This week hit me like a ton of bricks. Sometimes I take on too much and then I receive one really nice (and profound) comment from a friend in the parking lot of Stephen Foster Elementary School after a Junior League meeting and I am suddenly in tears. It was a culmination of ALL the things – frustration and disappointment with certain people, feeling like a failure in some areas, uncertainty, and questioning whether I prioritize the right things.

“You can’t force everything,” said my wise (and several years younger) friend. I had not told her what was on my mind, but somehow she knew exactly what to say to me. She referenced my blog post titled ’30 Before 30’ and knew that many of the items on the list were not happening in the three short months before the big day. I have never deleted a blog post, but this is one where it crossed my mind months later. I wrote it on January 1st. Only a few weeks before Denver’s passing and full of ‘I-am-going-to-rock-the-last-year-in-my-twenties’ angst.

Fast forward to sitting in that parking lot, tears running down my face, exhausted, and upset that Denver is not here for this crazy adventure. You can’t live your life wondering why certain things happen, but there are a lot of people I could have lived without before Denver ever reached that list. There is so much I want to share with her on a daily basis and I struggle with who that new person should be. I’ll never replace her, nor do I want to. While I am blessed to have more friends than anyone could ever dream of having (many of you are reading this right now), it’s still difficult to share as deeply as I had shared with her.

Many of the bucket list items are reasonable: rock climbing, karaoke, and a random road trip. I even learned a new rap song from start to finish (hello, Bust a Move!). While others, such as ‘falling in love’ is much harder to tackle. Maybe I just fall more and more in love with who I am becoming. As for the ‘Do something that really, truly scares you,’ I think that applies to everyday. The point of me sharing this is to tell you to be patient with yourself. No one is perfect and I am certainly not immune to the flood of emotions that can hit without warning.

Denver and I loved bucket lists and the accountability that lists created in tackling the objectives. However, you are not beholden to them. Denver would be the first to tell me that it does not make me less of a person to have only accomplished half of the items. That is not the point – living a full, happy, adventurous life that is true to your hopes and desires is all we can ask for.

My 30th will be spent with the only man in my life, Winston, on Thanksgiving – thirty candles, a turkey, and an immense amount of gratitude for being able to celebrate it. Denver had tickets to a Colts game the day of my 29th birthday party last year and she chose to be with me. She was selfless as always. I often think about this when deciding between conflicting invites. My pot roast, au gratin potatoes, and chocolate cake were not the reason she chose my 1950’s themed birthday soiree. Spending quality time with friends is rare, so when I get the opportunity now, I make it happen.

We are all a work in progress. Be kind to everyone, keep your head up, and do not worry about what you should be doing.

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I bought tickets to the Indianapolis Indians’ Bark in the Park ballgame a few months ago and as the day approached, I was dreading it. Winston loves everyone, but everyone does not love Winston. I estimated we would last approximately ten minutes. Winston must have sensed Denver’s presence in the clouds above because he was the most well behaved pup in attendance. It was a proud dog mom moment and we actually watched some baseball! There was a 170 pound Great Dane parked next to our blanket and Winnie was in love.

We received the ten-minute warning for rain, so I packed up our blanket, water bottle, dog bowl, my MacAlister’s iced tea (without a lid, thanks Indians concession people) and we ran for it. The rain pounded the top of the museum garage just as we made it inside for cover. I drove us home and looked back to find Winnie sprawled in the backseat, exhausted from his city adventure. A meaningful, perfect moment doing exactly what I wanted to do. Since reading ‘Present Over Perfect,’ I pay more attention when these moments occur.








  1. I have tried to write you several times (but failed)to tell you it will be OK with she passed of the same disease at the same age as my very best friend. It really will never ever be OK……but somehow it will all turn Denver on that one😊 She just added to who you are…and made you just a little bit more special❤️ xo, k

    Sent from my iPad



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