Keep Keepin' it Real

This is my first blog post in a really long time. I have been too busy living life to write much about it. Since my last post we have had a wedding, a funeral, a college graduation, and I had my own little dream come to life in The Coral Caravan Vintage, Farm & Flea Market. There have been many tears shed over these past months. Tears of pure joy, total frustration, heartbreak, and pride. However, there have been way more smiles and belly laughs than tears. 

I hear people comment and I see posts often about how we only share the shiny moments of our lives on social media. While there are surely those people who use this platform to create and share a cyber life that is in no way akin to their reality, I believe that most of us are living like me. We are living lives that are full of the bitter-sweet moments that connect us to each other. Whether there’s something huge going on or we are just living through an ordinary Monday, we are all experiencing bliss, hurt, joy, and disappointment daily. 

In April, our Lilly, who grew up across the street from us, my daughter-like eldest child, born of my best friend who has moved on to Heaven, was married. It was a beautiful and WAY fun affair, every detail perfect - with the exception of our missing Renee. A ton of time, preparation, and love went into planning the day and it was absolutely worth it. Seeing this adorable couple surrounded by all who love them was truly a blessing. Here's a shot of the day courtesy of Skylar Wyatt Photography.

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May brought a day that seemed a lifetime away when my tummy was giant with a baby girl about to enter the world 22 years ago. Our oldest daughter, Julie, graduated from JMU. The weekend was full of friends, family, and shenanigans. While it was among the proudest moments of my life, it was a really sad thing to watch my little girl say goodbye to a life and a town and people who had all become home to her. College was her cocoon and she has emerged changed and ready to fly away. We have loved having her here with us for this small stretch of time as she prepares for the next big chapter in her life. Amazing things are happening for this brilliant and precious scientist. 

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June 10th was the big day for our market. I spent months planning and preparing for The Coral Caravan and it was everything I dreamed it would be and then some. At then end of the day, I was so exhausted and sweaty and overcome with euphoria that I could barely remember some of the details of the event. Luckily, once again, I had my ace photographer, Skylar Wyatt Photography, on the case. Here’s a little of what she captured.

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A couple of weeks ago my stepmom passed at only 64 years old. She was a huge part of my growing up years and her death brought a flood of emotion. It was her wish to be buried in the river where we spent many summer days as a family. It’s where we buried my dad when he left us ten years ago. She is the fourth person of great importance I have lost in as many years. That weight seems heavy sometimes, but I remind myself that to have loved these amazing humans was a gift I would pay any price for. Even the great price of bearing the pain of their loss. 

I was waiting until I had time to write something really meaningful for my few faithful followers, when I realized that often the ordinary is most meaningful. Even though I’ve shared some of our bigger moments here, there have been many ordinary days mixed in. Beach days, sick days, fights-with-my-hubs days, adventure days, sad-for-my-friend days, waiting-for-a-new-baby-to-arrive days, planning-for-the-future days, project days, and laying-on-the-sofa days. 

So as I set off today on a big adventure that I WILL be posting about, I celebrate us, the imperfect parents and partners, the takers of terrible selfies, the seers through the BS, the tellers of the harsh truth. Cheers to real life and real people. Our days are rarely picture perfect but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth capturing.