Our June event kicked off the summer season with a fantastic GNO at The Budweiser Brewhouse at Ball Park Village in STL. What a totally amazing space. With a picture perfect view out onto the ballfield, our ladies were entertained by our lovely vendors and businesses.
The Brewhouse itself offers a variety of beer on tap and some of the best prepared food I have had downtown in a LONG time! The staff is so friendly and helpful- it truly is a gem in our city.
We kicked off our evening handing out some awesome swag bags from our vendors. I had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful women- who came and stayed the entire evening.
For the first event across the river, I would say it was a success! A special thank you to everyone who came out, all of our vendors, and The Bud Brewhouse staff!
If you missed out or wanted to connect with a vendor from the event, all information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the in between? The in between is where I go sometimes...not by choice. The in between is the gray area in which I reside, mentally. It's not a choice, it's a happenstance. Since around the age of 16, I knew my mind didn't process things the right way. Even further back when I was little and put paper by my bed because I thought I would be sick in the middle of the night because...well, just because.
Anxiety and depression are words that have been thrown around in my world from the age of 16. A severe anxiety disorder. Depressed. How? Why? Cope? My first panic attack happened when I was 11 and I had to be taken to the hospital. All I remember is panic. Then...nothing. Since then, I can count the number of severe panic attacks I have had and 2 of them have landed me in the ER to get reassurance that I am not dying and that I am not having a heart attack. Not fun.
The night before I got married I had a panic attack and was frozen in fear all night on the couch, with a pounding heart, the chills, and sweating up a storm.
My second year teaching, I spent 3 days in bed, sobbing and unable to function. My darling fiancee, laid on the floor on a futon mattress and watched cartoons with me until I was able to get up two days later and shower. Not my proudest or sexiest moments.
Flash forward through to my life and all that has transpired in the last few years and it's a wonder the gray film didn't come back down, until about two weeks ago. Now, I am sitting in the in between, wondering where I am going to fall this time. Everyday that I have been on summer break has been a struggle to get out of bed, play with my kids, take care of my house, connect with my friends and just live. I am going through the motions, hoping, begging, praying that it's almost over and I can just breathe again...soon.
I don't know how to explain the in between to you. Because of the last 4 years, I constantly struggle with the idea that I am dying, right now. Every weird feeling, every cold, everything to me, to my brain, is cancer. I can't escape it and I don't take it lightly. I call it post traumatic cancer stress. My nearest and dearest friends--they make jokes to help take my mind off of it, but it's always there, lurking. My husband refuses to talk about it with me anymore and I can't really blame him. It's madness, it's exhausting, it's in my brain all the time. The fear, the panic, the worry, is real. The need for constant reassurance from someone is constant. With that being said...I am alone in this area, the in between. I am tired. My brain is exhausted. My heart.
Never being alone, because I am a mom, doesn't mean I am not lonely. Just because I am there does not mean that I am actually there. Right now, I have a loose grip and I am hanging on, going through the motions until the panic, the fear, the worry, the pain, the exhaustion goes away and I can breathe again.
He loved me for 30 years and I will love him my entire life. He loved me from the moment I took my first breath and I held his hand as he took his last.
Father’s Day…Father’s Day is hard for me. The strongest, bravest man I ever knew left this earth and when he did, my heart broke. It broke for me, my children, my mother, my brother, it just shattered. After four years, I still haven’t been able to pick up all the pieces and I am not sure that I want to.
My dad was my best friend. He was brutally honest, he loved me beyond measure, he was the hardest working man I know and I lost him. I lost the tickle of his mustache on my cheek when he kissed me hello or goodbye, I lost him shaking his hips licking his fingers when something was tasty, I lost the person that I called to chat with daily.
Around the time my daughter was 1, we learned my mom had stage 3 gastric cancer. It was a brutal, unexpected blow. 9 months of treatment, surgery, and continuous monitoring, we took a deep breath, because we were one of the rare cases, the survivors. We lived, we laughed, we loved, until a month later when we would get the news…stage 4 lung, terminal, 18 months.
I don’t know how to explain to you the roller coaster ride. That one month, that glorious month when we were free from the burden is a dream that even when I close my eyes I cannot draw up, because that life is gone, that world doesn’t exist. With one phone call, my whole world went spinning off its axis and try as I might, I barely held on. I cannot tell you what some of those conversations I had with my pop were like, because those are mine, locked deep down inside. We laughed, we cried, we raged, we loved...together, because that's who we were.
In those last 16-17 months of his life a lot changed. I had a son—I went into 1-minute contractions out of nowhere sitting on my front porch with my dad, the day he had a treatment, while my husband mowed our yard. I brought a beautiful baby boy into this world just six months before my hero would die and a week before my parents moved in with my family. I learned how to take care of a toddler, a newborn, a terminal cancer patient and my mom. It was hard. It hurt. It broke me in ways that I cannot be fixed because I never had time to process, deal, or grieve. Up until the last 3-4 weeks of his life, I took care of him, I cooked for him, made sure he had his medicine, checked on him, went to chemo when I could. I worked, I had a baby, a husband, a toddler, but that feeling of doing it all on my own, all alone is still there. It's on this week, every year, I am reminded of all that I lost. The person who could help me figure it out all and take whatever emotion I had and help me deal with it.
Death is final. So very final. There are only so many pictures, so many videos and without those, the memories fade so very fast. Lucky for me, some homemade cards, a home cooked breakfast, and an afternoon spent with his wife and kids makes my husband happy. Easy peasy. Lucky, because on this day, like his birthday the week before, I have a hard time just going through the motions, but I do, go through the motions.
So on this day, whoever it is, make it special however you can- a homemade card, a visit, a phone call. Love the ones your with.
Happy Father’s Day.
Summertime...one of my most favorite times of the year. Home to spend times with my babies; relax in the sun; sleep in; just be.
I read something the other day that has really resonated with me and that is...we only have our children for 18 summers. That's how long they are ours before they go out and take on the world. I have 11 left with one and 14 left with the other. When I really think about that, it scares the absolute crap out of me. 11 years. It sounds like a long time, but she's already wanting to be gone away from home, hanging out with her friends more than she is interested in me.
Except today. Boo, hiss...even in the beginning of summer we have caught some sort of bug. Lots of icky and sicky going on in this house. She only wants me to be near her...Melt my heart, but gross because sickies. I won't lie to you and tell you that her being sick in the summer doesn't freak me out because anytime they are sick, I feel like I am getting ready to flip off the edge of a cliff with hot lava at the bottom. More on that another day.
So, today has been a pj and bed day. Let me tell you, I am a okay with that. The less I have to do some days, the better. I like to have the occasional chill day where everyone is just as they are. So we are still in bed--no shame in my game and hoping whatever bug she has passes quick and passes everyone else.
Toilet paper...we all use it, I hope. The debate is...over or under, how do you prefer to pull down the paper? In my house, in my world, it comes over the top. I like the overall look better, however, there are times that I myself have to take the paper off the holder and flip it around because one of 3 other residents of this house has put it on.
My point? Life is messy and complicated. There is no escaping some of the issues and challenges that we as humans face on a daily basis. It's our response, our reaction to those challenges that define us. The toilet paper debate, at least in this house is a simple response, a simple fix...take it off and turn it over, viola!! No discussion or frustration needed. There are far bigger problems I can choose to focus my attention on.
Think about the little things and how they turn into the big things and remember, if it's a simple fix, move on. Don't be afraid to color a little bit outside the lines.
Hey, girl, hey!