Vanessa Sturgeon is a Realtor with eXp Realty, an agent-owned cloud brokerage firm. She and her husband, Ryan, a crew supervisor and journeyman lineman for Oncor, are parents to 6-year-old Jack, who has stereotypic movement disorder, extreme ADHD, manic depression/bipolar disorder and extreme sensory/movement disorder, and 3-year-old Rhys.
5:30AM The alarm clock goes off, signaling a series of alarms scheduled every 10 minutes until I muster the ability to get out of my bed. “My” being a loose term since Ryan and I often share the bed with our two boys and our two elderly cocker spaniels.
6AM After leaving the six inches of mattress I call “my” bed, I pack the boys’ lunches for the day. For Jack, it’s peanut butter and honey sandwiches—one of three acceptable meal options for him. Just for fun, I throw in a string cheese and some Triscuits in hopes that today he is willing to try something new.
6:20AM Backpacks are packed, clothes are laid out and breakfast is served. It’s another solo morning as Ryan has been on call and in the field for the last 12 hours. We text a quick “Miss you, Daddy” selfie, and the boys indulge in 10 minutes of coveted iPad time before we load into the car. Jack takes his medications, and there is a difference in his ability to focus in a matter of minutes.
7:27AM I drop off Jack at kindergarten. While Rhys throws his daily tantrum over being denied access to the school’s playground, Jack exits our SUV without tumbling out or forgetting his backpack—a huge success! Jack is considered high functioning, but he struggles with coordination. We’re hopeful that with the aid of occupational therapy he can have more control over his body movements and strength, but his extreme ADHD demands massive effort from him to sit still and stay on task (and more importantly, maintain a good attitude). I’m thankful that his school friends are so inclusive and that they’ll grow up knowing all the little quirks that make our Jack who he is.
7:40AM Time to drop off Rhys at preschool. The silver lining of Jack starting school at 7:30 sharp is that I can spend some extra time with Rhys. Today I surprise him with a quick stop at the local donut shop.
8AM Back home. I multitask listening to the morning news, checking email and making my to-do list for the day.
8:30AM I receive an email from clients requesting to see a property in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in town. In this market, inventory moves fast. I rearrange my schedule and research the listing history and run market analysis reports before the showing.
11AM My clients love the home and want to move forward. There is only one chance to make an attractive bid so we prepare a strong and strategic offer.
11:30AM After postponing my morning workout, I catch up with an intense personal training session. I don’t drink coffee so I rely on the adrenaline from these workouts to power me through the day.
2PM Lunch today is a networking event with real estate professionals. I’m always impressed with the work ethic and passion of people in this industry. While I’m a firm believer in “running your own race,” it’s nice to have such inspirational colleagues.
4PM I pop into Sprouts and pick up rotisserie chicken for dinner. Since Jack has a limited diet, I pick up a can of cranberry sauce. It’s my secret weapon to ensure he eats the chicken— cranberry sauce is his favorite condiment aside from ketchup.
4:45PM After stopping by the house to unload groceries, I pick up Jack from his after-school program and Rhys from daycare. We make the most out of afternoon traffic and exchange stories from the day. Rhys is singing “Shark Finger Family” while Jack shares that he earned yet another purple on his behavioral chart and was rewarded with a coveted trip to his classroom’s treasure chest.
6:30PM I make work phone calls, draft emails and update client files while I prepare dinner for the boys. I clean out the boys’ lunchboxes to find the string cheese and Triscuits uneaten as expected. This reminds me to confirm his eating evaluation for his sensory/occupational therapy with Cook Children’s in Grapevine next week.
7:30PM Missing Ryan as we wrap up the day. His absence means a little less routine in our bedtime. I get the boys bathed and into pajamas. Jack takes his hygiene to the next level with deodorant, a spritz (or five) of daddy’s cologne, flossing and lotion.
8:30 PM Rhys is demanding to be read Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site for the 20th night in a row. After I read this beloved book and perform a semi-decent rendition of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy,” they fall asleep.
9:00 PM Back to work. With an offer on the table, there is no time to miss an email. While reviewing my calendar for the week, I get a response from the agent. Some more negotiations are needed. My clients are night owls so I immediately share the details and we iron out a counteroffer.
11:00 PM A new offer is submitted. I have a good feeling that we’ll have two very happy couples in the morning. I feel positive about the day I’ve had and review my calendar one last time before heading off to my six inches of mattress for the night.