over and over again. Sometimes Kevin will think she has some kind of urgent question or needs something, but no. She just loves to say his name (she is definitely Daddy’s girl!).

So, our house is full of love, joy and just the right amount of peace for us. Here’s wishing you an equally blessed year in 2011.

Love,

Kevin, Becky and Reese

PS – Love our letter? Hate our Letter? Doesn’t matter, we just want to hear from everybody. Please say hello to us in the comments below!

Holiday Letter 2009

Posted December 14th, 2009 by admin
Our Beautiful Gift!

Greetings from the Patrick’s & Happy Holidays! What a wonderful year 2009 has been to us. Our daughter Reese was born on June 13th and this letter is about Reese, Reese and more Reese! Is there anything else once you have a newborn? 

Reese was welcomed with excitement and love by both the Patrick & Harpe families and so many dear friends.  It was so wonderful to hear that during her birth the waiting room was completely full of family & friends eagerly awaiting her arrival.  Thank you for all of the love and support we received from so many of you.  Your love & thoughtfulness has truly made this experience incredible.

We started the year off by preparing for Reese’s debut. With baby showers, learning how to put baby gear together (this should require a college degree), preparing the nursery, selecting paint colors, fabrics, and furniture, birthing classes, and lots and lots and lots of waiting. We also had our final pre baby couples trip to California and Arizona, where we spent time with best friends, we had business meetings in San Francisco, Kevin was able to race corvettes on a professional road course (watch out Richard Petty!), and we were able to finally make it back to the Tickle Pink Inn in Carmel, Ca where we were engaged and spent time dreaming about what our baby would be like and look like and how our lives were about to change. It was the perfect place to celebrate our new chapter since of course it’s the same spot where our story began.  (Highly recommend this place for a quaint romantic getaway :))

Like most women who have never been pregnant, I had always wondered what being pregnant would be like but life in the third trimester was so much more uncomfortable than the first two trimesters, if that is even possible. I think it has everything to do with the fact that I’m 32 years old and certain body parts just don’t bend or maneuver with the ease that they used to. Every morning before we would go for breakfast I would take a look around and figure out what I was going to need for the day. Because SO HELP ME, I was only going to bend over to pick things up once. This means that Kevin spent a good portion of his day retrieving things for me. He’s very good about not complaining about this act of service (the non-complaining only applies to pregnant days), although once after bringing me a pair of pants he dared to ask why I just didn’t put them on first thing in the morning. And I was all, “dude, may you never have to experience a state of being that makes PUTTING ON PANTS such a loathsome set of contortions that you would seriously consider going grocery shopping in your panties”.

Kevin was a true hero during my pregnancy, although apparently no one forewarned him that my brain would revert to a preschoolers and that I would constantly weep, but every time, even though he would be caught off guard, he patiently waited for me (does this Kevin sound at all familiar to anyone?), rubbed my back, or in the more emotional and irrational times, he just ignored the event all together. I wish they had a Wii fit game for the brain because for almost a year my brain was complete mush (aka “baby brain”). Now I know that Kevin is not only a great husband but a perfect pregnancy partner too!

Up until about the 30th week of my pregnancy I hadn’t given labor much thought, only that I was going to ask for the epidural two days before contractions started. I’m not kidding, that was the extent of my birth plan. There was no need to experience any of the pain, I thought. I mean seriously, would you get a nose job without drugs?  Exactly.  Give me the epidural and any other pain relief, maybe throw in a couple dozen shots of bourbon, oh and how about you just put me under general anesthesia and wake me up two days later. Apparently, I’m not good with pain. I tend to complain and holler and call people regrettable things. But surprisingly after 24 hours of labor and 8 hours of pushing and my epidural wearing off, along came Reese and Kevin said I came through like the true champion I really didn’t think I was.

