When people see me with Alicia Hagan, they say they assume we’ve been buddies for life. Nope. Haven’t even known her a year yet. Almost, but not quite. Yet, we have been all over this country together in the past 9 months and I couldn’t ask for a better travel buddy. Our pal Stacie Connerty is typically right there with us, stirring up the pot (this one loves trouble!), and usually making us laugh all along the way. So, as Alicia turns another year older, I feel obliged to reflect on some of the things that make me so glad to be her friend.
-She never minds driving to the airport. We only live about 10 minutes apart but nearly an hour from the airport, so this is a bigger deal than it sounds.
-She is willing to drive through a snow storm to get you to Opryland for a convention (but only later shares that she has serious anxiety about driving in bad weather).
-She faces her fears head-on. I know she’s not crazy about being in crowds, but she lets me drag her through them all the time. And she even comes out the other side sometimes enjoying it!
-She knows EVERYTHING about the technical side of web sites. That’s simply amazing to me because I know next to nothing.
-She looks little, but she is not someone you should mess with. The girl may not like controversy, but she won’t back away from it. She has a fierce sense of right and wrong and is willing to stand up for it.
-If you’re on the wrong track, she’ll tell you–gently. I’ve leaned on her for life advice a couple of times and she’s offered some real nuggets of wisdom about things I may not have considered.
-She’s stronger than even she knows. She’s a survivor and fighter and I am inspired by her courage.
-She doesn’t give herself enough credit. She was building web sites and making money doing it starting 10 yrs ago. That’s not as easy as it sounds. She IS “Atlanta Moms” and even has the trademark! There are lots of people copying her, duplicating her brand, trying to take advantage of all the work she’s been putting in for a decade. The difference is she is the original and cares enough about quality to protect it, and continue along her path despite the knock-offs.
-She doesn’t mind getting up at the crack of dawn for a walk on the beach at sunrise, even though she may have been working on her site until two or three that morning.
-She loves her family very, very much. Her children are her world and she has raised two amazing kids who just leave you smiling every time you see them.
-She appears very innocent, but she likes trouble as much as the next guy. Not the kind of trouble that might hurt someone, but the kind of trouble that leaves you with a chuckle in your gut.
Alicia–I hope this year we find lots more trouble together–the fun kind–and that it’s the best year ever for you. Here’s to many more trips, fun, and phone calls in the years to come!