Mathew's go to line, his tagline, his catchphrase, his slogan is "I got this!"
I joke that when he dies I will put "I thought I had it." on his tombstone. I make dark jokes. I'm cool like that.
I've realized that mine is, "Oh, it's fine!"
When I'm turning out of a driveway into traffic and I notice that a car is coming faster than I thought so they have to hit their breaks, even though Mat is having a heart attack in the passenger seat I say, "Oh it's fine. No big deal. They're fine."
I think that attitude comes from being a klutz and the most awkward person alive.
Do not toss anything at me ever. Not a ball, or the keys, or even something soft like clothes or a pillow... Just don't. I lean away from it. Every. Time. I'd miss it completely. So I just let it land where it lands. I have no depth perception, I turn corners, even in our own house too soon and hit my shoulder. No matter what, if I am carrying a pizza box (which is often) I will hit the top right corner into something. Whether it's the table I go to set it on, or the doorway to the kitchen, it never fails.
At a funeral last week instead of saying, "I'm sorry for your loss" or "love you" or anything nice I said, "How are you?"
This is my life. I can't share them all with you but I put myself in the most strange and comical situations. I think "It's fine." came from me knowing myself and being ok with it. Being ok with who I am, with my awkward, with my clumsiness, with fumbling my words. Those traits that at first seem negative actually don't have to be. I believe that they are part of my charm. Part of why people like being around me. Because I can laugh at myself. I can be all thumbs and ungraceful and messy, yet at the same time brilliant, classy, kind, generous, and loving.
Recently though, the unthinkable happened. I got burned out.
The HHM celebrated its 3 years which means 5 markets have happened. FIVE.
I remember why I started it. I love it very much. I love telling makers' stories and sharing their handmade goodness with others. I love having something of my own, the HHM is my baby. But I also get overwhelmed easier than I'd like. I'm hard on myself.
You know who said that? Who the person is that gave good enough advice to someone that they wanted to make it a graphic? It was me. (graphic by the every beautiful Brooke of course)
I'm really good at giving advice, just not good at taking it.
The market was going off wonderfully. I found my flow. I had an office space for the month which made working on it so much easier. I had Tara fly in from Brooklyn to help. The layout was finally perfected, the number of booths was ideal, the weather was lovely, the decor was on point, the photo booth was everything I could ask for. The photographer, the sponsors, the vendors, the volunteers, everyone was a dream to work with. My kids were helpful and on board, because of the office space my house wasn't completely taken over by the market. Mathew even commended me on being more present, still getting sleep, spending time with him, and eating ok food during the weeks leading up to it.
Even though I didn't wash my hair every day and I we ate simple meals or fast food for a couple of weeks, I was on top of it. Mat mentioned someone even told him they wished they could be more like me and admired me. I was doing it! Going for the things and accomplishing them. People admire someone that decides to do something though it's scary. I know I do.
During this time (and for the last year, and even right now) I was dreaming of having my own place. An event center to call my own. Not a huge one. Not one I could host the market in, but one where I could help you throw the best birthday party ever, or the cutest baby shower. Somewhere clean, minimalistic, and chic. "Where's the party at?" "Emma's"
Of course I'd call it Emma's.
This building went up for auction. I swooned and hoped this would be it. That it would fall in my lap.
There's even an E on the glass by the front door. The layout was perfect and I pictured someone driving by it at night and seeing people mingling, having fun, and laughing through all those windows.
Someone else bought it for way more than we would've, but Mat even asked them about renting it. They said they weren't interested. Though they haven't done anything that I've noticed with it since, I'm excited to see what comes of it.
Then another place came up, and another, and another.. I had 3 other places I could choose from.
I decided to pursue them but tell them all I would need to wait until after the HHM to do anything. I felt amazing.
But something was off.
Isabella's 6th birthday party was a blast! We had a pool party at The Precious Moments Hotel with some of her friends and afterward we spent the night at the hotel with one of her friends and her mom. The kids swam while her and I talked. I shared with her a bit of my feelings and she told me I was probably feeling that way for a reason.
The week of the HHM was finally here. I picked Tara up from the airport and we got to work. We were excited, I wasn't exhausted, and things were good.
That nagging feeling was still there though.
My intuition knew something was wrong. But I ignored it. I've asked myself why I ignored it because about a year ago I promised myself I would trust my gut, trust Him in me, and just lean on that. I ignored it because I thought it was nerves. I ignored it because it had a bit to do with Mathew. He had a new gym location brewing and helping me with the HHM and just being his kind, caring self. Even so, I am his helpmeet. As much as I need him to be my rock, my protector, my shoulder to lean on, he needs me to be his. I can't think of a different way to say it, something was just off.
Mathew is a rescuer. He's a knight in shining armor. He's prince charming, he's superman. You know who doesn't seem like they need superman? Wonder Woman. And at the time I was her. I tried to cover all my bases and I even asked him if everything was ok (over and over) and he said yeah. And I said it was too. Because it was. Because on paper "Oh, it's fine!" Because I didn't want to be that paranoid or nagging person. Because maybe I was just hormonal, or it was PMS, or nerves, or being tired or one of the 100 excuses everyone makes for women.
