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FIFTY! The BIG 5 0. Mid Life.

The years have flown by. 

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

I was born in Miami, Florida and spent my formative years in the sprawling orange groves of Central Florida. Dundee is a small town located off Route 27 with a stop-light, grocery store, elementary school, volunteer fire department, many lakes and where I grew up with my parents Kathleen and Richard Sorensen, Sister Nancy, Brothers Derek and Nicholas and my beloved dog Tinkerbell who I adopted at the SPCA and named after my favorite Disney Character at the time.

Yes, I’m the oldest which came with perks and pitfalls…Perks, getting to help my mom every afternoon with her ice cream truck route (and help myself to the goods), attend dance classes, sing in the school choir, playing multiple musical instruments, riding horses in the countryside, and flourishing in the local theatre scene. Pitfalls…babysitting three younger siblings, two of them brothers who liked to play with fire, sharp objects, get behind the wheel of vehicles and put them in drive and almost end up in the lake we lived on, and jump off of tall objects and end up in the emergency room. As for my sister Nancy, she never did anything wrong ?. To say the least, all three of them kept me on my toes.

For as long as I can remember I was obsessed with Broadway, the Rockettes, Teen Magazine fashion, singing and dancing, traveling the world with my family, and horses. I think if you asked my family, friends, and my Church group at Dundee United Methodist, I always had a song in my heart, smile on my face, and my feet were always moving.

Before I was old enough to drive and at 15, I was recruited as the youngest member of the Cypress Gardens Waterski team to become an Aquamaid. This came on the heels of failing to secure a spot to perform in the Disney World daily parades at their yearly audition in Orlando. It was my first lesson that sometimes it may seem like you don’t achieve a goal when in fact, you earn a better opportunity.

And then it happened, a relocation to Northern Virginia due to my father’s job change heading into my Junior year in high school. I thought would be the end of the world but it turned out ok. I attended Marshall High School as a junior, found new dance schools and became members of professional dancing troupes, headed out after graduation to attend college at Florida State and George Mason Universities, and became a member of Up with People and sang and danced my way around the world in 1990.

After an extremely influential year traveling, performing, living in host families, and volunteering, I continued my professional entertaining, dancing and modeling for several years. Each week I’d wait for my volume of Variety to arrive in the mail (yes snail mail US Postal Service delivered to an actual postal box). I would call my fellow dancing friends from my land line, we would coordinate train schedules, each go to our train stations to pay tickets in cash and headed to New York City for auditions. We would meet up in different cities on the same train, which took coordinating and timing because we didn’t have cell phones. Somehow, without technology, we managed to make it to our auditions with time to spare. Again, all of this before the internet was even science fiction, cell phones didn’t exist, and I had to count on a sense of adventure, a good map, and moxie to make dreams a reality.

I eventually decided the adventures were great, performing was amazing but I longed for more out of life. I transitioned from a performing career into a professional pursuit out of the spotlight…where the work is done.

I met the man of my dreams Charlie (Charbel) who immigrated (legally) to the US from Lebanon in 1984 to attend West Virginia University to study Civil Engineering. We met at Marie’s Restaurant, dated for almost three years, married, relocated to Virginia Beach and in 1998 and 2000 we welcomed our two daughters Nadia and Liliana into the world. We’ve never looked back, hustling with our own careers, starting a business together, building our dream home from a sketch and an idea, and buying and moving into a new building with our business. When I think about the fact that we had very little in the bank when we got married but we managed to achieve every goal we set for ourselves I can’t help but smile. But better than that, Charlie and I have demonstrated and instilled in our children the value of hard work, faith, loving others, and being humble. I feel extremely blessed to have a loving, talented and smart husband in Charbel and proud to be called myself “mother” by my two dynamic, independent, willful, talented and wickedly smart daughters, Nadia and Liliana.

Why the blog, why now, don’t I already have my hands full?

It’s taken over 28 years to develop a proven track-record as a dynamic, innovative, results-driven leader with experience in; General Contracting, General Management, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing and Business Development, Organizational Development, Multi-Media Publishing and Revenue Expansion, and coaching for success. I’m a licensed “Class A” General Contractor, RSO Radiation Safety Officer, Certified Nuclear Gauge Officer, Hazmat trained, VDOT Certified Technician, published author, motivational speaker, Virginia Press Association award-winner, Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year winner in 2002, DDI Business System Administrator, Achieve Global PSS Certified trainer, and President and CEO of Engineering & Testing Services (I’ve done a few things professionally)

The truth is, professional achievements, my roles as wife and mother shouldn’t define me. The more women I meet, the more I feel we all fall into the same pitfalls of doing so much for others and not enough for ourselves. Why not start something new? Why not share our hobby’s and talents? Why not meet new women and spend time sharing and inspiring each other?

I love fashion, food, health & Wellness, beauty and travel and this blog will be my outlet to share what I know and what I learn. I welcome you to join me as I embrace continued self-development, the development of those around me, conquering the perils of auto immune disease and aging, a continued pursuit of wellness, traveling to new and familiar places, eating lots of good food, staying on point with my style and fashion, growing existing and new friendships, taking time for hobbies and happiness with my horse Magnum, and a life journey that I plan to look back on some day and say “WOW”.

I hope you’ll join me on my journey!

Always be timeless…

Colleen

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