As time grew closer I knew I was going to need to prepare myself for the pain, mentally, physically, and emotionally, and surround myself with a team of people who could help me through it. So I gathered my birthing crew: Kevin, Daisy, Robin, Mom and Dad (my dad cheered me on for hours and hours behind a curtain without ever sitting or taking a break & oddly enough watching him pace back and forth for endless hours in a 4×4 area was strangely comforting!). Mind you, I went into this knowing fully that what I wanted to happen could be completely derailed by any sort of crisis concerning me or the baby. Making it out alive with a healthy baby was my top priority so Daisy Schuurrman flew in with only 3 hours notice and Robin Leavengood drove up at midnight. Luckily Reese’s birth was a lot more dramatic than taking care of her has been. I don’t know what was more scary the fact that I was about to go into labor, or the fact that the hospital was actually going to let me and Kevin walk out with this baby. I mean shouldn’t there be some sort of test or parent approval process we need to pass?  How could we be good parents if we drink boatloads of coffee & diet coke, still enjoying partying with our friends and are both THIS excited about the new season of Amazing Race!?!?

Before Reese I had absolutely no idea how scary having a newborn would be. Kevin blames it on the hormones raging through my body but, like walking outside at 0 degrees, the cold blast of air hitting you at once is a strong dose of realization that you are responsible for a miraculous human being. So now what?!  Reese must have sensed this initial onset of panic and has been sooo wonderfully cooperative. She was sleeping through the night at two weeks but determined to be sleep deprived I would still wake up and stare at her in her crib just to make sure she was ok. Her smile, we soon discovered, can simply change the world.  We are so blessed!

Life with a baby has been nothing short of exciting, exhausting, hilarious, scary, & unpredictable.  And sometimes all at one time!  Adjusting to life with a new baby is never without it’s excitement & funny stories (actually maybe they’re only funny after the fact).  Reese has truly been a very laid back and easy baby.  Although apparently she reserves the right to turn into a completely different baby once mommy leaves the house (according to daddy).  Once, I finally convinced myself to leave her and get out of the house after being a home body for over a month, I was just beginning to enjoy myself when I received a frantic call from Kevin demanding I come back home immediately.  When I got home I found Kevin sitting in the dark hallway with his head in his hands and baby girl in another room sitting by herself (and not crying by the way).  He tried very hard to convince me that our very easy going & seldom fussy baby had a total meltdown and cried uncontrollably the moment I left the house for 3 straight hours.  I think Kev’s exact words were “You can never leave the house again”.  It was clear at that moment that we still had parenting 101 lessons to learn before we could even hope to begin resuming a normal life again.

It’s finally time to jump back into the swing of things, or so we thought.  3 weeks after Reese’s arrival we attempted to jump back into our normal busy life by heading over to St. Augustine with her for our first family trip to celebrate the 4th with friends.  Initially it didn’t seem like to big of a deal to take a vacation with our brand new baby, but boy did that change once we arrived in St. Augustine.  Apparently you don’t take a new mommy out of her comfort zone once she gets settled in at home and begins to feel comfortable with taking care of her new baby.  To Kevin’s surprise, he woke up at 3am with me on the phone with my parents begging them to come to us as quickly as they could!  Of course, they came and made everything better, and I wish I could say that was the last of my post-pregnancy melt downs, but it was not.  Getting comfortable with Reese (as easy of a baby as she is) took a little time for me, but I think we’ve got the hang of it now and we’re having a blast together!

After the 4th we did not attempt to travel again until Oct when Reese was 5 months old.  We decided that we needed a trial run on leaving Reese for at least 1 night to see how it goes (by we I mean me).  We spent our 1st night away from our baby in Tampa where we attended the U2 concert with Robin Leavengood & Stephanie McNulty and had a great time. (By the way Happy 1st Anniversary McNulty’s)

Just this week Kevin got to truly experience what I do on a daily basis, and boy did it make him appreciate me even more.  I left for the night to pamper myself and have some down time without baby girl and Kevin kept Reese by himself (which neither of us have ever done).  They had their 1st Daddy & baby girl slumber party, and I’m not sure if he’s ever been or looked so tired in his life!  I feel sure he probably asked himself the following question countless times over that 24 hr period, “How, how, how do mom’s do it”?!?!?!

2009 was an amazing year for our family that was filled with love and excitement.  Reese has been the most amazing blessing we could have ever received.  We’re hoping 2010 is going to be a great year as well. Kevin was able to sell our marketing company this year and is going to enter the insurance industry once he wraps up the commercial real estate project he is working on and I am entertaining opening a tutor company in Gainesville and Tampa/St Pete (Ha, Ha to my friends who think they just misread that). We also are looking forward to Sean and Erin’s wedding in June, as well as, Reese’s 1st birthday and our 5th wedding anniversary. 