Mathew and I realized that what was off wasn't our busy lives, it wasn't our kids, or our family, or our friends, or outside influences, or anything like that at all. It was us. Our connection was blocked, clogged, weak.
We'd let life happen to us and were both focused on our own thing.
But there was someone that had some crap happen. Someone that has it rough sometimes. I am a nice person and was drawn to that. Wanted to help this person. Went out of my way to do so a couple of times. Mathew was even more close to them though and he ate it up. Why? Because like I've said before, he's the nicest guy you'll ever meet. He believes that people have good intentions and he wants to help them. This person took advantage of that. Instead of being gracious, they are the type of person who instinctively draws out the caring, nurturing, and protective qualities in people, only to set them up for manipulation. A victim. (more about victim personality here)
I know that even if they started making a wedge between he an I without meaning to, once they found themselves there they tried to stay. Once they were there their intentions weren't good. Luckily, Mathew isn't so easily duped, plus he's got me looking out for him. This was the same person that said they wished they could be more like me and admired me. This person knows how to play. How do I know this? How did I see it? Because game recognizes game. Because I could easily be that desperate person. Because it is only by God's grace that I am not. This relationship is where that ugly, yucky feeling was coming from.
Unfortunately for them more of my good traits are being a momma bear, being protective, intuitive, and outspoken. So I handled that. I called them out
I decided to dig my heels in and fight. Anything that steals your connection is a competitor.
On Sunday night after the market I expressed myself and talked to Mathew. He said he didn't want to deal and that I didn't know what I was talking about. He said he just wanted to go away. I was caught off guard because I'm such a stay and fight kinda girl. But I know he's more of a, give me space and let me process person. Letting him be that is one of the hardest things for me. But I gave him space.
Monday after we talked and I made him hear me that something was wrong, he dug his heels in and fought too. He said something along the lines of, "I wish I could run away. I'm stressed out and everything feel just off plus I don't want to deal with this." I said, "That's ok and understandable, but we're married. Just take me with you."
The next thing he said changed everything. "If we go we have to go now. Let's go."
He called his mom to pick the kids up from school. I texted my mom and friends and asked them for help too. We drove north and found a place with a jacuzzi tub in the room. We stayed there for 6 nights. We spent the first few days just being with each other and talking. Relaxing and watching House of Cards. We needed it so bad. We ventured out and explored Kansas City a few times, but mostly just enjoyed doing nothing and not worrying about anything but our relationship.
When we came back things were rough because we were flung back into the real world. We had to adjust. The HHM stuff was still piled up in the house and that gym still needed to be opened.
I spoke to the person I called out. I tried to smooth it out yet let them know not to try that again and I did. I succeeded. I walked away from that conversation feeling like a queen. Then they (without realizing I think) said a few things in front of me that just didn't work. So I spoke out again. I know things aren't smooth now and they could quite possibly hate that I took their friend Mathew away. But honestly, (this is where I use foul language) I don't give a shit. Mathew is my forever. I will always fight for him. I will always fight for my family, for my friends, and for myself. Those momma bear claws come out and even though I feel a little bad and immediately want to retract my overprotectiveness, I wouldn't change it.
I want Douglas + Isabella to know that they can have their craft show, their small business, their whatever they wants to be or do, but at the same time remember to fight for their family, their friends, or any thing that is important to them. I want them to be strong. I especially want Isabella to know that sometimes women are called emotional and sensitive, that those are seen as bad things. They're not. Those are strong traits. Sharing them and owning them takes guts.
I just learned that the reason I say, "oh it's fine" is because of that Spirit. Because of the guts, because of the intuition, because of Jesus. Because there have been so many times in my life that things could have fallen apart but I've always been taken care of. He wants the best for us just like we want for the people we love. Why do we fight him so hard on it?
The Fall Market applications are open right now, planning is underway, and it's almost time for school to start again. If I hadn't fought I'd be scared. Instead of feeling impending doom, this time I've reminded myself (again) that I can do anything, but I can't do everything. So I'm focusing on my littles, on my man, and even myself. I've been going to the gym about 4 times a week and eating better. I've been cooking so much more and trying to follow that spirit within me. Surround myself with positive people even if it's just through text because I'm also trying to focus on my home. I've put that event center on the back burner, but if you'd buy it for me I'm sure I'd make it the funnest place ever.
I will not be so hard on myself, I will speak up when I need to, and I will be vulnerable with the one that has my heart just as he is with me. I think we girls work so hard keeping everyone together, holding everything in our hands and trying to understand everything with our human brains that we forget we're not supposed to. I've got a guy that would do absolutely anything for me and a God that can. Why don't I let them?
We just celebrated 11 years of being married by staying in a room in Joplin with a jacuzzi in it. We are ghetto fabulous like that. Mathew is kind, and crazy, and gentle, and loves me like that. I am strong, and clumsy, and caring like that. We are secure and strong and in love like that. We totally got this and are just fine like that.