Well, here we are 2023!
We couldn’t be more excited to kick off the New Year and share our big news. However, I can’t move forward without sharing a quick look back on the past 12 months…
2022 was a year of extreme highs and a couple rocky lows for our family. We accomplished our crazy, wild goal, when we visited our 50th state in April. Stepping off the airplane in Alaska was a very surreal feeling for all of us. 14 years earlier when Brent and I set that goal for our family, I could never imagine the amazing adventures ahead.
I think it’s rare to accomplish 1 major milestone, much less two, but somehow, we did just that. Brent dreamed of being part of the Vol Navy his entire life. This summer we traveled on Light & Salty from Fort Myers, FL to Knoxville, TN. We were able to enjoy 3 football games docked just steps from the stadium.
In between 2 of the biggest accomplishments of our lives, came so many more amazing details: Mary Grace getting her SCUBA certification and learners permit; Miller being selected as a baseball All Star and learning to wakeboard; Filming a brand campaign for our favorite homeschool curriculum, Abeka; Mary Grace starting a baking business with her friend, Molly; Celebrating the holidays with both of our families.
The last 12 months were truly some of the best ever- and that leaves us excited and hopeful to jump into 2023!
Unfortunately, I can’t just breeze through all the highlights without mentioning a few of the difficult ones woven through the story of our 2022. In September we watched in horror as Hurricane Ian destroyed our marina in Fort Myers (along with many of our friend’s boats/homes.) Miller also had a tough year, medically, between being diagnosed with some significant food allergies and breaking his nose.
2023 brings hope and assurance that we will continue to see God working! Which brings us to our big news…
After many years of prayer, Brent made the decision to leave his corporate insurance job with Liberty Mutual.
Brent started his career with Liberty Mutual almost 20 years ago. In the early years, they relocated us 5 times which we view as the building blocks to being comfortable living our crazy, nomadic lifestyle today. The company also provided us with amazing travel opportunities, and the flexibility to take our kids everywhere. Of course, the biggest blessing of Brent’s time with LM is the special friendships we’ve formed.
For the last 2 and a half years, Brent continued to manage his team in Charlotte from aboard Light & Salty. For a multitude of reasons, Brent felt God calling him away. Our family will forever be grateful for all of the blessings Liberty Mutual brought to us over the years.
So the million dollar question, what’s next? The short answer is A LOT!
For starters, Brent is building a business dedicated to helping others become boaters. His extensive insurance knowledge and love of all things ‘boat’ makes this a natural fit. Much of this is still in the design phase, and we look forward to sharing soon. There’s a big vision and we are super excited for 2023 to unfold.
I can share that as part of this he is the newest member of the Curtis Stokes Boat Brokerage Team. Michael Martin, a good friend, and mentor has been instrumental in assisting Brent as he gets started. Brent looks forward to helping others buy and sell their boats. He can assist with all types of boats but will specialize in the Great Loop market.
Additionally, I (Sarah) am still running our two companies: Mom With A Map and Be Known Franchising. Both businesses grew considerably in 2022 and I look forward to Brent jumping in to help where he can. We have very different skillsets and it’s exciting to finally combine our strengths. We’re still debating titles, but I think this officially makes me his boss. Ha!
And what about the kids?
Of course, no decisions were made without 100% buy-in from the whole family. Ultimately, they are thriving on the boat. Jumping into this new adventure we asked for a 1-year commitment from them. So we will continue to live aboard Light & Salty in 2023.
We’ve found a spot we really like in the Florida Panhandle. Although it’s a bit colder than Fort Myers, we really love the community. The kids are already getting involved in a church youth group and signing up for a season of sports. We have a rough idea of where the year will take us, but as boaters know, plans are written in pencil.
We genuinely appreciate everyone cheering us on as we navigate this crazy adventure. All prayers are appreciated as we jump into this next chapter. I will be sure to keep everyone updated as things unfold, but in the meantime you may enjoy reading:
The One Where We Decided To Live On A Boat
Tips For Swimming With a Dolphin
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Oh my gosh how exciting Bowlin family. So happy for all of you and I look forward to your future posts. Brent I am so proud of you and pray for much success.
Thank you so much! We are very excited and ready to jump head first into this next chapter. Thank you for always praying and cheering us on.
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