We can’t wait to see all the new ways she will continue to amaze us and to see how she will grow over the next year.  I feel certain that we will never be board!  Happy holidays to you all & may your 2010 be full of love, joy & happiness!!!

Love, 

Becky, Kevin & Reese


P.S. – We would love to hear from you and find out what you have been up to in the comment section below.

 

Holiday Letter 2008

Posted December 16th, 2008 by admin

Christmas Letter 2008 – New Beginnings!

“Remember today, for it is the beginning of always. Today marks the start of a brave new future filled with all your dreams can hold. Think truly to the future and make those dreams come true.”

Happy Holidays! As always we hope this year’s Annual Patrick Family Christmas Letter finds you all happy, healthy, & wise! For those of you who do not know, life for The Patrick’s has drastically changed since last year’s letter, which is why we’ve chosen the theme of this year’s letter to be “New Beginnings”. We believe that a life experience delivers a lesson and once captured, it becomes a gift. Our new beginning started just before the New Year when we decided that life was just too short and that our company was literally killing us. So instead of living through another empty year of pain, we made an executive decision and decided to take a leap of faith and close our Mortgage Company. Yep, we picked up and literally walked out of our miserably, stressful life with a handful of business knowledge. I bet you’re probably thinking we must have had a “Plan B”, right? Nope, no plan, just a lot of love for each other combined with a lot of faith that there had to be a better way, and that’s where all the fun began!

The first step in this unplanned adventure was moving from Jacksonville to Gainesville. Once again, thank goodness for Barbara! I’m sure she’s ready to get rid of us by now, but again, there is no plan, so who knows! While in Gainesville we’ve opened a new company (apparently the old one did not wear us down quite enough yet!), AMP InterMedia, a marketing company where we create online training programs for people looking to become trained on things such as becoming a “Life Coach”. If you have any interest in seeing our first product you can check it out at www.onlinecoachingu.com. We are currently partnering with other well known experts & authors to begin creating their online training programs and are slated to begin sometime after the new year.

The next step in our journey was to begin enjoying a more fluid & fun life and not working the grueling 14 hour days 7 days a week schedule we had kept for the past 3 years. So lucky for us we had many fabulous opportunities with our friends come up this year such as flying to Key West for Matt McNulty & Stephanie Sanderson’s Engagement, flying to the Bahamas to enjoy Robin Campen’s belated 30th Birthday (we had forgotten how amazingly fun all of our friends are!), traveling to San Francisco and the Wine country with Barbara (reinvoking the desire for Becky to become a vitner), traveling to St. Petersburg to celebrate Robin Henderson & Ian Leavengood’s Wedding in the Spring while also celebrating our 3rd Wedding Anniversary, but unfortunately we had to miss Jessica Tyler & Christophe Baraton’s Wedding in Italy this Fall (that was heartbreaking!) but we had an exciting weekend with them in South Beach right before they left for their wedding. Becky was also fortunate to be a part of Stephanie & Matt’s amazing Destination Wedding in the Keys on December 5th, where we also celebrated Kevin’s 33rd Birthday, Kevin also had lasik surgery and has a new set of eyes to see everything with.

We also managed to find time in between all of our fun to join a mastermind group that focuses on starting a business the right way and crafts a plan of what to do with the wealth you create from that business. The group works with people who have no idea of what they want to do all the way to people who have assets that they would like to personally direct and put to work accumulating passive wealth. With our present economy where it is we learned that now more than ever you should be taking control of your wealth or understanding the specific ways to create wealth and Loral and the Live Out Loud community have opened our eyes to the art of possibility. To find out more feel free to visit www.liveoutloud.com. They also have a list of free webinars that you can listen to at Live Out Loud Webinars, the information you can get there could change your life like it did ours.

