friends at Austin Moms Blog Moms Night Out 2016

“Laughter is more than just a pleasurable activity…When people laugh together, they tend to talk and touch more and to make eye contact more frequently.”~ The Happiness Project

March was the month of Connection. This month I felt like it was good to examine the connections I currently have, those I need to rekindle and those I want to start to grow into something more. It’s funny as you go through life it actually gets hard to make friends and establish those meaningful relationships.
When you’re young you have social groups that help you to build friendships, in college you have roommates or floormates.

As an adult you really have to work at it.

Like, a lot.

I found that when I lived in DC in my 20’s it was easy to make friends because the city was full of young, ambitious souls like myself. Moving to Austin was similar, because I was in a very well-connected professional field.

As I transitioned into the role of Mom though, this has been a bigger challenge than what I was used to. There are so many different KINDS of friends you need as a mom. The wine drinking friend, the playdate friend with kids the same exact age, the friend-you-can-text-at-any-point-in-the-day and they will just GET IT. Being a mom give you at least a starting point in making connections, but gone are the days of Insta-friends as I like to call it. So, focusing on connections was definitely something I know I needed to work on for 2016.

Here’s what happened:

March Goals

  1. Strengthen Family Bonds
  2. Make A New Friend
  3. Reconnect
  4. Attend Networking Events

What I Did

    • Scheduled 10 coffee dates. Some were with people I talk to all the time, others were people I only know digitally through the interwebs. I put it out there to my network and was so surprised to get amazing feedback of people wanting to hang out!
      March: Connection
    • Then I canceled a lot of coffee dates. I’m a Stay At Home Mom right now, so yea taking kiddos to have conversations with people you haven’t seen in a long time doesn’t exactly make sense. I felt really awful about doing this and vow to make it up to those folks sometime soon! I’d say all in all I made about half the dates I set up. (P.S. Thanks to those who met with me for your patience while I ran around chasing kiddos with snack cups.)

      • I went to my new neighbor’s house for playdate with my kiddos and we had a great time. (Despite the fact that I brought donut holes and broke my cardinal rule of no sugar for breakfast.) We even talked about testing out a nanny share in the future and I hope it works out! Her Etsy shop is AH-MAZING and it made me feel like I should ramp up my own and start crossing off some goals for this year.
      • This month I made it a point to call my best friends and catch up. Both of them live on the East Coast, but it was good to learn about their lives via email or over the phone.
      • There was a rough point this month when I learned a very good friend was going through a tough time with her spouse. They are so similar to Daniel and myself (kiddo before marriage) that it really hit close to home. I spent a lot of time with her and another friend just getting out and doing things to help make her feel supported. Ok, I’ll be honest we do tend to have a bottle of wine or two or more when were together, but hey, the kids get to play so it’s a win-win for all!
      • One of my friends from CRAVE (a female entrepreneurs group I was part of back in 2014) invited me to join GenAustin, the Girls EnpowermentNetwork and I did. I took my sister and another friend to check out their quaterly happy hour and learned so much about the groups amazing mission to help provide a positive enviroment for growing girls and teens. From camps, to afterschool programs to an all-girls magazine covering pressing issues for teens.
        Where was this group when I was in High School?! Mean Girls is real y’all. That’s all I’m going to say.

Learning more about GENaustin as a new member of the #GENthusiast Society

A photo posted by Andea Genevieve (@andreagenevieve) on

    • Wrote littles notes to my sister-in-laws. I only see them a few times a year and want to make sure they know I still care.

Spending some quiet time writing notes to grandmas, friends and sister-in-laws.

A photo posted by Andea Genevieve (@andreagenevieve) on


What I Learned

  • People still consider me a friend and even though we don’t see each other very often can still reconnect when we need to or want to.
  • Networking events that take place after 5PM feel like a chore. Honestly.
  • In order to connect with people, I mean really connect, you need to make the effort.

Future Plans

  • Continue to make and reschedule coffee dates.
  • Foster my new connections with friends.
  • Make time to touch base with my sisters, sister-in-laws and other leading ladies in my life.

Next month I focus on Adventure.
I can’t wait to share some of the things I see or do to explore my wild side!

If you’re new to this blog then you may not know that last year, 2015 was one of the hardest years of my life. I had a great spouse, awesome kids and lucky enough to maintain a work-from-home status, but there was no daily joy, just a lot of stress and small windows of fun. This year I decided to make a change and have embarked on what I’m calling my 2016 Happiness Project, inspired by the book by Gretchen Rubin. I hope you’ll join me and follow along each month as I work through different focus areas of both home and life.