MAY. YUCK. As soon as my birthday ends, I watch the days creep towards my least favorite month with dread. I am always a little grumpy. A little bitchy. A little sad. I feel down. I feel low. I feel like the world is not a fair and just place. I feel stressed and full of anxiety.
I haven’t always been this way. I came to hate May in 2004 when I got the news that my best friend was no longer with us. Ten years later, the sting is still there. It’s something that I have learned to manage with but it still sucks so HARD. This May the ache was there like always but it was softened by a trip to San Jose to celebrate the life and the person Sarah Faye Hurth was.
This month was rough. That’s putting it mild. Along with the moments that were not the best, there of course were happy times as well. That is the point of this blog entirely. Find the happy, with not so happy.
I am on the charity committee at gap intelligence. We hosted our second annual charity golf tournament, Drive for Rides, to benefit the Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF) on May 3, 2014. We set out a goal to raise $15k for ENF. So much work goes into planning this tournament. We have hours of meetings going over every single detail. Our planning for this event is juggled on top of working full time jobs. As I crouched in front of the banquet room at Riverwalk Golf Club Instagram-ing as the big check was raised, tears welled up in my eyes. We raised $32,000. We more than doubled our goal. That is BADASS. Plain & simple.
Canada Does San Diego
Hartman’s Mom came down to visit us the weekend after the golf tourney. We snuck in an early Mother’s Day celebration for her while she was in SD and took her to a Padres game. We ironed out the details of a family reunion for Hartman’s Canadian side of the family. It’s a ways off but it’s going to be so much fun having everyone come to see us in California. We will be taking over Mission Beach in February and I am so looking forward to it.
Hartman’s Sister in Law, Silver, and Brother, Paul, organize a massive group camping trip every year in Lake Tahoe. We went last year over the 4th of July. Among their many awesome friends in attendance on this trip we had the pleasure of meeting Curley and Julie. They have two adorable red headed kids named Connor and Caitlin. Caitlin in particular sticks in my mind because she said the funniest thing during our camping adventure. While taking a make shift shower she screamed, “It’s freezing, you’re burning me”. Kids really do say the darndest things. I loved Caitlin’s quote so much I used it in the description of my photo album on Facebook. I first saw #RedBalloonsForRyan on Silver’s Facebook page. Hartman informed me of the direct connection we shared with Ryan Cruz. Julie and Curly are Ryan’s Aunt and Uncle. Julie’s brother is Ryan’s Dad, Dan. I read what happened to Ryan and just cried. Ryan’s Mom, Jacqui, is a blogger as well. I have been following her journey at Baby Boy Bakery. It is so inspiring how many people have rallied around to support Ryan’s family in their time of need. My precious niece even showed her love for Ryan in Lake Tahoe.
When I arrived in San Jose, I shared with my bother what had happened and that they were asking for everyone to wear Red on Friday, May 9th, in Ryan’s memory. Paul laid out Peyton’s outfit for the next day. He chose a red shirt. As I got him dressed for the day I was certainly counting the many blessings of being Mater P’s Auntie Erin. Life can change in an instant. You have to appreciate the moment. Mindfulness is key.
Peyton Time is the Best Time
I loathe May 9th. On any normal given day, I’m all in my head. I overthink everything. That is my standard. On May 9th in particular, I spending the day thinking about what I was doing on the day Sarah died. I look at the clock and I think, she was still alive, she was at work, I was at work, I was in bed…on and on I go all day long. Luckily for me, on the 10th Anniversary of Sarah’s passing, my day was hijacked by Peyton. My nephew woke me up with a big smile. He distracted me from getting my work done by bringing me books to read. My brother had an unexpected errand he had to run so I got to have Peyton all to myself for a few hours. We went to the park and I pushed him in the swings.
I couldn’t help but think about #RedBalloonsForRyan as I watched Peyton play. Life can change in an instant. Every plan is a tiny prayer to father time. Peyton will never remember the day we spent together but I will remember it forever. He was the perfect excuse to not be sad but to be grateful for the little things in life. Peyton is the coolest little dude on Earth. Even as he was squeezing his honest fruit juice pouch all over the living room all I could do was laugh.
Wine Night @ the Row
I was juggling a lot the weekend I was in SJ because it was also Mother’s Day weekend as well. I wanted to toast all the amazing women in my life. My Seeeeeester, Step Mom, Aunt, and girlfriends decided that a girls wine night was in order. No boys allowed. We enjoyed several wine flights and being able to dish about all the things gals like to chat about. The Real House Wives were discussed. All other topics are non-blog-able. What happens at girl’s night stays at girl’s night.
Purple & a Palm Tree
Saturday I had some errands to run before Sarah’s party. I was in charge of the flowers for the event. I was feeling a little stressed because I had to pick up flowers and vases AND arrange them by 11:30am. I wanted purple flowers specifically (Sarah’s favorite color) so I expect to have to go to multiple stores depending on the selections available. I stopped at Trader Joe’s first and to my delight they not only had purple flowers but they were already in cute burlap holders. I felt like Sarah was making life easier for me. I was done with my errands so fast, I decided to make one last stop before heading back to my brother’s to get ready for the event. I went to the cemetery.