The next logical step of our “new beginning” was to start planning our future life. When you find yourself in a place of change it can be a very difficult experience and certainly can cause a lot of stress. But we remembered back to our difficult times and how often we had prayed for a new beginning and amazingly you attract what you want, so I guess it worked. As part of the “new beginning” planning, family was one of the first topics to come up, so I began pressing Becky for time frames such as moving from Gainesville, financial goals and of course when we would want to start a family. I personally think the family question was a difficult one for Becky because it is something she has wanted for awhile so she wouldn’t or maybe even couldn’t answer this one yet. To our complete shock, the very next morning (4am to be exact) Becky came running and jumping on me with the wonderful news that she was pregnant! We talked for a few minutes about how exciting this was and what it would mean, etc. She then promptly fell back asleep as I stared up at the ceiling for the next 4 hours with all of the fatherly thoughts creeping in… anxiety, excitement, concern, amazement… I couldn’t tell if I was 90% excited and 10% scared or 10% excited and 90% scared, but the rush of emotion is what made it all the better. So Becky and I are thrilled to announce that this Summer we will be the extremely proud new parents of either a baby girl or boy with an expected due date of June 13th. If you remember, two years ago we talked about the Jacksonville water and that there must be something in it because everyone was having babies, so I think Becky must have snuck a bottle or two of that Jacksonville water before our Bahamas trip. I’ve got my eye on her!

With Becky being a little less able to help these days (I affectionately call it “baby brain”), I am trying to discover what my next calling will be. We are still running our marketing company, AMP InterMedia, but I am also doing Business Strategy consulting and coaching (helping businesses choose the right marketing and sales strategies to get to more leads, sales, and profits as quickly as possible), and I am in the process of starting a non-profit company that is partnering with Junior Achievement to help teach disadvantaged students about entrepreneurship by actually starting a company! The company will start with 5 different schools who will all compete with one another while starting, financing, building and eventually selling a company in a 2 year time frame. All of this will be documented so that others can learn via the internet and we hope to begin in 2010. If you have been looking for a cause to get inspired by or have any interest in supporting this venture through donated time, money or expertise, please email me at kmp9494@gmail.com. Another pet project of mine is that I also am looking for opportunities in, is to market commercial real estate information and would be looking for anyone with expertise to contribute content for the site. (Articles, interviews, etc.)

Our final step to our new beginning was to have a completed plan that would include all of our goals and aspirations, right? Well, not quite yet! Though it’s been an entire year, we still have not figured out all the answers to this unknown journey, and truthfully, it’s really hard not knowing, but it’s also brought us closer together and taught us more about life and love than we would have ever learned if things had gone exactly as planned. Just the process of reapproaching what is possible in our lives has been a gift unto itself. Would I maybe have more hair if our plan had been perfectly executed? It’s possible. But would I know as much about life, love, family, & the reality of failing once or twice? Definitely not. New beginnings are extremely scary, but I can tell you with 100% certainty the quality of my life and our life as a couple has only continued to improve as we move forward through our journey of the “unknown”. Our wish for you this Christmas, is to discover the art of possibility. Our gift to you this year is to inspire anyone of your friends and family that is facing a new beginning or to anyone that should be facing new beginning and hasn’t made the wonderful leap of faith yet that it is possible and that you will craft a better version of yourself when you make that leap. If you’re unhappy or need to make a change in life there is no time like the present to take action or begin a new journey. If we can help in anyway please don’t hesitate to let us know.

We wish you all a very joyous holiday season with your friends & loved ones! We also look forward to receiving your comments or thoughts at the bottom of this page or by email! We hope to see you soon! God Bless.

Our Love,

Kevin & Becky Patrick

Holiday Letter 2007

Posted December 16th, 2008 by admin

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  We hope that our Annual Patrick Family Holiday Letter finds everyone safe, happy, and prosperous this holiday season.

Wow, 2007 has been nothing short of adventurous here in the frenzied land of Kevin and Becky.  On reflection of our past year, discovery seemed to be the theme of our adventures so we felt compelled to continue that theme throughout our annual letter.  For us, discovery serves as the root of many emotions and changes in life. Such as the discovery of ones true love, the discovery of the loss of something or someone, the discovery of a piece of knowledge that can forever change your life, or the life of someone close to you.  So instead of our usual ramblings about the many exciting events or the vacations we took this past year, as a special holiday gift from us to you we have decided to discuss topics a bit closer to our heart.

We were fortunate this year to experience many life changing discoveries both professionally and personally.  In business, our greatest “ah-ha” moment occurred through truly discovering the entrepreneurial spirit, as well as, understanding the core of what business is all about. This led Kevin to joining a mastermind marketing group that has amazingly allowed him to become more focused in “working on the business” instead of in it day and night (thank goodness!).

