Hi Hadley Court readers! This is Leslie Hendrix Wood writing and today I want to share with you 10 things you may not know about me. I was inspired to write this post after reading Laurel Bern’s post , an interior designer in New York whom I will meet for the first time today at the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta.
After reading Laurel’s wonderful post, I feel like I know her a little better and I certainly learned that she has a great sense of humor. I love a good sense of humor. I have a good sense of humor, albeit a dry sense of humor. I have been told you have to listen to me closely or you will miss the humor altogether.
I encourage you, too, to write a post like this – so we can all share them and get to know each other a little better!
Ready for my 10 things?
I was born in Hobbs, New Mexico and moved to Midland, Texas at the age of two.
Above is a picture of me at age five. Look at that hair. What was my mom thinking? I know, I know, she didn’t have a lot to work with. Bad hair days have plagued me my entire life.
I grew up in Midland, Texas, where the sky is the limit.
And yes, we do have pump jacks in our backyards.
This is oil country and oil is the only reason people live in Midland, a not very pretty part of Texas way out on the left side of the state, a 2 hour plane ride to Dallas. It’s a lot of work to get to any other place from Midland, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Why?
Because some of the nicest people you will ever meet live here.
Midland is basically desert. It rains very little here and our summers are swelteringly hot. It is a dry heat, though. Thank God, because my hair looks exceptionally bad in the humidity. I have lived through booms and busts here in the oil patch. We are in a boom right now. However, with current oil prices hovering in the $40’s, we may be headed toward a bust.
This recent boom has been interesting. Our population has grown by leaps and bounds and we are bursting at the seams. I miss the sleepy little town I grew up in. Housing is almost impossible to find and rent for apartments is astronomical. Many local businesses, like restaurants, are suffering because they can’t find people to work for minimum wage + tips. Everyone wants to work in the oilfield where they can make $35 per hour.
I am very fortunate because my interior design business has flourished here.
During high school, I went to summer school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusets.
Let me tell you, this West Texan got a taste of life in boarding schools, which is basically lots of wealthy kids with lots of money to spend. Let’s just say it made for an entertaining summer!
President George W. Bush taught my 9th grade Sunday School class at The First Presbyterian Church here in Midland.
He was still single at the time and I had a huge crush on him. I will never forget when he came to church and one of the tassels on his shoe came off, so he just scotch taped it back on! I loved that!
I have been a life long member of First Presbyterian Church. I am an elder in the church. I was baptized and married in this church. The same minister that baptized and married me also baptized my children.
Little did I know in ninth grade that George W. Bush would become President of the United States!
I have had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors of the George Bush Childhood Home. I had the privilege of chairing the opening gala for the Childhood Home with honored guests First Lady Laura Bush, President George Bush and his wife, former First Lady, Barbara Bush. I also chaired a fundraiser for the Bush home where we brought in the White House Pastry Chef. [ I love a good pastry! ]
And lastly, I chaired a fundraising gala for the YMCA honoring President George Bush and First lady, Barbara Bush.
Another summer -during my college years- was spent in Paris, studying at Le Sorbonne and lived in a convent with nuns!
Yes, you read that correctly. I lived in a convent with nuns with other college kids from around the world. The nuns cooked us breakfast and dinner, with table wine, of course. Needless to say, there were some things that went on that were not appropriate church behavior. That being said, I had one of the best times of my entire life. I must admit that my studies at Le Sorbonne were not my number one priority. By the way, I have a minor in French and couldn’t speak enough French to get myself around the block. Sigh… I dream of living in Paris for a year when I am an empty nester so I can brush up on my French.
I have an MBA and my first job was in banking.
I received my undergraduate degree in Finance and a masters degree in Business Administration. My dad shunned the idea of me doing anything creative for a career, even though I’ve always had a passion for creative endeavors. So, my first job out of school was in a credit training program in a large bank in Dallas. A very competitive environment and I must say very BORING!
I worked on the Bush/Quayle Campaign in Washington, D.C.
