Once Upon a Time in Frankenmuth #NeverGiveUp #GriefReflections #RealLifeFairyTales

Once upon a time in Frankenmuth one hot August weekend, I went to a ball, danced with princesses, met beautiful people from all different lands, indulged in delightful treats, sailed aboard a grand ship, and visited the Enchanted Forest. No, seriously I did all those things, in real life, last weekend in Frankenmuth, Michigan. I have pictures to prove it. See!

image2image4For my reader and author friends, it’s an event you MUST add to your 2017 calendar. Stacey Rourke and her court did a fabulous job with putting together an organized, family friendly, and incredibly awesome event! (Here’s the link. Check it out! http://www.onceuponabookauthorsigning.com )

As I sit back in my castle…ahem I mean my home this Monday morning reflecting on the beautiful weekend and all the changes in my life I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed. Fairy tales are fabulous. I grew up with them—Beauty and The Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. I adore all they represent—trials, triumph, and most importantly true love. But real life fairy tales, they are my favorite.

It was just a couple years ago I was barely getting by–struggling to wake up, fighting to keep moving forward, and wishing to disappear. Grief is a major jerkwad and finding a way to grieve and heal, well that’s like slaying the greatest dragon in the land.

I thought a lot about Chris this weekend—between finishing up my grief book, promoting it, and being in such a breath-taking place I couldn’t help but think about him, our life, and all the ways mine has changed these past few years—the new people and the crazy adventures.

I really believe I have a fairy Godmother (or Godfather) working behind the scenes waving a wand for me. How else could I have transformed from who I was to who I am now? Inside and out. How else did I get to go to a ball? Have these opportunities to travel? I’m so grateful for the Big Guy in the Sky and all He’s done for me. I like to think Chris is standing next to him with his “to do list” nudging him along. He was always good for that. 🙂

We were sitting at the ball (something I never thought I’d do) and I told my Mom, “I can’t believe this is my face.” Meaning I cannot believe how different I am from a couple years ago—from the girl who didn’t want to live to the woman full of sparkle. I’ve changed as dramatically inside as I have on the outside. My heart overflows with gratitude and love instead of pain. Thank God for that!image3-1All weekend I couldn’t stop saying how gorgeous this place was and how happy I was to be there. I wished all of “my people” were there with us, enjoying all the beauty and magic around us.  I was overflowing with gratitude for being alive and sharing such a magical place with someone who’d seen me through the trenches! I’m talking about my beautiful Mom by the way. 😉 She found Prince Charming, her glass slipper, and was the belle of the ball. #Winning

image1Then I realized this is one of my jobs—to go to balls, meet amazing authors and readers, oh yeah and sell my stories. How in the world did an accountant end up here wrapped in the world of words? I know the answer—the grace of God but even so it overwhelms me.

Sometimes we forget in the midst of our own fairy tales that we must see darkness in order to see beauty. Evil will come for us time and time again but it’s up to us to look around and see the good around us. It’s there. It’s the people standing next to us with their swords ready to slay the dragon breathing fire down our necks. It’s the little moments of serenity by the water filled with conversations, laughter, and camaraderie. And it’s the prince or princess crossing our path that makes us stronger, smarter, and better. Our real life fairy tales are massive novels filled with chapters of defeat and triumph, waiting and planning, and at times periods of nonstop swashbuckling action. Sometimes we get too stuck on the happy ending that we don’t enjoy the pages before hand. Every story has a beginning, middle, and end–be sure to enjoy the whole book of yours not just one section! 😉

Never give up on your always and forever—no matter what it may be a baby, a spouse, a friend, a career, or some other dream. Whatever it is your heart desires don’t give up. Keep slaying dragons and gathering the troops. Life is filled with fairy tale moments, don’t miss yours!

Never ever give up on your always and forever. I promise you, when it all comes together you’ll be grateful you kept fighting. <3

#RealLifeFairyTalesHappen #NeverGiveUp #OUAB