However, our greatest and most impacting discoveries occurred in our personal life.  Truly discovering the amount of work required to maintain a successful and healthy relationship was both exhilarating and frustrating for us over the past three years. Unfortunately for us (but I’m sure not surprisingly to most), the passion and excitement of achieving our career goals forced the focus on our relationship to take a back seat to our business.  Shockingly to us both, we discovered that minor disagreements over trivial matters (such as Kevin leaving his not-so small shoes in the middle of the hallway for me to trip over on a daily basis, just for an example) can quickly erupt to a battleground of bitterness.  So our greatest discovery this year was making a choice to find out why we were in this battleground, and how to stay away for at least another 50 years or so before the bitterness that has defeated many couples could begin to impact us too.

So this October, before Kevin knew what had hit him, we were both on a plane to Texas for a week to attend what we now affectionately refer to as “couple’s camp” (thanks Robin!).  Yep, we were both determined to prove once and for all that the other was wrong, so Kevin went in with a laundry list of items to fix about me (I’m guessing his list was really very short!) and no doubt, I went in with an even longer list of items to fix about Kevin.  Amazingly that was not the name of the game at couple’s camp, and apparently finger pointing is not a favorable way to resolve conflict (go figure!)  However, what we discovered was that to fix troubles both in life and in marriage you really have to turn inward and face, forgive and fix your own problems (so at that point we both agreed to just blame everything on our parents!  Only kidding, it’s not all their fault! ?), and that was the moment we realized that couple’s camp was actually going to be hard.  So, needless to say…..about 5 minutes into camp, the instructor (who Kevin nicknamed Johnny Cash) immediately recognized that Kevin was going to be a handful (I’m sure many of you will find that difficult to believe!?), but soon after several “Dr. Phil like talking to’s” and one headlock later) “Johnny Cash” quickly had Kevin pouring out his feelings to a stranger who was the most inaudible, low-talker ever. (Poor Kev, I’ve never seen him look so uncomfortable, deer in headlights uncomfortable, but he lovingly managed to survive an entire week of what was probably the weirdest experience of his life.).

(quote from Kevin)….”As painful as this entire experience was for me, I feel 100% certain that Becky’s highlight of the year was to not only get a Patrick communicating effectively, but getting him to pay money to do it was nothing short of a miracle!”

Since attending couple’s camp, we’ve discovered that by using the mature tools we learned from “Johnny Cash”, the amount of disagreements we have has not actually declined; however, the difference is that we are now able to resolve conflict in a very peaceful and mature manner in only minutes rather than the days it would have previously taken. And since we’re no longer focused on trying to be the one who was “right”, thanks to a newly learned tool called “power listening”, we’ve learned to cherish our differences and to appreciate the perspectives of our different personality types.  We’ve discovered that problems are nothing more than an opportunity for creativity. (How fascinating!) Because of this gift, Kevin and I have discovered an even deeper love and bond that allows us to faithfully believe that we are now better equipped to handle those difficult curves in the road that inevitably life will throw in the middle of the mostly straight and smooth path.

The lesson that is our gift to you is that judgment of others, reacting with anger or a cold turn of the shoulder is really our emotional response of someone’s action or behavior with your executive committee (the tiny voice in your head which is the sum of everyone that has influenced our perspective of the world). Wouldn’t the world be a better place if instead of getting mad at Kevin for his shoes, I went inward to understand what is triggering the emotion that typically would cause me to be mad at him about this? Maybe when I was a child my mother did not allow me to leave my shoes in the hallway for others to trip over (Barbara is perfect after all!). But does Kevin have to pay for this (after all just because my executive committee is telling me WRONG! WRONG! that doesn’t mean that Kevin doesn’t have a different perspective from his own executive committee)? Maybe by gaining a greater understanding of my emotional response to my executive committee, I can more acurately communicate this to Kevin allowing him to better understand me and provide him the opportunity to be a better husband. (P.S. If you already know this valuable nugget and didn’t tell us, Shame on You!?!) Though this is just one example, how do small events like this add up to affect your negative or positive view of the world? Negative reactions lead to negative views, while positive reactions lead to positive views. Think about this gift and find a way to implement it into your life, now, we promise you won’t regret it.

The journeys of our past year led us to discovering our choice to always, always, cultivate hope (even when I know deep down that I will never train Kevin to pick up his shoes, it just might not be possible for him, but then again there’s always hope ?!). Choosing hope means you keep trying, you keep working, and you keep discovering and experimenting.  Choosing hope means you don’t give up or give in, it means a commitment of working hard to expand happiness together.  It means you make thousand-mile journeys one step at a time, not knowing for sure if the ending destination will ever justify the monotonous means. It means you look for rare others who are models for success and allow their influence to impact your life for the better.

