GRATEFUL TUESDAYS // MIDDLEBURG, VIRGINIA HUNT COUNTRY WEDDING + PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER, KRYSTA NORMAN

GRATITUDES + BREAKTHROUGHS 03.15.19

Gratitudes

I’m on day 3 of a stomach virus that is finally going away. I got hit with it on Sunday and have been down for the count the last two days. I was able to finishing knocking out The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins. Whoa! Intense surprise ending! I asked for a few more book recommendations and I’m taking a few days to pick the one that will be the right fit! I’ve read 3 books so far this year, I’m curious to see how many I get through!

It’s been another full week with networking + meetings! That’s what the off-season is for!

Tuesday I went to the monthly Tuesdays Together – Manassas networking group at The Rosy Posy! It was a full meeting with so many new faces, and the hosts Ella + Lisa were so kind and warming with their new space!

I also had the opportunity to catch up with Stephanie Dasch with Diamond Event Co. We chatted about a big project she is working on and hopped over to the Aldie General Store for lunch – yum! And then skipped over to Greenhill Vineyard because I needed to meet Christian Bentley with Middleburg Life and I really wanted to try their 2016 Nebbiolo. The neb didn’t disappoint and neither did our conversation! I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I love thoughtful conversations with wine!

I was up for another meeting with Jessica of Strada Toscana, an elopement + private event villa located in Tuscany, Italy! We shared conversation over cappuccinos – fitting – and swapped travel stories (Jessica is very well traveled and a hiker)! She is the planner for this Tuscan villa that is a private estate with connections to local artisans that make each wedding truly unique with an Italian touch. I’m thankful for connections like this and the hope that we will be able to work together in the future! Y’all know how I feel about Italy! <3

After coffee I met Brett of Brett Denfeld Photography for a couple of beers at The Veil Brewing Co. The lines were insane, but rightfully so, their beer was great! They even had a food truck and sweet little girls selling Girl Scout cookies!

Nail polish of the week is “Stay Off The Lawn,” from the Washington D.C. collection. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling desperate for spring and steady sunshine + dry weather! This is a green has a hint of blue giving it a super lush tone. Don’t mind me I’ll be day dreaming about warmer weather!

Breakthroughs

This week, as well as many other times in my life I’m reminded of the strength of my little sister Katlyn. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 5. The tumor was so massive it should have killed her, and it almost did. After her diagnosis, she was rushed to Georgetown Hospital. I mean rushed, they offered a helicopter transport, but my parents declined. Katlyn underwent a collective 18 hours of surgery and spent 21 days in the hospital recovering. Her tumor was benign, and the doctors weren’t quite sure how her recovery would look since the tumor was at the base of her cerebellum. The place where coordination and muscular activity is regulated.

She also had a sweet, sweet haircut. My mom gave her the option as to how far she wanted her head shaved, and as a 5 year old girl the thought of having some hair was better than having none. So she kept a small, long patch on the side of her head.

She’s been a part of a childhood tumor program Georgetown University, where the majority of her hospital mates have since passed. Katlyn though went on to play competitive basketball, middle + high school sports, was on the honor roll and even played lacrosse in college. She is exceptional.

Out of college she received news that again, she would have another surgery in 2011, and again in 2013 and again in 2016. All benign. All scary. As a family we’ve done brain tumor walks, bought Love Your Melon hats and more to help support and embrace Katlyn.

I mentioned in 2016 Katlyn and I went through yoga teacher training (YTT) on this blog. And it was during this training she was diagnosed the last time and had surgery. It’s something that she continues to live with, the fear and the probability that she will grow another tumor.

Because of this super power to grow brain tumors and her extensive surgery experience, I think she sees the world differently – feels the world differently. If you’ve ever met her you can feel her personality, her silliness and her willingness to share her happiness. She finds joy in so much that our world offers, and helps guide others to experience it as well.

Since YTT she’s been teaching regularly at Stafford House of Yoga and looking to further her education. She found the perfect program, Love Your Brain. An organization that specializes in yoga for those with traumatic brain injuries. She will complete the training at the end of March and one of the steps is to hold a donation based class that would support Love Your Brain. She is holding that class on Sunday at 2:30 at Stafford House of Yoga. If you’re down to practice I’ll see you there, and if not any and all donations are appreciated.

Link to sign up is here:
https://www.staffordhouseofyoga.com/schedule.html

Link to donate is here:
https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/1931525


p.s. In 2013, I joined a pact with Katlyn that if she ever needed to shave her head for surgery, that I would too. Fingers crossed and all vibes that we won’t have to do that.


As always, thanks for reading. xoxo.

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