What a Wild + Crazy Weekend!

As I write this, it is late Tuesday night. My Uncle Art’s calling hours were tonight and the funeral is tomorrow. Writing just seemed like the best thing to do tonight. Uncle Art was an amazing writer and getting my words out on “paper” has always been therapeutic for me.

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Phew! That was one HELL of a weekend!! You know it’s a good one when you need a whole extra day (or THREE!) just to rest up from your weekend.

On Friday, Amanda & I got tattoos to commemorate our running of the half marathon, 13.1 miles! Our initial plan was to get matching tattoos on our feet, but being such flamboyant individuals, we were unable to decide on one design, so we each got something that spoke to us! Amanda went with the number 13.1 on her wrist next to her Wonder Woman cuff (because once you run at least a half marathon, you become a superhero automatically.) and I decided to get the number spelled out on my right foot, next to my runner cheetah tattoo. The neatest part of both of our tattoos is that they are both in our trainer Alexander’s handwriting. I know that he will say WE did it, not him, but I must say that I would have NEVER run a mile, let alone a 13.1 of ’em if it weren’t for his inspiration and support.

Looking for an awesine tattoo shop?? Check out Fate Tattoo, in Columbus, Ohio! Jack has now done half of my work and I couldn’t be happier!

13.1 Tats

Alexander's Handwriting. The bottom lines are just random letters we might have needed.

Alexander’s Handwriting. The bottom lines are just random letters we might have needed.

Not only did Amanda and I get tattoos, but Allie joined us for the fun! Unfortunately, we could not convince her to get a tattoo, but I think we’ve sold her on getting one eventually! Watching Amanda & I get our tats was her first experience even seeing someone get tattooed! Amanda’s only took (what felt like) 30 seconds and she braved it like a champ, saying didn’t hurt at all (and I’m actually inclined to believe her)! Mine took maybe 5 minutes, but…WOO! I definitely earned that one! My tattoo pain threshold has increased, but there’s something about the side of my foot and ankle that just stings!

This tattoo makes it an even EIGHT tattoos that I have on my body. When I started with my first at the age of 18 (a harmless lil Jesus Fish on my hip), I never thought tattoos would become such a large part of my life. My friend Justin told be the other day that with all my “word tattoos,” I’m gonna become a book eventually! WHich, would be totally fine with me!  All of my tattoos represent a part of my life journey. They either mark an important event in my life or represent a permanent part of my heart & soul. There really isn’t much that I am not willing to talk to people about when it comes to my life story, and I think that tattoos work as a perfect conversation starter. I love telling people my stories and hearing their’s in return. It’s part of that whole “people person” mentality that I embody.

After the tattoo gun was turned off, our wrists and feet were bandaged, and my faced relaxed from its grimace, Amanda, Allie & I fetched another member of our A-Team and headed to Tip Top, a DELICIOUS local restaurant for celebratory dinner and drinks. (As I write this, I am realizing that we celebrate EVERYTHING! You ran a race? Celebrate! You got a tat? Celebrate! You celebrated? Celebrate!)

As we visited with one another, sharing laughs, I took a moment to look at those women and truly soak up the moment. In that moment, I was surrounded by love & support. I am so very blessed to have passionate, smart, beautiful and STRONG women around me. I strive to surround myself with people who build me up to become a better person and that exactly what my friends do. Eating sweet potato fries and sipping malbec wine seems so simple and mundane, but in that moment, it became a memory that I will never forget.

Allie (and her almost real tattoo), Amanda, Amee, & Me

Allie (and her almost real tattoo), Amanda, Amee, & Me

Now onto the rest of the weekend!!

Saturday night was the second annual Columbus Rocks the Cure Rock + Roll Fashion Show! This is an event organized by Amee, breast cancer survivor extraordinaire! The event is a mix of locals bands playing while local fashion designers show off their latest collections. This year, each designer was assigned a band, and they were to design their outfits using the band’s music as inspiration. Not only is Amee is event creator, but she is the lead singer of Black Eyed Betty, a local rock + roll band! Betty closed out the show, barely able to observe the noise ordinance the neighborhood has instilled.The coolest part is that ALL, 100% of the proceeds go towards local cancer warriors, buying them wigs and gas cards to get to their doctors appointments. The bands and designers donate their time and effort and any money they would have pocketed from the event. This year, over $1000 was raised! Thanks to everyone who came!! RAWK!