Our Holiday wish for you this season is to discover who is most important to you and to take action NOW to let them know it.  So speaking of action, we would also like to thank everyone who has stood by us, supported us, and effortlessly worked to enrich our lives over the past few years.  Your love and dedication mean everything.  Thank you!

Happy Holidays & a very Happy New Year to you all!

Our Love,

Holiday Letter 2006

Posted December 16th, 2008 by admin

Happy Holidays and Greetings from Jacksonville! Another incredible year has flown by, so once again we felt our annual Patrick Family Christmas letter would be another great opportunity to catch everyone up on all of our excitement! After our action packed year in 2005 (getting married, opening our company, moving to a new city, etc.), 2006 was spent settling into a completely new world…Newlywed Life!!!

Our company, First Coast Trust, has made GIANT steps this year towards our original vision of impacting as many people as possible. A task that would have been virtually unachievable with out the amazing staff we are so blessed to have at First Coast Trust. As well as, thanks to a little book called E-Myth by Michael Gerber and the tremendous impact it’s made in our life, we are on a roll and currently positioned to open 50 branches throughout the country by 2012. In case any of you are still confused (clearly we need to give you more details from our past two years!) about the wonderful world of starting a company, for crying out loud, speak with us first! Absolutely no need to relearn some/many of the lessons we have already learned (I’d love to say that many of those lessons were the easy way!). Even though much of our passion has been devoted to First Coast Trust, we were extremely fortunate to turn several of our 2006 business trips into wonderful little holiday escapes.

In fact, we just returned from Las Vegas for an annual business conference, and of course, Kevin’s 31st Birthday. Although a week is a bit much in Vegas, we were able to fit in two amazing Cirque de Soleil shows, many wonderful meals, and best of all some wonderful alone time (hey, “what happens in Vegas…”!!!). However, you should all be aware that Becky learned how to play Black Jack and took The Palms by a storm. Don’t be surprised if her new motto, “PAY THE TABLE!” is heard in a casino near you.

For Becky’s Birthday we spent a wonderful week in Maine. There aren’t enough words to describe the beauty and tranquility in Maine in early September. We visited Bar Harbor and stayed at a quaint, extremely unique Inn. Also, in Bar Harbor we visited Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park, took many thought provoking hikes where we spent time sitting on various rocks taking in the coastal views. While exploring the rest of Maine we were able to see the Bush’s Estate in Kennebunkport, and finished up in Portland. Our trip to Maine was full of lots of wonderful R & R, as well as, some rather enjoyable meals too. (Please, no one offer any more lobster for awhile, but Kevin will take you up on some blueberry soft serve if you offer. Even if you don’t offer, I’m sure he will tell you about it…he’s a fan!!!)

We also had a wonderful time in Oregon where we attended the neatest wedding of our good friends, Jamie & Chrissy Kelso, who were married on the beach in Cannon Beach in early August. For those of you who have never visited Oregon, it’s an incredibly beautiful state, and a must do. We also had a good time in Dallas for the wedding of our cousin, Amy Vinbladh. As well as, the wedding of our very good friends Jake & Jen Wojcik over in St. Pete., which was incredibly gorgeous and so much fun!

Also Speaking of weddings, we are extremely elated about Dad (Howard Patrick) getting married on January 1st to his finance Teri Susi. We’re very excited about welcoming Terry to the family and wish them many years of love and laughter.

All of our pregnant friends, who we mentioned last year in our Christmas letter, are now enjoying some of the cutest and most enjoyable children. Our cousins, Ted & Catherine McMullan, who were pregnant with twins last year at this time are now pregnant again. (Geez, take a break!) Hopefully that will be in the cards for us as well very soon (I’m still working on KP!?).

Our niece, Christine Harpe, came over to Jacksonville with her Mimi for the most enjoyable overnight trip to celebrate her 5th Birthday! After a fun dinner at home, and a slumber party, the girls (Beck, Christine, and Barbara) started off the following day by making M&M Pancakes (sorry Dana, but she insisted and it was her birthday trip!), and then headed off to the Jacksonville Zoo, and finally to Build-A-Bear to create Doodle The Poodle. It was a wonderful visit, and we look forward to many more visits from all of our friends and love ones at our new home once our renovation is finally complete. For those of you who don’t know, we bought a new house in June. The address is: 931 Rio Lindo Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32207, if you haven’t updated your address book yet.

