Today’s story is all about my daughter, Alyssa Marie Kennedy!
Many of you know that I have a daughter, Alyssa, but I’m wondering, do you know everything she’s been up to lately? 😂
My kids are a great source of pride and inspiration. And, of course, LOVE! 💜
Alyssa is what I would call “the daredevil child”! She’s not afraid of anything and seems to always be seeking out some new adventure or challenge.
I always pictured her as a creative – a singer, dancer, actress, fashion designer – yet, she also loves languages, travel, hiking, and lately, even RUNNING! 👟
She loves running so much that she “made me” do a 5K race with her in the cold temps of November in Massachusetts back in 2019!


The past few years feel like a whirlwind…
You know how parents are always saying, “you blink, and then they’re all grown up!”
Well, I definitely feel that way about “Miss Alyssa”, as I like to call her. 🤪
One day I was driving her to her 1st ballet class when she was 3, then I was dropping her off at middle school, and all of a sudden, boom! She was in high school, singing in the Boston Children’s Choir (those 2x a week drives into Boston though…) and traveling the world! ✨
Her high school graduation? Well, we didn’t actually participate in that milestone because she was jetting off to Australia on the day of graduation to sing with the choir!
College went by in a flash. It feels like her send-off party for her semester in São Paulo was just yesterday but it was actually back in July 2016! WOW! 💫


After getting her undergrad degree at UMass Amherst she surprised us all by announcing she was going to join the Navy! 🎓 Jaw drops…
Alyssa became a U.S. Navy Officer in January 2018 and her journey has taken her from Newport, RI to Pensacola, FL and then to Norfolk, VA (January-August 2020!) AND now, she’s landed in sunny San Diego, California, and plans to be there for a bit!
Oh, and did I mention that she eloped in July 2018? Crazy kids! My wonderful son-in-law Collin is also a Navy officer (they met in Newport during training) and is an Aviator, flying helicopters!! 🚁
Alyssa just returned from her 1st deployment on the U.S.S. Nimitz. She and Collin are now focused on nesting in their new home and working on all kinds of indoor and outdoor projects! They’re both quite handy! 


A source of great inspiration…
I asked Alyssa to share her reflections on all of her recent life events and changes. 
When I asked her what her biggest challenge has been and how she overcame it, she shared this:
“My biggest challenge has been learning how to be flexible with an unpredictable schedule. I’m a planner, so learning that I couldn’t always control things as they change and letting them go wasn’t always easy.
I’m working on taking a step back when I find myself getting overwhelmed with a quickly developing situation and learning to take note of the things I can versus what I CANNOT control.
Then, I focus my energy on managing my reaction to the situation while working on developing the best strategy for the things I can control. It helps take the pressure off and gives me more precision in my focus.”

Alyssa also shared the following when I asked her about “Navy life”:
“My satisfaction comes from knowing that I’m a part of something larger than myself and can make an impact globally as well as on an individual level.”
Want some great “Alyssa” advice?
“Don’t let anyone – including yourself – keep you from achieving your goals and aspirations. Stick up for yourself and your peers!” 



Adult life isn’t always easy… 
Here are Alyssa’s thoughts about “adulting”:

There’s no instruction manual on how to be an adult.
I still get imposter syndrome whenever I take a moment to reflect on my life, but it’s refreshing to know that most people I’ve spoken to honestly on the subject feel the same way – even those significantly older than me!
Everyone has a course to take with their own speed to follow. Also, never take yourself too seriously.
Life is short, and I plan to have a fun time enjoying it and not getting hung up on the little details
Thanks for your pearls of wisdom “Officer Alyssa”! 💙

I am truly blessed to have her as my daughter!
And, I appreciate her “other half” and what a great team they make! I love spending time with them no matter where the Navy takes them!
With love and “mama” pride,
Drita 😘


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