After learning that banking was not the career for me, I then moved to Washington, D.C. and worked in finance for the Bush/Quayle campaign in 19…ok – I guess I am giving my age away here! Anyway, after a successful campaign, I worked in finance for the Inaugural Gala. I was then fortunate to receive a Presidential Appointment to the International Trade Administration in the Department of Commerce. While in D.C. I worked very hard and I also played very hard. Campaign work is exhausting and not for the faint of heart. It is common to work 12 to 14 hour days, seven days a week. I loved my time in Washington, but it certainly made me miss the slower lifestyle in Texas.
I delivered both of my children 5 weeks early.
After D.C., I moved back to Midland to work in my family’s oil and gas business. I met the man of my dreams and we married at the First Presbyterian Church with 1,200 of our closest friends in attendance. My husband’s family is also from Midland, so narrowing down the guest list was next to impossible. We had two beautiful children, now ages 16 and 19. And yes, both children arrived 5 weeks early in prefect health. Thank God!
I was a stay at home mom when my children were young.
I thank God every day that I was born lucky enough to have the choice to be a stay at home with my children. I CHOSE my life as a stay at home Mom with my children and family over a career, after my work in Washington and my education – and have never regretted it for a moment. I have always been involved in the family business, but on a very part-time basis. My two great children are the biggest blessings in my life.
At 50 something, I am the happiest I have ever been!
Yes, life does get better with age. About 5 years ago, I had the epiphany that I had shunned God’s greatest gift to me my entire life. God had given me the natural born gift of creativity and a true passion for interior design – and I had ignored it because I had been raised to believe that artistic professions were not worthwhile because the upside for economic gain was so little. I finally took heed to God’s calling for me and I have experienced some of the greatest joys of my life because of it.
I started practing interior design here in Midland full time 5 years ago and my design practice has flourished. And the best part is that I get to do what I love everyday! You can’t imagine what a joy this is for me!
And the greatest of all blessings in this next stage of my life has been my blog, Hadley Court. I didn’t even know what a blog was 6 months before I started Hadley Court!
Once I discovered interior design blogs, I was bitten by the blog bug and found out all I could. I started Hadley Court in 2012, and then, as the icing on the cake of following God’s calling for my life, my blog, Hadley Court, won the category of *Best New Design Blog* at the 2013 Design Blogger’s Conference!
I still to this day have no idea who nominated my blog or how it is that I won since I really didn’t know too much at that point, but I will be forever thankful as it made a powerful impression on my children and husband to see *Mom* winning something for a creative endeavor, and not a business one.
It was such an honor to win and I will be forever grateful to Adam Japko, the owner and producer of the The Design Blogger’s Conference, and Traditional Home, the sponsor of this award that year and whomever was on the team who made it possible.
I also want to thank my past and present contributors to the blog: Lynda Quintero-Davids, [ whose own blog, Focal Point Styling, is up for a category award at this Design Blogger’s Conference – good luck, Lynda! ], Kim Shaver, Kristi Leeper, Shelly Rosenberg, and Jessica Gordon Ryan.
My deepest thanks goes to my content marketing and social media business strategist, Leslie Carothers, CEO of The Kaleidoscope Partnership, known to many of my readers by her Twitter username, @tkpleslie, for managing the blog, training me how to use social media tools myself, and helping me with many other things, which have all opened up wonderful opportunities for me in other areas related to my passion for interior design, the biggest one being named an official 2015 High Point Market Stylespotter for this year with these other wonderful designers, which I am over the moon excited about!
For going on 3 years now, she makes sure everything runs smoothly. With my busy design practice, my blog would not have flourished without Leslie’s tender loving care .
Please watch for the launch of Leslie’s new website soon and the launch of her 2nd #giveback business this year, Messages of Hope.
And most of all, I want to thank you, dear readers. Thank you for allowing me, and all of us to share with you all the beautiful things we encounter which make our hearts sing. I have loved meeting so many of you on and offline. I am so appreciative of all of you taking time to share a bit of your day with Hadley Court.
I count you among my richest blessings everyday.
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Founder, Editor In Chief
Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions.
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