We hope this note finds you all well & healthy and we wish both you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year!

Our Love,

Kevin & Becky Patrick

Holiday Letter 2005

Posted December 16th, 2008 by admin

Happy Holidays & Greetings from Jacksonville!  Wow…it has truly been an exciting & incredible year for the two of us.  In fact it’s especially hard to believe we opened First Coast Trust, our first company, here in Jacksonville only one short year ago this month.  Getting married, moving to a new city, and starting a new company with your spouse was more than either of us bargained for, but I think we both agree that given the chance we would do everything exactly the same.

For those of you who were able to make it over to St. Augustine in April I cannot begin to tell you how much that meant to both Kevin and I.  Words cannot describe what an amazing day that was for the two of us, so thank you for sharing in our special moment.  Of course after the wedding we jetted off to Hawaii which was truly a blissful honeymoon, as well as, the perfect holiday to transition into married life, which I could hardly wait to begin. (If you ever visit Kauai and you decide to hike the trail by Hotel Princeville don’t let anyone tell you it is a 45 minute hike, plan on 7 hours and BRING water!)


This past week I surprised Kevin with a short getaway back to St. Augustine to celebrate his 30th birthday.  We started by enjoying a picnic lunch at the Fort in the exact spot we exchanged our vows (somehow I was also able to recreate the 40 mile an hour winds we had on our wedding day, but again we were lucky, no rain!).  After our leisurely picnic and day, we went back to the Casa Monica to reminisce and to enjoy a wonderful dinner and evening at the hotel. Though we haven’t been as friendly to Delta as Ted & Catherine McMullan, we have been able to squeeze a few trips in this year. We took a weekend hiatus to the Bahamas to help Robin Campen surprise Ben for his 30th birthday (we traveled on a plane that lands and takes off in the water which was a unique and somewhat scary way to fly) as well as a trip to the beautiful and interesting city of Savannah to celebrate my birthday (age deleted on purpose).


We have come to the conclusion that there must be something in the water here in Jacksonville because most of our friends are now pregnant, including Ben & Robin who are due in mid January with a baby boy, so we started drinking bottled water and do not plan on making the switch for at least another year or so. We are also eagerly awaiting the arrival of the McMullan twins who are due in March. There were also two additions to the family (Ethan Harpe & Avery Reynolds) who were both born just after we returned from our honeymoon.


Now we are busy gearing up for a huge 2006 and we can’t wait to dive in.  Our first year has been nothing short of exciting, as well as, a fantastic learning experience, especially for me.  Kevin has done an excellent job at molding both myself and our staff into a stellar company and we have vast plans for this upcoming year. Our company was fortunate enough to be featured on the front page of the business section in the Jacksonville Times-Union and Kevin has become the expert advisor for real estate financing for the Jacksonville Business Journal. We also made the 2006 list of Jacksonville Magazine’s “Best New Companies”. This exposure has helped communicate our message of helping families with custom financial solutions.


Most importantly we want you all to know that although working 12 hour days this past year has kept us from being able to speak with all of you, in 2006 we look forward to staying in touch with everyone on a more consistent basis.  I hope this note finds you all well and healthy, and we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a truly happy New Year!

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Posted December 16th, 2008 by admin

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Kevin Patrick


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About

Posted December 15th, 2008 by admin

Welcome to our new Holiday Letter website!  This is a tradition that we started our 1st year of marriage and one we intend to continue for many, many years to come.  We love sharing our life both the good times and tough with each of you, and hope that with each passing year we can somehow touch the lives of those we love.  

Feel free to post your questions, comments or thoughts to each of our entries if you like (At the bottom of each post you can click on the comment tag and it will give you directions on how to comment).

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and pray that this holiday season finds you and your loved ones healthy, happy, & prosperous.
 
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy New Year!
 
Love,
 
Kevin & Becky

 

Becky wanted anyone who hasn’t seen the wedding video to feel free to visit Brewer Video. To find the video click on video at the bottom and ours is the 4th, 6th and 12th videos on the left hand side.