Amee rockin' out with Betty!

Amee rockin’ out with Betty!

Making the event even more special was that Amanda and I got to model for designer Kelli Martin! She has such an edgy, cool aesthetic! This was the 3rd or 4th time I had modeled for her because I will take any chance I can get to rock her clothes. So most of our day was spent at the salon getting our hair and makeup done by the fabulous Jeffrey Steele and his assistant Casey Pennington! I swear, I need a hair and makeup team to follow me around every weekend! Once they were done with me, I looked like an edgy, original, 1950s Barbie Doll! It was a dream come true! My curled bangs and dark eyeliner made my green eyes just pop! And I’m a sucker for my bright-colored lipstick! Kelli’s designs were deranged rockabilly, and I just looked like Barbie on vacation! I got to wear a crop top and high-waisted, pocketed shorts, both in a floral print, and an adorable black, brimmed hat. Kelli’s work is normally very hardcore and requires a runway walk and face that yells, “I’m gonna kill a bitch!” but Saturday’s look was much nicer and more fun. Rather than walking like we re on our way to inflict some pain on some deserving soul, we got to walk with a bounce in our step and smiles from ear to ear. I even played up the hat a little bit, cheesin’ it up for the audience.

CRTC Modeling

Fellow Mobster & Model: Rachel!

Fellow Mobster & Model: Rachel!

Modeli silliness at the end of the night!

Model silliness at the end of the night!

One of the biggest reasons that this event is so important to me is not only because Amee is a kickass survivor and I have become her Hype Girl, supporting all of her inspiring ventures, but because my Grandma passed away from breast cancer when I was 9, my dad is a cancer survivor, my mom died from endometrial cancer 2 years ago and just this past Tuesday, my Uncle Art was taken from us because of pancreatic cancer. I am f**king sick of cancer affecting and taking people we love. I don’t think there is a person in this world that doesn’t know someone touched by cancer. So anything that works towards a cure or supports those battling towards survival is a worthwhile cause, in my eyes.

Which brings us to…

…Mother’s Day. This year was the 3rd Mother’s Day without Mom. It has gotten a little easier to spend it without her, but nonetheless, every radio ad reminding people to get Mom a gift, every Facebook post boasting that their mom is the greatest, only serves to remind me that I don’t have a mom to buy or make a gift for and that my mom really was the greatest mom and was taken from us years too soon. This year, I spent part of the day with a dear friend, Karen. Her mother also died way too early. Losing a parent is a grief I would not wish upon my worst enemy, but it is a blessing to have others to share it with, that understand the big and little pains of not having that person around. Karen and I spent our afternoon shopping for flowers for our yards; something that Karen really inspired me to do last summer. I was refreshing to walk around the nursery and be reminded that even though there can be such ugliness in our world, that there is a God and he is always creating and recreating beautiful things. It was too cold for our scheduled bike ride (ugh. Thanks Ohio. Jerk.), so instead, we went shopping at Rag-O-Rama, a local, quirky, thrift shop. I got a fabulous neon leotard and bright pink sunglasses for an upcoming costumed bar shuffle (I’m channeling Jem!) and a couple of pairs of cute shorts. If my mother taught me anything, it’s that retail therapy is a real thing. Once again, I felt very blessed to have such a compassionate person in my life.

The weekend came to a close with my weekly Sunday evening hot yoga class with Alexander & Co. I sweat out the weekend and left refreshed and ready to do it all over again!

Me & my 2 BFFs: Mickey Mouse & Mom (Easter 1987 ~ I was 2)

Me & my 2 BFFs: Mickey Mouse & Mom (Easter 1987 ~ I was 2)

Uncle Art & I playing on the beach in Florida, Mom & Aunt Nancy behind us. The beach is where I will remember Uncle Art most fondly. (Easter 1987)

Uncle Art & I playing on the beach in Florida, Mom & Aunt Nancy behind us. The beach is where I will remember Uncle Art most fondly. (Easter 1987)

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