Back in the day, volleyball was my thing.

I admit, I still have volleyball dreams- that I'm flying high, pounding the ball down at the ten foot line (did I ever really do that? In my dreams I do it with ease), celebrating an ace with my teammates. I never want to wake up from those dreams.

I was a middle hitter, which meant I got in on just about every play. Middles get to block on every attack, left, middle or right side. They get to "fake" a quick approach every time the setter handles the ball. And, there's nothing more exhilarating than hitting a quick set so fast that the blocker didn't even get up to block you. It's a heady position. If you're lucky, as a middle, you get to play around the back row, too. I was really lucky, and I loved passing & digging just as much.

Why bring this up, you ask? Because I've been thinking about what has allowed me to get this far in my dream that is Audra's Gardens. It's really not a result of me, as heady a position as it may be to have your own name in the title of your business. :-) You see, behind every kill in volleyball, there's the unsung hero: the setter.

I was crazy fortunate as a volleyball player, to play alongside some of the best setters in Indiana. I got to hit balls set by all three of the Heimann sisters at Bellmont High School. Man, they were smart. They were experienced. And most of all, they knew how to work hard. They made their hitters look good- REALLY good. Then I went to Anderson University, and for 3 of my years there I played with Jeremi Mitchel. Jeremi had grit for MILES. She showed all of us on the team what it means to go for every ball, to never give up, to REFUSE to lose. And, boy could she set the ball. (Congrats, Jeremi on your induction into the AU Athletic Hall of Fame!)

And now, my blessings overflow, because even though I get credit for the kills, I have one of the best setters in town. My husband Justin knows how to make me look good. He encourages me when my tears overflow from stress or discouragement. He gives up his time to support my business... he spent his Spring Break last year building me the best flower cooler room on the block. He runs out in storms with me to help wrestle down

runaway low covers. He washes dishes in the middle of flower season when I'm stressed out, puts the boys to bed, and eats leftovers 5 nights a week. I told you he was a catch!

It's long overdue that I shout it to the world. I am one VERY lucky gal. Our 20 year anniversary is coming up in 2022, yet every day is a celebration when you're married to a guy like this.

You know how to really love someone? Find out what their dreams are. Believe in them. Talk with them about their ideas. Encourage them. Set the ball up and watch them put away the kill. For Justin & me, this is some of the secret sauce to our happy marriage.

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