I haven’t been to Sarah’s tombstone in years. I feel like I can honor her memory more by doing something she would have loved than sitting at her grave. My heart was calling me there though so I went. Even after so long, I found her spot first try. I wasn’t prepared for the wave of emotions that engulfed me as I sat down in the grass. I took of my sunglasses and just bawled. When I felt a sense of relief I wiped away my tears and headed back to my car. As I drove off I knew I had made the right choice taking a moment by myself to feel so raw. The rest of the day would be busy. I need a moment of quiet zen, just me under her Palm Tree.
A Celebration for Sarah Faye
Sarah was the control tower for many friends. We all kept in touch through her. I’m sad to say that I hadn’t seen some of the people at her party since her funeral. Luckily, it doesn’t matter how much time passes. We greeted each other with open arms and smiles. We all shared stories and reminisced. Looking at pictures brought so much positive energy to the room. I must have heard, “remember when”, a hundred times. I am a firm believer that you can still be a good friend to the ones you love even after they leave you. Coming together to toast our girl was the greatest tribute we could ever do to her memory. I know she watched over us and loved every second of it. I left feeling sad that she wasn’t there but so happy we all could come together. Life is beautiful and you have to take to bitter with the sweet. Thank you to everyone that made the journey to SJ to celebrate the amazingness of Sarah Faye. Thank you to Dusty and Donna for hosting us. Thank you to Maggiano’s for making it so special. She really is proud as she watches over us. I know she is.
I spent Mother’s Day spoiling my Mama (as it should be). We made her eggs benedict for brunch. We spent the afternoon on the deck watching Peyton with his bubble lawn mower. My Step Dad cooked a feast for dinner. I can’t remember the last time I spent Mother’s Day with my Mom since I moved to San Diego. It was so nice to be in the same city, actively participating in the day’s festivities. I always send a gift but the best gift you can ever give someone is your time.
San Diego has had little rain this year. This lead to an incredibly early and INCREDIBLY scary early fire season. The fires were not near my home thankfully. I had many friends and colleagues that were evacuated from their residences. It was scary to watch on the news and to hear that the fires were hardly contained. We are used to what the locals call “May Gray” not record high dry heat this time of year. I found a new horror in life while watching CNN, firenadoes. Firenadoes occur when a fire is so powerful it creates its own weather pattern. Thankfully the weather cooled down and the fires were put out before more houses could be harmed. The city had a gross layer of smoke over it for some time.
My friend Meredith is getting married in June and all of her girlfriends came together to toast her impending happiness at her Bridal Shower. The hostess, Amber, really pulled out all the stops. Not only was her house in Encinitas stunning but there were so many personal touches that made the event extra special. Mere and her beau, Tony, have been together to over ten years now. We both understand what it’s like to be constantly harassed with the “when are you going to get married” question. It was a lovely day filled with all things girly. I am so excited for their big day in June. The wedding is in Cabo so you know it’s going to be quite the celebration.
Australia Does San Diego
My bestie’s BESTIE made the long journey from Oz to SD so a major day of fun was in order to mark this momentous occasion. Chow decided a full on Sunday Funday was the best way to really show her and her hubs a good time. We went to a Padres game and sat in my new favorite seats right along the Western Metal Supply rail. We then went to a few different fun bars downtown and tried out a new spot for dinner. All and all it was a perfect day. Nothing like a three day weekend done right to cap off a crazy month.
If you have been reading my blog for some time now you will notice a reoccurring theme of Santa Barbara love. I technically graduated from UCSB in December of 2005 but I didn’t walk for graduation until 2006. My time in SBeezie is remembered in a glow of positivity and blissful carefree fun. The fact that someone could rob so many of that college experience sickens me in a way that makes me see red while feeling intense sadness at the same time. As I read about the events unfolding in Isla Vista on Friday, May 23rd, 2014 I felt helpless and heart-broken for the students forced to endure such horror. SB has been having a rough time lately between losing Mallory Rae, the Deltopia riots, and now these killings. I pray that this is the last of it. I attended a vigil for UCSB that was held at UCSD. It was a truly special night and I get chills writing about it. I even made it onto NBC News in San Diego. You can read more about it by clicking here: Let There Be Light. I will be rocking my Gaucho gear tomorrow in remembrance of those whose lives were lost and in support of those who were injured. I will also be wearing it as a thank you to the police officers that responded so quickly. It could have been so much worse. I have cut enough black ribbons for my entire office for those that want to show some Gaucho love too.
I used to always have tar balls stuck to my feet when I was living in Santa Barbara. I ruined many pairs of flip flops. I looked down at my flip flops yesterday and noticed that I dripped wax on them from the Candlelight vigil. I’m going to leave it there. Seems fitting. Gaucho Pride will continue with me forever. No matter what is thrown our way, we will throw a tortilla right back at it.
Thank you for Reading.
P. S. I’ve been kind of a mess this month. Super emotional. I want to thank Hartman for putting up with the roller coaster. His kind compassionate spirit keeps me from completely losing it on all levels (I love you, baby).