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  • Writer's pictureVALORIE BARON

Hi, I'm Val!

Welcome to my new blog!!! I am so excited that it is finally published....and already two weeks old. I thought I'd start by sharing a little bit more about who I am, how Billy and I met, and how we got to Belgrade, Serbia! So here we go- I am 27 years old and was born and raised in Clarence, New York. I love Jesus, scented candles, tequila, and I am energized by the company of others. I grew up with two loving parents, who were high school sweet-hearts, have been married for 32 years and are still going strong. I have a younger sister (and best friend) Tori, who recently got married to John, my brother-in-law. My family is very active, and my parents are kids at heart…so we grew up playing every sport and game imaginable.

I studied business and played softball at Canisius College in Buffalo, and I originally planned to finish college and work as a financial advisor with my father. But…when I met Billy, my plans started changing. I had a boyfriend and he had a girlfriend when we met, during my junior year of college. This was a blessing in disguise because we started our relationship as just friends. He was in most of my classes, so we began spending a lot of time together. (AKA Billy suddenly became very interested in my homework answers…) After about a year—and after both of our personal relationships had ended—our friendship grew even more. Now my homework answers weren’t the only thing Billy was interested in… (although those seemed to still interest him too ).

After college, Billy invited me to travel to California with him as he trained for the next phase of his basketball career. Little did I know that this would be the first of many adventures together. That summer he traveled back and forth from pre-draft workouts, to Rhode Island (where he is from) and to Clarence to come visit me. But, it was when he got an offer to play basketball in Lithuania that really changed everything. That was the moment of truth for our relationship. He would be moving to a place I couldn’t even find on the map at the time, and I would be staying at home, pursuing my dream of working in finance. But…before he left, he called my father to let him know that he would propose to me the following summer. (Huge brownie points to Billy for that!)

I traveled to Lithuania to visit him four times that year. Needless to say, all of the back and forth wasn’t great for my career. But, Billy stayed true to his promise to my dad, and sure enough, we got engaged the following summer in Rhode Island! Our international adventure continued to the next destination when Billy moved to Charleroi, Belgium, and I stayed home to figure out job-stuff and plan our wedding. I made three trips to visit him, but this time was a little bit trickier than before. We were hearing about a lot of shootings and bombings throughout Europe that year. Paris—which had already gotten hit with so many dangerous attacks—was only an hour away. We even found out that some of the terrorists were actually from the small town that Billy lived in. Because of that, I decided to stay home for the remainder of the year and work on a new job. I started working for which was and has been a life saver! I still work for them now, remotely, no matter what country we are living in. I sort out hotel needs for groups that travel—whether that may be corporation trips or college sporting trips.

Billy and I got married in the summer of 2016. Following our wedding, we moved to Spain, Turkey, and now, Belgrade, Serbia. We miss our friends and families back home, but have been blessed to have had so many amazing experiences and memories throughout these past few years. 2019 has been great so far, and we can’t wait to see where the rest of the year takes us!




Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! Luke 1:45


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