I've taken life in stages and my current stage is the "work really hard to pay for braces, cars, insurance, iPhones, Qdoba & medical bills" stage. (I am in my 9th year serving as Consulting Director at Element Fusion.) The stage before this was my 13 year long "stay at home mommy" stage. Before that it was my "climb the corporate ladder, DINK (double income, no kids)" stage. They've all been wonderful. But I'm especially looking forward to the NEXT one--the "spoil my grandkids rotten" stage.
The greatest challenge of my current stage in life is maintaining balance. As an obsessive, competitive perfectionist, I tend to overdo everything I do; so it takes a lot of work to keep the pendulum from swinging too far in one direction. I work "as unto the Lord" giving it my all when I'm there, but I have learned to draw a line that allows me to take care of myself in order to maintain spiritual health and my recent 70 pound weight loss. I completed my first (and probably only) marathon in 2010.
The traditional "bio" goes like this: Andrea and her husband, Kevin, live in Oklahoma City and are active in their church (Cherokee Hills Baptist Church) as well as mentoring the young adults of the Oasis class. Kevin is an Architect and has recently started a new business as owner of Heartland Architectural Products. Kevin is an avid outdoorsman, in addition to leading the men's ministry at their church. They are proud parents to five very gifted children: Hannah, Gretchen, Dustin, Lorelei and Mimi.
The kids aren't as little as this picture shows any more. Hannah graduated from Baylor University in 2011, and has moved on to graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis. Gretchen works as an esthetician and beauty consultant at Bare Escentuals in OKC. Dustin has joined the Army National Guard, and will go on a tour in Afghanistan this fall before completing his Fire Protection degree from OSU. Lorelei (the newborn in this photo) recently graduated from Putnam City North High School. Lorelei was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in February 2012 and will soon be going through a stem cell transplant (you can read all about her journey here). Lorelei continues to amaze and inspire us all, and hopes to start classes at OSU as soon as she is in remission!
The Decker household has also sponsored various international exchange students from France and Japan.A few of these exchange students have become "official" members of the family.
Mimi Taguchi married Anthony Conner (who serves in the US Navy) and they now live in San Diego with their daughter Victoria and son Kailen. If you ever wonder why Andrea works such long and hard hours you can be sure it is to pay for plane tickets so she can get her hands on those babies. She'll be especially happy if she can figure out how to smuggle the two newest canine additions to the family in her suitcase when she goes--it will be hard to leave Yorkies Ellie and Georgie behind.